Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Tales From the Bookshelf

Today I go to my prize bookcase for a book to review. Appropriately enough, it is a collection of horror tales from H.P.Lovecraft.

Dagon and Other Macabre Tales
by H.P.Lovecraft

Hardcover: 448 pages
Publisher: Arkham House Publishers (October 1986)
ISBN-10: 0870540394
ISBN-13: 978-0870540394

August Derleth brought together some of Lovecraft's greatest tales in three wonderful hardback volumes. I was fortunate to discover these volumes for sale in a bookstore near Pike's Market in Seattle, WA in 1993.

This volume contains twenty-eight stories and bonus tales. You will find many that have made their way into motion pictures, such as "From Beyond," "Herbert West - Reanimator," and "The Unnamable." It boasts both tales of horror and of the Dreamlands. Lovecraft even ventured out of the horror realm in my favorite, "The Walls of Eryx," a creepy science-fiction story.

Lovecraft has a unique style and the fact that most of his work was written in the 1920's makes the prose a bit more challenging to read. However, hs is eloquent without being over-wordy. Lovecraft likes to build the tension and then drop the bomb at the very end of the story. While some of the stories may not seem so horrific in this day and age, most still hold their shock value.

The book has been revised & corrected many times, and the cover art has changed over the years, but this collection, along with The Dunwich Horror and Others and At the Mountains of Madness and Other Novels, is a must-have for any horror fan! If you want to discover the real master of horror, you must read Lovecraft's tales...

All three books - 9 & 1/2 stars out of 10.
Not perfect, but darn near close!


  1. I love your bookshelf! Shannarra on top! Yay!

    What an interesting book. I may need to check it out!

  2. Thank you! I'm not a big reader of horror, but if I'm gonna start, I might as well start with the best.

    Straight From Hel

  3. Thanks for the tip. LOVE the title and the cover, too.

    Marvin D Wilson

  4. Walls of Eryx was a great short story!

  5. Jaime, my husband is a BIG fan of Terry Brooks and even has a signed Shannarra book.

    Helen, Lovecraft is all about atmosphere - you'd enjoy it!

  6. Love my Lovecraft - I think I still have the complete works around here somewhere. If I were to list influences, HP would lurk around the top of the list. Definitely worth a re-read ...

    On a related note, "Herbert West - Reanimator" remains one of my favorite horror flicks. Jeffrey Combs' over-the-top performance and all that uber-grotesque overkill really work for me.

  7. His writings certainly influenced many of today’s authors. I read a couple of his short stories many years ago. Thanks to your post, I’m thinking it might be fun to read a couple more now.

  8. Sorry, but I don't read Horror.However your review does make it appealing.

  9. I'm not a horror fan (my imagination gets me into too much trouble), but I'm a fan of Brooks.

  10. Karen and Tara, I'm not a big horror reader either. Just something about the tension in his books that's so appealing.

    And Mike, Reanimator is like a party movie - best when viewed with a crowd!
    My favorite is The Resurrected.

  11. Sounds like a good book! And something different from my usual reads.

    Mystery Writing is Murder

  12. I don't believe I've ever seen "The Resurrected," but it sounds great. I just added it to my Netflix queue.

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