Thoughts on Lovecraft

So, I’m about 300 pages into “The Complete Fiction of H.P. Lovecraft” (the hardcover addition, because I don’t care for and don’t own any electronic readers), right after “Under the Pyramids”. So, about a third of the way through. It’s worth taking some time to comment on what I think of it so far.

First, as I did know when I bought it, most of Lovecraft’s work are short stories. The problem with this is that I already knew that I’m not a big fan of short stories. I tend to find that they can’t develop things enough to make for a really interesting story, although there are some that work. So far, I think that Lovecraft’s stories mostly work, because he likes to include a lot of detail in his stories. Sometimes, too much, so that instead of wondering where this all came from and what the backstory was I ended up just wanting him to get to the point.

The early stories tended to be less scary, as they tended to be related more as stories and seemed to rely on concepts that had been done to death elsewhere — but likely not before Lovecraft did it — and mostly described them. However, just as my favourite parts of “The Blair Witch Project” were the documentary scenes where they were relating the story and not the purportedly scary parts in the woods, some of my favourite stories were the ones where he just relates a tale or backstory and isn’t trying to scare the reader … as long as he doesn’t overdo the details. Also, in later stories he seems to better capture the ideas of horror and insanity that would make him famous, and thus provides more disturbing/scary stories than ones that are just, well, kinda freaky.

So far, it’s mostly entertaining. We’ll see how that goes over the next few weeks.

3 Responses to “Thoughts on Lovecraft”

  1. Thoughts on “Color Out of Space” | The Verbose Stoic Says:

    […] a big fan of the “Arkham Horror” board game, and that and the complete collection of Lovecraft works that I started and never finished make up the totality if my experience with Lovecraft and his works.  So I was interesting in […]

  2. Shallow Thoughts on “The Divine Comedy” | The Verbose Stoic Says:

    […] setting time aside to read some of the classic works that I’d had lying around for a while, including the complete works of Lovecraft that I was reading about five or six years ago and the complete works of Shakespeare that I bought at the same time, but I thought I’d start […]

  3. Final Thoughts on H.P. Lovecraft | The Verbose Stoic Says:

    […] So, a while ago I had bought and started reading the complete works of H.P. Lovecraft.  And by a while ago I mean about six years.  I had been reading a little at a time and got about halfway through before getting distracted by other things and dropping it.  I had always intended to come back to it, and when I put a push on reading and watching some of the classics it started gnawing at me again.  So when I bailed on doing any kind of programming or writing projects in January, I decided to pick it up and slot it into that timeslot.  And then when I reshuffled things in preparation for returning to working from the office in September I found a lot to read it and other things like that in (while I was going to be doing laundry, specifically).  And doing that, I managed to get all the way through it and figured I should comment on it to wrap it up. […]

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