I have for quite some time been reading Lovecraft on and off. One story here, another there until I reached the Call of Cuthulhu this morning. I finished it, and honestly it was somewhat underwhelming. It's undoubtedly his most famous work, but it was way more slightly unsetteling than it was scary. thoroughout the entire story I was prepared for the Great Old Ones to awaken from R'lyeh and wreck havoc on civilization. But then some Norwegian man smacks into the scariest monster of all time with a boat and scares it back into the depths of the ocean.
Of course the aspect that the old ones could return at any moment is very unsetteling, and the fact that Thurston has come to realize he is the next target of the cult and has to live in fear for the rest of his life leaves te reader rather creeped out, but reading it I expected the story to end with the end of humanity and the return of the reign of the Great Old Ones.
The Call of Cthulhu is however not the last of Lovecraft's work featuring the Great Old Ones, so the cataclysmic event may still occur in a future novel. That begs the question, why is The Call of Cthulhu his most famous work, and not the hypothetical end-of-world story I've just made up.
The takeaway from this is that if you want to start reading Lovecraft, The Call of Cthulhu is not the place to start. The best Lovecraft story I've read thus far is definetly The Color Out Of Space. Genuinely bone-chilling story all the way through. 10/10 Recommended, while The Call of Cthulhu gets a solid 6.5/10.