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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The greatest of H. P. Lovecraft's horror stories
"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...
Published on 13 Dec 2002

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2.0 out of 5 stars it sounded like a boring lecture
Whilst the story itself is atmospheric and engaging, I found the narrator to be very hard to listen to. Although the reading was certainly supposed to be dramatic, it sounded like a boring lecture, that failed to emphasise the words on the page in the way they were written. Moreover, I found it hard to listen to each disc in one sitting. Having since sourced an alternate...
Published 2 months ago by M. Hevingham


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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The greatest of H. P. Lovecraft's horror stories, 13 Dec 2002
By A Customer
"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. I am at a total loss to explain why generations of horror readers have to be reintroduced to Lovecraft's writings. But nobody ever promise fair and then you die.
I notice there are three other Lovecraft short stories in this volume. That is certainly nice, but you buy this one for the title story. "At the Mountains of Madness" is not the first Lovecraft story you want to read, because you really need to have a feel for the Cthulhu Mythos before you sit down to enjoy this one. But when you are ready for the ultimate Lovecraft story, there is no doubt this is the one.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A masterpiece of horror plus extras, 29 Nov 2002
By 
Daniel Jolley "darkgenius" (Shelby, North Carolina USA) - See all my reviews
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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. The story is a masterful one and provides us with a unique viewpoint concerning the race of ancient beings Lovecraft injected into his horror fiction. It can become tedious at times, but these moments are rare. The sense of mystery and trepidation rises consistently throughout, and the ending more than satisfied this particular reader.
There are three stories included alongside At the Mountains of Madness, all of them interesting but not among Lovecraft's greatest creations. "The Shunned House" is basically a ghost story, albeit one featuring Lovecraftian images, themes, and atmosphere. "The Dreams in the Witch-House" is almost stereotypical to some degree--a young man seeks out a place of mystery and dark history in an attempt to gain cosmic knowledge. In this case, the young man is a mathematics student hoping to combine possible ancient knowledge of curved space and time with his powerful mathematical formulae with some hope of transcending the barriers of earth's three dimensions. As can be expected, he soon finds himself in over his head, experiencing terrible things each night at the hands of a supposedly deceased old witch and her horrible rat-like familiar. This story seemed to have great potential, yet I thought it sort of broke down during the latter half, lacking Lovecraft's usual ending flourish and flair. The final story included here is "The Statement of Randolph Carter," which relates a pivotal experience in the life of Randolph Carter, who would become Lovecraft's master of dreams and seeker of Kadath in the ice-cold wastes.
All of these stories are a basic staple of a Lovecraft diet, and At the Mountains of Madness is compulsory reading.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Master of horror, at his best!, 18 July 2014
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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5.0 out of 5 stars perhaps the 5 stars is a little generous as this is not Lovecraft's best and is fatally flawed in its strange meandering structu, 17 Aug 2014
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Mister Terne (Wiltshire, England) - See all my reviews
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All right, perhaps the 5 stars is a little generous as this is not Lovecraft's best and is fatally flawed in its strange meandering structure that demands everything stop for an extended history lesson halfway through, but the imagination on display is nothing short of astonishing. The references to other texts and the attempt to weave the disparate parts of the mythology he had created into a unifying whole make this essential for fans. And that is the driving force behind this review. All I can add is that Naxos have done their usual top-notch job and William Roberts's intense reading perfectly compliments the insanity so often writ large by Lovecraft. If you are a fan, you will love this. And if you are not, you won't be reading this review anyway.
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2.0 out of 5 stars it sounded like a boring lecture, 9 Oct 2014
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M. Hevingham "Mark Hevingham" (BIRMINGHAM, WEST MIDLANDS United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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Whilst the story itself is atmospheric and engaging, I found the narrator to be very hard to listen to. Although the reading was certainly supposed to be dramatic, it sounded like a boring lecture, that failed to emphasise the words on the page in the way they were written. Moreover, I found it hard to listen to each disc in one sitting. Having since sourced an alternate version my estimation of this production has gone down even further. I would disagree with the reviewers who like Mr Roberts's style. Actually when the first disc started I though I was in for a treat but the style soon became very tiresome. In short as you can probably tell I was disappointed. I suggest you visit the Naxos site and listen to a sample before buying.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read but book in bad condition, 24 July 2014
By 
P. J. Thacker "Pat Thacker" (Birmingham, England) - See all my reviews
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I buy and read a lot of books and usually have to re-read the synopsis to remind myself what they were about.
This book made quite an impact on me and has stayed clearly in my mind. Good descriptive story writing and still easily readable today as I'm sure it was when written.
On the down side, I bought this book as "used - very good" but it was actually "used - very bad". Pages all yellowed and coming away from the spine so it went in the bin after I had read it
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3.0 out of 5 stars Anyway good luck to the script writer in fashioning a movie, 6 July 2014
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andrew cummings (san fran, ca United States) - See all my reviews
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I bought this book after reading how it has been years in preproduction (meaning never brought to resemble a movie script). How it was to dark a subject matter for its time, in deed It was but my main bugger boo with this book was in its over wording of a rather simple scfi story .and not much terror as to the story , that a race of interstellar beings comes to earth able to transvers the depths of space without spaceships settle here then lose their abilities to relauch themselves when needed ,,, oh yes and fight a rather vague enemy from across the same depths just seems meager but in its favor it has got potential as a strat of a bigger book . Anyway good luck to the script writer in fashioning a movie , they've been made with less of an idea .
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great Book, 23 April 2014
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E. Orr (London, England) - See all my reviews
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Some people criticise Lovecraft for his turgid style, but I think it adds to the creepy menace of his books, The Mountains of Madness being a fine example. I sometimes wonder what Lovecraft's reception would have been like if he was writing today - would he even have been published? I'm certainly glad that he was. Reading Lovecraft's books I am often reminded of the author Morton Bain - even though belong to very different generations.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Read it ! ! ! ! !, 6 April 2014
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This review is from: At the Mountains of Madness (Prohyptikon Value Classics) (Paperback)
This book is truly great, an amazing read.
Everyone should have a copy.
Haven't enjoyed a book as much in years.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book!, 20 Mar 2014
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The guy was a master of conjuring strange imagery with words. It is not terrifying, but it is a good mystery with other worldly peril. Definitely good to read, if like me you have heard the book or the author referenced a lot, but not quite known much about Lovecraft or his Chtulu mythos.
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At the Mountains of Madness (Prohyptikon Value Classics)
At the Mountains of Madness (Prohyptikon Value Classics) by H. P. Lovecraft (Paperback - 29 Aug 2010)
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