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Getting into Lovecraft:

 51 RL Nice, Sun, 20th May '12 3:11:47 PM from a computer
Bigfoot Puncher
Is it just me, or does The Descent seem suspiciously similar to "The Beast in the Cave"?
A fistful of me.
So far I've read "Mountains of Madness", "Call of Cthulhu", and just started "The Case of Charles Dexter Ward" and I'm wondering, do any Lovecraft stories have dialogue? Seriously, second hand narrative retellings being the basis of his stories is grating on my nerves.

 53 Rich Reeders, Thu, 19th Jul '12 3:06:36 PM from Watching this muffin.
Official Muffin Watcher
Don't Lovecraft stories basically boil down to "Something happens, generally involving some sort of alien create/demon/ice cream salesman (note: ice cream salesmen may or may not cause insanity - I'm just covering my bases here) and everyone goes batshit insane, the end?
Don't you try anything, you baked good you.
 54 Lizard Bite, Thu, 19th Jul '12 4:52:05 PM from Two Galaxies Over
[up][up]A few have some dialogue. I think. Can't remember any specific examples. His general style is dialogueless though.

World's Toughest Milkman
For my money, the best collection, and an excellent place to start, is Tales of H.P. Lovecraft, edited by Joyce Carol Oates. It's got "The Music of Erich Zann", "The Rats in the Walls", "The Call of Cthulhu", "The Colour Out of Space", "The Dunwich Horror", "At the Mountains of Madness", "The Shadow Over Innsmouth", and a few others.
"Existential Despair" is an oxymoron.
Michael G.
I'll Recommend "H.P. Lovecraft: Great Tales of Horror."

I actually just recently read the Call of Cthulu and the Colour out of Space.

I'm actually inspired to write from the perspective of the Colours.
Feel free to visit my yokai blog.
When I started out reading Lovecraft, I'd already learned quite a bit about his most famous works through Pop Cultural Osmosis. Those included The Call of Cthulhu, The Shadow Over Innsmouth and The Mountains of Madness. They were still good, but I was more impressed with some of the less known works like The Colour Out of Space and The Music of Erich Zann (which is amazing). That being said, if you want to get straight to the famous fish people and eldritch horrors, Innsmouth and The Dunwich Horror are probably among the best.
 
Professional Nerd
I, for one, suggest that the OP read "Sweet Ermengarde."

... What?

edited 19th Aug '12 12:10:48 PM by Sparkysharps

"If there's a hole, it's a man's job to thrust into it!"
Ryoma Nagare, New Getter Robo
 59 Accela, Sun, 19th Aug '12 1:07:45 PM from one of my story's worlds
Nerd Mode Always On
I found The Call of Cthulhu rather...disappointing because it was basically a third-hand account, although I imagine some of that is it being over-hyped. Whisperer in the Darkness is currently my favorite.

edited 19th Aug '12 1:07:56 PM by Accela

"Genius is more often found in a cracked pot than in a whole one." - E.B. White
For those complaining about the lack of dialog, you wouldn't be complaining if you had read more of Lovecraft's "dialog."
 
 61 Jhimmibhob, Tue, 21st Aug '12 11:20:02 AM from Arm's reach of the julep machine Relationship Status: My own grandpa
[up]To wit: [clears throat, grabs "The Call of Cthulhu" off the shelf]

He said, "It is new, indeed, for I made it last night in a dream of strange cities; and dreams are older than brooding Tyre, or the contemplative Sphinx, or garden-girdled Babylon."

The more I think of it, though, the more I'd like to see Glengarry Glen Ross re-shot with Lovecraftian dialogue: "The fuming Mocha of antique Kush and nitid, daemon-haunted Brasil is for closers."

edited 21st Aug '12 11:20:32 AM by Jhimmibhob

"She was the kind of dame they write similes about." —Pterodactyl Jones
Pronounced YAK-you-luss
[up]You know, it sometimes amazes me how Lovecraft became so popular and enduring despite failing as a writer on so many, many levels.

I mean, I can see why (what he did well, he did very well), but it's still pretty astonishing when you come to think of it.
Freedom of speech includes the freedom for other people to call you out on your bullshit.
 63 RL Nice, Tue, 21st Aug '12 12:57:30 PM from a computer
Bigfoot Puncher
[up]It's mostly his ideas that became popular. He actually didn't see much success when he was living.
A fistful of me.
 64 Accela, Tue, 21st Aug '12 3:24:12 PM from one of my story's worlds
Nerd Mode Always On
He was extremely skillful at letting the reader's imagination do much of the work. The aliens in Whisperer in the Darkness are far more terrifying when you get only vague, panicked descriptions via a frightened old man's letters.
"Genius is more often found in a cracked pot than in a whole one." - E.B. White
 65 Knightof Lsama, Tue, 21st Aug '12 4:27:34 PM from The Sea of Chaos
[up][up][up] Which part of his writing are you talking about? Because if you're talking about the quality of his prose, for all this it is somewhat overblown on occasion, it makes up for it by being wonderfully evocative.

Enough so that it manages to send a chill up my spine even when talking about subject matters that I normally find fascinating (such as the non-Euclidian geometries and non-intuitive phenomena that are the bread and butter of certain branches of modern physics).
Welcome to the Sea of Chaos
 66 Jhimmibhob, Wed, 22nd Aug '12 7:33:08 AM from Arm's reach of the julep machine Relationship Status: My own grandpa
Lovecraft is no stylistic giant by a long shot, but his flaws look worse to modern readers than they really are. HPL used an elaborate, maximalist style that English and American literature is full of, and that was always considered perfectly fine until Hemingway came along. By the end of WWII, fashionable critics had managed to redefine "true literature" in a way that excluded nearly anything that wasn't Hemingwayesque concision. As with nearly every other artistic field in the 20th century, the modernists managed to bully and exclude everybody who wasn't them from sophisticated consideration.

Now, even if literary ornament hadn't been unrespectable for the last several generations, Lovecraft's prose would probably be considered subpar. But one doubts it'd look as ghastly as it sometimes does today.
"She was the kind of dame they write similes about." —Pterodactyl Jones
Hey guys, I'm sorry if I'm taking over this thread a bit but I'm getting into Howard Phillips Lovecraft's works too. I want to know what 'complete collection' type book is best for reading them all.

Edit: Dude, why did I post after you again? I'm talking about the guy with post before me.

edited 24th Aug '12 11:01:23 AM by drakonsenshi

World's Toughest Milkman
[up] The last complete collection I saw was at least six books—I don't remember exactly how many; could have been almost twice that—and it was a paperback series published a couple of decades ago. But I'm not really sure you want a complete series. Lovecraft liked to encourage starting writers, and one way he did that was by collaborating with them. Including many writers that many people think should never have been encouraged. We may quibble about the quality of Lovecraft's prose here, but few would dispute that his personal prose was far superior to that seen in many of his collaborations, some of which can generously be called dreadful.
"Existential Despair" is an oxymoron.
 69 RL Nice, Fri, 24th Aug '12 12:54:35 PM from a computer
Bigfoot Puncher
His works are also public domain, meaning you can find the full texts online with a minimal amount of searching.
A fistful of me.
 70 Jhimmibhob, Fri, 24th Aug '12 6:16:50 PM from Arm's reach of the julep machine Relationship Status: My own grandpa
Virtually all HPL's stuff is included in the three Arkham House hardcovers: The Dunwich Horror, At the Mountains of Madness, and Dagon. The only things not included are his poems, minor essays, and "revisions"—short stories that he either co-wrote or expanded on from other authors' initial drafts.
"She was the kind of dame they write similes about." —Pterodactyl Jones
 71 Aondeug, Fri, 24th Aug '12 6:20:50 PM from  Our Dreams
Oh My
Barnes and Noble has a hardback collection of his stuff sans the poems, essays, and "revisions" as one big thing for 20 USD or so. The downsides being that it's huge, it has no footnotes, and it lacks illustrations.
If someone wants to accuse us of eating coconut shells, then that's their business. We know what we're doing. - Achaan Chah
 72 Orange Spider, Fri, 24th Aug '12 7:31:11 PM from Ursalia Relationship Status: On the prowl
Must Keep The Web Intact
If you can read French, Laffont has an Omnibus of 3 books containing his works, collaborations, poetry, essays, and pretty much all the things he ever wrote.

The Great Northern Threadkill.
I've been looking at the Barnes and Noble one, if you(Aondeug) mean this one http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/barnes-noble-leatherbound-classics-hp-lovecraft-h-p-lovecraft/1106658815?ean=9781435122963 I've been looking at it a bit.

Pronounced YAK-you-luss
The Orion Books 'Necronomicon' collection contains just about everything Lovecrafty you'd ever want, plus suitably atmospheric illustrations. If you have fragile wrists, though, you might want to go for the e-book version - it's pretty huge.

edited 25th Aug '12 2:08:22 AM by Iaculus

Freedom of speech includes the freedom for other people to call you out on your bullshit.
Just for fun checked the Necronomicon's page total. 800+ pages... That's going to hurt my hands badly. Yes I have weak hands.. So what?

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