One of the first collections of non-Lovecraft Cthulhu Mythos stories I have seen printed by Del Rey (they have published three previous collections of material written by Lovecraft himself), Tales Of The Cthulhu Mythos is a mixed bag.
Some top writers past and present contribute their vision of a Lovecraftian story, Mr. Stephen King, Robert Bloch, Brian Lumley, even Conan creator Robert E. Howard. Most of the stories are entertaining. One of my favorites is 'The Hounds Of Tindalos' by Frank Belknap Long. I haven't read any previous material by him in the past but will definitely in the future. Heck, that's what is the surprising bit about this collection. Big heavy weights like Stephen King show up and offer their contributions, but it's these unknown writers who entertain the best.
Even a couple of my favorite writers, Robert E. Howard and Brian Lumley have included 'average' stories but what makes up for them? 'The Space Eaters' (another Frank Belknap Long story), and 'The Return of The Sorcerer' by Clark Ashton Smith.
Then again, much like Lovecraft's original stories, many are written 'heavily'. What I mean by that is the text is a little dated and it can be hard to read for some people. Lovecraft's stories for example, I've read a few times and with each new read understand more and more of them (and like them even better). Perhaps given a few more reads of some of the stories contained in this collection the same thing may happen.
The thing I found strange about the stories contained in this collection is the fact that so many of them don't even mention Cthulhu. Many don't even mention any Gods from the Cthulhu Mythos whatsoever. The only thing that seems to tie them into the 'Mythos' is the sense of cosmic horror. Lovecraft felt that Mankind is a tiny thing when it comes to the grandness of the Universe and all of these writers have written in this vein.
Overall pretty nice collection of works for Lovecraftian fans. For me personally I found it a great book to find out about other good Lovecraftian authors that I want to check out. Much like a music sampler with different bands and such on it, this collection is a great way to get a taste of each different author.
Table Of Contents:
The Call of Cthulhu by H.P. Lovecraft
The Return of the Sorceror by Clark Ashton Smith
Ubbo-Sathla by Clark Ashton Smith
The Black Stone by Robert E. Howard
The Hounds of Tindalos by Frank Belknap Long
The Space-Eaters by Frank Belknap Long
The Dweller in Darkness by August Derleth
Beyond the Threshold by August Derleth
The Shambler from the Stars by Robert Bloch
The Haunter of the Dark by H.P. Lovecraft
The Shadow from the Steeple by Robert Bloch
Notebook Found in a Deserted House by Robert Bloch
The Salem Horror by Henry Kuttner
The Terror from the Depths by Fritz Leiber
Rising with Surtsey by Brian Lumley
Cold Print by Ramsey Campbell
The Return of the Lloigor by Colin Wilson
My Boat by Joanna Russ
Sticks by Karl Edward Wagner
The Freshman by Philip Jose Farmer
Jerusalem's Lot by Stephen King
Discovery of the Ghooric Zone by Richard A. Lupoff
Interesting collection of stories, beginning with Lovecraft's original Cthulhu short story, and including stories written by other "masters of horror" based upon Lovecraft's piece.