This collection shows Lovecraft s early writing his dream like stories of ancient fantasy civilizations hisclassical ghost stories, the ruin of a couple over curious explorers Some have great twists, but most pale in comparison to those of his later Cthulhu Mythos period Mountains of Madness, Call of Cthulhu, Shadow of Innsmouth, Dunwich Horror, Color out of Space, to name my favorites So I d recommend the collection in The Doom that Came to Sarnath to a Lovecraft fan wanting to learnabout his development The editor prefaces most of the stories with background about their writing and their place in Lovecraft s biography and evolving style.That said, this collection does contain Nyarlathotep, a short prose poem whose title character is alluded to occasionally in the Mythos The Tomb is a classic ghost story done well From Beyond and Beyond the Walls of Sleep begin Lovecraft s exploration of parallel universes The most poignant for me was Polaris, in creating an atmosphere of solitude, beauty, and then utter despair. I think Lovecraft often gets a bad rap People read that he influenced the modern greats, everyone form authors like Stephen King and Clive Barker, to movie makers like John Carpenter and Wes Craven, and then dive into his books expecting the same fare He wrote for a different era His mind bending, first person surrealistic approach to a creeping, nameless horror stunned and fascinated huge segments of early century America The America that read, that is, which wasn t nearly what it is today I enjoy his approach, even if some of it is a bit florid, but his ideas are dauntless They broke conventions and rearranged the way a future breed of horror authors would look at the world Even today, I find them stunningly original, and well worth the read If any sound familiar, it is only because they have been copied, usually far less efficiently, by later day authors. Calm Yourself There AreTerrorizing Short Tales Of Mirth And Murder Awaiting Your Inspection, Created By The Master Of Horror, HP Lovecraft Prepare For The Fright Of Your Life It S Within These PagesContents Introduction Lin Carter The Other GodsThe TreeThe Doom That Came To SarnathThe TombPolarisBeyond The Wall Of SleepMemoryWhat The Moon BringsNyarlathotepEx OblivioneThe Cats Of UltharHypnosNathicanaFrom BeyondThe FestivalThe Nameless CityThe Quest Of IranonThe Crawling ChaosIn The Walls Of EryxImprisoned With The Pharaohs When I was a freshman in high school I found this book in the school library It was my introduction to Lovecraft and his eldritch tales of shambling horrors from beyond the stars, haunted childhoods, and fantastical dreamworlds I had never read anything like them In some way he tapped an emotional vein of gothic nostalgia that has always been a part of my world view, giving it voice While his writing is full of flaws racism, no characterization whatsoever, hyperbolic adjectives ad infinitum, and little or no actual conflict there s one thing Lovecraft can do atmosphere not showing or telling you anything, but making you feel his own existential dread and longing for the past In my own writing, I ve tried to do the same, balancing the gothic with ahopeful recognition of the limits of human knowledge and the potential we have to bethan what was. This was my introduction to Lovecraft and it blew me away Some of the stories work better than others, to be polite about HP s earlier style but I remember realising that here I d discovered something truly different And I keep going back to HP, having learnt to appreciate the incredible Eldritch atmosphere he creates with his unique style. 3.5 stars Not the best collection of stories as they are mostly early stories, but some good ones for sure. This was a great sampling of Lovecrafts earlier work It was especially interesting to someone already familiar with hispopular works to see where it all started Most of the stories in this collection differs a lot from hisfamous writings Not all of the stories were great, but almost all were at least good. I love these Del Rey Lovecraft collections from the 70s Cool artwork, not too long usually around 180 250 pages , and of course, full of awesome H P Lovecraft stories However, picking these at random hasn t quite worked for me, as I ve read this collection of his early work twice now 2007, 2014 and still haven t read much of the Cthulu Mythos, for which he is most well known I ll be remedying that in the very near future The Doom that Came to Sarnath collects the excellent titular story, a few other exquisite horror tales The Cats of Ulthar, From Beyond , and other writings from Lovecraft s early period The stories are broken up by helpful interludes by Lovecraft historian Lin Carter, which tell about the circumstances which bore the stories and about what style they fit in, whether what Carter describes as his Dunsanian influenced works, his dream tales, or histraditional horror stories.This book also includes two of hisunusual stories, both co written, neither entirely successful The first of these is In the Walls of Eryx, his only true science fiction story, about a man trapped in an invisible building on a strange planet, and Imprisoned with the Pharaohs, which, strangely, was a tale Harry Houdini first described to the editor of Weird Tales, who in turn requested Lovecraft to adapt the tale for his magazine. Another Lovecraft fan is born This has been the direct result of my falling head over heels for the books the ones I have acquired, that being Silk, Threshold, Murder of Angels, Low Red Moon, Daughter of Hounds, The Red Tree, and Alabaster of Caitlin R Kiernan, who has been heavily influenced by Lovecraft in style as well as content and who is to my mind one of the most talented writers of the current day, and one with the most to say I was not able to immediately procureof her writing, and fell back on Lovecraft, of whom I had only read The Dream Quest of Unknown Kadath, and liked it, but I was suffering under the misapprehension that it wasfantasy and less horror than his other works None of his stories as I have found them so far, are simple fantasy, sci fi, or horror, but are very much his own way of seeing, incorporating all three Just as I reflected after going to the horror section looking for Threshold, the first time I d been there since eighth grade rendered me too mature to appreciate Flowers in the Attic, the sequel to it, Low Red Moon, my first Kiernan read, was curiously put in fantasy, presumably to draw in a different readership, which worked in my case , If this is horror, give meof it I have read several stories not in this collection on the website dagonbytes.com, and have just received a spanking new copy of the collection At the Mountains of Madness I can t wait to begin Lin Carter explains in the introduction that this book is a kind of collection of leftovers, stories that he would have liked to include in The Dream Quest of Unknown Kadath, but couldn t because of space It seems to heavily emphasize Lovecraft s early work, and there are considerable crossovers with other Del Rey releases, especially The Tomb and Other Tales Carter makes much of Lovecraft s influences, and especially his love for the poet known as Lord Dunsany, who is seen as the inspiration for much of the Lovecraft dream cycle.The first three stories are from the early Dunsanian period, and they all feel like experiments, not entirely like complete works The Other Gods is sort of a short version of Dream Quest of Unknown Kadath, with a sort of heavy handed detachment The Tree is ainteresting mythical piece set in ancient Greece, but which doesn t quite live up to its potential The Doom that Came to Sarnath is, in some respects, the most Lovecraftian of the stories, dealing as it does with pre human beings and their returning after a long period of dormancy, but it doesn t seem interesting enough to have named the volume after it.In the next section are three early tales that Carter finds uninspired, although I d disagree in at least two cases The first story is The Tomb, and I have written about it elsewhere I ll add here that Lin Carter says it reminds him of Poe, which is fair enough, I guess, but for me it will always be quintessentially Lovecraft, perhaps because it was the first Lovecraft story I ever read After that comes Polaris, which is a prose poem about a young lookout that fails in his post, and the consequences he pays when he finds himself transported in time to our era Beyond the Wall of Sleep is actually one of my favorite early Lovecraft stories, which combines embryonic Mythos elements with the dream cycle work In it, Joe Slader, a eugenically degenerate backwoods New Englander appears possessed by an extra earthly entity which takes control of him in his sleep and causes him to behave insanely towards his fellows The narrator, an attendant at a mental hospital, gets charge of Slader and through him learns of his own nocturnal dual nature The next section is prose poems, and I m completely at a loss to explain why Polaris wasn t included here, unless it s because it was uninspired I do like all of these pieces, although they are short and under developed Each tells a story of the end of the world Memory is an apocalyptic tale from the perspective of classical spirits deities What the Moon Brings has some similarities to Dagon, albeit with an implication that the world has already fallen into decadence Nyarlathotep is my favorite, and probably my favorite usage of that particular Mythos deity, written years before Carter considers the Mythos to have begun In it, the Crawling Chaos comes to Earth in human form, and spreads insanity by means of a kind of magic lantern show The final entry is Ex Oblivione, which is to me the most poetic of the prose poems, and I would say the most Poe derivative as well, obsessed as it is with yearning and death.Next is a very popular early tale, The Cats of Ulthar Carter avoids extensive comment, using most of his intro space to repeat an excerpt from Lovecraft s correspondence in which he expresses his love of cats, and rehearses the opening lines of the story It has a Dunsanian feel, and Ulthar and other locations mentioned in the story would later become part of the Dream cycle This, along with the Wall of Sleep, is a great insight into Lovecraft s early genius, and also a surprisingly sentimental tale from one who did not generally give in to sentiment The next section is two works inspired by ancient Greek mythology as was The Tree, if anyone s counting First up is Hypnos, one of the latest stories 1922 we ve seen in this book It resembles later stories such as The Hound and The Statement of Randolph Carter in which a young seeker after mysteries meets a mentor who leads him into the peril of his soul In this case, the adventurers are interested in sleep and dream, but seem to arouse something in that world that stalks them and ultimately destroys the mentor figure, in the name of Hypnos, god of sleep The second is a poem in verse, Nathicana I don t care for it that much, and apparently Carter didn t either, really He tells us in detail how difficult it was to find a Lovecraft poem that wasn t already under copyright, but it s not clear why he made the effort when the purpose of this book was as a place to publish things he couldn t fit into Dream Quest The next three stories Carter calls Cthulhoid, and they are among the strongest in the volume From Beyond is also included in The Lurking Fear and Other Stories so I ve written about it before What struck me this time is how effectively Lovecraft describes the new senses awakening as if he knew something of hallucinogenic drugs though that s unlikely It s one of his best early stories The Festival is another copy from The Tomb, and it is a favorite of mine as well It involves a young traveler returning to his ancestral village at Yuletide, only to discover a bizarre form of worship among the current residents It introduces some of Lovecraft sinteresting monstrosities, and I think is the first mention of the Necronomicon in one of his stories The Nameless City introduces the name of Abdul Alhazred, and also the crazed couplet later to become famous in Call of Cthulhu This story seems the most proto mythos of all to me, and follows a basic structure and uses tropes that will be familiar to readers of At the Mountains of Madness and The Shadow Out of Time as well as lesser tales such as The Temple The Quest of Iranon is something of a return to the Dunsanian and the dream cycle, and it may be the best story of those not in other Del Rey editions a slim list, I admit It is about a traveler seeking the joyous city he remembers of old, and his journeys through lands of grim toil and debauched corruption Lovecraft had described it himself as pathos, and it is, but sensitively and skillfully done.The final three stories are collaborations with other authors, although they generally are pronouncedly influenced by Lovecraft s style and language Two out of three also appear in The Tomb, again raising the question of why Del Rey released two volumes with so much overlap The one that didn t is The Crawling Chaos which later became an appellation of Nyarlathotep , whose imagery, according to a letter by HPL, was created by a poet named Jackson, and then given a narrative structure by Lovecraft It describes an opium dream, with implications that the dreamer has seen a worldreal, anddangerous, than our own.That s followed by In the Walls of Eryx, and it helps to know that this largely straight faced experiment in sci fi was a collaboration with another author, one Kenneth Sterling who is otherwise forgotten The protagonist is a mineral scavenger on a recently colonized Venus, who battles reptiloid aliens with a hand flamer for energy providing crystals to ship back to Earth Those aliens manage to trap him in a very unique kind of maze, and only slowly does he come to appreciate their cunning and his own helplessness It does have Lovecraft s pacing and language, but really not much of his soul It is the longest story in the volume, at over thirty pages.The final story, Impisoned with the Pharoahs, is also relatively long, and also a collaboration of sorts It was published under the name of Harry Houdini, but really ghost written by Lovecraft on the basis of a vague idea of Houdini s Lovecraft uses the locale and mythos of Egypt as entr e to a protoype Cthulhu mythos story that, without using any of his invented deities or creatures, suggests them in a different cultural context It has elements of an adventure story, but rapidly becomestypical of the Lovecraftian horror genre.In all, I would tend to recommend The Tomb as a preferable introduction to Lovecraft and this as a weaker collection, with a few interesting rare pieces thrown in I suspect Doom was published before Del Rey decided to release Tomb, and that Carter s analytical introductions a typical of the rest of the Del Rey series were seen as a drag on sales, warranting the second release Several of the stories are good, a couple are great, but mostly this collection of leftovers is a bit of a letdown.