H. P. Lovecraft

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Not to change the direction of the Lovecraft tread, however anyone have a Lovecraft favorite (story or movie). The Dunwich Horror was my favorite.
I really enjoyed The Dunwich Horror also. I'm talking about the story that is. There was also a movie made of it in the 1970's which I downloaded last week. But to my unhappy surprise and Dunwichian horror it turned out not to be The Dunwich Horror at all but a movie called Murders in the Rue Morgue. Herbert Lom and Jason Robards were in it (I forced myself to watch it and 'twas not the worst). Serves me right I suppose.
 

ChasFink

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Not to change the direction of the Lovecraft tread, however anyone have a Lovecraft favorite (story or movie). The Dunwich Horror was my favorite.
As far as the original writings, I like all of his popular stories. I do have a soft spot for "The Cats of Ulthar", as should all cat lovers. In terms of pure writing style, you can't get much better than the first paragraph of "The Picture in the House".

When it comes to movies, I like the HPLHS productions of The Call of Cthulhu and (to a slightly lesser extent) The Whisperer in Darkness. I also considered the 1957 film The Monolith Monsters to be a pretty interesting (unofficial) adaptation of "The Colour Out of Space", with the added element of giant monsters that aren't actually living!

I did see the 1970 movie The Dunwich Horror many years ago, and did not like it much. Aside from the cheesiness one expects from the period - which gets worse as the film wears on - I don't remember a single instance of the visual horror I would want from an adaptation of the story.
 

GNC

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Not to change the direction of the Lovecraft tread, however anyone have a Lovecraft favorite (story or movie). The Dunwich Horror was my favorite.
Interesting choice! That's the psychedelic one, with a spaced out, er, Sandra Dee.
 

Ogdred Weary

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I really enjoyed The Dunwich Horror also. I'm talking about the story that is. There was also a movie made of it in the 1970's which I downloaded last week. But to my unhappy surprise and Dunwichian horror it turned out not to be The Dunwich Horror at all but a movie called Murders in the Rue Morgue. Herbert Lom and Jason Robards were in it (I forced myself to watch it and 'twas not the worst). Serves me right I suppose.
Dunwich is one of the best Lovecraft stories I feel, it's one of the few longer stories where he doesn't bugger up the final act/ending, Shadow Over Innsmouth is another. Call of Cthulhu is an excellent story but the ending somewhat diminishes the effect; that bit when they are looking at the murals in At the Mountains of Madness for twenty pages robs me of the will to live, the pilot's "vision" is pretty funny as well as.
 

AlchoPwn

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... that bit when they are looking at the murals in At the Mountains of Madness for twenty pages robs me of the will to live, the pilot's "vision" is pretty funny as well as.
At the Mountains of Madness is actually one of the most unique stories in the history of fiction as it is the first and one of the only stories that ever attempted to deal with geological time. As to the issue of it robbing you of the will to live, that is due to Lovecraft's report writing approach, which is supposed to make the documents more "found journal" believable. It has dated. At the Mountains of Madness is also notable for the fact that it tells us more about the Mythos and its context than any other story in the canon. It certainly isn't my favorite HPL story but it also isn't the worst. I was looking forwards to Gillermo Del Toro's movie take on it, but apparently it is on indefinite hold. A shame imo.
 

Ogdred Weary

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At the Mountains of Madness is actually one of the most unique stories in the history of fiction as it is the first and one of the only stories that ever attempted to deal with geological time. As to the issue of it robbing you of the will to live, that is due to Lovecraft's report writing approach, which is supposed to make the documents more "found journal" believable. It has dated. At the Mountains of Madness is also notable for the fact that it tells us more about the Mythos and its context than any other story in the canon. It certainly isn't my favorite HPL story but it also isn't the worst. I was looking forwards to Gillermo Del Toro's movie take on it, but apparently it is on indefinite hold. A shame imo.
I'd say it is down to the failure of Lovecraft's "report writing approach", the other sections are fine and the whole thing is "report style". I like story a lot and I love the concept, atmosphere and affect. The bit with the murals is too long and is almost laughable, simple as that for me.
 

Lb8535

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At the Mountains of Madness is actually one of the most unique stories in the history of fiction as it is the first and one of the only stories that ever attempted to deal with geological time. As to the issue of it robbing you of the will to live, that is due to Lovecraft's report writing approach, which is supposed to make the documents more "found journal" believable. It has dated. At the Mountains of Madness is also notable for the fact that it tells us more about the Mythos and its context than any other story in the canon. It certainly isn't my favorite HPL story but it also isn't the worst. I was looking forwards to Gillermo Del Toro's movie take on it, but apparently it is on indefinite hold. A shame imo.
You don't think it might have had to do with being paid by the word? I skip over large chunks of many HPL stories, although I do return to read him every few years. When he can control the impulse, for example Innsmouth, the stories have worn well and deserve places in American fiction anthologies, and a few give a good glimpse of America at the time of writing. As a New Yorker I love his Red Hook stories - Red Hook is a pretty damn pricey neighborhood right now.
 
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Ogdred Weary

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You don't think it might have had to do with being paid by the word? I skip over large chunks of many HPL stories, although I do return to read him every few years. When he can control the impulse, for example Innsmouth, the stories have worn well and deserve places in American fiction anthologies, and a few give a good glimpse of America at the time of writing. As a New Yorker I love his Red Hook stories - Red Hook is a pretty damn pricey neighborhood right now.
Was he paid by the word? Weren;t there some issues with some stories where the editors wanted him to reduce the word counts?
 

Lb8535

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Was he paid by the word? Weren;t there some issues with some stories where the editors wanted him to reduce the word counts?
I don't know about him - it was a period when pulp fiction was paid by the word, although I've often wondered how editors avoided over-writing.
 

AlchoPwn

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Was he paid by the word? Weren;t there some issues with some stories where the editors wanted him to reduce the word counts?
The aim was to produce 5000 word short stories at 1 cent per word or $50 per story as an industry standard. Popular authors could over-run this limit and would sometimes have long works serialized (as long as the edition with their word sold well and received favorable mail from fans).
 

Naughty_Felid

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Presumably he was popular then? As many of his stories are significantly above 5000 words.
It's ages since I read about his life. but Lovecraft certainly was popular with his peers but not a commercial success. His moving to New York and his relationships suggest he was a failure to a large extent. A failure that he was unable to support himself as a writer.
 

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It's ages since I read about his life. but Lovecraft certainly was popular with his peers but not a commercial success. His moving to New York and his relationships suggest he was a failure to a large extent. A failure that he was unable to support himself as a writer.
Is moving to New York a sign of failure? I understand it's expensive to live there.
 

Ogdred Weary

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It's ages since I read about his life. but Lovecraft certainly was popular with his peers but not a commercial success. His moving to New York and his relationships suggest he was a failure to a large extent. A failure that he was unable to support himself as a writer.
I believe he was relatively popular with the readership of Weird Tales/Astonishing Stories/possibly others, though no real "commercial" success in his lifetime, he died a pauper.
 

Ogdred Weary

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I suppose that would depend on where he moved from?
He only moved there because his wife owned a business there, or at least ran one, she later relocated further afield and he refused to move further away from his beloved Providence. He lived in one of the poorest neighbourhoods, among impoverished immigrants, which did wonders for his racism... see The Horror at Red Hook or The Street...
 

Swifty

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He only moved there because his wife owned a business there, or at least ran one, she later relocated further afield and he refused to move further away from his beloved Providence. He lived in one of the poorest neighbourhoods, among impoverished immigrants, which did wonders for his racism... see The Horror at Red Hook or The Street...
I see, thanks for the explanation.
 
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