Jump to content
yockenthwaite

yock's Lovecraftathon: reading and reviewing Lovecraft's stories

Recommended Posts

yockenthwaite

Just a reminder that I'm doing a story by story read and review of Lovecraft's original stories here on YSDC. I'm starting with Gollancz's Necronomicon collection, which has about 35 stories in it, but may cover others after. So far I've reviewed the first six stories in that collection. The reviews are going up roughly once a week, on my Yog blog.

 

I've read some Lovecraft stories before, but most are new for me, and I'm recording my impressions as a new reader, and someone reading through these in sequence. I'll cover things like how well structured the stories are (or not), what the writing style is like, plot, characters and so on. However I am not a literary scholar, so this is all very informal.

 

Be warned there will be spoilers in the reviews. I'm not hiding things, reckoning most readers here have probably read the stories before me! So if you do read the reviews be careful not to be spoiled for your own reading.

 

You can find the blog via the link above, or via the blogs link at the top of YSDC pages. And if you are interested in following my story reviews you can subscribe to my blog, to be notified of new posts.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
hopfrog

Have ye read & recorded your impressions of "The Outsider" yet?  The story seems to be one that was, for many, their first taste of Lovecraft's fiction.  It served as my introduction to HPL--not as a story that I read, but as one that I listened to, when as a kid a neighbor gave me the record of Roddy McDowall reading "The Outsider" and "The Hound". I will be very interested to read your reaction, as a new modern reader of HPL.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
yockenthwaite

Have ye read & recorded your impressions of "The Outsider" yet?  The story seems to be one that was, for many, their first taste of Lovecraft's fiction.  It served as my introduction to HPL--not as a story that I read, but as one that I listened to, when as a kid a neighbor gave me the record of Roddy McDowall reading "The Outsider" and "The Hound". I will be very interested to read your reaction, as a new modern reader of HPL.

 

No I haven't yet. Looking at the contents list for Necronomicon that story is about 8 weeks on from from me now. I'm reading and reviewing on average a story a week, and my reviews go online very quickly after I've read each story. So no, but I will get to it in about a couple of months. Looking forward to it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
yockenthwaite

Have ye read & recorded your impressions of "The Outsider" yet?  The story seems to be one that was, for many, their first taste of Lovecraft's fiction.  It served as my introduction to HPL--not as a story that I read, but as one that I listened to, when as a kid a neighbor gave me the record of Roddy McDowall reading "The Outsider" and "The Hound". I will be very interested to read your reaction, as a new modern reader of HPL.

 

Tried to send you a PM hopfrog about this, but you can't receive any more messages. So posting here instead to hopefully give you a heads-up that I've just read and reviewed this story. In short I liked it a lot. The full review is online at my blog.

 

I've managed in some weeks to read more than one story a week, but one story a week is still my normal rate. "The Outsider" is the fourteenth Lovecraft story I've reviewed so far. And there are many more to come.

 

I'm really enjoying this project :-D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
AirborneXO

Great project thanks for sharing! I did click expecting to hear you reading the stories out loud like a talking book thou :)

 

Cheers, Hal

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
yockenthwaite

I've just reviewed my 20th story, so thought it might be a good point to give another heads-up about this. Stories reviewed so far are

 

 

There are about 35 stories in total in the collection I'm using, so I've another 15 or so to go. I may go on to read and review other Lovecraft stories after, but will do a recap / sum up after I finish the Necronomicon collection.

 

I'm continuing to review on average a story a week, though I may slow down as I get to the gigantic ones :-P

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Wilbur

Been working my way through your reviews, some good stuff there, nice and concise but with a bit of thought put into it. Think you were spot on about Red Hook too. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
yockenthwaite

Been working my way through your reviews, some good stuff there, nice and concise but with a bit of thought put into it. Think you were spot on about Red Hook too. 

 

Thank you :-P

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
deuce
On 01/06/2015 at 00:19, yockenthwaite said:

I've just reviewed my 20th story, so thought it might be a good point to give another heads-up about this. Stories reviewed so far are...

 

Keep it up!  Some good insights.  B)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
yockenthwaite

Keep it up!  Some good insights.   B)

 

Thanks! Have been a bit slower with my updates of late, averaging a new one every fortnight over recent weeks. Partly because I've been too ill to read for much of the time, partly because I now seem to be hitting some longer stories! But still going, and still enjoying.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
yockenthwaite

Thought I'd give another heads-up on this, as I post my latest story review (28th so far) on Lovecraft's 125th birthday. To read what I thought of "At the Mountains of Madness" see here. More story reviews are available on my Yog Blog. With the shorter stories I usually post a new story review each week, but for the longer ones it can take two weeks to go up.

 

I'm nearing the end of the Necronomicon collection, but expect to continue onto other Lovecraft stories, though possibly more sporadically. Before I get to that stage though I will post my summary thoughts about the stories in the Necronomicon collection, including favourites etc.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
yockenthwaite

Approaching the end of this project now, well this phase of it anyway. I've just posted my review of "The Case of Charles Dexter Ward", which was the first story of Lovecraft's that I ever read, many years ago, and so it's been an interesting one to revisit after reading so many other stories of his more recently.

 

Just one more story to read and review in my run-through of Gollancz's Necronomicon collection. Fortunately for me it's a Dreamlands story - "The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath" - which is encouraging given my past experience of them. Review likely to go up next week. At that point I'll post a blog post here linking to all my story reviews to date. Then after that I'll do a sum-up of my thoughts on the collection, favourite stories, least favourites etc. Before saying what's coming next Lovecraftathon-wise.

 

Meanwhile all my story reviews so far are still on my Yog Blog with more to come.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
yockenthwaite

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
yockenthwaite

Ok here is my Necronomicon review sum-up thoughts, posted much sooner than expected, because I couldn't resist figuring out my top 10 and then from those my top 3 Lovecraft stories!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
yockenthwaite
On 05/11/2015 at 07:49, Ningauble said:

Now you must read "Sweet Ermengarde"! http://hplovecraft.com/writings/texts/fiction/se.aspx

 

Oh crikey, that looks *different* shall we say! Unfortunately - or perhaps fortunately for me! - it's not in the Eldritch Tales collection, which I will next be reading the stories from, reading them through in sequence. But maybe I'll get to it afterwards.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
yockenthwaite

I've just bought the Eldritch Tales collection of more Lovecraft writings, so will soon be resuming my Lovecraftathon series of reviews. I'm probably not going to review the poetry - I have a bit of a hit and miss relationship with poetry! And ditto the essays. But I plan to review all the short stories, both those by Lovecraft only and his collaborations. Reviews to go online in my Yog Blog as usual. I will post a link to the first new review when it goes live.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
yronimoswhateley

Oh, awesome - I'm looking forward to it!

 

If you do only one review each for the poetry and essays, I would recommend the poem "Fungi From Yuggoth" (I found it quite accessible, and I'd say my relationship with poetry is also hit-and-miss, mostly miss), and either the essay "Supernatural Horror in Literature" (pretty much the best essay of its kind, reviewing the history and evolution of the modern horror story) or "Notes on Writing Weird Fiction" (Lovecraft's manifesto outlining what he wanted to achieve with fiction and how he intended to try to do it - a great window into the mind that created these stories).  I'm not usually a big fan of poetry or essays, but these three works I found to be the equals of any of Lovecraft's best fiction.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
yockenthwaite

Oh, awesome - I'm looking forward to it!

 

If you do only one review each for the poetry and essays, I would recommend the poem "Fungi From Yuggoth" (I found it quite accessible, and I'd say my relationship with poetry is also hit-and-miss, mostly miss), and either the essay "Supernatural Horror in Literature" (pretty much the best essay of its kind, reviewing the history and evolution of the modern horror story) or "Notes on Writing Weird Fiction" (Lovecraft's manifesto outlining what he wanted to achieve with fiction and how he intended to try to do it - a great window into the mind that created these stories).  I'm not usually a big fan of poetry or essays, but these three works I found to be the equals of any of Lovecraft's best fiction.

 

Good suggestions, thanks! I'm certainly willing to give Fungi a go, even if I reserve the option to bail out part way through if I don't like it  :? And I will be reading the essays, even if I'm unsure if I'll review them. But yes, one of each sounds doable. Thanks again.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ningauble

Fungi from Yuggoth is a cycle of poems (36 separate sonnets), not a single poem.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
yronimoswhateley

They are extremely short (each sonnet is equivalent to a two- to four-sentence story, the whole cycle is shorter than many of HPL's prose short stories), and fairly diverse in mood and subject matter, a quick tour of Lovecraft's little world told from about 36 different moods and perspectives.  At least to me, it seems each sonnet comes, says what it needs to in a few short sentences, and goes away again long before wearing out its welcome.

 

The whole cycle, taken together, is like a little cabinet full of tiny miniatures in a slightly different style from all the other, medium-sized objects in the room, yet still related to them:  it takes hardly more time to view than anything else in the room, and even if you don't like the style the miniatures are executed in, it's a neat little novelty with a few pleasant little surprises in it, and they can help put a different light on everything else you've seen by showing you a different side of the artist, and a different side of his favorite subjects.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
yockenthwaite

My first new Lovecraftathon review is online now, looking at the History of the Necronomicon. I'll be reading through the pieces in the Eldritch Tales book in order. I'm sort of expecting to post a new review every month or so. Maybe sooner, but every month or so is doable.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
yockenthwaite

Bumping this thread up as a reminder to folks that I'm still doing story reviews of Lovecraft's writing - now onto generally lesser-known tales - on my Yog blog here on Yoggie.

 

There was a pause in July 2017, but in May 2018 I restarted the reviews, and have posted rather a lot in the last couple of months.

 

Recent highlights have included "The Festival" and "The Temple". And I was also rather taken with HPL's collaboration with Sonia, "The Horror at Martin's Beach".

 

To read more check out my blog, which you can also follow (look for the link on the right of the main blog page) to get notifications of new posts there.

 

I am very much enjoying this project 😍

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
PoC

I’m enjoying reading these, thanks @yockenthwaite!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
yockenthwaite

I’ve just finished my review series looking at Gollancz’s Eldritch Tales collection of HPL stories. These include most of his lesser-known works and collaborations. In total I’ve reviewed another 42 stories from this collection. The reviews vary from rough thoughts through to more comprehensive discussions. They are probably best read individually after you read each story yourself. Spoilers! I recommend some of my favourite stories in the collection, and also give a link to all the reviews on my Yog Blog.

 

In addition the Eldritch Tales sum-up includes a link to my similar earlier sum-up for Gollancz’s Necronomicon, which includes most of his better-known works. From there I reviewed another 34 stories.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sign in to comment.

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×