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The House on the Borderland

3.68  ·  Rating Details  ·  3,242 Ratings  ·  356 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, 156 pages
Published November 1st 2006 by Echo Library (first published 1908)
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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
Henry Avila
Mar 22, 2014 Henry Avila rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Dec 10, 2015 Lyn rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.

J.G. 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
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
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-
Dec 22, 2008 Caleb rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasticalstuff
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
Dec 21, 2015 Mangrii rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
La historia nos sitúa en Kraighten, una escondida área en el Oeste de Irlanda donde un par de tranquilos excursionistas pasan sus días pescando y paseando. Un día de repente se topan con las ruinas de un antigua caserón en una extraña zona con un pozo, donde indagando un poco encuentran un viejo manuscrito escondido entre los escombros, huyendo rápidamente del lugar por las siniestras sensaciones que les provoca. Esa misma noche comienzan a leer el libro, un extraño relato sobre las siniestras v ...more
Dnf σελ 152. Βαρέθηκα. Μέχρι ενός σημείου μου αρεσε, οτι είχε να κάνει με τα τερατα. Απο εκεί και πέρα, όχι, μου κλείνουν τα μάτια. Παω για υπνο.
Jul 04, 2015 Sophie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: H. P. Lovecraft's enthusiasts
Recommended to Sophie by: Nickolas the Kid
Shelves: classics
The similarities of this novel with the atmosphere and the writing style of Lovecraft's stories were palpable. However, in Hodgson's work, the horror was more realistic and quite intense.
Nickolas the Kid
Sep 03, 2015 Nickolas the Kid rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
Πολύ πρωτότυπο βιβλίο!!! Ένα σκοτεινό ταξίδι μέσα στον χωροχρόνο. Ένα κλειστοφοβικό μυθιστόρημα...

Οι περιγραφές του σύμπαντος και η σχέση τους με το Σπίτι είναι μοναδικές και δημιουργούν ανάμικτα συναισθήματα....

Το γραμμα λοιπόν που βρίσκουν οι 2 φίλοι είναι ένα ταξίδι που εμένα προσωπικά θα μου μείνει αξέχαστο!!!

Oct 29, 2012 Steve rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
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
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
Feb 16, 2009 Terence rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Terence by: Steve Semon
Shelves: horror-gothic
I think Caleb's review ( 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
Apr 04, 2009 Bruce rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Arinn Dembo
Feb 19, 2012 Arinn Dembo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: weird-fiction
“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
Nov 12, 2008 Scott rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: edwardian, horror, 1900s
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
Aug 18, 2011 Sandy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 15, 2015 J K rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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? was difficult to pin down quite how I felt about this, because...


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
Apr 17, 2012 Jean-marcel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
Jun 04, 2009 Simon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Rebecca Gransden
I can see why this was taken up by the psychotropic vanguards/bores but don't let that put you off. This is a borderland experience that dismisses any self-conscious aggrandising notions of bursting though those doors of perception. Indeed, any doors are, as someone else said about this, representations in allegiance with Platonic Form.

The plot bookends the central bulk of the narrative; a manuscript relayed through a mystery editor. The manuscript is found by two Victorian guys on a fishing tri
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
neko cam
Jul 22, 2010 neko cam rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics, fantasy, horror
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
Jonathan Janz
May 12, 2013 Jonathan Janz rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Originally published on my blog, (

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
Oct 23, 2010 Paul rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 26, 2009 Ubik rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lost-race
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
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Jailbreak from beyond the grave? 5 18 May 25, 2015 11:27AM  
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William Hope Hodgson 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 notice as a photographer and achiev ...more
More about William Hope Hodgson...

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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[…]”
“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.” 4 likes
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