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At the Mountains of Madness and Other Tales of Terror

4.25  ·  Rating Details  ·  18,232 Ratings  ·  424 Reviews
A complete short novel, AT THE MOUNTAINS OF MADNESS is a tale of terror unilke any other. The Barren, windswept interior of the Antarctic plateau was lifeless--or so the expedition from Miskatonic University thought. Then they found the strange fossils of unheard-of creatures...and the carved stones tens of millions of years old...and, finally, the mind-blasting terror of ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 184 pages
Published September 13th 1991 by Del Rey (first published January 1st 1931)
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mark monday
Jul 21, 2015 mark monday rated it really liked it
great collection.

3 stars for "The Statement of Randolph Carter"

a fun, brief shaggy dog story with a pretty famous last line. moral of the tale: don't go looking for kicks inside of tombs. duh!

3 stars for "The Shunned House"

Lovecraft at his most Lovecraft. displays his strengths and weaknesses equally. a whole lot of tell and not a lot of show... but the "history" recounted in the story was really absorbing to me. I love History as Horror. a whole lot of florid prose and hysterical emotions... a
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Michael
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Michael
Jan 12, 2008 Michael rated it it was ok
I just don't know what to say about Lovecraft. It's all good spooky fun, but... he really isn't a good writer. He's very repetitive, and tends to fall back on the trick of "this is the memoir of stuffy and stilted layman, so that's why it's badly written." Also there's way too much "ZOMG! It was so terrifying to behold that words cannot describe it!" "It was like that indescribable utterly terrifying thing that you are utterly terrified of but can't describe because it's so utterly terrifying!"

N
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J.L.   Sutton
Dec 21, 2015 J.L. Sutton rated it liked it
Reading Lovecraft is sometimes a bit frustrating. There is only so long that the nameless terror can move the narrative forward. Perhaps a longer review to follow which might explain how I can like Lovecraft without really liking his writing.
Mike (the Paladin)
Apr 20, 2011 Mike (the Paladin) rated it really liked it
I've read several collections of Lovecraft. Often I've read the same story as he was mortal and had to stop writing at his death...though if anyone might have continued on it would probably have been H. P. Lovecraft or Poe.

Oddly (I suppose) I'm not a "died in the wool" horror fan, but something about Lovecraft and his original twist on "it" (which has been copied often since) caught my interest. I've since looked up books Lovecraft himself listed as influences and read many of his "pulp era" pe
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Greg
Oct 29, 2007 Greg rated it it was ok
Shelves: horror
I really wanted to like this more. The style of writing I couldn't get over though, and his roundabout way of getting to any of the 'horror' was more painful to me than what would befall the characters in these stories. That said I did really like the ideas in the stories though, but again the writing killed it for me, especially all the superlatives that would be added before even the smallest detail of horror was given.
Lou
Jul 03, 2011 Lou rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror, may-read
Lovecraft is a writer highly skilled in imagination, intelligence and words. This is not for me a scary story but how can I describe it but a cerebal adventure of unknown worlds and creation. I find when I read his work I always have to take note of words to look up in a dictionary. The story explains about an area that has been discovered and this is the account of the discovery and findings.
Excerpt.
"Here sprawled a palaeogean megalopolis compared with which the fabled Atlantis and Lemuria, Com
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Cat
Aug 21, 2007 Cat rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror
Can't get enough of those non-Euclidean horrors. At the Mountain of Madness is about Arctic explorers discovering a huge abandoned alien city. The descriptions of the Elder Ones makes me think I could create an realistic illustration, by drawing on starfish, anemones, urchins and clams for body parts. Anyhoo, a great story of majestic terror.
The Shunned House is basically about a vampiric house, although I must give it props for the good sense to include a flame thrower, even though it didn't wo
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Lauren
Jul 11, 2011 Lauren rated it it was amazing
H.P. Lovecraft's Achilles heel is dialogue, no doubt. However, At The Mountains of Madness has none, and therefore is simply page after page of what Lovecraft does best: narrate. At the Mountains of Madness is easily one of the most terrifying books I've ever read... and that's saying a lot.

It starts out rather sluggish, with Dyer's descriptions of what technology is being taken on their expedition and what the weather is like and at what longitudes and lattitudes they're stopping bogging down a
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Joselito Honestly and Brilliantly
A geologist and his team of scientists went to an expedition at the antarctic and found something evil and sinister there. Later, a another group is set to go there on another expedition so the geologist, concerned about their safety, decides to now fully reveal what they know about the place.

I have not read much horror novels, and those which I had read failed to horrify me. This is not an exception. I couldn't even get a single nightmare out of it. Lovecraft, however, was very good at his craf
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Anna
Aug 12, 2012 Anna rated it really liked it
This was my first time reading anything by Lovecraft. One of the most interesting things about the experience is the realization of the influence of his work - from tiny things like Arkham Asylum taking its name from Lovecraft's fictional city of Arkham, to the omnipresence of Lovecraft's character Cthulu as a cultural reference.
I chose this book because I was curious about the title story, which Guillermo del Toro was at one point planning to adapt into a movie. And now having read it, I'd lik
...more
Hava
Jul 08, 2008 Hava rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2008
Are scary stories more effective when they are read in the dark? Reading this book certainly made me think so. I spent most of my time reading this book's 120-odd pages in broad daylight. Not the scariest setting for a scary book. Maybe that's why I was kind of dissapointed with it.

This being my first H.P. Lovecraft venture, I didn't know what to expect. The first story, "At The Mountains of Madness" is more of a short novel. It deals with a crew of men who go to the Antartic to study the wildne
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Kathryn
Sep 03, 2009 Kathryn rated it it was amazing
I had to look up some points after reading this. I am very happy that I started with this book instead of jumping into any other of Lovecraft’s works. “The Statement of Randolph Carter” was frightening and the ending was almost comical. I guess this is part of the authors dream cycle that I plan to read.
I also loved reading “The Shunned House”, especially the history of the house. “Dreams in the Witch-House” was fascinating and probably the most frightening of the short stories but it was the t
...more
Joe
Sep 16, 2007 Joe rated it liked it
Recommends it for: lovecraft fans, horror fans
Shelves: 2007
This book contains the novelette "At the Mountains of Madness", a lonely, creepy work where the Shoggoths dwell. The accompanying short stories are worthwhile as well.

I like Lovecraft's work, but "At the Mountains of Madness" was sometimes too heavy on the description of the surroundings in too much of a mathematical sense. A sketch or two would suffice occasionally.

Having said that, Lovecraft is about the slow horror and the reader's imagination, so it doesn't always lend itself to light readin
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Derrick
Mar 09, 2009 Derrick rated it it was ok
Shelves: horror, 2009
At The Mountains of Madness. The book was good. It wasn't really what I would consider scary although once the book was started it did keep me flipping the pages very quickly. I found the scientific writing style was very cold and seemed distant to me. It was easy to understand and made it much more believable. It did make it difficult to be involved. Lastly, for a short story it took a long time to build up to the horror part of the story. I was nearly halfway through the book and only the last ...more
Rubi
Not the best of Lovecrat's tales. Quite boring and little interesting.
Adam Smith
Jan 05, 2016 Adam Smith rated it it was amazing
On a scientific expedition to Antarctica, a group of scientist stumbled across ancient fossils of a nightmarish and unknown species at the base of a newly discovered mountain range. The men took the bizarrely well-preserved specimen into their camp, but the next morning all but one of their party were dead. Two men took a plane across the mountains to look for him and what they found was more horrible than they could have imagined.

I really enjoyed this. It was a bit of a slowboil but once it got
...more
Chad Bearden
Mar 17, 2011 Chad Bearden rated it really liked it
Having read Arthur Machen and Stephen King and Mike Mignola's 'Hellboy' and 'B.P.R.D.' sagas, I feel like I know plenty about the cthonic mythology created by H.P. Lovecraft. But its worth noting that I've never actually read any actual Lovecraft. This slim collection, which contains the well-known title story, proves to be a serviceable, if not thorough, introduction to the horror author.

I think if there were a primary complaint about this work, it is the stories that were chosen for this slim
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Bookowl1000

At The Mountains of Madness:
At the beginning of the story there was a lot of technical geological detail. I found it very in keeping with the characters because as scientists it is the way that they would describe what they were experiencing. As I have studied geology it did help me to picture the landscape, though I can see that for someone who had no idea what those terms meant, it would bog down the story. Once they discovered the 'city' I expected it to turn into a slasher fest, and was pl
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Andrea Blythe
I was not thrilled with "At the Mountains of Madness." The story of an Antarctic expedition that discovers a madness-inducing mountain with horrifying creatures was overwrought. I mean, how many pages do you really need to describe the strange (and again with the madness-inducing) architecture. The story could have done with some serious cutting of redundant paragraphs. But it wasn't entirely without merit and had some moments, where the action moved at enough of a pace to keep me reading.

The s
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Tim
Oct 06, 2012 Tim rated it liked it
This collection of four macabre H.P. Lovecraft tales is dominated by the title story, a novella about a rather startling discovery in the Antarctic. Leading off the collection, "At the Mountains of Madness" concerns a group of polar explorers boring into rock and ice for scientific samples but discovering relics of the Earth's past best left alone. The narrator is not present for the amazing discovery of a group of tentacled things with starfish-y and other grotesque aspects. When he loses conta ...more
Martha Sockel
Aug 07, 2014 Martha Sockel rated it really liked it
H. P. Lovecraft's "At The Mountains Of Madness" could be the best horror story ever written. For the time period it was written in it is unsurpassed. For originality of the storyline and the sheer terror it inspires it stands next to if not above Stoker's "Dracula", and Stephen King's "The Shining". Lovecraft boldly went where few other writer's dared to follow by creating an entire Universe of unspeakable horrors. The mastery of his chosen craft lies in his ability to hint subliminally at the f ...more
Kayla Rose
Apr 30, 2011 Kayla Rose rated it it was ok
I can't say this is one of my favorite things I've ever read. I skipped whole sections that were talking about rocks and drills in the beginning, and toward the end I started skipping whole sections because they were referencing things I had no knowledge of whatsoever.

The creepiness picked up about 80% of the way through, but when they were talking about the history of the Old Ones, I have no idea how they would have discerned all of that from sculpture, and then when they were running from the
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Shel
For writers: an example of a highly imitable style, very little dialogue, and the use of many adverbs and adjectives.

Prepare for: grotesque penguins, insane graves, monstrous mounds, alien exoticism, viscous agglutinations, opalescent haze, igneous manifestations, cryptical darkness, blasphemous tunnels, austral worlds, and degenerate murals

Pairs well with: Edgar Allen Poe's Arthur Gordon Pym and Victoria Nelson's The Secret Life of Puppets

Quotes:

"Perhaps we were mad - for have I not said those
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Katelis Viglas
Aug 14, 2009 Katelis Viglas rated it it was amazing
Provokes vertiginous terror, as it describes in details the discovery of an alien civilization in the middle of antarctic coldness. It continues a tradition of antarctic novels, from Poe's "The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nanducket", till Jules Verne's "The sphinx of the Ice Fields". Even today feeds the conversation about the Hollow Earth Theory.
I tried to imagine how abysmal the specific alien civilization would be, if existed. The uncanny feeling provoked by all those strange archaeolo
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Neuromancer
Jan 27, 2015 Neuromancer rated it liked it
Наистина Лъвкравт в един момент започва да се повтаря УЖАСНО много. Пак е як, но не трябва да се прекалява с него.
Andreas Lindblad
Apr 28, 2015 Andreas Lindblad rated it it was amazing
A masterfully constructed horror story, where the not shown is the most terrifying.
Cataline
Mar 15, 2012 Cataline rated it it was amazing
An avid reader of all of H.P. Lovecraft's works--this was a re-read for me. There are not many books or authors that intrigue me enough to give them second glances, however, H.P. Lovecraft has his way with words. This book is a compilation of different short stories to enthrall your mind and peak your senses...once in a while you may feel the need to sneak a peak behind your shoulder or even feel the tiny hairs on your neck stand at attention through the chilling and sometimes terrifying plots o ...more
Manson
Oct 21, 2013 Manson rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Elias Vasilis Kontaxakis
That is not dead which can eternal lie.
And with strange aeons even death may die.


This review is of three stories from H.P. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu mythos: Call of Cthulhu, The Dunwich Horror, and At the Mountains of Madness. They’re similar and short enough where one relaxed neck pan will cover all three. If this smells like a criticism, it is, and I’d feel better if I could complain a bit before I praise. This is because of what could have been, and the fact that Lovecraft’s mythology has outlived
...more
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  • Shadows over Innsmouth
  • Call of Cthulhu: Horror Roleplaying in the Worlds of H. P. Lovecraft (call of cthulhu)
  • Cthulhu: The Mythos and Kindred Horrors
  • A Rendezvous in Averoigne
  • The Nyarlathotep Cycle: The God of a Thousand Forms
  • Books of Blood: Volume Three (Books of Blood #3)
  • Cthulhu 2000
  • Lovecraft Unbound
  • Dark Gods
  • The Taint and Other Novellas (Cthulhu Collection)
  • Best Ghost Stories of Algernon Blackwood
  • The Three Impostors and Other Stories
  • Ghost and Horror Stories
  • The Encyclopedia Cthulhiana: A Guide to Lovecraftian Horror
  • Teatro Grottesco
  • Collected Ghost Stories
  • Occultation and Other Stories
  • Black Wings: New Tales of Lovecraftian Horror
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...

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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.
45 likes
“It is absolutely necessary, for the peace and safety of mankind, that some of earth's dark, dead corners and unplumbed depths be left alone; lest sleeping abnormalities wake to resurgent life, and blasphemously surviving nightmares squirm and splash out of their black lairs to newer and wider conquests.” 17 likes
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