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The House on the Borderland

3.7 of 5 stars 3.70  ·  rating details  ·  2,467 ratings  ·  269 reviews
"The House on the Borderland (1908) -- perhaps the greatest of all Mr. Hodgson's works -- tells of a lonely and evilly regarded house in Ireland which forms a focus for hideous otherworld forces and sustains a siege by blasphemous hybrid anomalies from a hidden abyss below. The wanderings of the Narrator's spirit through limitless light-years of cosmic space and Kalpas of ...more
Paperback, 108 pages
Published November 1st 2006 by Echo Library (first published 1908)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Henry Avila
In an isolated area of Western Ireland, far from big towns or roads, and crowds, there was a huge unwanted house, that the local people from the nearby, little village of Kraighten. Said was haunted, the time, before the dawn of the Twentieth Century, apparently more than a score of years. Two strangers come to the seldom visited territory. Since the natives don't speak English, and the the outsiders can't communicate in Gaelic, there is a little problem. But it doesn't matter, the two have plen ...more
bup
Have you ever wondered what a place would be like where you were outside of time and space, neither dead nor alive? Where you could observe the mechanisms of the universe and see the death of our planet and sun? Where you could commune with souls of the dead in the black, silent sea of sleep?

Well, it would be full of adverbs. An infinitude of adverbs.

Do you like adverbs? William Hope Hodgson did. Do you like to start sentences with a sudden adverb and a comma? William Hope Hodgson liked that, to
...more
Keely
Read, write, and study books for long enough, and you'll eventually start to recognize how stories work. You'll find yourself saying things like "Oh, this character's going to die soon because the author just resolved the ongoing tension they had with the hero" or "Ah, the mysterious stranger must actually be the orphan child of the Baron that people keep talking about". To people who don't know how to do it, it seems like a magic trick, but the only thing you need to do is pay attention to deta ...more
Caleb
Here's how I feel about William Hope Hodgson generally:

Writing as he did at the beginning of the 20th century, Hodgson's creativity in the realm of supernatural horror is impressive given what few authors preceded him in the genre. Although he wrote many stories that partook of elements common to supernatural fiction of his era (i.e.,most of his short stories, including the Carnacki stories), he also broke new ground. Moving beyond the ghost stories which had, for the most part, made up the genr
...more
knig
This book is two stories, jointly and severally independent of each other, spliced together haphazardly in the middle and left trailing off into nothing doing at the end, almost as if Hodgson had ‘ tinkered, tailored, soldiered, spied’ to his content, and finally got so bored of the whole melange he just left the tangled mess of shards on the floor and walked.

The first part sees an ageing recluse, ensconced in a ‘haunted’ house (every village in Ireland has them), battling a horde of swine –men-
...more
Mike (the Paladin)
I am a great "fan" of H.P. Lovecraft...yet in most cases when I read books or works from authors that are credited as influences on him, I'm not that taken. The same is true here.

The young men arrive in the village where they aren't exactly welcomed...and eventually find themselves in the sinister house in the sinister place reading the sinister manuscript. Apparently the writer had at some point suffered a very bad experience with pork... The book does manage to build a certain amount of darkn
...more
Steve
Hodgson's influence on Lovecraft, and many other writers of weird fiction, is apparent from the start. Borderland opens with a couple of guys on fishing trip in the wilds of Ireland. The setting reminds me a bit of Blackwood's The Willows, with its forbidding wilderness, but also of Dracula's opening, with its nearly alien town folk, who seem to know the land is diseased, bad. Soon a ruined house (mansion?) is stumbled across, and part of a manuscript (I love evil books and manuscripts). But all ...more
Bruce
I decided to start and read some older books that I have never heard of before. Going for the fantastical and horrific I came across The House on the Borderland. At first this book was splendid with an air of mystery and horror that I had not expected. I even had nightmares about the pig men that arrive. Not expecting a nightmare from a novel written so many years ago I eagerly devoured the rest of the book. What was left was an eerie cosmic voyage that almost ruined the novel for me. I am unsur ...more
Lyn
Very interesting, I at first thought that he was influenced by Lovecraft, but Hodgson predates Lovecraft!

Weird, creepy, with some long slow periods, but entertaining and thought provoking. I can see how many artists since have been influenced and of course this may be a generational influence for the genre. The time lapse sequence is DECADES ahead of its time.

description
Terence
Feb 16, 2009 Terence rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Terence by: Steve Semon
Shelves: horror-gothic
I think Caleb's review (http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22...) of William Hodgson's The House on the Borderland pretty much sums up what I felt reading this novel. You can easily see the influence Hodgson may have wielded on H.P. Lovecraft's cosmos, where the best humankind can hope for is indifference from the great powers of the universe. What's missing is any breath of "soul." Even if the universe couldn't care less, at the very least the reader should be able to identify with the characte ...more
Sandy
William Hope Hodgson's first published novel, "The Boats of the Glen Carrig" (1907), is a tale of survival after a foundering at sea, replete with carnivorous trees, crab monsters, bipedal slugmen and giant octopi. In his now-classic second novel, "The House on the Borderland," which was released the following year, Hodgson, remarkably, upped the ante, and the result is one of the first instances of "cosmic horror" in literature, and a stunning amalgam of sci-fi and macabre fantasy. An inspirati ...more
Printable Tire
The first thing that strikes me, about this book, are grammatical, and punctual matters.

I read a cheap, mysterious paperback edition, from the 70’s. The editor, for whatever reason, decided to include the bulk of the story, after the initial framing story, in quotation marks. (I mean here the real editor, not the fictitious one that appears halfway in the story to explain in science-mode what the old man means when he seems to speak against the laws of physics, and as a feeble and worn-out attem
...more
Tim Pendry
I discovered William Hope Hodgson initially as the author of one of the better stories in Cuddon's Penguin Book of Horror Stories, 'The Derelict', an atmospheric tale of sea-going monstrosity. He is also the author of the pulp series, 'Carnacki the Ghost Finder'.

Hodgson is an oddity and this is an odd story. He falls somewhere between the pulp author and the classic, not quite making the ranks of the latter but with ideas that can often take him over the line into at least the second rank of the
...more
Charles Dee Mitchell
I am sucker for this kind of set up. William Hope Hodgson claims to have received the manuscript in 1907. The manuscript recounts a fishing trip taken by two men in the western part of Ireland in 1877. On the trip they discover the ruins of a great house in the spectacular setting of a promontory overlooking a chasm fed by a thunderous waterfall. Other than a few piles of masonry, the only thing they find is a diary, preserved beneath a mound of rubble. How has this diary survived the decades, p ...more
Dark Recesses
The House on the Borderland by William Hope Hodgson
Review by Nickolas Cook

There are classics of the genre and then there are CLASSICS of the genre. "The House on the Borderland" is a CLASSIC.
Hodgson uses the plot device of a found tale, as two weekend campers find a crumbling manuscript in the ruins of an ancient house in the woods. Creepy enough already, but when the campers begin to read the lost story of a recluse and his sister it gets even more foreboding.
Lovecraft cited this as one of th
...more
Arinn Dembo
“From the Manuscript, discovered in 1877 by Messrs Tonnison and Berreggnog, in the Ruins that lie to the South of the Village of Kraighten, in the West of Ireland. Set out here, with Notes…”


It is closing in on a hundred years since this classic work of eerie fiction was first published, and even a century removed I’m still not quite sure what to think of it. The House on the Borderland is one of those titles which comes up naturally in the course of one’s education in horror; the book is menti
...more
Jonathan Janz
Originally published on my blog, jonathanjanz.com (http://jonathanjanz.com/2012/01/16/wi...)

William Hope Hodgson’s The House on the Borderland

I don’t have a man cave. Yeah, we finished part of our basement a couple years ago, and I love it and spend a ton of time down here (especially with my kids), but it isn’t even remotely a man cave.

Or is it? Actually, I’m not even sure what makes a man cave a man cave. Does one need vines growing on the walls or colorful explosions of sports memorabilia? If
...more
Jean-marcel
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Scott
W. H. Hodgson (1887–1918) holds the record for tying up Harry Houdini the longest: it took the magician/escapologist two hours to untangled Hodgson's unusual and intricate knots. This talent for the unexpected and perplexing carries over into Hodgson's fiction, which dazzles the reader with its imaginative brilliance and bizarre twists and turns.

The House on the Borderland (1908) is one of the eeriest – and trippiest – books I've ever read and enjoyed. Hodgson tells the story of a recluse who ha
...more
Paul
An interesting fantasy from the early 20th century. You can see how Hodgson's style influenced Weird Tales writers H.P. Lovecraft and Clark Ashton Smith. This book is not as polished as their later works, and combines a bizarre and haunting personal vision with the feel of an 'untaught' writer, for example the 'throw at a dartboard' method of comma placement, especially early in the book. However the book's strong qualities overshadow these faults. Most impressive is the extraordinary celestial ...more
Ubik
Man what potential this had! The formative story of the two vacationers was a decent startup and I absolutely loved the beginning of the manuscript, but then it fell flat and never came back for me. It was so descriptive and creepy in the beginning, but then it meandered into a mega-long description of the passing of time. I found myself reading and then skimming just to get past that portion. There were also elements of the story that came and went out of nowhere leaving me scratching my head. ...more
J K
A very high three stars. Like a lost Lovecraft story whose imagery and attitude echo through the last hundred years of weird fiction. Beautiful, strange, and a definite 'take it with a grain of salt' point of view. Or IS it?

However...it was difficult to pin down quite how I felt about this, because...

SPOILERS




Well, the plucky dog dies. Then the cat. Then the replacement dog.

But that's not really why I found parts of this annoying.

It starts as a decent weird thriller, but around halfway through b
...more
Becky Beard
This book gets a mixed review. It's as if the author decided to combine two shorter stories, one, tense, superbly paced, and genuinely creepy, the other, pretentious, tedious, and silly. The chapters dealing with a household under seige are timeless; those dealing with eschatological issues seem dated. To be fair, the latter material was undoubtedly novel and mind-bending when published a hundred years ago. These days it just seems goofy.
Devero
Possiamo considerare "La Casa Sull'Abisso" il capolavoro di W.H.Hodgson, la sua opera maggiormente ispirata e visionaria, allucinante e per certi versi disperata.
L'idea di una abitazione posta in Irlanda occidentale, sull'orlo di un dirupo insondabile, da cui creature porcine provenienti da chissà dove e quando, figli minori di un dio suiniforme che cercano di possedere i padroni dell'abitazione, fratello e sorella, che col solo ausilio di un fedele cane si difendono e difendono il mondo intero
...more
neko cam
I picked up 'The House on the Borderland' (henceforth 'The House') after learning that H.P. Lovecraft considered this piece particularly inspirational and so, considering how much I enjoy Lovecraft's work, I thought it would be worth further examination.

I enjoyed the first portion of the story which primarily concerns a siege that is laid against the house of the reclusive protagonist by a horde of strange swine-men, and which culminates with the discovery of a massive, seemingly bottomless pit
...more
Charlene
This is a story about an ancient manuscript found by two men on a camping trip. The manuscript actually is the story.
I'm not going into the plot itself as the description already does that, but I did want to mention a few things.

The story was a bit slow to start out, and there was a long sort of boring out of body experience. Even though I found this part a bit long winded, I can see the seeds of Lovecraft's Cthulu mythos within.(Lovecraft has said that William Hope Hodgson was a big influence o
...more
Michael
I really enjoyed this story, though for the longest time after reading it I'd have been hard-pressed to explain why. After a few months have passed though, I think I can put it down to Hodgson's genius grasp of language required to lead his reader through the mindtwist of time and space occupied by his book. Much like the Doctor's TARDIS, "The House on the Borderland" is larger on the inside than it seems on the outside.

You know that classic film technique where they dolly the camera backwards w
...more
Simon
A dark and mysterious horror of cosmic proportions besets a man living in the "house on the borderland" that presides over a bottomless pit. Hodgson successfully builds up the tension and horror throughout the book marred only by a strange interlude in which the pace of the story is brought to a crawl. In order to enjoy this bit you really need to just immerse yourself in the narrative and try hard to visualise and conceptualise all that is being described.

The book picks up pace again for the co
...more
Anton
Weird, weird, weird, upsetting, and trippy. Will write a more substantial review when I reread it, which I plan to soon (read it a couple years ago but just acquired a new copy).
Mohammed
I enjoyed the story of the elderly man who lived alone with his sister and their pets. The book so hauntingly conveyed a sense of terrible loneliness and isolation that made me like the story.

I rate 4 stars for the first half of the book,the last pages with the haunting end. The cosmic melodrama,the travel through time,space in the second half was so hard to read and almost destroyed a good story. I was so near to skim pages and i didnt only because i was already a big fan of WHH. That part of t
...more
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William Hope Hodgson (15 November 1877 – April 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. Early in his writing career he dedicated effort to poetry, although few of his poems were published during his lifetime. He also attracted some noti ...more
More about William Hope Hodgson...
Carnacki, the Ghost Finder The Night Land The Ghost Pirates The Boats of the 'Glen Carrig' The Collected Fiction, Vol. 2: The House on the Borderland and Other Mysterious Places

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“Six days, and I have eaten nothing. It is night. I am sitting in my chair. Ah, God! I wonder have any ever felt the horror of life that I have come to know? I am swathed in terror. I feel ever the burning of this dread growth. It has covered all my right arm and side, and is beginning to creep up my neck. To-morrow, it will eat into my face. I shall become a terrible mass of living corruption. There is no escape. Yet, a thought has come to me, born of a sight of the gun-rack, on the other side of the room. I have looked again—with the strangest of feelings. The thought grows upon me. God, Thou knowest, Thou must know, that death is better, aye, better a thousand times than This. This! Jesus, forgive me, but I cannot live, cannot, cannot! I dare not! I am beyond all help—there is nothing else left. It will, at least, spare me that final horror… … .
"I think I must have been dozing. I am very weak, and oh! so miserable, so miserable and tired—tired. The rustle of the paper, tries my brain[…]”
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“And then, suddenly, an extraordinary question rose in my mind, whether this stupendous globe of green fire might not be the vast Central Sun—the great sun, round which our universe and countless others revolve. I felt confused. I thought of the probable end of the dead sun, and another suggestion came, dumbly—Do the dead stars make the Green Sun their grave? The idea appealed to me with no sense of grotesqueness; but rather as something both possible and probable.” 2 likes
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