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wildpotato's avatar

Where should I start with H.P. Lovecraft?

Asked by wildpotato (13743 points ) June 28th, 2010

I devour Sci-Fi and pulp, I hear many good things about Lovecraft, and Cthulhu is referenced by much of my favorite media. So I figure it’s about time to get started. But the size of his bibliography is daunting. Where should I begin?

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11 Answers

Seek's avatar

Begin with “The Rats in the Walls”, if you want to get right into Cthulhu.

His style can be a little hard to chew, though, so you might like to begin with “The Cats of Ulthar” – it’s short, and unrelated to the major mythos, so it’s a good way to get used to his style before you have to start really paying attention.

mrentropy's avatar

I liked Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath

Rarebear's avatar

Listen to this
Dagon by Lovecraft on the Drabble Cast

Bluefreedom's avatar

At the Mountains of Madness

I read this recently on my Amazon Kindle and it was a really good science-fiction story along with being my first experience with any H.P. Lovecraft work.

Jeruba's avatar

I’d say pretty much anywhere. I can’t remember where I started, and it probably didn’t matter. One story led to another, and in time I went through them all. I also enjoyed the biography by L. Sprague De Camp.

If I ever go back and reread them, I’m going to do it with a pencil and count the instances of the word “blasphemous.”

Seek's avatar

@Jeruba

I think I’m going to have to consider that a challenge.

…as soon as I’m done with @MattBrowne’s book. Only 489 pages to go.

Jeruba's avatar

I always liked “Pickman’s Model.” I think I might not have got into Dream Quest if it had been the first for me, just because it is sort of different from most of the rest, but that might not matter. I liked the Arkham/Miskatonic stories. I liked “The Dunwich Horror.” I liked The Case of Charles Dexter Ward. Oh, hell (and blasphemy), just read them all.

wildpotato's avatar

I loved Rats in the Walls! Got me all shivery. I’m getting a bit bogged down in Dream Quest, but I’m interested to see where it’s going; Carter’s just starting up Ngranek. you see, Shadow of the Torturer arrived from amazon and I had to break away for it. And Farewell, My Lovely, and Infinite Jest, and The Passage. I just realized that I may be reading too many books at the same time.

I really like his matter-of-fact B-movie style, and I am quite intrigued by the Lovecraftverse. Thanks, guys!

Seek's avatar

The Doom That Came to Sarnath is pretty rad, too.

It’s kind of cool to think that he has this B-Movie style a hundred years before B Movies existed, eh?

Jeruba's avatar

Check your dates, @Seek_Kolinahr. Lovecraft died in 1937. We had B movies in the 1920’s.

Seek's avatar

Why was I thinking it was the 18 30s? I’m braindead, I swear. I think I was thinking of him as a contemporary of Poe, not a next-generation follower.

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