A master of terror and nightmarish visions, H.P. Lovecraft solidified his place at the top of the horror genre with this macabre supernatural tale.
When a geologist leads an expedition to the Antarctic plateau, his aim is to find rock and plant specimens from deep within the continent. The barren landscape offers no evidence of any life form - until they stumble upon the ruins of a lost civilization. Strange fossils of creatures unknown to man lead the team deeper, where they find carved stones dating back millions of years. But it is their discovery of the terrifying city of the Old Ones that leads them to an encounter with an untold menace.
Deliberately told and increasingly chilling, At the Mountains of Madness is a must-have for every fan of classic terror.
Public Domain (P)2013 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
Yikes. I don't know I couldn't get past the narators voice.
I tried to listed to this book four times now...everytime I do I am immediately put to sleep.
This was my first HP Lovecraft..I was disappointed, Narrator is great but the producers of the book had him speak in a dry professor's voice so I couldn't even enjoy that aspect of the book. The story itself is just boring...there may be some interesting concepts buried in the details but I couldn't find it. I got 4 hours in and tapped out...I will give one of his better reviewed books a chance he's the godfather of horror after all.
The text is written as a combination of a letter to scientific peers in the small community of early twentieth century explorer scientist and a scientists journal. Lovecraft writes with a poetry and scientific rigor missing from Verne's work. To the modern reader many of the "reveals" are seen from far off, i am sure this is partially due to the influence of this book and author on the genre. Interestingly, Lovecraft anticipates and acknowledges that the reader, from their vantage point will likely have reached many conclusions faster than the narrator, and also acknowledges that the reader would quite likely have responded differently if in the same situation as the narrator. It is a small gesture to engage the reader in this way and did allow me to engage the story as presented without second-guessing and cynicism.
While definitely must be viewed in the context of the era in which it was written, it was a very enjoyable read. Posing unique divergences from standard assumptions of sentient life, and insight into their motivations.
I'm somewhat torn on this. For the most part I enjoyed the prose but I can't help but feel that it was a trifle indulgent with the (ab)use of superlatives and namedropping (Hi, Nicholas Roerich!).
I got a little curious and downloaded the text to count the words and see if I was being oversensitive to my perceived overuse of certain terms. There are approximately 41,574 words in the novella. "aeon" turns up 21 times, cyclopean 11. On the face of it that makes me oversensitive I guess, although in my defence, I didn't really get into running the statistics and trying to normalise word frequencies.
So, anyway, apart from that quibble I enjoyed the story, such as it was. As others have mentioned it's not so much a standalone story as a post-dated setup for the Lovecraftian universe, a background explanation of exactly why Cthulu and friends aren't just magical bogeymen. With that caveat it's a fun read and in this particular case I wonder if the audio version (perfectly read by Edward Herrmann) isn't superior to reading the book.
Far be it for me to make recommendations on what H.P. Lovecraft should or shouldn't be doing. I am told he is a master at what he does, I'm just not sure I'm a fitting patron. I made it through 75% of the audiobook and had only barely gotten to a section that seemed interesting to me at all. It was just a lot of hinting at what was to come, which at first worked well for suspense, but eventually seemed to go very long and drawn out.
Herrmann did a great job presenting a first-person story about old geologists on an expedition in the Antarctic. He seemed to have an air of having once been stuffy, but is now more cautious. There weren't many other characters to differentiate.
I'm not a big fan of editing, and I'm certainly not familiar enough with the work to make an appropriate distinction if I were.
I just did not find the story all that believable - even given the genera.
It is not a bad listen if you are looking for something to listen to and don't want to take on a long book. For a quick read it is okay but in my opinion you could probably find something better.
Okay - not great
This book was very much a page turner at times, but overall fell a little flat. I would still try another Lovecraft, as a matter of fact I have. This just wasn't my favorite.
Satisfied Audible listener since 2002. I mostly listen to Sci-fi and anything by Stephen King.
Sure it's dated in tech and writing style. It's a classic. Once you get past that it's great. I thought the narrators tone and pace were pitch perfect for the material. The writing is very descriptive which I see some reviewers did not like but I thought it painted a hauntingly scary story. Thus is my first taste of Lovecraft and it left me wanting more.
As a horror fan, for a long time I've wondered what Lovecraft's work was like, having read about it, seen movies based on his work, but I'd never gotten around to reading one.
I found the story interesting, but a very dry read. It was hard to visualize anything, it just seemed to drone on without a single line of dialog. I can't quite say what literary style is it. Sort of done as a first person semi-journal. I disagree with a prior reviewer saying that it was using the literary style of that period (the 1930's). I've read plenty of books from that era, and can't say I've read one as bland as this.
Fortunately, it was only short. I'd not honestly buy another Lovecraft book after this though.
I really enjoy genre fiction, mostly fantasy and mysteries but enjoy discovering new authors.
No. The setting and events of this story are described very blandly. Not a lot of details at all.
The reader is very good.
I enjoyed when the main character was first examining his missing colleague's tent and belongings. It suggested some very interesting possibilities.
My main criticism is that so much time is spent telling the story of the ancient civilization and very little time describing what the main characters are seeing, experiencing or feeling. It's as if JK Rowling spent three chapters describing the history of Privet Drive but Hogwarts is just called a school. I wasn't scared for an instant.
"Classic horror by the master!"
This is the longest of lovecrafts stories and the best example of how his tales build tension, and the atmospheric horror he was famous for. Told in a first person perspective, at the mountains of madness recounts a failed expedition to the vast unexplored lanscapes of Antartica. Shortly after arriving at their campsite, one of the group sets out on a solo trip in one of the planes. He sends word to the rest of the party that he has made several amazing discoveries, discoveries that defy belief. He relays several updates back to excited camp and informs them of large fossils which he has managed to make ready for the return flight, but which seem to set the huskies on edge.
Soon after the contact stops, leaving the party no choice but to set out on a rescue mission. As the two man rescue party finally spot the landing site of their missing member and land the plane, they are met with a scene of disturbing signs.
From this point on, Lovecraft builds the terror expertly but never shows the creature or presence that is overshadowing every step the explorers take. The setting of Antarctica is used as one of the characters in this tale to great effect. Lovecraft uses the isolation as a sharpening stone to the growing paranoia of the explorers.
This is a master of atmospheric horror at his best!
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