American author H. P. Lovecraft is hailed as one of the most influential horror writers of the 20th century. During his lifetime, he procured a cult following for his short stories that were published in the pulp fiction magazine, Weird Tales. It was only after his death, however, that he gained widespread fame for his cosmic horror stories of the weird and macabre.
His Lovecraftian universe, The Cthulhu Mythos, is a myriad of zealous cults, horrifying monsters, ancient gods, and supernatural beasts. It is the framework that has had a profound influence on popular culture, from contemporary horror stories, rock music, animation and more. Discover the weird and wonderful books of H. P. Lovecraft below.
In the Lovecraftian universe, there exist many terrible and horrifying things...
One of the first stories he wrote as an adult, Dagon centres around the recollection of a tortured, morphine-addicted narrator who was captured by a German ship during World War I. After escaping his captors, he drifted for many miles before winding up stranded in a hellish place littered with rotting carcasses and home to an ancient horror.
“Perhaps I should not hope to convey in mere words the unutterable hideousness that can dwell in absolute silence and barren immensity. There was nothing within hearing, and nothing in sight save a vast reach of black slime; yet the very completeness of the stillness and the homogeneity of the landscape oppressed me with a nauseating fear.”H. P. Lovecraft, Dagon
First published as a short story in Weird Tales, 1924, The Rats in The Walls is a chilling tale of a horrific family secret. Following the death of his only son during the Great War, the narrator – American, Alfred Delapore becomes the last remaining descendant of the De La Poer family and decides to relocate to his English ancestral estate, Exham Priory. Once there, he starts hearing the sound of rats through the walls and having strange dreams that lead him to the discovery of his family’s despicable secret.
“Through all this horror my cat stalked unperturbed. Once I saw him monstrously perched atop a mountain of bones, and wondered at the secrets that might lie behind his yellow eyes.”H.P. Lovecraft, The Rats in the Walls
Arguably H. P. Lovecraft’s most famous work, The Call of Cthulhu, is the short story of narrator Francis Thurston. He recalls his account of discovering evidence related to the existence of a cult that worships an ancient god, in writings left behind by his Uncle after his death. As he follows the nightmarish connections made by his deceased ancestor, he begins to realise the horror and madness that is about to be unleashed upon the world.
“We live on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of black seas of infinity, and it was not meant that we should voyage far.”H. P. Lovecraft, The Call of Cthulhu: With a Dedication by George Henry Weiss
This book contains a collection of Lovecraft’s best horror short stories from the Cthulhu Mythos – a Lovecraftian Universe that spans far and wide, connecting many of his stories. The stories include The Nameless City, The Unnamable, The Call of Cthulhu, The Dunwich Horror, The Whisperer in the Darkness, Out of the Aeons, The Shadow over Innsmouth, and The Thing on the Doorstep. The perfect collection for horror lovers and fans of Lovecraft’s terrifying fiction.
Everyone had the impression of being very close to phases of nature and life that were absolutely extraordinary and radically opposed to the very existence of humanity.”H. P. Lovecraft, The Dunwich Horror
First published in 1936, The Shadow Over Innsmouth is a horror novella, part of the famous Cthulhu Mythos. It follows a young historian Robert Olmstead, on an antiquarian tour of New England, when he happens upon the run-down seaside town of Innsmouth where strangers are entirely unwelcome. The town is inhabited by queer people who seem to adhere to a religious cult, which Olmstead’s investigation threatens to uncover, and who appears to be hiding a terrible secret from the deep.
“Where does madness leave off and reality begin?”H. P. Lovecraft, The Shadow over Innsmouth
Containing a fantastic collection of chilling short stories by H. P. Lovecraft, The Best of H. P. Lovecraft – A Collection of Short Stories, is an excellent introduction to the Lovecraftian universe. From his well-known work, Dagon, to his magnum opus At the Mountain of Madness to his seminal The Call of Cthulhu, this collection includes some of Lovecraft’s most successful and terrifying works of horror fiction.
In the Mind of H. P. Lovecraft is a fantastic collection of essays and articles by H. P. Lovecraft published in newspapers during his lifetime. A unique collection not to be missed by lovers of the macabre and those with an interest in the mind of this seminal author.
The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown.H. P. Lovecraft, Supernatural Horror in Literature
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