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Carnacki, the Ghost Finder Kindle Edition
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Review one: If you own a Kindle and read horror then you must get this......end of. IT IS FREE!!!!!!!
Review two: Thomas Carnacki is an Edwardian ghost hunter. Each time he goes on an adventure, when he returns he calls his 4 close friends Dodgson, Arkright, Jessop and Taylor to his house for dinner and a story. Carnacki is a very forthright chap. He is very set in his ways and can come across as curt in many instances but his friends keep coming back for more. The evenings follow the same pattern. Carnacki lets his guests in but doesn't speak to them initially. They settle down to dinner for about an hour then follow Carnacki to the fireside where he tells them about his latest "case". The minute his story ends he exclaims "Out you go" and they leave.
Sound weird? Well trust me it's a pattern that works extremely well. There are 6 stories in this book detailing various tales from a castle that drips blood, a family with an apparent curse on the first born child if it is a daughter to the case of the ancient dagger that attacks people by some invisible force. Now I am reliably informed that Hodgson wrote 9 Carnacki stories. If you are lucky enough to find a copy with all 9 in it please let me know because I can’t seem to find a version I can get in the UK.
Now I have only recently discovered William Hope Hodgson. I wish he were around today because I would be all over his Facebook page. Alas these stories were written between 1910 and 1912 and Hodgson was tragically killed in World War 1. The writing is just wonderful. The language used just adds and adds to the stories. The atmosphere that Hodgson emits in these stories is spine tingling. Genuinely full of tension and horror at every turn.Read more ›
These are oldies, but remarkably clever and satisfying. Carnacki is a bit curt and a touch condescending as he tells his stories to his dinner companions, but he is a no-nonsense sort who lays out the details and events of his various adventures with economy and clarity. There is enough atmosphere and detail and careful buildup to make a cracking good story, but the tales are still very streamlined.
All of the tales turn on haunted or possessed houses, and some of the hauntings are legit, some are shams, and some fall somewhere in the "who knows?" category. Because Carnacki is thorough and business-like in his investigations the tales aren't overly dramatic or embroidered. You get a sort of "Dragnet" just-the-facts-ma'am kind of feeling, and a very modern sense of narrative style.
So, if you like haunted house tales you should sample Hodgson, and if you like Hodgson you should sample some Carnacki. These are fun and free, and at a minimum you will learn exactly how properly to set up a protective pentacle.
Especially by THE WHISTLING ROOM,which is also a kind of legendary tragedy,
If I recall,of the presumptuous jester...An amazing tale and I am amazed
That no filmmaker has seen fit to film any of his work,given so much of the
Corny crass dross that floods out of the Hollywood horror mills with the
general exception of Steven King-based stuff...Hope Hodgson also wrote the
Great novel THE NIGHTLAND which would be wonderful filmed as would several
Stories in this collection where the 'Fictional Activist' is presented as
Openminded rather than as a partisan materialist or Spiritualist...Read his
Other work,too.The Night LandThe Ghost Pirates
You see, despite the relatively simple writing style, and the occasional tweeness, all of the stories in this collection have something in common - they are believable and genuinely tense and scary.
Carnacki is a psychic sleuth - Edwardian Britain's answer to Jonathan Creek - sent to investigate ghostly goings on that may, or may not, be caused by unexplained phenomena. What sets Carnacki apart from many similar creations is that he isn't presented as a "know-all" and is often as scared of the situation he is in as the reader is meant to be . What sets the stories apart from similar creations is William Hope Hodgson's refusal to let them become supernatural freak-fests; the terrifying events are described in down-to-earth terms and their impact on the characters in the stories is more important than the explanations given to them.
There are three absolute gems in here - The Hog, The Horse of the Invisible and, in particular, The Whistling Room, which is both chilling and utterly believable.
William Hope Hodgson's stories heavily influenced HP Lovecraft (widely regarded as the father of modern horror) and it's easy to see themes Hodgson created being built on in Lovecraft's Cthulhu mythos. Later horror and occult authors, including Tremayne and Wheatley, have acknowledged Hodgson's impact on their writing. Hodgson was out of print in the UK from 1913 to 1973; American publishers kept his writing alive during this period. That Carnacki is still being read now, nearly a century after the stories were written, should be evidence enough of their strength, and I would recommend them to everybody. Especially the writers of Jonathon Creek, who seem to need a nudge in the right direction.
Most recent customer reviews
Wow! Never heard of this author, but was gripped from the very first story. Genuinely frightening stuff and so well written, I could not wait to read the next tale!Published 7 months ago by Steveosnapper
I first discovered Carnacki in the 1971 tv series Rivals of Sherlock HolmesThe Rivals Of Sherlock Holmes - Series 1 [DVD] . Read morePublished 13 months ago by rwa084
Classic period horror, probably unfairly overlooked by Poe, Stoker, Whatley, Lovecraft fans. Worth a read though as Hodgson, through these short stories, manages to create a... Read morePublished on 28 Aug. 2014 by Busby
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