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Calgar
25-11-2007, 22:21
Years ago a friend of mine recommended the works of H.P Lovecraft to me. I bought a compendium called " The Mythos" ( not shure of the title) in a local bookstore but for some reason i didn't have the time to read it. A few weeks ago, when cleaning out my bookcase, i found the book and flipped through the pages just to have a quick look. That "quick" look ended up in me falling asleep on the sofa 9 hours later whit the book in my lap.

After having read most of the works of H.P i must say that i┤ve never ever read any stories as good as his. Especially the Call of Cthulhu and Shadow over Innsmouth where absolutely brilliant and very, very, creepy. The ever-dark theme and the sense of utter hopelessness gets to you no matter if your a Mythos fan or not. And not to mention the game called "call of Cthulhu", for the xbox -although a bit dated, based on the works of Lovecraft is marvelous if you REALY want to experience the true "Mythos" horror.

So...has anyone else read the works of H.P Lovecraft? What are your thought and reflections concerning them, which one did you enjoy the most, did you play the game?


`Cthulhu f┤hthang!
/
Chris


P.S
Is there a book club / reading circle here on warseer?
D.S

Rabid Bunny 666
26-11-2007, 00:09
I got two of his anthologys, and despite not reading all the stories, i do enjoy reading a new one every now and then, my favorite being "The Colour from Space" not the exact name though, suitably creepy.

Inquisitor Engel
26-11-2007, 02:31
Shadow Over Innsmouth is truly excellent - There's a great audiobook read by Wayne June as well that works so incredibly well it's one of the few audiobooks I'd rather listen to than actually read.

I also enjoy the Call of C'thulu but The Dunwich Horror holds a place in my heart as the first Lovecraft work I read.

TitusAndronicus
26-11-2007, 02:36
Try august derleth. He took Lovecraft on after he died. Not as good imho, but worth reading.

runepriest
26-11-2007, 02:47
I'm a big fan of HPL, having read most of his stories. I have also played Call of Cthulhu, and the board game that was released later on (the name of the game escapes me now).

I would love to get back into the games again, but, alas, there is no one in my town who plays board games.

As far as other media goes, i have yet to see a decent movie based on one of his stories:cries:

Runepriest

der_lex
26-11-2007, 03:15
I like Lovecraft a lot, although I discovered that reading too many of his stories in one sitting reduces the experience somewhat.

I never played the CoC computer game, but I did play Eternal Darkness on the Gamecube, which is extremely Lovecraftian in theme and execution...well worth playing if you're a Lovecraft fan.

I have also run a game of the old (pre-D20) roleplaying game with a group of friends once, which is also quite cool...although the sanity point loss of the characters could be very harsh at times :D.

By the way, Guillermo del Toro (Pan's Labyrinth) is supposedly making a movie adaptation of At The Mountains of Madness... He's one of the few directors who could actually pull it off, IMO.

chromedog
26-11-2007, 04:38
I've read much of it over the years. I've also played in several Call of Cthulhu rpg campaigns (20s, modern and gaslight). "The Colour out of space" was one of the first stories I read, but I've also read "The strange case of Charles Dexter Ward" (movie made as "The resurrected - directed by Dan O'Bannon), Herbert West, Reanimator - and the movie was a fave when I was a gorehound in highschool (this was when it came out, btw, so I got to see it in widescreen at a cinema).

GDT is a great choice for a cthulhu movie. He has the vision for it. Others have come close in certain aspects, but he may just surpass them all and be the benchmark for the next lot to aim for.

Cthulhu fhtagn, Cthulhu fhtagn! Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn!
Cthulhu fhtagn, Cthulhu fhtagn! Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn!
Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn!
Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn!
Cthulhu fhtagn, Cthulhu fhtagn!
Cthulhu fhtagn, Cthulhu fhtagn! Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn!

Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn!
Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn!
Cthulhu fhtagn, Cthulhu fhtagn!


I even have a copy of the Cthulhu christmas carols album
"It's beginning to look a lot like fishmen"
and "I saw mommy kissing Nyarlathotep" are a riot.

firestorm40k
26-11-2007, 05:19
By the way, Guillermo del Toro (Pan's Labyrinth) is supposedly making a movie adaptation of At The Mountains of Madness... He's one of the few directors who could actually pull it off, IMO.


You're right, and it is precisely for that reason that I recently bought an anthology that contained this story, and several others.

It was the first time I'd read any Lovecraft, and - even though I can appreciate how important and influentialhis works are - I must confess that I found it a little underwhelming.

I would agree that he is a master of atmosphere, of creepiness, but I can't say I was ever 'frightened' or overwhelmingly horrified by his work. I think that it is at its most effective when things are left to one's own imagination to work out, and Lovecraft is a master of this; however he spoils this by going in to too much detail at times, for example in his description of the 'culture' discovered in this particular story. I tried reading the case of Charles Dexter Ward, but it was so meandering I lost interest; however I then read 'The Dreams in the Witch House', which was much better - atmospheric, creepy, with a couple of reasonably disturbing moments (even though at the end I was still trying to work out what the whole point of it was...)

To be honest, I don't find the Cthulu mythos particularly frightening (a squid headed god who talks gibberish?), but as a 40k fan/player I acknowledge the debt lots of fantasy/sci-fi mythos owes to this particular creation (after all, where would 40k be without soul-devouring daemonic entities, and formless spawn like the shoggoths?).

It's the background stuff in his works - murder, child-sacrifice, insanity that have the most impact on me. And ultimately, that nagging doubt in your mind left when the gaps aren't entirely filled; for days afterwards I was bugged trying to figure out what it was the student saw at the end of 'Mountains of Madness'... perhaps somethings are best left beyonds the realms of imagination... :eek:

wilting_laughter
26-11-2007, 11:12
I've got to admit, I've only read Call of Cthulu, and I didn't find it anything special.

Perhaps it was just that I'd heard so much about Lovercraft online, resulting in high expectations and/or foreknowledge damaging to enjoyment. But I didn't really get it. I liked it, enjoyed the setting, but it didn't seem all that horrific, it just seem to wax lyrical about how horrific it was without actually being horrific.

Jedi152
26-11-2007, 11:23
I keep meaning to read some Lovecraft. Maybe this will be the Christmas i finally get round to asking for a book.

blurred
26-11-2007, 13:36
Lovecraft is one of my favourite authors and recently I did my candidate's seminar about his works.


By the way, Guillermo del Toro (Pan's Labyrinth) is supposedly making a movie adaptation of At The Mountains of Madness... He's one of the few directors who could actually pull it off, IMO.

Wow. Just saw Pan's labyrinth and this news got me very excited. Shame its scheduled to 2010. :(

feelnopain666
26-11-2007, 14:05
I like the works of Lovecraft, and its funny that, sometimes, I think that 40K was based in is work (the Warp always reminds me of the "Mythos")

Finnblood
26-11-2007, 18:18
Mountains of Madness movie? :O

Pure win! My favourite Lovecraft, that one!

Stahlgeist
26-11-2007, 18:33
Stephen King is a fan. Read the "Jerusalem's Lot" short story in his first collection (Night Shift), and "Children of the Corn" as well.

Also Hellboy = Lovecraft influence as well. I think it's safe to say Del Toro's hooked.


Cthulhu fhtagn, Cthulhu fhtagn! Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn! etc...

Crap! Now you've gone & done it! What's that rumbling sound?

Easy E
26-11-2007, 19:05
I love the theme of Lovecraft.

Humanity is nothing, it is a non-entity in the universe.

Take that Earthocentrism.

The pestilent 1
26-11-2007, 19:25
I love the theme of Lovecraft.

Humanity is nothing, it is a non-entity in the universe.

Take that Earthocentrism.

And yet the elder evils all seem to have a stake in the planet..?

scratchbuilt
26-11-2007, 21:07
I love Lovecraft. Though now I've got three different compilations by different companies, so it's hard to buy more without getting a lot of overlap.

It's not scary - like, I can't sleep with the light off, it's just makes you wonder. Stephen King's IT is more likely to make you pee yourself, but Lovecraft is more likely to make you hang yourself.

Stahlgeist
26-11-2007, 21:09
And yet the elder evils all seem to have a stake in the planet..?

Because we are yummy, and taste good with ketchup (or brown sauce, if y'all prefer). :D

Somewhere out there, someone (contemporary) made a black & white, silent "Mountains of Madness". I think I saw it on "Atomfilms.com" or somesuch.

EDIT: http://www.cthulhulives.org/TOC.html - silent film of "Call of Chtulhu" & "radio" version of "Mountains"

Wraith
26-11-2007, 21:32
H.P Lovecraft's work is sometimes a little hard to read I find, or rather you end up getting a little frustrated at times. As others have expressed however so many fictional 'worlds' we enjoy today owe so much to Lovercraft you do end up persevering because you know it'll be worth it if only so you might recognise the subtle nods to his work you'll otherwise miss in modern scifi/fantasy books/films/games.

Weagmacht
26-11-2007, 23:02
I must be ignorant or jaded, but I've read two anthologies of H.P. Lovecraft works and was not in the least creeped out.

My girlfriend swears that she's lost sleep over several stories, but the closest I came to chills was when reading "The Shunned House."

I don't want to use the phrase over-rated, but I was definitely a bit disappointed when I read the collections cover-to-cover without getting even slightly afraid or even all that deeply engrossed.

He has a talent for unusually clever wordings and subtle-yet-visceral descriptions, I must say.

swordwind
26-11-2007, 23:26
Lovecraftian horror is the chill down your spine as you walk the darkened street alone and the half glimpsed shadow in the corners of the room. Your not meant to be afraid as in "BLARRRRGGHH!!!! I'M A BIG SCARY MONSTER JUMPING OUT OF THE CUPBOARD AND EATING YOUR FACE! RAAAGHHH!!!", its scary in that it reinforces everyone's innate fear of worthlessness. That we arent all special beautiful snowflakes with a kind and loving God to protect us, that we are in fact a accident of nature clinging to a tiny insignificant speck of rock orbiting a tiny insignificant star in a cold, heartless universe and that there are things out there more powerful and ancient than we can possibly comprehend who are able to crush our entire physical, psychological and spiritual world on a whim and as easily as a child crushes an insect.

firestorm40k
27-11-2007, 05:16
Lovecraftian horror is the chill down your spine as you walk the darkened street alone and the half glimpsed shadow in the corners of the room... its scary in that it reinforces everyone's innate fear of worthlessness. That we arent all special beautiful snowflakes with a kind and loving God to protect us, that we are in fact a accident of nature clinging to a tiny insignificant speck of rock orbiting a tiny insignificant star in a cold, heartless universe...

Really? Well, perhaps I missed the point but...

In '...Mountains...' it suggests that the Old Ones had a hand in our creation. This can neither be accidental, nor without reason...

However, what is that reason? Food for incomprehensibly alien entities? Specimens for dissection in their alien Biology class?

Again; I'm not so much creeped out by this, but the idea that '...Mountains...' suggests about the origins of life on this planet is fascinating, more than anything else. Unless you hold religious beliefs! :p

redbaron998
27-11-2007, 05:54
I have one book of his works that contains most of them, its probably one of my most treasured books. I love H.P. Lovecrafts works, with Shadow over insmoth one of the best. I am at work so I will get the title later.

And come on the quote," That cannot die witch can in eternal slumber lie, and in strage aeons even death may die" Is seiously the greatest quote ever.

The Cthulhu Myythos is so deep and original...and who knows what lies in the deepest deep.

My faviorite story of all was Celepha´s, so original and touching.



I cant say I was "creeped out" by his stories....but theres something about after reading them that makes you look over your shoulder once in awhile...does anyone know what I mean?

RobC
27-11-2007, 13:45
Whether or not Lovecraft actively scares you, he's a looming presence in the horror genre, not to mention certain games produced by a company called Games Workshop...

nightgant98c
28-11-2007, 01:09
His writing is a bit thick sometimes, but well worth the time you put into it. I have not read alot of his stories, but I have yet to be disappointed.

vforvenator
28-11-2007, 03:06
Nobody's mentioned the innate streak of vehement racism that underlines his work, and occasionally rears its head. Many of his stories contain passages of undisguised distaste if not loathing for blacks, Eskimos, generic 'indians' or islanders of the Americas and others, this reflecting his strong opinions on race and genetics as it was understood in his day- views shared by certain others, as it went... Although I can't exactly roundly knock his work, having read and been inspired by several of his stories and those of the Mythos directly inspired by him, part of me in reading his stuff can't ignore the unfortunate political bleakness underneath all the brilliantly described philosophical bleakness.

blurred
28-11-2007, 07:35
Nobody's mentioned the innate streak of vehement racism that underlines his work, and occasionally rears its head.

True. He was a xenophobic which manifested in racism in his works. However, many of his works are written from the viewpoint of a certain character so the racist implications do not bother me much: they can always be related to the mind of the main character.

nightgant98c
28-11-2007, 13:41
And it should also be noted that although we find it distasteful now, in the 20's and 30's when he wrote, it was a very common sentiment.

Kegluneq
28-11-2007, 14:32
part of me in reading his stuff can't ignore the unfortunate political bleakness underneath all the brilliantly described philosophical bleakness.
I'm a big fan of his work, and the surrounding mythos, but I'd certainly agree with this. Even by the standards of the time, Lovecraft was extremely xenophobic (not to mention his other psychological problems; his contemporary Robert Howard, creator of Conan, was very similar in this regard), which gives a very strong colonial feel to the stories. If you can accept that the author was writing from a very different socio-political viewpoint, you can still enjoy the stories from your own perspective though.

In a way, it actually adds to the horror, since even the starting perspective is often one we'd struggle entirely to understand or sympathise with (the story with the German submariner being a case in point). As it is though, Lovecraft's writing is deeply embedded in fear of the hostile Other; which given the context they're placed in within his stories is a pretty appropriate view...

Jellicoe
28-11-2007, 16:25
Lovecraft is great stuff.

One of my all time favourites is 'Dreams in the Witch House'. I lent that to a friend of mine once who said that when she reached the finale she actually screamed out loud

My wife still gets scared if i mention Brown Jenkin.....

brilliant

x-esiv-4c
28-11-2007, 16:33
I imagine that a lot of modern horror takes influence from Lovecraft.
I am certainly an avid fan of his works.

(Even made a pilgrimage to Rhode-Island to see his grave :) )

redbaron998
28-11-2007, 17:47
I imagine that a lot of modern horror takes influence from Lovecraft.
I am certainly an avid fan of his works.



I am sure there are plenty of modern day takes on his works, but I know there are several in the video game world. For instance Shadow over Innsmoth has its own game "Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth" The game is pretty darn good, its a mystery shooter (though you dont get a gun till about halfway in) I remember the part in the game where the first night he is in the Hotel and they come for him...that part of the game was so on edge, i jumped so many times...


Also in Elder Scrolls Oblivion there is a quest called, "Shadow over Hackdirt" where a shop owners daugther goes missing on a dilvery to a small town in the middle of nowhere. WHen you go there noone likes you, eventually you find a openeing to a tunnel underground where these mutant like fishpeople attack you....and if you stay down there long enough you can here alot of strange erry noises...and in the towns chapel on the alter is a book called "Bible of the Deep Ones"

vforvenator
28-11-2007, 20:11
Many things pay lip-service to the Mythos, mostly with similar/deriviative titles and unpronouncable names - not many try and tackle the nihilism or substance underneath that (GW's original Chaos Daemons were an uncommon example, the bits that didn't take after Michael Moorcock, that is). Some are cynical about any attempt to reproduce Cthulhu and the rest outside of literature (I first heard rumours of a Mountains of Madness movie about ten years ago) - the closest films I know of, using Mythos themes and plot devices were John Carpenters' In the Mouth of Madness, where a best-selling novel took the place of the necronomicon, which was pretty irreverant but not deserving of the panning it got, in my view, and Necronomicon, with three interlinked horror tales involving the title book and a wrap-around one - a seriously underrated movie, if you can find it.

scratchbuilt
29-11-2007, 07:34
He's racist, but at the time that was as right on as attacking fat people is now.

Warboss Jhura Ironfang
01-12-2007, 01:52
"That is not dead which can eternal lie
And with strange aeons even death may die."
The Call of Cthulhu

God I love Lovecraft's works. Even creepier since I live in MA where many of his stories take place. Nor do I sleep without invoking my luckly little bronze Cthulhu Idol (may his Cthulhuness grant me power over you all). I have been looking to get the Call of Cthulhu video game, it looks so good! I don't find him racist since he lived in a far different time than we do now.

Also some movies made from his books include:

The Call of Cthulhu -(at least 3 different verzions I know of)
Dagon -(a knock off of the "Shadow over Innsmouth" with the Deep Ones worshipping Big C and not Dagon)
The Wanderer -(Sci Fi channel saga of the mad Arab)
Necronomicon -(another cheesy Sci Fi channel movie)

and my favourite...

The Dark Spawn -(indie film about the Elder Race and shoggoths and such)

Hey, that brings up a good point.

WFB has Shaggoths- nearly immortal beasts of insane strength and intellect, where as the Mythos has Shoggoths- dread eaters of the soul who bear the same characteristics.

Cheerz,
WB Ironfang