This is volume two of a two-volume omnibus set comprising the complete fictional works of Howard Phillips Lovcecraft. Every story written for publication under his own name is included in this set, from 1927 through 1935. (Poems, ghostwritten material, and stories written in collaboration with other writers are not included.) Highlights of this volume include:
The Color out of Space The Case of Charles Dexter Ward The Dunwitch Horror The Whisperer in Darkness At the Mountains of Madness The Shadow over Innsmouth The Dreams in the Witch House The Thing on the Doorstep The Shadow out of Time The Haunter of the Dark
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The title is, of course, a reference to just two of the many horrors to be found in this spine-tingling volume of nasties ( listen to the Shadow out of Time and At the Mountains of Madness to find out more). I love HPL's later work far more than his earlier stuff, which was influenced far too much by Edgar Allen Poe and Lord Dunsany (neither of whom I care for much). This volume, which only includes works written by Lovecraft alone, published under his own name (rather than ghost written) includes much of his Cthulhu Mythos stuff (save for pre-1927 writings like Call of Cthulhu and Dagon), plus non-mythos sci-fi horror tales such as Colour out of Space. On the whole, this makes for a brilliantly noxious, blubbery, tentacle-rich horror collection which should keep me trembling behind the sofa for months - or at least the 27 hours run time.
That being said, there were several omissions that made me wish volume 1 was available, so I could enjoy such shivery classics as From Beyond, Re-animator and the Call of Cthulhu and also learn more about this great writer . The way in which the entire book (including biographical notes between stories) is arranged in chronological order allows the listener a fascinating look at the way in which Lovecraft's style refined and developed over time, against the background of his personal life,and it's a shame I can't experience this with his earlier work.
Because the book includes novels/novellas as well as short stories, the bookmarking system becomes absolutely essential, both to mark individual chapters and to name individual stories (as well as mark the biographical bits). That way, one can keep tags on which HPL works they got already, as well as see if the longer stories are worth the time it takes to read them. I'd say, it's worth staying the course, because the narration is first class. I thought I'd find the longer sections (Charles Dexter Ward for example) boring (I've only heard Lovecraft in a monotone before, with predictable results). This narrator, however,really brought Lovecraft's work to life, creating individual accents and personalities for each character, and knowing just when to feed emphasis into the spooky/adrenaline charged scenes. His female voices aren't too bad, either.
One idea - it would really help if a contents page was included at the start of compilations like this, so the reader could bookmark sections more easily. Just a thought - and the only reason I didn't give 5 stars across the board.