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The House on the Borderland

3.66  ·  Rating details ·  5,239 ratings  ·  628 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 10th 2006 by Echo Library (first published 1908)
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3.66  · 
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 ·  5,239 ratings  ·  628 reviews


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Evgeny
Jan 21, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
Another short read between big buddy reads - another miss; details follow. Two guys found some ruins in an isolated spot in Ireland (I strongly suspect such places do not exist anymore). The place was gloomy, oppressive, and just plain spooky. The only thing to find - other than stones - was a manuscript which content makes up the whole story except for the first and last chapters.

So the manuscript's author bought this house and moved in. After some time paranormal events began taking place. Th
...more
Lyn
Dec 01, 2011 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.

description
Henry Avila
Aug 05, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In an isolated area of West 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 then. Two strangers came 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 plent ...more
Karl
The cover and interior illustrations are by John Coulthart, accompanied by a newly commissioned soundtrack by Jon Mueller. Not stopping there, Alan Moore contributed a new introduction, while Iain Sinclair is looking after the afterword. Everyone who participated in this project has a passion for Hodgson’s cosmic masterwork. As an added bonus, the book will be fully signed by all contributors.

The book is signed by:

John Coulthart
Iain Sinclair
Alan Moore
with a facsimile signature by William Hope H
...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
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
Char
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
...more
Mir
Mar 13, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Well, that was odd.

I'm using odd as a fairly neutral term, here. This story was bizarre, but not in a way that was thought-provoking or funny. AS a whole the story never really went anywhere. (Seriously, why even include a lost Love if she only gets a couple paragraphs?) It had mildly interesting bits, and the swine-things were creepy. The cosmic descriptions were too long and got boring, but otherwise, it was okay, I guess.

The strange, isolated house, the mysterious crevice, and the atmosphere
...more
Caleb
Dec 11, 2008 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
...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
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
...more
Arinn Dembo
Nov 14, 2011 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
...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
Sophie
Jul 03, 2015 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.
Mark
Dec 30, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 / 5

Recommended to me by The Gentleman From Providence himself, HP Lovecraft, this is, like many of Lovecraft's, one of those Was The Author Mad stories. It happened that just as I began this, a smoke detector in my building, in an apartment I have no access to, began chirping loudly day and night, begging to have its battery changed. I've reported it countless times over the past week but have yet to see any resolution. The chirping is rhythmic and over very little time could serve to drive
...more
Ubik
Jan 19, 2009 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
Sandy
Aug 18, 2011 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
Robert Adam Gilmour
Not just one of my favourite books but one of my favourite things in general. Powerful imagery, a great setting, heavy atmosphere, some really chilling moments and an incredible sense of scale. I love stories that have a completely unpredictable sequence of events and give a sense that hundreds of bizarre things could have happened.

My only real complaint is I wish it were longer and had more creatures of different types. No matter how much more Hodgson could have shown, there would always be a
...more
Bruce
Mar 13, 2009 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
Jean-marcel
Apr 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Scott
Nov 11, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, 1900s, edwardian
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
Terence
Jan 30, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  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
Marts  (Thinker)
Mar 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Encompassing a tale from a discovered manuscript in a really strange far off place...
Jay
Jun 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
First, I'm amazed no one has seen fit to adapt this novel to film. Second, I've read this novel multiple times since I bought the 35-cent Ace Books edition at a drugstore in Mayville, NY when I was 13. You never forget it.

Now, if you were to combine H. P. Lovecraft, Julio Cortazar (his story "House Taken Over" may have been inspired by this book) with the siege mentality of "Straw Dogs" or "I am Legend" (book, not movie) you would have "The House on Borderland." Written over 100 years ago befor
...more
Peter
Jul 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
You will never forget the books as long as you live. Incredible visions inside. I don't know what the author took but it was very strong stuff. Incredible book!
Tristram Shandy
The House in the Boredomland

Okay, the actual title of the novel is The House on the Borderland but if I had been William Hope Hodgson’s editor, I would probably have wanted him to change it in the way indicated above. After all, a reader has a right to know what he is in for. I started this little book with high expectations, having been told that if you like Blackwood or Lovecraft – which I do, though Lovecraft not to the same degree as Blackwood –, this is an insider’s tip.

The first chapter st
...more
Oleksandr Zholud
This book was written in 1907 and was one of the progenitors of horror genre. Two travelers find a strange grimoire in Ireland. The story told in this manuscript has a lot of SF elements, like travel to distant worlds and through the time, meeting strange creatures, looking to old myths with new interpretations, etc. At the same time there is clearly a Lovecraftian feel to it (I actually read very little of him, but the style is similar).

I guess the difference between horrors and SF lies not in
...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
Will Macmillan Jones
Some classic moments

A very literary horror story embodying elements that have now become tropes. A slow, creeping dread fills the pad as the visitors to the village explore the supernatural ruins
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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
“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.” 8 likes
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