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The Call of Cthulhu and Other Weird Stories (Penguin Twentieth-Century Classics) (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 1. Oktober 1999

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I think it is beyond doubt that H. P. Lovecraft has yet to be surpassed as the twentieth century's greatest practitioner of the classic horror tale (Stephen King) -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine vergriffene oder nicht verfügbare Ausgabe dieses Titels.

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H.P. Lovecraft reinvented the horror genre for the 20th century, discarding witches and ghosts and envisaging mankind as an outpost of dwindling sanity in a chaotic and malevolent universe.

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Format: Taschenbuch
I don't think that there's a lot for me to add to what's been said already about the quality of Lovecraft's stories, except to agree with the assessment of Lovecraft as a stellar author of short horror fiction. The real question to ask about a collection of Lovecraft's work, though, is: what distinguishes it from all the other many Lovecraft collections out there? That is why I would give the Penguin collection 5 stars: the selection of stories is very good, arranged chronologically and covering the Lovecraft "hits," as well as some lesser-known earlier works. But what's most impressive about this anthology, as compared to others, is the superb annotation by S.T. Joshi, the premier Lovecraft scholar. There are ample footnotes to each of the stories, describing the backgrounds of the tales, discussing where Lovecraft got his ideas, pointing out thematic links, etc. These footnotes also provide insights into the life of Lovecraft himself, who apparently was not the weird recluse that one might initially suspect when reading his stories. In fact, Joshi includes many quotes from Lovecraft's correspondences, and some of these quotes are even very humorous (one quote deals with Lovecraft's description of his attempts to make a vocal recording in the style of Enrico Caruso, the famous singer). That's why this Penguin collection of stories is so good: you get many classic Lovecraft stories, along with Joshi's illuminating commentaries and annotation.
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Format: Taschenbuch
Finally, Lovecraft seems to be getting some due from the straight literary world. First it was that long Joyce Carol Oates essay a couple years ago in the NY Review of Books, than it was the "Annotated Lovecraft" and now Penguin Classics has seen fit to bestow the mainstream American reading public with this quality paperback. Wow, I can't imagine what readers of Virginia Woolf and Jack Kerouac and TS Eliot will do when confronted with the likes of Yog Sothoth, the Goat with a Thousand Young, The Great Old Ones and that nasty ol' Cthulhu....
Seriously: this stuff is incomparable. Lovecraft's creation of the Cthulhu Mythos (or, as he called it, "Yog-Sothothory") heralded a new age in supernatural fiction. So vivid, so cosmic, so vast and imaginative, it is the equal of Middle Earth, of Oz or Wonderland. HPL's view of humanity and the cosmos is deeply, darkly existential, almost nihilistic, and he used symbolic structures of his neuroses to portray that view. Had he but lived to see the true horrors of World War 2...
OK, OK, the stories! "The Call of Cthulhu" and "The Color Out of Space" will still be read a hundred years from now for their controlled atmosphere of cosmic dread and awe. "The Shadow Over Innsmouth" and "The Shadow Out of Time" rank next, later stories that are a bit wordy but still powerful, unsettling, and unforgettable. They contain my favorite climaxes; Lovecraft had matured greatly as a writer since early tales like "The Outsider."
HP Lovecraft forced horror and supernatural fiction out of its infancy of vampires, ghosts and devils and into the adult world of a cold, uncaring, nearly malicious universe that we can scarcely comprehend.
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Format: Taschenbuch
Well, I never thought I'd see the day when Lovecraft would be issued in a Penguin Classic edition. Neglected for years, sneered at by snobs and pop-psychoanalyzed to pieces by phonies, it seems that Lovecraft is finally coming in to his own. For years, all we had were the Arkham House editions - we all owe a debt to August Derleth for never letting Lovecraft go out of print, but these weren't exactly on the shelves of your local book store.
Lovecraft's influence reaches to this day - I can't imagine any of the "Alien" movies without Lovecrat's effect on H.R. Giger's conception. The "Blair Witch Project" could have been taken directly from a Lovecraft story (except for the language). Influenced himself by Poe, Lord Dunsany, Robert Chambers, and many others, Lovecraft managed to distill his own immediately identifiable style and capture the imaginations of generations of writers in the field. Long after Stephen King and Clive Barker have been relegated to the dustbin, readers AND writers will still find inspiration in the dark prose of the gentleman from Providence.
This collection is easily the best single volume available of Lovecraft's work, and a steal at this price. If you aren't familiar with the 20th Century's greatest writer of horror fiction, I can not urge you strongly enough to sample this book - I am certain that you will NOT regret it.
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Format: Taschenbuch
This book is an excellent introduction to H.P. Lovecraft. A sample of his classic tales in an affordable volume. Lovecraft is the finest writer of pulp horror and weird fiction. He can be a bit of a shock for readers whose only exposure to horror is Steven King. His tales are far more intellectual and psychological. This is aristocratic horror, who's protagonist is likely to be a professor of antiquities or a dilettante in search of anchient architecture. Forbiden tomes, such as the infamous Necronomicon, and ancient evil await these adventures. "The Rats in the Walls" has a man victimized by a family curse. His ancestral home goes deeper than he expected, with each sub-basement revealing an older period of architecture. What evil ground was this house built on? "The Shadow Over Innsmouth" is a story of a small sea town with a history, and a population with a strange look and strange ways. Horrible things live beneath the surface of the waters. Horrible things live above. "The Call of Cthulhu"....well, you will just have to see what lies around that corner for yourself.
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