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At the Mountains of Madness Hardcover – Aug 1966

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Littlehampton Book Services Ltd (Aug. 1966)
  • ISBN-10: 0575010568
  • ISBN-13: 978-0575010567
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 6,368,721 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

One of the greatest short novels in American literature, and a key text in my own understanding of what that literature can do. --Michael Chabon

Lovecraft' s fiction is one of the cornerstones of modern --Clive Barker --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

From the Back Cover

"These tales of horror are in the true gothic tradition – full of hinted terrors and unholy stenches".
GUARDIAN

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 13 Dec. 2002
Format: Paperback
"At the Mountains of Madness" is far and away the best of H. P. Lovecraft's tales of the Cthulhu Mythos. Once upon a time I would have thought "The Haunter of the Dark" was the best, but I heared Rod Serling explain once that Lovecraft wrote that particular short story as something of a in-joke (the victim is "really" author Robert Bloch; the two were taking turns killing each other off in stories). However, this novella has a scope and intensity that goes beyond any of Lovecraft's short stories.
I have always thought that "At the Mountains of Madness" would make a great film, even though I shudder at what Hollywood would do with its tendency to rely on special effects, the lessons of "The Blair Witch Project," "The Others," and "The Mothman Prophecies" to the contrary. However, I must admit that I notice Lovecraft's story contains elements of two of my all time top-10 science fiction/horror films, "The Thing From Another Planet" and "Five Million Years to Earth" (a.k.a. "Quatermass and the Pit"); think the claustrophobic arctic environment of the former and the discover of eldritch demons from the latter. Here we have an expedition from Miskatonic University that makes a startling discover buried beneath the snow of strange ancient creatures. When the expedition is slaughtered and the creates they found are taken away, a search team makes the grave mistake of following the trail to an immense ruined city.
I am sure I do not have to tell you how big of a mistake this ends up being.
I can remember staying up late at night reading this story, completing captivated and descending into terror step by step along with the doomed protagonists of the story. "The Mountains of Madness" achieves a level of pure terror that I never found in Poe.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Jolley HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 29 Nov. 2002
Format: Paperback
At the Mountains of Madness is one of Lovecraft's most singular, lengthy, and important pieces of fiction. Set in the cold wastes of Antarctica, it takes us far afield from the mysterious world of Lovecraft's New England yet in close proximity to the mythical framework of his most noted writings. A cadre of scientists from Miskatonic University travels to the coldest continent in order to pursue important geological work, but their mission is quickly transformed by one team's discovery of an ancient cavity housing hordes of scientific specimens at the base of an undiscovered range of weird, majestic mountains. The most important specimens found in the pit are largely intact bodies of terrifically strange creatures having both animal and vegetable characteristics and sporting immense, bat-like wings. As the first team begins a study of the creatures, the other party members rush to the campsite. However, they find only death, destruction, and mystery there when they arrive. Mysterious caves, peculiar shapes, and other incredible aspects of the adjacent mountains leads the expedition leader to dub them "the mountains of madness." Scientific curiosity impels two of the men to fly over those mountains to see what lies on the other side. What they find is an empty, ancient city, which they set out to explore. Statues and strange hieroglyphics lead the men to conclude that this city was once the most revered spot of the Old Ones mentioned in the Necronomicon and the Pnakotic Manuscripts, a city built long before man's first ancestors walked the earth. As they move deeper within the bowels of the city, they discover that it is not quite deserted after all.Read more ›
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 30 Oct. 1997
Format: Mass Market Paperback
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 fears he was writing about, then letting his reader's imagination take over from there. Serious students of the Horror and Supernatural genre who overlook Lovecraft have missed the entire boat. Read and enjoy this book and Lovecraft's other stories but be careful, the fear you find will be in your own mind. Happy Halloween!
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Format: Paperback
This is the longest of lovecrafts stories and the best example of how his tales build tension, and the atmospheric horror he was famous for. Told in a first person perspective, at the mountains of madness recounts a failed expedition to the vast unexplored lanscapes of Antartica. Shortly after arriving at their campsite, one of the group sets out on a solo trip in one of the planes. He sends word to the rest of the party that he has made several amazing discoveries, discoveries that defy belief. He relays several updates back to an excited camp and informs them of large, apparent fossils which he has managed to make ready for the return flight, but which seem to set the huskies on edge.
Soon after the contact stops, leaving the party no choice but to set out on a rescue mission. As the two man rescue party finally spot the landing site of their missing member and land the plane, they are met with a scene of disturbing signs.
From this point on, Lovecraft builds the terror expertly but never shows the creature or presence that is overshadowing every step the explorers take. The setting of Antarctica is used as one of the characters in this tale to great effect. Lovecraft uses the isolation as a sharpening stone to the growing paranoia of the explorers.
This is a master of atmospheric horror at his best!
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