The Ghost Pirates
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The Ghost Pirates

3.52 of 5 stars 3.52  ·  rating details  ·  352 ratings  ·  39 reviews
A riveting novel of fear and adventure, The Ghost Pirates completes Hodgson's acclaimed theme trilogy that began with The Boats of the 'Glen Carrig' and continued through The House on the Borderland.
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Published (first published 1909)
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Sandy
William Hope Hodgson's first published novel, "The Boats of the Glen Carrig" (1907), is a story of survival after a disaster at sea, and of the monstrous plant and animal life-forms that the survivors encountered while trying to reach home. In his second book, the now-classic "The House on the Borderland" (1908), Hodgson described an old recluse's battle against swine creatures from the bowels of the Earth, and the old man's subsequent cosmic journey through both time and space. And in his third...more
Jayaprakash Satyamurthy
Wow.

I loved the slow-building, claustrophobic atmosphere of dread in this one. It's such a start setting - men at sea on a cargo ship, miles from land. The ship has a bad reputation, and the men soon start to find out why as mysterious lights in the distance, shadowy figures on board, strange shapes below the waves and inexplicable deaths start to pile up. The dense nautical jargon adds to the effect, to the authenticity of the voice and in contrasting the workaday practicality of professional...more
ein Leichter
Hodgson is easily one of my favorites. Someone needs to publish an edition of this book that includes a glossary of nautical terms and an accompanying diagram of a ship.
Camille Stein
Cuento coral donde el mar se nos muestra como espacio cerrado y opresivo, enigmático receptáculo de lo desconocido y ominoso. Aunque la profusión de términos náuticos y terminología marinera hace naufragar algunos de los momentos de mayor tensión dramática, Hodgson posee la capacidad para sugerir lo invisible, para situarnos en la piel y en los ojos de quien observa y cree descubrir poco a poco las sutilezas de tragedias venideras, desgranando racionalmente hechos que paulatinamente se descubren...more
Nikki
Another horror/fantasy blend. There's not much by way of explanation in this one: the first line of the first chapter kind of sums it up: "He began without any circumlocution." Hodgson builds up the setting quite well, the slow beginning of the supernatural events and the spreading fear and paranoia. There's a lot of concrete detail about life on board a ship that serves to make it very much like realism, and then all hell breaks loose. The hows and whys of it aren't explained, only the events....more
Michael
I first read this book in the 80s and had fond memories of it. Having just re-read it (Dec 09), I was pleasantly surprised that it was every bit as good as I remembered it.

Having been published in 1905, this is not a graphic horror story, rather it is an atmospheric supernatural tale that builds tension through hints and suggestions; half-seen, half-imagined horrors. That the author, Hodgson, was in the British Navy for several years adds to the realism of his depiction of life aboard a sailing...more
Simon
A voyage on a sailing ship is beset by ghostly happenings that impinge more and more upon the daily life of the crew. I thought it would be just my cup of tea but, all in all, it didn't really work for me.

Such a story as this needs a well crafted atmosphere and a careful buildup of tension that I feel was somewhat lacking here. I also found it difficult to visualise what was happening some of the time due to the heavy use of nautical terminology. I imagine you may well get more out of this book...more
Justin
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ben Loory
not nearly as spectacular (or spectacularly weird) as hodgson's The House on the Borderland, but it moves right along and does finally explode into full visionary horror mode in (fittingly enough) chapter thirteen, "the shadow in the sea," in and after which it is great. it's the kind of story that grows larger in your mind once it's done and just seems better and better and better. some pretty amazing imagery. over a hundred years old and still reads as completely original.
Brian
My favorite band of all time (right now), Into Another, has a song called William on their best album Ignaurus. It's a song about William Hope Hodgson. So since I love this band, this album, and this song, yet have not read any of his books, I started reading this one.

It's definitely an old book, but easy and fun to read. but candidly, if it didn't have this connection to Into Another I wouldn't really be stoked on it
Scott Whitney
I started reading this one thinking it would be just another pirate book that would be entertaining for a little while. The first break I had to take from reading had me thinking about the book for a while. I picked it up as soon as I could again. My next break I had to take was under protest, I had to finish this book. I stayed up late into the night to get to the last page. A very good read.
Jason Mills
May 19, 2014 Jason Mills rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Horror buffs and sailors
This story takes the form of a sailor's account of an increasingly spooky voyage, around the end of the nineteeth century. On watch one night a boy thinks he sees a figure hiding in the shadows, and then our narrator himself glimpses an unnatural stranger crossing the deck. The incidents escalate in frequency and significance, horrifying in due course the entire crew.

Two of Hodgson's four novels eschew dialogue entirely, so it's surprising to find that this one is built around the worried conver...more
Ken
Another suspenseful novel by Hodgson involving ordinary people against quasi-demonic hordes. My big complaint with this book is that clearly Hodgson is an accomplished seaman, and he doesn't dumb down the jargon for readers not familiar with sailing vessels. Consequently, I couldn't fully follow the action; I could only get a general sense of what was going on.
Tomas
Una lectura entretenida y una buena muestra de terror clásico, con todos los elementos que más tarde serán bases del género. Narrado en primera persona y con un fuerte carácter oral (el narrador lo está relatando a un público -del que llegamos a sentirnos parte- en forma de "relato enmarcado") emplea la jerga y el modo de hablar y de actuar propio de un marino, transmitiendo sensación de verismo. La profusión de términos naúticos lastra un poco la narración, sobre todo al principio, habida cuent...more
Maureen
A lot of the language, nautical terms the men use in describing the ship, were lost on me, but you can get a good idea of what he's talking about, even if you've never set foot on a ship. Chilling in the overt evil, and the men's loss of control of their own fate.
arg/machine
This freaky novel is now in the public domain, with a free electronic copy available here.
Luckngrace
A classic ghost story, great for readers of short books, scary but not heart-attack scary. Can probably read in a day or two, I did.
Boris
Another delightful tale of nautical horror from William Hope Hodgson.
Alison
An old ghost story, which is well worth a read.
Joel Alicea
This is the last installment in what is called Trilogy Of The Abyss or Hodgson Trilogy. But you should know that even though its very author regards them as a trilogy, in fact this three novels- The Boats Of The Glen Carrig, The House On The Borderland and The Ghost Pirates- may be read in any order whatsoever, because they are very different in scope and theme; although the first and the last one have the same setting, the sea, the stories are very different. So, having said that, I must defini...more
Phil
As with "The Boats of the 'Glen Carrig'", William Hope Hodgson makes excellent use of his experience as a sailor, serving up an atmospheric ghost story. Apart from the nautical theme, however, "The Ghost Pirates" is a very different book from "The Boats of the 'Glen Carrig'", and in some ways an inferior one.

The highlights of this book are without a doubt the dialogue and the atmosphere. "The Boats of the 'Glen Carrig'" lacked any spoken dialogue, so its inclusion here is a nice change. The jarg...more
Rachel Kiernan
The Ghost Pirates has been described by horror writer Robert Weinberg as "one of the finest examples of the tightly written novel ever published." This is among the reasons I chose to read this novel.

Indeed, this is an excellent example of a horror novel that can thoroughly tell its story in an even-toned and steady pace, accomplishing more in fewer pages than most novels in its genre can accomplish in a much longer format. It is a classic tale of a haunted ship, made more authentic by its seaf...more
Andrew
Hodgson's extensive use of nautical terminology makes this novel a challenging read for anyone not well-versed in the subject. The narrative itself is not terribly horrifying or suspenseful, though it does manage to capture some of the apprehension involved in a mysterious haunting. Hodgson's attempts at emulating the characters' dialect also detract from the work and slow down the reader's comprehension of the plot. For the general horror fan constrained solely to reading this author, I would r...more
Rachel
I chose this book while I was waiting in line at the library. It just seemed like it might be interesting. A cursed/haunted ship is sailing to hire a new crew, and there is a question as to whether the stories of haunting are true or just myth. I'm not sure what the point of the book was, or if it even had one, other than kind of an interesting X-Files flavor to the whole thing.
Isaac
Again a solid horror novel with a paradoxically "realistic" portrayal of the unreal. Although it was a little to focused for my tastes compared to Hodgeson's other novels. The entire story takes place on one Ship with a single mystery assailing the crew.

P.S. Make sure your nautical vocabulary is up to scratch.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glossary...
Wayne
This is an extended ghost story, set on a sailing ship. It was quite well written -- in the way the story was told, the pacing, the slow increase in tension and terror, the whole sense of place on the ship.

If you like ghost stories or ship stories, then you should read this. Right after finishing this book, I picked up a couple of Hodgson's other books.
Morgan
This is an entertaining book, but I recommend keeping a ship diagram or reference book handy to keep up with the story. Overall I'd say this book is one which should be read right before bed. It's very light reading material, but the plot and premise are just inventive enough to hold your attention.
Mark Gelula
A fun book of sailing and nautical intrigue from the late 19th c. This is the 3rd of a trilogy. Some think the series early SF. I think it was more metaphysical. I enjoyed it. Great imagery, excellent first person narrative. A good story and lots of nautical terms.
Devero
Una grande storia d'orrore e di mare. Decisamente bella, nella sua semplicità, con una costruzione dell'atmosfera che Lovecraft gli invidiava, fino all'escalation finale.
Tasha
Who can resist a book titled GHOST PIRATES? Unfortunately I thought it was pretty boring. Okay, the ghosts kill people! Let's move on!
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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...
The House on the Borderland Carnacki, the Ghost Finder The Night Land The Boats of the 'Glen Carrig' The Collected Fiction, Vol. 2: The House on the Borderland and Other Mysterious Places

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