Howard Phillips Lovecrafts unique contribution to American literature was a melding of traditional supernaturalism (derived chiefly from Edgar Allan Poe) with the genre of science fiction that emerged in the early 1920s. This new Penguin Twentieth-Century Classics edition brings together a dozen of the masters tales-from his early short stories Under the Pyramids (originally ghostwritten for Harry Houdini) and The Music of Erich Zann (which Lovecraft ranked second among his own favorites) through his more fully developed works, The Dunwich Horror, The Case of Charles Dexter Ward, and At the Mountains of Madness.
The Thing on the Doorstep and Other Weird Stories presents the definitive corrected texts of these works, along with Lovecraft critic and biographer S. T. Joshis illuminating introduction and notes to each story.
Dear B&N customer,
Im very pleased to share with you, Penguin Horror, a series I have curated that features canonical works by authors who have been formative to my life as a reader and who have inspired my creative and artistic endeavors through my whole career.
For me, a lifelong passion for classic horror began partly with reading Penguin Books in English, and one of my earliest loves, Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, the purest of parables, brought a sense of familiarity and comfort to an awkward adolescent boy growing up in Mexico, who felt, in some sense, a bond with the Creature himself.
The discovery of the horror tale as a young child was fortuitous and, in many ways, it served the same purpose as fairy tales did in my childhood. Internal conflicts are externalized and played out as we enter the worlds written by Mary Shelley or Edgar Allan Poe or H.P. Lovecraft in a similar manner that they are when we read the Grimms or Hans Christian Andersen or Oscar Wilde. These tales allow us to articulate our anxieties and fears in absolute safety. And, just as the fairy tale, the horror tale can serve as both a liberating or repressive social tool, and remains always an accurate mirror to the social climate of its time.
These works of literature collected here in Penguin Horror by masters of the genre including perennial favorites like Mary Shelley, Shirley Jackson, H.P. Lovecraft, Edgar Allan Poe, and an author that I trust will be a revelation to new generations of horror lovers: Ray Russell. These titles go hand-in-hand with a collection of classic supernatural short stories from Ray Bradbury, Stephen King, Joyce Carol Oates and many others, selected by a true scholar of the Genre: S.T. Joshi. This collection provides new readers with an opportunity to inhabit the haunted castles of our minds, and to look deeply into those dark mirrors that reflect all that we fear.
For to learn what we fear is to learn who we are.
Guillermo del Toro