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    The Whisperer in Darkness: Collected Stories Volume 1 (Tales of Mystery & the Supernatural) (Paperback) By (author) H. P. Lovecraft, Selected by M. J. Elliot, Introduction by M. J. Elliot, Series edited by David Stuart Davies

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    DescriptionThat is not dead that can eternal lie And with strange aeons even death may die Millenia ago, the Old Ones ruled our planet. Since that time, they have but slumbered. But when a massive sea tremor brings the ancient stone city of R'lyeh to the surface once more, the Old Ones awaken at last. The Whisperer in Darkness brings together the original Cthulhu Mythos stories of the legendary horror writer H.P. Lovecraft. Included in this volume are several early tales, along with the classics 'The Call of Cthulhu', 'The Dunwich Horror' and 'At the Mountains of Madness'. Arm yourself with a copy of Abdul Alhazred's fabled Necronomican and prepare to face terrors beyond the wildest imaginings of all, save H.P. Lovecraft.


 

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    Gregor Matheson I bought this book during a time of upheaval in my life. Lovecraft's astounding imagination and oneiric style were a great comfort to me at that time. At its price this is a tremendous buy.

    Howard Phillips Lovecraft was an oddity whose biography reads like a Borges story. A fluent Latinist, with extensive knowledge of astronomy, biology, history and chemistry, he was only ever published in pulp magazines during his lifetime. Ironically, this lack of ambition for critical recognition was matched by the implicitly huge ambition of his writing, which seemed to be to write prose fiction as if the Western prose canon (based on humanism and social comedy) did not exist, but as if he was a pioneer of prose writing who used the Anglo-Saxon poetic canon as his model. Whilst his friends posthumously worked hard to publish his books for a greater audience, his mythic subjects, extensive vocabulary and troubled characters were sneered at by mainstream critics for whom middle brow middle class culture was regarded as the only subject worth writing about in post-war America.

    In literary terms, I am sure they will come to be seen as deeply misguided and indeed most of their heroes have declined in popularity whilst Lovecraft increases. His incredible vocabulary and imagination make his books hypnotic masterpieces: from pure fantasy to science fiction, Lovecraft's style varies but his rich imagination is omnipresent.

    Indeed, it is not only the depth but the range of Lovecraft's imagination which is demonstrated here. From the Pacific wasteland in Dagon to the Semitic Nameless City to Cthulhu's Rhyleh to the New England of Kingsport to the Antarctic Mountains of Madness, to the English moors, Lovecraft creates a parallel world. Fairly remarkable given that he never left North America.

    Given their prestige, it was a bold move for Wordsworth Classics to publish this book. And it's a move that I suspect will pay off as Lovecraft wins the critical recognition he deserves. by Gregor Matheson

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