The Rise and Descent of The Mountain of Madness


Nathan Crawford, Writer

H.P. Lovecraft’s novella, Mountain of Madness may strike many with the same existentialism and nightmarish themes within most of his works. With Lovecraft’s articulate and literate writing he captures the environment with a tone of dread and the unstoppable unknown into demise. The environment in Mountain of Madness takes  place in the cold barren mountains of Antarctica around mountains said to be higher than the Himalayas. Following Dyer the main protagonist and narrator as well as his team, things soon fall into madness as the title entails. 

The cold and harsh environment of the Antarctic the team stumbles upon an even more bizarre and unexplainable event. With already mysterious reasoning to be there through Dyer’s unexplainable cause to bring the team there, a strange curiosity envelopes bringing forth even more questions. Through the venture of the mountains, multiple life forms are discovered in what appears to be a prehistoric ancient ruins. With over 14 new species being unidentifiable to where it’s even unclear of them being plants or animals, it once again entails the idea of the unknown nature that the ruins hold. It was said that six of the samples were badly damaged, yet the remaining eight seemed to be in pristine condition. With being able to study the samples it became clear that the species were evolutionary under developed, presenting an idea of how old the ancient ruins are. Following this the team investigates the absence of the advance-team to soon discover the ruined camp with several of the dogs and members being slaughtered. Further investigation also leads to them discovering that the samples had also gone missing from the camp. 

With these questions set in within the towering mountains,  you follow every answer or explanation with just more questions. Throughout this section in the book many die hard fans of H.P Lovecraft will appreciate this due to mentions of other creatures within other novella. With what is known as the mythos of H.P. Lovecraft many returning or familiar ideas will be mentioned following the same existentialism. 

The Mountains of Madness is not only for the die hard fans , but also for readers looking for an interesting horror novel, outside of the norm. Madness is of course prevalent with excellent character arcs all ending in the demise of the team’s sanity.