Have you wished to see H.P. Lovecraft, the daddy of cosmic horror, and determine what the commotion is all about? In the end, he made the iconic Cthulhu and inspired a generation of founders like Neil Gaiman and Guillermo Del Toro. But there are a couple of significant hurdles to getting started using the Best H P Lovecraft Books.
Where the hell do you begin? H.P. Lovecraft composed over 100 tales!
The writer is best known for creating Cthulhu. Lovecraft’s writing style has some fantastic points and a few weak points. At his best, he is dynamite at building settings. In his worst, his dialog can be clunky, and he dumps exposition such as he stole it needs to stash it into your garage.
And let’s not play coy regarding the eldritch elephant in the room: there are no two ways about it, H. P. Lovecraft was racist, xenophobic, and classist. He was an ingenious, legendary, and influential author whose heritage is complex by his apparent affinity for white supremacy, directing his dread of non-Anglo-Saxons into tales of individual creatures, alien invaders, also the fear of the unknown.
Below is a list of HP Lovecraft books Pennbook recommended reading for you:
Table of Contents
- 1 Top Rated Best H P Lovecraft Books To Read
- 1.1 The Ultimate Collection
- 1.2 At the Mountains of Madness
- 1.3 The Shadow Over Innsmouth
- 1.4 The Whisperer in Darkness
- 1.5 The Colour Out Of Space
- 1.6 The Call Of Cthulhu and Other Weird Stories
- 1.7 Dagon
- 1.8 The Zombie Stories of H. P. Lovecraft
- 1.9 The Rats in the Walls
- 1.10 The Dunwich Horror & Others
- 1.11 History of the Necronomicon 1938
- 1.12 The Thing On The Doorstep
- 1.13 H.P. Lovecraft: The Complete Fiction
- 1.14 Tales of the Cthulhu Mythos
- 1.15 The Dream Cycle of H.P. Lovecraft: Dreams of Terror and Death
- 1.16 The Shadow Out of Time
- 1.17 The Silver Key and Through the Gates of the Silver Key
- 1.18 The Alchemist
- 1.19 The Music of Erich Zann
- 1.20 The Dream – Quest of Unknown Kadath
- 1.21 The Mound
- 1.22 Imprisoned with the Pharaohs
- 1.23 The Case of Charles Dexter Ward
- 1.24 From Beyond
- 1.25 The Haunter of the Dark
- 2 So You Want to Read Lovecraft: Here’s Where to Start
Top Rated Best H P Lovecraft Books To Read
Lovecraft’s mix of weird fiction, Gothic horror, and dark dream has had a lasting effect on subscribers worldwide. His works steeped in sci-fi, along with his doctrine named Cosmicism. The concept of Cosmicism, a literary style created by HP Lovecraft, is mostly the fundamental motif in his functions.
HP Lovecraft novels point outside that the insignificance of man related to the universe. He states, “There are animals in the cosmos significantly more intelligent and effective than humankind.”
Here are the best HP Lovecraft stories:
The Ultimate Collection
160 Stories, Poems, Letters, and Essays, the only real downside of the book is that it only comes from 1 arrangement: Ebook. However, which also means that it is nearly free, there is no cumbersome battle attempting to drag around a 1,000+ page novel. You save room on your bookshelf. Most importantly, you have the nearly finished collection of Howard Phillip Lovecraft’s writing ultimately.
What more can you possibly ask for? Let it also be mentioned that one reason this book reached number 1 and did not wind up besides another complete assortment is are at this is a book that has been created to be read in an internet format.
There are not likely to be many mistakes when switching a physical record to an online form, such as with The Entire Lovecraft Collection.
At the Mountains of Madness
The other one in the best H.P Lovecraft books is At the Mountains of Madness is written throughout February and March 1931, Weird Tales editor Farnsworth Wright had refused the novella that same season as a result of its length. But, Madness’s Mountains would later be printed in three installments in Astounding Stories from February to April 1936.
Cinematic in scope, there is very little doubt that many of Lovecraft’s work had reached its height in the time of its book. Regrettably, A founding Stories paid the writer, however, a pittance for its epic bit.
At The Mountains of Madness, one of the main expository works on the Old Ones is dubbed Elder Things by the explorers when they find more evidence. Dyer and a colleague find the remains of large, inhuman architecture. They also discover etchings that describe the evolution of the Elder Things and suggest their eventual migration to the ocean.
At The Mountains of Madness describes an unsuccessful (to put it mildly) Antarctic expedition as told by Professor William Dyer. They were told in the first person standpoint of William Dyer, a professor in, yes, you guessed it, Miskatonic University. The geologist leads a much publicized trip to Antarctica. To the dismay of these travelers, they find the remains of a once great culture deteriorated from the H.P. Lovecraft universe.
This one dropped because of a war involving the natives, the Mi-go race, and the titular main character of the record’s final installment.
The Shadow Over Innsmouth
Composed between November – December of 1931, The Shadow Over Innsmouth first emerged in a small press book by Visionary Publishing Co. in 1936 and after more after Lovecraft’s death Strange Tales in January 1942. It was the author’s only story to be printed in book form during his life.
This overdue H.P. Lovecraft masterpiece concentrates on an undercover student on an antiquarian tour using a decaying New England village, which just so happens to be home to an alien race called the Deep Ones. It’s here that these aquatic creatures are interbreeding with all the residents of their titular seaport city and spawning amphibian hybrids.
As a result of Innsmouth’s culture’s corrosion in the hands of their villainous thieves, the racist and xenophobic topics are incontrovertible. But, possibly, the wicked depicted isn’t so much caused by blending between different racial groups. Instead, humankind’s greed and search for immortality can be represented in the Egyptian jewelry and relics exhibited in the city’s museum.
The Whisperer in Darkness
Composed between February and September of 1930, The Whisperer in Darkness was first published in Weird Tales in August 1931 and marks a proper turn to science fiction for Lovecraft. Yet more, it is not a fundamental portion of the Cthulhu Mythos. Still, it will refer to the everyday fictional world and also introduce the Mi-go, an extraterrestrial race of fungoid creatures.
This bit is told through the eyes of Albert N. Wilmarth, a teacher of literature in Lovecraft’s literary Miskatonic University, which will be found in the fictional city of Arkham at Essex County, Massachusetts. Following Wilmarth receiving a letter from Henry Wentworth Akeley, his correspondent at Vermont and fellow folklorist, the assistant professor starts to investigate the strange events that followed in the aftermath of the early Vermont flooding 1927.
In his letters, Akeley cautions of the formerly described aliens and human representatives that worshipped many beings, for example, Cthulhu and Nyarlathotep. At the time of publication, Lovecraft had established those things in their short stories.
The Colour Out Of Space
Composed in March of 1927, immediately following the publication of The Case of Charles Dexter Ward, and throughout the final revision of his essay Supernatural Horror in Literature, The Color Out of Space was published in Amazing Stories in September 1927.
Told in the first-person view of an undercover surveyor out of Boston, it recounts the narrator’s efforts to piece together the narrative of a region known by the natives as the blasted heath from the wild mountains west of the formerly more fictional city of Arkham, Massachusetts. The blasted heath is a term from John Milton’s Paradise Lost and William Shakespeare’s Macbeth.
As it happens, a meteorite that never chilled crashed there three decades prior. This induces the plant to develop big but tasteless and compels animals to go insane and even perish.
Lovecraft said that the inspiration for his personal favorite story came in the recently constructed Scituate Reservoir at Rhode Island. Being the most significant body of water from the country, the reservoir flooded much of Scituate’s town and compelled the vast majority of its occupants to relocate.
The Call Of Cthulhu and Other Weird Stories
If you are dipping your feet into H.P. Lovecraft books, you may get this one earlier instead of later. The Call Of Cthulhu and Other Weird Stories is Lovecraft’s most famous creation: Cthulhu, the high priest of the Great Old Ones, dreaming and waiting beneath the sea.
This narrative has all of the hallmarks of a fantastic Lovecraft story: haunted fantasies, non-Euclidean geometry (because there is something spooky when triangles are all incorrect), along with also a strong likelihood that the narrator has gone bonkers.
The Call of Cthulhu and Other Weird Stories is told from the perspective of Francis Wayland Thurston. It recounts Thurston’s discovery of Cthulhu and the Cult of Cthulhu. Also, it describes the horrors of a crew of sailors who discovered R’lyeh, inadvertently releasing Cthulhu.
And bless you in case you’re able to pronounce Cthulhu how Lovecraft planned: Khlûl′-loo.
A too short story, maddening narrative, Dagon, is a fantastic introduction to Lovecraft’s style of writing. The narrative centers across the written account of an undercover person of maritime history, now profoundly addicted to morphine.
He starts by describing how he dropped into the sea as a freight boat passenger during World War I. The ship is brought down with a German sea raider, but he escapes and drifts across the Pacific Ocean. He’s drained of power and confused at that stage, not able to use his mental faculties till he pops up on some odd, foul area, which has many fish carcasses. He speculates that a volcano could have increased the property from the seafloor.
What he sees and experiences from then on will spoil the narrative, but the detail is upsetting. As he observes a number of his findings, something haunting emerges in the water.
Dagon is a reference to some Philistine fish deity, which Lovecraft’s story spins into a fantastic work. While it doesn’t directly tie to his Cthulhu Mythos, there are a few connections, making this an excellent first read.
The Zombie Stories of H. P. Lovecraft
These zombie tales include Lovecraft’s reanimator mini-cycle, beginning with his most well-known work Herbert West Reanimator, the foundation for its cult 1985 movie Re-Animator.
A number of these tales are, to put it bluntly, Lovecraft’s satirical take of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, even though he does include many of his twists into the genre.
The publication also contains Cool Air and Pickman’s Model, two of my favorites. These tales continue the subject of an insane scientist researching new civic frontiers to discover something horrible.
The Rats in the Walls
Composed in August and September of 1923, The Rats in the Walls was first published in Weird Stories in March 1924. It’s also viewed by many as a nod to Lovecraft’s literary star Edgar Allan Poe and his short story The Tell Tale Heart, which was first released in James Russell Lowell’s The Pioneer in January 1843.
Within this dark story, the last living heir to the De la Poer household goes from Massachusetts into his new property in England, the run down Exham Priory. Still mourning the departure of his only son, who died during World War I, the narrator fixes up Priory. Then he starts to hear, together with his kitty, the noise of rodents behind the walls and later learns he comes from a long line of cannibals who increased generations of human cattle underground. Like his ancestors, the guy’s strange taste gets the best of him.
Yet more, Lovecraft’s racial attitudes are brought into question, because among the narrator’s cats are called Nigger Man. The writer had, in reality, possessed a dear cat of the identical title until 1904.
The Dunwich Horror & Others
The Dunwich Horror follows the development of Wilbur Whateley. This short story is relatively lightweight to get a Lovecraftian set, with just eight tales, but do not let this prevent you from picking this up superb introduction into Lovecraft’s mysterious, bone chilling works.
Inside, you will discover the Case of Charles Dexter Ward, The Other Gods, Herbert West Reanimator (which had an excellent movie made from it in 1985). And naturally, The Dunwich Horror are fantastic reads and perfect for if you do not need to fall asleep. The Dunwich Horror prominently features Necronomicon, a critical text from H.P. Lovecraft books that frequently appear in connection to the Old Ones.
History of the Necronomicon 1938
Among the most frequently possessed collections of Lovecraft’s works, the Necronomicon bits collectively the Cthulhu Mythos in its entirety, which can be an adamant set to piece together.
The tales are all entwined through different references, personality experiences, and significant details despite being composed many decades apart, with many stories being written in between. Also, however, The Necronomicon additionally includes a great majority of HP’s tales since they were initially published, making this a precious part of this Lovecraft stories collection.
The Thing On The Doorstep
This HP Lovecraft narrative deals with a recurring motif in Lovecraft’s job putting the consciousness into the body. Additionally, coping with some of the worst anxieties regarding union and individuality, this particular story is about a guy named Daniel Upton, who finds his buddy after marrying isn’t his typical self. This narrative has ties to THE SHADOW OVER INNSMOUTH since the woman who wed Upton’s buddy comes from this haunted city.
H.P. Lovecraft: The Complete Fiction
From the 1920s and ’30s, H.P. Lovecraft initiated a new sort of bizarre fiction that fused supernatural terror elements with the concepts of visionary science fiction. Lovecraft’s stories of cosmic horror revolutionized contemporary horror fiction and made him the most influential American writer of weird stories because of Edgar Allan Poe.
H.P. Lovecraft: The Complete Fiction collects for the first time in one volume all of Lovecraft’s revolutionary fiction: The Call of Cthulhu, The Dreams in the Witch House, The Haunter of the Dark, In the Mountains of Madness,mThe Shadow out of Time, The Shadow over Innsmouth, the full-length books The Case of Charles Dexter Ward and The Dream Quest of Unknown Kadath, and Lots of others.
H.P. Lovecraft: The Complete Fiction is one of Barnes & Noble’s Collectible Editions classics. Each volume features authoritative texts from the world’s best writers in richly designed bonded leather bindings with identifying gilt edging along with a cute ribbon bookmark. Decorative, durable, and classic, these novels provide hours of enjoyment to readers young and older and are an essential foundation for any home library.
Tales of the Cthulhu Mythos
Howard Phillips Lovecraft forever altered the face of horror, fantasy, and sci-fi with a remarkable set of tales as powerful as the works of Poe, Tolkien, and Edgar Rice Burroughs. His terrifying mythology established a gateway between the known world and early measurement of otherworldly terror, whose unspeakable denizens and colossal arenas fear Cthulhu, Yog Sothoth, the Plateau of Leng, the Mountains of Madness have made him a permanent place in the background of this gruesome.
In Tales of the Cthulhu Mythos, a pantheon of horror and fantasy’s greatest writers pay tribute to this master of the macabre with a group of original stories set from the fearsome Lovecraft tradition.
The Dream Cycle of H.P. Lovecraft: Dreams of Terror and Death
The Dream Cycle of H.P. Lovecraft: Dreams of Terror and Death is the main story featuring Randolph Carter, a common protagonist in Lovecraft’s Dream Cycle.
This volume collects, for the first time, the Whole Dream Cycle: Dreams of Terror and Death created by H. P. Lovecraft, the master of twentieth century Terror, including some of the most fantastic tales:
THE DOOM THAT CAME TO SARNATH – Hate, genocide, and a deadly curse.
THE NAMELESS CITY – Death lies beneath the shifting sands, in a story linking the Dream Cycle with the legendary Cthulhu Mythos.
THE CATS OF ULTHAR – In Ulthar, no man may kill a cat and woe unto any who attempts.
THE DREAM QUEST OF UNKNOWN KADATH -The epic nightmare adventure with tendrils stretching across the whole Dream Cycle.
And Twenty More tales of Surreal Terror.
The Shadow Out of Time
The Shadow Out of Time stands out for its deep dive into Yithian culture, history and explaining their original cosmic purpose to study all forms of civilization in space and time. Yithians accumulated their knowledge in a library city, where they lived for millions and years later.
This library city is no longer there by the chronology of Peaslee’s life. Our hero can temporarily view their past because he shares his mind with a Yithian. Shadow Out of Time, one of Lovecraft’s rare works, is a work in which an alien or monster species are not depicted as outright evil a rare respite from his usual xenophobic sentiments.
The Silver Key and Through the Gates of the Silver Key
“You see, I have really learned pretty much what happened to Carter after he left his car with the Silver Key at sunset on that seventh of October, four years ago.”
These two Dream Cycle stories will be combined as they continue the story of Randolph Carter. The Silver Key begins sometime after the events of Kadath. Carter discovers that he does not possess the key to dreamland: whereas he used to have vivid, imaginative dreams every night, recent scientific discoveries have made him completely uninspired. Carter wants to regain his dreaming abilities, so he sets out to find an ornate silver key to unlock the gate of dreams.
Another juvenile fiction was written by Lovecraft when he was just 15 years old and published later. It is a significant improvement over The Beast in the Cave. Antoine, the last Comtes de C-, tells us about the curse that his family has placed upon him. All men must die before the age of 32. His ancestor, who incorrectly assumed that the medieval alchemist had killed his son, unjustly murdered Michel Mauvis years ago.
Charles le Sorcerer Michel’s son placed a curse upon his line. One week before Antoine’s death, he discovers a trapdoor in his estate and meets a surprising older man. It’s not surprising to the reader, but Lovecraft feels the need for explanation.
The Music of Erich Zann
An American student reflects upon his futile efforts to find Rue d’Auseil. He used to be able to hear the viol playing of an old genius. As it turned out, Erich Zann wasn’t able to hear and could not hear French; he was mute. The narrator still forms a strange friendship with the composer.
The strange harmonies and haunting sounds that he hears in the old man’s room puzzle him, and his investigations give the story its forward thrust. The Music of Erich Zann works because Lovecraft keeps just enough back to make the reader feel close and distant from what happened.
The Dream – Quest of Unknown Kadath
We now move on to the Dream Cycle, a series in which Lovecraft explores supernatural phenomena through dreams and the subconscious. Randolph Carter is a scholar and an antiquarian who seeks to discover the Dreamlands, an alternative dimension that can only be accessed through dreams.
Carter has dreamt of a magnificent city on the horizon many times. He’s never been close to it. Carter wants to ask the Dream Gods for help. But to do this, he will first need to locate Kadath where they live. Carter must navigate the unknown terrain and interact with the Dreamlands’ many odd inhabitants, not knowing who he wants to help or who he would rather harm.
Kadath resembles our worst nightmares, from the feline-filled city Ulthar (where there is no law against killing cats) to the onyx nation Of Inganok. It wouldn’t be Lovecraft if Carter didn’t get ominous warnings to stop his quest. But overall, the novella is more imaginative than frightening. This imaginative adventure will appeal to those who loved Prince Caspian or A Wrinkle in Time.
The Mound, another Lovecraft classic novella, is about a rich but less benign non-human culture. It’s the Ken-yan, an underground civilization that has an above-ground portal hidden behind a mound. Our narrator discovered the portal, along with a Spanish language scroll that gives an account of Panfilo de Zamacona and Nunez, the last person to visit Ken-yan.
Zamacona met the K’nyanians on an expedition almost 400 years ago, and they accepted him as their own. As Zamacona began to learn more about the history of these barbaric cultures, he became increasingly afraid of what they might do. The scroll’s story ends abruptly, and it is not clear if Zamacona was able to escape. The narrator dismisses the tale as an elaborate hoax. A creature of unimaginable atrocity awaits him when he returns the following day to the Mound.
Imprisoned with the Pharaohs
It’s a great way to end our list! Lovecraft worked with Harry Houdini on Imprisoned with The Pharaohs. Although it is based on a true story Lovecraft, much like his often skeptical narrators, believed Houdini’s account was fabricated and took many artistic licenses while writing it.
This tale tells of Houdini’s misadventures while on vacation in Egypt. It begins with a Cairo tour during which he must end a fight. His tour guide is impressed by Houdini’s determination and invites him to a boxing match at the Great Pyramid of Giza. However, it soon becomes clear that this is a plot to drug and kidnap him.
Houdini doesn’t seem to be bothered by the fact that he is now awake. He easily slips out of the ropes that he was bound in (clearly, the kidnappers did not know who they were dealing with). This is not the only problem he faces. He’s now stuck in a temple beneath the Great Sphinx and must confront all manner of ancient Egyptian horrors to escape.
His contributions to horror literature have been invaluable. They will be a guide for horror writers for years to come.
The Case of Charles Dexter Ward
This is Lovecraft’s first ‘dream cycle’. Here he plunges headfirst into a mix of horror, fantasy, occultism. The main character in the book becomes obsessed with Joseph Curwen, a distant relative who is an alleged wizard. The main character then attempts to recreate Curwen’s magic experiments but accidentally inflicts horror on himself and others around him.
This is a top notch rendition of Lovecraft’s favorite trope: The narrator becomes the best friend and confidant of a scientist who struggles against dark knowledge. Crawford Tillinghast is the researcher. The change he experiences after his encounter with the beyond is horrible above conception. What makes From Beyond stand out is Lovecraft’s quick story and the closeness between the characters. The creative, cosmic experience is the cherry on top.
The Haunter of the Dark
This page is dedicated to Robert Bloch (author of Psycho and an early disciple) of Lovecraft. The story was written by Bloch, which depicts a Lovecraftian character who meets a terrible end. Lovecraft paid respect to Robert Blake after this touching tribute. Blake, like Bloch, is a young writer. In the story, he finds himself fascinated by a Cyclopean church located in Boston. After a furtive search, Blake discovers a dead reporter and a mysterious, coded book.
There are references to the haunter and a shining trapezohedron. He escapes, but his sanity gradually fades over the next few weeks. Blake fears the haunter, an older being who has great power in the absence of light. Blake’s connection with the entity pays off long after Blake has left its presence.
So You Want to Read Lovecraft: Here’s Where to Start
H.P. Lovecraft is one of the most influential names in horror. Lovecraft is a notable influence, especially considering his limited output and brief life. Where can you go to enter this world of existential horror, haunting atmosphere, and creeping fear?
The Cthulhu mythos and The Dream Cycle are the main themes of Lovecraft’s works. The Cthulhu mythos is often associated with Lovecraft. It focuses on protagonists who are forced to confront the cosmic horrors which have shaped the world and remain, sometimes dormant in its darker reaches. Although more imaginative, the Dream Cycle tells stories about an otherworldly dreamscape. However, they are still bleak and terrifying. Below is a list of each.
What’s your favorite one in HP Lovecraft’s best books? Please free sharing with us.
Video: LOVECRAFT: Fear of the Unknown – Introduction
Last update on 2022-04-12 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API