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The Ghost Pirates

3.58  ·  Rating Details ·  639 Ratings  ·  67 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.
Paperback, Dennis Wheatley Library of the Occult, 159 pages
Published 1975 by Sphere Books Limited (first published 1909)
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Henry Avila
Sep 25, 2016 Henry Avila rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There is something strange about the sailing ship, the Mortzestus, people in hush voices give hints, on the beach, to him, in San Francisco, at the turn of the century, ( 20th that is) but do not say what, it does feel vaguely uneasy when Mr. Jessop, signs on board, rumors or no rumors, he misses home, England, still baffling though, why all the previous crew has deserted the vessel, even the officers, except one, young Williams, a British man, who wants to be paid, and he tells the curious sail ...more
Sandy
Aug 18, 2011 Sandy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Cheryl
Jul 07, 2015 Cheryl rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"The thing, whatever it was, had come more forward over the rail; but now, before the light, it recoiled with a queer, horrible litheness. It slid back, and down, and so out of sight. I have only a confused notion of a wet glistening Something, and two vile eyes."
Stefania
libretto e autore per me sconosciuti ma che si sono rivelati molto carini.
però non leggetelo di sera, io continuo ancora a girarmi indietro per vedere se c'è qualche fantasma alle mie spalle!
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
Chuck
Oct 31, 2014 Chuck rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4-stars
I liked this one a lot. I wish I could find more of this "hauntings at sea" type of thing. The only drawback was all the nautical terminology I wasn't sure about. Overall, it was a great Halloween read.
ein Leichter
Jul 29, 2010 ein Leichter rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Joel Ayala Alicea
Dec 01, 2013 Joel Ayala Alicea rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the last installmente in what later came to be known as Trilogy of the abyss or Hodgson trilogy. But the reader should know that even though its very author regarded them as a trilogy the 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 differ in scope and theme; although the first and the last one share a common setting, the sea, the stories are quite different. So, having said, I must defin ...more
Nikki
Aug 14, 2009 Nikki rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, horror
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
Ben Loory
Jul 17, 2012 Ben Loory rated it liked it
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.
Doreen Petersen
Quick easy read. I liked it.
Jayaprakash Satyamurthy
Jul 29, 2014 Jayaprakash Satyamurthy rated it really liked it
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
Cathy
Dec 29, 2016 Cathy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Ghost Pirates: a truly riveting ghost story, set aboard an increasingly deadly tall ship with shadows that come to life after the sun has set. Not since the Woman in White have I read such wonderfully well written spooky tale.

The effect was even better having recently researched the architecture of tall ships. Without that basic knowledge of sail and mast names, the story would've lost some of its effectiveness. But I could see in my head how high they would've climbed to reach the gallant
...more
Michael
Nov 21, 2009 Michael rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Justin
Feb 25, 2011 Justin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
Brian
Jul 10, 2012 Brian rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jun 01, 2011 Scott Whitney rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Ken
Nov 16, 2010 Ken rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, library
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.
Maureen
Nov 17, 2009 Maureen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 27, 2011 arg/machine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This freaky novel is now in the public domain, with a free electronic copy available here.
Luckngrace
May 16, 2010 Luckngrace rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
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
Feb 28, 2011 Boris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another delightful tale of nautical horror from William Hope Hodgson.
Jason Schneeberger
This book was extremely lame! Ugh, I'm glad it was short and I didn't waste too much time on it.
Alison
May 16, 2011 Alison rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An old ghost story, which is well worth a read.
Nancy
Nov 29, 2016 Nancy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a good book how ever I do wish the author had done more to make it more interesting. I look forward to reading more of this author's work.
Robert Adam Gilmour
The best written and least flawed of Hodgson's novels but also the least essential. Still very much worth your time. The build-up and the ending are good.
Maico Morellini
Aug 08, 2016 Maico Morellini rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
La cosa più sorprendente dei grandi autori weird (o bizzarri) del passato è quanto il presente sia debitore nei loro confronti. Di William H. Hodgson e dei suoi racconti ho già parlato ma con ‘I Pirati Fantasma’ è arrivata la conferma della particolarità di questo autore.
Il romanzo (o racconto lungo, secondo l’editore ma per struttura e numero di battute secondo me si può guadagnare a buon titolo il nome di romanzo) si svolge a bordo della Mortzestus, una nave che durante il suo viaggio a Capo H
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Jonathan
Dec 10, 2012 Jonathan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Ghost Pirates by William Hope Hodgson (1909): William Hope Hodgson's brilliant short novel of the sea and its terrors is a fine, tightly plotted work of horror and disquieting weirdness. A careful, fairly slow build of suspense climaxes in a rapid-fire and horrifying climax.

Hodgson's early days as a merchant sailor come into full play in this tale of the cargo ship Mortzestus, plying the seas some time early in the 20th century or late in the 19th. The Mortzestus is a sailing ship on an Atl
...more
R. B. Kiernan
Jan 30, 2013 R. B. Kiernan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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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
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