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yock's Lovecraftathon: Eldritch Tales review sum-up

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I've now finished reading through the fiction in the second Gollancz collection of Lovecraft stories. This includes most of his lesser known works and collaborations. And in the same way that I did for the Necronomicon collection I thought I'd post some overall thoughts.

 

Generally I enjoyed it. The standard was higher than I expected, and I recommend reading these stories. They are certainly generally less known among most Lovecraft fans.

Having said that there were some stories that I absolutely loathed, for their racist elements. 'Facts concerning the late Arthur Jermyn and his Family', 'The Terrible Old Man' and above all 'The Street' I'm looking at you. But these were rare in what was otherwise generally a very enjoyable collection.

Standout stories for me included the following:

  • History of the Necronomicon - slight, but a nice book history/Mythos combo
  • Nyarlathotep - I was not expecting a cinema/moving pictures take on Nyarlathotep here!
  • The Tomb - in many ways felt like a precursor to Charles Dexter Ward, and shares elements with it
  • Celephais - a strong Dreamlands story
  • The Horror at Martin's Beach - a surprisingly good collaboration with Lovecraft's wife
  • The Festival - some problematic writing, but oh I love Kingsport. I know this one is stretching lesser-known!
  • Two Black Bottles - an atmospheric collaboration with Wilfred Blanch Talman, with good characterisation (almost certainly not by HPL!) and a gripping plot
  • The Electric Executioner - another gripping collaboration, this time with Adolphe de Castro
  • The Quest of Iranon - a gem of a Dreamlands story
  • Ibid - a spoof biography of a Roman author, that's very, very funny
  • Azathoth - short tale of a dreamer looking up to the stars, that feels very autobiographical
  • The Book - frustratingly unfinished but intriguing tale of a dangerous book
  • The Evil Clergyman - another fragment that I really wish had been finished


This is the end of my Lovecraft short story review project. However I do intend to go on and read more Weird fiction, and review it here. I have a backlog of other Lovecraftian (not by HPL) stories to read. And I'm also hankering after a bit of fantasy, so either Clark Ashton Smith or Lord Dunsany. Very probably both.

Meanwhile here are links to all my Eldritch Tales story reviews:


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