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H.P. Lovecraft Short Story Collection II

H.P. Lovecraft Short Story Collection II

by H. P. Lovecraft

The Cats of Ulthar

As mentioned this tale tells of the forming of the law "that in Ulthar no man may kill a cat". Previously to this an old cotter and his wife took great delight in slaughtering the cats of their neighborhood in some unknown yet horrid manner. After they kill the kitten of Menes, an orphan of the strange wanderers who visit the town, he utters a strange prayer before he and his people disappear forever that evening. In response to that prayer that night the cats of the town descend on the old cotters house, witnessed by Atal, and presumably kill and eat them in retribution.

From Wikipedia

The Crawling Chaos

The story begins with narrator describing the effects of opium and the fantastical vistas it can inspire. The narrator then tells of his sole experience with opium in which he was administered an overdose during the "year of the plague".

After a disembodied sensation of falling, the narrator finds himself within a strange beautiful room containing exotic furniture, where a sound of pounding from outside inspires an inexplicable sense of dread within the narrator. Determined to identify the origin of this sound, the narrator moves towards a window and observes a terrifying scene of fifty-foot waves and seething vortex thirty feet below where he is standing, consuming the shoreline at an incredible rate.

From Wikipedia
Read by D.E. Wittkower

Ex Oblivione
It is written in first person and tells of the dreams of a presumably dying man. In his dreams, the man is walking through a valley and encounters a vine-covered wall with a locked bronze gate therein. He longs to know what lies beyond the gate.

Then one night, the man dreams of the dream-city Zakarion, in which he finds a yellowed papyrus written by wise dream-sages who exist only within the dream world. The papyrus tells of the gate, with varying accounts of what lies beyond: some of the dream-sages tell of immense wonders, while other tell of horror and disappointment.

From Wikipedia
Read by: Maxim Lenyadin

The Nameless City

The Nameless City of the story's title is an ancient ruin located somewhere in the deserts of the Arabian Peninsula and is older than any human civilization.
In ancient times, the Nameless City was built and inhabited by an unnamed race of reptilian humanoids with a body shaped like a cross between a crocodile and a seal. These beings moved by crawling; thus, the architecture of the city has very low ceilings and some places are too low for a human being to stand upright. Their city was originally coastal, but when the seas receded it was left in the depths of a desert. This resulted in the decline and eventual ruin of the city.

The protagonist of "The Nameless City" states that "it was of this place that Abdul Alhazred the mad poet [author of the Necronomicon] dreamed of" the night before he sang his unexplained couplet:

"That is not dead which can eternal lie,
And with strange aeons even death may die."

From Wikipedia
Read by Mark Nelson

The Picture in the House

"The Picture in the House" begins with something of a manifesto for the series of horror stories Lovecraft would write set in an imaginary New England countryside that would come to be known as Lovecraft Country:
Searchers after horror haunt strange, far places. For them are the catacombs of Ptolemais, and the carven mausolea of the nightmare countries. They climb to the moonlit towers of ruined Rhine castles, and falter down black cobwebbed steps beneath the scattered stones of forgotten cities in Asia. The haunted wood and the desolate mountain are their shrines, and they linger around the sinister monoliths on uninhabited islands. But the true epicure of the terrible, to whom a new thrill of unutterable ghastliness is the chief end and justification of existence, esteem most of all the ancient, lonely farmhouses of backwoods New England; for there the dark elements of strength, solitude, grotesqueness, and ignorance combine to form the perfection of the hideous.

As Lovecraft critic Peter Cannon writes, "Here Lovecraft serves notice that he will rely less on stock Gothic trappings and more on his native region as a source for horror."[4] Lovecraft's analysis of the psychological roots of New England horror is echoed in his discussion of Nathaniel Hawthorne in the essay "Supernatural Horror in Literature".[5]

The story introduces two of Lovecraft Country's most famous elements:

I had been travelling for some time amongst the people of the Miskatonic Valley in quest of certain genealogical data.... Now I found myself upon an apparently abandoned road which I had chosen as the shortest cut to Arkham.

Neither location is further developed in this tale, but Lovecraft had placed the foundations for one of the most enduring settings in weird fiction.

From Wikipedia
Read by Glen Hallstrom

The Statement of Randolph Carter

"The Statement of Randolph Carter" is the first person, apparently verbatim, testimony of the titular character, who has been found wandering through swampland in an amnesiaic shock. In his statement, Carter attempts to explain the disappearance of his companion, the occultist Harley Warren.
In the story, Warren has come into the possession of a book written in an unknown language that he forbids Carter from seeing. Carter mentions that Warren has other "strange, rare books on forbidden subjects", several of which are in Arabic, though Lovecraft's fabled Necronomicon is never mentioned.

From Wikipedia
Read by Glen Hallstrom

The Tomb

"The Tomb" tells of Jervas Dudley, and how he was always a dreamer. In the woods one day, he finds the entrance to a cave of the Hyde family's tomb. On impulse, he tries to move the door but can't, so he goes home and finds a key in his attic. This he takes with him and opens the door to the crypt.
Inside he finds an empty coffin with his name on the plate, and he begins to sleep in it each night.

From Wikipedia
Read by D.E. Wittkower

Read by Various readers
Approx. running time 2 1/2 hours
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