Darrell's Reviews > At the Mountains of Madness and Other Tales of Terror

At the Mountains of Madness and Other Tales of Terror by H.P. Lovecraft
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Nov 19, 2008

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Read in December, 2008

I didn't find H. P. Lovecraft's stories frightening, although I can see how someone might. His use of quantum physics to inject new life into the horror genre back in the 1930's is admirable, and I did find many of his ideas interesting. He's definitely a fan of Edgar Allen Poe, and invokes his name often. I especially liked the passages in which he tells us the horrors of aliens and extra-dimensional beings is beyond all human comprehension or ability to describe. Nothing is more frightening, after all, than the unknowable. I think a major flaw of his work is his generally slow pace. His characters are still confused about what is really going on long after all of his readers have guessed it. He draws the suspense out for so long, his readers are liable to get bored. I think the best story in this collection is The Statement of Randolph Carter. Since it's the shortest story, more is left unknown and the tension doesn't have a chance to slip away amongst pages of tedious description. The title story, At the Mountains of Madness, would have been much more frightening if it were half as long.

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