At the Mountains of Madness (Prohyptikon Value Classics) Paperback – 29 Aug 2010
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" 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 horror."
- CLIVE BARKER
"From the Trade Paperback edition."
One of the greatest short novels in American literature, and a key text in my own understanding of what that literature can do.
Lovecraft s fiction is one of the cornerstones of modern horror.
From the Trade Paperback edition."
-One of the greatest short novels in American literature, and a key text in my own understanding of what that literature can do.-
-Lovecraft's fiction is one of the cornerstones of modern horror.-
From the Trade Paperback edition.
"One of the greatest short novels in American literature, and a key text in my own understanding of what that literature can do."
"Lovecraft's fiction is one of the cornerstones of modern horror."
-CLIVE BARKER From the Trade Paperback edition.
From the Inside Flap
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 the City of the Old Ones. Three additional strange tales, written as only H.P. Lovecraft can write, are also included in this macabre collection of the strange and the weird.See all Product description
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Top customer reviews
Maybe having been told this was the best book ever might have made me start with slightly higher expectations than I should have done but I was left a bit disappointed with what I read.
The book is set in the antarctic and told, retrospectively, by a member of the geological expedition team that have discovered evidence of an ancient unknown lifeform. When part of the expedition is killed, two members of the remaining team fly over the "mountains of madness" in search of answers, to discover a vast, ruined, ancient city, millions of years old. They then begin to investigate what they have discovered and what has happened to their colleagues and we learn their fate as they do.
I felt that the writing and flow of the book was good but maybe a little longer than it needed to be. It seems to read more as a report on the events as it is told to us rather than a story, so this means that some of the experiences seem a bit ‘clinical’. There is almost no mention of the explorers thoughts and feelings on these discoveries and I guess this is why it seemed a bit impersonal to me and I found it hard to get into.
I was not captivated or scared by this story as some others have been and I really struggled to stay interested in the situation and discoveries. Although I was disappointed by this book, it will not stop me from reading other books by H.P Lovecraft but my expectations will be lower this time and that might be a good thing.
It was written in the 1930s (i think) and Hollywood still haven't got around to making a film from it, despite it being a terrific story. To make a film of it and stay anywhere near to the spirit and scale of the original book, may be regarded as virtually (no pun intended) unfilmable, by the studios (or perhaps, they just want to keep making sequels forever.....)
To some, it may be a little over-written and wordy in parts (even for a short story), but I think it makes compelling reading. I mean, name me another book with six feet high, blind albino penguins in it!
I finished it in one session, so I guess it got me! Recommended.
If only the glaring continuity error had been picked up at the time of writing, this would have been a five star.
So it settles for a well deserved four.
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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