The New Annotated HP Lovecraft

I bought this more or less on impulse in Waterstones a while ago. I say a while ago, but it’s probably over a year. It’s been sitting on my pile of things to get round to ever since,  but as I needed a sanity break from the Great Robert Rankin Re-read-athon, this seemed like a suitable occasion.

This large[1] selection of H P Lovecraft stories has been selected and annotated by Leslie S Klinger, who did such a sterling job with the Sherlock Holmes stories and Dracula, so I was very much inclined to give it a go. It’s worth noting that it isn’t a complete collection of the stories, but does include most of the familiar pieces such as At the Mountains of Madness, The Shadow out of Time and so on.

Perhaps inevitably, Klinger has taken a different approach to the notes here – there’s no pretence that the stories are disguised accounts of real events, but he does attempt to identify the possible locations for settings such as Arkham and Innsmouth. Other notes pick up on some of the more (and less) obscure references in the texts, and some of HPL’s vocabulary. There are loads of photographs of buildings which may be those mentioned, plus pages of original manuscripts, magazine and book covers.

There’s also a bunch of appendices which include an attempt to arrange a chronology of the events in the stories and and nice look at H P Lovecraft’s influence on popular culture.

If you’re at all interested in H P Lovecraft’s work, this is a well-above average collection, printed with the same quality as the Sherlock Holmes books on heavy paper.

 

[1] Big book – large pages, and lots of them

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