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What would have made At the Mountains of Madness better?
The inclusion of dialogue (any dialogue) at some point before the last page of the book.
Has At the Mountains of Madness put you off other books in this genre?
Not necessarily the whole genre but I would need some persuading to read or listen to another Lovecraft book.
What aspect of William Roberts’s performance might you have changed?
William Roberts is a fine narrator and I have in the past greatly enjoyed his readings of Bill Bryson's books but there are limits to what a reader can do to improve a book and this particular volume defeated him.
If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from At the Mountains of Madness?
At the risk of posting a spoiler (but you did ask) a scene towards the end where the narrator and a colleague claim to have uncovered and understood the whole history of an entire civilization from the perusal of some carvings. Up until that point the book was simply dull but in an instant it lost whatever credibility it had up until that point enjoyed.
Any additional comments?
The problem lies in the book itself. It is the first person narrative of an aging professor and in the interests of verisimilitude it eschews dialogue for almost the entire narrative. Unfortunately it quickly became apparent that a novel without dialogue is like a loaf without yeast; practically indigestible. Frankly I only finished the book because it was relatively short and because I had read positive reviews elsewhere then I continued to hope up until very near the end that it would finally improve. It didn't.
3 of 21 people found this review helpful
What did you like best about At the Mountains of Madness? What did you like least?
I loved the writing -- ornate, poetic, vivid. I have to say, though, that the story just didn't grip me. At the time it was written, it probably was unique, but it has subsequently been done better by others.
What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)
The narrator keeps telling us how reluctant he is to reveal what he knows he must reveal. Naturally, he does this at the end. It left me underwhelmed.
What does William Roberts bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?
He was good.
Could you see At the Mountains of Madness being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?
I suppose it would be a visual spectacle-- Lovecraft does a great job describing this world of ice -- but I don't see the story really hooking people.
Any additional comments?
I love Loveraft's style. You have to work a bit to follow, but it's worth it.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful
I've listened to other readings by William Roberts, and they are all better than this. For some reason, he practically yells this whole story like an announcer in an WWII newsreel. It amplified the slow, tedious detail of Lovecraft's writing and undermined the haunting, dramatic parts.
12 of 22 people found this review helpful