At the Mountains of Madness
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At the Mountains of Madness

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4.01 of 5 stars 4.01  ·  rating details  ·  10,530 ratings  ·  759 reviews
Authoritative editions of great classics of world literature feature introductions by acclaimed writers, meticulous translations of foreign literature, commentary by distinguished writers and critics, biographical notes, and a comprehensive Reading Group Guide bound into each volume.
Paperback, definitive, 186 pages
Published June 14th 2005 by Modern Library (first published 1936)
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Stephen
ATMOM intro

6.0 stars. As I was experiencing Lovecraft’s supremely awesome, nightmarish masterpiece, At the Mountains of Madness (ATMOM), it really struck me for the first time that he was a tremendously literate writer. I have been a fan of Lovecraft for a long time and have always been gaga for his bizarre imaginative stories. However, what jumped out at me on this reading of ATMOM was how impressively Lovecraft enhances the sense of dread that hangs over his stories through the colorful, melodramatic la...more
Jennifer
Imagine: Your friend goes to Antarctica with a team of scientists and discovers the remains of a before-the-dawn-of-time alien civilization AND then finds the ripped up bodies of some team members lying around AND then was chased by the lost alien forms. Cool. Except, your "friend" doesn't want to tell you about any of that. All he wants to do is describe the icy, mountainous, eerie, tunneled landscape that Roerich built:
So you're like, no, go back to the part about the ripped up bodies.

And he'...more
Jamie
never before has such an exciting story been told in such a dull way.
Forrest
This is as close as one will get to an epic adventure quest by H.P. Lovecraft. If you're an < a href="http://forrestaguirre.blogspot.com/20... role-playing game geek like me, this will appeal to the dungeoneer in you. Plenty of delving and mystery in this one!

If you're a fan of the movie Prometheus, you'd do well to hark back to the origin of many of the movie's tropes. They are similar, at least on the surface: An impossibly old alien race creates life on earth for the purpose of enslaving i...more
Joseph Pinchback
Here's the thing about Lovecraft: he doesn't write great stories. People love the whole mythos thing, and I don't blame them, because the Lovecraftian mythos is awesome. But I don't particularly enjoy actually reading Lovecraft because his actual stories simply aren't very good. In this novel, for example, the story is basically a framework for him to do some world building. There's no real plot, character development, or dramatic tension. Lovecraft is clearly more concerned with building a hist...more
Erin
May 26, 2009 Erin rated it 2 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2009
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sean
At the Mountains of Madness is a spine chilling story about an exploration team who travel to Antarctica to explore and collect various geological specimens. What they actually found was something far more mysterious and sinister.

In this short novel, one of the most impressive elements is the exceptional quality of Lovecraft’s writing. What he lacks in character development and plot, he more than makes up for in imagery and mood. The obvious omission of dialogue enhances the experiences and shi...more
Jesse Dixon
Tediously painful. So much detail, so little action, and almost no emotion in the book. The first sentence of chapter 6 'It would be cumbrous to give a detailed, consecutive account of our wanderings inside that cavernous, aeon-dead honeycomb of primal masonry' Unfortunately the rest of the book described the cumbrous, detailed, consecutive account of their wonderings inside the cavernous, aeon-dead honeycomb of primal masonry. I found the writing too dry and dull.

This is a summary of the whole...more
Apatt
“On the barren shore, and on the lofty ice barrier in the background, myriads of grotesque penguins squawked and flapped their fins”.
Yep! We are in Lovecraft’s universe where even penguins are grotesque. I mean, whoever heard of an ugly penguin? At the Mountains of Madness is H.P. Lovecraft’s best known novel, not that difficult an accomplishment as he did not write that many (only this one and The Case of Charles Dexter Ward I believe. A wise decision because I find that his style is much more...more
David
Mar 03, 2014 David rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Antarctic explorers, Old Ones, people who like "Happy Feet"
Either you dig Lovecraft or you don't. The guy had issues and his prose was the purplest, like most pulp writers of his time. But all American fantasy and horror written since the 1930s has been influenced by Lovecraft. Lovecraft himself was heavily influenced by others, of course, and At the Mountains of Madness, one of his most famous works, made explicit reference to Edgar Allen Poe's The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym.

This is a novella about a scientific expedition to Antarctica. The Antarct...more
John
Some quickly jotted down thoughts after finishing Madness...

At the Mountains of Madness works surprisingly well as SF rather than horror or fantasy or weird tale, though it is all of those things.

The focus is heavily on the science (as Lovecraft understood it, of course) and on reason and on the limits of the same when our faculties are challenged and our certainties are undermined.

After reading At the Mountains of Madness, I'm not sure whether Lovecraft has any room for the "supernatural" at al...more
Oscar
Hace unos veinte años que leí 'En las montañas de la locura' por primera vez y la verdad es que mis recuerdos eran bastante vagos al respecto, por no decir casi nulos. Mi memoria no es demasiado mala, pero con los libros y del tema del que tratan, olvido muy rápido, algo que no sé si es bueno o malo en este caso. Y es que si tuviese que hacer memoria sobre un libro en concreto ahora mismo, dudo que pudiese dar apenas un mínimo retazo sobre argumento y personajes. Y es que son tantos los libros y...more
Irena
3.5
I don't remember many details from the first time I read this. And, as some pointed out, there are many, many details in this story. I won't judge it for being too descriptive though. It is a good story.
The narrator retrospectively tells a story of an unsuccessful scientific expedition to the South Pole in 1930s. He is one of the only two survivors; he breaks his silence to warn others and prevent any other expedition to that part of the world.
Hadrian
Boo!

(view spoiler)
Evan Leach
”In the whole spectacle there was a persistent, pervasive hint of stupendous secrecy and potential revelation; as if these stark, nightmare spires marked the pylons of a frightful gateway into forbidden spheres of dream, and complex gulfs of remote time, space, and ultra-dimensionality. I could not help feeling that they were evil things—mountains of madness whose farther slopes looked out over some accursed ultimate abyss.”

img: Antarctica

H.P. Lovecraft’s tale of antarctic adventure is widely considered one of...more
Teresa
Este pequeno romance relata uma expedição à Antárctica, onde um grupo de cientistas se depara com vestígios de uma civilização desaparecida – Os Antigos, que existiram no princípio da Terra – e o que levou à sua extinção.

Um livro estranho!
Enquanto o lia cansou-me um pouco, no entanto, após o terminar dei por mim a reler certas partes.
Não me assustou enquanto o li. Fiquei assustada após o terminar, quando reli o prefácio de Clara Pinto Correia.

Um romance imprescindível para os apreciadores de fic...more
Carac Allison
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jamil
from the China Miéville introduction:

"Lovecraft's is not a fiction of carefully structured plot so much as of ineluctable unfolding: it is a literature of the inevitability of weird.
"'My reason for writing stories,' Lovecraft says, 'is to give myself the satisfaction of wonder, beauty, and adventurous expectancy...' Story is not the point: the point is wonder, which for Lovecraft goes hand in hand with horror, because, he claims, 'fear is our deepest and strongest emotion.'
"He believes this be...more
Henry Avila
William Dyer, is the leader of a scientific expedition,(set in the early 1930's )from Miskatonic University,what you never heard of it!Researching the Antarctic continent, in the summer time, when temperatures soar above zero Fahrenheit.Everythings going well,they even find the tallest mountains on Earth.But while a group is digging under the ice, they discover a strange organism ,is it animal or vegetable?The sled dogs don't like it and are later proven correct, in their feelings.These are Alie...more
Ben Babcock
I will be brief, since I don't read much horror and am generally ignorant of Lovecraft's work, so I won't try to make a general statement based on this one story.

At the Mountains of Madness itself was OK, not great. Lovecraft is far more concerned with describing the extinct society of the Old Ones and their struggles with surviving Earth than injecting genuine dread into the story. It left little impression on me.

I liked the introduction by China Miéville better than the actual story. Likewise,...more
Daniel
I have finally read Lovecraft, and must admit it was worth the effort. There were so many Eureka moments where connections to literature both before and after clicked into place. It became increasingly obvious to me why Lovecraft is considered such an influential and pivotal author in certain circles. Just as you could look at a faded picture and see marked similarities between a grandfather and his living progeny, so too the influence of Lovecraft on authors like Gaiman and Mieville is blinding...more
Banner
This was my first Lovecraft. (That I remember). It seems highly improbable that as much pulp and science fiction that I read as a kid that I have not read one of his stories. However I enjoyed this and plan to read more. His style has that Victoria feel without all the emotional drama (a little drama). He does remind me of the masters of the past and rightly belongs on the same shelve.

After the briefest introduction with a promise of horror to come this read like a scientific travel journal thro...more
Petertpc
I don't know why I have never read H.P. Lovecraft before but I absolutely loved this book. I loved the writing style, the mythology, the descriptions and the story itself. This is a new favorite author of mine and I seriously recommend that everyone read this guy.
Kibisis
Una ricerca continua. Col pretesto di una spedizione in Antartico Lovecraft ci accompagna negli angoli più angusti e inesplorati della coscienza umana. Si scende in luoghi oscuri... "Avevano scoperto una caverna. All'inizio della perforazione, l'arenaria aveva ceduto il posto a una venatura di calcare comancico, pieno di minuti cefalopodi fossili, coralli, echinoidi e spirifere, più qualche sporadica traccia di di spugna silicea e di ossa di vertebrati marini, quest'ultime probabilmente di teleo...more
Lorina Stephens
I’ve come to H.P. Lovecraft (1890 to 1937) rather late, driven to his work by a colleague who insisted my own writing style mirrored Lovecraft’s.

The novella in question, At the Mountains of Madness, ranks among the elite of the pioneering cannon of horror literature, and indeed Lovecraft is said to be the inspiration behind such modern day horror-writing greats as Stephen King.

At the heart of this story is the discovery of a race of aliens so ancient it belies belief, by a group of scientists w...more
Seth Madej
I can't quite figure out why so many people consider At the Mountains of Madness to be H.P. Lovecraft's masterpiece when it's such an overstuffed and under-warmed reheating of what he did so well in his short stories. This novella is just a modified haunted-house story: some busybodies explore a creepy pad and discover it possessed by something scary. Except in this case the busybodies beat feet as soon as the frightening thing pops into view, so really At the Mountains of Madness is more like a...more
Linda
An expedition is sent to the Antarctic region to bore for samples deep in the ice with a newly developed equipment. When there, they split up and one of the teams makes a tremendous scientific discovery, before radio contact is suddenly broken. The main character, William Dyer, is worried and fly over to the other camp, with his comrade Danforth to investigate what happened, and the sight which greets them is total madness.


Spoilers!

Dyer wasn't especially well developed and I didn't get the feeli...more
Michael
I've been aware of Lovecraft as a cultural phenomenon for quite some time - as a meme, the ideas of Chthulu and the Old Ones, and the Lovecraftian conception of madness, have been kicking around the internet for years now, so I decided to pop into the actual source text to see what the fuss was about.

I found Lovecraft, as a writer, to do so many things that writers today are trained not to do. I don't, for instance, believe there is a single line of narrative dialog uttered in this book. The pe...more
Andrew Hill
What a great story. A scientist discovers an ancient and unnameable evil buried in the Antarctic. It is a setup familiar to anyone who has read Campbell's "Who Goes There?" (or seen the two very good movies based on that story), but Lovecraft's approach is both more subtle and more broad. The drama of the story does not come from confronting or overcoming a specific threat. Instead, it is built up through discovery--almost pure exposition, in much the same way that Arthur C. Clarke uses discover...more
Daniel Villines
I think the single most important element of a science fiction book is science. As long as the book remains tethered to science the fiction that ensues can serve to expand reality and allow for the meaningful contemplation of alternative ideas.

Lovecraft uses geologic time scales, the evolution of life, and geological processes to weave a tale of our biological past. Additionally, this story also reminds us that we are human first before we can ever be scientists. We are spiritual beings that are...more
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topics  posts  views  last activity   
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9494
Howard Phillips Lovecraft, of Providence, Rhode Island, was an American author of horror, fantasy and science fiction.

Lovecraft's major inspiration and invention was cosmic horror: life is incomprehensible to human minds and the universe is fundamentally alien. Those who genuinely reason, like his protagonists, gamble with sanity. Lovecraft has developed a cult following for his Cthulhu Mythos, a...more
More about H.P. Lovecraft...
The Best of H.P. Lovecraft: Bloodcurdling Tales of Horror and the Macabre The Call of Cthulhu and Other Weird Stories At the Mountains of Madness and Other Tales of Terror The Call of Cthulhu The Case of Charles Dexter Ward

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“I could not help feeling that they were evil things-- mountains of madness whose farther slopes looked out over some accursed ultimate abyss. That seething , half-luminous cloud-background held ineffable suggestions of a vague, ethereal beyondness far more than terrestrially spatial; and gave appalling reminders of the utter remoteness, separateness, desolation, and aeon-long death of this untrodden and unfathomed austral world.” 20 likes
“He had read much of things as they are, and talked with too many people. Well-meaning philosophers had taught him to look into the logical relations of things, and analyse the processes which shaped his thoughts and fancies. Wonder had gone away, and he had forgotten that all life is only a set of pictures in the brain, among which there is no difference betwixt those born of real things and those born of inward dreamings, and no cause to value the one above the other. Custom had dinned into his ears a superstitious reverence for that which tangibly and physically exists, and had made him secretly ashamed to dwell in visions. Wise men told him his simple fancies were inane and childish, and even more absurd because their actors persist in fancying them full of meaning and purpose as the blind cosmos grinds aimlessly on from nothing to something and from something back to nothing again, neither heeding nor knowing the wishes or existence of the minds that flicker for a second now and then in the darkness” 12 likes
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