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VINE VOICEon 28 November 2003
Most of William Hope Hodgson's stuff has badly dated by now, to the point of being unreadable, which is a great shame as he was possessed of a truly amazing scope of imagination. I am pleased to say his greatest work, (in my opinion anyway) "The House On The Borderland", has aged very well though. It is an enthralling, hallucinogenic read which, once you get into the story, will have you gripped right to the end.
Set in a remote part of Ireland it concerns a man, who seems to arrive out of nowhere with his downtrodden sister, to take up residence in a depressing country house. From the moment they arrive strange, bizarre, highly surreal things begin to happen. The narrator becomes obsessed that demonic pig-like creatures are trying to break into his house. When his sister tries to escape from this gloomy madness he locks her in her room. He eventually confines himself to his own room where he descends into a very trippy nightmare in which he envisages the end of the Universe and time itself. This is an incredible read as you get swept along on the psychedelic ride of the narrator's tortured mind.
You won't come to the end any wiser than you were to start with as to just what happened, but that doesn't matter. You will be baffled for ages by exactly what is this place, who is this person, what on earth was going on?!!! If you want an ultimate fantasy read then I recommend you get caught up in the pages of this.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 29 November 2009
I thought this was a great read, I'd never heard of the author before but had seen it included in a horror listmania on Amazon which I'd tried other books from and enjoyed.

This edition is an Echo Library edition ([...]) and includes the authors introduction, the introduction and chapters themselves, a short poem called grief and endnotes. There is also a page about the echo library itself which are making sought after books available in a mass published format again, it is a slim volume and has a cheap and cheerful appearence, like a facsimile edition.

The story itself is written in a great olde style, combining reflection and description brillantly and giving a clue to a time which is long vanished, including its norms and values (when menaced by strange creatures our protagonist doesnt seek to summon the authorities, he simply reaches for his amply stocked gun rack and gives fight, in a literal sense his home IS his castle).

The main body of the book is a discovered and half destroyed journal recounting strange battle, unworldly or other dimensional travels and coming unstuck from time itself but the beginning and finish of the book are accounts of the discovery of the book itself in a strange ruin on a cliff above a big pit.

Comparisons have been made with H. P. Lovecraft, which is perhaps fair, the style of a first person narrative contained in a discovered journal, of spooky unexplained placed bordering another unworldly place, scant explanation for fantastical experience or bewildering creatures are all present. However, the book is very much a story in a number of parts, he first in which the protagonist defends his home from invading pig creatures (which may be a figment of his imagination somehow) could be considered comparable to Matheson or Philip K. Dick, the incidence of the house and protagonist becoming unstuck from time itself are actually like HG Wells and along side the time machine are probably the best time travel narratives I've read.

I'm not surprised that there are such mixed opinions give the different styles and story telling that are included in a single short volume but I felt there was a nice olde "take heart and have no fear" adventure styling all throughout. The ending was a little disappointing and I was ready for a much greater expansion of the tale into something else but I understood how it had to end as it did in order to fit with the discovery of journal and return to that point.
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on 23 June 2011
Since this was written by a writer who was a huge influence on some of my favourite writers, I just had to read it.

Well, I'm of mixed views on it. If a whole chunk (about a third) of the book hadn't been about the journal writer's strange ethereal time travel journey then this would have got a 5* rating.

I loved everything else about the book - the pig creatures, the vast underground caverns, etc - but I got quite bored with the over-written "journey" section.
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The novel this is based on is the best horror novel I know. This is a good rendition in many ways, fabulously drawn, but the story changes and particularly the incest (although it' easy to see how this can be drawn out of the novel) are annoying.
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on 7 August 2013
Published in 1908, the story begins when two gentlemen friends on a fishing trip in Ireland, suddenly come upon the ruined remains of a house near a lake. The two men discover an old diary which belonged to the owner of the house who lived there with his sister Mary and his dog Pepper. As the tale unravels we find evil in the form of hideous humanoid creatures and unmentionable horrors connected to the remote house which occupies a space on the borderland between dimensions. What follows is surely one of the most chilling tales in fantastic literature.
William Hope Hodgson (1877-1918) created a new approach to the writing of horror with The House on the Borderland, inspiring and influencing that other great writer of the macabre, H. P. Lovecraft (1890-1937). Hodgson draws the reader into the tale with his disturbing vision of the future and the overwhelming turbulence of time and space; the thin veil which parts to reveal the dark entities that inhabit the unseen realms, waiting for an opportunity to penetrate beyond their own time and dimension into ours! A true classic!
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 8 March 2002
This graphic novel adaptation of William Hope Hodgson's 1908 gothic horror novel, while absolutely stunning visually, suffers from the hokeyness of story I find in almost all gothic horror. The graphic novel starts off with two young boys hiking in Ireland and discovering overgrown ruins and an old diary. The diary relates how a bachelor and his sister moved to the lonely estate, only to be preyed upon by horrific swinelike beast-men one night. They barely hold them off, and then the beast-men disappear without a trace. The sister goes slowly insane while the man explores the caverns and tunnels below the house. There, he opens a portal to a dimension in which supernatural evil lurks, and things get a bit trippy. We're not sure what's real and what's in his head, and we're not supposed to know. Like a lot of gothic horror, evil lurks just on the other side of our world and we are left alone (ie. ain't no God going to bail you out!) to fight a hopeless battle against it. If you've ever read any H.P. Lovecraft or even played the Call of Cthulu RPG based on his writings, you'll find a lot of the themes very familiar. And indeed, Lovecraft cited Hodgson's book as the seminal influence on his own work. Hodgson wrote it when he was 35 and died ten years later on a WWI battlefield (a horrific terrain not unlike that he wrote about), so in many ways, Lovecraft filled the void left by his death. While aficionados of gothic horror will love this, I can't really recommend it to others except that it is a wonderful piece of art. The deep somber colors and rich textures are well worth spending half and hour poring over.
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on 8 February 2011
This dates from 1907 and is a piece of wierd cosmic horror from Englsh writer William Hope Hodgson. The first part concerns a house under seige from subterranian hybred swine creatures in a modern 'Night of the living dead'style episode.The second part has its horrors in a more cosmic vein,featuring monsterously accelerated time sequences,psychadelic treks into space and other indescribable interdimensional entities.

This is a baffling,mind-expanding slice of Edwardian horrific psychedelia.Not one for your more mainstream type of horror fan.If you require your fiction to have an easily-understandable beginning-middle-end,you wont like this.

I am always awed in the presence of Hodgson ,with his vast imagination and ability to etch his unsettling scenarios and entities directly into the readers mind.One of the best "lost"authors I know.

I got my copy through 'The echo library',who actually print to order.I got an e-mail informing me my book was now being printed,which was nice.
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on 26 April 2014
H.P. Lovecraft cited William Hope Hodgson as one of his biggest influences and it’s not difficult to see why. The framing device of a narrator and his discovery of a lost diary, astral projection and monstrous god-like beings which inhabit the distant stars – remote and incomprehensible – all play their part here.

Even though the book was published in 1908 it still remains an engaging and vivid work. The sense of menace is overpowering. The threat begins with strange swine-like creatures that attack his home but soon expands into a cosmic horror surpassing old H.P himself for it is more vivid and explicit than anything the gentleman of Providence, Rhode Island ever wrote. There is also an incredible scene where time speeds up to an impossible degree. Some critics have argued this section owes much to H.G. Well's Time Machine. If it does then it far surpasses the original.

House on the Borderland is a short work but somehow leaves the reader feeling they have just read a much longer, epic work. It is one of the most striking books I've ever read and has left such a deep impression in my already overactive imagination that I'm compelled from time to time to revisit it. I've read this one now at least four times.

But one word of warning, don't expect any answers or indeed explanations. There aren't any.
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on 26 February 2000
William Hope Hodgson (killed during WW1) was the writer that inspired HP Lovecraft. At his best his cosmic visions of what lies beyond this earth are truly staggering. House On The Borderland is no exception. It begins as a siege story but ends in a mind-bending trip through the cosmos.
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on 22 September 2013
I've heard some say this is a disappointing adaptation but I liked it a lot. One thing I like about the Hodgson source material is how it felt like it could have went in a thousand different directions, so it is open to a very wide range of versions/interpretations. Very atmospheric and ominous with some bursts of savagery.
I think this is one of my favourite comics.

Alan Moore provides an introduction, since he wasn't able to see the finished comic, he mostly tries to give you a helpful introduction to the works of Hodgson and a few similar writers.

((The star rating represents how much I want you to buy this item and should not be taken as a measurement of artistic merit))
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