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Wonderfully British mythos fiction with a caveat.Ramsey Campbell s creations haved wormed their way into the Cthulhu canon Who can forget the awesome cosmic wonder of Fat Naked Headless Man with Mouth Hands I kid He s much alien in the story But still, there are nifty monsters here, and Campbell writes with a definite style.There s one problem, and that is the question of which style you re getting.A lot of these stories come from Campbell s early career, before he himself admits he found his voice He s speaking in Lovecraft s style, and we all know what a Lovecraft pastiche feels like It s surprising to realize that some creatures in my daughter s copy of Where s My Shoggoth started out in stories that seem less impressive compared to Mr Campbell s mature work Still, very fun stories Campbell s good at making aliens, self depreciating in his introductions, and definitely hits his stride later in the book If you like weird fiction or bizarre monsters, give this one a whirl. A collection of the author s short fiction ranging from his early efforts in the early 1960s to mature work of the early 1980s when this collection was published The earlier, very Lovecraft influenced, stories are rather clumsy pastiches and didn t really hold my interest, but the later work where the name checking of standard Lovecraft entities recedes into the background and only minor references are made, such as to books from the Mythos which people come across, are much successful.The final story in the book, The Voice of the Beach , is influenced by Algernon Blackwood s The Willows as Campbell acknowledges in his introduction to the collection where he says that he attempted in it to return to the aims of Lovecraft who was a great admirer of Blackwood s story As in the best of Campbell s fiction, it is unsettling and disturbing, with things only half seen or sensed providing the chills Mainly due to such later tales, my rating is raised to a respectable 3 stars. What s interesting about this collection is that you can see the progression not necessarily chronologically from straight Lovecraftian pastiches, to original Lovecraftian pastiches, to very original pieces of cosmic horror propelled the fear of the unknown and alien, without relying on any forbidden texts or strange sounding gods or ancient cults Regardless, every story in this collection works on the mind in terrible, fierce ways Cold Print is a collection of short stories by British horror master, Ramsey Campbell, all on Lovecraftian themes About half of them are his early stories from the 60s, one is from 1976, and the rest come from the 80s.As I had already read the two best stories in this volume, the collection seemed like Campbell s second best work But that s hardly fair All the stories are good The Tugging and Cold Print are exceptionally good and the most original.Lovecraft s stories might come across as quaint bits of New England in the 1920s, but Campbell s world is very modern and very grimy He takes the commonplace events in our world and makes them sinister reminders of what lies beyond the veil His half insane narrators are the tour guides into the otherworldly realms just beyond our graffiti scrawled streets and inhuman entities lurking in the back rooms of porn shops.Stories like this swallow you into their vagina and give birth to you with a completely new mindset which actually happens to a hero in one of the stories A collection of Ramsey Campbell s Lovecraftian tales This is the Campbell I like He takes the Cthulhu Mythos and gives them his own introverted British touch You can almost choke on the atmosphere Some say Cmmpbell is often too vague or esoteric for his own good and they would be right However there is something quite impressive about his early Lovecraft influenced fiction. I read this book back in Oct Nov of 2012 and as someone who loves Lovecraftian tales, this was a real treat Of the 21 stories here, I only disliked two, and quite a few were downright amazing There s many Lovecraftian story collections, August Derleth wrote one, but his stories all follow the same formula a man uncovers evidence of occult activity in an isolated house, perhaps his ancestors house, then bad stuff happens But we find a lot of variety in this collection, especially toward the second half.The best in my opinion were The Insects From Shaggai, The Inhabitant of the Lake, Before the Storm, Cold Print and Voice of the Beach The last has been hailed as Campbell s best writing ever, and I can agree at least that it s a very creepy, subtly horrific story. No one does the Cthulhu Mythos like Campbell He s my second favorite author of cold, cosmic horror right after H.P Lovecraft Yeah, he s that good. As usual reviews coming as I read the stories Which means that it may take a long while before this is taken off the currently reading list SEPTEMBER 4 IRRC Cold Print Hailed as one of the stories that takes the Cthulhu Mythos away from mere pastiche and into modern settings and storytelling Cold Print lives up to this reputation as well as being a sort of modern classic in the genre , no doubt about it, but the link to that sub genre is rather meager, in my opinion Sure, there is Campbell s contribution to the Mythos, The Revelations of Glaaki, but that s about it It doesn t even have much of an important bearing on the plot, as far as I can tell.That said, this story about an unsympathetic protagonist with, ahem, odd sexual preferences was interesting and with astute descriptions of that character s mood, personality etc And with a bookshop as an important setting in the story, how can I not like it So, in brief, I liked the story on its own merits.SEPTEMBER 11 The Return of the Witch According to Campbell s excellent foreword introduction, Chasing the Unknown, this story was suggested by two HPL notes That alone of course makes it interesting for an HPL buff like me Unfortunately I found the actual execution rather lacklustre Admittedly, Campbell s extraordinary sense of words, persons atmosphere cannot be denied, but the story and the plot is too much like many other, classic witch haunted house stories.It was an all right read, but I had higher expectations.SEPTEMBER 12 Blacked Out Not a Mythos tale, but certainly one that follows HPL s advices on how to craft a dark, creepy story And even though I had flashbacks to HPL s The Shadow Over Innsmouth this is certainly Campbell s own story.The fact that the story takes place in a country where the protagonist doesn t speak the language German sets the mood of alienation perfectly And the things he see experience in the small hamlet, first at a distance and later closer than he likes, are marvelously built upon each other, so there is a continuous rise of dread and expectations in the reader.The best of it all is that nothing is ever revealed all is only hinted at Wonderful.SEPTEMBER 20 The Franklyn Paragraphs Great, great story This is a well executed example of a story that takes some HPL elements letters shared with us, the readers, to reveal horrors chiefest among them and uses it splendidly in a modern setting and in a modern tone of voice Modern, that is, in the 1960s and before computers I wonder if a similar approach but in our computer age with e mails, attachments et al has already been written Could be interesting.Again a story where not much is explained in the end, just hinted at, but it doesn t matter The road up till then is grim and capturing in a dreadful way Wonderful SEPTEMBER 23 The Will of Stanley Brooke A short tale Campbell takes the necromancy element from HPL s The Case of Charles Dexter Ward and warps it into this one It was a nice read The execution and ending was, in my opinion, like a shocker tale la Robert Bloch than HPL.OCTOBER 2 The Faces at Pine Dunes An example of a Mythos story that doesn t really have anything to do with HPL himself, but certainly has learned a thing or two by August Derleth and his bend of the genre Some may see this as a detriment but I don t, in this case It s just a fact And when you get that you re into a nice ride of a tale.It is, as is often the case with Campbell, about family relationship and dark secrets And about witchcraft with a Mythos twist to it I liked it quite much I found it a little difficult to follow at first, since I didn t really see what was going on, but when finally this was settled I was captured all the way to the ending s unspeakable ritual like scene And nice touch with the son taking over the traditions, Mr Campbell OCTOBER 3 Before the Storm Excellent story The narrative is superbly strange and goes beyond what is usually done, so for a little while the reader is having a hard time figuring out exactly what is going on and from what perspective we see things, creating an upsetting read.The storyline is fairly classic, I discovered A patient is at the psychiatric ward and is extremely paranoid and with a distorted sense of reality Or More reviews to come, as usual After reading Houellebecq s Against the World, Against Life and Graham Harman s Weird Realism, and subsequently gaining an appreciation for what Lovecraft was doing with his prose, it s difficult to read Campbell s stories here as being anything other than shallow stylistic imitations All of the monsters and dread and primordial jelly are present, but none of the nuance.That being said, there are a handful of excellent horror stories to be found in this collection, particularly The Inhabitant of the Lake, The Faces at Pine Dunes, and The Voice of the Beach. ^Download Ebook ⇰ Cold Print ⇹ A Collection Of Ramsey Campbell S Horror Stories, Including The Church In The High Street, The Room In The Castle, The Horrors From The Bridge, The Insects From Shaggai, The Render Of The Veils, The Inhabitant Of The Lake, The Will Of Stanley Brooke, The Moon Lens, Before The Storm, Cold Print, Among These Pictures Are, The Tugging, The Faces At Pine Dunes, Blacked Out, And The Voice Of The Beach