Want to read some Lovecraft, where should I start?

Esioul

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Any suggestions? Something not too long or confusing, prerferably, as I have a lot of academic reading to do.
 

Fried Egg

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Re: Want to read some Lvoecraft, where should I start?

I asked this very same question some time ago and I acted upon the recommendation and was not disappointed so I could do worse than pass that onto you:

The Call of Cthulhu: And Other Weird Stories (Penguin Modern Classics)

If you get through that lot and want more, there are two other Penguin compilations of Lovecraft's stories:

The Thing on the Doorstep: And Other Weird Stories (Penguin Modern Classics)

The Dreams in the Witch House and Other Weird Stories (Penguin Modern Classic)
 

HoopyFrood

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Re: Want to read some Lvoecraft, where should I start?

Yes, the Call of Cthulhu anthology is quite a good place to start -- The Call of Cthulhu was the first Lovecraft story I read and I really enjoyed it. The descriptions of R'lyeh and the Great One himself are fantastic.
 

Nesacat

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Re: Want to read some Lvoecraft, where should I start?

Alternatively, all his stories are available online and you could read a few to see if you'd like to go ahead and pick up the books.

Call of Cthulhu is a good place to start and so is The Cats of Ulthar, but I'm very biased here. The others that are good are rather long ... At the Mountains of Madness, Shadows Over Innsmouth ... etc.

Whichever you choose to begin with ... enjoy.
 

Ningauble

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Re: Want to read some Lvoecraft, where should I start?

Alternatively, all his stories are available online and you could read a few to see if you'd like to go ahead and pick up the books.

Call of Cthulhu is a good place to start and so is The Cats of Ulthar, but I'm very biased here. The others that are good are rather long ... At the Mountains of Madness, Shadows Over Innsmouth ... etc.

Whichever you choose to begin with ... enjoy.

I agree with your suggestions, although I think that At the Mountains of Madness may be an acquired taste and should be read after you are already hooked.

The first HPL story that I read myself was "The Colour Out of Space", and even now, 21 years later, I still find it vaguely unsettling if not scary.
 

Nesacat

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Re: Want to read some Lvoecraft, where should I start?

Yes ... will agree with Madness. It's an acquired taste along with The Mound. They've grown on me each time I've read them. Have to thank JD here for getting me to read The Mound again.

The Colour Out Of Space is wonderful and it is one of my favourites too. One of his more dramatic efforts and I do like it. Also rather like Michael Shea's take on it.

Esioul ... another short tale would be The Outsider. Very short in comparison to his other tales.
 

j d worthington

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Re: Want to read some Lvoecraft, where should I start?

Esioul ... another short tale would be The Outsider. Very short in comparison to his other tales.

Most of his earlier tales are fairly short, for that matter, the exceptions being "The Rats in the Walls" "Herbert West -- Reanimator", etc. (I don't recommend the latter for a first taste of HPL, by the way....) You might try some of his Dunsanian pieces, too, such as "Polaris" or "The Strange High House in the Mist".

Little of HPL's work is what I would call "confusing", but some of it is rather complex -- At the Mountains of Madness being high on that list (though I would put it among his very best work, as well). I'd also vote for "The Colour Out of Space" as one of his best pieces of writing, and not a long tale, either. Very atmospheric, almost prose-poetry in the writing, and with a lot of careful emotional complexity in the layering, so that each reading you find new things to appreciate in the story. "The Music of Erich Zann" is quite good, too....
 

Esioul

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Re: Want to read some Lvoecraft, where should I start?

I may start with the Call of Cthulu.. will let you know what I think! (When I can get it, which mgiht nto be for a few weeks argh!)
 

j d worthington

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Re: Want to read some Lvoecraft, where should I start?

Yes and melancholy .... like falling in love and never ever being able to find that person again and knowing you'll never see the like again either.

It is a haunting tale, and certainly among my favorites. (*spoilers*)
I quite like the hints of what it is the narrator sees outside the window, and the symbolism of Zann's muteness and the pages being lost, etc. It could be heavy-handed, but here he managed it with a fine touch....
 

UnderTheOath

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I agree with the Call of Cthulhu sentiments. Best story to start with, IMHO.

And yeah, Erich Zann is good. Not one of my favorites, but certainly melancholy. The Nameless City stands out for me, as does Shadow Over Innsmouth. Pickman's Model is very chilling, but I still can't figure out exactly why.
 

j d worthington

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I agree with the Call of Cthulhu sentiments. Best story to start with, IMHO.

And yeah, Erich Zann is good. Not one of my favorites, but certainly melancholy. The Nameless City stands out for me, as does Shadow Over Innsmouth. Pickman's Model is very chilling, but I still can't figure out exactly why.

"Pickman's Model" grew on me over the years; after an initial liking, it fell several notches, but has climbed back up the list a good deal. While I still feel it's one of his weakest stories as a story, atmospherically it is quite good, and the concepts he's dealing with are genuinely chilling... and a nice combination of his aesthetics and some genuine history, as well as a real (though since vanished) locale....
 

Nesacat

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Spent a lot of time during my first reading (sounds like a school assignment almost) checking out all the many artists mentioned in the story. It's like a mini thesis on a particular sort of art and very well done; since you get a pretty clear idea of what Pickman's work looks like.
 

j d worthington

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Hey that's a good idea. *decides to check out said artists*

You may have some trouble finding things on Anthony Angarola -- he's not that well-known these days. But there are a few things of his on the 'net. And if you can find a copy of Ben Hecht's novel, Kingdom of Evil, that's a good example of the part of his art HPL is talking about.

Meanwhile:

HPLA - H.P. Lovecraft’s Favorite Artists
 

Nesacat

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Thank you for posting the link JD. I did most of my checking online. My part of the world is not a good place to be going out and about looking for the works of obscure artists; especially if they are going to be doing this sort of thing.

Likely to be banned or have the pages ripped out to save society's sensibilities if such books exist at all.
 

j d worthington

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Thank you for posting the link JD. I did most of my checking online. My part of the world is not a good place to be going out and about looking for the works of obscure artists; especially if they are going to be doing this sort of thing.

Likely to be banned or have the pages ripped out to save society's sensibilities if such books exist at all.

That last happens even here now and again, Cat... even with things like fairy-tale books or encyclopaedias, at times....:mad:
 

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