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Download The Mask of Cthulhu epub

by August Derleth

Beginning with "The Return of Hastur," which Derleth completed posthumously from H.P. Lovecraft's notes, these stories masterfully expand the horrific cycle of the Cthulhu mythos and its monstrous pantheon. Original.
Download The Mask of Cthulhu epub
ISBN: 0586041397
ISBN13: 978-0586041390
Category: Literature
Subcategory: Short Stories & Anthologies
Author: August Derleth
Language: English
Publisher: Grafton; New Ed edition (January 22, 1976)
Pages: 176 pages
ePUB size: 1215 kb
FB2 size: 1900 kb
Rating: 4.8
Votes: 967
Other Formats: txt docx txt azw

I don't hate Derleth's writing -- it's his reclassification I have problems with.
nice Neville Spearman...
I've been looking for this for 40 years. I'm so glad I finally found it! August Derleth is the writer that best captures what H.P. Lovecraft so brilliantly conveyed about a world like no other - an underworld made up of the Old, Ancient Ones. Thank you Amazon for being the vehicle that allows us to procure those treasures that we only seem to be able to find through you!
While August Derleth is a man of most honorable mention for his keeping alive of Howard Phillips Lovecraft's well known fiction, the fact that the man was fit to continue the Cthulhu Mythos is entirely disputable. Derleth is a talented author by any standards, but his style of writing is not necessarily one that compliments the Mythos. In this novel he avoids, intentionally or otherwise, the very emotions that Lovecraft fought to establish. Derleth takes a less emotional and more matter-of-fact approach in describing the horrors of Arkham, while Lovecraft utilizes an approach that is mysterious and open ended among other traits.

It is made apparent in this paragraph that Lovecraft plays heavily on human emotion while speaking of the monster.

"Johansen, thank God, did not know quite all, even though he saw the city and the Thing, but I shall never sleep calmly again when I think of the horrors that lurk ceaselessly behind life in time and in space, and of those unhallowed blasphemies from elder stars which dream beneath the sea, known and favoured by a nightmare cult ready and eager to loose them on the world whenever another earthquake shall heave their monstrous stone city again to the sun and air."

An example of Derleth's style is well represented in his description of Cthulhu.

"...a mass of doughy flesh filling the entire doorway; then suddenly a great, malign eye appeared in its mass; and at the same time a amorphous mass began to ooze out around the doorway..."

Having said this, the novel is an enjoyable read. The author has effectively written a science fiction novel that dabbles in horror and the supernatural which makes for a darkly alluring work. I would not advise reading this novel without a prior understanding of the Cthulhu Mythos and its deities.
It's rather ironic that H. P. Lovecraft worked so diligently to not write "pulp fiction," seeking to elevate his weird tales to a state of fine Literary Art -- and then dead Augie Derleth comes along and turns Lovecraft's Mythos into unmitigated pulp fiction. Here's another difference between these two writers: August Derleth lived by his pen and wrote the stories that make up this book as a way of paying the bills;Lovecraft, although a professional in every way, was unable to fully support himself as a writer because his high standards and revolt against the dictates of pulp magazine editors resulted in fewer of his last tales being accepted for magazines like Weird Tales. The individual stories that make up THE TRAIL OF CTHULHU all sold, initially, to Weird Tales. They are pulp fiction to ye core.

And they are fun. One of the reasons that Derleth is so often dismissed as a bad writer is because he wrote unabashed pulp fiction in order to make a living as a writer. That he was able to expand on Lovecraft's Mythos and sell to professional markets this thing that Derleth basically invented--the Cthulhu Mythos, the name he bequeathed upon it--is remarkable, really. During these past few years, I have come to understand, intimately, the allure of writing such fiction, for I have written book after book of such nameless stuff meself. It pulls ye in, & the more ye do it, the more entranc'd ye become with the lore, the legend, the power, and the FUN, of writing Mythos fiction. It's like transvestite exhibitionism--you get hooked.

It's all here in this book--this little book that, despite my telling myself over again & again, "These stories are not good writing," continue to pull me back for additional rereadings. They spin their own world, and it is an entertaining world indeed, far as it may be from the world of H. P. Lovecraft. I love the Cthulhu Mythos, I love all its facets. I love the name-dropping of forbidden lore, secret places, tainted towns. I love the audacious invention of Laban Shrewsbury in this book, this blind man who sees more than most. And there are authentic Lovecraftian touches. One of Lovecraft's recurring motifs is the power of music to usher in the inexplicable unnamable Outside. Here, from "The House on Curwen Street":

"'It was night, very black. I was separated from the party, and all the time I walk, walk, I do not know where--'

"'You were somewhere in the vicinity of Machu Picchu, according to your map?'

"'Si. But I do not know where, and afterward, you know, we could not find the place or even the way I took. But then, it rained. There I was walking in the rain, and then I thought I heard music.

"'It was strange music. It was like Indian music. You know, the old Incas lived there, and they had...'"

Music--and dreams--and all the ingredients that make the Mythos such a pleasurable pastime. It's all here, in these entertaining stories with which August Derleth created his own fantastic thing, the Cthulhu Mythos. And this invention of Derleth's, separate a thing as it is from the fictive philosophy and enchanting tales of H. P. Lovecraft, is now just as potent a force as Lovecraft's individual Works, and as eternal.

I used to own this lovely Arkham House edition. I had to have it because of that beautiful jacket, with its illustration by Richard Taylor. Happily, Jerad Walters reproduced, beautifully, this jacket art on one of the huge pages of his book of Artists Inspired by H. P. Lovecraft--so I can open that book and drink my fill of the image there. And yet -- and yet -- but of course I won't spend bloody $98 for the book -- and yet............