H. P. Lovecraft is a writer whom I've heard about for many years, but only recently began reading his stories. So far, I've read more than a dozen of them. I have been thoroughly impressed and now have a new favorite author in my personal pantheon of favorite artists.
I was a little wary of diving into his works. I had heard whisperings of his stories having subjects, themes and undercurrents of matter some people find taboo: occult, racism, atheism and polytheism. In my own experience, prior to reading any of his stories, I saw a movie based on one of his stories that left me feeling completely vile, like I took a leisurely swim through the sewer; a feeling I like to minimize in my life.
So, H. P. had some work to do to turn my initial impressions around.
It was with some trepidation that I read my first Lovecraft story. It was called "Beyond the Wall of Sleep." It was amazing. Did I dare read another? I went for it; "The Crawling Chaos." It was a little trippy, but with incredible imagery and an ending that left me feeling very empty and alone - in a good way! (I'm amazed when writers can conjure real emotion in me.)
I kept reading. "The Alchemist," "The Beast in the Cave," "The Statement of Randolph Carter," "Herbert West--Reanimator." The stories kept coming and continued to give me a good chill or send my imagination on a trip.
I really haven't come across anything that makes me uncomfortable aside from the rare antiquated references to race. If you don't like suspense, horror or any weird tale, I'd say, don't bother reading Lovecraft. Otherwise, I think my trepidation was largely unfounded. Based on what I know of him, I'll admit, I probably wouldn't agree with his personal philosophies on life, but that didn't stop him from being an amazing story teller.
He has several stories that are based on dreams and dreamscapes. These aren't my favorite of his stories, though he excels in conjuring a surreal tableau. But when he starts writing about cosmic horror and worlds and entities that have been hidden from man, and juxtaposes them to our normal world - that's when he's in a magnificent zone.
His style is not unlike Edgar Allen Poe and Algernon Blackwood. If you like them, you'll probably like Lovecraft.
Of the nearly 20 stories I've read, there are three or four that became instant classics for me personally, and one of them was "The Statement of Randolph Carter." Here is an animated interpretation of this story: