Howard Philips Lovecraft was born at home on August 20th, 1890, at 454 Angell Street in Providence, Rhode Island. He was a lanky, lonely child who suffered from a family history of depression, resulting in a nervous breakdown as a teenager. He never completed high school, though he was an incredible autodidact in the years to come, and was able to write some of the most bizarre and enduring “cosmic horror” novels in history that influenced a slew of writers as well as musicians like Mark E. Smith from the Fall and the guys from Rudimentary Peni (unsavory Brits apparently love the stuff). We’ve taken a few of his books from the pile in order to introduce you to the man that Stephen King called “the 20th century’s greatest practitioner of the classic horror tale.” So read on, dear readers, and tell us what Lovecraft novels you love the most.
For Absolute Beginners: The Call of Cthulhu
Here’s the thing: there’s no real place to start–you just have to jump in. However, we think The Call of Cthulhu and Other Weird Stories could be a great place to begin if you’re interested in getting a handle on some of Lovecraft’s more famous short stories. It includes 30 “cosmic horror” tales, including ”Herbert West Reanimator,” which was made into countless B-movies. The title story, “The Call of Cthulhu,” was made into a black-and-white silent film a few years ago as homage to the story’s 1926 publication date. You can now watch on Hulu.
Thumbnail image credit: Junji Ito