Book Review: The Call of Cthulhu and Other Weird Stories, by H.P. Lovecraft

(Originally posted on Amazon 8/15/2010)

call of cthulu

You can tell that the works of H.P. Lovecraft have entered the stuffy realm of “literature” when Penguin/Viking feels compelled to produce releases of his work under their Penguin Classics banner. The Call of Cthulu and Other Weird Stories is the first of (so far) three volumes of Lovecraft’s tales to appear under this imprint, and it serves admirably as both a good introduction for those unfamiliar with his work, or as a good assemblage for those more familiar with him and are seeking a decent, comprehensive collection with annotation.

This collection contains a mixture of tales from both his early and later periods, both long and short works, with several lesser known and harder to find stories thrown in for good measure. Most of the stories directly concerning Cthulu or its followers are here collected (“Dagon”, “The Call of Cthulu”, “The Shadow Over Innsmouth”), as well as many other tales that have long been considered classics in the Lovecraft corpus (“The Colour Out of Space”, “The Whisperer in the Darkness”, “Herbert West – Reanimator”, “The Rats in the Walls”). What’s more, the collection also contains extensive endnotes by editor S.T. Joshi, who not only provides insights into the writing of these works but also explains obscure references and even points out how many of Lovecraft’s stories directly relate to one another; even those reasonably familiar with Lovecraft’s work will find new insights and connections that they hadn’t realized existed.

Overall I think this is a very good collection, among the best Lovecraft anthologies currently in release. I would recommend it to anyone interested in H.P. Lovecraft with absolutely no reservations.

5 Stars out of 5 Stars