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At the Mountains of Madness

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Author: H.P. Lovecraft
Published: 1936
Language: English
Wordcount: 41,245 / 125 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 34.4
LoC Category: PS
Downloads: 159,556
Added to site: 2006.05.05 13235
More Info:

On an expedition to Antarctica, Professor William Dyer and his colleagues discover the remains of ancient half-vegetable, half-animal life-forms. The extremely early date in the geological strata is surprising because of the highly-evolved features found in these previously unkown life-forms. Through a series of dark revelations, violent episodes, and misunderstandings, the group learns of Earth's secret history and legacy.

Show Excerpt

nt to the west, but somewhat different from the parts lying eastward below South America - which we then thought to form a separate and smaller continent divided from the larger one by a frozen junction of Ross and Weddell Seas, though Byrd has since disproved the hypothesis.

In certain of the sandstones, dynamited and chiseled after boring revealed their nature, we found some highly interesting fossil markings and fragments; notably ferns, seaweeds, trilobites, crinoids, and such mollusks as linguellae and gastropods - all of which seemed of real significance in connection with the region's primordial history. There was also a queer triangular, striated marking, about a foot in greatest diameter, which Lake pieced together from three fragments of slate brought up from a deep-blasted aperture. These fragments came from a point to the westward, near the Queen Alexandra Range; and Lake, as a biologist, seemed to find their curious marking unusually puzzling and provocative, though to my geological eye it

Reader Reviews

Average Rating of 4.8 from 12 reviews: *****
Sardo Weems

A very good introduction to Lovecraft's mythology of the Old Ones and the glories and horrors that preceded humankind and that still linger in places. A good novella on it's own, and helpful to understanding events and creatures in his other works.

Probably one of the most coherent and understandable of his Cthulhu works.


Lovecraft maintains a very realistic idea through the view of Professor Dyer throughout the whole story. Through suspense and discovery he kept me glued to the pages from start to finish!

Emiliano Azeredo

Agradeço pela ótima iniciativa.

Sucesso a vocês !


My favorite Lovecraft story! I would love to see an artist illustrate this story or a film-maker interpret Lovecraft's vision. Lovecraft creates a richly detailed story of an expedition to an Antarctic enclave of ancient, slumbering monsters. Sounds corny but it is a genius work of horror-fantasy. Lovecraft creates the best monsters and this is his master-work.


I read Lovecraft years ago as a teenager, but in the german translation. As i now read mostly the english original text, i like the original much better. The language creates an ever increasing mood of uneasyness and threat. In contrast to modern horror, nothing in the story is gory, but its scary nontheless. One of Lovecrafts best storys in my opinion

C. Alan Loewen

I read Lovecraft's At The Mountains of Madness years ago and several times, but I am so enamored of the novella that I love revisiting the eon-haunted mountains of Antarctica and reliving the wonder and then the horror of the doomed Professor Lake and the rest of his sub-expedition.

Yet, it is when William Dyer, professor of geology at the Miskatonic University and graduate student Danforth travel on into the Mountains of Madness to solve the mysterious deaths of the Lake expedition, the reader is treated to Lovecraft's full descriptive prowess as an author and travel guide to a weird, alien world that is both hauntingly beautiful and nightmarishly terrifying.

Written in 1931 when Antarctica was still mostly unexplored, At The Mountains of Madness is obviously dated as a work of science fiction, but as work of horror with its slowly growing mood of terror, it still succeeds after eighty decades.

Though the body count is quite high, do not expect the splatterpunk of what passes for modern horror. Lovecraft was a master of the art and knew that horror and awe are close companions and he didn't need the cheap trick of the grossout to reach his goal.

Enjoy a world long gone. It's a quick, but memorable visit.

C. Alan Loewen


The first book to legitimately scare me. Fantastic!

Ed Y.

Never has a book of alleged fiction stirred my imaginations such as this eldritch tome. The implications and possibilities were endless.

Mark G Melvin

Very deep descriptive and intriguing.


This was written later in Lovecraft's career, and presents a mature introduction to the Cthulu mythos. I recommend this book as a first-read for anyone wanting to explore Lovecraft.

peter tottenham

I have just reread "AT THE MOUNTAINS OF MADNESS"a dark and wounderouse panorama of Antartic desolation engulfing my mind where a discovery was made that violated the laws of science,history and biology.Here we sit,inour homes,in our offices,tommorow we go back to work,tonight we sleep soundly in our beds,Antartica is real,prehistory is real.What really lurks down there at the bottom of the world?Maybee its best we dont know.But what touched Lovecraft,what thoughts entered his mind?what dark muse gave birth to his stories?Read this tale,then dare you ponder the questions i have asked?


Amazing! Creeped me out fully while tapping into that part of the human mind that craves the discovery of lost civilizations and deep unknowns. Excellent read!



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