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At the Mountains of Madness

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Long acknowledged as a master of nightmarish vision, H.P. Lovecraft established the genuineness and dignity of his own pioneering fiction in 1931 with his quintessential work of supernatural horror, At the Mountains of Madness. The deliberately told and increasingly chilling recollection of an Antarctic expedition's uncanny discoveries --and their encounter with an untold menace in the ruins of a lost civilization--is a milestone of macabre literature.

This Definitive Edition of At the Mountains of Madness (The Modern Library) also includes Lovecraft's long essay "Supernatural Horror in Literature."

194 pages, Paperback

First published January 1, 1931

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About the author

China Miéville

149 books13.7k followers
A British "fantastic fiction" writer. He is fond of describing his work as "weird fiction" (after early 20th century pulp and horror writers such as H. P. Lovecraft), and belongs to a loose group of writers sometimes called New Weird who consciously attempt to move fantasy away from commercial, genre clichés of Tolkien epigons. He is also active in left-wing politics as a member of the Socialist Workers Party. He has stood for the House of Commons for the Socialist Alliance, and published a book on Marxism and international law.

Excerpted from Wikipedia.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 3,775 reviews
Profile Image for Jennifer.
252 reviews41 followers
August 6, 2014
Imagine: Your friend goes to Antarctica with a team of scientists and discovers the remains of a before-the-dawn-of-time alien civilization AND then finds the ripped up bodies of some team members lying around AND then was chased by the lost alien forms. Cool. Except, your "friend" doesn't want to tell you about any of that. All he wants to do is describe the icy, mountainous, eerie, tunneled landscape that Roerich built:
So you're like, no, go back to the part about the ripped up bodies.

And he's like, no, let me tell you more about the icy, mountainous, eerie, tunneled landscape that Roerich built.

And you say, tell me more about the gigantic albino penguins.

And he says, haven't I told you about the icy, mountainous, eerie, tunneled landscape that Roerich built yet?

Tell me more about your team members and that one guy you were with when that blob monster chased you!

No, I need to tell you about the icy, mountainous, eerie, tunneled landscape that Roerich built when the light hits it at 2:31 p.m.

Tell me more about what happened with that monster!

And he's like, I think I need to tell you about the icy, mountainous, eerie, tunneled landscape that Roerich built when the light hits it at 2:36 p.m.

By that point you're like, That's OK! I've gotta go clean my fish tank now or something...and you're not my friend anymore...(and who the heck is Roerich?)

By the time I reached the last part of this book, I really didn't care about the story or what was to be found in the grandest, deepest, most ancient of all chambers in Antarctica that he was leading up to. I didn't care what his teammate saw that he REFUSED to talk about. And I didn't care about the ENTIRE history of this civilization that he somehow managed to decipher from pictographs off a wall in less than a day. Perhaps the writer was trying to create suspense throughout the story, but I just felt teased and strung along for most of it.
Profile Image for Mario the lone bookwolf.
763 reviews3,497 followers
February 6, 2022
Cosmic horror at it´s best, silently researching, cave climbing, more and more frightened protagonists stumbling in the face of the old, immortal evil lurking out there, somewhere, always hungry, watching, never sleeping.

Madness and genius go hand in hand and it would be unfriendly to say that it´s good that Lovecraft was a bit special, somewhat egocentric, let´s face it, who cares about political correctness and politeness, totally bonkers, because without this special mindset he would certainly not have been able to produce such mindpenetrating, disturbing, and suspenseful masterpieces.

The lesser action is needed, the better the author, and that´s where Lovecraft shines, using minimalistic, sometimes even not even real plots and just imagining any creepy detail, danger, or higher demonic entity possible. The thing is that we don´t know, that he could be right, and that I´ve seen similar descriptions of the big, close to almighty evil in some of my favorite sci-fi series when it´s about describing the strange mentality of aliens evolved hundreds of millions and billions of years before humans.

It´s funny, we know nothing, so there is also absolutely nothing improbable about a species that had our current state of technological evolution 1,5 or 2 billion years ago and is now a kind of dark, mad, or just sadistic source code of the galaxy, manipulating everything by some kind of extremely advanced Clarketech.

Some more sci-fi elements in this work include are
and many other implications.

Tropes show how literature is conceptualized and created and which mixture of elements makes works and genres unique:
Profile Image for Stephen.
1,517 reviews10.9k followers
April 20, 2011
ATMOM intro

6.0 stars. As I was experiencing Lovecraft’s supremely awesome, nightmarish masterpiece, At the Mountains of Madness (ATMOM), it really struck me for the first time that he was a tremendously literate writer. I have been a fan of Lovecraft for a long time and have always been gaga for his bizarre imaginative stories. However, what jumped out at me on this reading of ATMOM was how impressively Lovecraft enhances the sense of dread that hangs over his stories through the colorful, melodramatic language he employs. He had a real gift for the written word.

To demonstrate HPL's expertise with dramtic language, I have put together a few examples of quotes from ATMOM along with a more straight-forward, less colorful approach that a lesser "non-awesome" writer (NAW) might employ.


NAW: "Finally, we arrived at the South Pole." Photobucket

HPL: "At last we were truly entering the white, aeon-dead world of the ultimate south." Photobucket


NAW: "The sunlight reflecting off the ice created some unusual visual effects."
HPL:"Distant mountains floated in the sky like enchanted cities, and often the whole white world would dissolve into a gold, silver and scarlet land of Dunsanian dreams and adventurous expectancy under the magic of the low midnight sun." Photobucket

NAW: "The mountain range had an eerie appearance" Photobucket

HPL: “It was as if these stark, nightmare spires marked the pylons of a frightful gateway into forbidden spheres of dream, and complex gulfs of remote time, space, and ultra-dimensionality. I could not help feeling that they were evil things—mountains of madness whose farther slopes looked out over some accursed ultimate abyss. That seething, half-luminous cloud background held ineffable suggestions of a vague, ethereal beyondness far more than terrestrially spatial, and gave appalling reminders of the utter remoteness, separateness, desolation, and aeon-long death of this untrodden and unfathomed austral world.” Photobucket


NAW: “The structures were of an extremely odd nature.” Photobucket

HPL: “There were geometrical forms for which Euclid could scarcely find a name- cones of all degrees of irregularity and truncation; terraces of every sort of provocative disproportion; shafts with odd bulbous enlargements; broken columns in curious groups; and five-pointed or five-ridged arrangements of mad grotesqueness.”
What can we learn from the above? My takeaway is that Lovecraft was more than just a freakishly twisted genius creator of the superbly bizarre. He was also the king of melodrama who had literary chops to spare and could create atmosphere out of whole cloth even while describing the most mundane of activities. Put simply, HP Lovecraft was the MAN!!!

It is also my opinion that the MAN was at his absolute best in ATMOM. I must admit that I say this with some hesitation because I have had a deep and long lasting love affair with both “The Call of Cthulhu” and “The Dunwich Horror.” However, despite an epic battle between story titans, I think that ATMOM wins a narrow victory because of its length and its detailed and comprehensive discussion of the “Cthulhu Mythos” which I thought was superb.


ATMOM is the story of a doomed scientific expedition to Antarctica told in the first person by William Dyer, a geologist from Lovecraft’s famous “Miskatonic University.” Dyer explains at the very beginning of the novella that his reason for putting this story to paper is in the hope that that by recounting his extraordinary experiences, he can dissuade any further exploration of the region. He also recognizes the likelihood that the more fantastic elements of his story will not be accepted:
Doubt of the real facts, as I must reveal them, is inevitable; yet if I suppressed what will seem extravagant and incredible there would be nothing left.

The main expedition group (which does not include our narrator) begins exploration of the surrounding area. They eventually discover 14 specimens of a previously unknown species of life (having both plant and animal qualities) that appear to be close to 50 Million years old. The discovery calls into question all of the current scientific theories regarding the history of life on Earth. Despite their age, 8 of the 14 specimens appear to be in almost pristine condition. One of the group members provides the following description of these Elder Things:
Six feet end to end, three and five-tenths feet central diameter, tapering to one foot at each end. Like a barrel with five bulging ridges in place of staves. Lateral breakages, as of thinnish stalks, are at equator in middle of these ridges. In furrows between ridges are curious growths–combs or wings that fold up and spread out like fans which gives almost a seven-foot wing spread. Arrangement reminds one of certain monsters of primal myth, especially fabled Elder Things in the Necronomicon.

When Dyer and the remaining members of the party suddenly lose contact with the expedition, they fly to the camp to investigate and what they find is………I am going to stop there so as not to give away any major spoilers. Let me just say that what Dyer and Danforth (another group member) find at the camp and what they encounter during their subsequent investigations are the stuff of glorious, wonderful and terrifying nightmares as only HP can write them.

In addition, a portion of the remaining story is a wonderfully detailed back story of many central aspects of Lovecraft’s universe. It has been said that ATMOM was Lovecraft’s way of re-categorizing the Cthulhu mythology from his earlier stories into something with more of a science fiction flavor. Mythology, fantasy or science fiction, whatever flavor you want to call it, it is scrumptiously DELICIOUS.

Finally, ATMOM ties together many of Lovecraft’s earlier stories, including: “The Dunwich Horror, “The Call of Cthulhu,” “The Colour Out of Space,” “Haunter in the Dark,” “The Thing on the Doorstep,” “Pickman’s Model,” and “The Shadow over Innsmouth.” Long time readers of Lovecraft will have fun spotting the references and connections to these stories.

To sum up, this is an extraordinary story and is now on my list of “All Time Favorites.” While HPL has written so many wonderful stories that it is hard to call any one his masterpiece. However, if you had to select just one story to embody the greatness of Lovecraft’s work, you could do worse than picking this novella. HIGHEST POSSIBLE RECOMMENDATION!!

P.S. Here is a bonus quote and accompanying photo that I did not have a good place to include it in the body of the review. Enjoy.
“It was the utter, objective embodiment of the fantastic novelist's "thing that should not be"; and its nearest comprehensible analogue is a vast, onrushing subway train as one sees it from a station platform - the great black front looming colossally out of infinite subterraneous distance, constellated with strangely coloured lights and filling the prodigious burrow as a piston fills a cylinder."
Profile Image for J.G. Keely.
546 reviews9,581 followers
May 20, 2018
I used to defend Lovecraft's reputation, arguing that he'd suffered the same fate as fellow pulp author Howard: that later writers, hoping to profit off of his name, put it on the cover of all sorts of middling short story collections--cliche and badly-written stuff that (if the reader is lucky) might actually contain one or two stories by the original author.

However, in this tale, Lovecraft proves that he can write just as badly as his gaggle of followers. It is meant to be a story of the fantastical, of the supernatural, of mystery and suspense--yet it is full of the very things that kill off any sense of wonder or the uncanny. Nothing demysticizes like familiarity, and this book is full of precise descriptions of his monstrous creatures, their histories, their habits--Lovecraft even spends a few paragraphs telling us how they like to furnish and decorate their living rooms. A tip for writers of the supernatural: if you want a being to be mysterious and unsettling, don't go off on a tangent about its commitment to feng shui.

In the Annotated Lovecraft, where I most recently read this story, noted critic S.T. Joshi claims that Lovecraft wasn't a pulp author, but something else, something greater--yet this story, one of Lovecraft's most well-known, is rife with all the worst habits of the pulps: pointless details, repetitive descriptions, crutch words, extensive exposition, little change in tone or voice, convenient plotting, and impossibly insightful protagonists. Beyond that, Lovecraft doesn't even deliver on those things that make pulps worth reading in the first place: verve, action, dynamic characters, and tension.

The whole story is basically a scientist explaining to the reader a series of carvings that he's looking at. The actual plot--the fact that he and his team of researchers are trapped in Antarctica and think that something is killing them off--is treated as a secondary concern.

The thin story is padded out by interminable details, the same comments and observations, repeated over and over, page after page. Like a bad game of Dungeons and Dragons, every new room is needlessly described: they entered a spheroid oblong, 63 yards long and 41 yards wide, the walls were worked stone, covered in carvings depicting some tentacled creature.

There are always carvings.

As we go along, the protagonist describes it all to us minutely, with a level of insight that grows increasingly laughable. At one point, he mentions that he can somehow tell, by a series of ancient stone-etched pictures left by an alien race, that they had lost the skill of telepathy and switched to spoken communication. In the real world, archaeologists struggle their entire careers to figure out what particular people, places, events, and objects are being represented in surviving remnants of murals, but our plucky narrator doesn't suffer a moment's confusion on how aliens artistically rendered telepathic powers some hundred million years ago.

Indeed, the entire expedition seems to have a level of knowledge and familiarity with 'eldritch tomes' and 'esoteric history' that is quite impressive. Keep in mind that these aren't paranormal researchers, but regular geologists, archaeologists, paleontologists, &c.--and yet, every time they enter a new room, they never fail to comment that this or that carving reminds them of something they once read in the Necronomicon. They throw off references to the mi-go and the shaggoth as if discussing nothing so remarkable as varieties of sparrow, and recall in detail historical events of a hundred million years ago with the utmost nonchalance.

Apparently, far from being an incomprehensible mystery the mere overhearing of which accursed syllables invokes incurable madness, the History of Cthonic Horrors is in fact a basic undergrad class required at all proper universities (and Marty's favorite topic when he's trying to impress drunk girls at the Young Scientists mixer).

Now, perhaps the fact that the narrator never fails to halt his headlong flight from horrid monsters in order to examine and explain the carvings is meant to represent the fellow's meticulous character--which brings up an important writing lesson: once a fact has been established in the text, it does not need to be reiterated ad nauseam. You don't have to mention the character's clothes and sword in every scene, because once those things have been described, the reader isn't going to assume the character is suddenly naked and defenseless just because the scene changed. Having the character demonstrate this trait once or twice in a story is perfectly effective, without wasting a lot of space reiterating.

Reading this plodding list of details reminded me of nothing so much as discussing writing with a teenage would-be fantasy author: ask about his book, and he'll spend forty minutes telling you what color swords the southern nation has, how many priest-kings ruled in succession over the Lost Isles, what city-states exported the most grain in the decades since the mana-plague, and the convoluted rules he's put together for how a fire spell works.

In short, by the end, he hasn't mentioned anything that resembles a story: no sense of character, psychology, pacing, tone, plotting, structure, theme, climax, pivotal scenes, conflict, tension, style, language, dialogue--never forget that, when it comes to a good story, setting is irrelevant. Get together some costumes and props, build a set, arrange the furniture, get your lighting perfect, and guess what: you still don't have a play.

Yet you can perform Shakespeare in a blank room, all the actors dressed in nondescript black, and you'll still get a great story, great characters and emotions and moments. Change the setting to a space station, an elf kingdom, a Wild West boomtown, a port full of pirates, and it doesn't matter--the story is still the thing that carries it.

It's frustrating to watch an author just obsess over details, because overall, it's something they do to please themselves, not their audience. It's like a set dresser carefully filling all the drawers on set with realistic, accurate props that will never be used in the play, never seen by the audience. At some point, it's just a self-indulgent game.

However, that doesn't mean I don't understand the appeal of this story--indeed, it has consistently been popular, republished over and over throughout the years as a 'Lovecraft classic'. It's chock-full of exposition and explanation, and there are few things that fandom likes more. To have Lovecraft's world, his mysteries, his horrors laid out so simply, so fully, makes them easy to understand, easy to tie together--and easy to obsess over. That collection of little details, of the inner-workings of a fictional world is what much of fandom is built on. It is less a story and more a Star Wars technical guide.

A proper mystery, a story of true terror and fantasy doesn't give out simple explanations, because that would undermine the very sense of unease, of the supernatural on which such a story is based. Mystery and explanation are antithetical to one another: once the mystery has been explained, then the mystery has ended.

Yet, there are many readers who come away from a fantastical story asking 'what really happened?'--which, of course, is the wrong question, because what really happened was that an author sat down and created a piece of fiction from his imagination. There is no reality outside of the story, the story exists to be a good story, to have feeling, pacing, and structure that works. A story does not actually exist in any concrete world 'out there' to be discovered and enumerated.

The error Lovecraft makes here (the same error Mike Mignola made with Hellboy recently) was taking a strange and fantastical world and trying to 'lock it down', to make it into something explicable, predictable, fundamentally known. Some might suggest that this urge opens up that world to other authors, by allowing them to know what 'really happened', but in truth, it closes off the world, it limits fundamentally what that world can be, and what stories can take place within it--not only for other prospective authors, but also for readers.

It shrinks the whole thing down and makes it more easily digestible--which is diametrically opposed to the supposed theme of Lovecraft's stories: that there are things, both objects and ideas that are larger than we are, that are too grand for us to ever truly understand, things that cannot be simply encapsulated through a straightforward summary of events. This story, more than any other, is a betrayal of the very thing that is supposed to set Lovecraft's work apart, making it interesting and influential in the first place.

Instead, we get something along the lines of 'true tales' of Atlantis and the Hollow Earth that charlatans were peddling at the time, and which have since transformed into shows about 'Ancient Aliens' on the History Channel. Perhaps that's the true legacy of Lovecraft's work: uncredentialed wackos spouting paranoid alien conspiracies--well, that and cute Cthulhu plushies.
September 8, 2017
Ο Χ. Φ. Λάβκραφτ
είναι ένας και μοναδικός.
Άρχοντας της φαντασίας και δημιουργός οραμάτων σε έναν κόσμο καταδικασμένο στο χάος του διαστήματος και τα προανθρώπινα δαιμόνια.
Σε παντοτινές και προϋπάρχουσες δυνάμεις του φρικαλέου και του ανεξήγητα μεταφυσικού και σκοτεινού υλιστικού χάους.

Ο κοσμικός τρόμος που απλώνεται στην αριστουργηματική γραφή του πηγάζει και εμπνέεται απο την ύπαρξη τεράτων-μορφών-άμορφων- θεών-προβολών- στο συνειδητά ασυνείδητο του ανθρώπου.

«Ζούμε σ ένα γαλήνιο νησί άγνοιας, στη μέση των μαύρων ωκεανών του απείρου... αλλά κάποια μέρα... θα μας ανοιχτούν τέτοιες τρομακτικές απόψεις της πραγματικότητας που ή θα τρελαθούμε από τη φοβερή θέα της αποκάλυψης αυτής ή θα επιστρέψουμε στη νύχτα και την ασφάλεια ενός Μεσαίωνα».

Κάποτε,πάρα πολύ παλιά, εκατομμύρια χρόνια πριν στην προανθρώπινη εποχή,η γη νεογέννητη ακόμη, κατοικήθηκε απο μια υπέρ εξελιγμένη {σιγά-σιγά} φυλή εξωγήινων πλασμάτων που περιγράφονταν σε αρχέγονους μύθους. Πριν έρθουν στη γη αποίκησαν και πολλούς άλλους πλανήτες.

Τα πλάσματα αυτά που η δομή τους είναι περισσότερο ζωική,με πολλά στοιχεία και απο το φυτικό βασίλειο,αποτελούν παραμορφωμένες μορφές απροσμέτρητης βδελυγμίας.
Είναι,οι ακόλουθοι μιας δαιμονικής εξωγήινης οντότητας με τιτάνια δύναμη που στην αρχαία γλώσσα ονομάζεται «Κθούλου».
Είναι,οι Μεγάλοι Παλαιοί.
Έχτισαν μια μεγαλιθική κυκλώπεια πόλη-βάση (την Ρ’λύε) σε κάποιο νησί του Ειρηνικού.
Ήταν πλάσματα υπερδύναμα- ημιδρακοειδή-τιτάνια-ανθρωποχταποειδή-που την εποχή των δεινοσαύρων πολεμούσαν συνεχώς με άλλες τερατοεξωγήινες φυλές.

Σόγγοθ,Μι-γκο,Χιονάνθρωποι των Ιμαλαΐων ήταν κάποιοι απο τους εχθρούς των Μεγάλων Παλαιών.

Απο τις πολλές μάχες και κάποιες ανεξήγητες καταστροφές ο Κθούλου και η γενιά του αποκλείστηκαν στην μεγαλιθική μητρόπολη τους-η οποία βυθίστηκε στον ωκεανό-ημιναρκωμένοι για εκατοντάδες χρόνια.
Δεν χάθηκαν. Λατρεύτηκαν ως θεότητες τόσο στη γη όσο και σε άλλους εξωκοσμικούς πλανήτες.

Αυτοί οι Αρχαίοι θεοί,οι Μεγάλοι Παλαιοί εξασκούσαν μαύρη μαγεία πάνω στη γη,κάτι που ήταν απαγορευμένο. Για το λόγο αυτό,οι Πρεσβύτεροι θεοί (εκπροσωπούν το Καλό) τους εξόρισαν πέρα απο τα άστρα. Στο εξώτερο διάστημα.
Μόνο ο Κθούλου παραμένει ναρκωμένος στην βυθισμένη Ρ’λύε και περιμένει το κάλεσμα για να ξυπνήσει και να επαναφέρει τη γενιά του στη γη.
Πρέπει να έρθουν τα άστρα στη σωστή θέση...για να ανοίξουν οι πύλες της φυλακής και τότε τα χταποδόμορφα ειδεχθή πλάσματα με τις τεράστιες φτερούγες δράκου και τις μεμβράνες στα δάχτυλα θα επανέλθουν κοντά στα δημιουργήματα τους,τους ανθρώπους...
Έως τότε επικοινωνούν μαζί μας μέσα απο τα όνειρα, όπως και ο Αρχιερέας τους ο Κθούλου,ο Εξώτερος θεός.

Αυτές οι οντότητες δημιούργησαν τον άνθρωπο,σκόπιμα ή για πλάκα, κατά λάθος.
Η ανθρώπινη δημιουργία πάνω στη γη ήταν ένα λάθος... ίσως.
Όταν ξεπεραστεί αυτό το λάθος θα κατανοήσουμε την πηγή της δημιουργίας μας που καμία σχέση δεν έχει με όσα έχουν ως τώρα ανακαλύψει οι επιστήμονες.

Η αρχέγονη πηγή δημιουργίας και η ανακάλυψη ανεξερεύνητων κόσμων και καινούργιων πυλών προς τη «γη της επαγγελίας»περιμένει όσους θέλουν να μάθουν, να μυηθούν και να βρουν «άλλους» ανθρώπους, όχι απλώς ζωντανά πλάσματα.

Μαζί με τα «βουνά της τρέλας» σε αυτό το βιβλίο υπάρχουν άλλες δυο ιστορίες: « Η φρίκη του Ρεντ Χουκ» και «το Χρ��μα που ήρθε απο το διάστημα».
Δυο υπέροχα διηγήματα που έχουν κοινό παρονομαστή με το πρώτο.
Το φρικιαστικό και εκφυλισμένο παρόν γεννιέται απο ενα μυθολογικά ζωώδες παρελθόν που πέθανε αλλά υπάρχει. Είναι ναρκωμένο αλλά επικοινωνεί πάντα μαζί μας,μυστικά και κοσμογονικά.
Μέσα απο την αλήθεια της μυθολογίας του Κθούλου,[υπάρχει τεράστια-και όχι τυχαία-ομοιότητα με την ελληνική μυθολογία] ενεδρεύει μια παράλληλη αλήθεια,η οποία επεκτείνεται σε κάθε χωροχρόνο και διάσταση. Στα άστρα, στο σύμπαν,στον απέραντο βυθό των θαλασσών.
Στην κούφια,ΑΒΥΣΣΑΛΕΑ- και γεμάτη υπόγειες στοές ενωμένες με εξωδιαστημικές πύλες- ΓΗ.

Εδώ δεν υπάρχει έλεος, υπάρχει άβυσσος. Δεν καλλιεργούνται παραμύθια και ψευδαισθήσεις,γνωρίζουμε εξ αρχής το μάταιο και καταδικασμένο αγώνα μας με τα τέρατα της συνείδησης και της ύπαρξης.
Μπορούμε να αντιμετωπίσουμε το ανυπέρβλητο σκοτάδι που μας ορίζει ως κανόνα ο Αρχιερέας του κοσμικού τρόμου;
Αυτός ο «τρελός» συγγραφέας που διακατέχεται απο απόλυτη λογική και ορθολογισμό. Που χειρίζεται εμμονικά τη σκέψη και το μυαλό μας.

Ο Λάβκραφτ αντιμετωπίζει το μακάβριο θαρραλέα,υπαινικτικά,μέσα απο μια γοτθική ατμόσφαιρα με προφητικές διαστάσεις, γνωρίζοντας πως οι εσωτερικοί μας δαίμονες μας έχουν εκ των προτέρων καταδικάσει.
Όμως ο βασιλιάς της φανταστικής μ��θολογικής λογοτεχνίας στέκεται ηρωικά και μας καλεί να θυσιαστούμε στο χάος του διαστήματος και των εσωτερικών δαιμόνων μας,σε ένα τρόμο χωρίς μεταφυσική. Να μυηθούμε. Να μην φοβηθούμε τον κίνδυνο.
Να σταθούμε απέναντι του γνωρίζοντας την ήττα του γήινου κύκλου απο μια «ύλη νεκρή», «ζωντανή»και «αθάνατη»,που γεννάει τον απόλυτο μυθικό τρόμο και την κοσμική Απουσία.

Να κατανοήσουμε την άνοδο και πτώση των πολιτισμών.
Άλλωστε,η σκοτεινιά της φρίκης έχει σχεδιάσει την ανθρώπινη αρχιτεκτονική δομή.

Εφιαλτικές διακλαδώσεις και το ανθρώπινο κέλυφος συμβολικά μας σπρώχνει βίαια και με υλιστικές προδιαγραφές στο απειροδιάστατο τερατώδες υπαρξιακό χάος.


Καλή ανάγνωση!!
Θεϊκούς ασπασμούς!!
Profile Image for Jamie.
532 reviews11 followers
November 13, 2008
never before has such an exciting story been told in such a dull way.
Profile Image for mark monday.
1,633 reviews5,001 followers
January 31, 2016

And so we slept for a million millennia, on the edge of our great city. So close and yet so far! Why were we outside of our fair city, our families and companions mere steps away? The reasons are lost in time. And as we slumbered, our tropical paradise became a land of neverending winter, a polar graveyard.

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We were woken, those of us who still lived. Four lived and four were lost. We woke in confusion and terror, our tropic city gone, the snow and wind howling around us. Strange bipedal things cried out and lay their hands upon us, intent on experimentation, their four-legged companions barking and savage... we slew them all in our panic. Odd creatures, these bipedal explorers. Were they the new masters of this world? Were they our peers? We, the Elder Race, have few of those.

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We took some of their equipment, and a body each of the bipeds and their companions for further study. We buried our dead and then made haste back to our city, to see what changes a million millennia had wrought. After our leave-taking, new explorers arrived. They discovered our city.

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We returned to our home. It had became an empty palace of the dead. Where were our fellows? Where were our servants, the creatures we called Shoggoths?

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Only our loyal companions remained in this terrible empty city. They squawked their excitement at our return. A million millennia is a long time! But they could tell us nothing of what had become of our world.

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And as we explored our ruins, so the new explorers explored as well.

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Overcome with despair, we journeyed to a refuge that had been built by our kind, a city constructed within a subterranean sea. We followed our tunnels down. And there we found not our sought-for homecoming... but another necropolis. And so we found our doom. Shoggoths! Traitorous servants! As they had risen up against our kind in ages past, they had rebelled again - but this time they had won. They had destroyed our undersea refuge and all of our kind. And as we gazed upon our shattered city within the dark waters beneath the earth, the Shoggoths rose once more... and slew the last of us.

'Twas indeed a tragic homecoming. We that remained of the Elder Race, lost out of time, born again into a world so strange, and then so quickly slain.

The biped explorers had their own meeting with our rebel servants. The meeting did not go well.

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And yet, unlike us, they managed to escape the Shoggoths, and fled our city.

In their flight, did they pass near that fearsome land next to ours, beyond our mountains? Ancient Kadath. A place out of time, home to the Old Ones. Terrible Kadath! We had lived in Kadath's shadow, in the shadow of those old slumbering gods, so long ago. What did the explorers glimpse in their flight near Kadath? Were we not the only beings the explorers had woken?

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Profile Image for Always Pouting.
568 reviews697 followers
June 12, 2017
I really wanted to like this because H.P. Lovecraft is likable as a person and I know he's so influential in horror but I couldn't do it. The story is well written and original but the writing style was so dry and boring because it's a scientist recording their expedition that I had to drag myself through it. There was just so much detail about things that weren't interesting when all I wanted to know more about was the horrible shit that was happening to them.

Profile Image for Leonard Gaya.
Author 1 book834 followers
October 28, 2020
At the end of his voyage, Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket reaches a strange land on the edge of the Antarctic, where people have black skin, red teeth, and where water flows more thickly and shows multicoloured veins running through it. Shortly after, as Pym penetrates farther south into a chasm of increasingly warm water, a gigantic white figure appears before him. The story ends abruptly at this point. In At the Mountain of Madness, a scientific expedition ventures into the mountain ranges of the Antarctic and discovers, with utter astonishment and horror, the vestiges of a civilisation that inhabited our planet many million years before the dawn of man.

Lovecraft (like Jules Verne in Le Sphinx des glaces) seems to have fancied taking the ending of Edgar Poe’s novel as a starting point for his own. It is also possible that Lovecraft took some inspiration from real polar expeditions’ accounts, such as Robert Scott’s The Worst Journey in the World, Douglas Mawson’s adventures (later told in Mawson's Will), or the misfortunes of the USS Jeanette (recently retold in In the Kingdom of Ice). Be it as it may, Lovecraft has indeed managed to create a story that is one of his best: as uncanny and haunting as that of Poe, and at the same time, in line with his own imaginary world.

Written just fifty years after the death of Charles Darwin and a couple after that of Alfred Wegener, I guess this story is the most hellish nightmare a creationist or anthropocentrist could think of: not only is the Earth ancient, but the coming of man follows a cosmogony that is the polar opposite of the Book of Genesis. In fact — and this is perhaps the most compelling aspect of this novel — Lovecraft seems to be gathering together, in an ever more consistent manner, the different bits of mythology he had dropped in previous stories: the Necronomicon, the Cthulhu, the city of R’lyeh, Yog-Sothoth, the Elder Things, the Mi-go, the shoggoths, the cyclopean and non-Euclidean relics of prehistoric buildings, etc. (see in particular chap. 7-8). J. R. R. Tolkien attempted another major endeavour of the same nature at around the same time, when working on the stories that would become, after his death, The Silmarillion.

Lovecraft’s prose also has a distinctive flavour, very obvious in this novel. The interlarding of real and imaginary pieces of information. The documentary, dry, almost detached yet vivid tone of voice, written in first-person as in a notebook or a diary, filled with descriptions and stripped of any dialogue. The skilful use of sensory cues, especially the panoramas of sublime nature (cf. Nicholas Roerich) and nauseating architecture (cf. M. C. Escher), and the increasingly unbearable stench as the exploration progresses. Also, finally, the ever-increasing anticipation and hesitancy facing a revelation that is both terrifying and unfathomable.

I hear Dan Simmons’ recent The Terror, now adapted into a AMC show, may have some hints of Lovecraft’s story. In any event, the influence of At the Mountain of Madness on Jeff VanderMeer's Southern Reach Trilogy and Ridley Scott’s Prometheus are all too evident.
Profile Image for Henry Avila.
451 reviews3,230 followers
January 28, 2022
Mr. William Dyer is the brave leader of an important though arduous scientific expedition, (set in the early 1930's ) from Miskatonic University, what you never heard of it ( I haven't either)! Researching the remote frozen Antarctic continent in the summer time when balmy temperatures soar above zero Fahrenheit . Everything's going well they even find the tallest mountains on Earth, strange somehow the peaks have disappeared, however that is another story. Yet when a group of these scientists are digging below the thick ice, a tough job like penetrating solid rock trying to uncover the mysteries underneath in these treacherous conditions , they discover a weird, sinister looking gooey organism , foul smelling and indescribable, to their detriment; is it animal or vegetable? Doesn't matter it's repulsive . The wise sled dogs instincts don't like and are later proven correct, in their feelings, nevertheless people are less perceptive, too much curiosity can be dangerous, best to be uninterested .These are the highly strange Aliens of course and they didn't like being awakened, after only a few millions years of sleep, not happy creatures rather grouchy putting it mildly and the results : the invaders liquidate all the unfortunate scientists in the area, luckily Dyer and others are in another base. He a very dedicated man smartly investigates in an old airplane, flying high over Antarctica's low and unusual clouds, safely
above the trouble (not quite), viewing the "Mountains of Madness" with a lone pilot as his only companion. Spotting an eerie dead city the men land, they should have stayed in the calm air but needed to know, not their best decision . Searching in the ancient bizarre, dark subterranean tunnels the town, a little higher somewhere and forward a bit, big mistake, for soon found by the unearthly creatures and are running for their very existence the aghast humans, from an indescribable thing... or else ... well let us be honest , say...
maybe just a nightmare ...A race for life and the victor survives to live... in a warm climate. The H.P. ( Howard Phillips) Lovecraft classic horror book one of his most famous for a good reason, probably his best, quite splendid and fans, even non ones will greatly like this exciting experience. A horror adventure which shows the talents of and even the genius of the writer, ugliness is never pleasant except when it amuses...
Profile Image for Peter.
2,494 reviews450 followers
August 27, 2017
One of the most influential all time classics, an absosute must read. I never ever want to go on an antarctic expedition like that told in this story. The description of that unearthly city and its inhabitants will haunt you for the rest of your life. Be aware! Reading that story means meeting with a horror that remains.
Profile Image for Lyn.
1,851 reviews16.4k followers
July 23, 2019
Hi, I'm Rob Lowe and I just read Mountains of Madness by H.P. Lovecraft.

And I'm Super Creepy Rob Lowe and I watch professional wrestling.

RL: This was another classic by horror and fantasy writer HP Lovecraft and displayed his virtuosity of the language as an art probably better than his shorter works.

SCRL: Reading is hard on my eyes, I like checking out the babes in the audience with my big screen TV.

RL: This also highlights the depth and breadth of Lovecraft's imagination and the detail to which he is capable. Like so many of his other works, the influence on later works, up to the modern, is unmistakeable.

SCRL: I like that the wrestlers are so sweaty.

RL: I see resonance of this work in many later writings, especially mention of the cosmic Old Ones, as well as clear vestiges of his influence in The Thing, Aliens, Predator and of course, Alien vs. Predator as well as countless other media.

SCRL: and I like that Sigourney Weaver was in those fliks.

RL: Don't be like this me, read Mountains of Madness for yourself and enjoy.

Profile Image for Bill Kerwin.
Author 1 book81.2k followers
May 4, 2019

This long novella (perhaps longer than it should be) succeeds in large part because--no doubt due to Lovecraft's enthusiasm for the Antarctic explorers--its scenery is evocative, its descriptions etxraordinarily vivid.

At the Mountains of Madness has its literary fathers—Poe’s A. Gordon Pym, M.P. Sheil’s The Purple Cloud—but H.P.’s principal sources were the contemporaneous accounts of the expeditions themselves. Byrd’s was of course his immediate inspiration (Byrd returned in 1930, At the Mountains of Madness was written in 1931), but Lovecraft had also followed not only Amundsen’s and the unfortunate Scott’s undertakings (1912) when he was a very young man but also Borchegrevink’s Southern Cross Expedition (1902) when he was still a boy. Lovecraft took pains to get the details right, and it shows.

The perfectly realized polar setting, though, is only part of it. The detailed treatment of the underground cyclopean city is very good too, but H.P. had done this sort of thing before, and done it well—almost as good as here. No, it is the scientifically precise description of the bodies of “The Elder Things” that first throws fear into the reader’s heart. What follows is a transcription of the wireless transmissions made by Lake, a professor of biology at Miskatonic University:
“10:15 P.M. Important discovery. Orrendorf and Watkins, working underground at 9:45 with light, found monstrous barrel-shaped fossil of wholly unknown nature; probably vegetable unless overgrown specimen of unknown marine radiata. Tissue evidently preserved by mineral salts. Tough as leather, but astonishing flexibility retained in places. Marks of broken-off parts at ends and around sides. Six feet end to end, 3.5 feet central diameter, tapering to 1 foot at each end. Like a barrel with five bulging ridges in place of staves. Lateral breakages, as of thinnish stalks, are at equator in middle of these ridges. In furrows between ridges are curious growths. Combs or wings that fold up and spread out like fans. All greatly damaged but one, which gives almost seven-foot wing spread. Arrangement reminds one of certain monsters of primal myth, especially fabled Elder Things in Necronomicon. These wings seem to be membraneous, stretched on framework of glandular tubing. Apparent minute orifices in frame tubing at wing tips. Ends of body shrivelled, giving no clue to interior or to what has been broken off there. Must dissect when we get back to camp. Can’t decide whether vegetable or animal. Many features obviously of almost incredible primitiveness. . . . Having trouble with dogs. They can’t endure the new specimen, and would probably tear it to pieces if we didn’t keep it at a distance from them.”
I’ll stop here, because I don’t want to spoil things for you. Things get weirder with Lake’s account of the dissection, and even weirder when—soon after—his regular transmissions disappear into radio silence. It is then that the narrator, geology professor William Dyer, accompanied by graduate student Danforth, go in search of the advance expedition. What they find are the ruins of an alien civilization, a tale of cultural degeneracy outlined in bas-relief, an explanation for the disappearance of Lake and his men, and a final intolerable horror.

I don’t want to give the best away, but I think I can say this much: the ending of At the Mountain of Madness is particularly good because 1) the Elder Things you view with horror at first later become sympathetic as you realize the greater horror they themeselves face, and 2) the tale of Elder Things and their sad fate is filled with bizarre echoes of American Slavery in a way that (at least for me) both affirms Lovecraft’s racism and redeems it.

All things considered, it is one of Lovecraft’s best. But its publication history was not a happy one. Weird Tales refused it because it was too long, and, although it was eventually published in Astounding Stories (Feb., March, April 1936), Astounding editor F. Orlin Tremaine chopped up H.P.’s paragraphs, changed his punctuation, and cut out a thousand words toward the end. Lovecraft. very pissed, railed against Tremaine, that “god-damn’d dung of a hyaena.”
Profile Image for Joseph Pinchback.
73 reviews2 followers
April 20, 2013
Here's the thing about Lovecraft: he doesn't write great stories. People love the whole mythos thing, and I don't blame them, because the Lovecraftian mythos is awesome. But I don't particularly enjoy actually reading Lovecraft because his actual stories simply aren't very good. In this novel, for example, the story is basically a framework for him to do some world building. There's no real plot, character development, or dramatic tension. Lovecraft is clearly more concerned with building a history of the Old Ones than he is in telling a good story. I think I might get more enjoyment from reading Lovecraft's wikipedia page than I do from reading any of his stories. This might sound like a horrible thing to say about an author, but it's not meant to be. Again, I think the worlds that Lovecraft builds are AWESOME. I just don't like his writing style.
Profile Image for Jesse Dixon.
76 reviews4 followers
January 24, 2012
Tediously painful. So much detail, so little action, and almost no emotion in the book. The first sentence of chapter 6 'It would be cumbrous to give a detailed, consecutive account of our wanderings inside that cavernous, aeon-dead honeycomb of primal masonry' Unfortunately the rest of the book described the cumbrous, detailed, consecutive account of their wonderings inside the cavernous, aeon-dead honeycomb of primal masonry. I found the writing too dry and dull.

This is a summary of the whole book so it contains spoilers

That's the whole book in under 50 words. But I found it uninteresting so I wasn't taking much in so there may be mistakes or omissions. I think there was a 4 by 6 by 8 foot rock they passed at some point, and something was at 40 Latitude, 80 E. Longitude ...etc or something similar to that. I just couldn't find the motivation or interest to concentrate and enjoy this book.
Profile Image for Luvtoread.
487 reviews269 followers
November 25, 2022
A team of geologists and explorers on an expedition into the unknown areas of the Arctic searching for relics and fossils of life that existed before the civilization of mankind. The mountains are mostly snow and iced covered with strange veils of mist encircling the majority of peaks and valleys creating unusual visual and audio sensations from the wind distorting their hearing and vision as they climb deeper and higher into a surreal environment. The teams separated into two parties and the first team discovered some frozen fossilized lifeforms that had never been seen before and such an oddity that they will try to dissect one immediately to discover if it is animal or plant and then they will meet up to carry their treasures by dog sled back to their planes. One extremely difficult situation arises when the dozens of dogs that are usually very cooperative seem to be driven crazy by whatever scent they are picking up from the frozen remains and the team can't calm them down so how will they get them to relax to transport their rare discoveries is another unplanned problem and is also working the frayed nerves of all the men. Within the next twenty-four hours this scientific expedition will turn into the most obscene and brutal living nightmare that if there are any survivors left they may all just be driven into a state of madness.

Fantastic storyline and complete descriptive narration of the mountain environment. At times the description became tiresome yet it was beautifully written. Tidbits of the Old Ones and Shoggoths are mentioned and gave the reader a little introduction into the creatures that have been used in many of Lovecraft's stories and many other books based on some of these characters. This is a book not to be missed if you enjoy reading Lovcraft or just want to read a good literary, horror classic.

I have given this book a rating of 4 Mystifying 🌠🌠🌠🌠 Stars!!
Profile Image for Mariana.
390 reviews1,674 followers
February 26, 2021
Un relato enmarcado en un lenguaje técnico y descripciones científicas que llegan a ser abrumadoras. Sin embargo, la intención de Lovecraft con este recurso es demostrarnos que todo ese conocimiento al que nos aferramos para tener un vago sentimiento de control es irrelevante.
¿Qué puede ser más aterrador que descubrir frente a tus ojos seres y construcciones que desafían todas las leyes de la biología, la zoología e incluso la geometría? Darnos cuenta de que somos insignificantes y que en cualquier momento los antiguos (o cualquier otra raza cósmica) puede llegar a terminar con nosotros como si fuéramos una plaga, es suficiente para no dejarte dormir tranquilo por la noche.
Profile Image for Forrest.
Author 46 books699 followers
March 13, 2015
This is as close as one will get to an epic adventure quest by H.P. Lovecraft. If you're an old role-playing game geek like me, this will appeal to the dungeoneer in you. Plenty of delving and mystery in this one!

If you're a fan of the movie Prometheus, you'd do well to hark back to the origin of many of the movie's tropes. They are similar, at least on the surface: An impossibly old alien race creates life on earth for the purpose of enslaving it, yadda, yadda. If you hated the movie Prometheus, you'd do well to hark back to the origin of many of the movie's tropes . . . need I go on?

The story begins with that rarefied sense of heroic antarctic exploration that permeated the accounts of Scott, Amundsen, and Shackleton's expeditions. At that time, such an expedition was fraught with danger, due to drifting ice, unforeseen logistical shortcomings, and, of course, the weather. Since the Antarctic was relatively unknown when Lovecraft wrote the story, it's easy to see why he would set his story in what appeared in that day to be an utterly alien place, though it was right here at home on planet earth.

Or was it "home," really? Whose home? And for how long?

Now, I'm a big Lovecraft fan. But there was one thing, stylistically, that drove me absolutely nuts about this story. It's a minor thing, but it prevents me from giving an unbridled five-star rating to the story. Frankly, I really disliked the use of shortwave reports between the narrator, William Dyer, and Lake's remote base. The choppiness of the language seemed correct and historically accurate to me, since shortwave radio had been in use for only a decade or so before Lovecraft wrote the story. The characters would, like Lovecraft, have been habituated to using short, choppy phrases because of the telegraph system that preceded the explosion of shortwave radio in the 1920s. But what didn't seem correct, and what threw me out of the rhythm of the story, was the use of flowery words and complex phraseology in the messages themselves. They aren't as blatantly ugly on paper as they are when read aloud. Try it sometime. It feels overwrought and contrived. Not to mention that these info-dumps could have been spread out and integrated into the story itself a little better.

But this is a minor complaint. All-in-all, I loved the slow escalation of the horror in the story. It begins with a lot of hyperbole and, indeed, engages in it throughout. Still, Lovecraft manages to build the sense of dread to a fitting crescendo. In several instances, I was surprised by a plot twist that I should have seen coming. Ah, Lovecraft, you trickster! You fooled me again!

One thing I really enjoyed was the narrator's ambiguous feelings regarding the Old Ones. Though his primary emotional reaction toward these beings are fear and revulsion, there is also a moment of pity and near-empathy that I found endearing.

This is not my favorite Lovecraft story. But it's not one of his lesser works, either. If you haven't had a crack at Lovecraft, it's not a bad place to start. And if you're a Lovecraft fan, as I am, you'll recognize many of the elements, though you'll be surprised by others, such as the narrator's conflicting feelings that I've outlined above. I'm no expert on Lovecraft's evolution as a storyteller, but I have to wonder if these surprises are indicative of a certain maturation in his writing. Someone smarter than me with more resources and time will have to determine that. For my own reading enjoyment, though, At the Mountains of Madness, though flawed, still reflects the writer's genius. Ia, Ia Lovecraft!
Profile Image for Alejandro.
1,115 reviews3,547 followers
October 23, 2018
At the Mountain of Madness


This is a novella...

...this time focused in a Geology Professor from Miskatonic University, leading an expedition to the Antartica...

...where they will find the astonishing remnants of an ancient alien civilization,...

...which between many things there were some kind of sentient beings whom weren’t totally animal or totally plant but something disturbingly in between…

…oh, and don’t look back!!!

Profile Image for Louie the Mustache Matos.
914 reviews62 followers
October 24, 2022
At the Mountains of Madness is one of those works that I recommend that everyone should read, but recognize that not everyone will enjoy. I love the writing, but I offer caveats in order to prepare those who might be unfamiliar with the subgenre and the writing style. The novella written by H. P. Lovecraft is a slow-burn, gothic, academic exploration of Antarctica that transforms into a recovery expedition for human, animal, and alien remains. It is classified in that subgenre of horror called: the weird and this story would under most people's criteria fit that classification like a shoe fits a horse. Dr. William Dyer of Miskatonic University (a fictional college in Massachusetts) relates the story with carefully couched language, as if he is writing in a journal reporting fantastical, cosmic happenings with the hope of being taken seriously, but worried that he sounds nuts. It is my humble opinion that the narrative is deliberately hesitant, the way a university professor concerned about tenure might report the observances of an expedition destined to prove an object of disparagement and ridicule. Along the way, there are nightmarish encounters with alien beasts, arabesque architecture, distinctive murals of a forgotten race buried beneath the snow. The visions beheld are enough to threaten the sanity of the most staid explorer and so the entire experience is conveyed in a very believable, original, and lyrical way. To me, it is one of the most incredible horror stories I have ever read. So, yeah, I don't know if it is an objective review or just gushing. In either case, you will probably have to determine that for yourself.
Profile Image for Apatt.
507 reviews765 followers
August 12, 2017
“On the barren shore, and on the lofty ice barrier in the background, myriads of grotesque penguins squawked and flapped their fins”.
Yep! We are in Lovecraft’s universe where even penguins are grotesque. I mean, whoever heard of an ugly penguin? At the Mountains of Madness is H.P. Lovecraft’s best known novel, not that difficult an accomplishment as he did not write that many (only this one and The Case of Charles Dexter Ward I believe. A wise decision because I find that his style is much more suited to the short story format. There are some amazing, creepy and wildly entertaining tales in the “greatest hits” anthology The Best of H.P. Lovecraft Bloodcurdling Tales of Horror and the Macabre that I reviewed rambled about in detail.

At the Mountains of Madness is basically about an expedition to an unexplored part of Antarctica. The intrepid explorers of course run into weird Lovecraftian things and the protagonist lives to tell the tale as a deterrent to other explorers. The main asset of this book is Lovecraft’s painstaking world building, free from the constraint of the short story format he takes his time describing the setup, the landscape and the increasingly strange discoveries. As a result the novel is steeped in creepy atmosphere you can really immerse into.

That said I really don’t think this should be anyone’s gateway into Lovecraft’s fiction. The descriptions can seem a little interminable and the pacing can be something of a slog for the impatient readers, especially if they are not familiar with Lovecraft’s idiosyncratic writing style. The readers who have enjoyed some Lovecraft stories, especially the “The Cthulhu Mythos” one will find much to enjoy here. The infamous Necronomicon by the mad Arab Abdul Alhazred (as opposed his totally sane relatives I guess) is often referred to. The Elder Ones, the Shoggoths and some unnamed things even the monsters are sacred of are featured. As usual with Lovecraft there is no dialogue to speak of and characterization is nonexistent. There is also not a lot of action in this book, the climax is a little vague. All the creepy setup does not result in a spectacular payoff. If you just read it for the creep factor you should be well satisfied.

In spite of its popularity this is not my favorite of his works but personally I will always have time for more Lovecraft.
(3.5 stars)
Profile Image for Sr3yas.
223 reviews995 followers
July 4, 2017
The first image that usually comes to my mind when someone mentions Antarctica is how beautiful it looks. White, Cold ice giants with funny penguins dancing around like happy feet!

That was before I read this book.

If you ask me now about South pole, I would probably answer you in a toneless voice and a daunting thousand-yard stare....

" It is a white, aeon-dead world which has shunned most of the living organisms, a nightmarish gateway to accursed ultimate abyss where stark unforgiving winds whisper the songs of death: the millions of years old runes of old ones....and no one can even find a polar bear to cuddle as they are found in the North Pole."

An expedition to unknown.

Isn't that how all the greatest disaster stories begin?

William Dyer, a geologist and a professor at Miskatonic University retells his disastrous and horrifying expedition to Antarctica, in the hope to prevent any other research team from making the same mistakes he did. The mistake of entering the lifeless world in the name of science which resulted in deaths of his colleagues as well as discoveries that could destroy the world.

Word of advice; Do not read this story as your introduction to Lovecraftian works. Start with some of his well-known short works.


Lovecraft's writing style is truly like an abyss of dark poems. He conjures up the words in a dark fashion which gradually pushes you into a unworldly and unrealistic plane of horrors. So it's better to start small, understand his style and then read this because At the Mountains of Madness is one of his longest stories.

There is also a second reason. The "old gods" mentioned in this story needs a better and bigger introduction (which can be found in author's other dark short stories) before one pick up this book to truly enjoy the story. The old ones are explored deeply and shown in a completely different light, exploring their history and origin like never before!

Overall it's a great read with the usual Lovecraftian creepiness mixed with a bit of Jules Verne, albeit a bit long and slow in the middle chapters.
I also found a novelette, A Colder War (1997) by Charles Stross which is loosely connected to the aftermath of this story.

There is a graphic novel adaption too! My review-----> here
Profile Image for Mike's Book Reviews.
134 reviews5,516 followers
October 11, 2020
Full Video Review Here: https://youtu.be/4H2o-fsr-Vw

In the many "weird tales" of Mr. Lovecraft, this was the first that I read as a 15 year old giving At The Mountains of Madness a try based off of Stephen King constantly mentioning him as an influence. What a found was a mythos I didn't realize had existed within the horror genre outside of Mr. King.

With ATMOM, we get that sense of dread that Lovecraft was so good at but through the lens of an actual names narrator this time, something he usually avoided, and a whole team of scientists as they explore the unexplored. This is a format I've always been intrigued with as a space nerd that loves science-fiction, but H.P. doing it with Antarctica made it all the more real and, eventually, terrifying.

Needless to say, I immediately devoured the rest of the Lovecraft works I could find but I'll always have a special place for this story as the gateway that took me to his strange worlds and fascinating creatures.
Profile Image for Carmine.
587 reviews56 followers
July 8, 2019
Gitarella al Polo Sud

"Dopotutto, e rapportato ai loro parametri, non erano esseri malvagi: erano gli uomini di un altro tempo e un altro ordine biologico.
Scienziati fino all'ultimo, cos'avevano fatto che noi non avremmo fatto al posto loro? Dio, che intelligenza e tenacia! Si erano trovati faccia a faccia con l'incredibile, proprio come gli antenati raffigurati nei bassorilievi e che avevano dovuto affrontare prove poco meno fantastiche! Radiati, vegetali, mostri venuti dalle stelle: qualunque cosa fossero, erano stati uomini!"

"Gli Shoggoth erano entità informi e fatte di una gelatina viscosa che ricordava un agglomerato di bolle; quando assumevano un aspetto vagamente sferico, il diametro si aggirava sui cinque metri. In realtà cambiavano continuamente forma e dimensioni, ed erano in grado di sviluppare appendici temporanee e e di formare quelli che sembravano organi della vista, dell'udito e della parola a imitazione dei loro padroni."

"Tekeli-li, tekeli-li"

Romanzo breve rifiutato dalla celebre rivista Weird Tales, con il tempo si è ritagliato uno spazio di tutto rispetto nell'ampio excursus di scritti con soggetto gli Antichi e il loro arrivo sulla Terra.
L'atmosfera di greve attesa che precede gli orrori cosmici sotto i ghiacci dell'Antartide è, molto probabilmente, il motore trainante di una storia letteralmente "contesa" tra neurodeliri descrittivi - altezze delle montagne che cambiano alla bisogna, descrizioni minuziose dell'attrezzatura, ripetizioni completamente accessorie della mitologia di riferimento (Necronomicon, scritti pnakotici, Tsathoggua) - e un'indubbia forza immaginifica a delineare il background delle entità chiamate in causa.
In tal senso, due aspetti rimangono impressi per modernità concettuale: il primo, l'intenzione di raccontare gli Antichi come una sorta di proto-umanità nelle intenzioni e attività di sopravvivenza (ben distanti, quindi, dal ritratto di mostri sanguinari e sbavanti); e, in ultima istanza, la catena alimentare - seconda parte del romanzo - a delineare un cambiamento di gerarchie nell'incedere delle ere.
La lettura rimane un must inossidabile per gli amanti della penna di Providence, ma è piuttosto sconsigliata come primo approccio all'autore per prolissità nonché una certa vaghezza descrittiva sotto il profilo tecnico-scientifico.
Profile Image for jenny✨.
563 reviews781 followers
February 16, 2021
I could not help feeling that they were evil things—mountains of madness whose farther slopes looked out over some accursed ultimate abyss… appalling reminders of the utter remoteness, separateness, desolation, and aeon-long death of this untrodden and unfathomed austral world.

this one’s a milestone: my first time delving into the works of h.p. lovecraft!

it’s been a long time coming, and at the mountains of madness was an interesting jumping-off point not simply because it’s one of lovecraft’s three “short novels,” but also because i got my hands on two different copies: i listened to edward herrmann’s (rest in peace) baritone narrating the audiobook, as well as read china miéville’s introduction to the modern library edition.

before we get into the review, i just wanted to share some pictures that were helpfully supplied by google image searches! i found that being able to envision the mind-boggling creatures (hidden with spoiler tags) and stupefying landscape was very useful in keeping me grounded in the story.

i mean, just look at this painting, Tibet, Himalayas, by nicholas roerich (who is frequently name-dropped in mountains):

retrieved from: Nicholas Roerich Musem New York

or this one, Armageddon, 1936:

retrieved from: Nicholas Roerich Musem New York via this wordpress blog

or this artist’s rendering of :

retrieved from: H.P. Lovecraft Wiki

or this depiction of the :

me: 🤯🤯🤯🤯🤯


without a doubt, my experience with this novella was characterized by the pervading sense of vaster-than-humanity dread that lovecraft has distilled into a terrifying art form.

but good lord this story could be dry sometimes!

at the mountains of madness is essentially one long monologue by the narrator, william dyer, a geologist at miskatonic university, who is finally recounting his tale of incomprehensible horror to discourage a new team that’s planning to set out to explore the antarctic. his account bears innumerable random and repetitive descriptions that are overladen with specific details, adjectives, and adverbs. take a shot every time you see the word “aeon” and i guarantee that your liver will not thank you!

and you know that old adage from high school english, the one that goes “tell ’em what you’re gonna tell ’em, tell it to ’em, and then tell ’em what you told ’em”?

the narrator has clearly imbibed far too liberally from this^ kool-aid.

the effects of these over-descriptions were twofold for me. first: because the horrific absurdity of this tale—the “aeons-old” monsters, the vast and unfathomable environs—was couched in scientific rationality, it gained an air of chilling plausibility. as china miéville writes in the introduction,
...the core science of [Lovecraft’s] materialist horror is biology, with that grotesque, meticulously reported anatomy lesson, that precise itemization of the impossible.

on the other hand, this was just as boring as you’d imagine reading a highly technical taxonomic guide would be. 😂

when my eyes weren’t bugging out of my head with the grotesqueness of lovecraft’s world-building, they were glazed over as i struggled to snap my focus back to the story at hand.


bottom line: die-hard lovecraft groupie or not, this is definitely worth a read! at the mountains of madness will worm its way under your skin regardless of whether you enjoy the narration itself, and this particular edition—with miéville’s eloquent introduction to set the context—comes highly recommended by me.

also: if you wanted to read up more on what miéville wrote about lovecraft’s unabashed racism, this article, “We Can't Ignore H.P. Lovecraft's White Supremacy,” is an interesting discussion of lovecraft’s bigotry.
Profile Image for Erin.
131 reviews56 followers
May 26, 2009
I really wanted to love this book. I mean, it's Lovecraft - as a nerd and a fan of horror literature, I am practically required to love him. But instead, I was mostly just bored. Okay, scientific expedition runs into terrifying creatures in the Antarctic. I am totally behind this idea! But then, the entire middle portion of the book was just this self-indulgent description of his made-up alien race's entire existence on Earth, and it didn't even read well. It just sounded like his notes, maybe cleaned up a little, and published. I hate to revert to middle school English lessons, but this novella basically took the idea of "show, don't tell" and thew it on the ground, peed on it, and set it on fire. It's made even more frustrating by the fact that a lot of this is clearly material he's already written about in a zillion other stories.

The absolute only reason I gave this two stars instead of one was the one scene where anything actually happened. I don't need my horror to be non-stop, over-the-top madness, but this was just too dry and boring for my tastes. I will be giving Lovecraft another try, but I'll be staying away from the Cthulhu stories and the like, I think.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Obsidian.
2,708 reviews928 followers
September 4, 2016
Ten percent of this book was an introduction to H.P. Lovecraft, a story that would cure insomnia (49 percent), thirty four percent which was about supernatural horror in literature, then a listing of all of Lovecraft's works with the last few pages devoted to links to something that I refuse to re-read.

I really don't know what to say besides yawn. I wanted to be frightened, scared silly, not bored over and over again reading about an expedition to Antarctica where our narrator finds out about ancient beings called "The Great Old Ones" and proceeds to tell us every little thing about them to the point I was saying who cares.

This story was told in the first person by a geologist named Dyer. Apparently something so horrific that would scar mankind from life was found during one of his expeditions. Coming across an advance party Dyer finds all of the men and dogs dead. From there he and a student named Danforth fly past the mountains and come across some hieroglyphics that they can read (which also made me roll my eyes) and come to know the story of these things called the Great Old Ones.

I just didn't care. This story dragged on forever. There was too much science and then way too much explanation on the Elder Things and other beings that were created. I felt like I was reading a biology book. To me, the scariest thing is the unknown. This story made the unknown plainly known until somehow Danforth sees something that drove him mad and he proceeded to just bellow out random things. I guess that was the scary part.

The writing was not that great and so repetitious. I hope you like the words, Jurassic, Comanchian, mountains, mountains of madeness, Cyclopean, etc. I just at one time started highlighting those words every time I saw them and finally stopped because it was slowing down my reading and I wanted to be done with this story.

The flow was terrible. I think because of all of the science and discussion of latitude, longitude, dogs and sleds I would just wonder how the heck we were getting from scene to scene.

The setting of the Antarctica should have been better used. Being in a vast cold place where all you see is ice should have upped the scary factor. But honestly, it sounded like a walk in the park.
Profile Image for Jadranka.
229 reviews128 followers
January 3, 2021
Koliki je samo genijalac bio Lavkraft... Dobro i malo iščašen, ali takvi su svi genijalci 🤷‍♀️
Daleko ispred svog vremena i vremena svojih čitalaca.
Ocena: 4, samo zato što mislim da ne mogu da "dobacim" u potpunosti sve što je pisac hteo da kaže, što je opet moj problem, a ne autorov.
O samom izdanju ne vredi trošiti reči, svi koji prate i sakupljaju izdanja Orfelin izdavaštva znaju koliko je truda uloženo ne samo u dizajn svake knjige, već u prevod, lekturu, prelom stranica... kompletno izdanje je prava poslastica za sve ljubitelje književnosti, i hvala Ktulu što imamo priliku da uživamo u njihovim izdanjima.
Profile Image for Semjon.
633 reviews324 followers
April 27, 2020
Dieser Roman war wirklich fesselnd und für mich mit Abstand die beste Lovecraft-Geschichte, die ich bislang gelesen habe. Angenehm empfand ich gegenüber den anderen Erzählungen, dass es keine dümmlichen Dialoge gab. Die einfallslose Sprache, die ich bei anderen Erzählungen kritisierte, war hier plötzlich wie weggeblasen. Ich hätte nie auf Lovecraft getippt, wenn ich dieses Buch ohne Autorennennung in die Hand gedrückt bekommen hätte. Im Gegenteil, ich muss sogar die Detailtiefe loben, in der er die alte Kultur, die Stadt und die Wesen beschreiben werden, die dort in der Antarktis entdeckt werden. Die Erzählung erfolgt in Form eines nachträglichen Berichts eines überlebenden Expeditionsmitglieds, was mit stilistisch gelegen kam.

Auf jeden Fall verquickt HPL sehr gut sein geologisches Wissen und seine Faszination für die Polarforschung, um daraus einen spannenden Roman zu stricken. Die Beschreibung der Welt erinnerte mich sehr an High Fantasy-Literatur. Und wenn man bedenkt, dass er einer der Vorläufer ist, dann kann man ihn mit diesem Buch schon als Wegbereiter für eine literarische Gattung bezeichnen. Aus diesem Grund gibt es auch die volle Sternenzahl für diese Horrorgeschichte aus dem ewigen Eis.
Profile Image for Alex Fernández.
32 reviews265 followers
July 31, 2021
¿Que si da culo En Las Montañas de la Locura? Absolutamente. Un librito sabroso en el que se puede saber por qué Lovecraft es la mera verdura. Una narración que progresa poco a poco de lo científico a lo lúgubre. Al principio es un poco complicado acostumbrarse al lenguaje técnico de la exploración y la geología, pero si usted pasa esa barrera, verá que es parte de lo que le da verosimilitud a la historia y la postra en una realidad alterna que bien podría ser la nuestra. La magia (y el terror) de esta historia recae en las descripciones detalladas del ambiente, los monstruos y las referencias a otros autores y trabajos del mismo Lovecraft, como el Necronomicon (conectando las historias antes de los Avengers, toma eso). Pero lo que evoca miedo e incertidumbre al lector no es lo que el autor describe. Irónicamente, lo que más aterroriza de En Las Montañas de la Locura, es lo que H.P. Lovecraft NO nos deja ver.
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