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Tolkien minority
Feb 14, 2012




So I read at the mountains of madness and... I really hated it. This was my first experience reading anything by lovecraft. I think it might be one of the worst books Iíve ever voluntarily read all the way through. Mild spoilers ahead. I swear 50% of the word count is descriptions of rocks or buildings, giving you the exact height, length, shape, longitude and latitude and age. He took such a cool concept of an ancient alien plant monster race and ruined it by explaining every single aspect of it in meticulous, incredibly dry detail. He uses the same words over and over again til they lose all meaning. What the gently caress even is a cyclopean room and why should it scare me!!! I felt like when I was reading my little cousins lovely fan fiction that told me all about his protagonists hp stats and sword length and epic ninjitsu strikes and I had to pretend it was good so he wouldnít feel bad. I donít think thereís a single line of dialogue or character building in the 100 pages. It basically alternates between ďmy god, this was so horrible, so horrendous, I cannot possibly explain what it is and have you understand ď and 10 pages of meticulous detail telling you the area and volume of every room he stepped through to get there and did I mention the rocks and carvings he found and the exact length and number of tentacles coming from itís anus, before finally ending on ďahh what he saw was so terrible, I cannot describe it, it drove him mad! space! Horror! Yogg! Necronomicon! Old gods! Other lovecraft buzzwords! be afraid!Ē. The scariest part were the giant penguins

Iím like, actively mad at this book. Iíve been reading my way through the ďclassicĒ horror stories of the 20th century and everything Iíve read so far has been good to great, but this was just so poorly written and boring it was like pulling teeth to get through.

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Tolkien minority
Feb 14, 2012




Bilirubin posted:

Read Arthur Machen instead if you have not already

Iíll check him out, looks right up my alley. The book I read before was a collection of Algernon Blackwood stories, which I really liked, and I guess I was expecting something similar and while there were a lot of shared themes the drop off in writing quality was huuuuge.


sicDaniel posted:

That's exactly my reaction to MofM, I couldn't even finish it. But HPL wrote some actually good stories, like The Color out of Space.

anilEhilated posted:

Well, there are two things to bear in mind here: 1) HPL was not a good writer, 2) Mountains of Madness is pretty much the worst place to start with him as it provides a "scientific" background for the mythos.

Iíll read color out of space next, itís in the same book I have anyways and I feel obligated to read at least one more of his stories because heís so well regarded and influential. I can see why heís influential, but I didnít realize going in he was famous for his ideas more than his actual writing.

Tolkien minority
Feb 14, 2012




MockingQuantum posted:

Lovecraft is one of those authors where I really love the idea of a lot of his stories, while really not enjoying the execution. That's why I tend to steer people either to a small handful of Lovecraft stories or towards more modern authors that are just significantly better writers. MoM is a classic example of that, to me. I loving love the idea of MoM but I didn't really enjoy it either time I've read it, and one of those was when I was a dumb high schooler. I'd kill for a good cosmic horror novel like MoM.

On another note, if you liked Blackwood, you may like some of Laird Barron's stuff. He's kind of divisive among horror goons, but a lot of his stories feel a bit like high-octane modern Blackwood stories, plus he makes pretty overt reference to Blackwood or his stories in more than one instance.



I've read a bunch more Lovecraft (Shadow over Innsmouth, Statement of Randolph Carter, Colour out of Space, Dreams in the Witchhouse, The Thing on the Doorstep, Music of Erich Zann, The Outsider, Herbert West-Reanimator, Lurking Fear, Rats in the Walls) since posting in this thread and came to the same conclusion. It's kind of infuriating, he has some great ideas but basically everything he writes is in the form of a long monologue with no real characters or dialogue, and he describes everything in the same " its so horrible! its indescribable!" manner before going into pages of exposition on what exactly it is. His prose is just terrible too, its like he saw authors from the past used a lot of florid language and overly literaryness and tried to cargo cult it by just shoving as many words as possible he could find in his thesaurus into each sentence without any real regard for if they're necessary or flow or add anything.

All that said, I enjoyed most of the stories at least somewhat and some in particular I thought were really good (Innsmouth and Colour). The concepts for his stories are all pretty cool and he had quite the imagination, plus the whole "mythos" he built around all his stories is kind of fun to see how they all fit together. I'll probably read the bunch of other stories in the collection I got.

Ill check out Barron. I have quite the list of horror authors now but I'll get to it eventually lol

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