On my long train journeys to and from work I've started ploughing my way through the complete H P Lovecraft on my Kindle. I read his major, established stories way back when I was a teenager, and several times since, but there are plenty of obscure pieces I have never really come across before, so I am gradually fighting my way through in chronological order.
It's fair to say it's a bit of a struggle. It's also fair to say that while Lovecraft matured into a great horror writer, in his early years his works were only a few steps away from being utter tripe: imaginative, yes; good stories, no; frightening, not in the slightest; unintentionally humorous, often. They have intriguing ideas and set-ups, but the execution is often amusingly poor. (A particular favourite in this respect is "The Statement of Randolph Carter", which manages to build up a considerable head of eerie steam before flattening you with a final sentence that has you struggling to contain snorts of laughter.) And it is absolutely staggering to imagine that nobody could see his plot twists coming from a mile away - viz. "Old Bugs" and "Memory".
I'm also not fond of the sub-Dunsany dreamscape type of stories from his earlier years: curios like "The White Ship", "The Doom that Came to Sarnath", etc. (Although I'm not a huge fan of his later works in this so-called Dream Cycle, like "The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath", either.) They show a writer who was brimming with ideas but who still hadn't learned yet how to formulate them into a genuine story.
That said, there is something compelling about Lovecraft's vision even in his juvenilia. All the elements are there: the ancient mysteries, the sense of a vast body of knowledge existing somewhere that humans cannot comprehend, and above all the indifference of the universe to whether we live or die. That in itself makes it worth carrying on. It also made me fork out £21.99 on the Sixth Edition of Call of Cthulu yesterday in my FLGS, when another game I want to run is the last thing on earth I needed.