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The Call of Cthulhu

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One of the feature stories of the Cthulhu Mythos, H.P. Lovecraft's The Call of Cthulhu is a harrowing tale of the weakness of the human mind when confronted by powers and intelligences from beyond our world.

43 pages, Kindle Edition

First published February 1, 1928

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About the author

H.P. Lovecraft

3,999 books16.4k followers
Howard Phillips Lovecraft, of Providence, Rhode Island, was an American author of horror, fantasy and science fiction.

Lovecraft's major inspiration and invention was cosmic horror: life is incomprehensible to human minds and the universe is fundamentally alien. Those who genuinely reason, like his protagonists, gamble with sanity. Lovecraft has developed a cult following for his Cthulhu Mythos, a series of loosely interconnected fictions featuring a pantheon of human-nullifying entities, as well as the Necronomicon, a fictional grimoire of magical rites and forbidden lore. His works were deeply pessimistic and cynical, challenging the values of the Enlightenment, Romanticism and Christianity. Lovecraft's protagonists usually achieve the mirror-opposite of traditional gnosis and mysticism by momentarily glimpsing the horror of ultimate reality.

Although Lovecraft's readership was limited during his life, his reputation has grown over the decades. He is now commonly regarded as one of the most influential horror writers of the 20th Century, exerting widespread and indirect influence, and frequently compared to Edgar Allan Poe.


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Displaying 1 - 30 of 3,264 reviews
Profile Image for Federico DN.
308 reviews546 followers
November 20, 2022
Oh my! So scary! NOT.

A bas-relief, weird events, dark cults, secret documents and obscure references, everything points to an ancient creature, dormant since eons ago, something immensely powerful, and beyond horrifying. The mythical Cthulhu.

First ever Lovecraft! Very interesting to finally get to know the legendary story that spawned countless of other works. However, this was pretty boring, slow paced and exceedingly difficult to read, even for a classic. This was ok, but far from enjoyable. Will try a couple more of his stories, and possibly something in spanish to see if makes any difference, but not really looking forward to it.

It's public domain, you can find it HERE.

[1928] [43p] [Horror] [2.5] [Not Recommendable]

¡Uy qué miedo! NO.

Un bajorrelieve, extraños eventos, cultos oscuros, documentos secretos y obscuras referencias, todo apunta hacia una antigua criatura, inactiva desde eones atrás, algo inmensamente poderoso, y más allá de horroroso. El mítico Cthulhu.

¡Primera vez Lovecraft! Muy interesante finalmente conocer la legendaria historia que dio origen a incontables otras obras. Sin embargo, esto fue bastante aburrido, de ritmo lento y excesivamente difícil de leer, incluso para un clásico. Esto estuvo bien, pero lejos de ser disfrutable. Intentaré algunas más de sus historias, y posiblemente algo en español para ver si hace alguna diferencia, pero no me emociona mucho.

Es dominio público, lo pueden encontrar ACA.

[1928] [43p] [Horror] [2.5] [No Recomendable]
Profile Image for Stephen.
1,517 reviews10.9k followers
February 1, 2012
This here, folks, is the most impressive image of Cthulhu that I’ve come across:
He just looks so damn regal, this eldritch, malevolent entity that appears part octopus kraken, part dragon, part human caricature…the so called "mountain who walks."

Yes, I admit that I’m a Lovecraft/Cthulhu mythos junkie. I can’t help it. I think his stories are just amazing.

Depending on which HPL story I’ve most recently consumed, I vacillate regarding what is my absolute favorite HPL tale, The Call of Cthulhu, the Dunwich Horror or At the Mountains of Madness. Well this one has again rocketed itself to top billing on the HPL chart…for now at least. The story covers so much ground and touches on so many aspects of what would become central “mythos” lore that it’s easy to see why people hold this up as HPL’s best work. I certainly wouldn’t disagree having just read it for the fourth time.

Regardless of where you come out on the issue of Lovecraft’s best work, let me postulate that HPL never wrote a better passage describing the fundamental philosophical underpinnings of his work than the opening paragraph of The Call of Cthulhu:
The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents. We live on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of black seas of infinity, and it was not meant that we should voyage far. The sciences, each straining in its own direction have hitherto harmed us little; but some day the piecing together of dissociated knowledge will open up such terrifying vistas of reality, and of our frightful position therein, that we shall either go mad from the revelation or flee from the deadly light into the peace and safety of a new dark age
Those few sentences say so much. They touch on the insignificance of man…the substantial ignorance of humanity regarding the universe…the concept of things so vast, unknowable and unable to be comprehended…and the soul-chilling coldness of what lay beyond our tiny sphere of knowledge.

Okay, so it’s not the rosiest, most upbeat of pictures, but hey…this is horror after all and when it comes to creating atmosphere and imagery to tantalize and terrify, these stories are gold.


Told in epistolary format as a transcript of the papers of our narrator, the Late Francis Wayland Thurston, the story recounts Thurston’s piecing together of a series of strange incidents all connected to a mysterious Cthulhu Cult and the dread being that the members of the cult worship. The tale is only 35 pages long and so I don’t want to give away plot details as that slow build of terror is central to the joy of this slice of scary. Let me just say that narrative stretches around the globe, from Boston to New Orleans to Greenland to China to the uncharted waters between Antarctica and New Zealand and involves shared nightmares, bizarre rituals, the dread Necronomicon, a failed expedition to hell on Earth and the sick, twisted devotees of a religion as old as man itself.

"Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn"*

*Translation: - "In his house at R'lyeh, dead Cthulhu waits dreaming. "



Well, I just emasculated myself and squeeeeed so that should tell you that I love this stuff. I have always been a huge fan of Lovecraft’s prose with its abundant melodrama, the dread-filled angst and the over the top references to “nameless horrors” and “eldritch, cyclopean buildings” and “dark, ancient vistas” that can stop the heart and send uncontrollable fear into all that see them. The man can make walking down a dark staircase feel like the scariest moment in history.

If you find that kind of atmosphere-manipulating prose to be off-putting, than HPL is likely not your cuppa. It is certainly mine and I have been drinking the kool-aid for a while now. In my opinion, this is about as good as classic horror gets and I can feel gush welling up even as I type this.

Still, even as a complete fanboy of Lovecraft I try not to read too much of his work at one time because I find the stories have a tendency to blur together and lose a bit of their emotional power. I’ll usually restrict myself to handfuls of 2 to 4 at a time and this allows me to savor the details of each tale and keep the entertainment level set on high.

Profile Image for Anne.
3,865 reviews69.2k followers
January 20, 2023
The Call of Chut...Ctthoo...Cuthuo...


I finally got around to this one.
And what did I think?
I think it's a well-known short story that has spawned countless far better stories. Which is something I'm finding to be true across the board when it comes to classics. A vast amount of the source material for famous characters is utter shit, at least plotwise. The core ideas are different and interesting, so over the years, you have other authors take those ideas and run with them into some very cool territory. Eventually, those characters become completely iconic, and then some ignorant peasant like myself grows a wild hair and decides to read the original stuff.
It's almost always a disappointment.
Well, not this time!


No, I'm kidding. This was shit, too.
Well, not shit. But certainly not terrifying or creepy.


It's wordy and more meandering than you'd think Lovecraft could manage in such a few short pages.
The gist is that this dude inherited his dead uncle's papers. Now his uncle was a respected science-y guy, and the papers were related to this research he had been doing about some long-forgotten space god that was showing up in artsy-fartsy people's dreams on a certain date, driving some of them mad. His uncle died under mysterious circumstances.
Sounds like Kthooloo!


Then he finds out about this policeman who raided some cultists in a jungle. They were undulating and screaming around a tentacle monster statue that they were worshiping. Which was weird, but it was actually all the dead humans they'd managed to sacrifice that got them in trouble with the law.


And last, he finds the lone survivor of a ship. Well, he almost finds him. That dude also drops dead for no good reason. But not before he leaves a letter describing how he and his crew were almost eaten by the monstrous Ctttttoolou as he rose from the depths of the frothy ocean.


Now our narrator knows his own days are numbered. <--because the cultists of Cthulhu don't play!
So, shhhhh. Don't tell anyone the secrets you learned here...


I'm not the world's biggest Lovecraft fan, so I really didn't want to wade through another ENTIRE set of his stories. I decided it would be easier to swallow his verbose style if I just grabbed the one story that I actually wanted to read.
It's not some great tale of cosmic horror, but as a teeny-tiny audiobook novella, this was cool enough for me to be glad I ticked it off the bucket list.

The audio version I listened to was from Renegade Arts Entertainment & was read by Doug Bradley <--it had a dramatic musical soundtrack to go along with the narration.
Profile Image for Sean Barrs .
1,109 reviews44.2k followers
May 6, 2018
Lovecraft does not waste a single word. Every expression, every phrase, is masterfully selected to evoke a sense of the macabre. Like a masterful surgeon, Lovecraft’s meticulous prose is methodical and scrupulous.

Such expertise is carried across the body of his writing, though The Call of Cthulhu is undoubtedly the best example. This story captures so much of Lovecraft’s twisted imagination; it is the pinnacle of his writing, the best of his form. The brilliance of it resides in the way it can be mysterious, ethereal and untouchable yet so real and physically haunting. Cthulhu is an ancient entity, shrouded and forgotten, yet he is very real in the minds of those he touches and those that worship him.

Hidden away, buried, in a dark underground city deep under the ocean, Cthulhu is older than the sun and the stars. Like nothing that has ever walked the earth, he is part man, part dragon and part octopus; he is a being of unimaginable cosmic proportions: beholding his form is enough to drive the sanest man into the lowest pits of hysteria and despair. Although he is near impossible to find, even for the most devout and deranged of his followers, he has the power to find you: he has the power to invade your dreams and unhinge your thoughts forevermore.

Cthulhu is one of my favourite creations within fiction, period. I find the scope of such an entity magnificent and the open-endedness of this story spectacular. Will Cthulhu ever rise? Could anything stop him mastering the earth? Will he finally call his followers to his side?

"This was that cult, and the prisoners said it had always existed and always would exist, hidden in distant wastes and dark places all over the world until the time came when the great priest Cthulhu, from his dark house in the might city of R’lyeh under the waters, should rise and bring the earth again beneath his sway. Some day he would call, when the stars were ready, and the secret cult would always be ready to liberate him."

Profile Image for Adina.
795 reviews3,065 followers
November 30, 2021
This is a short story about a cult which worships a strange and ancient monster called Cthulhu. It is one of the first horror stories and I understand its importance. However, I did not like it too much. I am not a big fan of books where the main character discovers a mystery in some letters/ documents and does not experience anything 1st hand. It lacked any tension and that should be a must for a horror story.
Profile Image for Lyn.
1,851 reviews16.4k followers
July 21, 2017
Perhaps no story more defines H.P. Lovecraft’s eldritch hold on speculative fiction than The Call of Cthulhu.

Pronounced: Cthulhu.

First published in 1928, in Weird Tales magazine, this launched what is now known as the Cthulhu Mythos. It was here, as much as his earlier unspeakable horrors like Dagon and The Tomb and The Nameless City, that formed what is today known as Lovecraftian; but it was great Cthulhu that gave this sub-genre it’s definition and a face from which to leer down upon poor, lost humanity.

Told as many of Lovecraft’s stories, as a lost manuscript found again, this highlights many ubiquitous Lovecraft themes such as forbidden knowledge, unspeakable horrors, pre-human civilizations, occultism and secret societies. Readers will also enjoy another mention of the un-mentionable Necronomicon, written by the "Mad Arab" Abdul Alhazred. We are also introduced to the Old Gods and humans who are initiated into this unknowable and blasphemous sect.

Cthulhu is also the origin of many of Lovecraft’s best know quotes such as:

“In his house at R'lyeh dead Cthulhu waits dreaming”


“That is not dead which can eternal lie, / And with strange aeons, even death may die”

Cthulhu’s influence on literature and the arts since has been legion, and while I read the two films that jumped out to me was Close Encounters of the Third Kind and, of course, Ghostbusters; but Lovecraft’s stamp on all sorts of fictional media since has been prodigious.

A classic and a MUST read for fans of speculative fiction.

Profile Image for Bill Kerwin.
Author 1 book81.2k followers
March 26, 2020

As a Lovecraft fan, I can easily demonstrate why this story is significant, but explaining exactly why it is so terrifying is a much more difficult thing to do.

So, easy things first.

The Call of Cthulhu is significant—at least to Lovecraft fans—because it is: 1) the first story in which we encounter Cthulhu himself, 2) the story which includes the first explicit rationale for the Cthulhu mythos, 3) the only H.P. Lovecraft story in which a human actually sees a god, and 4) the first production of an extraordinary spurt of creativity which began in the summer of 1926, shortly after H.P. returned to Providence (following the end of his unfortunate marriage and his traumatic time in New York City), and lasted for a period of ten months, during which time Lovecraft completed The Call of Cthulhu, Pickman’s Model, The Silver Key, The Strange High House in the Mist, The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath, The Strange Case of Charles Dexter Ward, and The Colour Out of Space. Not bad for not quite a year’s work.

Okay, so that is why the story is important. But why is it so scary?

I’ll get to that. But first I'll tell you why it isn’t scary. First, it isn’t the mythos. The mythos may be a great way of connecting stories and making them even scarier together, but there’s little about the mythos that is scary all by itself. Second, it’s not Cthulhu himself that’s so scary. A big gelatinous octopus with a tentacle mustache and tiny wings is creepy, but I’ve seen worse. I’ve seen worse even in bad movies.

So what is it that makes The Call of Cthulhu so terrifying? Mostly, I think the terror arises from the profound disorientation the reader experiences, a disorientation which comes from the shattering of our expectations of space and time. Lovecraft does this by toying with our assumptions about geometric relationships, the integrity of form, the size and hierarchy of objects, and the relationship of proximity and immediacy to temporal sequence and significance.

The altering of geometries is probably the least disconcerting of the disorienting things I have listed here, for it is commonly hinted at in Lovecraft stories; indeed, it is almost a Lovecraft cliché. But in The Call of Cthulhu, although Lovecraft introduces the concept in typical fashion (the dream-haunted sculptor speaks of “the damp Cyclopean city...—whose geometry, he oddly said, was all wrong”), later applies the concept boldly and specifically:
Parker slipped as the other three were plunging frenziedly over endless vistas of green-crusted rock to the boat, and Johansen swears he was swallowed up by an angle of masonry which shouldn’t have been there; an angle which was acute, but behaved as if it were obtuse.
Perhaps more disconcerting is that Cthulhu does not obey the physical laws about the integrity of form:
...as the steam mounted higher and higher the brave Norwegian drove his vessel head on against the pursuing jelly... There was a bursting as of an exploding bladder, a slushy nastiness as of a cloven sunfish, a stench as of a thousand opened graves, and a sound that the chronicler would not put on paper. For an instant the ship was befouled by an acrid and blinding green cloud, and then there was only a venomous seething astern; where—God in heaven!—the scattered plasticity of that nameless sky-spawn was nebulously recombining in its hateful original form.
More subtle, but even more discomfiting, is the size of the Cthulhu statues. Every reader of Haggard and Burroughs (or every watcher of Indiana Jones, for that matter) knows what size sinister idols are supposed to be: huge. Yet the first idol we see—the dream-haunted sculptor’s carving--is a bas-relief “less than an inch thick and about five by six inches in area”, the second—the exhibit brought to the Historical Society by New Orleans’ Inspector Legrasse—is “between seven and eight inches in height”. Legrasse’s narrative indicate that Cthulhu’s dancing devotees attempt to compensate for this deficiency in size, for he describes their sinister place of worship:
in the centre of which, revealed by occasional rifts in the curtain of flame, stood a great granite monolith some eight feet in height; on top of which, incongruous with its diminutiveness, rested the noxious carven statuette.
I find this all very disconcerting. It implies that the Old Ones are so alien, so other in their origins, that they disdain the significance of size. Even the statue later grasped by Johansen, though slightly larger than the others, is only “about a foot in height.” But of course, soon after that, Cthulhu shows up, in all his jellied magnificence, confounding expectations.

The last important element in the production of terror is the way Lovecraft plays with proximity and immediacy—two qualities we tend to associate. Again, the usual adventure tale involving ancient gods begins with the hero perusing a succession of manuscripts—from modern to medieval to ancient—the oldest of which reveals a secret. But in order to make that secret thing immediate and achievable, the hero must journey to a particular destination. Then, when he is proximate to the secret, the tale becomes vivid and immediate, and the adventure is brought to a climax.

In The Call of Cthulhu, the relationship between proximity and immediacy is deliberately skewed. There are a wealth of locations and small interlocking narratives, but the most proximate—the meeting with the local sculptor Wilcox—is the furthest removed from immediate experience. Our narrator—I suppose, the closest thing we come to a hero--journeys to various places (New Orleans, San Francisco, New Zealand, Norway) but the immediacy of a quest adventure is (mercifully) denied him. Instead it is revealed to him remotely, through the obscure diary of a deceased Norwegian sailor.

The reader, who experiences vicariously the immediacy of the sailor's quest, is disoriented when he realizes that the narrative has now come full circle, and that the full horror of Cthulhu which Johansen witnesses happened on the very same night that sculptor Wilcox was dreaming his dreams. However, though the narrative has come full circle, the reader remains disoriented, scattered like great Cthulhu upon the waves.

But, unlike the Great Old One, the reader may never "nebulously recombine". The artistry of Lovecraft has permanently changed him; it is doubtful whether he can ever return to his "original form" again.
Profile Image for Leonard Gaya.
Author 1 book834 followers
September 10, 2020
The Call of Cthulhu is, to all appearances, a rather short and negligible story (little more than 30 pages long). And yet, it’s undoubtedly one of the most iconic novellas by H.P. Lovecraft, and one of his significant early achievements (with, perhaps, The Rats in the Walls). A novella which has spurred the imagination of countless fans, artists, writers, game designers and triggered many imitations.

In this story, we find the first mentions (to my knowledge) of nightmarish cyclopean corpse-cities, resurfacing like non-Euclidean mammoth monoliths from the unfathomable depths of time; the invention of strange and evil tongues (the repeated sentence: "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn.”); the description of horrific squid-like entities; the mention of the mysterious Necronomicon of the mad Arab Abdul Alhazred.

The story is in the form of an archaeological enquiry, piecing sinister clues together: from the discovery of a series of disturbing statuettes, an investigation around a sort of depraved voodoo cult, to a shipwreck in the South Pacific, finally to uncover an endless dark horror of apocalyptic proportions. Perhaps one of the major achievement of this short story is the blend of realistic background (narrated in first-person without any dialogue) with demonic details which, for the most part, are characterised as indescribable, and left to the reader’s weirdest imaginings.

Lovecraft drew his inspiration from the Greek myths of Atlantis, of the Gorgon, of Polyphemus (The Odyssey) and the Scandinavian legend of the Kraken, possibly also from Poe’s Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym, Melville’s Moby-Dick and Jules Verne’s Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea. The Cthulhu story has had a significant influence on late 20th-century sci-fi and horror genres, especially in the visual arts, from Druillet and Mœbius graphic novels to movie franchises such as Alien, Indiana Jones and Pirates of the Caribbean.
Profile Image for Mohamed El-shandidy.
108 reviews293 followers
August 22, 2022
هل رأيتم من قبل رجلاً يكتب الأساطير؟
دائماً ما تنشأ الأساطير مع تعاقب الأوقات و استمرار الأجيال
،لكن هنا يرسم لنا الكاتب (لافكرافت) أسطورة مرعبة وليدة لعقله المبدع.
كأنه يكتب بقلم الزمان و التاريخ.

و بالأسطورة هنا أقصد أن (كتولو) هذا صار علامة كبيرة في الأدب ، تُروي قصص عنه ، و تُكتب الروايات حوله ، و يظهر في الأفلام و المسلسلات ، و كأنه أسطورة من عهد الاغريق ليس فكرة و قصة كتبها أحد كتاب القرن الماضي.

يمتلك الكاتب قدرة مدهشة علي سرد و ربط أطراف القصة ، فتجد من أول كلمة لآخر كلمة من القصة ترابطاً ساحراً ، لا أذكر أني أعدت قراءة قصة مرتين أو ثلاثا من قبل لأستشعر مدي قوة الترابط فيها.

تبدأ القصة بشاب يرى أحلاما غريبة ، أبنية ضخمة تناطح السماء بطرق هندسية عجيبة و يسمع بعض الترانيم بلغة غير معروفة ، يثير هذا الحلم اهتمام أحد الأستاذة الجامعيين خاصة حين يعلم أن هذه الأحلام تكررت مع كثير من الناس في أماكن متفرقة ، و تزداد الغرابة حين يسمع عن تلك القبائل التي تعبد الكائنات القديمة و تستخدم نفس اللغة التي يسمعها الناس في أحلامهم!!

و يستمر نداء (كتولو) المرعب إيذاناً بانتهاء البشرية.

(لافكرافت) أحد أغرب الكتاب الذين سمعت عنهم ، كان محباً للعزلة ، متأثرً ب(ألف ليلة و ليلة) ، يعاني الأمراض النفسية ، يدرس الديانات الغريبة و الأساطير حول تلك الكائنات القديمة إلي حد جعله من خالقي هذه الأساطير المفزعة ، و قد مات هذا الكاتب فقيرا مؤمنا بأنه لم يحقق شيئاً في حياته ، و بعد مماته صار من أهم الكتاب تأثيراً علي الأدب ا��غربي في التاريخ.

يتميز (لافكرافت) بغرائبية عالمه و تفرد فكرته ، هل رأيت أحدا يكتب لك رعباً تراه في الرسومات ، ثم يكتب قصة كاملة عن رعب تسمعه في الأصوات.

أحد الكتاب المفضلين لستيفن كينج و الذي يتمني لو أنّ هناك متجراً لبيع أفكار (لافكرافت) 😂 ، و أحد أكبر المؤثرين علي طريقة و محتوي كتابة الدكتور أحمد خالد توفيق ، و غيرهم الكثير من الكتاب علي مستوي العالم.

و هذا الكتاب أفضل طريق لدخول عالمه الفسيح المخيف ، إذ جمع الدكتور أحمد خالد رحمه الله أهم قصة له ( نداء كتولو) مع بعض القصص المميزة الأخرى بترجمة بديعة.

أفضل ما أعجبني
-نداء كتولو
-موديل بيكمان
-حقائق تتعلق بالفقيد ( آرثر جريمين ) وأسرته.

يُنصح بدخول بيت الرعب العجيب هذا. ✨☠️
Profile Image for mark monday.
1,633 reviews5,001 followers
February 6, 2023
I forgot how fun this was! a dry kind of fun. it's been many years since I first read it and I'm surprised at how much I still retained, certain images & ideas really stuck with me. I guess once Lovecraft gets his hooks into you, those hooks stay embedded, little bits of Cthulhu shrapnel that burrow slowly in the mind, never to be pulled out. LOL how's that for a metaphor for the author's mythos; I think Cthulhu would approve. the empurpled Lovecraft style is in full effect: journalistic and full of archaic words, while also being VERY VERY EXCITABLE. well, the end of the world is nigh, a person should be excitable when sharing those facts.

the story itself is not straightforward. a lot of telling and very little showing. it works. through our narrator's eye, we meet a pretentious sculptor whose nightmares are shared by many other artists, a New Orleans detective who finds a horrible cult in the depths of a swamp, and a Norwegian sailor who lands on the very tip-top of the ancient submerged city of R'lyeh and whose shipmates meet shocking ends at the hands of Cthulhu itself. I had forgotten that Cthulhu makes an actual appearance here, literally swimming after the Norwegian's ship and then recombining after our brave sailor decides to turn his ship around and sail right into the Great Old One, cleaving the monster into pieces (temporarily). what I had not forgotten was the central concept of the story, and it's an awesome one: the "call" of Cthulhu is the call of the ancient being's own dreams, diffusing out into the world and into the minds of various cultists, madmen, and sensitive artists.

some words must be said about Lovecraft's abominable depictions of "queer and evil-looking half-castes." now, as an evil-looking (but dapper) and very queer half-caste myself, I was quite taken aback. sure, he's not wrong: half-breeds like me do possess ancient secrets and are forever in service to ancient gods; our main goal in life is to disturb the dreams of sensitive artists, sardonic detectives, brave sailors, and white people in general. but gosh, Lovecraft was just so blatant about it in this story, no subtlety whatsoever. he's totally, shamelessly blowing our cover - and that's pretty unforgiveable. he's lucky that he's long dead because otherwise someone would be sent some pretty bad dreams tonight. and maybe some other things too.

Cthulhu fthagn!
Profile Image for Orient.
255 reviews207 followers
July 2, 2017

A BR with a faithful member of Cthulhu Cult, Craig.

Quite a nice ride to sunset with Cthulhu. I liked the spooky atmosphere, the info about the Cthulhu Cult and Old Ones,and the tickles that it gave to unbelievers! :) It would have been really cool to get more limbs flying from the main Thing, but the ending was quite nice :)
Profile Image for Paula W.
352 reviews71 followers
October 25, 2017
If you like to read boring stories with no characterization, no dialogue, lazy descriptions, and rampant racism, this is for you. As for me, one star is a bit too generous.
Profile Image for فؤاد.
1,045 reviews1,697 followers
August 17, 2017
از آن نیروها و موجودات عظیم، ممکن است هنوز بازمانده ای باشد... بازمانده ای از گذشته های بسیار دور، زمانی که آگاهی تازه پدید آمده بود، در اشکال و گونه هایی که مدت ها پیش از ظهور انسان فعلی از بین رفته اند. اشکال و گونه هایی که تنها اشعار و افسانه ها خاطراتی گذرا از آن ها را ثبت کرده اند، و آن ها را خدایان، هیولاها یا موجودات اساطیری نامیده اند.

آلجرنون بلکوود

یافته های اخیر محققان نشان می دهد که اختاپوس ها هیچ شباهتی با باقی موجودات زندۀ زمین ندارند. با آن که اختاپوس ها گونه ای از نرم تنان به شمار می روند، اما در دی ان ای خود ژن های فراوانی دارند که کمترین شباهتی با باقی نرم تنان ندارد. تا جایی که این ناهمگونی باعث خللی در توضیح روند پیدایش تکاملی این جاندار شده، و یکی از محققان را بر آن داشته که در شوخی گروتسکی بگوید: «انگار داریم به موجودی فضایی نگاه می کنیم.»

وقتی خردسال بودم، تصورم از خدا موجودی شبیه به اختاپوسی در آسمان بود. هر بار می خواستم به خدا فکر کنم، بی آن که بخواهم تصویر این هشت پا، با چشم هایی مانند چشم های انسان در ذهنم شکل می گرفت، هر چند می دانستم خدا نباید شکلی داشته باشد، اما نمی توانستم جلوی این تصور را بگیرم. نمی دانم این تصور از کجا در ذهنم شکل گرفته بود، و فکر نمی کنم فایده ای داشته باشد که بخواهم به دنبال منشأ شکل گیری تصوری کودکانه بگردم.

فرعون آخناتون، اولین یکتاپرست شناخته شدۀ تاریخ در نقش برجسته های معابدی که برای آتون، خدای واحد، ساخته بود، آتون را به شکل موجودی دایره ای شکل در آسمان، با بازوهای فراوان تصویر کرده بود. نخستین تصویر شناخته شدۀ جهان از خدای واحد، شبه-اختاپوسی آسمانی بود، با بازوهایی شبیه به انسان که تا زمین پایین آمده بودند تا از زمینیان نگهداری کنند.

در اساطیر هاوایی، در جایی در زیر زمین یا زیر دریا، خدایی غول پیکر نهفته است، خدایی که علیه باقی خدایان شورید، در نتیجه به زیر زمین تبعید شد. این خدا که کانالوآ نام دارد، اختاپوسی عظیم الجثه است.

خدایان هندو، همگی شمایلی انسانی دارند، حتی ایزد-میمون، هانومان، با چهره و بدنی انسانی تصویر می شود. به نظر می رسد غیر انسانی کشیدن خدایان نوعی توهین محسوب می شده است. در نتیجه برای درک کیفیت حقیقی این خدایان در ذهن نخستین هندوها باید راه را برعکس طی کرد، و این خدایان را از تصویر انسانی تهی کرد. ایزد برهما، ایزد ویشنو، ایزد شیوا، و ایزدان بسیار دیگر، وقتی از شمایل انسانی تهی شوند، پیش از هر چیز به موجوداتی با بازوهای فراوان شبیه می شوند. بازوهای فراوان خصوصیت مشترک تمام خدایان هندو است: اختاپوس هایی در شکل و شمایل انسانی.

ستایش کثولهوی بزرگ راست
بزرگ ترین اختاپوس
اختاپوس واحد متعال
مرده در مأوایش در ریلای
خواب می بیند
و انتظار می کشد
تا روزی بیدار شود و بازگردد

از سروده ای باستانی

Profile Image for Alejandro.
1,115 reviews3,547 followers
October 21, 2018
His most famous work!


The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents. We live on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of black seas of infinity, and it was not meant that we should voyage far.

Easily the most known story by H.P. Lovecraft and the text which gives a formal “birth” to the Cthulhu Mythos, along with the mention of the “fake” book of Necronomicon, inspiring dozens of other writers to contribute with their own pieces to enlarge the horror franchise.

Through a series of “found documents” during three sections in the narrative, it’s slowy revealed how a secret cult, so ancient along with the dawn of men, it was founded to keep memories of some kind of species from the stars who walk the Earth before humankind, and that they retired themselves to the depths of the sea and the core of the planet, but...

...before they pass to the first member of the cult, the promise that Cthulhu, its prophesied priest, someday will born and the cult is waiting,...

...always waiting.
Profile Image for mwana .
366 reviews207 followers
November 22, 2022
It was nightmare itself, and to see it was to die.
I wanted to taste death. I wanted to immerse myself, taint my soul with the words of this controversial genre godfather and see what all the fuss was. I may as well have gotten my cheek rubbed by the feathers of my sleep paralysis demon.

This story had its moments.
The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents.
You can almost feel the desperation with which this loathsome man is trying to convey his terror at the unknown. But something just didn't land. It's like I was tossed a ball only to find out it had actually been a bubble that popped in midair.

I expected this to be a journey whereby our "hero" discovers questionable artefacts and goes on an ill-conceived adventure to find the source of the bas-relief. If I ever see that word again it will be too soon. Unfortunately, it is nothing as adventurous or heroic. It's a recounting of other people's stories. Who the fuck goes to a restaurant to hear about how the other diners are enjoying the food? I came to eat, not get second hand accounts of other people's adventures.

When I saw this, That glimpse, like all dread glimpses of truth, flashed out from an accidental piecing together of separated things—in this case an old newspaper item and the notes of a dead professor. I, at the very least, thought I would be getting an account from said professor. Perhaps this shitstain narrator is getting a deathbed account of an accidental discovery of horrors so cosmic and unimaginable. But I just got the description of a giant octopus that may have also been humanoid or dragon like. If I say that my somewhat extravagant imagination yielded simultaneous pictures of an octopus, a dragon, and a human caricature It was supposed to be so horrifying that I perhaps should feel frightened of my surroundings. Jurassic Park accomplishes this better. It's also described here as, A pulpy, tentacled head surmounted a grotesque and scaly body with rudimentary wings; but it was the general outline of the whole which made it most shockingly frightful. Behind the figure was a vague suggestion of a Cyclopean architectural background. What was supposed to scare me? The abysmal abuse of vocabulary?

Sadly for lovecraft here, it's not his monster that was the horror but his racism. The professor had been stricken whilst returning from the Newport boat; falling suddenly, as witnesses said, after having been jostled by a nautical-looking negro.

Oh and because the author probably forgot that you're reading about some bas-relief of a fucking octo-statue, here's yet another description of the likeness of Cthulu, The figure, which was finally passed slowly from man to man for close and careful study, was between seven and eight inches in height, and of exquisitely artistic workmanship. It represented a monster of vaguely anthropoid outline, but with an octopuslike head whose face was a mass of feelers, a scaly, rubbery-looking body, prodigious claws on hind and fore feet, and long, narrow wings behind.

I'm at a loss as to what makes this special.

"In his house at R'lyeh dead Cthulhu waits dreaming." Oooooh I'm so scared. Use your fucking commas.

But the pinhead of a narrator just had to be racist at every turn, Examined at headquarters after a trip of intense strain and weariness, the prisoners all proved to be men of a very low, mixed-blooded, and mentally aberrant type. Most were seamen, and a sprinkling of negroes and mulattoes, largely West Indians or Brava Portuguese from the Cape Verde Islands, gave a coloring of voodooism to the heterogeneous cult. I'm going to unearth this motherfucker and beat him to a pulp.

When I think of the extent of all that may be brooding down there I almost wish to kill myself forthwith. But you don't even tell us the extent. Folks on DeviantArt have given more life to this ill-described monster. There were bits where tidbits of promise peeked, I shall never sleep calmly again when I think of the horrors that lurk ceaselessly behind life in time and in space, and of those unhallowed blasphemies from elder stars which dream beneath the sea. But like some other stories, they leave me unimpressed and feeling like I wasted my time. In my culture there is a saying, Kutangulia bar sio kulewa. It's direct translation is a cosmic joke but it actually means, coming first means nothing.
Profile Image for Jason Koivu.
Author 7 books1,209 followers
November 2, 2016
What better time to read The Call of Cthulhu than on Halloween?! Probably should've read this one by now, but I've been holding off for a while, waiting for that special occasion.

I do that with some books, usually classics. There's a Steinbeck or two I'm keeping in my proverbial back pocket for when I'm in the right mood or need to get out of a reading funk.

The Call of Cthulhu is pure horror. It's terrifying. If I'd been wearing boots, I'd be quaking in them. Reading this reminded me of reading Poe as a kid. The chills they were palpable. Lovecraft's elevated language is akin to Faulkner. Perhaps this is best described as Poe-stylings layered over Absalom Absalom. The darkness, the despair reaches out of the primeval swamp and sucks you in.

Unlike some classic horror, you actually get physical manifestations of the terror lurking in the shadows. This is no mere ghost story. This is a fucking monster. Yes, it's veiled, it's mysterious, but it's coming for you and it will have you.

Profile Image for Carol.
1,370 reviews2,122 followers
February 3, 2019
"This momentous story---which introduced the ersatz mythology that came to be called the 'Cthulhu Mythos'---was written in the summer of 1926."

It begins...."The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents."

A locked manuscript of a recently deceased elderly grand-uncle, an authority on ancient inscriptions, leads to bizzare and frightening research resulting in discovery of a monster like human caricature with a pulpy tentacled head and grotesque scaly body....possessing documented deadly powers.

Beware: You may not want to learn too much!

Weird, creepy Lovecraft tale.

Profile Image for Jason.
137 reviews2,281 followers
January 29, 2015
What’s great about a Lovecraftian horror story, besides the fact that his writing is eerily similar to that of Jason Morais, is that it can afford such a welcome reprieve from a weekend otherwise consumed by madness and violence, the kind of violence that disturbs the soul to its core.

“The Call of Cthulhu” is the story of a man who uncovers evidence of otherworldly beings residing in a state of hibernation deep beneath the surface of the Earth’s oceans. Though the image of Cthulhu¹ is by no means original, as it is heavily borrowed from Scandinavian lore among other sources, Lovecraft’s descriptions—in this case of a bas-relief carved in its likeness—are still nothing short of chilling:
It represented a monster of vaguely anthropoid outline, but with an octopus-like head whose face was a mass of feelers, a scaly, rubbery-looking body, prodigious claws on hind and fore feet, and long, narrow wings behind. This thing, which seemed instinct with a fearsome and unnatural malignancy, was of a somewhat bloated corpulence, and squatted evilly on a rectangular block or pedestal covered with undecipherable characters.
And it is always a testament to good writing when a Google Image Search of that which is being described cannot turn up anything nearly as hair-raising as the text itself. On the other hand, this one is not half bad:

Cthulhu emerging from his ancient portal.

The only thing that detracts from the story in my opinion is the fact that the narrator is too far removed from it. Assembling manuscripts left by his late uncle with pieces of testimony from those who had purportedly fallen under the spell of Cthulhu during his attempts to resurface, the narrator slowly pieces together an understanding of who or what Cthulhu is, a revelation that induces a profound sense of fear and anxiety in those who discover it, but which leaves the reader feeling a bit miffed at not having been taken on a more intimate journey. Even eyewitness accounts of those who had encountered Cthulhu personally are learned through diary readings rather than by interview. Nonetheless, it is a story worth reading, especially for those who are intrigued by the concept of the Island in Lost as something that protects the world from a source of evil. In many ways, the Smoke Monster is like Cthulhu in that both entities are responsible for baseline levels of dread in people everywhere, driving some of them to madness occasionally. I’d like to think the madness of the events of this weekend could be attributed to a resurfacing of the monster Cthulhu, but unfortunately for us we do not live in an H. P. Lovecraft story.

I don’t know. I might read another Lovecraft, I might not. You people know I’m not crazy about the short story and short stories are pretty much all he has written. But he is from Rhode Island, the tiny state with the gargantuan ego, and that is pretty cool. He is like their Poe. And since Seth MacFarlane is one of their only other claims to fame (in the authorial/screenwriting context), maybe I should read more of him.

¹Cthulhu is pronounced Khlûl’·hloo, gutturally, in a way that calls attention to the otherworldliness of the being, as even its name is beyond the ability of human linguistics to phonologize.
Profile Image for Calista.
3,803 reviews31.2k followers
February 20, 2020
For years now, I have been wanting to read Lovecraft after hearing Stephen King discuss his importance and just haven’t done so. Two years ago, I bought a Barnes and Noble collection of his ‘Great Tales of Horror’ that has only sat on my pretty shelves. So, I decided to dig into Lovecraft, or at least start and I read about Cthulhu. This started the mythos.

Cthulhu is described as a huge creature or god with the head of an octopus, the body of a dragon with scales and wings and both sets of feet had claws and it was humanoid. It is described as being not of this planet and coming here with others like its sleeping until the stars wake him to take over the Earth again.

I thought this was a good introduction to the world. A man has found papers from his dead relative about all these news articles of this beast. There was a ritual in New Orleans that was interrupted and it was the ritual of Cthulhu and no one has heard of it.

This is a short story and quick to read. Anyone interested in the classics and Lovecraft, I do suggest this is a good place to start. The language is a bit old, but it’s still readable.
Profile Image for Salwa Marwan.
43 reviews84 followers
June 3, 2022
أول كتاب أقراه لكاتب سمعت عنه الكتير
وبصراحه التجربه كانت تستحق وبدون أي شك
نوفيلا قصيره خلصتها في جلسه وحده بتتكلم عن طائفه بتعبد كائن اسطوري عجيب اسمه كثولو الموجود قبل البشريه نفسها

1- أسلوب سردي متميز
2- مرعبه
3- اهتمام شديد بالوصف
4- نهايه غير متوقعه

1- حوارات قليله أوي

Profile Image for Mrinmayi.
155 reviews573 followers
Shelved as 'dnf'
November 9, 2021
Mrin coming back on GR after being MIA for 3-4 months:

Sees the 100+ notifs

I apologize in advance if it takes a while to reply to the comments 💕🥺

I'm reading for two reasons.
1)It's very short, and I'm trying to get back into reading.
2)The series Supernatural referenced this guy waaaaay too much

And, according to the series, THIS AUTHOR did some pretty messed up things that caused chaos.
Profile Image for Cathryn.
334 reviews65 followers
June 24, 2014
Lovecraft's writing style is just not my cuppa and that's why I thought this was only OK. Even though this was a short story it felt like it took me forever to get through. I'm all for purple prose but Lovecraft describes things in 2 pages when he really only needed 2 sentences. Verbose is putting it mildly.

I always wanted to read this so that I would better understand what people were talking about when they mention Cthulhu. Now I do. Cthulhu is an interesting concept and I wanted to know more about it. I can understand the fascination around the creature.
Profile Image for Jeffrey Caston.
Author 8 books130 followers
January 30, 2022
I have only gotten through a handful of Lovecraft stories and novellas. I liked this one. Not as much as "The Color Out of Space," but a lot. This would probably, for me, benefit from a re-read at some point in the future.

A guy on a more or less lone quest to puzzle out and expose a shadowy cult driven by a monster that few others have gotten to. It had a well-drawn, well-conceived monster. A figure-head that is powerful and scary in its own right, but then you add to that a cult of followers. Yikes. Great world-building. Plenty of stuff here to chill, haunt, scare, and amaze.

There were some parts that were harder to understand what was going on. To me, the writing on the third chapter (which functions I suppose like a third act in this novella) lost me a few times. But that's his writing style so I adjust. And like I said a longer, more intense re-read by me will probably cure that.
Profile Image for Aqsa.
291 reviews299 followers
February 20, 2019
Read for February Reading Sprint-2019 in Buddy Reads.

3.5 (rounded to 4 because I enjoyed it)

The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents. We live on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of black seas of infinity, and it was not meant that we should voyage far.

Yes, I had no intentions of starting this book and the only reason I decided to read it was the fact that it was super short, and yet it took me a long time to finish it. The writing was very rich, I had to search some things but it was the writing that had me captured. It was so good. This is about a certain someone who becomes heir to his Uncle and his weird findings. We start with the protagonist finding these strange and maddening documents and articles that his Uncle seemed to have collected over the years and we follow him as his curiosity gets the better of him and he dives into his own research of the Cthulhu Cult.

“That is not dead which can eternal lie,

And with strange aeons even death may die.”

It took me time because I took breaks after every couple of pages (and got lost in other books in between), but though the story was insufficient to me, I rather enjoyed this. I will not class this as horror, maybe somewhat Gothic but then again, I never class most books as horror. The story line was good and this wouldn't have been anything extraordinary if not for the amazing writing. I must admit that this could have been scarier and most horrible (even to me!) if only there were some more pages. I was disappointed when it ended, not because I didn’t like the end but because I wanted some more. I was so lost in it near the end and then suddenly poof, the end. I will read more books from him and hope to get more satisfying ends :)

Who knows the end? What has risen may sink, and what has sunk may rise. Loathsomeness waits and dreams in the deep, and decay spreads over the tottering cities of men. A time will come—but I must not and cannot think!
Profile Image for [ J o ].
1,937 reviews427 followers
February 20, 2020
One can easily see why "Lovecraftian" is a thing from this, and why only people who are true devotees can really write anything in-depth about his stuff.

His writing style is utterly sublime. I got vagaries of Fitzgerald-in terms of writing style and their ability to put every single word to good use, with no spare sentences put adrift on the page-but unlike F. Scott, the story was as riveting as the prose. You can feel the tension seeping from the page as you read on.

It's hard to say much else without delving in to the whole Lovecraftian or even just the Cthulhu Mythos, and I certainly am not qualified to do so. This was the beginning of all of that and it's the best place to start. There are certain annoyances that I think are commonly Lovecraftian. The first person adventurer; the lost-and-found-again manuscripts; the horrors that cannot be (conveniently) conveyed in any written language known to us. But when you have writing as good as this, and a wonderful sense of imagination, those are little annoyances that can be ignored or at least put aside for a while.

It is not horror in the strictest sense, nor is it part of the gothic scene that sprung up in the mid-to-late Victorian period, but it certainly contains elements of all that. It is mostly a combination of the dread of human existence in regards to the vastness of the universe and the inability for humans to comprehend such vastness, mixed with a dash of weird and a very large dollop of that thing that makes you look at a car crash when you drive past, even though you shouldn't really. Some kind of intrigue; the necessity to know.
Profile Image for Fernando.
676 reviews1,065 followers
April 23, 2022
"Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn"

Cuando uno hace un repaso sobre los más grandes autores de relatos o novelas de terror siempre recordará a Edgar Allan Poe, Joseph Sheridan Le Fanú, Algernon Blackwood, Arthur Machen, Stephen King y obviamente a Howard Philip Lovecraft.
Niño prodigio, supo desarrollar un talento inigualable a la hora de crear historias que forman su universo único y cósmico que es su marca registrada y que nadie pudo igualar.
La llamada de Cthulhu inicia su épico “Culto de Cthulhu” o “Mitos del Cthulhu” y a través de este corto relato relacionará todos sus escritos con el aterrador demonio cósmico con cara de pulpo, cuerpo de dragón y alas de murciélago, que enloquecerá a todo aquel que invoque su nombre.
Sus personajes, todos conectados al “Necronomicon”, ese temible e innombrable libro escrito por árabe loco Abdul Alhazred, a la aterradora biblioteca Miskatonik y al infernal manicomio de Arkham (el mismo nombre de aquel en el que encierran a los villanos de Batman).
En este corto cuento, Lovecraft nos presenta e introduce al temible Cthulhu, primero en forma subrepticia y luego con todas las letras, a partir de los testimonios de aquellos que se toparon con él.
Lovecraft instala la teoría de los Grandes Antiguos, esos seres cósmicos que poblaron la tierra miles de años antes que el hombre y que aún quieren conquistarla destruyendo a la Humanidad y al planeta para imponer su reinado del terror para siempre.
Aunque el relato es relativamente corto, su poder reside en la capacidad de convencimiento que Lovecraft logra instalar en lector quien es absorbido completamente por su pirotecnia narrativa y sus descripciones apocalípticas. Algunos aseguran que, al igual que sus personajes, ciertos lectores no vuelven a ser los mismos, impregnados de sus terroríficas visiones.
Completa este volumen otro relato, “El ser en el umbral”, que es el testimonio del narrador, quien mató de seis balazos en la frente a su mejor amigo, poseído por un ser, una entidad o una criatura infernal a punto tal de volverlo completamente loco.
H.P. Lovecraft sigue hechizando lectores y los convence de que el ser humano no está solo, de que estas criaturas deformes, cósmicas y aterradoras lo poseerán indefectiblemente debido a que no está muerto lo que puede yacer eternamente, y con los eones venideros aun la muerte puede morir.
Profile Image for Mimi.
692 reviews189 followers
December 9, 2015
For those who enjoy rifling through old research notes, piecing together missing data, making sense of the big picture, and then being left hanging at the end.

I'm kidding, of course. The best part of any horror story is that it leaves you hanging. No explanation, no resolution, no sense of closure.

This story is told in a series of personal accounts in which the narrator pieces together what he thinks was the cause of his granduncle's mysterious sudden death, speculating that the late uncle's mysterious anthropological work most likely had something to do with it. He also speculates that the death is part of a larger ongoing mystery that has to do with a legendary mythical creature.

It was a slow read for me due to too much telling and not enough showing. Much of the mystery's pull is placed on the fear of the unknown, which in this case is "the fear of foreigners and their foreign-ness."

What this story boils down to is a paranoid account of ethnocentric anxieties and xenophobic psychosis.
Profile Image for Alex ☣ Deranged KittyCat ☣.
648 reviews401 followers
December 26, 2017
They had come from the stars, and had brought Their images with Them.


The Call of Cthulhu is truly a horror story without the need of any graphic violence. Just the idea of the cult of Cthulhu (how it came to be and what its purpose is) gives me shivers down my spine.

This is my first experience with H.P. Lovecraft. But it will not be my last because I like his style very much.
Profile Image for ᴥ Irena ᴥ.
1,649 reviews214 followers
December 13, 2020

I'm beginning to think this is one of those books I'll never write a review of; one of the books simply for me to enjoy.


I may be able to write a good review of this sometime. This time I'll just say I need more stars.


Just as great as the first time I read it. That didn't change.
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