Monday, March 21, 2011

Book Report: At The Mountains of Madness, by H.P. Lovecraft

At The Mountains of Madness, by H.P. Lovecraft

Ah, Lovecraft. I can't imagine what I could say about him that hasn't already been said. I don't think there's ever been a more admired, reviled and imitated fantasy/science-fiction/horror writer. He's a verbose, paranoid, racist, sexist mama's boy with an English culture obsession whose work nonetheless fascinates for its spin on nightmarish weirdness.

This is one of his longest works, a novella about a university trip to Antarctica which discovers a city and preserved denizens from before the evolution of man. It's hard to read now because its language, full of adverbs and adjectives and words that will send a modern reader scurrying for a dictionary, is almost a century behind the current fashion. Even so, it stirs the occasional chill and is a leading example of the stories written in Lovecraft's famous Cthulhu Mythos cycle.

It's not a fast read. It's not an easy read. It is, however, a milestone in the evolution of modern speculative fiction and should be read as much for its impact as for its entertainment value.

Ulysses Rating: 3 - I enjoyed this. I've read it before and will probably read it again.

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