- Paperback: 464 pages
- Publisher: Penguin; 1 edition (3 September 2002)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0141187077
- ISBN-13: 978-0141187075
- Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2 x 19.8 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 281 g
- Customer Reviews:
Thing On The Doorstep And Other Weird Stories, The Paperback – 3 Sep 2002
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About the Author
H. P. Lovecraft was born in 1890 in Providence, Rhode Island, where he lived most of his life. Frequent illnesses in his youth disrupted his schooling, but Lovecraft gained a wide knowledge of many subjects through independent reading and study. He wrote many essays and poems early in his career, but gradually focused on the writing of horror stories, after the advent in 1923 of the pulp magazine Weird Tales, to which he contributed most of his fiction. His relatively small corpus of fiction - three short novels and about sixty short stories - has nevertheless exercised a wide influence on subsequent work in the field, and he is regarded as the leading twentieth-century American author of supernatural fiction. H. P. Lovecraft died in Providence in 1937
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Review this product
Top international reviews
Suffice it to say that they are nice and creepy.
The titular story is particularly disturbing.
However, I would advise against this being your first Lovecraft book if you haven't read any of his work before.
Start with "The Call Of Cthulhu", followed by "The Shadow Over Innsmouth".
Those two stories provide a solid basis for Lovecraft's mythos; since some bizarre terms are sprinkled throughout his stories, reading these ones first will help you recognise them when they pop up elsewhere.
This edition has, as the others do, several short stories and longer novellas written by Lovecraft. It’s also annotated extensively, and includes suggestions for further reading, including both primary and secondary sources. The only regret I have is that those notes are end notes rather than footnotes, which makes flipping back and forth kind of tedious. However, the additional information in the end notes was absolutely worth it. I loved being able to read when Lovecraft wrote a story, what inspired it, why he went with particular details and further elaborations on why those details were important.
Included stories, stars for favourites: The Tomb, Beyond the Wall of Sleep, The White Ship, The Temple, The Quest of Iranon, The Music of Erich Zann*, Under the Pyramids, Pickman’s Model*, The Case of Charles Dexter Ward*, The Dunwich Horror*, At the Mountains of Madness*, and The Thing On the Doorstep.
As you can see, I actually preferred most of the longer novellas to the short stories. Under the Pyramids was a delight because it was essentially Lovecraft writing Harry Houdini fanfiction, and the backstory behind that is actually fascinating. The Music of Erich Zann was my favourite of the shorter stories, although Pickman’s Model came at a close second. The novellas – The Case of Charles Dexter Ward, The Dunwich Horror, and At the Mountains of Madness – were so engrossing. Once I got to the second half of the book, I practically flew through. CDW is the longest of Lovecraft’s works but I found that the exposition really helped draw the reader in. I’ve never felt such sympathy for a character in a horror story before, and it was truly full of horror. The Dunwich Horror was extremely atmospheric and in fact relied on what the characters and reader didn’t actually see for its main effect. This was also echoed in At the Mountains of Madness – the beginning of that story was quite slow for me but once it went through to where certain discoveries were made, I was drawn in. I loved this one as well for the way it expanded upon previously very brief descriptions of the Old Ones and the Outside; this novella went into detail on the history of that group of fantastical and horrifying beings, and that history was fascinating in its own right. The world building throughout Lovecraft’s stories is fantastic.
I haven’t left too many details in my review because I wouldn’t want to give anything away; Lovecraft is truly a master storyteller and his works should be experienced by reading in full rather than spoilers in a review. I honestly would recommend his work to anyone, but would start off with The Call of Cthulhu and then read this volume, as there are some references here to works which appear in that volume.
This review is from the 2016 Arcadia e book edition.
Hopefully Naxos will release the full catalogue of Lovecraft's works, as the AudioRealms releases are difficult and expensive to obtain.