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Publisher's Summary

At the Mountains of Madness first appeared in 1936, in the February, March and April editions of the American magazine Astounding Stories. One of H.P. Lovecraft’s most chilling works, it draws on Edgar Allan Poe’s Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym, as well as Lovecraft’s deep fascination with the Antarctic. The sinister discoveries made by a group of explorers in At the Mountains of Madness are testament to the author’s enormous powers of imagination.

Public Domain (P)2012 Naxos AudioBooks

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  • 4.1 out of 5.0
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Story

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Loved the prose, lukewarm on the story

What did you like best about At the Mountains of Madness? What did you like least?

I loved the writing -- ornate, poetic, vivid. I have to say, though, that the story just didn't grip me. At the time it was written, it probably was unique, but it has subsequently been done better by others.

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

The narrator keeps telling us how reluctant he is to reveal what he knows he must reveal. Naturally, he does this at the end. It left me underwhelmed.

What does William Roberts bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

He was good.

Could you see At the Mountains of Madness being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

I suppose it would be a visual spectacle-- Lovecraft does a great job describing this world of ice -- but I don't see the story really hooking people.

Any additional comments?

I love Loveraft's style. You have to work a bit to follow, but it's worth it.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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old-fashioned language made nearly unlistenable

I've listened to other readings by William Roberts, and they are all better than this. For some reason, he practically yells this whole story like an announcer in an WWII newsreel. It amplified the slow, tedious detail of Lovecraft's writing and undermined the haunting, dramatic parts.

12 of 21 people found this review helpful

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Classic H.P. Lovecraft

Awesome story. This is my favorite story by Lovecraft. The narrator does a great job of bringing this story to life. if you are a fan of Lovecraft's work then I highly recommend this audio book.

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William Roberts Reads "At the Mountains of Madness

This is my third audiobook of Lovecraft’s classic sci-fi story of Antarctic explorers who discover an abandoned alien city whose murals tell the true history of the earth. The narrator of the story is a New England college professor unnerved by having his beliefs about the past demolished. I heard Wayne June read the man as a sober middle class man of action and Edward Herrmann read him as an upper-class WASP scholar. Another reviewer took the words out of my mouth by noting that William Roberts told the tale in the air of a 1940s newscaster, say, Lowell Thomas. He meant that as a criticism but I think Robert’s tone fits the story well. He gives a very emotive reading, sounding like an old man who has lost his certainties at the end of his life.

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what's all the fuss about?

this was average at best. not Particularly scary. the author keeps saying how he doesn't want to describe anything and how he will only give the bare minimum of details
not useful when you are trying to figure out what's happening

2 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • C. P. McGregor
  • 10-29-13

Wearisome Tosh

What would have made At the Mountains of Madness better?

The inclusion of dialogue (any dialogue) at some point before the last page of the book.

Has At the Mountains of Madness put you off other books in this genre?

Not necessarily the whole genre but I would need some persuading to read or listen to another Lovecraft book.

What aspect of William Roberts’s performance might you have changed?

William Roberts is a fine narrator and I have in the past greatly enjoyed his readings of Bill Bryson's books but there are limits to what a reader can do to improve a book and this particular volume defeated him.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from At the Mountains of Madness?

At the risk of posting a spoiler (but you did ask) a scene towards the end where the narrator and a colleague claim to have uncovered and understood the whole history of an entire civilization from the perusal of some carvings. Up until that point the book was simply dull but in an instant it lost whatever credibility it had up until that point enjoyed.

Any additional comments?

The problem lies in the book itself. It is the first person narrative of an aging professor and in the interests of verisimilitude it eschews dialogue for almost the entire narrative. Unfortunately it quickly became apparent that a novel without dialogue is like a loaf without yeast; practically indigestible. Frankly I only finished the book because it was relatively short and because I had read positive reviews elsewhere then I continued to hope up until very near the end that it would finally improve. It didn't.

3 of 21 people found this review helpful