- Paperback: 278 pages
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 143828733X
- ISBN-13: 978-1438287331
- Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 1.8 x 25.4 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,475,251 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Night Land Paperback – 9 Mar 2009
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About the Author
William Hope Hodgson (1877 - 1918) was an English author. He produced a large body of work, consisting of essays, short fiction and novels, spanning several overlapping genres including horror, fantastic fiction and science fiction. Hodgson used his experiences at sea to lend authentic detail to his short horror stories, many of which are set on the ocean, including his series of linked tales forming the "Sargasso Sea Stories". His novels, such as The House on the Borderland (1908) and The Night Land (1912), feature more cosmic themes, but several of his novels also focus on horrors associated with the sea. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Top Customer Reviews
In literary terms he remains a criminally under-appreciated figure. Whereas contemporaries such as H.G. Wells are rightly lauded for their contributions to the genre of fantastic fiction, Hodgeson languishes in the kind of undeserved obscurity that could barely even be described as ‘cult’ status. It’s high time that situation changed.
His two most notable works are probably ‘The House on the Borderland’ and ‘The Night Land’. The former is a deliriously inventive cosmic horror and is generally well appreciated by those who read it; the latter is more divisive. Some consider it to be a visionary masterpiece, others criticise it for being overlong, ill-disciplined and self-indulgent. In truth, there’s probably merit to both viewpoints, yet for all its faults, there are few works in English literature quite like ‘The Night Land’.
The story begins in some indeterminate period of history that could be any time between the middle ages and the latter part of the nineteenth century. The narrator woos and wins the love of his life but, alas, their time together is short and she soon shuffles off this mortal coil, leaving him alone and grief-stricken.Read more ›
Put briefly, the Narrator is a man from the 18th Century how finds himself reincarnated into the far future of Earth, when the sun has died, humanity is confined to 2 gigantic pyramids, the Great and Lesser Pyramids, and weird creatures and monsters roam the darkended lands.
It is written in Olde English, which is initially off-putting, but you do get into it after a while, and in fact the archaic prose does lend the book a certain majesty. The plot itself is very simple, as he discovers that his wife is also reincarnated into this time, but they are in different pyramids and separated by the dangers of the outside. He sets out to find her, and the first half of the book detail his adventures as he travels to the Lesser Pyramid.
So far so good. While scientifically the scenario doesn't really make sense, there is an undeniable power and nightmarish quality to the journey he undertakes. But then he meets with Naani, the reincarnation of his wife - and the books takes a weird turn.
Now the Night Land turns into Fifty Shades of Night, as it combines the dark odyssey across the wastes with a sickly sweet romance between the Narrator and Naani, which is also a paen to the joys of domination and obedience.
However things do recover in the final third of the book, and the scenes where he has almost reached the Great Pyramid again are very evocative.
In my review of House on the Borderland I did wonder if it shared the same future as Night Land. Now I've read both I can see this is not the case, but there are undoubted similaries, and to me it seems like they are variations on the same theme.Read more ›
Not that he was an especially talented prose writer. He could never match his cohorts Arthur Machen and Algernon Blackwood when it came to crafting a delectable sentence of perfect symmetry and poise. Hodgson's talent was as a medium. He could take dispatches from the id, from the darkest ancestral recesses of the mind, and put them down on paper relatively unhindered. At least, he managed to pull off that feat with The Night Land, The House on the Borderland, and a smattering of other writing. On The Night Land in particular, it feels as if you've suddenly been given access to a racial memory, an embedded nightmare unlocked by the words on the page. You feel as if you already knew the redoubt in which our distant descendants stage their final defence against oblivion. You feel as if the path our hero travels on the way to his telepathically-connected love were already mapped out inside you. The endless horrific mutations and permutations of the abhumans, the Lilithian spawn of human-alien couplings, seem eerily familiar to you. I've never had this sensation with any other book than The Night Land.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The story is so good that it outweighs the shortcomings of the book's presentation. Hodgson was a first-rate fantasy and horror writer of the 19th century, tapping into primal,... Read morePublished 16 months ago by Richie
I absolutely LOVE this weird, repetitive novel. The first reading is difficult because of the archaic language used but the more you read it the more you realise just how far ahead... Read morePublished 21 months ago by Delzx7r
H P Lovecraft is my favourite writer, The Lord of the Rings is the most beautifully written book I've read, but The Night Land is my all time favourite book...ever. Read morePublished on 4 Nov. 2014 by jonathan ward
Exactly as described. I try to be picky and find something negative to say. I cannnot find anything to sayPublished on 22 April 2014 by russey
This is one of the best books I've ever read, despite it being quite a hard read. It's written in a style that makes it hard going, but the ideas and the story are so good, and the... Read morePublished on 11 April 2014 by L A Mullane
what a strange story full of darkness, it got boring towards the middle so never unfortunately completed the story, sorryPublished on 10 Mar. 2014 by stella back
Wish I had not bothered. Seemed like a good idea at the time. WIll not be lllioking for any more of his stuff.Published on 19 Feb. 2014 by Green Glass Goblin