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30 review for The Watchers Out of Time

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jayaprakash Satyamurthy

    Derleth gets props for his work as a publisher and editor, and people mumble vaguely about his 'regional fiction' having its merits. But his Lovecraftian fiction is, not to mince words, shite. Lovecraft was a philosophical writer; there was a worldview at the heart of his fiction, a personal and strongly-felt perspective on this universe of ours. His earlier Dunsany-influenced fiction may not have reflected the fully-formed Lovecraftian conception of Cosmic Horror, but they had many wonderful tu Derleth gets props for his work as a publisher and editor, and people mumble vaguely about his 'regional fiction' having its merits. But his Lovecraftian fiction is, not to mince words, shite. Lovecraft was a philosophical writer; there was a worldview at the heart of his fiction, a personal and strongly-felt perspective on this universe of ours. His earlier Dunsany-influenced fiction may not have reflected the fully-formed Lovecraftian conception of Cosmic Horror, but they had many wonderful turns of phrase and fancy. His mature work hinges not so much on the Yog-Sothoths and Nyarlathoteps as on a dark and yet deeply rationalistic view of the universe as a vast place containing beings with powers and plans beyond our ken. Derleth's stories on the other hand simply take some of the forms of various Lovecraft stories, the surface detail, and deploy them as window dressing on staunchly old-fashioned supernatural horror stories. Most of these stories revolve around witchcraft and black magic, and even when nods are made to the Mythos pantheon, the way in which they are invoked is both mechanistic and closer to superstition than to Lovecraft's infinity-haunted skepticism. In addition, Derleth expands on the Lovecraft's weaknesses - the stereotypical protagonists with their often brainless delving into clearly dangerous matters, the occasional verbal vagueness and the flight of climactic hyperbole - and runs with them. In short, Derleth reduces Lovecraft's original conceptions into a formula for churning out substandard horror fiction. Don't waste your time. Read the real thing instead, easily found in the three Joshi-edited Lovecraft volumes issued by Penguin Classics.

  2. 5 out of 5

    M.L.

    First and foremost, this collection of short stories is mostly Derleth's work. That's not meant as a lash at the author, for he and Lovecraft were both dead by the time this was published and labeled as "HP Lovecraft." Derleth's name appears in small font on the cover, while Lovecraft's blares from it. Derleth and Lovecraft had been friends, and when Lovecraft passed away, Derleth finished Lovecraft's unfinished sentences/ideas that Lovecraft had jotted down. To be honest and fair, I don't think t First and foremost, this collection of short stories is mostly Derleth's work. That's not meant as a lash at the author, for he and Lovecraft were both dead by the time this was published and labeled as "HP Lovecraft." Derleth's name appears in small font on the cover, while Lovecraft's blares from it. Derleth and Lovecraft had been friends, and when Lovecraft passed away, Derleth finished Lovecraft's unfinished sentences/ideas that Lovecraft had jotted down. To be honest and fair, I don't think this is Derleth's best work. While there are a few good stories in the bunch, the most seem repetitive with the same themes and plots. I read The Lurker on the Threshold (a novella with similar "advertisement" as this collection), and it was an amazing story. This collection of stories felt rather bland compared to what I know Derleth can write. I can sum up the plot to more then half of them by this: Intelligent guy inherits house from long lost evil relative. Despite warnings from locals, friends...etc, guy investigates/stays at/lives in the house. Weird stuff happens, and a paragraph written entirely in italics states some profound, revelation about the evil relative or house. Recommendation I recommend this book if you are a hardcore Lovecraft fan dying for anything with a hint of Lovecraft; just don't expect Lovecraft... ...Or if you just want something easy/light to read to pass time. I don't recommend reading this like a novel because of the similarity between stories. You'd probably get more enjoyment out of it if you read a story or two from it, read something else by another author, go back to this collection for a story or two, and so on. Rating 3/5

  3. 4 out of 5

    Tamara

    This took me forever to read, simply because most of the stories were exactly the same. “A young man inherits a mysterious house and discovers that supernatural forces are at play.” It was written well enough, but I was expecting “soul-chilling tales” and was extremely disappointed. As someone who scares easily, this surprisingly did nothing to me. Also, the title is a paper version of click bait. I got it because it had Lovecraft emblazoned on the cover, and found out while reading that it was This took me forever to read, simply because most of the stories were exactly the same. “A young man inherits a mysterious house and discovers that supernatural forces are at play.” It was written well enough, but I was expecting “soul-chilling tales” and was extremely disappointed. As someone who scares easily, this surprisingly did nothing to me. Also, the title is a paper version of click bait. I got it because it had Lovecraft emblazoned on the cover, and found out while reading that it was mostly (if not all) Derleth.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Peregrine 12

    1.5 stars. Wanted to like it, but couldn't overcome my frustration at lack of action, rapid denouement, and repetition of story lines. BUT - there are many new words you can learn by reading this book, including: batrachian (used about 37 times), mountebank, eldritch (used about 15 times), lissome, icthyic, squamously (yes, that's an adverb), and armigerous. These stories were not written by H.P. Lovecraft, as the title suggests. Rather, they were written by August Derleth, a friend of Lovecraft's 1.5 stars. Wanted to like it, but couldn't overcome my frustration at lack of action, rapid denouement, and repetition of story lines. BUT - there are many new words you can learn by reading this book, including: batrachian (used about 37 times), mountebank, eldritch (used about 15 times), lissome, icthyic, squamously (yes, that's an adverb), and armigerous. These stories were not written by H.P. Lovecraft, as the title suggests. Rather, they were written by August Derleth, a friend of Lovecraft's, who used the author's notes to write these stories years after Lovecraft's death. After reading Cthulhu - The Mythos and Kindred Horrors, I was looking for more stories with a 1920's, Lovecraftian type atmosphere, so I took a chance and ordered this book. A couple of the stories were okay, but many (too many) were not. I liked the atmosphere Derleth tried to build, but the stories just didn't deliver. Keep in mind that this review is written by a person who enjoys some of Lovecraft's stories, but is not a die hard 'fan'. I was just looking for spooky stories that would capture my imagination and these didn't do it.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Jeannie Sloan

    Granted,I was not feeling too warm and fuzzy about Derth from the start by the insulting introduction about Lovecraft and then to find out Lovecraft had very little to do with the writing of these stories and then the Christianization of the stories...Well,I was not pleased.This book goes back to the library not completed. Back to Lovecraft and his friends at Cthulu 2000.

  6. 4 out of 5

    R.

    So now I'm praying for the watchers out of time to hurry up and arrive cuz if I have to spend another minute with Cthulhu I don't think that I could really survive... I'll never break my promise or forget my vow etc etc etc It never felt so good, it never felt so right we were sleeping in Rl'yeh till the stars were right etc etc etc Really, Meatloaf (Nyarlathoaf) has nothing to do with this book. So now I'm praying for the watchers out of time to hurry up and arrive cuz if I have to spend another minute with Cthulhu I don't think that I could really survive... I'll never break my promise or forget my vow etc etc etc It never felt so good, it never felt so right we were sleeping in Rl'yeh till the stars were right etc etc etc Really, Meatloaf (Nyarlathoaf) has nothing to do with this book.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Jay Eckard

    This book is sort of "Meh" made incarnate. Suggestively, horribly "Meh", I should say. These stories were fleshed out by August Derleth from notes and fragments left by Lovecraft. These days, we'd call it Fan-Fic, and like the modern thing, it seeks to add to what the original creates. Unfortunately, like a lot of Fan-fic, it just isn't up to the standard set by the creator. Derleth just isn't the sort of Master of unrolling paranoia and exploring psychology that Lovecraft is -- he depends on st This book is sort of "Meh" made incarnate. Suggestively, horribly "Meh", I should say. These stories were fleshed out by August Derleth from notes and fragments left by Lovecraft. These days, we'd call it Fan-Fic, and like the modern thing, it seeks to add to what the original creates. Unfortunately, like a lot of Fan-fic, it just isn't up to the standard set by the creator. Derleth just isn't the sort of Master of unrolling paranoia and exploring psychology that Lovecraft is -- he depends on stock phrases and situations to create atmosphere, and more often than not, it just doesn't work. Derleth also elects to reject the location and scope of Lovecraft's works, with the result that almost all of the stories feature the same towns and families, with a regrettable loss of credibility (especially in some of his revisions, Lovecraft had tales in New York City, Oklahoma, San Fransisco and London. Even in his better, original work Derleth has stories in his native Wisconsin). It feels like every one of Lovecraft's narrators has a slew of less talented and less intelligent cousins ready to blunder in with the same mistakes in the same ill-begotten version of Dunwich, this one with its own patented country rube. Who is everybody's cousin. Taken separately, the stories wouldn't be too bad, and might make for an amusing read. Assembled together, though, they're repetitious in the extreme (Oh no! Cousin Obed worshiped fishy devils and -- gasp! -- he's being reincarnated! Again!). If nothing else, their lack of verve and unsettling terror -- I won't say talent, because there is a sort of talent to hack work -- makes you appreciate the real skills of Lovecraft*. *The editor of the Tales of the Cthulhu Mythos anthology put out by Del Ray mentions this aspect of Lovecraft explicitly in his introduction, and it's important to keep this in mind when reading any of his fiction.

  8. 5 out of 5

    GD

    I admit the marketing for this book is insanely misleading, and I remember when I bought it in the 9th grade I kind of knew Lovecraft had never written the stores that I saw were in the table of contents, and I did get the idea when reading it that these weren't even collaborations, they were 95 percent of more just August Derleth. I don't know, maybe the titles were created by Lovecraft and the stories written by Derleth. But I don't agree at all with the universal panning of this book. It's tr I admit the marketing for this book is insanely misleading, and I remember when I bought it in the 9th grade I kind of knew Lovecraft had never written the stores that I saw were in the table of contents, and I did get the idea when reading it that these weren't even collaborations, they were 95 percent of more just August Derleth. I don't know, maybe the titles were created by Lovecraft and the stories written by Derleth. But I don't agree at all with the universal panning of this book. It's true that Derleth's style comes nowhere near Lovecraft's, but then again, no one really does. And it's true that Derleth kind of changed up the Mythos a little, codified it, so to speak, and maybe made it easier to understand and at the same time less creepy, but if we just ignore the fact that we bought this book because of Lovecraft, I think all the stories in this book are very, very good. Frog people, bad ancestral blood, researches researching the wrongest shit possible and paying for it, etc. If you have a chance to read this book, and you like Mythos stories by the likes of Brian Lumley and Ramsey Campbell, I'd say give it a try.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Malory

    The Watchers Out of Time was originally an Arkham House publication consisting of redacted interpretations of a share of Lovecraft's fragmented spinnings. Largely written by friend and author August Derleth, though marketed, much to the chagrin of Lovecraft admirers, as a genuine Lovecraft, the stories run the gamut of classical weird fiction, pressing similar boundaries as the like of Derleth's predecessor, to suspenseful mysteries of the alien sublime. Derleth's writing is unmistakably Lovecra The Watchers Out of Time was originally an Arkham House publication consisting of redacted interpretations of a share of Lovecraft's fragmented spinnings. Largely written by friend and author August Derleth, though marketed, much to the chagrin of Lovecraft admirers, as a genuine Lovecraft, the stories run the gamut of classical weird fiction, pressing similar boundaries as the like of Derleth's predecessor, to suspenseful mysteries of the alien sublime. Derleth's writing is unmistakably Lovecraftian, but where pastiche frequently gives off to self-entangled warbles of clumsy prose, the stories incur a phenomenal detail of parody. A companion to Lovecraft's antiquary tales of horror, but certainly no substitute.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jon Mackley

    Here's the issue with this. It's God H.P. Lovecraft's name in big letters on the front cover, and August Derleth in a much smaller font. Even in the Goodreads page, Lovecraft is listed and Derleth not. But this is one of the deceits that comes withthis book. Lovecraft did not write the stories, or at least, not much of them. One of the stories runs to 50000 words, but only 1200 of them were written by Lovecraft. In other places, it's a single line of a plot from Lovecraft's "Commonplace Book" wh Here's the issue with this. It's God H.P. Lovecraft's name in big letters on the front cover, and August Derleth in a much smaller font. Even in the Goodreads page, Lovecraft is listed and Derleth not. But this is one of the deceits that comes withthis book. Lovecraft did not write the stories, or at least, not much of them. One of the stories runs to 50000 words, but only 1200 of them were written by Lovecraft. In other places, it's a single line of a plot from Lovecraft's "Commonplace Book" which Derleth has taken and expanded into a story. Derleth's not a *bad* writer - actually, no, he's not a *really bad* writer - but his works in the Lovecraft universe will only ever be a pastiche of what has gone before. Derleth thinks he owns the rights to Lovecraft's canon of work, but all he succeeds in doing is expanding the Mythos according to his own belief system. In doing so, he makes what is mysterious in Lovecraft's writings ... well, LESS mysterious. By providing more detail of Lovecraft's mysterious world, it becomes more *familiar* and less *sinister*. The second issue isn't Deleth's fault: when he was writing these stories they wer being published months, maybe even years apart. This meant that Derleth had to keep repeating the material he'd invented: that there were two races, one Ancient who were generally on the side of humanity, and another race of "Elder Gods" who just enjoyed their chaos. Each of the stories is formulaic. So, if you sit down in an evening and want to read, say, three stories in a row, then you'll be confronted by the same thing a few times (mysterious object unlocks esoteic understanding), an explanation, "Who knows what ghastly secrets could be found in the ancient blasphemy, The Necronomicon, which spoke of a race of cosmic elemental beings ..." And finally an understanding, generally written in italic: "But we knew for certain now that we were no longer alone in the universe AND WE HAD DRAWN ATTENTION TO OURSELVES. Ia! Ia! Hastur! Hastur cf'ayak vulgtmm, vugtlagn, vulgtmm! Ai! Ai! Hastur! (I've made this explanation up, but it's the kind of thing Derleth would say. So, issues with this book: Formulaic and repetative, unimaginative and being sold on the premise that someone else wrote the stories. By all means read the stories, but read them one at a time, put the book aside and read a lot of something elses, and then go onto the next story. (It's not included in this volume, but Derleth's stories that he wrote about the Cthulhu Mythos, including "The Mask of Cthulhu" and "The Trail of Cthulhu" is better, and all the stories of "Trail", although VERY imititative of Lovecraft's work (to the point he uses the same descriptions on Innsbrook) are interlinked. Derleth did a lot for Lovecraft's literary reputation by ensuring the literature he wrote did not vanish along with the 'pulp' magazines. However, he does also spoil the cosmic mysteries by giving the reader too much information as well as publishing a book as the work of another (better) author, but actuallywriting most of it himself.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Lara Giesbers

    As many people probably did, I bought this book because I love the work of H.P. Lovecraft, and I was interested to see what another author would do with his legacy. As I have said of other authors I absolutely love, if you're going to throw Lovecraft in my face, you better be prepared to back it up. I was looking for the eerie, weird vibe that I love about Lovecraft, and the stories fell flat too often. I am glad that I finished each of the tales, because I found one at the beginning, and one at As many people probably did, I bought this book because I love the work of H.P. Lovecraft, and I was interested to see what another author would do with his legacy. As I have said of other authors I absolutely love, if you're going to throw Lovecraft in my face, you better be prepared to back it up. I was looking for the eerie, weird vibe that I love about Lovecraft, and the stories fell flat too often. I am glad that I finished each of the tales, because I found one at the beginning, and one at the end the most enjoyable. The rest were just a little too over the top with all the references to the things that Lovecraft is most known for. However, I do appreciate the fact that this author uses a lot of interesting words that are specific to the time period of his tales. I have a great respect for those who will take the time to broaden my vocabulary with words a little off the beaten path of the average reader. Perhaps the greater disappointment was that I wanted the feel, the atmosphere of chill that I get from reading Lovecraft. I wanted to experience that world once more, if only for a few hours. I wish it could've delivered on the chill.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Pete

    I read the paperback version that does not include the short novel "The Lurker at the Threshold" which I read years ago. The remaining short stories amply demonstrate the problematic talents of Derleth. These stories are purported to be posthumous collaborations with Lovecraft, but the majority are entirely the work of Derleth who twisted Lovecraft's Mythos towards Christian tradition with the Old Ones standing in for demons and devils. Some stories are slightly more Lovecraftian in that very al I read the paperback version that does not include the short novel "The Lurker at the Threshold" which I read years ago. The remaining short stories amply demonstrate the problematic talents of Derleth. These stories are purported to be posthumous collaborations with Lovecraft, but the majority are entirely the work of Derleth who twisted Lovecraft's Mythos towards Christian tradition with the Old Ones standing in for demons and devils. Some stories are slightly more Lovecraftian in that very alien appearing aliens have schemes for the Earth. Many of the stories simply have Lovecraftian furniture, e.g. lists of arcane books, lists of strange names and lists of strange cities. Most of the stories are enjoyable if you simply want a simple horror story, and Derleth has a standard forumula: an outsider inherits a property in New England and eventually unearths a terrible secret. A few rise above including "The Ancestor", "The Shuttered Room", "The Shadow in the Attic" and "The Dark Brotherhood".

  13. 5 out of 5

    Edward Taylor

    The true title of this anthology should be "Tales written by August Derleth based on ideas thrown away by H.P. Lovecraft" - Similar to Phil's works to advance other writers for his own monetary (and egotistical) gain, Derleth (who at the time owned most of Lovecraft's works based upon contracts with Arkham House publishing) took old ideas that never bore fruit for HPL and wrapped his own words around them and published them as a collaboration between the two. Nevermind that the first of these ta The true title of this anthology should be "Tales written by August Derleth based on ideas thrown away by H.P. Lovecraft" - Similar to Phil's works to advance other writers for his own monetary (and egotistical) gain, Derleth (who at the time owned most of Lovecraft's works based upon contracts with Arkham House publishing) took old ideas that never bore fruit for HPL and wrapped his own words around them and published them as a collaboration between the two. Nevermind that the first of these tales were not written or published until 20+ years after HP had died, let alone the fact that many of them made little sense in the overall workings of the Cthulhu mythos outside of just using the names of some of the Elder and Outer Gods, AD made it sound and seem like they were fresh new stories "from beyond"! (could not help myself)

  14. 5 out of 5

    Chris Lira

    This is a collection of stories inspired....really, derived....from Lovecraft's Cthulhu mythos. The re are numerous references to the Old Gods, Ancient Ones, Cthulhu, Hasture, Azathoth, etc. the Neconronomicon salso mentioned several times. But the stories in the first half all follow a similar sort of line, with the big reveal kn the italicized last paragraph(which Lovecraft used to great effect in The Outsider, e.g.). But it wears a bit thin after a while. The latter stories don't rely kn this This is a collection of stories inspired....really, derived....from Lovecraft's Cthulhu mythos. The re are numerous references to the Old Gods, Ancient Ones, Cthulhu, Hasture, Azathoth, etc. the Neconronomicon salso mentioned several times. But the stories in the first half all follow a similar sort of line, with the big reveal kn the italicized last paragraph(which Lovecraft used to great effect in The Outsider, e.g.). But it wears a bit thin after a while. The latter stories don't rely kn this technique quite so much, but themes are used again and again- the inheritance of an old, cursed estate from some distant relative(at least 3 of the stories). This book just didn't do much for me.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Thomas Valle-Hoag

    Derleth is a good writer but somewhat misses the forest for the trees in his Lovecraftian work. By formally arranging the hierarchy of Lovecraftian gods, he somewhat diminishes their terror. He seems more interested in alluding to HPL’s work than developing his own stories. The result is a collection of well-written, but repetitive gothic stories rather than true Lovecraftian fiction. Still worth a read if you’re a fan.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Dawn

    I wasn't feeling this one and when I found out from Goodreads that Lovecraft didn't even write it, I threw in the towel. I guess I was fooled by the giant H.P. LOVECRAFT across the cover! I got through three stories and they were all basically the same. Maybe I'll come back to this one day, but probably not. I wasn't feeling this one and when I found out from Goodreads that Lovecraft didn't even write it, I threw in the towel. I guess I was fooled by the giant H.P. LOVECRAFT across the cover! I got through three stories and they were all basically the same. Maybe I'll come back to this one day, but probably not.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Jim

    Nice little collection of horror stories. Derleth attempted to capture HPL's master touch. Attempt not successful, but still an enjoyable read. Nice little collection of horror stories. Derleth attempted to capture HPL's master touch. Attempt not successful, but still an enjoyable read.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Signor Mambrino

    Not amazing, but not horrible.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Melissa

    Just cannot get into Lovecraft's world. Just cannot get into Lovecraft's world.

  20. 4 out of 5

    The rockabilly werewolf from Mars

    I'm not really a Lovecraft purist, so complaints about how these aren't true to his original vision are pretty much irrelevant to me. However, these suffer from a different - and in my view more serious - problem: they're incredibly repetitive. Virtually all of them follow the following formula: protagonist goes to old house that they have either a) inherited, or b) belongs to an acquaintance who has recently disappeared. Protagonist hears odd noises and finds that the previous occupant dabbled I'm not really a Lovecraft purist, so complaints about how these aren't true to his original vision are pretty much irrelevant to me. However, these suffer from a different - and in my view more serious - problem: they're incredibly repetitive. Virtually all of them follow the following formula: protagonist goes to old house that they have either a) inherited, or b) belongs to an acquaintance who has recently disappeared. Protagonist hears odd noises and finds that the previous occupant dabbled in the occult, usually demonstrated by having the protagonist find old books on the subject, which entails listing off the same few books every time. Other odd incidents occur, leading up to the final appearance of a monster. The final line of the story is in italics (admittedly, this isn't unique to this author), and ends with an exclamation point. This isn't necessarily a bad plot, and the stories themselves aren't terrible, but when this same plot is repeated over and over again throughout the book, it starts to get very tiresome. Due to this fact, I would recommend not reading more than 2 or 3 in one sitting, and perhaps reading another collection simultaneously, alternating between the two in order to mitigate the repetition. I will admit that the author has some ability to create a creepy atmosphere, and a few of the stories have occasional effective imagery, but it's not really a book that I would actively look for; although it's not necessarily bad, just unremarkable.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Joey

    First, I need to get some things straight: I love the works of Lovecraft and the Cthulhu Mythos. With the latter I do not just mean Lovecraft himself but also earlier works which inspired the great master himself, such as The King In Yellow by Robert Chambers (Which is where Hastur and the King in Yellow comes from). Because of this love for Lovecraft, I purchased not only Necronomicon, but also works such as The Great God Pan and The Hill of Dreams; The Complete Tales and Poems of Edgar Allan P First, I need to get some things straight: I love the works of Lovecraft and the Cthulhu Mythos. With the latter I do not just mean Lovecraft himself but also earlier works which inspired the great master himself, such as The King In Yellow by Robert Chambers (Which is where Hastur and the King in Yellow comes from). Because of this love for Lovecraft, I purchased not only Necronomicon, but also works such as The Great God Pan and The Hill of Dreams; The Complete Tales and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe and Walpole's The Castle of Otranto - because to truly appreciate an artist, you need to understand where his influences come from; but also this book, The Watchers Out of Time. I bought the book mainly because it was there when I ransacked the shelves of the local book store and because it contained stories written by August Derleth, the man who founded the publisher Arkham House and made sure Lovecraft's legacy lives on. However, there is one thing that you need to know about this book: the marketing is very misleading. Lovecraft's name is written at the top in huge letters, with Derleth's name beneath it in small print, but actually it should be the other way around. Because, to be honest, the quality is no where near Lovecraft's original work. In fact, if you are doubting whether to get this book or not, leave it on the shelves. Get another good horror or gothic story, such as those listed above. ------SPOILERS BELOW, BEWARE!!!------ You see, Derleth is a terrible writer. Whereas Lovecraft's original work never ceased to hold my attention, Derleth's work is very predictable and quite lacking in suspense. In addition, Derleth also seems to feel a need to show the reader that he is an expert in the Cthulhu mythos. Where other stories find it sufficient to show a book shelf containing, for example, the Necronomicon, die Unaussprechlichen Kulten and some other leather-bound tomes, Derleth needs to give an exhaustive list of eldritch tomes, resulting in a paragraph filled with italicised names which adds nothing to the story. Another problem with Derleth's work is it's originality. Too many of the stories are set in Dunwich and even if they are set elsewhere, many references to the Whateleys and 'The Dunwich Horror' exist within. And on top of that, the story starts too often with the protagonist inheriting a property which belonged to a evil warlock grandfather - in Dunwich for bonus points - in which the protagonist stays and eventually finds something evil inside. However, there is always the possibility that I have these complaints because I've read too much of the Cthulhu mythos and became genre savvy to a point where I can predict the story. I will soon find out if that is the case when I am done with reading Tales of the Cthulhu Mythos, containing stories by many different writers (including some by Derleth). Still, if you want to read this book, just for completion's sake, just so you can say that you have also read the fiction after Lovecraft himself, go for it.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Doug

    I read this years ago, and hated it. Not even particularly sure why it got my dander up *that* much, but it did. A friend recently got it for me as a birthday gift, this newer edition, and so I started re-reading it. It's not that bad. A weird mix of new ideas, "sequels" to Lovecraft stories that did not need sequels, ret-conning of Lovecraft's mythos, and fanfic. Still, there is as much to like as to hate, here, and a couple of the stories are quite interesting on their own. I liked the "Dunwic I read this years ago, and hated it. Not even particularly sure why it got my dander up *that* much, but it did. A friend recently got it for me as a birthday gift, this newer edition, and so I started re-reading it. It's not that bad. A weird mix of new ideas, "sequels" to Lovecraft stories that did not need sequels, ret-conning of Lovecraft's mythos, and fanfic. Still, there is as much to like as to hate, here, and a couple of the stories are quite interesting on their own. I liked the "Dunwich Horror" sequel: "The Shuttered Room". My other favorites would have been the somewhat uneven "Wentworth's Day" and the needed-a-slightly-different-punch "The Ancestor" (which is basically the story of Altered States but less New Agey). Nadirs include the "The Lamp of Alhazred", which would have earned groans if given for free on a Lovecraft fan board, and the end of "The Witches Hollow", when a complete lack of tension or danger is created by deus ex Great Ones.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Shane

    This collection was hit or miss. The biggest thing that stuck out is there are at least 3 stories that have someone inheriting an old creepy house from ancestors that were cultists. The title story is actually unfinished and hence a waste of time. A couple others are interesting and couple other not so good. It's hard to tell what's Lovecraft's and what's Derleth's but I would say Lovecraft fans could live without this collection and not be the worse for it. I read most of this with Shelley. It w This collection was hit or miss. The biggest thing that stuck out is there are at least 3 stories that have someone inheriting an old creepy house from ancestors that were cultists. The title story is actually unfinished and hence a waste of time. A couple others are interesting and couple other not so good. It's hard to tell what's Lovecraft's and what's Derleth's but I would say Lovecraft fans could live without this collection and not be the worse for it. I read most of this with Shelley. It was her first experience with Lovecraft/Cthulhu and she loved it even though the stories were definitely not the best HP has to offer. Now she's reading At the Mountains of Madness and Other Tales of Terror.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Andy

    First, let's be clear. These are all stories by August Derleth, not Lovecraft. Most of these stories follow a fairly predictable pattern: A man moves into a long-abandoned house of his ancestors, discovers a dark history of occultism, bad stuff happens. Most of these stories are variations on that theme, and I like the creepy rural setting, so I enjoyed this book despite the redundancy. There's some exceptions to this theme such as "The Fisherman of Falcon Point" which is a nice little tale. Some First, let's be clear. These are all stories by August Derleth, not Lovecraft. Most of these stories follow a fairly predictable pattern: A man moves into a long-abandoned house of his ancestors, discovers a dark history of occultism, bad stuff happens. Most of these stories are variations on that theme, and I like the creepy rural setting, so I enjoyed this book despite the redundancy. There's some exceptions to this theme such as "The Fisherman of Falcon Point" which is a nice little tale. Some of the better stories were "The Survivor," "The Ancestor," "The Shuttered Room" and "The Shadow in the Attic." The story "The Shadow Out of Space" is a blatant retelling (how dare you Derleth?) of Lovecraft's "The Shadow Out of Time" and just pales by comparison. Recommended if you want some good, pulpy stories with the traditional "weird tales" feel.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Theresa Glover

    Looking at this connection, a couple of things stand out. I enjoyed the stories overall, and seeing the overlap and parallels between the stories was interesting. I can see the influence of Derleth on Lovecraft’s style. Lovecraft pretty much sucks at dialogue, and when he writes it, it’s pretty clear. There was quite a bit in this collection and Lovecraft’s tin ear was pretty evident. And dialect. I admit I’ve committed the sin of dialect, but so did Lovecraft. The last thing that made my skin c Looking at this connection, a couple of things stand out. I enjoyed the stories overall, and seeing the overlap and parallels between the stories was interesting. I can see the influence of Derleth on Lovecraft’s style. Lovecraft pretty much sucks at dialogue, and when he writes it, it’s pretty clear. There was quite a bit in this collection and Lovecraft’s tin ear was pretty evident. And dialect. I admit I’ve committed the sin of dialect, but so did Lovecraft. The last thing that made my skin crawl was for about half the book, the final paragraph or “gotcha” passage in the story was italicized. Yuck. Seriously, I can tell it’s the paragraph that matters; there’s no need to highlight it for me like I’m an idiot.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Timothy

    Overall I liked the book, but August Derleth is sort of hit or miss. I know lots of people pan him for some of what he did with the mythos, and while I don't necessarily agree with his choices, I feel that that's not his worst drawback. For me I find that he over-uses and re-hashes too many of Lovecraft's ideas, settings, and characters. It's a lot like fan-boy fiction I guess. Nonetheless, August Derleth is not a bad writer. In some of his stories I think he really captures the mystery, awe, an Overall I liked the book, but August Derleth is sort of hit or miss. I know lots of people pan him for some of what he did with the mythos, and while I don't necessarily agree with his choices, I feel that that's not his worst drawback. For me I find that he over-uses and re-hashes too many of Lovecraft's ideas, settings, and characters. It's a lot like fan-boy fiction I guess. Nonetheless, August Derleth is not a bad writer. In some of his stories I think he really captures the mystery, awe, and fear, of facing down preternatural powers that are dark, sinister, and incomprehensible. In other stories his style is less successful. I'd be curious to know what other readers think of this author.

  27. 5 out of 5

    The Artificer

    A bit of info for those new to Lovecraft- Despite August Derleth's claims to have 'finished off' these stories that Lovecraft had left incomplete, these are almost exclusively ALL Derleth- And it shows. For die-hard fans of the Lovecraft mythos there are a few treats, but generally speaking all of these stories are basically Lovecraft Pastiche. You've read the basic tropes used by Lovecraft himself, and they are done far less expertly, and much more obviously, here. If you've read the rest of the myt A bit of info for those new to Lovecraft- Despite August Derleth's claims to have 'finished off' these stories that Lovecraft had left incomplete, these are almost exclusively ALL Derleth- And it shows. For die-hard fans of the Lovecraft mythos there are a few treats, but generally speaking all of these stories are basically Lovecraft Pastiche. You've read the basic tropes used by Lovecraft himself, and they are done far less expertly, and much more obviously, here. If you've read the rest of the mythos writing and are desperately searching for something else related to read this collection MIGHT be worth your while. Otherwise you'd be better served reading something like Robert Block's "Mysteries of the Worm" which is mythos fiction done far better.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Ken

    This is one of those books where the sum of the parts is greater than the whole. This is because the plot hook of educated man inherits property from mysterious ancestor, moves in, and strange things start happening is literally used in every other story. Derleth also adds one Whateley relative after another, but oddly ties them closer to the Shadow Over Innsmouth rather than The Dunwich Horror, which is a little sad because the book could have used some appearances of Yog-Sothoth. It is also sa This is one of those books where the sum of the parts is greater than the whole. This is because the plot hook of educated man inherits property from mysterious ancestor, moves in, and strange things start happening is literally used in every other story. Derleth also adds one Whateley relative after another, but oddly ties them closer to the Shadow Over Innsmouth rather than The Dunwich Horror, which is a little sad because the book could have used some appearances of Yog-Sothoth. It is also sad that the titular tale is unfinished. But if you are into Lovecraft and Mythos tales, you will definitely enjoy this book and the stories just on their own are pretty cool. I basically agree with M.L.'s review, so go read what he wrote about it.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Jeff

    I read this sometime not that long ago but not many of the stories have stuck with me at all. The most amusing thing is that this seems, if you read it carefully, to be entirely the work of August Derleth. I don't think anything here is actually written by Lovecraft. That's ok, though, I am not a Derleth hater. It's just funny how deceptive the whole thing is, with cover blurbs from the New York Times (presumably referring to something else) and laudatory quotations on the back about Lovecraft. T I read this sometime not that long ago but not many of the stories have stuck with me at all. The most amusing thing is that this seems, if you read it carefully, to be entirely the work of August Derleth. I don't think anything here is actually written by Lovecraft. That's ok, though, I am not a Derleth hater. It's just funny how deceptive the whole thing is, with cover blurbs from the New York Times (presumably referring to something else) and laudatory quotations on the back about Lovecraft. The only story from "The Watchers Out of Time" that stands out to me is one I already knew from some other collection, "The Lamp of Alhazred," which is really a pretty lovely piece.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Nicholas Beck

    Many of the stories in this collection have a very similar feeling, yet each is exciting and suspenseful in its own unique manner. August Derleth shows his amazing talent within most of these stories, some, especially the older tales, are a little slower to develop and are easy to determine what is coming in the end. Yet there are enough excellent stories to keep the reader interested. This collection by Derleth was in the Lovecraftian tradition, which is why H.P.'s name was on the cover as well Many of the stories in this collection have a very similar feeling, yet each is exciting and suspenseful in its own unique manner. August Derleth shows his amazing talent within most of these stories, some, especially the older tales, are a little slower to develop and are easy to determine what is coming in the end. Yet there are enough excellent stories to keep the reader interested. This collection by Derleth was in the Lovecraftian tradition, which is why H.P.'s name was on the cover as well, yet none of these stories were written by Lovecraft himself. This collection has really made me want to find other titles by August and see what other styles the man wrote in.

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