Of the "stories" in this book I would only call The Dream Quest of Unknown Kadath a classic. Even so, Kadath itself meanders all over the place and parts of it vary greatly in quality. I admittedly am not a big fan of Lovecraft's "prose poem" dream-cycle stuff, preferring his horror and scifi stuff (yes, The Whisperer in Darkness is a scifi story, not a horror story). It's better than his poetry, but... Writers like Dunsany and Eddison and Machen did this sort of thing much better than Lovecraft.One thing you can see in this collection is a working out of themes and ideas that he used again and again in his dream-cycle stories. At the same time I think way too much is made of Lovecraft's conception of his dream-cycle works as a connected whole at all. A lot of this has been tacked on by later reviewers and analyzers, August Derleth being probably the worst offender. Also, seeing the Cthulhu Mythos as an intentionally consistent and coherent whole was probably not foremost in Lovecraft's mind either. Instead you see a writer working and reworking ideas and themes (including characters and character names) until the truly classic stories evolve.