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When a geologist leads an expedition to the Antarctic plateau, his aim is to find rock and plant specimens from deep within the continent. The barren landscape offers no evidence of any life form - until they stumble upon the ruins of a lost civilization. Strange fossils of creatures unknown to man lead the team deeper, where they find carved stones dating back millions of years. But it is their discovery of the terrifying city of the Old Ones that leads them to an encounter with an untold menace.
Deliberately told and increasingly chilling, At the Mountains of Madness is a must-have for every fan of classic terror.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Brian on 02-03-14
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.
129 of 130 people found this review helpful
By Jeffrey on 11-17-13
Not for everyone
There is a great deal to this little story, including great description, what I'd call sublime horror, and a rather large dose of social commentary on the time it was written.
Be advised, however, that this story was written in the early 1930's using the literary style of that period. It was a time of great social change, and the concept of science not being able to solve all problems was really being driven home. Fear that the world was becoming a darker place was growing and the future was looked upon with gathering dread. With older works of art, one should recognize that fears tend to change somewhat. Yet Lovecraft knew about the kind of fear that never ends, that corrodes the soul, that destroys lives.
Listeners who wish easy prose and fast action should probably pass on this.
Yet if you appreciate very well written, thoughtful, and suspenseful in the classical sense sort of prose, this little novella is for you.
169 of 176 people found this review helpful
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Steve on 07-16-14
Classic horror by the master!
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
By Alistair on 02-15-15
An Excellent Introduction! Madness Indeed!
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