[Review] Necronomicon: Commemorative Edition by H.P. Lovecraft

Sunday, June 02, 2013 K.Z. Freeman 4 Comments

For quite some time now, I thought I should perhaps review the books I read, since I tend to read quite a bit.

Lately I have been preoccupied with a certain tome I had been wanting to get my hands on for a while, but always ended up reading short stories on my mobile device or computer instead. I finally bought the damn thing and let me tell you, this was the best book purchase I have ever made!

There is a thread and a certain style which runs through all of Lovecraft's writing that appeals to me greatly. A grandness, or a sense that, even though at times you are reading about "ordinary people", you get the impression of something vast moving behind the curtain and, as a result, the people themselves become far less than ordinary. Them coming in contact with what Lovecraft liked to call "unnameable", is always chilling. And there's always something behind that curtain, you can feel it, sense it.

One thing which I suppose might bother "new-age" readers, is that Lovecraft tends to be very descriptive and tends to "tell", rather than "show". In some stories descriptive narrative may become overpowering, but it never did, at least for me.
For example, the last story in this edition, called The Dream-Quest of Strange Kadath, is an overwhelmingly rich tale when it comes to visual description, as the author jumps between scenes and landscapes a lot. But you can't fault a guy for doing so when he describes sailing the ocean and in so doing has the protagonist reach the moon, can you?

What is truly special about Lovecraft, is how every story draws you in with a certain mystery which the protagonist wishes to reveal or solve, or in most cases, dreads to reveal. There is nothing mundane about any of the stories and most have a special twist. Some you will see coming, while others you may not.

The mysteries behind the veil will slowly come into light through the story itself, making the masterful unravelling a joy to read indeed.

I will admit I had expected more from Call of Cthulthu, a story which I purposely didn't read until I have gotten the print version of it into my hands. But I think that's only because I read it so fast once I got to it, and enjoyed it far more on my second read. I like other stories in this collection a lot more, like The Outsider, The Colour Out of Space, Cool Air, The Silver Key, The Strange High House in the Mist and Through the Gates of the Silver Key, and others. Although Call of Cthulthu did provide with what  I think of as the most memorable and profoundly captivating first paragraph in anything I have ever read.

Indeed there was not one story in this whole 800 page thickness which I did not enjoy. It is, however, a matter of taste which one you will prefer most.

The common thread in all of them is psychological horror, as you might imagine. In this sense everything else is worked around that horror so that when it happens and while it slowly begins to happen, you will gaze onto the pages with a certain emotional investment.

If you want to read truly good tales, I would recommend this book, as it one of those rare tomes I cannot give anything less than a 10/10.



  1. Anonymous03 June, 2013

    Fuck yea Lovecraft!

  2. Any idea of where I can buy this book?

    1. you can find it on http://www.bookdepository.com/

  3. Any idea of where I can buy this book?