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The Call of Cthulhu and Other Weird Stories

de H. P. Lovecraft

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2,971523,707 (4.01)105
Frequently imitated and widely influential, Howard Phillips Lovecraft reinvented the horror genre in the twentieth century, discarding ghosts and witches and envisioning instead mankind as a tiny outpost of dwindling sanity in a chaotic and malevolent universe. Love craft's preeminent interpreter S. T. Joshi presents a selection of the master's fiction, from the early tales of nightmares and madness such as "The Outsider" and "Rats in the Walls," through the grotesquely comic "Herbert West-Reanimator" and "The Hound," to the overpowering cosmic terror of "The Shadow Over Innsmouth" and "The Call of Cthulhu." The first paperback edition to include the definitive corrected texts, The Call of Cthulhu and Other Weird Stories reveals the development of Lovecraft's mesmerizing narrative style and establishes him as a canonical-and visionary-American writer.… (més)
Afegit fa poc perfelixanta, Arina8888, coolschmool, kerlyn5804, biblioteca privada, Melmoth666
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Anglès (50)  Suec (1)  Castellà (1)  Totes les llengües (52)
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Modern İnsan Yaşam Ardındaki Güçler Hakkında Ne Biliyor ki?: Cthulhu’nun Çağrısı (İnceleme):
https://parttimegamersite.wordpress.com/2017/08/24/modern-insan-yasam-ardindaki-... ( )
  SultanNurK_Gucuk | Aug 11, 2021 |
The name of H.P. Lovecraft was well-known to me; but until now, I had never read any of his work. I had read plenty of pastiches; indeed, so many that when I started this collection I found many of the early stories rather over the top, with language as overwrought as some of his protagonists and the horror itself amounting to very little. Perhaps things were different in the 1920s. True, there were a couple of stories that I found effective; and one which sent genuine shivers down my spine despite it seeming a bit too trite and obvious.

The stories are in roughly chronological order of composition; so it was that from 'The Call of Cthulhu' itself (1926) I found the quality of the writing improving, as Lovecraft dropped many of the ingredients of his adjective soup, though he hangs on to a few favourites - 'blasphemous' for one, though how that can refer to a flute is a bit beyond me. But in terms of sheer horror, I found 'The Call of Cthulhu' itself rather an anti-climax. I mean, the account of the encounter with the Great Old One is delivered at third hand!! It's hard to inject genuine terror into the writing when it's an account that your great uncle left, recounting a conversation he had with someone else...

Had Lovecraft lived longer (he died at the age of 47), it is possible that he might eventually have written a Cthulhu story that directly challenged the Great Old One and achieved some answers to the mysteries he hints at throughout the Mythos stories. But he did not, and Cthulhu remains a character behind the scenes.

For me, the most effective stories in this collection here the last four; "The Colour out of Space", "The Whisperer in Darkness", "The Shadow over Innsmouth" and "The Haunter of the Dark". (This last one was written for his friend Robert Bloch, in return for Bloch writing Lovecraft into one of his own stories.) But these are not perfect: "The Shadow over Innsmouth", for example, has a street map as a plot device, and Lovecraft insists in taking us all over it, and telling us precisely where his protagonist is at all times. On the other hand, the same story is one of the few in this collection that has an actual twist. Most of the stories end with the death or descent into madness of either the narrator or the protagonist, but "Shadow" has a different take on the fate of the narrator, one which, for once, he sees coming and willingly embraces.

Another problem is the extent of Lovecraft's racism. This is front and centre in some of the early stories; but even in later ones, there are undercurrents of xenophobia and chauvinism. Malign influences are put down to "foreigners", ethnic stereotypes are regularly promoted, and there is a streak of white supremacy so unconscious that it takes a moment to realise that where Lovecraft writes of "native" myth and legend in his New England setting, he is referring to first generation settlers rather than any indigenous American myth.

Of course, this brings up the eternal argument over whether it is possible to separate the artist and their work. It is an argument which pre-dates Lovecraft and is being waged over works far more recent than these. Lovecraft remains important because of the 'Cthulhu mythos' that he built up, though on the evidence of the stories in this collection, that importance is more to be seen in the works of those who came after him and who used portions of the mythos, possibly without understanding quite where they come from. The worlds of comic book heroes have some responsibility here; even as recently as the tv version of the Batman origin myth, 'Gotham', which has an Arkham Asylum...

This collection has an introduction and copious explanatory notes by Lovecraft scholar S.T. Joshi; I found the introduction of interest as it gave an insight into the amateur journalism community Lovecraft was active in. Many of his collaborators and peers became well-known names in the world of fantastic fiction; the Amateur Press Associations that Joshi describes later became adopted by the science fiction fan community. As a part of science fiction's own origin myth, Lovecraft is important, even if his work seems definitely out of our time.

(Many of Joshi's notes, however, either state the obvious or are written for a very uninformed audience. And given that Lovecraft often referred back to his English roots in his stories, Joshi's own referencing seems to stop at the American shore.)

Perhaps the best thing I can say about this book concerns the quality of my edition, a 'Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition'. A few weeks ago, I commented that a paperback I had read was "the nastiest book I have handled in a long time"; well, this on the other hand is possibly the nicest fiction paperback I've read in many a year. The jacket has a sensual matt finish; the paper stock is high-quality (though the deckle-cut page edges sometimes made turning over a little tricky), and the jacket design by Paul Buckley, with illustrations by Travis Louie, captures both the period of the tales' setting and some of their weirdness. ( )
2 vota RobertDay | May 31, 2021 |
Es uno de los relatos cortos más conocidos de H. P. Lovecraft, escrito en el verano de 1926 y publicado en febrero de 1928. Es el único relato escrito por Lovecraft en el cual Cthulhu aparece. El relato propició el nacimiento de los llamados mitos de Cthulhu, relatos y novelas basados en la idea de las criaturas de otros mundos que desean rehabitar la Tierra.
  varbes | Dec 20, 2020 |
The Call of Cthulu is chilling still - the story builds gently but keeps a creepy eeriness throughout. Impressed by this little world that Lovecraft built. ( )
  ephemeral_future | Aug 20, 2020 |
I enjoyed this book, as a classic. As an inspiration for tons of D&D/RPG 'horror,' however, I just don't get it. ( )
  ca.bookwyrm | May 18, 2020 |
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H. P. Lovecraftautor primaritotes les edicionscalculat
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This work should include the Penguin edition along with other collections containing the following stories:

Dagon -- Statement of Randolph Carter -- Facts concerning the late Arthur Jermyn and his family -- Celephais -- Nyarlathotep -- Picture in the house -- Outsider -- Herbert West--Reanimator -- Hound -- Rats in the walls -- Festival -- He -- Cool air -- Call of Cthulhu -- Colour out of space -- Whisperer in darkness -- Shadow over Innsmouth -- Haunter of the dark

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Frequently imitated and widely influential, Howard Phillips Lovecraft reinvented the horror genre in the twentieth century, discarding ghosts and witches and envisioning instead mankind as a tiny outpost of dwindling sanity in a chaotic and malevolent universe. Love craft's preeminent interpreter S. T. Joshi presents a selection of the master's fiction, from the early tales of nightmares and madness such as "The Outsider" and "Rats in the Walls," through the grotesquely comic "Herbert West-Reanimator" and "The Hound," to the overpowering cosmic terror of "The Shadow Over Innsmouth" and "The Call of Cthulhu." The first paperback edition to include the definitive corrected texts, The Call of Cthulhu and Other Weird Stories reveals the development of Lovecraft's mesmerizing narrative style and establishes him as a canonical-and visionary-American writer.

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Edicions: 0141187069, 0143106481

 

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