Friday, 11 May 2012

The House On The Borderland - William Hope Hodgson (1908)


Panther Edition 1969

                                                  







'Authentic Gooseflesh!', said the New York Times, and at one point I did actually feel a small shiver run up the back of my neck, which hasn't happened since I last watched Britain's Got Talent. A manuscript is discovered in the ruins of a remote house and the rest of the book consists of it's contents. The author's house is besieged by Swinefolk (yes, pig-like quasi-human creatures) and there's a final visitation, the nature of which I won't reveal in case you do read it. In true ripping yarn style he ventures into The Pit, and takes none of this home invasion stuff lying down, but instead secures the property and grabs his shotgun. Not that he's without fear, and it's the first person narration of his dread that helps make this book so compelling. It's a hybrid of Poe and HG Wells, but what elevates it above the average adventure/horror stories of the era are the cosmic voyages (pre-dating Olaf Stapledon's Star Maker by nearly 20 years) and an outstanding time travel episode.  

4 comments:

  1. Have you read 'The Nightland'? His magnum opus IMO?. Astonishing stuff.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I haven't. This is the first of his that I've read. Thanks for the tip - I'll track it down.

      Delete
  2. Great review - agreed. I have The Nightland on my must-read-asap list - as well as Olaf Stapledon's Star Maker!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies

    1. Thanks Mr Bark - Star Maker's a real 'trip'!

      Delete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...