Where to start

Fried Egg

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#61
There are three collections in that series:

At the Mountains of Madness and Other Novels of Terror (No. 1) Contents:
  • At the Mountains of Madness
  • the Case of Charles Dexter Ward
  • Dreams in the Witch House
  • Dream Quest of Unknown Kaddath
  • The Silver Key
  • Through the Gates of the Silver Key
Dagon and Other Macabre Tales (No. 2) Contents:
  • Dagon
  • The tomb
  • Polaris
  • Beyond the wall of sleep
  • The doom that came to Sarnath
  • The white ship
  • Arthur Jermyn
  • The cats of Ulthar
  • Celephais
  • From beyond
  • The temple
  • The tree
  • The moon-bog
  • The nameless city
  • The other gods
  • The quest of Iranon
  • Herbert West - reanimator
  • The hound
  • Hypnos
  • The festival
  • The unnamable
  • Imprisoned with the pharaohs
  • He
  • The horror at Red Hook
  • The strange high house in the mist
  • In the walls of Eryx
  • The evil clergyman
  • The beast in the cave
  • the alchemist
  • Poetry and the gods
  • The street
  • The transition of Juan Romero
  • Azathoth
  • The descendant
  • The book
  • The thing in the moonlight
  • Supernatural horror in literature.
Haunter of the Dark and Other Tales No (No. 3) Contents:
  • The Call of Cthulhu
  • The Colour Out of Space
  • The Dunwich Horror
  • The Whisperer in Darkness
  • The Thing on the Doorstep
  • The Shadow Over Innsmouth
  • The Shadow Out of Time
  • The Rats in the Walls
  • Pickman's Model
  • The Haunter of the Dark
  • The Lurking Fear
  • The Outsider
  • The Music of Eric Zahn
  • The Picture in the House
Unfortuantely, it would appear that most of his best stories are not included in the collection you've got comming I'm afraid. Oh there are some good ones ("Polaris", "The cats of Ulthar", "Beyond the wall of sleep", "Herbert West - reanimator", "The festival" and others) and a fair few that I have not read but the real "classics" are not there I'm afraid...Here is a review I found somewhere about this volume which pretty much agrees with what I think:

This, the second in the trilogy [...], is the weakest of the three. It is comprised entirely of his shortest stories, most of which were written at the start of his literary career. It was at this time that he was heavily influenced by Dunsey's dream works, and, as such, they often lack the gritty realism of his later stories that makes the supernatural horror all the more unsettling when it is finally revealed.

The first volume appears to have grouped together his three longest works (and padded with a few shorts) and the last volume has most of the real "classics" in my humble opinion.
 
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Fried Egg

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#63
Thanks FE,I'LL at least get a taste of his works and can look for the other two later
I'm just worried that you might be put off by reading a bunch of his weaker stories and never get around to reading his best work.

For what it's worth, I wouldn't have recommended starting on the first volume either because his longer stories can be quite intimidating for someone new to his work. The third volume should have come out first.
 
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#64
These are essentially (with some rearrangement in contents) reprints of the Arkham House volumes which have been in print since the early 1960s. And yes, Dagon is probably the weakest of the lot, though there are still a number of darned fine stories there; it's just that they are, as noted, among his "lesser" works, in many ways.

And F.E. is right: the longer works -- especially At the Mountains of Madness, which is very dense story textually -- can be rather difficult for someone new to Lovecraft.

At any rate, Larry, my suggestion is to not take too many at one go (unless, of course, you just find yourself completely hooked from the outset), but to just sit back and let the stories carry you to their own strange worlds.

Hope you enjoy....
 

Fried Egg

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#65
Err, J.D., the re-arrangement of contents could be down to me as I inferred the contents of volumes 1 & 3 from reviews people have made...
 
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#67
Err, J.D., the re-arrangement of contents could be down to me as I inferred the contents of volumes 1 & 3 from reviews people have made...
I'd have to look up the contents again, but I think you've got them fairly accurately -- though iirc, "The Statement of Randolph Carter" and "The Shunned House" are also in volume one.

Thanks guys. Wasn't Dagon made into a film? So wouldn't that imply its an important story?
Weeeellll.... not quite. Elements of "Dagon" were incorporated into a film which was actually an adaptation of "The Shadow Over Innsmouth", though said film was titled "Dagon", as Gordon & Co. chose to go with that entity rather than Cthulhu proper as the object of worship for the inhabitants of Imboca. "Dagon" itself is a very, very brief tale, almost a vignette, and would scarcely supply enough material for anything more than a very short film. It is, however, the first tale to actually start building Lovecraft's famed Mythos -- albeit he had no concept, at the time, of anything resembling what later bore that name....
 

Ningauble

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#69
I'd have to look up the contents again, but I think you've got them fairly accurately -- though iirc, "The Statement of Randolph Carter" and "The Shunned House" are also in volume one.
The British Omnibus volumes (which I don't recommend) actually omit several stories found in the Arkham volumes. "The Shunned House" is one of them.
 

ktabic

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#70
The British ones would be the Harper Collins H. P. Lovecraft Omnibus editions (three books?)
The three books are:
At the Mountain of Madness
Dagon and Other Macabre Tales
The Haunter of the Dark.

That is the set of HP Lovecraft I have, been wondering how complete they are.
 

ktabic

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#72
That is the set of HP Lovecraft I have, been wondering how complete they are.
Ok, slap myself with a wet fish time. The three books I was talking about are the same three that Fried Egg said here

Should have paid more attention to the thread. I blame tiredness.

Question still stands, how complete are they, story wise?
 

Fried Egg

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#73
Thanks guys. Wasn't Dagon made into a film? So wouldn't that imply its an important story?
J.D.'s already dealt with the film question. It is often gives it's name to collections of Lovecraft also lending it some importance but to be honest, it really isn't anything special. It happens to be the first Lovecraft story I ever read but only because it was the first story in the collection I was reading. I would certainly not recommend it as a first story to read.

If I recall correctly, the theme of this story was redeveloped in later stories far more effectively.
 
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#74
The British Omnibus volumes (which I don't recommend) actually omit several stories found in the Arkham volumes. "The Shunned House" is one of them.
Ah, thanks, Martin. I've not actually looked at one of those in years, so my memory was at fault there.

J.D.'s already dealt with the film question. It is often gives it's name to collections of Lovecraft also lending it some importance but to be honest, it really isn't anything special. It happens to be the first Lovecraft story I ever read but only because it was the first story in the collection I was reading. I would certainly not recommend it as a first story to read.

If I recall correctly, the theme of this story was redeveloped in later stories far more effectively.
It was also the second tale he wrote after a nine-year hiatus, begun when he was in his teens. And yes, he developed these themes much more fully later on. It's an interesting tale, but I'd agree that, for most, it would not be a good place to start....
 

Ningauble

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#75
Question still stands, how complete are they, story wise?
Not very. Several stories that are in the Arkham House editions, such as "The Terrible Old Man" and "The Shunned House" are missing. Besides, they are based on error-riddled texts. Dholes should be bholes, Inquanok should be Inganok, "The Call of Cthulhu" should have a sub title, and there are two chapters of "The Case of Charles Dexter Ward" that starts with the same line. It is a disgrace that these books are still in print.
 

AE35Unit

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#76
Got my copy of Dagon and other Macabre Tales this morning. Has a different cover to what I was expecting. Its a Panther paperback with 16 stories.
Dagon
Polaris
Beyond the Wall of Sleep
The Doom that came to Sarnath
The White Ship
The Cats of Ulthar
Celephais
From Beyond
The Temple
The Tree
The Other Gods
The Quest of Iranon
Herbert West-Reanimator
Hypnos
Supernatural Horror in Literature(an essay?)
and Complete Chronology
 
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#77
Supernatural Horror in Literature(an essay?)
and Complete Chronology
Yes, the first is an essay, though I'm not sure of the textual soundness of that edition. (My suspicions are that it probably has the same problems as earlier Arkham editions -- as well as others -- did.) Despite some disagreements and some quirky choices here and there (his inclusion of some of the later, minor works has its advantages, but is rather odd, given some that he left out; while his lack of comment on Le Fanu and a few others shows one of HPL's blind spots), it remains quite possibly the best historical survey of the field in small compass; and if you're interested in seeing how it has developed over the years, as well as gaining a good idea of some of the great tales to read, then it would be difficult to find a better source....
 

Syphon of Oor-Tael

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#78
I have never actually read any Lovecraft, but I am a great fan too. I know quite a few things about the Mythos and while I will not be able to chuck quotes with pagenumbers at you, I can talk about a lot in it. My Mythos experience consists out of the Arkham Horror board game, the Call of Cthulhu videogames (Including the very old one, In the Hound of Shadow or something, that's the title how I remember it) and the Call of Cthulhu roleplaying game. I've even got a Shoggoth on the Roof. As a literature student, I find it disappointing that we get no Lovecraft at all, while ugly texts from others keep being repeated. Oh well...
 

Syphon of Oor-Tael

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#80
A thing that you should beware of, and if it's after you, you're pretty screwed.
Silliness aside, a shoggoth is a shapeless mass that's very large. I think it's well over 20 feet wide. It has eyes popping up and disappearing everywhere. What it does not have is its own form. Well, that is, a standard form. It can change and add limbs at will. It's also pretty much like tar, if I remember right. Lastly, they were created by the Elder Things as "living" tools.
 

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