The story concerns a "quest" in the Outer Dark of a sunless Earth of the remotest future -- a time when only monsters and strange artifacts remain on the barren surface of the thoroughly wasted planet. A man seeks a girl he saw in a dream, convinced that she can be met in the flesh, and so leaves the comparative comfort of the Last Redoubt (mankind's ultimate shelter against death) and ventures in the various realms of a world that looks more and more like Hades. We are thus confronted not with a traditional fantasy-quest, but with a descent into hell which, paradoxically, culminates in the hope of love. This is an "ancient" book: written at the beginning of last century and adopting a poetic and archaic language as to suggest the remoteness of the world we're going to explore, it is surely overlong and by no means suitable to all tastes, and yet remains one of fantasy/horror most celebrated rambling classics. You could take it as a way to begin to disintoxicate (from what? Well, just contemporary potboilers and well-worn trilogies with elves on their covers, for example); a way to research the fantasy field for what it has to offer in its immensely rich old mines. It is called discovering the past or looking around yourself, even if "around" means, in this case, almost a century back. Try it; maybe you won't finish it, but in any case W.H. Hodgson is an author well-worth discovering and his masterpieces ("The House on the Borderland", "The Boats of the 'Glen Carrig'", "Carnacki" and others) remain among the very best weird fantasy ever written in English.