At the Mountains of Madness

At the Mountains of Madness❰BOOKS❯ ✯ At the Mountains of Madness Author H.P. Lovecraft – Long acknowledged as a master of nightmarish vision HP Lovecraft established the genuineness and dignity of his own pioneering fiction in 1931 with his uintessential work of supernatural horror At the Long acknowledged as a Mountains of MOBI ô master of nightmarish vision HP Lovecraft established the genuineness and dignity of his own pioneering fiction in with his uintessential work of supernatural horror At the Mountains of Madness At the Kindle - 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. 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 bodiesAnd he's like no let me tell you about the icy mountainous eerie tunneled landscape that Roerich built And you say tell me about the gigantic albino penguinsAnd he says haven't I told you about the icy mountainous eerie tunneled landscape that Roerich built yet? Tell me 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 231 pmTell me about what happened with that monsterAnd 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 236 pm By that point you're like That's OK I've gotta go clean my fish tank now or somethingand you're not my friend anyand 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 60 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 uotes from ATMOM along with a straight forward less colorful approach that a lesser non awesome writer NAW might employ EXAMPLE 1NAW Finally we arrived at the South Pole HPL At last we were truly entering the white aeon dead world of the ultimate south EXAMPLE 2NAW The sunlight reflecting off the ice created some unusual visual effects HPLDistant 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 EXAMPLE 3NAW The mountain range had an eerie appearance 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 than terrestrially spatial and gave appalling reminders of the utter remoteness separateness desolation and aeon long death of this untrodden and unfathomed austral world” EXAMPLE 4NAW “The structures were of an extremely odd nature” 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 grotesueness” What can we learn from the above? My takeaway is that Lovecraft was 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 PLOT SUMMARY AND THOUGHTS 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 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 ualities that appear to be close to 50 Million years old The discovery calls into uestion 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 euator 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 isI 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 subseuent 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 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 PS Here is a bonus uote 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 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 authorHowever 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 shuiIn the Annotated Lovecraft where I most recently read this story noted critic ST 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 tensionThe 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 concernThe 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 creatureThere are always carvingsAs 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 agoIndeed the entire expedition seems to have a level of knowledge and familiarity with 'eldritch tomes' and 'esoteric history' that is uite 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 nonchalanceApparently 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 reuired at all proper universities and Marty's favorite topic when he's trying to impress drunk girls at the Young Scientists mixerNow 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 reiteratingReading 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 worksIn 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 playYet 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 itIt'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 gameHowever 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 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 a Star Wars technical guideA 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 endedYet there are many readers who come away from a fantastical story asking 'what really happened?' which of course is the wrong uestion 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 enumeratedThe 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 readersIt shrinks the whole thing down and makes it 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 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 placeInstead 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 I really wanted to like this because HP 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 about was the horrible shit that was happening to them A TRAGIC HOMECOMINGAnd 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 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 We took some of their euipment 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 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? Only our loyal companions remained in this terrible empty city They suawked 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 And as we explored our ruins so the new explorers explored as well 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 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 uickly slainThe biped explorers had their own meeting with our rebel servants The meeting did not go well 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? never before has such an exciting story been told in such a dull way Hi I'm Rob Lowe and I just read Mountains of Madness by HP LovecraftAnd I'm Super Creepy Rob Lowe and I watch professional wrestlingRL 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 TVRL 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 sweatyRL 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 mediaSCRL and I like that Sigourney Weaver was in those fliksRL Don't be like this me read Mountains of Madness for yourself and enjoy 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 MP Sheil’s The Purple Cloud—but HP’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 showsThe perfectly realized polar setting though is only part of it The detailed treatment of the underground cyclopean city is very good too but HP 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 “1015 PM Important discovery Orrendorf and Watkins working underground at 945 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 35 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 euator 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 horrorI 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 itAll 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 HP’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” 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 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 concerned with building a history of the Old Ones than he is in telling a good story I think I might get 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

At the Mountains of Madness PDF Õ Mountains of  MOBI
  • Paperback
  • 138 pages
  • At the Mountains of Madness
  • H.P. Lovecraft
  • English
  • 27 October 2016
  • 9780812974416