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This was my first experience with a Lovecraft story, and I was not disappointed. I'm not usually interested in horror books or movies, but I've enjoyed other books that reference Lovecraft's stories, so I gave this a try when it was up as a Daily Deal here at Audible.
It is a horror story, there's no doubt about that. However, it's very different from the modern sort of horror. This is not a story that's scary from the start, moving from one terror to another. Instead, this is a slow build up of expectation of terror, leading up to the one moment of true horror.
Which even that wasn't all that terrible for me as a modern reader, having been exposed science fiction.
That said, I was aware of the era that book was written, and can imagine what this might have been like to read in that era.
I wasn't looking to be terrified, I was looking for a good story, well told by a great narrator.
I would recommend this book.
115 of 116 people found this review helpful
This book is vintage, if lengthy, Lovecraft of course. But the narration is a true masterpiece of the craft. Edward Hermann's sense of diction, stress and the sheer literal meaning of the sentences enhances Lovecraft's heavy prose. Excellent.
74 of 76 people found this review helpful
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 excited camp and informs them of large 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!
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Where does At the Mountains of Madness [Blackstone Edition] rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?
I am not sure if I can honestly answer the question having listened to many audiobooks, almost none of which were horror. Despite the only exception being the Audible edition of the Dracula novel I believe this is one of the best in my collection. Brilliant world-building and nightmareish atmosphere turn this story into one of exquisite terror I could hardly put down!
What was one of the most memorable moments of At the Mountains of Madness [Blackstone Edition]?
I will try my best not to spoil any major story elements for new listeners as I was but I will say that my favourite part would be during the major storm and immediately afterwards. And also...the chants at the end. Horror itself.
What about Edward Herrmann’s performance did you like?
The performance I originally found somewhat unusual due to the fact that it sounded much like a classical radio broadcast. However given the age of the original source material it fits. I particularly enjoyed the sense of overcoming dread that the quiet gentle nature of the narration gave the performance. There were moments where - 80 plus years on - I could sense the abject fear on the page and in the character's minds as well as the scientific curiosity. Bravo Mr Herrmann.
Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?
Yes! Yes! A thousand times yes! I highly recommend this book. Buy it as soon as you can.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful