At the Mountains of Madness and Other Novels of Terror (H. P. Lovecraft Omnibus, Book 1) Paperback
Part of the H.P. Lovecraft Omnibus series
The finest works of H P Lovecraft, renowned as one of the great horror writers of all time.
A major figure in twentieth-century supernatural fiction, H P Lovecraft produced works of enduring power.
He has influenced the whole spectrum of those working in the horror genre, from Stephen King to the creators of hit TV show Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
Gathered together in this volume are seven of his greatest works, including the three short novels, The Case of Charles Dexter Ward, At the Mountains of Madness and The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath.
Timeless in their appeal, these classics of the sinister and the macabre hold the power to truly terrify.
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 560 pages
- Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
- Publication Date: 14/02/1985
- Category: Horror & ghost stories
- ISBN: 9780586063224
Showing 1 - 4 of 4 reviews.
Review by GrumpyBob
This volume contains Lovecraft's two novellas, "At the Mountains of Madness" and "The Case of Charles Dexter Ward". For those who love the pulp fiction genre, this represents Lovecraft at the top of his game, with sustained storytelling. For those who dislike the genre, probably pretty tiresome.
Review by isabelx
I have been listening to the H.P. Lovecraft Literary Podcraft s it works through Lovecraft's stories in chronological order. I started off reading the stories on my iPod but decide that I didn't like reading the longer stories that way, so I bought a three volume Omnibus of his stories, and now it is only the ghost-written stories he wrote for other people that I need to read on-line. I started listening to the podcast in October 2010 from the first episode, and had caught up with the early episodes by the first week of January 2011. I have been reading each story before listening to the podcast episode(s) about it, and the podcast has now reached the point that I have read all the stories in Volume 1 of the Omnibus, so I can finally review one oft he volumes. <i>Then through that star-specked darkness there did come a normal sound. It rolled from the higher hills, and from all the jagged peaks around it was caught up and echoed in a swelling pandaemoniac chorus. It was the midnight yell of the cat, and Carter knew at last that the old village folk were right when they made low guesses about the cryptical realms which are known only to cats, and to which the elders among cats repair by stealth nocturnally, springing from high housetops. Verily, it is to the moon's dark side that they go to leap and gambol on the hills and converse with ancient shadows, and here amidst that column of foetid things Carter heard their homely, friendly cry, and thought of the steep roofs and warm hearths and little lighted windows of home.</i> from The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath This book contains Lovecraft's three short novels, "The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath", "The Case of Charles Dexter Ward" and "At the Mountains of Madness", plus four short stories, three of them featuring Randolph Carter, the hero of the Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath". The other is a rather unpleasant story called "The Dreams in the Witch House" ?. Unlike most of Lovecraft's protagonists, Randolph Carter is a born adventurer and tends not to faint in the face of unnameable horrors! On a journey through the dreamlands in search of the lost city that he used to visit in his dreams, he makes friends with the ghouls, and his kindness to small kittens is rewarded when the heroic band of cats who spend their nights on the moon battling evil alien cats, rescue him from the toad-things which have captured him. This isn't the only story in which cats play a big part, and Lovecraft is obviously a cat-lover, mentioning in "The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath" that "<i>Inquanok holds shadows which no cat can endure, so that in all that cold twilight realm there is never a cheering purr or a homely mew.</i>""The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath" rambles about and has frequent longeurs, as it was Lovecraft's first attempt at a novel and it's thought that he didn't intend it to be published, but I still preferred it to "The Case of Charles Dexter Ward" which has an annoyingly oblivious protagonist heading to an obvious doom (as does "The Dreams in the Witch House"). "At the Mountains of Madness", the last of Lovecraft's three novels, is an exciting tale of Antarctic adventure, complete with huskies and a lost civilisation. Lovecraft liked to use British English spellings and got really annoyed when his editors changed them, and I noticed that he uses the British "torch" rather than the American "flashlight" in several stories (the protagonists mention worrying about running out of batteries, so it's clear that it is referring to electric torches rather than naked flames).
Review by questbird
This is not a review of the whole omnibus but only the tale 'The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath'. It is not the first time I have read this story, though whether the second or third time I don't recall. It is the first time I've read it for itself and not part of the collection. I enjoyed it much more than previous times (it is one of the later works in the volume) and read it more closely. I was inspired to reread it by a role-playing game campaign I am currently running and by a retrospective on the work by James Maliszewski of Grognardia.'Dream-Quest' chronicles veteran dreamer Randolph Carter's search for a magnificent city of his dreams. The Dreamland he ventures through has many wonders, but lurking beneath all are the horrors of the Outer Gods, and the Crawling Chaos Nyarlathothep. In other words, H.P. Lovecraft's mature Cthulhu Mythos ideas. There were many outright fantastic elements, such as Carter's raid on the Moonbeast crag near Iquanok with a boatload of Ghouls -- at such times Randolph seemed more like a shadowed John Carter from Barsoom. One thing which struck me on this reading is the interconnected histories of various groups of humans and otherwise around the dread plateau of Leng, and the sad tragedies of the men of Leng and Iquanok, touched as they are by otherworldly things. Another oddity was another Outer God, Nodens who is barely described but who seems in opposition to Nyarlathotep and therefore possibly not an enemy of mankind. Carter braves all this and more in his quest for lost beauty, and it is this which sets the Dreamlands tales apart from those set in the 'real' world of Arkham, Miskatonic University, Dunwich and the rest. Carter flinches but does not flee from the sanity-blasting horrors he sees. He stays true to his quest throughout. In the dream, these terrors are perhaps more bearable. This is fantasy with horror elements, like a dark fairy tale.
Review by Michael.Rimmer
The horror in <i>At the Mountains of Madness</i> is not in sadistic descriptions of slashings, torturings, mutilations and bloodletting, but rather in the slow build-up of the feeling that humanity is not alone in the universe and that the other inhabitants, if they consider us at all, don't really think much of us. The only times the history of the Elder Things mentions us it is as either an amusing animal kept for entertainment or as a foodstuff.<br/><br/>The horror is that there are unfathomable depths of pre-history, that humankind are very much late-comers and that, if we are not careful, we might come to the notice of things that could wipe us away with little thought.<br/><br/>Nonetheless, the Elder Things are portrayed as one of the few, if not the only, of Lovecraft's non-human races with which we can feel any sympathy. He remarks that, despite the terrible toll they take upon the expedition, they were not evil things of their kind and that they had not acted any differently than would we in the same circumstances. The fate of the Elder Things is one that evokes a feeling of pity.<br/><br/>I've read that this story de-mythologises the Cthulhu Mythos and recasts the stories as science fiction rather than as tales of the supernatural and cosmic horror, but I don't think that is necessarily correct. Although the Elder Things <i>are</i> described as being composed of normal matter and having originated somewhere within our own mundane dimension, Lovecraft specifically states that the Star Spawn of Cthulhu and the Mi-Go are composed, at least partly, of some exotic material and that their origins lie outside the realm we know. Also, credit must be given to Lovecraft's characterisation, something that he is not often accorded: the story is written from the perspective of a scientist who has interpretted the history of the Elder Things through pictorial representations. Naturally the narrator's own world-view, that of scientific materialism, infuses his interpretation.<br/><br/>One of Lovecraft's best.