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The narrator, Francis Wayland Thurston, recounts his discovery of notes left behind by his grand-uncle, Brown University linguistic professor George Gammell Angell after his death in the winter of 1926-27. Among the notes is a small bas-relief sculpture of a scaly creature which yields "simultaneous pictures of an octopus, a dragon, and a human caricature." The sculptor, a The narrator, Francis Wayland Thurston, recounts his discovery of notes left behind by his grand-uncle, Brown University linguistic professor George Gammell Angell after his death in the winter of 1926-27. Among the notes is a small bas-relief sculpture of a scaly creature which yields "simultaneous pictures of an octopus, a dragon, and a human caricature." The sculptor, a Rhode Island art student named Henry Anthony Wilcox, based the work on delirious dreams of "great Cyclopean cities of titan blocks and sky-flung monoliths." Frequent references to Cthulhu and R'lyeh are found in Wilcox's papers. Angell also discovers reports of mass hysteria around the world...


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The narrator, Francis Wayland Thurston, recounts his discovery of notes left behind by his grand-uncle, Brown University linguistic professor George Gammell Angell after his death in the winter of 1926-27. Among the notes is a small bas-relief sculpture of a scaly creature which yields "simultaneous pictures of an octopus, a dragon, and a human caricature." The sculptor, a The narrator, Francis Wayland Thurston, recounts his discovery of notes left behind by his grand-uncle, Brown University linguistic professor George Gammell Angell after his death in the winter of 1926-27. Among the notes is a small bas-relief sculpture of a scaly creature which yields "simultaneous pictures of an octopus, a dragon, and a human caricature." The sculptor, a Rhode Island art student named Henry Anthony Wilcox, based the work on delirious dreams of "great Cyclopean cities of titan blocks and sky-flung monoliths." Frequent references to Cthulhu and R'lyeh are found in Wilcox's papers. Angell also discovers reports of mass hysteria around the world...

30 review for The Call of Cthulhu (Serapis Classics)

  1. 5 out of 5

    Stephen

    This here, folks, is the most impressive image of Cthulhu that I’ve come across: He just looks so damn regal, this eldritch, malevolent entity that appears part octopus kraken, part dragon, part human caricature…the so called "mountain who walks." Yes, I admit that I’m a Lovecraft/Cthulhu mythos junkie. I can’t help it. I think his stories are just amazing. Depending on which HPL story I’ve most recently consumed, I vacillate regarding what is my absolute favorite HPL tale, The Call of Cthulhu This here, folks, is the most impressive image of Cthulhu that I’ve come across: He just looks so damn regal, this eldritch, malevolent entity that appears part octopus kraken, part dragon, part human caricature…the so called "mountain who walks." Yes, I admit that I’m a Lovecraft/Cthulhu mythos junkie. I can’t help it. I think his stories are just amazing. Depending on which HPL story I’ve most recently consumed, I vacillate regarding what is my absolute favorite HPL tale, The Call of Cthulhu, the Dunwich Horror or At the Mountains of Madness. Well this one has again rocketed itself to top billing on the HPL chart…for now at least. The story covers so much ground and touches on so many aspects of what would become central “mythos” lore that it’s easy to see why people hold this up as HPL’s best work. I certainly wouldn’t disagree having just read it for the fourth time. Regardless of where you come out on the issue of Lovecraft’s best work, let me postulate that HPL never wrote a better passage describing the fundamental philosophical underpinnings of his work than the opening paragraph of The Call of Cthulhu: The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents. 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. The sciences, each straining in its own direction have hitherto harmed us little; but some day the piecing together of dissociated knowledge will open up such terrifying vistas of reality, and of our frightful position therein, that we shall either go mad from the revelation or flee from the deadly light into the peace and safety of a new dark age Those few sentences say so much. They touch on the insignificance of man…the substantial ignorance of humanity regarding the universe…the concept of things so vast, unknowable and unable to be comprehended…and the soul-chilling coldness of what lay beyond our tiny sphere of knowledge. Okay, so it’s not the rosiest, most upbeat of pictures, but hey…this is horror after all and when it comes to creating atmosphere and imagery to tantalize and terrify, these stories are gold. PLOT SUMMARY: Told in epistolary format as a transcript of the papers of our narrator, the Late Francis Wayland Thurston, the story recounts Thurston’s piecing together of a series of strange incidents all connected to a mysterious Cthulhu Cult and the dread being that the members of the cult worship. The tale is only 35 pages long and so I don’t want to give away plot details as that slow build of terror is central to the joy of this slice of scary. Let me just say that narrative stretches around the globe, from Boston to New Orleans to Greenland to China to the uncharted waters between Antarctica and New Zealand and involves shared nightmares, bizarre rituals, the dread Necronomicon, a failed expedition to hell on Earth and the sick, twisted devotees of a religion as old as man itself. "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn"* *Translation: - "In his house at R'lyeh, dead Cthulhu waits dreaming. " Squeeeeeee. THOUGHTS: Well, I just emasculated myself and squeeeeed so that should tell you that I love this stuff. I have always been a huge fan of Lovecraft’s prose with its abundant melodrama, the dread-filled angst and the over the top references to “nameless horrors” and “eldritch, cyclopean buildings” and “dark, ancient vistas” that can stop the heart and send uncontrollable fear into all that see them. The man can make walking down a dark staircase feel like the scariest moment in history. If you find that kind of atmosphere-manipulating prose to be off-putting, than HPL is likely not your cuppa. It is certainly mine and I have been drinking the kool-aid for a while now. In my opinion, this is about as good as classic horror gets and I can feel gush welling up even as I type this. Still, even as a complete fanboy of Lovecraft I try not to read too much of his work at one time because I find the stories have a tendency to blur together and lose a bit of their emotional power. I’ll usually restrict myself to handfuls of 2 to 4 at a time and this allows me to savor the details of each tale and keep the entertainment level set on high. 5.0 stars. HIGHEST POSSIBLE RECOMMENDATION!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Sean Barrs the Bookdragon

    Lovecraft does not waste a single word. Every expression, every phrase, is masterfully selected to evoke a sense of the macabre. Like a masterful surgeon, Lovecraft’s meticulous prose is methodical and scrupulous. Such expertise is carried across the body of his writing, though The Call of Cthulhu is undoubtedly the best example. This story captures so much of Lovecraft’s twisted imagination; it is the pinnacle of his writing, the best of his form. The brilliance of it resides in the way it can Lovecraft does not waste a single word. Every expression, every phrase, is masterfully selected to evoke a sense of the macabre. Like a masterful surgeon, Lovecraft’s meticulous prose is methodical and scrupulous. Such expertise is carried across the body of his writing, though The Call of Cthulhu is undoubtedly the best example. This story captures so much of Lovecraft’s twisted imagination; it is the pinnacle of his writing, the best of his form. The brilliance of it resides in the way it can be mysterious, ethereal and untouchable yet so real and physically haunting. Cthulhu is an ancient entity, shrouded and forgotten, yet he is very real in the minds of those he touches and those that worship him. Hidden away, buried, in a dark underground city deep under the ocean, Cthulhu is older than the sun and the stars. Like nothing that has ever walked the earth, he is part man, part dragon and part octopus; he is a being of unimaginable cosmic proportions: beholding his form is enough to drive the sanest man into the lowest pits of hysteria and despair. Although he is near impossible to find, even for the most devout and deranged of his followers, he has the power to find you: he has the power to invade your dreams and unhinge your thoughts forevermore. Cthulhu is one of my favourite creations within fiction, period. I find the scope of such an entity magnificent and the open-endedness of this story spectacular. Will Cthulhu ever rise? Could anything stop him mastering the earth? Will he finally call his followers to his side? "This was that cult, and the prisoners said it had always existed and always would exist, hidden in distant wastes and dark places all over the world until the time came when the great priest Cthulhu, from his dark house in the might city of R’lyeh under the waters, should rise and bring the earth again beneath his sway. Some day he would call, when the stars were ready, and the secret cult would always be ready to liberate him."

  3. 4 out of 5

    Lyn

    Perhaps no story more defines H.P. Lovecraft’s eldritch hold on speculative fiction than The Call of Cthulhu. Pronounced: Cthulhu. First published in 1928, in Weird Tales magazine, this launched what is now known as the Cthulhu Mythos. It was here, as much as his earlier unspeakable horrors like Dagon and The Tomb and The Nameless City, that formed what is today known as Lovecraftian; but it was great Cthulhu that gave this sub-genre it’s definition and a face from which to leer down upon poor, Perhaps no story more defines H.P. Lovecraft’s eldritch hold on speculative fiction than The Call of Cthulhu. Pronounced: Cthulhu. First published in 1928, in Weird Tales magazine, this launched what is now known as the Cthulhu Mythos. It was here, as much as his earlier unspeakable horrors like Dagon and The Tomb and The Nameless City, that formed what is today known as Lovecraftian; but it was great Cthulhu that gave this sub-genre it’s definition and a face from which to leer down upon poor, lost humanity. Told as many of Lovecraft’s stories, as a lost manuscript found again, this highlights many ubiquitous Lovecraft themes such as forbidden knowledge, unspeakable horrors, pre-human civilizations, occultism and secret societies. Readers will also enjoy another mention of the un-mentionable Necronomicon, written by the "Mad Arab" Abdul Alhazred. We are also introduced to the Old Gods and humans who are initiated into this unknowable and blasphemous sect. Cthulhu is also the origin of many of Lovecraft’s best know quotes such as: “In his house at R'lyeh dead Cthulhu waits dreaming” and “That is not dead which can eternal lie, / And with strange aeons, even death may die” Cthulhu’s influence on literature and the arts since has been legion, and while I read the two films that jumped out to me was Close Encounters of the Third Kind and, of course, Ghostbusters; but Lovecraft’s stamp on all sorts of fictional media since has been prodigious. A classic and a MUST read for fans of speculative fiction.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Bill Kerwin

    As a Lovecraft fan, I can easily demonstrate why this story is significant, but explaining exactly why it is so terrifying is a much more difficult thing to do. So, easy things first. The Call of Cthulhu is significant—at least to Lovecraft fans—because it is: 1) the first story in which we encounter Cthulhu himself, 2) the story which includes the first explicit rationale for the Cthulhu mythos, 3) the only H.P. Lovecraft story in which a human actually sees a god, and 4) the first production of As a Lovecraft fan, I can easily demonstrate why this story is significant, but explaining exactly why it is so terrifying is a much more difficult thing to do. So, easy things first. The Call of Cthulhu is significant—at least to Lovecraft fans—because it is: 1) the first story in which we encounter Cthulhu himself, 2) the story which includes the first explicit rationale for the Cthulhu mythos, 3) the only H.P. Lovecraft story in which a human actually sees a god, and 4) the first production of an extraordinary spurt of creativity which began in the summer of 1926, shortly after H.P. returned to Providence (following the end of his unfortunate marriage and his traumatic time in New York City), and lasted for a period of ten months, during which time Lovecraft completed The Call of Cthulhu, Pickman’s Model, The Silver Key, The Strange High House in the Mist, The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath, The Strange Case of Charles Dexter Ward, and The Colour Out of Space. Not bad for not quite a year’s work. Okay, so that is why the story is important. But why is it so scary? I’ll get to that. But first I'll tell you why it isn’t scary. First, it isn’t the mythos. The mythos may be a great way of connecting stories and making them even scarier together, but there’s little about the mythos that is scary all by itself. Second, it’s not Cthulhu himself that’s so scary. A big gelatinous octopus with a tentacle mustache and tiny wings is creepy, but I’ve seen worse. I’ve seen worse even in bad movies. So what is it that makes The Call of Cthulhu so terrifying? Mostly, I think the terror arises from the profound disorientation the reader experiences, a disorientation which comes from the shattering of our expectations of space and time. Lovecraft does this by toying with our assumptions about geometric relationships, the integrity of form, the size and hierarchy of objects, and the relationship of proximity and immediacy to temporal sequence and significance. The altering of geometries is probably the least disconcerting of the disorienting things I have listed here, for it is commonly hinted at in Lovecraft stories; indeed, it is almost a Lovecraft cliché. But in The Call of Cthulhu, although Lovecraft introduces the concept in typical fashion (the dream-haunted sculptor speaks of “the damp Cyclopean city...—whose geometry, he oddly said, was all wrong”), later applies the concept boldly and specifically: Parker slipped as the other three were plunging frenziedly over endless vistas of green-crusted rock to the boat, and Johansen swears he was swallowed up by an angle of masonry which shouldn’t have been there; an angle which was acute, but behaved as if it were obtuse. Perhaps more disconcerting is that Cthulhu does not obey the physical laws about the integrity of form: ...as the steam mounted higher and higher the brave Norwegian drove his vessel head on against the pursuing jelly... There was a bursting as of an exploding bladder, a slushy nastiness as of a cloven sunfish, a stench as of a thousand opened graves, and a sound that the chronicler would not put on paper. For an instant the ship was befouled by an acrid and blinding green cloud, and then there was only a venomous seething astern; where—God in heaven!—the scattered plasticity of that nameless sky-spawn was nebulously recombining in its hateful original form. More subtle, but even more discomfiting, is the size of the Cthulhu statues. Every reader of Haggard and Burroughs (or every watcher of Indiana Jones, for that matter) knows what size sinister idols are supposed to be: huge. Yet the first idol we see—the dream-haunted sculptor’s carving--is a bas-relief “less than an inch thick and about five by six inches in area”, the second—the exhibit brought to the Historical Society by New Orleans’ Inspector Legrasse—is “between seven and eight inches in height”. Legrasse’s narrative indicate that Cthulhu’s dancing devotees attempt to compensate for this deficiency in size, for he describes their sinister place of worship: in the centre of which, revealed by occasional rifts in the curtain of flame, stood a great granite monolith some eight feet in height; on top of which, incongruous with its diminutiveness, rested the noxious carven statuette. I find this all very disconcerting. It implies that the Old Ones are so alien, so other in their origins, that they disdain the significance of size. Even the statue later grasped by Johansen, though slightly larger than the others, is only “about a foot in height.” But of course, soon after that, Cthulhu shows up, in all his jellied magnificence, confounding expectations. The last important element in the production of terror is the way Lovecraft plays with proximity and immediacy—two qualities we tend to associate. Again, the usual adventure tale involving ancient gods begins with the hero perusing a succession of manuscripts—from modern to medieval to ancient—the oldest of which reveals a secret. But in order to make that secret thing immediate and achievable, the hero must journey to a particular destination. Then, when he is proximate to the secret, the tale becomes vivid and immediate, and the adventure is brought to a climax. In The Call of Cthulhu, the relationship between proximity and immediacy is deliberately skewed. There are a wealth of locations and small interlocking narratives, but the most proximate—the meeting with the local sculptor Wilcox—is the furthest removed from immediate experience. Our narrator—I suppose, the closest thing we come to a hero--journeys to various places (New Orleans, San Francisco, New Zealand, Norway) but the immediacy of a quest adventure is (mercifully) denied him. Instead it is revealed to him remotely, through the obscure diary of a deceased Norwegian sailor. The reader, who experiences vicariously the immediacy of the sailor's quest, is disoriented when he realizes that the narrative has now come full circle, and that the full horror of Cthulhu which Johansen witnesses happened on the very same night that sculptor Wilcox was dreaming his dreams. However, though the narrative has come full circle, the reader remains disoriented, scattered like great Cthulhu upon the waves. But, unlike the Great Old One, the reader may never "nebulously recombine". The artistry of Lovecraft has permanently changed him; it is doubtful whether he can ever return to his "original form" again.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Orient

    A BR with a faithful member of Cthulhu Cult, Craig. Quite a nice ride to sunset with Cthulhu. I liked the spooky atmosphere, the info about the Cthulhu Cult and Old Ones,and the tickles that it gave to unbelievers! :) It would have been really cool to get more limbs flying from the main Thing, but the ending was quite nice :)

  6. 5 out of 5

    Jason Koivu

    What better time to read The Call of Cthulhu than on Halloween?! Probably should've read this one by now, but I've been holding off for a while, waiting for that special occasion. I do that with some books, usually classics. There's a Steinbeck or two I'm keeping in my proverbial back pocket for when I'm in the right mood or need to get out of a reading funk. The Call of Cthulhu is pure horror. It's terrifying. If I'd been wearing boots, I'd be quaking in them. Reading this reminded me of reading What better time to read The Call of Cthulhu than on Halloween?! Probably should've read this one by now, but I've been holding off for a while, waiting for that special occasion. I do that with some books, usually classics. There's a Steinbeck or two I'm keeping in my proverbial back pocket for when I'm in the right mood or need to get out of a reading funk. The Call of Cthulhu is pure horror. It's terrifying. If I'd been wearing boots, I'd be quaking in them. Reading this reminded me of reading Poe as a kid. The chills they were palpable. Lovecraft's elevated language is akin to Faulkner. Perhaps this is best described as Poe-stylings layered over Absalom Absalom. The darkness, the despair reaches out of the primeval swamp and sucks you in. Unlike some classic horror, you actually get physical manifestations of the terror lurking in the shadows. This is no mere ghost story. This is a fucking monster. Yes, it's veiled, it's mysterious, but it's coming for you and it will have you.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Alejandro

    His most famous work! LOVECRAFT'S SIGNATURE WORK The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents. 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. Easily the most known story by H.P. Lovecraft and the text which gives a formal “birth” to the Cthulhu Mythos, along with the mention of the “fake” book of Necronomicon, inspiring dozens of other writers to His most famous work! LOVECRAFT'S SIGNATURE WORK The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents. 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. Easily the most known story by H.P. Lovecraft and the text which gives a formal “birth” to the Cthulhu Mythos, along with the mention of the “fake” book of Necronomicon, inspiring dozens of other writers to contribute with their own pieces to enlarge the horror franchise. Through a series of “found documents” during three sections in the narrative, it’s slowy revealed how a secret cult, so ancient along with the dawn of men, it was founded to keep memories of some kind of species from the stars who walk the Earth before humankind, and that they retired themselves to the depths of the sea and the core of the planet, but... ...before they pass to the first member of the cult, the promise that Cthulhu, its prophesied priest, someday will born and the cult is waiting,... ...always waiting.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Carol

    "This momentous story---which introduced the ersatz mythology that came to be called the 'Cthulhu Mythos'---was written in the summer of 1926." It begins...."The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents." A locked manuscript of a recently deceased elderly grand-uncle, an authority on ancient inscriptions, leads to bizzare and frightening research resulting in discovery of a monster like human caricature with a pulpy tentacled "This momentous story---which introduced the ersatz mythology that came to be called the 'Cthulhu Mythos'---was written in the summer of 1926." It begins...."The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents." A locked manuscript of a recently deceased elderly grand-uncle, an authority on ancient inscriptions, leads to bizzare and frightening research resulting in discovery of a monster like human caricature with a pulpy tentacled head and grotesque scaly body....possessing documented deadly powers.Beware: You may not want to learn too much! Weird, creepy Lovecraft tale.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jason

    What’s great about a Lovecraftian horror story, besides the fact that his writing is eerily similar to that of Jason Morais, is that it can afford such a welcome reprieve from a weekend otherwise consumed by madness and violence, the kind of violence that disturbs the soul to its core. “The Call of Cthulhu” is the story of a man who uncovers evidence of otherworldly beings residing in a state of hibernation deep beneath the surface of the Earth’s oceans. Though the image of Cthulhu is by no means What’s great about a Lovecraftian horror story, besides the fact that his writing is eerily similar to that of Jason Morais, is that it can afford such a welcome reprieve from a weekend otherwise consumed by madness and violence, the kind of violence that disturbs the soul to its core. “The Call of Cthulhu” is the story of a man who uncovers evidence of otherworldly beings residing in a state of hibernation deep beneath the surface of the Earth’s oceans. Though the image of Cthulhu¹ is by no means original, as it is heavily borrowed from Scandinavian lore among other sources, Lovecraft’s descriptions—in this case of a bas-relief carved in its likeness—are still nothing short of chilling: It represented a monster of vaguely anthropoid outline, but with an octopus-like head whose face was a mass of feelers, a scaly, rubbery-looking body, prodigious claws on hind and fore feet, and long, narrow wings behind. This thing, which seemed instinct with a fearsome and unnatural malignancy, was of a somewhat bloated corpulence, and squatted evilly on a rectangular block or pedestal covered with undecipherable characters. And it is always a testament to good writing when a Google Image Search of that which is being described cannot turn up anything nearly as hair-raising as the text itself. On the other hand, this one is not half bad: Cthulhu emerging from his ancient portal. The only thing that detracts from the story in my opinion is the fact that the narrator is too far removed from it. Assembling manuscripts left by his late uncle with pieces of testimony from those who had purportedly fallen under the spell of Cthulhu during his attempts to resurface, the narrator slowly pieces together an understanding of who or what Cthulhu is, a revelation that induces a profound sense of fear and anxiety in those who discover it, but which leaves the reader feeling a bit miffed at not having been taken on a more intimate journey. Even eyewitness accounts of those who had encountered Cthulhu personally are learned through diary readings rather than by interview. Nonetheless, it is a story worth reading, especially for those who are intrigued by the concept of the Island in Lost as something that protects the world from a source of evil. In many ways, the Smoke Monster is like Cthulhu in that both entities are responsible for baseline levels of dread in people everywhere, driving some of them to madness occasionally. I’d like to think the madness of the events of this weekend could be attributed to a resurfacing of the monster Cthulhu, but unfortunately for us we do not live in an H. P. Lovecraft story. I don’t know. I might read another Lovecraft, I might not. You people know I’m not crazy about the short story and short stories are pretty much all he has written. But he is from Rhode Island, the tiny state with the gargantuan ego, and that is pretty cool. He is like their Poe. And since Seth MacFarlane is one of their only other claims to fame (in the authorial/screenwriting context), maybe I should read more of him. ¹Cthulhu is pronounced Khlûl’·hloo, gutturally, in a way that calls attention to the otherworldliness of the being, as even its name is beyond the ability of human linguistics to phonologize.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Leonard Gaya

    The Call of Cthulhu is, to all appearances, a rather short and negligible story (little more than 30 pages long). And yet, it’s undoubtedly one of the most iconic novellas by H.P. Lovecraft, and one of his significant early achievements (with, perhaps, The Rats in the Walls). A novella which has spurred the imagination of countless fans, artists, writers, game designers and triggered many imitations. In this story, we find the first mentions (to my knowledge) of nightmarish cyclopean The Call of Cthulhu is, to all appearances, a rather short and negligible story (little more than 30 pages long). And yet, it’s undoubtedly one of the most iconic novellas by H.P. Lovecraft, and one of his significant early achievements (with, perhaps, The Rats in the Walls). A novella which has spurred the imagination of countless fans, artists, writers, game designers and triggered many imitations. In this story, we find the first mentions (to my knowledge) of nightmarish cyclopean corpse-cities, resurfacing like non-Euclidean mammoth monoliths from the unfathomable depths of time; the invention of strange and evil tongues (the repeated sentence: "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn.”); the description of horrific squid-like entities; the mention of the mysterious Necronomicon of the mad Arab Abdul Alhazred. The story is in the form of an archaeological enquiry, piecing sinister clues together: from the discovery of a series of disturbing statuettes, an investigation around a sort of depraved voodoo cult, to a shipwreck in the South Pacific, finally to uncover an endless dark horror of apocalyptic proportions. Perhaps one of the major achievement of this short story is the blend of realistic background (narrated in first-person without any dialogue) with demonic details which, for the most part, are characterised as indescribable, and left to the reader’s weirdest imaginings. Lovecraft drew his inspiration from the Greek myths of Atlantis, of the Gorgon, of Polyphemus (The Odyssey) and the Scandinavian legend of the Kraken, possibly also from Poe’s Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym, Melville’s Moby-Dick and Jules Verne’s Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea. The Cthulhu story has had a significant influence on late 20th-century sci-fi and horror genres, especially in the visual arts, from Druillet and Mœbius graphic novels to movie franchises such as Alien, Indiana Jones and Pirates of the Caribbean.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Aqsa (On Hiatus)

    Read for February Reading Sprint-2019 in Buddy Reads. 3.5 (rounded to 4 because I enjoyed it) The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents. 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. Yes, I had no intentions of starting this book and the only reason I decided to read it was the fact that it was super short, and yet it took me a long time to finish Read for February Reading Sprint-2019 in Buddy Reads. 3.5 (rounded to 4 because I enjoyed it) The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents. 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. Yes, I had no intentions of starting this book and the only reason I decided to read it was the fact that it was super short, and yet it took me a long time to finish it. The writing was very rich, I had to search some things but it was the writing that had me captured. It was so good. This is about a certain someone who becomes heir to his Uncle and his weird findings. We start with the protagonist finding these strange and maddening documents and articles that his Uncle seemed to have collected over the years and we follow him as his curiosity gets the better of him and he dives into his own research of the Cthulhu Cult. “That is not dead which can eternal lie, And with strange aeons even death may die.” It took me time because I took breaks after every couple of pages (and got lost in other books in between), but though the story was insufficient to me, I rather enjoyed this. I will not class this as horror, maybe somewhat Gothic but then again, I never class most books as horror. The story line was good and this wouldn't have been anything extraordinary if not for the amazing writing. I must admit that this could have been scarier and most horrible (even to me!) if only there were some more pages. I was disappointed when it ended, not because I didn’t like the end but because I wanted some more. I was so lost in it near the end and then suddenly poof, the end. I will read more books from him and hope to get more satisfying ends :) Who knows the end? What has risen may sink, and what has sunk may rise. Loathsomeness waits and dreams in the deep, and decay spreads over the tottering cities of men. A time will come—but I must not and cannot think!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Karl

    Lovecraft Illustrated volume 7 Contents: ix - Introduction by S. T. Joshi (2015) 003 - "The Call of Cthulhu" by H. P. Lovecraft 051 - "Making Some Calls" by Pete Von Sholly (2015) 057 - "On the Emergence of "Cthulhu" "by Steven J. Mariconda (2015) 067 - "The Other Name of Azathoth" by Robert M. Price (2015) 079 - "Cthulhu Elsewhere in Lovecraft" by Robert M. Price (1982) 085 - "Heeding "The Call of Cthulhu" " by W. H. Pugmire (2015) 091 - "On Making "The Call of Cthulhu" " by Sean Branney (2015) 097 - Lovecraft Illustrated volume 7 Contents: ix - Introduction by S. T. Joshi (2015) 003 - "The Call of Cthulhu" by H. P. Lovecraft 051 - "Making Some Calls" by Pete Von Sholly (2015) 057 - "On the Emergence of "Cthulhu" "by Steven J. Mariconda (2015) 067 - "The Other Name of Azathoth" by Robert M. Price (2015) 079 - "Cthulhu Elsewhere in Lovecraft" by Robert M. Price (1982) 085 - "Heeding "The Call of Cthulhu" " by W. H. Pugmire (2015) 091 - "On Making "The Call of Cthulhu" " by Sean Branney (2015) 097 - "Adapting "The Call of Cthulhu" as a Silent Movie" by Andrew Leman (2015) 107 - "The Dreamer in the House" by Pete Von Sholly (2015) Cover and Interior Illustrations - by Pete Von Sholly (2015)

  13. 5 out of 5

    Dante

    "Who knows the end?".

  14. 4 out of 5

    Alex ☣ Deranged KittyCat ☣

    They had come from the stars, and had brought Their images with Them. The Call of Cthulhu is truly a horror story without the need of any graphic violence. Just the idea of the cult of Cthulhu (how it came to be and what its purpose is) gives me shivers down my spine. This is my first experience with H.P. Lovecraft. But it will not be my last because I like his style very much.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Cathryn

    Lovecraft's writing style is just not my cuppa and that's why I thought this was only OK. Even though this was a short story it felt like it took me forever to get through. I'm all for purple prose but Lovecraft describes things in 2 pages when he really only needed 2 sentences. Verbose is putting it mildly. I always wanted to read this so that I would better understand what people were talking about when they mention Cthulhu. Now I do. Cthulhu is an interesting concept and I wanted to know more Lovecraft's writing style is just not my cuppa and that's why I thought this was only OK. Even though this was a short story it felt like it took me forever to get through. I'm all for purple prose but Lovecraft describes things in 2 pages when he really only needed 2 sentences. Verbose is putting it mildly. I always wanted to read this so that I would better understand what people were talking about when they mention Cthulhu. Now I do. Cthulhu is an interesting concept and I wanted to know more about it. I can understand the fascination around the creature.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Calista

    For years now, I have been wanting to read Lovecraft after hearing Stephen King discuss his importance and just haven’t done so. Two years ago, I bought a Barnes and Noble collection of his ‘Great Tales of Horror’ that has only sat on my pretty shelves. So, I decided to dig into Lovecraft, or at least start and I read about Cthulhu. This started the mythos. Cthulhu is described as a huge creature or god with the head of an octopus, the body of a dragon with scales and wings and both sets of feet For years now, I have been wanting to read Lovecraft after hearing Stephen King discuss his importance and just haven’t done so. Two years ago, I bought a Barnes and Noble collection of his ‘Great Tales of Horror’ that has only sat on my pretty shelves. So, I decided to dig into Lovecraft, or at least start and I read about Cthulhu. This started the mythos. Cthulhu is described as a huge creature or god with the head of an octopus, the body of a dragon with scales and wings and both sets of feet had claws and it was humanoid. It is described as being not of this planet and coming here with others like its sleeping until the stars wake him to take over the Earth again. I thought this was a good introduction to the world. A man has found papers from his dead relative about all these news articles of this beast. There was a ritual in New Orleans that was interrupted and it was the ritual of Cthulhu and no one has heard of it. This is a short story and quick to read. Anyone interested in the classics and Lovecraft, I do suggest this is a good place to start. The language is a bit old, but it’s still readable.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Paula W

    If you like to read boring stories with no characterization, no dialogue, lazy descriptions, and rampant racism, this is for you. As for me, one star is a bit too generous.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Shannon

    A nice change from reading the story. The narrative choice for this tale was well done with a nice twist at the end. I've listened to this twice in one day!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽

    Very creepy and atmospheric, in an old-fashioned way. Not really my thing, but it kept my interest well enough. 3 1/2 stars. Disclaimer: I'm not into the horror genre and I've never been a Lovecraft fan, although I did read The Dunwich Horror once upon a time. But I was reading and trying to understand Neil Gaiman's A Study in Emerald yesterday, and in the course of researching the Cthulhu aspects of that story I found this one online at http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/The_Cal.... It's worth Very creepy and atmospheric, in an old-fashioned way. Not really my thing, but it kept my interest well enough. 3 1/2 stars. Disclaimer: I'm not into the horror genre and I've never been a Lovecraft fan, although I did read The Dunwich Horror once upon a time. But I was reading and trying to understand Neil Gaiman's A Study in Emerald yesterday, and in the course of researching the Cthulhu aspects of that story I found this one online at http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/The_Cal.... It's worth reading if you like this kind of thing.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Char

    This was an audio re-read of The Call of Cthulhu for me. This audio came through the AudioBlast newsletter and I requested it right away. I enjoyed listening to this performance. It had a full dramatization going on with sounds effects, screams and whatnot in the background. However, at times the main narrator went a little flat for me. Overall, I enjoyed this performance and would recommend it to fans of cosmic horror and Lovecraft. *Thanks to Audioblast for the opportunity to listen to this This was an audio re-read of The Call of Cthulhu for me. This audio came through the AudioBlast newsletter and I requested it right away. I enjoyed listening to this performance. It had a full dramatization going on with sounds effects, screams and whatnot in the background. However, at times the main narrator went a little flat for me. Overall, I enjoyed this performance and would recommend it to fans of cosmic horror and Lovecraft. *Thanks to Audioblast for the opportunity to listen to this story in exchange for an honest review. This is it.*

  21. 4 out of 5

    Mir

    Not that great as a stand-alone story, but I can see why it is influential -- it is dense with background material that practically begs to be expanded upon.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Mimi

    For those who enjoy rifling through old research notes, piecing together missing data, making sense of the big picture, and then being left hanging at the end. I'm kidding, of course. The best part of any horror story is that it leaves you hanging. No explanation, no resolution, no sense of closure. This story is told in a series of personal accounts in which the narrator pieces together what he thinks was the cause of his granduncle's mysterious sudden death, speculating that the late uncle's For those who enjoy rifling through old research notes, piecing together missing data, making sense of the big picture, and then being left hanging at the end. I'm kidding, of course. The best part of any horror story is that it leaves you hanging. No explanation, no resolution, no sense of closure. This story is told in a series of personal accounts in which the narrator pieces together what he thinks was the cause of his granduncle's mysterious sudden death, speculating that the late uncle's mysterious anthropological work most likely had something to do with it. He also speculates that the death is part of a larger ongoing mystery that has to do with a legendary mythical creature. (view spoiler)[Davy Jones from Pirates of the Caribbean with wings... is how I picture the Cthulhu. (hide spoiler)] It was a slow read for me due to too much telling and not enough showing. Much of the mystery's pull is placed on the fear of the unknown, which in this case is "the fear of foreigners and their foreign-ness." What this story boils down to is a paranoid account of ethnocentric anxieties and xenophobic psychosis.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Khashayar Mohammadi

    In high school, my best friend was utterly obsessed with Lovecraft, which meant I was constantly force-fed numerous short stories of his which I never really enjoyed or remembered fondly. After a decade or so I decided to go back and revisit Lovecraft, and I gotta admit I was pleasantly surprised. The Horror he depicts is a metaphysical horror that very few writers have been able to replicate, but his prose, though often overstimulating, is engrossing and poetic. Xenophobia aside, I enjoyed this In high school, my best friend was utterly obsessed with Lovecraft, which meant I was constantly force-fed numerous short stories of his which I never really enjoyed or remembered fondly. After a decade or so I decided to go back and revisit Lovecraft, and I gotta admit I was pleasantly surprised. The Horror he depicts is a metaphysical horror that very few writers have been able to replicate, but his prose, though often overstimulating, is engrossing and poetic. Xenophobia aside, I enjoyed this short story very much

  24. 4 out of 5

    ᴥ Irena ᴥ

    I'm beginning to think this is one of those books I'll never write a review of; one of the books simply for me to enjoy. *** I may be able to write a good review of this sometime. This time I'll just say I need more stars. *** Just as great as the first time I read it. That didn't change.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Shannon

    A nice change from reading the story. The narrative choice for this tale was well done with a nice twist at the end. I've listened to this twice in one day! MY GRADE: B plus.

  26. 5 out of 5

    J.L. Sutton

    Chicken mole tamales wrapped in corn husks, like H.P. Lovecraft's Call of Cthulhu, burst with flavor. You experience the authenticity and the complex and dark, rich tastes in every bite you take. Every bite, or rather Lovecraft's narrative, takes you back to ancient rites alien to the ways of the modern world (now read as 2015). Makes me wonder, just for an instant, what a really good homemade tamale has in common with the modern world. Tamales are anachronistic, aren't they? Sort of like the Chicken mole tamales wrapped in corn husks, like H.P. Lovecraft's Call of Cthulhu, burst with flavor. You experience the authenticity and the complex and dark, rich tastes in every bite you take. Every bite, or rather Lovecraft's narrative, takes you back to ancient rites alien to the ways of the modern world (now read as 2015). Makes me wonder, just for an instant, what a really good homemade tamale has in common with the modern world. Tamales are anachronistic, aren't they? Sort of like the Cthulhu mythos. Can we really wrap our heads around ancient evil or authentic homemade tamales? I don't think so! And Lovecraft doesn't mean for us to understand the Elder Ones. Unfortunately, there's not much story to go with this experience. But I was intrigued. On to the Mountains of Madness!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    So- I read this for my PopSugar prompt: “book by a local author.” And I sort of wished I’d picked something else, mostly because Lovecraft was apparently a huge racist, and it shows in his writing. He managed to demonize probably every group of people on earth that weren’t white Christians, up to and including Eskimos. This wasn’t scary. It’s told from the perspective of a man compiling notes and researching this strange cult his grandfather stumbled upon. There was no feeling in this story. No- So- I read this for my PopSugar prompt: “book by a local author.” And I sort of wished I’d picked something else, mostly because Lovecraft was apparently a huge racist, and it shows in his writing. He managed to demonize probably every group of people on earth that weren’t white Christians, up to and including Eskimos. This wasn’t scary. It’s told from the perspective of a man compiling notes and researching this strange cult his grandfather stumbled upon. There was no feeling in this story. No- oh my gosh, what happens next? page flipping. We know beforehand if the character telling their part is alive or dead. I don’t know- I’m just not sold. It’s great that this inspired so many awesome things afterward, but honestly it’s sort of shocking that anyone found it inspiring at all. So- Lovecraft is not my style. I likely won’t be checking out anything by him in the future.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Joey Woolfardis

    One can easily see why "Lovecraftian" is a thing from this, and why only people who are true devotees can really write anything in-depth about his stuff. His writing style is utterly sublime. I got vagaries of Fitzgerald-in terms of writing style and their ability to put every single word to good use, with no spare sentences put adrift on the page-but unlike F. Scott, the story was as riveting as the prose. You can feel the tension seeping from the page as you read on. It's hard to say much else One can easily see why "Lovecraftian" is a thing from this, and why only people who are true devotees can really write anything in-depth about his stuff. His writing style is utterly sublime. I got vagaries of Fitzgerald-in terms of writing style and their ability to put every single word to good use, with no spare sentences put adrift on the page-but unlike F. Scott, the story was as riveting as the prose. You can feel the tension seeping from the page as you read on. It's hard to say much else without delving in to the whole Lovecraftian or even just the Cthulhu Mythos, and I certainly am not qualified to do so. This was the beginning of all of that and it's the best place to start. There are certain annoyances that I think are commonly Lovecraftian. The first person adventurer; the lost-and-found-again manuscripts; the horrors that cannot be (conveniently) conveyed in any written language known to us. But when you have writing as good as this, and a wonderful sense of imagination, those are little annoyances that can be ignored or at least put aside for a while. It is not horror in the strictest sense, nor is it part of the gothic scene that sprung up in the mid-to-late Victorian period, but it certainly contains elements of all that. It is mostly a combination of the dread of human existence in regards to the vastness of the universe and the inability for humans to comprehend such vastness, mixed with a dash of weird and a very large dollop of that thing that makes you look at a car crash when you drive past, even though you shouldn't really. Some kind of intrigue; the necessity to know.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Mike (the distracted librarian)

    I wish I could rate this book purely on the merits of literary talent, but to do so would be irresponsible to those who might be swayed by my recommendation. I don't see many references to Lovecraft's personal flaws in this review section, so I feel obligated to at least mention some. While I was captivated by the profound nuance of the ideas being conveyed in the story, there were a few remarks that caught my attention as potentially harboring significant undertones; so I decided to research I wish I could rate this book purely on the merits of literary talent, but to do so would be irresponsible to those who might be swayed by my recommendation. I don't see many references to Lovecraft's personal flaws in this review section, so I feel obligated to at least mention some. While I was captivated by the profound nuance of the ideas being conveyed in the story, there were a few remarks that caught my attention as potentially harboring significant undertones; so I decided to research Lovecraft's political views and opinions. Turns out he was an outspoken xenophobic and racist, and I'm not invoking these terms in a manner approaching a slandering Machiavellian reporter; I mean, the guy was textbook. To counter apologists, I will quote his "On the Creation of Niggers": When, long ago, the gods created Earth In Jove's fair image Man was shaped at birth. The beasts for lesser parts were next designed; Yet were they too remote from humankind. To fill the gap, and join the rest to Man, Th'Olympian host conceiv'd a clever plan. A beast they wrought, in semi-human figure, Filled it with vice, and called the thing a Nigger. His politics were similarly disturbing, converging over time toward fascism. Of course, being a prominent figure in the early 20th century with an intellectual caliber diametric to the modern skinhead, we must understand that these were emerging views not contrarian at the time. But still, it is hard to excuse such an influential figure this degree of intolerance. In a letter to Donald Wandrei, Lovecraft once wrote: "[Hitler’s] vision is of course romantic & immature, & colored with a fact ignoring emotionalism … There surely is an actual Hitler peril–yet that cannot blind us to the honest rightness of the man’s basic urge … I repeat that there is a great & pressing need behind every one of the major planks of Hitlerism–racial-cultural continuity, conservative cultural ideals, & an escape from the absurdities of Versailles. The crazy thing is not what Adolf wants, but the way he sees it & starts out to get it. I know he’s a clown, but by God, I like the boy! As in the modern examples of Michael Jackson or Kevin Spacey, we must ask if we should support the work of the artist who overcasts their art with personal failings. Even though Lovecraft died in 1937, I still see the perpetuation of his ideas as being potentially damaging to those who might fail to see the issue as non-sequitur. I have therefore chosen to rate this work 2.5/5 stars, averaging the 5 star art with the 1 star artist. It's a shame; I was loving this book so much!

  30. 4 out of 5

    Carrie Vaughn

    I was not impressed. For all the talk this particular book has gotten in my circles, it really wasn't very interesting a read. The description was interesting but I didn't find the book as anything monumental save for it being one of the first of its kind. The book was a quick read and allowed a glimpse into the world Lovecraft was trying to build, but taken on its own, it left me curious why it was so impressive to most of the genre. Perhaps taken with the other studies in the mythos I would be I was not impressed. For all the talk this particular book has gotten in my circles, it really wasn't very interesting a read. The description was interesting but I didn't find the book as anything monumental save for it being one of the first of its kind. The book was a quick read and allowed a glimpse into the world Lovecraft was trying to build, but taken on its own, it left me curious why it was so impressive to most of the genre. Perhaps taken with the other studies in the mythos I would be more impressed. As a stand alone, however, I wouldn't recommend it.

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