Book Cover
Title The Complete Works of H.P. Lovecraft
Series ---
Author H.P. Lovecraft
Cover Art Santiago Casares
Publisher ---
First Printing ---
Category Horror
Warnings Blatant racism

Main Characters

Randalph Carter, Pickman, Nyarlathotep, Azatoth, Cthulhu, and many others, human and otherwise

Main Elements Aliens, demons

All but the last two were downloaded from The Arkham Archivist

  • The Tomb (1917)
  • Dagon (1917)
  • Polaris (1918)
  • Beyond the Wall of Sleep (1919)
  • Memory (1919)
  • Old Bugs (1919)
  • The Transition of Juan Romero (1919)
  • The White Ship (1919)
  • The Doom That Came to Sarnath (1919)
  • The Statement of Randolph Carter (1919)
  • The Terrible Old Man (1920)
  • The Tree (1920)
  • The Cats of Ulthar (1920)
  • The Temple (1920)
  • Facts Concerning the Late Arthur Jermyn and His Family (1920)
  • The Street (1920)
  • Celephaïs (1920)
  • From Beyond (1920)
  • Nyarlathotep (1920)
  • The Picture in the House (1920)
  • Ex Oblivione (1921)
  • The Nameless City (1921)
  • The Quest of Iranon (1921)
  • The Moon-Bog (1921)
  • The Outsider (1921)
  • The Other Gods (1921)
  • The Music of Erich Zann (1921)
  • Herbert West — Reanimator (1922)
  • Hypnos (1922)
  • What the Moon Brings (1922)
  • Azathoth (1922)
  • The Hound (1922)
  • The Lurking Fear (1922)
  • The Rats in the Walls (1923)
  • The Unnamable (1923)
  • The Festival (1923)
  • The Shunned House (1924)
  • The Horror at Red Hook (1925)
  • He (1925)
  • In the Vault (1925)
  • The Descendant (1926)
  • Cool Air (1926)
  • The Call of Cthulhu (1926)
  • Pickman's Model (1926)
  • The Silver Key (1926)
  • The Strange High House in the Mist (1926)
  • The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath (1927)
  • The Case of Charles Dexter Ward (1927)
  • The Colour Out of Space (1927)
  • The Very Old Folk (1927)
  • The Thing in the Moonlight (1927)
  • The History of the Necronomicon (1927)
  • Ibid (1928)
  • The Dunwich Horror (1928)
  • The Whisperer in Darkness (1930)
  • At the Mountains of Madness (1931)
  • The Shadow Over Innsmouth (1931)
  • The Dreams in the Witch House (1932)
  • The Thing on the Doorstep (1933)
  • The Evil Clergyman (1933)
  • The Book (1933)
  • The Shadow out of Time (1934)
  • The Haunter of the Dark (1935)
  • Through the Gates of the Silver Key
  • Fungi from Yuggoth

A few months ago I read a young adult book based in a world where the Cthulhu mythos was real. I had heard of Lovecraft and Cthulhu before but other than the octopus head, didn't know much. Then I came across another book and decided that before I read it, I would read this book, The Complete Works of H.P. Lovecraft to know what all the fuss was about.

Now you can dowload it for free, and I read it on my eReader while commuting to and from work (must admit that its a weird thing to read first thing in the morning to start your day!). I found the first few stories quite creepy, what with the more formal language of the times when Lovecraft wrote, as well as the very, very freaky things that went on inside that man's head. But after a while, the stories started to have a very similar feel to them, and I became immune to the creepiness.

The collection contains all the stories in his Dream Cycle and the Cthulhu mythos, with a few other unrelated ones mixed in.

Now if the stories were simply creepy horror, I might have gotten very bored. But in fact, some don't even attempt to be scary, but rather thought provoking. The Shadow out of Time is about an alien species capable of exchanging their minds with other species, for the sole purpose of learning about the other cultures and worlds. In the meantime the mind of those they switch with is treated well on the alien homeworld, encouraged to interact with other minds.

And I have to admit the mind that came up with the various alien and demonic creatures in their weird shapes and forms must have had quite the vivid imagination. These aren't your Star Trek aliens, humans with a few bumps on their heads, these are well and truly like nothing you'd envisined before, and Lovecraft put a fair amount of thought into how these things would move, communicate, and make sense of the world. And remember the time period in which he was writing a lot of Einstein's theories of relativity were coming out, as well as quantum theories, alternate universes, and the like, offering Lovecraft a wealth of new concepts to play with, which are as relevant today as they were then.

While each of the stories are pretty well standalone, some actually refer to each other and characters can show up in unexpected places. The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath is in fact a novella, and while being mind-numbingly repetitive, it brought many stories together, like The Cats of Ulthar and Pickman's Model.

Now I don't know if it was the fault of the times, or of Lovecraft himself, but I often had to cringe at his description of "foreigners" and peoples of other (human) races. The guy was an outright racist and it was hard to swallow some of his descriptions.

So now I finally know what this whole Cthulhu thing is...and I can say this, do NOT read "The Call of Cthulhu" while you have a 100+ degree fever from the flu...the resulting dreams I had that night would have made Lovecraft envious!

Posted: March 2015


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