“The Call of Cthulhu” is a 1926 science fiction short story by H.P. Lovecraft. It is about a man who discovers an ancient cult worshiping an even more ancient and terrible monster!
You know what sucks about having smart, inquisitive family members? When they die you have to go through all their crap and put their affairs in order! That is what happens to the protagonist in this classic story when his famous uncle George (a professor of Semitic Languages) dies under mysterious circumstances. And as our main man is sorting his uncle’s papers he comes across a book detailing the professor’s long search for the origins of a scary monster idol and the secretive cult that worships it. This proves quite intriguing as he learns that it all started around the turn of the century when a bunch of creative artists had some very strange dreams and then incorporated those grotesque images into their work. It turns out there are lots of coincidences like that, and as he investigates more of the tale he becomes more and more concerned – both for his life and the future of mankind! Ahh! Run for your lives!
My Two Cents
- Story: – Ah – this is the classic which started it all! A very cool idea about old, ancient aliens that are slumbering deep in the Earth. Classic horror doesn’t get much better than this!
- Writing: – The style fits the time, that’s for sure. It just *feels* like a classic story! However, along with that you get the slow building up of the story – which may or may not be your cup of tea.
- Fun Factor: – I read this over the course of 2 days, but I knew I had a winner when I couldn’t stop thinking about the images depicted in this story! It was really fun to read, and after finishing it I spent lots of time scouring the internet for awesome pictures and more Cthulhu stories!
- If you enjoyed this story be sure to see my review of “Shoggoths in Bloom” by Elizabeth Bear – about a college professor who is researching a dangerous and ancient sea creature off the coast of Maine.
- If you’re a fan of this type of story be sure to check out QuasarDragon’s post about Lovecraft eZine #25!
Where To Get The Call of Cthulhu
- You can read this story online for free at DagonBytes.
- It is also included in the Library of America’s excellent collection H. P. Lovecraft: Tales.