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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Sherlock Holmes of the supernatural
Thomas Carnacki is a ghost-finder, a supernatural detective who explores so-called hauntings. Sometimes these cases turn out to the machinations of scheming humans, sometimes atmospheric phenomena - and occasionally supernatural forces from beyond. The joy of these stories is that you never know which will be the actual cause. The result is always unexpected, especially...
Published on 31 Jan 2008 by Eric Ian Steele

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The ghost finder
apart from about 4 of the stories it stated to become fairly predictable that most of the solutions would end up with fairly long winded hcus pocus explanations. I found it in the main a bit boring
Published on 16 Dec 2012 by lambo


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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Overcoming its limitations, 12 Nov 2008
This review is from: The Casebook of Carnacki The Ghost-Finder (Tales of Mystery & The Supernatural) (Paperback)
The bad things first- the characterisation is poor to non-existent, the language limited and, at their worst, the tales are clunky and unconvincing. However (and this is a big "however") Hodgson is very good at creating the right atmosphere, his power of imagination overcomes his limitations as a writer and he creates genuinely frightening scenes and images. "The Whistling Room" could be ridiculous, but instead it is one of the best stories its kind and deserves wider recongition- the images linger on the mind long after reading. "The Hog" is another tale I will not forget for a long time.
Wordsworth Editions, thank you for Carnacki, but can we have John Silence as well, please?
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8 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An account of mysteries both horrible and queer, 7 April 2007
This review is from: The Casebook of Carnacki The Ghost-Finder (Tales of Mystery & The Supernatural) (Paperback)
There are nine short stories in this collection: four supernatural, two with just an incidental element of haunting and three that only seem to be spooky until properly investigated and found to be cases of mundane trickery. Comparisons have been drawn between Hodgson's Carnacki, Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes and Algernon Blackwood's John Silence. In my opinion, as an admirer of Conan Doyle and Blackwood, these comparisons are misleading. Both Conan Doyle's and Blackwood's characters have depth, the stories are well constructed and elegantly written. Holmes employs sound, scientific methods and Silence uses recognisable and plausible (at least as described by the stories' narrator) psychic methods. Carnacki, on the other hand, uses pseudo-scientific techniques which he partly and vaguely explains using various made-up words, gobbledygook and mumbo-jumbo - a sort of 'psycho-babble' with added guns, electric pentacles and circles of psychedelic light. Strange stuff!

Hodgson certainly had a fertile imagination and all the tales seem quite original. If only the author had the writing skills to match his boundless imagination - and sufficient attachment to reality to be able to make some of the dafter elements of the stories more believable. The writing style doesn't sparkle. There's a monotonous repetition of the same words over and over. The word 'queer' for example, is practically worn out by over-use. Random initial capitals are scattered abundantly throughout the text. The characters are thin and flat. Each story is presented in the same way: Carnacki successfully concludes a case, then he invites four of his friends round to dinner, nobody mentions the case until they've finished the food and seated themselves comfortably in their customary chairs to listen to the story. Carnacki tells them what happened and when he's finished one or two might ask a question to clarify some point or other. The interrogator is usually Dodgeson, or occasionally Arkright. As far as I recall, Jessop and Taylor (the other two friends) never utter so much as a word. Then their host herds them unceremoniously out of his house. One of the four, Dodgeson, always narrates (like Sherlock Holmes's friend Watson). The pattern never varies.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Occasionally hits the mark, 3 Sep 2011
By 
downkiddie "downkiddie" (UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Casebook of Carnacki The Ghost-Finder (Tales of Mystery & The Supernatural) (Paperback)
This collection of stories is very hit and miss: some are outstanding examples of gothic ghost stories, others are completely interminable. The ones that work best are the ones with human skullduggery behind the seemingly supernatural events. There are some great ideas in these stories and flashes of brilliant storytelling. Too often though the language is limited, similar words and phrases are repated over and over and all the stories start and end in exactly the same way. There's a lot of pseudo-scientific nonsense throughout, not least Carnacki's mysterious "electric pentangle", and many of the characterisations are a little thin. That's a lot of negative and perhaps unfairly so. It's good fun and a real privelige to be able to read these stories in such an accessible format, Wordsworth once again doing a superb job in bringing them to us. Readers may be interested to note one of the tales in this book ("The Horse of the Invisble") was dramatised by Thames Television in the early 70s for the series The Rivals Of Sherlock Holmes starring Donald Pleasance as Carnacki.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Book 7, 21 Mar 2013
By 
Miss N. J. Grundy "Pinky" (Blighty) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Casebook of Carnacki The Ghost-Finder (Tales of Mystery & The Supernatural) (Paperback)
I've read only "The Whistling Door" in various collections. I wanted to see what else this ill-fated writer produced. Most of it is very good.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent., 20 Aug 2012
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This review is from: The Casebook of Carnacki The Ghost-Finder (Tales of Mystery & The Supernatural) (Paperback)
I am most happy with the way my order was handled: received the item swiftly and in perfect state.Couldn't be better.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Carnacki, the Ghost Finder, 22 Mar 2011
This review is from: The Casebook of Carnacki The Ghost-Finder (Tales of Mystery & The Supernatural) (Paperback)
Very truly original tales of the supernatural.
As a fan of William Hope Hodgson, I find his other stories rather telling about the time in which he lived and wrote but also about the type of intellect he possessed.
All his other stories seem to suggest that the man was very ahead of his time, his knowledge of the sciences epsecially were in keeping with many modern concepts.
He did for the Supernatural, cosmological horrors what Conan-Doyle did for the murder mysteries.

This book contains 9 unrelated stories of horror, mystery and intrigue which are investigated by Thomas Carnacki, the Edwardian psychic detective.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A forgotten gem, 14 Feb 2011
By 
James Wright "JPolywog" (Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Casebook of Carnacki The Ghost-Finder (Tales of Mystery & The Supernatural) (Paperback)
Read this and be converted as I was many years ago. A gem of a book and one you will treasure for years to come.
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars not too shabby at all, 20 July 2009
This review is from: The Casebook of Carnacki The Ghost-Finder (Tales of Mystery & The Supernatural) (Paperback)
I enjoyed these short stories but unfortunately I started reading with my hopes a little too high as I had expected a writing style and skill on par with Robert E. Howard and H. P. Lovecraft. Hodgson had a great imagination and the Carnacki tales are entertaining reads. Stories to read on the train me thinks. Unfortunatly also my silly modern brain has been addled by telivision and hammer horror films for too long to get sufficiently scared by the tales, but all that aside I do suggest that these be read by anyone interested in pulp fiction . . .read 'The House on the Borderland'.
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