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H.P. Lovecraft (1890-1937) was a decidedly weird individual. Sickly, anxious, bookish, descended from an American founding family, Lovecraft was a mid-20th century gentleman with a really twisted imagination. And boy oh boy, do readers love him today. The sixteen tales collected here include Lovecraft’s finest: “The Call of the Cthulu,” which introduced legions of devoted fans to a giant pulpy sea monster with tentacles and scales and wings that dozes in the depths until it emerges in an apocalyptic age of horror and panic; “The Dunwhich Horror,” otherwise known as Wilbur Whately, who begins life on strange terms and ends it by horrifying, terrifying, and just plain scaring the socks off the neighboring townsfolk; “The Shadow Over Innsmouth,” where dwells a sinister tribe of hybrid human-monsters who worship the demons of the deep; and “The Colour Out of Space,” which tells of a meteoric entity that brings insanity—and worse—to the residents of a small farm. Throughout his stories, Lovecraft creates a mythology all his own— the monsters Cthulu and Yog-Sothoth, the eerie towns of Arkham and Innsmouth, and demonic horrors galore that creep out of earth, space, and the very soul. Lovecraft wrote so convincingly of his fictional Necronomican, an ancient book of the occult, that publishers have printed versions of it to satisfy the reading public’s insatiable curiosity and insistence that it must be real. Modern-day fan-fiction is immensely popular (there’s even a Lovecraftian parody for children called Where the Deep Ones Are), which only proves how ahead of his time shy, nervous Lovecraft was. Almost seventy-five years after his death and almost one-hundred years since he first published, Lovecraft’s Bloodcurdling Tales of Horror and the Macabre are alive, well, and creeping out readers near and far.
posted Mar 5, 2010 at 12:17PM
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