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Some tales in this collection were inspired by H. P. Lovecraft, others he revised, two he co-authored – but all bear the mark of the master of primordial terror. The Horror in the Museum –Locked up for the night, a man will discover the difference between waxen grotesqueries and the real thing. The Electric Executioner – Aboard a train, a traveler must match wits with a murd Some tales in this collection were inspired by H. P. Lovecraft, others he revised, two he co-authored – but all bear the mark of the master of primordial terror. The Horror in the Museum –Locked up for the night, a man will discover the difference between waxen grotesqueries and the real thing. The Electric Executioner – Aboard a train, a traveler must match wits with a murderous madman. The Trap – This mirror wants a great deal more than your reflection. The Ghost-Eater – In an ancient woodland, the past comes to life with a bone-crunching vengeance. AND TWENTY MORE STORIES OF UNSPEAKABLE EVIL.


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Some tales in this collection were inspired by H. P. Lovecraft, others he revised, two he co-authored – but all bear the mark of the master of primordial terror. The Horror in the Museum –Locked up for the night, a man will discover the difference between waxen grotesqueries and the real thing. The Electric Executioner – Aboard a train, a traveler must match wits with a murd Some tales in this collection were inspired by H. P. Lovecraft, others he revised, two he co-authored – but all bear the mark of the master of primordial terror. The Horror in the Museum –Locked up for the night, a man will discover the difference between waxen grotesqueries and the real thing. The Electric Executioner – Aboard a train, a traveler must match wits with a murderous madman. The Trap – This mirror wants a great deal more than your reflection. The Ghost-Eater – In an ancient woodland, the past comes to life with a bone-crunching vengeance. AND TWENTY MORE STORIES OF UNSPEAKABLE EVIL.

30 review for The Horror in the Museum

  1. 4 out of 5

    ᴥ Irena ᴥ

    This could go two ways (the option of not liking this story not included, of course). I could like this as just another story of this type or I could make note of when it was published. I've decided to treat it with the respect it deserves. If this was written today, I would say it was an okay creepy story. However, we all know when Lovecraft lived so for me it is a marvellous horror story. Even if there are a couple of stories I didn't like (The Street being the worst so far), Lovecraft gets a This could go two ways (the option of not liking this story not included, of course). I could like this as just another story of this type or I could make note of when it was published. I've decided to treat it with the respect it deserves. If this was written today, I would say it was an okay creepy story. However, we all know when Lovecraft lived so for me it is a marvellous horror story. Even if there are a couple of stories I didn't like (The Street being the worst so far), Lovecraft gets a special treatment as far as I am concerned. I could forgive a lot in his case. I shudder to think how many books wouldn't exist if he never wrote anything. The Horror in the Museum is not exactly a mysterious title. You get exactly what the title says. I won't get into the specifics of how it was done though. I've read part of the story before sleep and, I must say, the creepiness factor is higher that way. Stephen Jones is interested to see infamous grotesque wax figures made by the museum owner George Rogers, a former employee of Madame Tussaud's. One visit isn't enough and he ends up visiting Rogers quite often. He doesn't believe his explanations of the origins of the wax figures and they make a bet. Jones will spend the night in Rogers' Museum. This being a Lovecraft's story, you know it isn't going to be a peaceful night. For anyone.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Michael

    When I found this collection of short stories, I was a bit confused at first. Having read all of the Del Rey Lovecraft collections during the 1980s, and then worn them dog-eared in the decades that followed, I was sure I had read all of Lovecraft long ago. But, I only recognized one or two of the titles of these stories? Had someone discovered new Lovecraft? Well, I got my answer by reading the Introduction. These are all stories that Lovecraft “collaborated” on with other authors – often doing When I found this collection of short stories, I was a bit confused at first. Having read all of the Del Rey Lovecraft collections during the 1980s, and then worn them dog-eared in the decades that followed, I was sure I had read all of Lovecraft long ago. But, I only recognized one or two of the titles of these stories? Had someone discovered new Lovecraft? Well, I got my answer by reading the Introduction. These are all stories that Lovecraft “collaborated” on with other authors – often doing the hard labor of rewriting their vague ideas and turning them into fully-fledged stories for a few dollars (when they bothered to pay) and then receiving no credit when they published under their own name. Only a few of these did show up in those Del Rey collections, and they are far from the best ones. I greatly enjoyed the opportunity to read new-to-me Lovecraft, so many years after discovering him. I will review each story separately, as I have done for the previous collections reviewed on goodreads. “The Green Meadow” was written in collaboration with Winifred Virginia Jackson, and is a poetic or mythic prose tale of doom that cuts off in the middle to suggest the destruction of its world of origin. It is full of the kind of evocative visuals that Lovecraft excelled in, but with a somewhat different flavor. “Poetry and the Gods” was written with Anna Helen Crofts and concerns an aesthete who dreams that he will one day usher in a new era of poetry and classical values – or at least serve one who does. It actually has a somewhat fascist sentiment, similar to the kinds of prose that was being written in Italy by Futurists. It seems less obviously Lovecraftian than the typical dread of “gods” and other supernatural powers. “The Crawling Chaos” is another collaboration with Jackson and uses an opium dream as its premise, but soon goes into much the same kind of apocalyptic vision we saw in “Green Meadow.” I have reviewed it previously with the collection “The Doom That Came to Sarnath.” “The Horror at Martin’s Beach” was written in collaboration with Sonia Haft Greene, the woman to whom Lovecraft was briefly and unhappily married. It is a typical sea monster story, with definitely Lovecraftian elements, which actually parallels the monster movie “Gorgo” in that it begins with the discovery of a large infant, only to have the even larger adult version come looking. “Imprisoned with the Pharoahs” was a collaboration with the famous Harry Houdini (it is understood that Lovecraft did most of the actual writing). I have covered this one in my review of The Tomb and Other Tales. “Two Black Bottles” is an interesting story about a pair of evil wizards located in a church that reminded me in some ways of “The Haunter of the Dark,” which is also centered around a church. It is one of several revisions Lovecraft made for Hazel Drake Heald. “The Thing in the Moonlight” is a dream or nightmare that Lovecraft told to J. Chapman Miske that was slightly altered after Lovecraft’s death by another writer, Donald Wandrei. It is included as a “fragment” in “The Tomb and other Tales,” and I have reviewed it there. “The Last Test” is the longest of the new piece to this point, and is Lovecraft’s “revision” of a story by Adolphe de Castro. Although it is basically a mad scientist story with some Bierce-ian elements, Lovecraft has slipped in references to some of his mythos gods, and ultimately the scientist turns out to be a wizard ala Charles Dexter Ward. There is an unusually prominent (for Lovecraft) female character/love interest, and a lot of high-level politics that to me rather slows the plot down, but it is ultimately satisfying. “The Curse of Yig” was written from an outline by Zealia B. Reed, and concerns an Indian snake god in the American Southwest. Lovecraft (or Reed) has improved its effectiveness by adding a double surprise ending: one surprise you clearly see coming, but then it is followed by a second which was in no way telegraphed. “The Electric Executioner” was another collaboration with de Castro, and for me it works somewhat better than “The Last Test,” not least because it is shorter. It uses the confinement of a railway car to create a claustrophobic environment for a man trapped with a lunatic. The payoff suggests that the madman may actually have been telling the truth, but goes further to suggest truths beyond even his knowledge, and ties in nicely with Lovecraft’s mythos monsters. “The Mound” is a very long story (65 fairly long pages), and to me the most satisfying new story so far. It is supposedly based on a bit of folklore passed along to Lovecraft by Zealia B. Reed, but unlike “The Curse of Yig,” it shows almost no sign of another author. It neatly works in the Lovecraft mythos, and partially explains how Cthulhu (rendered in this tale as “Tulu”) became such a prominent figure in it. Unlike “The Last Test,” it puts its length to good use in building up a new world and drawing the reader into it. It was not published in his lifetime, unfortunately. “Medusa’s Coil” has a similar structure to Lovecraft’s “The Picture in the House,” in that it involves a traveler seeking shelter in an apparently abandoned house only to hear a bizarre story told by its hermit-like inhabitant. It is another collaboration with Zealia B. Reed, but again it shows little sign of anyone else’s style but HPL’s. It manages to update Greek myth into his particular style and mythos, and the character of the artist has some parallels to “Pickman’s Model” as well. “The Trap” was a singular story produced from an idea of Lovecraft’s by the Reverend Henry St. Clair Whitehead. It involves the familiar story of a person “trapped” inside of a mirror, but uses extra-dimensional travel and an immortal warlock with some similarities to Joseph Curwen of “The Case of Charles Dexter Ward” to make the well-trodden ground appear novel. “The Man of Stone” is a Lovecraft re-write of a story by Hazel Drake Heald. It involves a love triangle and an unfortunate person petrified by chemical processes. It is written in a somewhat unlikely diary format (the author knows too much of what is to happen before it does, and also confesses far more than anyone should on paper), but is still a good chilling story, in part because the victim knows what is happening. “The Horror in the Museum” is another re-write of Heald, and it takes as its premise the story of a man forced to spend a night in a horrific setting, which was often used (and sometimes satired) by Bierce, Lovecraft, however, brings in an eldritch alien God and other mythos elements to produce one of the most frightening stories in the collection, which takes its name from this tale. I found “Winged Death,” also a collaboration with Hazel Drake Heald, to be a bit of a let-down after “Museum,” but that’s a tough act to follow. It involves a scientist who conspires to kill a rival with an infected fly (perhaps the first example of bacteriological warfare in a horror story), only to have a highly suitable revenge enacted upon him. “Out of the Aeons” once again was written in collaboration with Heald, and is about an ancient mummy that is brought to a small Boston museum and promptly becomes the focus of cult activity and madness. I was surprised to find a hint of the “Elder Gods vs. Old Ones” conflict that I had believed originated with August Derleth in this story. “The Horror in the Burying Ground” is, I think, the last of the Heald collaborations. It is something of a black comedy along the lines of “Herbert West: Reanimator” in which Lovecraft indulged his enjoyment of rustic legends and dialects. Next up is “Till A’ The Seas,” which was written with Lovecraft’s prodigy Robert Hayward Barlow when the latter was still a teenager (rumors among Lovecraft fans abound that the two were lovers). This story involves a dystopian image of the world drifting closer to the sun and human civilization dying in the heat over centuries. As an early climate change story, it will remind people of many more recent fictions. “The Disinterment” was a collaboration with Duane W. Rimel, intended to launch a new magazine that would be edited by them both. It involves a mad doctor, voodoo secrets, and a mysterious transplant. It is told from a subjective first-person point of view by a narrator who holds back the truth until the very end, making it similar in structure to “The Outsider.” “The Diary of Alonzo Typer” is a re-write of a story by William Lumley, told in the format of a series of journal entries. It hints at cosmic horrors of a “mythos” nature, but avoids specific references to most of Lovecraft’s gods. The “Necronomicon” and various other books do make an appearance, however, and the story is good on the whole, though the denouement is painfully predictable. “Within the Walls of Eryx,” written in collaboration with Kenneth J. Sterling, is included in “The Tomb and Other Tales,” and I have reviewed it there. It is a surprisingly conventional sci fi story of the period, although much darker and more critical of colonialism than would be typical at the time. The final story is “The Night Ocean,” also written with Barlow. It is a rather poetic and even hopeful story of horror coming from the seas, but its resolution is unsatisfying, perhaps because Barlow and Lovecraft together couldn’t bring themselves down from their delight in one another’s company enough to be really frightened for the future.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Mouldy Squid

    As one can tell, I collect Lovecraft. Everything I can get my hands on. Hell, if there is an anthology with a new introductory essay, I'll buy it just for that essay. Suffice it to say, the collection is extensive. This volume contains no actual Lovecraft but rather the revisions and ghost writing that he did for other authors. Most of it is pretty terrible, except where one can discern Lovecraft's more or less successful attempts at making something of the chaff. There are a coupe of better tha As one can tell, I collect Lovecraft. Everything I can get my hands on. Hell, if there is an anthology with a new introductory essay, I'll buy it just for that essay. Suffice it to say, the collection is extensive. This volume contains no actual Lovecraft but rather the revisions and ghost writing that he did for other authors. Most of it is pretty terrible, except where one can discern Lovecraft's more or less successful attempts at making something of the chaff. There are a coupe of better than average stories here, but not really enough to justify buying the anthology. If you are a Lovecraft collector, this is of course a must have, since it represents a part of his career that is obscure and unknown. If however, you have just a passing knowledge of Lovecraft, you would be better served by getting one o the Del Rey anthologies. That way you are getting actual Lovecraft stories, not revisions of lesser writers' works.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Quirkyreader

    Anyone who reads this story is in for a treat.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Buttons

    Good collection of horror stories.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Quirkyreader

    The usual gang of Old Ones shows up in this collection of stories. For me the story that stood out the most was "The Curse of The Yig". This is another good volume for one to add to their Lovecraftian library.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Harris

    A collection of most of H.P. Lovecraft’s “revisions,” “The Horror in the Museum” showcases the tales co-written by Lovecraft and other would be weird tale writers and correspondents. Ostensibly consisting of stories edited by Lovecraft most, in practice, were completely ghost written by him following a few sparse plot points and published under another’s name. While for the most part lacking the refinement of Lovecraft’s solo works, there are still some very interesting stories included. Whether A collection of most of H.P. Lovecraft’s “revisions,” “The Horror in the Museum” showcases the tales co-written by Lovecraft and other would be weird tale writers and correspondents. Ostensibly consisting of stories edited by Lovecraft most, in practice, were completely ghost written by him following a few sparse plot points and published under another’s name. While for the most part lacking the refinement of Lovecraft’s solo works, there are still some very interesting stories included. Whether Lovecraft himself was experimenting or through the interaction between himself and another writer, many of these tales tackle subjects and ideas not often seen in Lovecraft’s own stories. Other settings are featured (California, Oklahoma, Mexico, even Venus) and many have a much greater use of interpersonal relationships (especially regarding women). In addition, he develops a lot of the ideas of a shared “Cthulhu” universe by including cameo appearances by many of the weird forbidden tomes, beings, and cults created by himself and others in these revisions. By no means, however, can any of these stories be counted among Lovecraft’s best. At times, they reflect the absolute worst writing excesses that he has been accused of (overly purple prose, needless verbosity, etc.) and include by far the worst Lovecraft story I’d ever read, Medusa’s Coil. A few read more like simple writing exercises than complete, coherent short stories. There are few gems included, however that make amusing and creepy, if not masterful, reads; I particularly liked “The Curse of Yig,” written with Zealia Bishop, a spooky tale set on the Oklahoma prairie, and “Winged Death,” with Hazel Heald. The namesake story “The Horror in the Museum,” also with Heald, is probably one of the most self-referencing stories in the “Cthulhu Mythos” and is pretty wacky, in a fun way. Still, this collection is not the best place to start for people new to Lovecraft’s writing. Postscript: There seem to be numerous editions of the collection banging around, often containing or neglecting various stories; this a review of the Wordsworth Edition, part of the Tales of Mystery and the Supernatural Series

  8. 5 out of 5

    Norman Dunnagan

    First a bit of background on Harold. You have to understand that this man greatly influenced the (good) modern horror you will see today, of any shape or form. Only a handful of people attended his funeral. Yet, now he has a cult following, and inadvertently gave birth to a wide array of classics. There's two kinds of dark fiction. 1- You have entire atmospheres that are mysterious and strange, and no given 'normal' reality; only a serious of relative realities which are personal to each of the First a bit of background on Harold. You have to understand that this man greatly influenced the (good) modern horror you will see today, of any shape or form. Only a handful of people attended his funeral. Yet, now he has a cult following, and inadvertently gave birth to a wide array of classics. There's two kinds of dark fiction. 1- You have entire atmospheres that are mysterious and strange, and no given 'normal' reality; only a serious of relative realities which are personal to each of the characters. 2- Standard horror that gives us a reality resembling our own, then we see the second invading reality (picture a burglar or a murderer, etc) which is to be either surrendered to or defeated by the reality it's attempting to overtake. Lovecraft dominates in the first realm of this fiction that I described, and I feel like it's the best, since it allows your imagination to create the elements that disturb; the text gives you a blueprint and it allows your imagination to run wild. I will tell you that you will probably encounter words that you have never seen before, since they're not commonly used in the English language. Having said this, you will understand the stories in the book; just, it's worth noting that it adds to the coolness factor of these ancient texts. The way he writes and describes things is quite interesting. Here are my three favorite stories from the book, in order. The Mound - The story took my breath away because he created an entirely, separate believable world in a short story; complete with a functioning weird society and entirely strange environment. Out of the Aeons - This is a story that I love, because after it's over, you will be in awe for a little while. It has that kind of an ending, you won't expect it, either. The buildup is classy, horrible, and beautiful all at the same time. Winged Death - This one is great because it offers a different perspective from the perpetrator, it involves revenge, deceit and surprise. You will enjoy it, trust me. Norman

  9. 4 out of 5

    Nicholas Beck

    This book is a collection of stories which were revised by H. P. Lovecraft. The numerous authors in this book have a wide range of style, despite the same horror feeling as most Lovecraft stories. This book is great for people looking for anything related to Lovecraft. That being said, there were a number of stories in this collection which simply didn't measure up to the Lovecraft standard. Certain tales seemed to drag on forever without any logical point or message even at the end. Others on t This book is a collection of stories which were revised by H. P. Lovecraft. The numerous authors in this book have a wide range of style, despite the same horror feeling as most Lovecraft stories. This book is great for people looking for anything related to Lovecraft. That being said, there were a number of stories in this collection which simply didn't measure up to the Lovecraft standard. Certain tales seemed to drag on forever without any logical point or message even at the end. Others on the other hand were truly terrifying and made me interested in some of the authors represented within this book.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Nick

    The book really isn't typical of what you would think of as a Lovecraft book and that's because it's not. The stories in the book were written by different authors and Lovecraft made changes to them as he saw fit. To be honest I wish we had a chance to see the actual story written along side of what Lovecraft did. From what I have read Lovecraft took bits of the original stories and completely rewrote them to fit his vision of his collected universe. There are a few stories written about the God The book really isn't typical of what you would think of as a Lovecraft book and that's because it's not. The stories in the book were written by different authors and Lovecraft made changes to them as he saw fit. To be honest I wish we had a chance to see the actual story written along side of what Lovecraft did. From what I have read Lovecraft took bits of the original stories and completely rewrote them to fit his vision of his collected universe. There are a few stories written about the God Yig and his influence on the world. As someone who doesn't like snakes, I loved the use of the god in the stories and how everything was tied together. I do want to note the following. Please remember the time frame these were written in and don't go all SJW over the stories because it won't matter in the long run. The main story of the book,"The Horror in the Museum" is probably the creepiest story in the book hands down. The description of the museum and everything in it gives you a such a full range of shock as to what was being described for that time. There are select stories I would skip reading, but that is just me. If you are a fan of Lovecraft and want to see how he worked with other authors, here is your chance.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Kevin

    This is the second volume in a set of 4, all of which are cheap as chips at £2.99 - which is an absolute bargain for the amount of content in each. Having decided I ought to improve my knowledge of Lovecraft's work, which a few months ago stood at approximately nil, I've set out to read all four of these collections. Now that I've started, I think it's fair to say I've become a little obsessed and, while forcing myself to take a break from Lovecraft to read some other things, I've already got my This is the second volume in a set of 4, all of which are cheap as chips at £2.99 - which is an absolute bargain for the amount of content in each. Having decided I ought to improve my knowledge of Lovecraft's work, which a few months ago stood at approximately nil, I've set out to read all four of these collections. Now that I've started, I think it's fair to say I've become a little obsessed and, while forcing myself to take a break from Lovecraft to read some other things, I've already got my mind set on volume 3. Lovecraft's prose is incredible when compared to that most modern horror writers. Often narrated in the first person - either as one primarily involved, or as a peripheral figure with a window of knowledge into the strange happenings - his descriptions are so detailed, dense and evocative that one gets drawn by the sheer earnestness of his accounts into an immersive suspension of disbelief. It is to be expected in a collection such as this that some tales are going to be better than others, and it certainly is the case that some are sublime while others are less so, although there is a consistency of a general sort that the stories contained within this book are really rather good.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Andrew

    Hmmmm....to be honest this does feel like a 'B' selection of Minecraft material..some of it is really good but some of it meanders and plods a bit and though undoubtedly the master of flowery and esoteric language many of these tales I feel the narrative is stilted by the slow build of atmosphere. Many of these tales where rewrites..co-writes or essentially tales ghost written for other names. As such there is a tone of the author generally but sometimes tales that don't engage as much as others h Hmmmm....to be honest this does feel like a 'B' selection of Minecraft material..some of it is really good but some of it meanders and plods a bit and though undoubtedly the master of flowery and esoteric language many of these tales I feel the narrative is stilted by the slow build of atmosphere. Many of these tales where rewrites..co-writes or essentially tales ghost written for other names. As such there is a tone of the author generally but sometimes tales that don't engage as much as others he has written...it took me quite some time to wade through this and if I'm honest times when I questioned my perseverance...however on reflection there's some enjoyable enough tales here. However this kind of feels like when a seventies rock band came out with a triple album inasmuch as the usual format is maybe extended a little ..and yet there's too much filler..as a smaller anthology this may have worked better.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Edward Taylor

    Being a huge HPL fan, I went into this one with my eyes wide open on what to expect of his ghost writings and aside from a few well-placed gems (Hazel Heald's "The Winged Death being one) there is little ground to cover here. When Lovecraft could not sell his own stories, he made money by editing (and sometimes completely rewriting) the stories of lesser known authors at the time to allow him to live by proxy through their (nee his) works. Some are good, some are bad, some are just plain pointle Being a huge HPL fan, I went into this one with my eyes wide open on what to expect of his ghost writings and aside from a few well-placed gems (Hazel Heald's "The Winged Death being one) there is little ground to cover here. When Lovecraft could not sell his own stories, he made money by editing (and sometimes completely rewriting) the stories of lesser known authors at the time to allow him to live by proxy through their (nee his) works. Some are good, some are bad, some are just plain pointless save for a few Ia! additions to make them part of the expanded mythos. If you are deep into Phil, you need to see what marvels he could work with other people' materials but overall, not needed to complete your collection.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Gints

    Like coming face to face with the squamous lords of the young antediluvian Earth, this book requires faith to deal with. It starts off with some of the weakest writing I've had the displeasure of acquainting myself with, and ends on some that is marginally better. But the middle is filled with all the hyperlocuous, suggestive and intermingling tangle of always reoccurring myths that you expect from a Lovecraft work. This being a collection of co-authored and ghostwritten stories comes with the a Like coming face to face with the squamous lords of the young antediluvian Earth, this book requires faith to deal with. It starts off with some of the weakest writing I've had the displeasure of acquainting myself with, and ends on some that is marginally better. But the middle is filled with all the hyperlocuous, suggestive and intermingling tangle of always reoccurring myths that you expect from a Lovecraft work. This being a collection of co-authored and ghostwritten stories comes with the assumption that your usual expectations of HPL will not be quite valid here. If you value your time and/or sanity, I suggest skipping the first 3 and the last 1 stories. The rest should find you well entertained.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Bob Zyla

    Some of these were total clunkers (I'm looking at you, The Last Test), and some were essentials. Many were important additions to the Cthulhu Mythos such as The Mound or The Curse of Yig, and some others were great examples of Cosmicism or Lovecraftian Nihilism such as Til A' the Seas or the Night Ocean. The primary revisions were story-by-story better than the secondary ones, which makes some sense, being that the latter were done more for the money than the art. This collection is still critic Some of these were total clunkers (I'm looking at you, The Last Test), and some were essentials. Many were important additions to the Cthulhu Mythos such as The Mound or The Curse of Yig, and some others were great examples of Cosmicism or Lovecraftian Nihilism such as Til A' the Seas or the Night Ocean. The primary revisions were story-by-story better than the secondary ones, which makes some sense, being that the latter were done more for the money than the art. This collection is still critical for the Lovecraft completionist. Other faves include Out of the Aeons, The Loved Dead, The Trap, and The Diary of Alonzo Typer. Eldritch!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Wayne Farmer

    A collection of stories by other people that were actually pretty much written by Lovecraft. The Cthulhu mythos is plain to see throughout the collection and I really enjoyed most of the stories. Highlights for me were the Harry Houdini story "Imprisoned with the Pharoahs", the one set in the wax museum "The Horror in the Museum" and the story about the gorgon in the painting at the creepy old house "Medusa's Coil". Overall some good creepy stories and an interesting look at how a writer can ear A collection of stories by other people that were actually pretty much written by Lovecraft. The Cthulhu mythos is plain to see throughout the collection and I really enjoyed most of the stories. Highlights for me were the Harry Houdini story "Imprisoned with the Pharoahs", the one set in the wax museum "The Horror in the Museum" and the story about the gorgon in the painting at the creepy old house "Medusa's Coil". Overall some good creepy stories and an interesting look at how a writer can earn a few dollars writing for other people without any credit.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Amy Mills

    Enjoyable, though rather pulpy. Arguably, the "foreigner" is the hero of the piece [may not have been Lovecraft's intention with the character, but it's a reasonable interpretation nonetheless]. One wonders (view spoiler)[how the specimens were preserved, and does wax cover the smell of formaldehyde (hide spoiler)] ?

  18. 5 out of 5

    Anariel

    Surprisingly good collection of short stories. There are still familiar Cthulhu myths intertwined into most of the stories, but there is also something fresh and somewhat different about most of them. Definitely a must read for all true fans of Lovecraft

  19. 4 out of 5

    An Xin

    The exhibits of a horror museum may not all be just the crazed fancies of the owner's strange imagination, as an unlucky man will find out. Worth checking out, a small tale featuring the old ones as expected.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Jim

    A nice collection of horror stories by authors that are primarily clients or friends of HPL, who either wrote the entire story, made extensive revisions, or merely edited the story.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Dawn Rainbolt

    A collection of over a dozen Lovecraft stories (Volume 2). I really enjoyed some, while others not so much. Most of these stories were ghost written my Lovecraft and published under other authors (including one 'by' Harry Houdini, the escapist!) or never published at all. The best stories (to me) were: Imprisoned with the Pharaohs (getting stuck in an Egyptian pyramid), The Mound (discovering the secret of what's underneath an ancient haunted mound in Nebraska), Medusa's Coil (an old house haunt A collection of over a dozen Lovecraft stories (Volume 2). I really enjoyed some, while others not so much. Most of these stories were ghost written my Lovecraft and published under other authors (including one 'by' Harry Houdini, the escapist!) or never published at all. The best stories (to me) were: Imprisoned with the Pharaohs (getting stuck in an Egyptian pyramid), The Mound (discovering the secret of what's underneath an ancient haunted mound in Nebraska), Medusa's Coil (an old house haunted by the presence of the former terrifying heiress), The Horror in the Museum (scary story about sleeping the night in a wax museum), Winged Death (revenge tale of death by stinging insect), Out of the Aeons (another museum, this one haunted by the presence of a Polynesian mummy) and Within the Walls of Eryx (colonisation on Venus that leads to a terrifying tale of being trapped in a labyrinth. This is one of the few written stories that actually scared the life out of me, and its probably not what you'd expect!). In typical Lovecraft fashion, the real world is woven with tales of aliens, Old Ones, gods like Yig, Cthulu, Shun-Niggurath, Ghatanthoa and more. Scifi, horror, mystery, and fantasy all wrapped up in one. Most of these stories are shorter than Vol 1, between 10-25 pages. Usually, there's a narrator, a bit too curious for their own good (reminiscent of contemporary and influencer MR James), often telling a tale to someone, listening to someone else's tale, or keeping a diary about their terrible experiences, who gets mixed up in something terrifying and supernatural. Some of the tales, esp. the shorter ones, run together. But in general, a great dive into Lovecraft's more obscure and oft overlooked writings, with a solid intro to tell you the backstory of some of the tales in this book. If you're a fan of Lovecraft, most of these tales will be fascinating!! However, if you're just getting into Lovecraft, I'd say start with the more classic tales in Vol. 1, which is called Whisperer in Darkness (notably, the stories I recommend are: At the Mountains of Madness, the Call of Cthulu, the Case of Charles Dexter Moore and the Dunwich Horror).

  22. 4 out of 5

    Matthew

    If the first volume of Lovecraft's stories contained many tales that were overlong, the second volume contains many that are tantalisingly short, and somehow I wanted them to continue. There are a few scrappy stories that don't amount to much, but the general quality of stories is very high. This is all the more surprising, as the stories were written in collaboration with other authors. Intriguingly, one tale was written in collaboration with Harry Houdini and contains an escapologist (no prizes If the first volume of Lovecraft's stories contained many tales that were overlong, the second volume contains many that are tantalisingly short, and somehow I wanted them to continue. There are a few scrappy stories that don't amount to much, but the general quality of stories is very high. This is all the more surprising, as the stories were written in collaboration with other authors. Intriguingly, one tale was written in collaboration with Harry Houdini and contains an escapologist (no prizes for guessing who this represents) who falls foul of superstitious Egyptians and encounters long-dead gods. As in the first volume, portrayals of other races and nations are essentially racist, though there are a few prominent female characters here who we can identify with. It would be stretching a point to say that Lovecraft's stories possess a sense of justice or poetic justice. However, there is often a strange morality that runs through them, however imperfectly. The forces of darkness are generally destroyed or contained, a plot necessity since otherwise there would be nobody to narrate the stories, and nobody to listen to the narration. However, the human agents are also frequently hoisted by their own petard. Those who become consumed by study of the darker forces will be destroyed or corrupted by them. Vicious revengers will fall victim to their instruments of revenge. Avaricious adventurers will become trapped by their own greed. The stories also touch on the famous Cthulhu Mythos. However, whereas each tale in The Whisperer in Darkness adds to our knowledge of that horrific world, here the stories are not so much extensions as side-orders, giving us a little extra information, but not developing our understanding of that world. Overall, the stories are a notch down on the first volume, but with many exciting moments that make this another good read.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Leothefox

    I picked this collection up at a Borders books on a trip to California years ago, just before catching a plane home. I'd already been a fan of Lovecraft for a long time and owned some of the other Del Rey collections, but this is the first one I read straight through. Since Lovecraft is "revising" (really collaborating and in some cases writing entirely) these stories, there's some variance in quality. It starts off really strong with the Elizabeth Berkely collaborations "The Green Meadow" and "T I picked this collection up at a Borders books on a trip to California years ago, just before catching a plane home. I'd already been a fan of Lovecraft for a long time and owned some of the other Del Rey collections, but this is the first one I read straight through. Since Lovecraft is "revising" (really collaborating and in some cases writing entirely) these stories, there's some variance in quality. It starts off really strong with the Elizabeth Berkely collaborations "The Green Meadow" and "The Crawling Chaos", both highly poetic haunting works of horror/fantasy. The title story is, of course, excellent as is Hazel Heald's "Out of the Aeons" (which, as a bonus, is amusingly xenophobic to the point of being a grocery list of nationalities). The secondary revisions contain some weaker material, C.M. Eddy Jr.'s "Ashes" was an especially poor entry, being a squeaky clean mad scientist story with an awkward romance. Some of the others have faded from my memory (give me a break, it was 7 years ago). My favorite by far is "The Mound", which Lovecraft ghost wrote based on a very short prompt from Zealia Bishop. To me, this story is what Lovecraft is all about: a haunting record out of the past telling of unspeakable malevolent worlds that are lost and yet too close for comfort. Really, this story takes you right there, right into the cosmic madness and for that I think it deserves more attention. I put it right up there with "At the Mountains of Madness" and "Dream Quest of Unknown Kadath" for unnameable, indescribable, unbeatable Lovecraft awesomeness. I also rather liked "Till A' the Seas" by R.H. Barlow, which had a lovely finality about it, which I guess is why I thought it was odd that it wasn't put last. But these collections never seem to end on one of the stories I especially liked. This was a great collection on the whole and I had a very good time reading it... plus the John Jude Palencar cover is freakin' sweet!

  24. 5 out of 5

    Gaze Santos

    Just to be clear, the cover says by H.P Lovecraft, and to a technical degree, they are mostly right... Let me explain. Any H.P. Lovecraft fan can tell you that his works were't exactly lucrative in his lifetime. He had his circle of acolytes, to be sure, but he was eking out a living as a writer. As explained in the introduction to this book, a large part, if not most, of his income came as a revisionist and editor of other people's written work. This is a collection of some of the more inspired Just to be clear, the cover says by H.P Lovecraft, and to a technical degree, they are mostly right... Let me explain. Any H.P. Lovecraft fan can tell you that his works were't exactly lucrative in his lifetime. He had his circle of acolytes, to be sure, but he was eking out a living as a writer. As explained in the introduction to this book, a large part, if not most, of his income came as a revisionist and editor of other people's written work. This is a collection of some of the more inspired ones. Basically, ones where he took his client's ideas and wrote the story for them.The book is divided into Primary Revisions, and Secondary Revisions. The Primary Revisions are ones were Lovecraft basically wrote the story, taking his client ideas as inspiration. These tend to read like one of Lovecraft's own originals, with many even being part of the Cthulhu mythos. It is in these stories that we first hear mention of Yig, the serpentine God, who is often mentioned in Lovecraft inspired stories, but not in any of H.P. Lovecraft originals. Well, this collection solves the mystery behind that. Some of the notable ones, in my opinion, were "The Mound," "Medusa's Coil," and of course the title story "The Horror in the Museum." The secondary revisions are more varied in their style, and it becomes clear that Lovecraft tried to keep his client's writing more or less intact than in the first batch, to varying degrees of success. "The Tree on the Hill" was particularly memorable to me. I remember it being very spectrally beautiful. An interesting collection, but only recommended to true fans of Lovecraft's work. This is not his best, and arguably not even his. Although, as August Derlerth says in one of the introductions, "Lovecraft wrote the most memorable parts in the stories anyways."

  25. 5 out of 5

    Chris

    It's always difficult to rate short story collections, because while there are inevitably some gems, there is also invariably some dross. That is certainly true of this second volume of Lovecraft's short stories. This collection covers those stories which are not generally considered to be part of Lovecraft's Mythos Cycle, the series of loosely connected tales where C'thulhu and the Elder Gods make their first appearance. That said, several of the stories, such as The Curse of Yig, The Mound, th It's always difficult to rate short story collections, because while there are inevitably some gems, there is also invariably some dross. That is certainly true of this second volume of Lovecraft's short stories. This collection covers those stories which are not generally considered to be part of Lovecraft's Mythos Cycle, the series of loosely connected tales where C'thulhu and the Elder Gods make their first appearance. That said, several of the stories, such as The Curse of Yig, The Mound, the titular story -- The Horror in the Museum, and The Diary of Alonzo Typer in this collection that do touch on the Mythos. Several of the Mythos mainstays, such as the Book of Eibon and Nameless Cults, make their first appearances in these stories. However, there are also other stories completely unrelated to the Mythos cycle. Overall, the collection seems to be fairly random, without any unifying theme apart from their authorship. The book would have been enhanced if the tales had been organized into Mythos and Non-Mythos stories, as I've seen in other H.P. Lovecraft collections, or if one or the other had simply been omitted. My favorite story in the collection was Till A' the Seas, a short mediation on the last day of the last surviving human on an Earth destroyed by global warming (not man-made global warming in the story, but poignant nonetheless). I would suggest skipping The Green Meadow and Poetry and the Gods, neither of which made much sense.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Bekki Pate

    To say I "enjoyed reading" this book is a bit misleading - I found it quite difficult to read - not because it was in any way boring, but because the language was a bit more flowery than I am used to, with words that seemed to be crammed into the pages. I kept picking it up and putting it down in favour of "easier" reads. I'd had it on my list for about a year and decided to just get in there and read the thing. Some stories I found a bit too "sci-fi" for me, but most of them I absolutely loved, To say I "enjoyed reading" this book is a bit misleading - I found it quite difficult to read - not because it was in any way boring, but because the language was a bit more flowery than I am used to, with words that seemed to be crammed into the pages. I kept picking it up and putting it down in favour of "easier" reads. I'd had it on my list for about a year and decided to just get in there and read the thing. Some stories I found a bit too "sci-fi" for me, but most of them I absolutely loved, and some of them scared me to death - especially The Mound and Medusa's coil. Lovecraft just has a knack for taking something grotesque and turning it against you, so that after reading you're checking in cupboards and under your bed for monsters. So when I say it was a struggle - I don't mean that the stories were bad - I mean that you have to absolutely tune everything else out of your brain, sit uninterrupted in silence somewhere and take in every single word, and once you have achieved that - what reveals itself is a beautifully woven collection of stories. Some people may read Lovecraft easily - breezing through each page - I am not one of them unfortunately. So in summary - a well worth while read, but not the type of book you can pick up and read anywhere.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Marissa

    As far as I know, this is the best way to read all (well, very nearly all) of HPL's collaborations and revisions. (Notably missing are "Under the Pyramids," "In the Walls of Eryx," and "Through the Gates of the Silver Key," which can be found in other HPL anthologies). This edition uses ST Joshi's corrected texts, and I feel like there was a missed opportunity to get Joshi to annotate, as he did with the fantastic Penguin Classic HPL books. As for the stories themselves... well, they vary. Great As far as I know, this is the best way to read all (well, very nearly all) of HPL's collaborations and revisions. (Notably missing are "Under the Pyramids," "In the Walls of Eryx," and "Through the Gates of the Silver Key," which can be found in other HPL anthologies). This edition uses ST Joshi's corrected texts, and I feel like there was a missed opportunity to get Joshi to annotate, as he did with the fantastic Penguin Classic HPL books. As for the stories themselves... well, they vary. Greatly. Some of them could stand among HPL's best, and others are utterly forgettable. Diehard HPL fans should definitely read it, but casual horror fans who aren't particularly invested in Lovecraft's work can give it a pass. I'd like to make two quick notes on stories that stood out to me. 1. I know HPL's racism isn't exactly a big surprise or secret to anyone, but "Medusa's Coil" was so shockingly racist that I didn't know how to react. I just ended up choking out shocked laughter at that ending. 2. HPL was pretty much asexual, and his characters were usually stuffy old bachelors with no interest in women. Tentacle hentai jokes aside, HPL isn't really known for anything sexual. So the very obvious necrophilia in "The Loved Dead" came as a pretty big surprise.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Peregrine 12

    Lovecraft's horror is undoubtedly one of the main influences on modern day US horror stories, but this collection of stories wasn't all that great. I wanted to like these stories, but I just couldn't push through this entire collection - they seemed lacking in suspense, uninteresting to me. I'm not a die-hard Lovecraft fan. I picked this one up because I enjoy the atmosphere Lovecraft creates in his horror stories (even if the tension isn't always there), so I was disappointed to learn that H. P. Lovecraft's horror is undoubtedly one of the main influences on modern day US horror stories, but this collection of stories wasn't all that great. I wanted to like these stories, but I just couldn't push through this entire collection - they seemed lacking in suspense, uninteresting to me. I'm not a die-hard Lovecraft fan. I picked this one up because I enjoy the atmosphere Lovecraft creates in his horror stories (even if the tension isn't always there), so I was disappointed to learn that H. P. Lovecraft did not write any of the stories in this compendium. A lot of the ideas put forward in these stories are really cool, no doubt about it, but for the most part the stories are overly long and unsuspenseful. That said, 'Horror In the Museum' and 'The Mound' were my favorites due to their early original ideas. Note: My copy of this book is the 1976 Ballantine reprint; some of the stories mentioned in others' reviews do not appear in my copy. Not sure if we're all reading the same collection here.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Savannah B

    Lovecraft had a fantastic imagination and set the mood of his stories with expert fiendishness, but something that always bothers me when I read his work is the telling-not-showing. He seems to think we should believe sea creatures with fish eyes and tentacles to be the most horrible of all evils and, if we don't, we should just trust his characters when they assure us that something was unspeakably evil, or hideous beyond description, or more wretched and horrible than the worst thing on Earth Lovecraft had a fantastic imagination and set the mood of his stories with expert fiendishness, but something that always bothers me when I read his work is the telling-not-showing. He seems to think we should believe sea creatures with fish eyes and tentacles to be the most horrible of all evils and, if we don't, we should just trust his characters when they assure us that something was unspeakably evil, or hideous beyond description, or more wretched and horrible than the worst thing on Earth ever, all of which strikes me as unimpressive and lazy. I really want to find his lore as unbelievably, unimaginably terrifying as he seems to think I should, but it's too bad he can never really take me there.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Nadia Zainol

    an excellent collection of Lovecraft's revisions

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