At the Mountains of Madness - Howard Phillips Lovecraft

Sorry, this is more a rant on Lovecraft's writing style than really a review of this book.

I know that this is blasphemous to horror fans, and after writing this I think they'll no longer consider me amongst them, but I think H. P. Lovecraft is over rated. I had to struggle through all 184 pages of this book. It was painful.

A little background, I first tried reading this book back when I was in high school, I was introduced to it because I had watched a movie called In the Mouth of Madness, I fell in love with that movie. I went to the bookstore (unbeknownst to me that the movies was based on Lovecraft's stories, or so I read sometime later) looking for the book that they talked about in the movie, which I didn't expect to be a real book. Well the bookstore employee pointed me to At the Mountains of Madness. I tried reading it but thought that I wasn't really grasping it. I chalked it up to me being too young. So I left it for many years and repurchased it a year or two back (that is how many books are on my shelf "to read").

Fast forward to now. I slugged through it finding that it wasn't only my young, undeveloped brain that kept me from enjoying the book in the first place. It was that I just don't think it is that well written. Really, when you describe something as "too horrible to describe" then you've lost me. Not in an intellectual sense but because you are too damn lazy.

At first I thought that this is where John Carpenter received his inspiration for The Thing but really I was wrong and Arctic exploration is the only thing they had in common.

The other stories in the book were just as hard to slug through. Lovecraft has a very bad habit of repeating himself and being very dry in his descriptions, more of matter of fact than anything else. He also throws in some very large words every once in a while just to mix things up. He actually seems more like a horror version of Jules Verne but without a point.