A collection of ten prototypical stories by Lovecraft (1890-1937), the influential myth-and monster-maker of Providence, Rhode Island, whose extravagantly gothic tales have spawned and inspired such latterday disciples as Stephen King and Ramsey Campbell. It's ingenuous for Ecco to claim that "Now, at last" we have a representative Lovecraft (considering all that several publishers have done over the years to keep even his ephemera in print). Still, here are some of his best, including such comparatively little-known triumphs as a harrowing depiction of a surrender to madness ("The Dreams in the Witch-House") and a superb haunted-house tale ("The Shunned House"). Oates's brief, incisive introduction suggestively compares Lovecraft's experiences and temperament with those of his mentor Poe, and helpfully summarizes the content of the former's apparently immortal "Chthulu Mythos." One misses only Lovecraft's hair-raising novella "The Case of Charles Dexter Ward." But even without it this attractive volume offers a fine chance to sample Lovecraft's ghoulish pleasures.