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At the Mountains of Madness (1936)

by H. P. Lovecraft

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,0813915,777 (3.71)129
A large scale and much publicized expedition to Antarctica is about to take place. While excitement runs high in the scientific community over this expedition, one geologist tries his hardest to stop the trip from ever happening. This is because William Dyer has been to Antarctica on an expedition before, and knows of the unspeakable horrors that lie in its frigid terrain. Dyer goes into explaining that during his last trip, he and another small group led by Professor Lake, encountered ancient alien life forms dubbed The Elder Things. Told from Dyers perspective, this story goes into detail of Dyer's fatal encounters with the aliens in Antarctica and how this new expedition will surely end in nothing but more tragedy.… (more)
  1. 00
    The Vaults of Yoh-Vombis [short story] by Clark Ashton Smith (artturnerjr)
    artturnerjr: Smith's tale seems to have been at least partly inspired by his friend Lovecraft's novel, which he read in manuscript before it was published.
  2. 00
    Best Ghost Stories of Algernon Blackwood by Algernon Blackwood (ocgreg34)
  3. 00
    The People of the Pit {story} by Abraham Merritt (artturnerjr)
    artturnerjr: An important (albeit somewhat lightweight) precursor to the classic Lovecraft tale.
  4. 00
    The Terror by Dan Simmons (MarcusH)
    MarcusH: H.P. Lovecraft's novella calls about the desolation of the Antarctic to create a sense of terror in the reader. Simmons' novel also calls upon the desolation of the Arctic to create a similar sense of suspense. Simmons' novel is much lengthier and does not rely on fantasy as Lovecraft does. The Terror is more horror, but it still shares the great tradition of suspense with Lovecraft's writing.… (more)
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» See also 129 mentions

English (28)  German (5)  French (3)  Spanish (3)  All languages (39)
Showing 1-5 of 28 (next | show all)
This was my first time reading/listening to Lovecraft. I don't know if this was just a not great place to dive into his mythos, but I was a little disappointed. As a character study, it was fantastic. I totally bought into the scientific exploration narrated by a geologist, and I was super thankful I have biology, anthropology, and art history courses for understanding a lot of the very detailed descriptions of the scientists' findings.

But when it came to the "cosmic horror" I didn't feel any of it. The narrator's convenient understanding of the complex society from a few hours of looking at some bas-relief sculptures seemed improbable at best. The narrator's constant refrain of telling the story in order to save people from the horror didn't sway me. He kept crying "horror!" but there was none here for me. (And I am so, so easily frightened, so easily overwhelmed in the face of nihilism and the unknown.)

I'm not about to completely write off Lovecraft based on this one book, but I'll tread skeptically in the future. ( )
1 vote liannecollins | Jun 10, 2022 |
A geologist on an expedition in Antarctica finds himself in a terrifying situation when he discovers an ancient civilization of "Elder" creatures. Lovecraft is a master at slowly building suspense. At times, this classic gets bogged down in scientific details, but it still captures a great sense of foreboding. We've become used to thrillers that share every detail early on, but in 1936, this story was cutting edge. ( )
  bookworm12 | Apr 13, 2022 |
Spooky and haunting rather than bloody and violent ( )
  teafancier | Oct 23, 2021 |
I still don't get why this one is heralded as one of Lovecraft's best. To me, it's not even close.

Once again, is it a great idea? Hell yes.

But Lovecraft stuffs so many measurements, so many longitudes and latitudes, so many elevations, so much architectural detail into what is a shockingly simple story, that it simply bogs down. Honestly, this thing is less than 150 pages, and I had to take break after eye-drooping break just to get to the last payoff, a quick little footrace with the only living thing we finally get that's horrible, and that's not until the last ten pages or so.

When I first listened to this in audio format (big mistake, it was an amateur reader that pronounced all Ls and Rs as Ws, as in "H. P. Wovecwaft" so it felt like Elmer Fudd was telling me the story). I described this at the time, as less a horror story and more an article from Architectural Digest From Hell.

Five years later, I still agree with that. In fact, the backup story that helped, in part, to inspire At The Mountains of Madness, called In Amundsen's Tent, was the far superior story (and one that Lovecraft enjoyed, but felt it was "clumsy").

There's better Lovecraft out there than this. ( )
  TobinElliott | Sep 3, 2021 |
Keşfetmek Güzel Olduğu Kadar Bazen Korkutucudur da: Deliliğin Dağlarında (İnceleme):
https://parttimegamersite.wordpress.com/2017/12/05/kesfetmek-guzel-oldugu-kadar-... ( )
  SultanNurK_Gucuk | Aug 11, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 28 (next | show all)

» Add other authors (122 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
H. P. Lovecraftprimary authorall editionscalculated
Baranger, FrançoisIllustratormain authorsome editionsconfirmed
Derleth, AugustEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fischer, A. F.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hermstein, RudolfTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Herrmann, EdwardNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Joshi, S. T.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Turner, JamesIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wuerz. TimoCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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I am forced into speech because men of science have refused to follow my advice without knowing why.
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Information from the German Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Hunde werden unruhig, während wir arbeiten, empfinden anscheinend Abscheu vor Speckstein.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
This work represents the novella, which has been separately published as a standalone work. It may be contained in other works, but should not be combined with omnibus editions/collections, e.g., At the Mountains of Madness and Other Novels, At the Mountains of Madness and Other Macabre Tales, At the Mountains of Madness and Other Tales of Terror, etc.
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A large scale and much publicized expedition to Antarctica is about to take place. While excitement runs high in the scientific community over this expedition, one geologist tries his hardest to stop the trip from ever happening. This is because William Dyer has been to Antarctica on an expedition before, and knows of the unspeakable horrors that lie in its frigid terrain. Dyer goes into explaining that during his last trip, he and another small group led by Professor Lake, encountered ancient alien life forms dubbed The Elder Things. Told from Dyers perspective, this story goes into detail of Dyer's fatal encounters with the aliens in Antarctica and how this new expedition will surely end in nothing but more tragedy.

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Book description
Lovecraft helped shape a popular subgenre of science fiction, the "weird tale," which blended science with horror to create moody tales of monsters from beyond the stars. This novella, written in 1931, introduces us to some of Lovecraft's most terrifying alien creatures, discovered by a team of scientists exploring Antarctica.

Contains the following novellas/short stories:

At the Mountains of Madness
The Case of Charles Dexter Ward
The Shunned House
The Dreams in the Witch-House
The Statement of Randolph Carter
The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath
The Silver Key
Through the Gates of the Silver Key
Contains the following novellas/short stories:

At the Mountains of Madness
The Shunned House
The Dreams in the Witch-House
The Statement of Randolph Carter
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