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Publisher's Summary

Long acknowledged as a master of nightmarish vision, H.P. Lovecraft established the genuineness and dignity of his own pioneering fiction in 1931 with his quintessential work of supernatural horror, "At the Mountains of Madness". The deliberately told and increasingly chilling recollection of an Antarctic expedition's uncanny discoveries - and their encounter with an untold menace in the ruins of a lost civilization - is a milestone of macabre literature.

©2019 H.P lovecraft (P)2019 Doom Classics

What listeners say about At the Mountains of Madness

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    1 out of 5 stars

Cookie cutter Lovecraft.

I couldn’t make it more than 1/4 of the way through before quitting out of boredom. If you’ve read any Lovecraft, you know that his stories generally follow a pretty predictable formula. Except this one drags it out slower and longer than an eldritch turd from Cthulhu’s constipated butthole. Go listen to the Necronomicon anthology, at least that one has been filtered to only include the best stories.

1 person found this helpful

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H.P. Lovecraft at its finest, minor audio snafus.

H.P. Lovecraft is wordy and brilliant with horror and sci-fi. His long, meandering, seemingly endless descriptions of alien and wholly psychosis inducing planescapes and monsters gives a new world that exists within our own. The book itself is a great tale of a daunting trek into the unknown. A reliable narrator (the character within the story itself) uses every bit of scientific research to explain the horrors and curiosities before him.

The Narrator (for the audiobook) is wholly adequate although he seems to repeat himself at times towards the end (like he's made a mistake and the mistake was not edited out of the final recording). At one point during the recording you can definitely hear a train horn in the background that pulls your attention almost entirely away from the speaker. Towards the very last chapters, the speaker himself at one point has at least one very random outburst. It's almost as if it was an incidental cut that was left in and I'm not sure if it exists in the book itself since it is much different from every other point in the narration.

1 person found this helpful

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Boaring exploration of a cave.

Not worth your time. the beginning in interesting but then it just trails off and they end up spending most of the book just talking about details and not actually a plot

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Pronunciation Counts

The Audible Edition

The good news first. Adrian Griffin has a pleasant voice with clear articulation and variation. Free from annoying vocal mannerisms, his voice is engaging to listen to and he does a solid job narrating the first-person Lovecraft classic here.

That said, Lovecraft is an author who doesn't stint on using "I-scored-1600-on-the-SATs" vocabulary throughout his work. Here's one example:

"One edifice hewn from the solid rock seemed to go back forty or possibly even fifty million years—to the lower Eocene or upper Cretaceous—and contained bas-reliefs of an artistry surpassing anything else, with one tremendous exception, that we encountered."

This is a fairly typical passage. The problem is that Griffin clearly isn't familiar with many of the less-frequent words used here, and as a result, makes a major audiobook sin in mispronouncing them. Some examples include the following:

1. "Aeons." This word is pronounced "EEE-onz." Griffin pronounces it "AYons" throughout. I do understand that "ae" is a less-common vowel combination in English now than in Lovecraft's time, but this issue should have been caught by the reader or his producer/director. Source: https://www.macmillandictionary.com/us/dictionary/american/eon?q=eons

2. "Bas-relief." The preferred pronunciation is "BAH-relief," not "BASS." Source: https://www.macmillandictionary.com/us/pronunciation/american/bas-relief

Those were only two that I can recall, but there were more. It happened with enough frequency so that it genuinely impeded the experience of listening to this story.

This Story
If you're listening to Lovecraft, you're probably a horror fan. However, be aware that this story is a very slow burn, even by slow-burn story standards. It has a great deal of power, but for me as a reader, Lovecraft dulls his impact by over-explanation (and I'm a fan of 18th and 19th-century fiction, so over-explanation generally isn't a problem for me).

SPOILERS FOLLOW.

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I think it's also crucial that authors carry out the suspension of disbelief. Am I willing to suspend my disbelief and enjoy a story in which successive hosts of space aliens from millions of years ago colonize Antarctica? Sure! Damn straight! OTOH, I didn't find it at all credible that in a matter of -- what? A few days? -- the Antarctic explorers had successfully decoded the alien's art and text sufficiently to read and understand their history over thousands of years. So no. Unfortunately, Lovecraft leans on this (improbable) chain of events for understanding much of what follows. By the time we do get to the end, the story, at least for me, felt more than played out. It was best in the beginning, where the looming sense of "OMG, what the heck destroyed the Antarctic camp?" was strongest and least determinable.

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Great listen

Short enough to listen to in a day or two. Great story pertaining to "the old one's".

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Horrible writing, passable reading, decent story

The story here is interesting and creative and well paced. The reading is... OK.

The writing is bad... Like 14 year old bad. The repetitive adjective use alone is off the charts (how often can one person say "decadent")?

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  • Plamen
  • 08-23-19

Lovecraft. But nothing special.

Not the best audiobook. You can tell that there wasn't much in terms of production on this one. But, if you are a fan of Lovecraft, go for it. Why not?