The Dreams in the Witch House and Other Weird StoriesPaperback
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- Publisher: PENGUIN CLASSICS
- Format: Paperback | 480 pages
- Dimensions: 128mm x 194mm x 24mm | 259g
- Publication date: 4 July 2005
- Publication City/Country: London
- ISBN 10: 0141187891
- ISBN 13: 9780141187891
- Sales rank: 58,563
One of the masters of weird fiction', H. P. Lovecraft expanded the vast boundaries of the horror genre with his vividly imagined stories of exotic and fantastical otherworlds, nightmarish dreamscapes or the supernatural terrors lurking beneath the surface of small-town America. The shadow of New England's witch-hunting past hangs over many of the tales, as in The Shunned House' and The Dreams in the Witch House', in which malevolent spectres return to haunt the region. Others, such as From Beyond' and The Shadow Out of Time', depict the catastrophic results when cosmic channels of time and space are opened, while stories such as Polaris' and The Doom that Came to Sarnath' portray the downfall of mythical civilizations.
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Horror master Lovecraft (1890-1937) frequently used dreams in his tales of the supernatural to evoke fantastic worlds inconceivable to the conscious mind. He wrote many essays and poems early in his career, but gradually focussed on the writing of horror stories. S.T. Joshi is a freelance writer and editor. Among his critical and biographical studies are The Weird Tale (1990), and H.P. Lovecraft: A Life (1996). He has also edited Lovecraft's The Call of Cthulhu and Other Weird Stories for Penguin.
By Gregor Matheson 29 Apr 2011
S T Joshi produces yet another excellent edition of HP Lovecraft's weird tales. One of Lovecraft's great strengths as a story teller was his vast erudition concerning science, history, astronomy and architecture. Subsequently, his tales often read like non-fiction reports, and Joshi's notes enrich the experience by adding another layer onto the texts, making the distinction between fiction and non-fiction even more nebulous.
This volume contains the excellent prose poem Polaris, in which the narrator's dreams and waking life become confused. Longer triumphs include The Dreams in the Witch House and The Shadow Out of Time.
Also included are Lovecraft's gentler fantay tales: The Tree, The Dream Quest of Unknown Kadath, The Silver Key, The Doom that came to Sarnath and others.
Lastly, for die hard Lovecraft enthusiasts, there is The Horror at Red Hook and The Moon Bog. A friend and I both think these tales are hilarious in their utter deadpan seriousness.
In all I think this volume is one of my favourite books, and it should appeal to a wide range of readers.