The short story
- Everything about this story emanates horror, from Lovecraft's vivid description of the vast wasteland the protagonist is lost in, to the way that the reader and the narrator both share the same obsession with climbing the mountain. Neither know what this will achieve, but both begin to think, on the sole basis of paranoia, that it is their only hope. Then there's the final passage, which is simply terrifying:
"Often I ask myself if it could not all have been a pure phantasm — a mere freak of fever as I lay sun-stricken and raving in the open boat after my escape from the German man-of-war. This I ask myself, but ever does there come before me a hideously vivid vision in reply. I cannot think of the deep sea without shuddering at the nameless things that may at this very moment be crawling and floundering on its slimy bed, worshipping their ancient stone idols and carving their own detestable likenesses on submarine obelisks of water-soaked granite. I dream of a day when they may rise above the billows to drag down in their reeking talons the remnants of puny, war-exhausted mankind — of a day when the land shall sink, and the dark ocean floor shall ascend amidst universal pandemonium.""The end is near. I hear a noise at the door, as of some immense slippery body lumbering against it. It shall not find me. God, that hand! The window! The window!"
- The flaying of Ezequiel is not pleasant to see.