The Thing on the Doorstep and Other Weird Stories PDF/EPUB

The Thing on the Doorstep and Other Weird Stories ❰PDF❯ ❤ The Thing on the Doorstep and Other Weird Stories Author H.P. Lovecraft – Thomashillier.co.uk This book contains weirdly creepy and unnerving tales to unsettle any reader Lovecraft reinvented the horror genre in the twentieth century discarding ghosts and witches and instead envisioning mankin This book contains weirdly on the eBook ↠ creepy and unnerving tales to unsettle any reader Lovecraft reinvented the horror genre in the twentieth century discarding ghosts and witches and instead envisioning mankind as a tiny outpost of dwindling sanity in a chaotic and malevolent universe.


10 thoughts on “The Thing on the Doorstep and Other Weird Stories

  1. Bill Kerwin Bill Kerwin says:

    Like the other two Joshi Lovecraft anthologies this collection is helpfully annotated expertly introduced and includes pieces Lovecraft wrote throughout his career The two earliest The Tomb and Beyond the Wall of Sleep are crude but characteristic of their author in the way they assume that true horror is born from the human mind's capacity for transcending space and time and the possibility that entities from beyond space and time can take advantage of this human capacity The two Dunsanian imitations The White Ship and The uest of Iranon each have a distinctive Lovecraftian touch The Music of Eric Zann and Pickman's Model are both masterpieces of Lovecraft's early maturity short in length and economical in their effects By far the worst piece of writing included in this volume is Under the Pyramids a fantastic first person narrative ghost written for Harry Houdini; the prose is so overwrought it often seems like parody but good parody is far amusing than this is The anthology ends with three of the authors most effective works The Dunwich Horror a powerful long short story marred by a conventional ending which dissipates that true horror of Wilbur Whateley's death and the revelation of his alien nature The Case of Charles Dexter Ward a flawed but memorable novel which combines a Lovecraft like protagonist with a Hawthorneian gothic atmosphere and a host of subterranean horrors and The Mountains of Madness an impressionistic and abstract short novel which evokes horror primarily through the suggestive details of an antarctic landscape All in all this is a fine representative anthology


  2. Gabrielle Gabrielle says:

    Spooktober book #10Despite the flaws of some stories – not to mention the author’s flaws – I’ll always be a fan of Mr Lovecraft’s work I delight in his creepy ambiguous style of horror in the existential dread and vague sense of cosmic menace that permeate his stories like a thick New England fogThis collection includes some of HP’s most famous stories “At the Mountain of Madness” “The Case of Charles Dexter Ward” and “The Dunwich Horror” but also a few lesser known yet just as juicy morsels such as “The White Ship” and even a clever little retelling of a Harry Houdini story The Joshi edited Penguin Modern Classic edition is also very well annotated and the introduction is informative which makes it well worth the detour for fans of the Father of WeirdI think that driving through Massachusetts and the American North East in general in the fall gave me a new appreciation for Lovecraft that I didn’t have before I saw the landscapes that inspired him with my own eyes We drive from Montreal to Boston to visit friends every Thanksgiving and looking at the rolling hills the isolated little farm houses the impenetrable looking woods and sometimes the cold grey beaches had made my reading of his stories vividThis collection gets 3 stars because while it still packs a lot of awesomeness some stories do drag a bit longer than they should and the creepy factor looses some steam


  3. Ethan Ethan says:

    The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown HP Lovecraft The Thing on the Doorstep and Other Weird Stories is one of three Penguin Classics omnibuses which together contain the majority of HP Lovecraft's fiction Though I loved many of the stories in this particular book I enjoyed the other two volumes a lot A lot of the stories in this collection were weaker like The uest of Iranon a Tolkien esue fantasy story and The Music of Erich Zann and one was outright dreadful Under the Pyramids That being said this collection contains one of the greatest works of weird fictioncosmic horror ever written the novella At the Mountains of Madness Lovecraft himself called this his best work of fictionOne thing that really irritated me over the course of reading these omnibuses and really I have encountered this in other Penguin Classics books so I think it is a problem with that particular line in general is that the introductions at the beginning of the books and some of the explanatory notes ruin parts of the book or in this case entire plots of some of the stories These Lovecraft omnibuses are broken down into these parts Introduction at the beginning of the book written by ST Joshi The stories themselves Explanatory Notes section at the back of the book containing A one or two page background on each story written by ST Joshi Endnotes for each story written by ST JoshiIn both the introduction at the beginning of the books and in the one or two page background sections for each story Joshi occasionally drops huge spoilers in some cases ruining the current story for you or ruining other Lovecraft stories than the one you're currently reading about but which you haven't read yet As such I recommend you read these Penguin Classics Lovecraft omnibuses in this order 1 Each story2 The endnotes for each story as you encounter them while reading each story in the Explanatory Notes section at the back of the book3 Only after reading each entire story and all its endnotes the one or two page background description of the story in the Explanatory Notes section at the back of the book4 Only after you have read all the stories all the endnotes and all the story descriptions read the introduction at the very beginning of the bookThis won't entirely save you because he even spoils things occasionally in endnotes but such spoilers are rare and following the above order should spare you the annoyance I had of having several great Lovecraft stories like Facts Concerning the Late Arthur Jermyn and His Family ruined for me before I got a chance to read them though spoiled they were still enjoyable to read when I eventually got to themGoing back to the contents themselves I could talk about them and my love for Lovecraft haha pun all day After now reading most of Lovecraft's body of fiction I safely place him in my top three favourite authors of all time and he makes a very strong case for being my favourite What he was able to accomplish in his short lifetime he only lived to the age of 47 is truly inspiring He was sick and poor for much of his life and didn't even finish high school due to certain psychological issues he faced that involved stress and anxiety In spite of this he read countless books on a range of subjects on his own and became an expert in many of them Using this wealth of knowledge he then went on to compile a legendary volume of weird and horror fiction that single handedly defined and redefined entire genres of fictionI'm going to change tone a bit here and in light of recent criticism of him weigh in a little bit on Lovecraft as a person Was HP Lovecraft flawed as an individual? Yes he was He was deeply racist this is made uite obvious in the story The Horror at Red Hook which is not contained in this volume and in some of his other stories and at times throughout his life this is uite obvious in the story The Thing on the Doorstep though his views on women improved later in his life a misogynist In spite of this I am a big believer that you need to be able to separate the art from the artistThe fact is in the early 1900s when Lovecraft was writing a lot of people were racists and misogynists Does that make it right? No it doesn't It was wrong then; it's still wrong now It will always be wrong Keeping that in mind I believe you can't take what were really uite ordinary views for a man living in the early 1900s and use those to try to bury the enormous impact and literary contributions someone like him has made It's simply not fair to do so I disagree that they removed his face from the award statue given out for the World Fantasy Award and I always will HP Lovecraft is undeniably one of the greatest authors of the twentieth century and contributed to the horror cosmic horror and weird fiction genres than perhaps any other writer He deserves betterThink what you will about HP Lovecraft the person but if you are a fan of horror science fiction or weird fiction you owe it to yourself to read his work He is truly and possibly than any other author I've ever read an absolute pleasure to read Highly recommended


  4. Mauoijenn Mauoijenn says:

    Lovecraft is most definitely one of the BEST


  5. Maxwell Maxwell says:

    You don’t get any points for treating pulp as serious literature especially not with Lovecraft And even if you did disputations about genre are not a hill that anyone should want to die on That being said I want to shout at the clouds about science fiction horror for a minute Fans of the lowbrow often come off as defensive ensconced in a slightly delusional persecution complex; these days there are far defenders of popular art forms than there are snobs pillorying them So this is not another bellicose salvo in a tedious irrelevant debate I'd just like to make some observations about the mechanics of the books themselves I think the uestion of genre is one of the interesting endemic to Lovecraft’s work and legacy And I think it has become vexed in recent times The gothic is the pulp arm of romanticism; Lovecraft’s own genre the Weird is the pulp arm of modernism and of surrealism to whatever extent it has a separate identity but it is not modern or anti modern so much as metamodern Both the modernist genre products meant for mass consumption the highbrow avant garde or countercultural niches are dynamic conceptual poles most novels stories poems whatever else exist somewhere on a spectrum between them; and at the risk of sounding like a dilettantish Deleuzo Derridean this is a continuum of variously assembled protocols each with its own hybrid atomic structure which determines the thematic or narratological coordinates the work itself receives So the genre categories I’m referring to are by way of reference diachronic or etiological a historicized family tree sutured together by influence inheritance rather than an overdetermined natural essence I tilt toward lowbrow genre pulp an aspecific but pragmatic pattern for the combination of these tropes because I instinctively feel that there’s room for creativity and vision within their loose but instantaneously recognizable structuration And well literary theory is mostly ex post facto rationalization for intuitive claims Or so my intuition tells me But lately I'm not sure what the point of it is except as a rubric for periodization Some of the better postmodern writers at least the ones with an interest in pulp like Thomas Pynchon JG Ballard worked to blur these distinctions to show that high and low art existed symbiotically that they are never fully independent of one another And comics horror movies science fiction have become raw ore for post postmodernist lyrical realist ‘new sincere’ and slipstream attempts to eclipse the logic of postmodernism They are fully integrated into the deep grammar of self styled serious art I think the problem with many of these approaches is that an internal condition of postmodernism is the occlusion of broad consensus so its lineage is necessarily multifarious But these nascent pretenders to the throne are still beholden to the grand narrative structure of modernism usually replete with their own manifestos that odd hangover from industrial age organizing credos A friend sent me the manifesto for the #AltWoke movement the other day and despite the freshness of its declarations I couldn't believe how outdated it felt How can you have a manifesto after Derrida and Baudrillard? These thinkers can and in my opinion should be supplanted but their accomplishments still call for new forms of resistance More to the point returning to an inflexible binary of high and low art or any kind of strict genre demarcation is a pointless and reactionary move Here’s something to think on; when did the inclusion of ghosts monsters battles etc become the Master Signifiers of genre work irreconcilable with serious literature except via irony or pastiche? And why is the horror genre until WWII which is usually about the neurosis of the emergent petit bourgeois professional class a subject universal to novels of every stripe since medievalism suddenly warded off as a lowbrow deviation from literary canonicity? Shelley Radcliffe Poe De Fanu Machen Blackwood many many others were at least as gifted as their contemporaries in the realist traditionsBut lapsing into relativism is callow and uninteresting so how do we prosecute a 21st century cartography of genre? That is without writing a manifesto I don't actually know the answer to this uestion but I'm sure that it must be done the enduring vitality of certain genre works is a good place to start I think I’ve rambled headlong into HP Lovecraft himself Lovecraft’s abilities as a writer were immense Even his worst stories contain all the uality of the novelistic tradition in style composition and structure And his best work approaches the classics both in merit and longterm cultural resonance But as with any artist broadly imitated his lineage of influence has not always been positive Not everyone learned the right lessons from Lovecraft Modern authors of horror are too character focused I think You can probably blame this on the popularity of someone like Stephen King who pilfered cosmic abominations from Lovecraft but left at the doorway the context which made them horrifying in the first place Creating sympathetic characters in cozy domestic settings only to maim kill them is a cheap bit But it has proven endlessly popular was enthusiastically picked up by the mostly unimpressive horror movie machine in hollywood The only reason for authors of horror to forge a sympathetic character is to evoke a gratuitous or sadistic libidinal thrill from violence done to them Thematically speaking it shouldn’t matter if the victims of Pennywise or Cthulhu are well wrought representations of the human psyche It’s not really the point As Thomas Ligotti puts it“the consolation of horror in art is that it actually intensifies our panic loudens it on the sounding board of our horror hollowed hearts turns terror up full blast all the while reaching for that perfect and deafening amplitude at which we may dance to the bizarre music of our own misery” Jump scares have a limited shelf life Lovecraft’s ability to shock has long expired but there is something in his stories which still rises to Ligotti’s challenge This component piece of Lovecraft is ageing well and is acutely pertinent today than it was when I first read him as a teenager It has comfortably assumed a new precedence in the stories Call Lovecraft’s characters one dimensional if you must I’ll concede at least that the rotating dramatis personae of antiuarians scientists and academics are indistinguishable from one another But he’s a patient meticulous writer than anyone working in the immense ambit of his legacy New England architecture arctic geography alien biology family histories fossil patterns etc are lovingly sometimes appallingly detailed This can be a slog to read through but it creates the sense of a lived in world This is very important for the meaning effect of his stories The minutiae of the world which Lovecraft archives very well is exactly as meaningful as it helps people navigate their busy little lives But implanted in an even slightly broadened perspective it becomes the subject of cosmic horror stories with power that reaches undiminished across the long varied century since they were written As Ray Brassier said of our species we ‘crafty apes with opposable thumbs’ have catalogued and indexed an almost unbelievable scope of the cosmos an extraordinary accomplishment which Lovecraft duly reveres In his stories the sincerity nobility of scientific enterprise is never stymied by romantic or sentimental conceitedness But this earnestness and courage in science is always inevitably humiliated by the literally unthinkable vastness of its address Astronomers and geologists are doing the best and most important work humanly possible; it’s just in proportion to its context human possibility is unimportant and insignificant I cracked open this collection because it contained several stories I hadn’t read Unfortunately they were mostly inessential juvenalia a seuence of Lovecraft’s Dunsany inspired dreamscape stories These stories arefine but somewhat forgettable and indistinct upon recollection The real draw to ‘The Thing on the Doorstep other Weird Stories’ are 3 of Lovecraft’s best known longest works all of which are full throated in his own voice; Charles Dexter Ward The Dunwich Horror At the Mountains of Madness Together they span than half the collection especially read in succession they seem to go on forever Despite their seemingly interminable aggregate length unified representation of Lovecraft’s artistic maturity there’s a sea change between each text and they have bold discreet identities That said if I were editing these collections I wouldn’t have stacked them all atop one another Incidentally I think Nick Land is the only inheritor of Lovecraft worthy of the name And not just because they’re both deranged eugenicists with skeletal bodies made from angles elbows I didn’t touch on this enough in my shall we say expansive review of Fanged Noumena but Land’s earnest attempt to represent a cosmic materialism unvarnished by human self esteem is Lovecraftian than the thousand year reich of b movie tentacle monsters In Land as in Lovecraft the uest for meaning is portrayed as embarrassing slightly hysterical But a splenetic angst always arises in rebellion against the cleaving toward ahuman perspectives if the dark Promethean act survives amidst this opprobrium it is obviated by our biological limitations actually Thomas Ligotti is good for this too but I’ve written about that elsewhere What does Science Fiction mean when the day to day life of your average first world reader contains technological marvels than the wildest speculation of books released just several decades prior? What does Horror mean when the population of earth lives in a constant state of emergency? What kind of realism would not deal with these vectors? Does the genre just refer to a narrative emphasis on the excitations of spectacle rather than the mindful pleasures of serious literature? In that case Lovecraft is not a science fiction writer and despite his own suspiciously overstated protestations to the contrary he has far in common with Eliot and Pound than comic books and alien invasion films ‘Realism’ can’t possibly keep up with reality any; in the time that it takes to write a novel its cultural technological paradigm for postpostmeta?modernity will be obsolete Whatever the fate of realism fantasy as storytelling devices Lovecraft seems true to life than ever in 2018


  6. Quirkyreader Quirkyreader says:

    This is a good introduction to Lovecraft's stories if you haven't read any


  7. Steven Steven says:

    This book contains some of the best short stories I've ever read despite a few of them feeling unfinished One of the best is The Case of Charles Dexter Ward the story of a man seeking out the truth about his great great great grandfather and the terrible secrets that he uncovered in this searchMy favorite story of all though is At the Mountains of Madness Lovecraft masterfully built suspense page after page until the reader feels overwhelmed by the horrible realities that an antarctic expedition has uncoveredI highly recommend this book and I'm not ever a big fan of the Cthulhu mythos which Lovecraft is probably most widely known for Don't make the mistake of passing this one up thinking that's all he has to offer


  8. Arkskier Arkskier says:

    This review refers to the penguin horror editionAbout the AuthorLovecraft is considered by many as a great 20th century horror story writer Stephen King considers him the “single largest influence” on his writing And the Mexican Director Guillermo del Toro of Pan’s Labyrinth fame considers Lovecraft his favorite writer of all Even the Argentine fabulist Jorge Borges was influenced by Lovecraft Howard Phillips Lovecraft 1890 1937 was born in Providence Rhode Island He was an only child born to a jewelry salesman His father and mother would later both separately be committed to a mental institution Lovecraft was precocious as a child writing poems from the age of six He was also a voracious reader especially of chemistry and astronomy although he struggled with the reuisite mathematics Because of nervous ill health he left high school without a diploma and spent his years as a recluse with his overprotective mother until her death He published his first story “The Alchemist” in 1916 in United Amateur when he was 26In 1921 his mother died which devastated him At age 34 he left for New York in 1924 to marry Sonia Greene a Russian Jewish immigrant Around that time he became a star writer for the pulp magazine “Weird Tales” even ghost writing a story for Harry Houdini When Sonia’s hat shop collapsed Lovecraft tried applying for a job – salesman lamp tester; he tried applying to publishing companies advertising agencies but they all rejected him Sonia soon took a job in the Midwest and Lovecraft lived alone in Brooklyn Heights Soon they separated and he returned to Providence in 1926 after 2 years of marriage where he became social and travelled This return caused a surge in his creative output But he still had no steady occupation and the money he received as a writer was measly He often went without food to save money for mailing letters In 1936 he was diagnosed with cancer of the small intestines and lived in pain until his death in 1937 He died in poverty Lovecraft was virtually unknown during his lifetime and only achieved fame after his deathReviewThis 500 page collection contains what Lovecraft considers his “best work” of fiction in particular 10 short stories and two short novels It covers a wide span from his earliest short stories written in his 20s “The Tomb” to his novellas written in his 30s and 40s “The Case of Charles Dexter Ward” “At the Mountains of Madness” Lovecraft was heavily influenced by Arthur Machen Algernon Blackwood and Poe among others and these influences can be seen in his work The penguin edition is helpful in this regard It includes many helpful scholarly notes at the end which shows us that many characters and places in Lovecraft’s tales are based on real people and real places in his life Many of the mythical historical and fictional allusions in his work can also be traced back to books which he’d read and kept in his personal library In some cases he invents nonexistent books like the “Necronomicon” and mentions them again and again in several of his stories as if they really existed in historyPros and ConsI find Lovecraft strange This is his greatest merit His brain seems to work very differently from the rest of us Reading him is like slowly realizing that you are reading the diary of a madman who is pretending to be sane I get the same feeling when I read Lautreamont Michaux and Bataille In “The Tomb” for example a boy leaves his house every night to enter a sepulcher and sleep inside a tomb In “Pickman’s Model” the narrator slowly begins to realize that the demon paintings by his artist friend were not drawn from imagination but from real life demons “At the Mountains of Madness” is about aliens who lived on Earth during the time of the dinosaursMy absolute favorite story in the collection is “The uest of Iranon” a story written by Lovecraft when he was 31 It’s a very beautifully written story about our search for the perfect place in the world with a nice twist in the endLovecraft works best with short stories His themes are usually some unknown something that is too horrible to describe in full His stories are about strange intelligent solitary characters with strange obsessions that cause their ultimate downfall Another thing I like in Lovecraft is that he is very well read His stories include references to historical events scientific discoveries old books and works by other authorsLovecraft’s weakness is novels His novels are really only very long short stories that drag on and on Lovecraft’s fascination for landscape and architecture also causes him to write overlong descriptions of places that to my mind can be shortened by at least 50% His prose in these cases becomes unwieldy repetitive and lumbering With novels Lovecraft tends to be long winded Thus they can be tedious to read Lovecraft works best with short stories There his weirdness can be received in small delicious gulps


  9. Dennis Dennis says:

    Would have been 2 stars if I just took my average rating of the five stories included in this collectionBut a short story collection should have at least one story I enjoy reading And this didn'tIn the end I really had to fight through this book which clearly means 1 star for meThe collection I've read in German contains the following stories Das Ding auf der Schwelle The Thing on the Doorstep Der Außenseiter The Outsider Die Farbe aus dem All The Colour Out of Space Träume im Hexenhaus The Dreams in the Witch House Der Schatten aus der Zeit The Shadow Out of TimeFor me 'Die Farbe aus dem All' was the best of the five stories But even that one I wouldn't give a 3 star ratingMaybe HP Lovecraft's weird tales are just not my cup of tea


  10. Elizabeth R. Elizabeth R. says:

    By what benign grace I clawed my slow grimacing way through seemingly endless wastes of adjectives and repetition I may never know possibly the protective spectre of my younger self a blithely voracious reader apparently immune to such trappings of the patriarchyAt any rate the title story placed last was pretty good but the Gothic horror flavour of the rest was tainted with incessant racism and a singular lack of good female characters a few evil andor stupid ones exist Skinny single white professional males abound with little or no interest in romance etc I recommend this volume nonetheless because of the notes and commentaryHPL does not stand up well to rereading Remember your youthful Cthulhu forays with fondness but return at your peril


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