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  1. 8Bit Bob

    8Bit Bob Member

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    The Works of H. P. Lovecraft

    Discussion in 'Book Discussion' started by 8Bit Bob, Oct 25, 2017.

    Hello all! I just recently bought an anthology of all of H. P. Lovecraft's works on my Kindle for $0.99 and have been reading it quite a bit. I was wondering if anyone else has read any of his works, and if so what their thoughts on them were? Also, let me know what your favorite/least favorite stories are, so I know which ones to read, and which ones to avoid :p

    So far I've read The Call of Cthulhu, The Dreams in the Witch House, and The Terrible Old Man. I must say, I've loved all three of them! They're all very creepy and mysterious, which I like in a horror story
     
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  2. Mouthwash

    Mouthwash Senior Member

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    My favorites so far are Celephais and The Outsider. I actually think Call is really bad (aside from the famous opening).
     
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  3. Simpson17866

    Simpson17866 Contributor Contributor

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    My favorites are actually the least-explicitly Cosmic horror:
    • The Hound
    • Pickman's Model
    • The Statement of Randolph Carter
    • Cold Air
    But of the explicitly Cosmic, my favorites are
    • Call of Cthulu
    • The Color out of Space
    • At the Mountains of Madness
     
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  4. Night Herald

    Night Herald Member Supporter

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    I've been revisiting Lovecraft of late, in the form of audiobooks, which I think is the best way to digest ol' Howard Phillips. There are certainly things I like about his work, or else I wouldn't bother, and there are things I don't. Overall, I'm a fan, but not necessarily a huge one.

    My undisputed favorite is The Shadow out of Time, and if you like that, there's a significant chance you'll like At the Mountains of Madness as well. Personally, I'm kind of lukewarm where the latter is concerned.
    I think The Rats in the Walls and The Color out of Space are among his better stories; and while it's somewhat atypical for a Lovecraft story, I also enjoyed Herbert West - Reanimator. There was another, I think it was called The Vault or some such, which I remember as being fun, but it's been ages.

    Well, those are my favorites. There are many others, of course, and I haven't read even half of them.
     
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  5. Damien Loveshaft

    Damien Loveshaft Member

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    I read and write in the mythos. My favorite is Dream-quest in Unknown Kadath. His Juvenilia are probably the weakest ones but I still consider them worth a read.
     
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  6. Seven Crowns

    Seven Crowns Member Supporter

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    Shadow Over Innsmouth is my favorite.
    Then I guess . . .

    The Dunwich Horror
    At the Mountains of Madness
    From Beyond
     
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  7. minstrel

    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I've read The Call of Cthulhu and At the Mountains of Madness.

    I wasn't really impressed by either one, mostly because I find Lovecraft's prose style laughable. Also, he committed the unpardonable sin of explaining where his monsters came from (space), thus demystifying them. Cthulhu isn't a horror figure; he's just an alien. Ho hum.
     
  8. Rosacrvx

    Rosacrvx Senior Member

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    He is?! Erm... Because I read all the stories and I didn't get that vibe. I always figured he was a long forgotten god.
    Allow me to reread my own review on my blog on Lovecraft's work and I'll get back to you on this. But I'm pretty sure I never thought Ctulhu was an alien.
     
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  9. Simpson17866

    Simpson17866 Contributor Contributor

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    I'm pretty sure it was both ;) That the universe is full of creatures of such power that we would consider them to be lowercase-gods.
     
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  10. Rosacrvx

    Rosacrvx Senior Member

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    My favourites, in no particular order:

    The Colour Out of Space (this one is terrifying)
    The Call Of Cthulhu
    The Whisperer in Darkness
    The Shadow Over Innsmouth
    At the Mountains of Madness (was this the inspiration for "Alien"?)
    Cool Air
    Herbert West: Reanimator
    In the Vault (this one is amusing in a dark humourous way)
    The Horror at Martins's Beach
    The Shunned House (a vampire story)
    The Thing on the Doorstep

    And my very personal favourite The Cats of Ulthar (recommended for animal lovers who are not afraid of horror)


    @minstrel
    So, after reading my own reviews (memory isn't what it used to be) the Ancient Ones did indeed come "from the stars". But I never thought of them as merely aliens/extraterrestrials. I always got the vibe that they were gods and I maintain it; Lovecraft portrayed them as gods. But maybe this is more of a philosophical question than a literary one.
     
  11. Simpson17866

    Simpson17866 Contributor Contributor

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    Neither have I: there was nothing "mere" about those aliens/extraterrestrials ;)
     
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  12. X Equestris

    X Equestris Contributor Contributor

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    My personal favorites:

    The Colour out of Space (one of the only ones that was legitimately horrifying)
    The Thing on the Doorstep (one of the others that was legitimately horrifying)
    The Haunter of the Dark (in my opinion, has one of the best of Lovecraft's eldritch creatures)
    The Dreams in the Witch House (last of the ones that truly creeped me out)
    The Whisperer in Darkness (probably would've been horrifying, but I got spoiled)
    The Shadow over Innsmouth
    At the Mountains of Madness
    The Shadow out of Time (solid world building on this and the one before. Truly alien aliens, in terms of biology)
    The Shunned House (in light of the glut of modern vampire stories, it's a pleasantly unique depiction of the creature)
    Sweet Ermengarde (a comedy, and a fairly funny one at that, so long as you know it was written to parody melodramas)
    The Curse of Yig

    Much of Lovecraft's work doesn't really horrify today, but I think that has something to do with how science has progressed in the past 80 years or so. At the time, the vastness of the cosmos was only just beginning to be understood. The Big Bang, other galaxies, Continental Drift, Relativity, all concepts that redefined human understanding of the world and often diminished our significance in it. Lovecraft's stories dealt with those same themes.
     
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  13. zoupskim

    zoupskim Contributor Contributor

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    Dagon, At the Mountains of Madness, and The Colour out of Space.
     
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  14. zoupskim

    zoupskim Contributor Contributor

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    I understand the style thing. I love the thick slow prose of Lovecraft, but I can understand if people don't want that.

    But the monsters don't come from space! We come from the monsters.

    Everything in the universe, black holes, animals, your childhood fears, and my love for America, are a fever dream lullaby created by transdeminsional god priests, like Cthulhu , in an eternal effort to keep the Blind Idiot God from gazing upon reality.
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2017
  15. Adenosine Triphosphate

    Adenosine Triphosphate Old Scratch Contributor

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    I enjoyed Hypnos. As someone who's incapacitated by all-nighters, the main conflict was especially gruesome, in a mental sense. It's like if you were starving to death, but food poisoned you.
     
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  16. Damien Loveshaft

    Damien Loveshaft Member

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    To add on to this little conversation, I hardly ever looked to him as a mere horror writer, but as a founding father of weird fiction. Plus I think there's a reason Cosmic horror is separated from normal Horror.
     
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  17. srwilson

    srwilson Member

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    How could I not comment on 'The Greatest Horror Writer of the 20th Century'?

    Reading At The Mountains of Madness at the age of 18?, I first wasn't too impressed. But something must have got under my skin, because many months later, little things kept popping into my mind, and I then started to explore him properly and read the lot. Only then did it hit me how powerful his works are. I think they work on a subconscious level a lot, and with repeated reading they actually seem to get even better.

    My favourites are, starting with the best:


    At The Mountains of Madness
    Shadow Over Innsmouth
    Shadow Out of Time
    Colour out of Space
    Rats in the Walls
    Dreams in the Witch House
    Lurking Fear
    Dagon
    Moon Bog

    Generally, critical opinion seems to be that he really got good from around 1930 and died at his creative peak.

    If you like movies, although he doesn't translate too well, I recommend a movie called Dagon, which is based not on Dagon, but loosely on The Shadow Over Innsmouth. It's low budget but really creepy and atmospheric. I'm STILL waiting for Guillermo Del Toro to make a big budget version of At The Mountains of Madness, which he's been planning forever
     
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  18. srwilson

    srwilson Member

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    My understanding is that they are sort-of aliens with sort-of godlike powers and became worshipped and regarded by humans as being like gods. So perhaps not aliens in the modern sense, where we think about things like Alien and often more bizarre types like in The Thing. They are a kind of creation unique to Lovecraft.
     
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  19. Simpson17866

    Simpson17866 Contributor Contributor

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    I actually liked the big-budget At the Mountains of Madness adaptation.

    It was called Prometheus ;)
     
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  20. zoupskim

    zoupskim Contributor Contributor

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    People missed the point of that movie so hard. David riding the bicycle in the basketball court shooting hoops is the same as the humans exploring the Engineer space craft. In both cases a created being is trying to use the tools of its creator, but missing the point of their meaning. I think Prometheus suffered from trying to be an Alien movie and a Mountains of Madness stand in.
     
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  21. srwilson

    srwilson Member

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    I'm a huge fan of only two of Ridley Scotts movies; Alien & Bladerunner. But I found Prometheus disappointing. Perhaps I need to revisit it. Is it good?
     
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  22. zoupskim

    zoupskim Contributor Contributor

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    My favorite director, and his best work in my opinion.

    As for Prometheus, I personally think it's a mess. Specifically because buried in that mess are the bones of a much better movie.
     
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  23. Simpson17866

    Simpson17866 Contributor Contributor

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    ... I completely missed that :D

    It's one of those movies where the execution (that is, the actual movie) isn't fun to watch, but the concepts behind the movie are interesting to talk about. Like Batman v Superman, or the Star Wars prequels.

    EDIT: it turns out I just missed somebody else saying it better :p

     
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  24. zoupskim

    zoupskim Contributor Contributor

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  25. Rosacrvx

    Rosacrvx Senior Member

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    If that's so, I'd prefer The Colour Out of Space instead. That part with the trees waving without wind does indeed creep me out.
    At The Mountains of Madness seems a bit ruined by science, doesn't it? Isn't it supposed to take place in the South Pole? Would anyone still be immersed enough to suspend disbelief? But a meteorite crashing down suddenly with alien life inside is still believable. (I'd believe it, that is.)

    Or like E.T. or green men from Mars or "the grey" ones from The X-Files. I just can't see them as gods.
    In Lovecraft's world, the Ancient Ones were viewed as gods. They started/inspired a religion and cultists still worship them. I don't think we, the readers, are supposed to think of them as anything but gods.
    But this is philosophical. Any being superior to us can be perceived as god as long as there are those willing to perceive it that way. And those who don't will always look down on those who do, and so on and so forth.
    And this is why I like Lovecraft so much. It's not only about horror. There are deep questions posed by his stories.
     

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