Dagon and Other Macabre Tales (1965, 1986, 2001)

Dagon and Other Macabre Tales rounds out the trilogy. I have a fondness for this collection, as the corrected edition was the first Arkham House I ever read (courtesy of the Ocean County library). “Dagon,” the proto “Call of Cthulhu” story, is one of my favorites by Lovecraft, even if this collection mostly amounts to a round up of lesser works. It includes the powerhouse essay “Supernatural Horror in Literature,” but omits a handful of prose poems, like “Nyarlathotep,” which seems like a strange choice.

The original edition (1965) sports a swell cover by Lee Brown Coye, my favorite of the three 60s editions. I am not entirely sure what it is meant to depict. I really want it to be “The Terrible Old Man,” but that story is in Dunwich Horror. It doesn’t really matter, though, it is still a terrific and terrifying cover. The corrected edition (1986) cover is by Raymond Bayless. For a long time I assumed this depicted events from “Arthur Jermyn,” but I have since decided that since that story is racist as hell (and not very good either), that a better guess is that this shows a member of the cannibalistic Martense family from “The Lurking Fear” (which, in fairness, also not great in terms of eugenics, but it is less overtly gross than “Arthur Jermyn” at least). The new cover (2001) by  Tony Patrick shows good old “Dagon,” and I quite like it. It is maybe my favorite of the new set of covers.

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