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Carnacki The Ghost Finder

3.78  ·  Rating details ·  1,381 Ratings  ·  154 Reviews
Carnacki, the Ghost-Finder is a collection of supernatural detective short stories by author William Hope Hodgson. It was first published in 1913 by the English publisher Eveleigh Nash. In 1947, a new edition of 3,050 copies was published by Mycroft & Moran and included three additional stories. The Mycroft & Moran version is listed as No. 52 in Queen's Quorum: A H ...more
242 pages
Published May 2nd 1974 by Sphere Books Limited (first published 1913)
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Bill  Kerwin

Not as good as his "House on the Borderlands," but enjoyable and worthwhile nonetheless. These stories improve in quality as the book progresses, beginning with the hackneyed gothic claptrap of "The Thing Invisible" and ending with stories of true cosmic terror.

Carnacki himself is an interesting transitional figure, an eccentric bachelor in the Holmesian mode, who--although relying on his intellect and expertise--yet seems, at bottom, lonely and filled with self-doubt in the wake of his uncanny
...more
Gianfranco Mancini
Voto totale: 3,5

Il Portale del Mostro: 4 stelle

Una casa isolata.
Una Stanza Grigia in cui un'intera famiglia è morta strangolata.
Una porta chiusa che sbatte nel cuore della notte.
La mano assassina di un fantasma.

L'antologia inizia col botto con una gran bella storiella di orrore gotico.
Da brividi!

La Casa tra i Lauri: 3 stelle

Un castello infestato nell'Irlanda dell'Ovest.
Porte che si spalancano da sole.
Un soffitto che gronda sangue nella notte.

Ottimo l'incipit ed il twist finale, ma l'autore al
...more
David
Jan 04, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Edwardian ghost-hunters, detectives who hunt Cthulhu
William Hope Hodgson's stories were apparently published during the boom of detective fiction that followed the popularity of Sherlock Holmes, and Hodgson more or less follows Doyle's formula: each Carnacki story involves Carnacki going to investigate some unusual occurrence and using detective work to figure out what's going on. The difference is that Carnacki uses occult techniques as well as "scientific" instruments such as the "Electric Pentacle," and some of his cases actually turn out to b ...more
Simon
Starting off strong, I was struck by the effectiveness of Hodgson's writing. He tells a good ghost story, if not as subtle and gradual a build up as M.R. James, they are more tense and frightening, the supernatural forces (indeed, when they were supernatural) more malignant.

But after a while the foibles of his writing began to grate a little. For instance the tendency of Carnacki to constantly ask his listeners/reader "Do you follow?", "Can you possibly understand what I am trying to convey?", e
...more
Sandy
Aug 18, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
British author William Hope Hodgson's "Carnacki the Ghost-Finder" first saw the light of day in 1913. Consisting of six short stories, drawn from the pages of "The Idler" and "The New Magazine," the collection was ultimately expanded to include nine stories, these last three being discovered after Hodgson's early death, at age 40, in April 1918. In this fascinating group of tales, we meet Thomas Carnacki, a sort of occult investigator in Edwardian London. Just as Carnacki seems to be patterned o ...more
Pinkerton
Nov 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mettiamo subito in chiaro le cose, Carnacki mi piace, si inizia sempre con una bella cenetta fra amici e poi ci si accomoda in tutta tranquillità ad ascoltare un racconto avvincente (a quanto pare è quando si fa buio e arriva l’ora di andarsene che la tranquillità viene meno :P).
L’unico vero difetto che ho riscontrato è il non essere discorsivo: tra il rituale di Saaamaaa, il manoscritto di Sigsand, cerchi, pentacoli, marchingegni elettrici e quant’altro con cui si arrabatta… punti in cui sono
...more
J.G. Keely
Another paranormal investigator in the tradition of Van Helsing, Dr. Hesselius, and John Silence, I was curious to see what Hodgson would do with the idea, especially after reading his House on the Borderland and finding it to be refreshingly uncanny. Unfortunately, the Carnacki stories are so flat and formulaic that they add very little to the subgenre.

Every case follows the same pattern: a group of men gather at Carnacki's house and sit around for a bit before he suddenly launches into his s
...more
Arun Divakar
The old masters of horror writing have always excelled in creating the atmosphere which slowly creeps upon the reader. If as a reader, I were to imagine being trapped in a haunted house this is how such an author would have written it (in lay-prose perhaps) :

When I woke up in a cold sweat past two in the morning, I wasn't really sure what awakened me. The rain was still falling heavily outside and it drowned out all sounds. Well, not all of them for that was when I realized what awakened me was
...more
Lois Bujold
Aug 31, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Lois by: mentioned in another book
I wandered into this and a few more of its ilk via recs from the afterword of The Secret Casebook of Simon Feximal, which is among other things a pastiche of the period. That had an amusing bit featuring a club, the members of which are all assorted heroes of this then-popular genre. The edition of Carnacki I read was one of the, I believe, Project Gutenberg versions distributed for free on Amazon, and was well formatted and proofread.

It's done in a tales-told form, with the eponymous Carnacki y
...more
Oscar
W.H. Hodgson es conocido sobre todo por ser el mejor escritor de relatos de terror ambientados en el mar que ha habido. Pero en su obra también hay sitio para otro tipo de cuentos de terror. Dentro del género de lo fantástico y lo sobrenatural, existe un apartado bastante curioso, el dedicado a los investigadores de lo oculto. A todos nos vienen a la cabeza los nombres de Mulder y Scully, pero este curioso subgénero empezó mucho antes, con el Doctor Hesselius creado por el gran Sheridan Le Fanu. ...more
James
Dec 16, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thoroughly enjoyable series of Sherlock Holmes-meets-H.P. Lovecraft stories, written in the last years before WW1. An entirely disposable narrator re-relates the after-dinner stories of the eponymous Carnacki, an Edwardian flâneur who goes on holiday with his mother and has invented, in ingenious cod-occult detail, such essential ghost-hunting kit as the Electric Pentacle.

It is distinguished by three things. First is Carnacki’s insistence on relating the precise physiological symptoms of his own
...more
Felix
When darkness fell and I encountered the frightening Casebook of Carnacki hinted at in certain passages of the Sigsand manuscript, a dreadful and intense feeling of acute boredom overcame me. It was like gazing into the abyss of repetition but a gaze effected with my "psychical" and not my "physical" eyes. Do you understand me at all? I made the seventh sign of the Saaamaaa ritual and could only hope that my electric pentacle would keep the yawning at bay, that my defences would hold - not like ...more
Jayaprakash Satyamurthy


'Complaints continue to reach us from all parts of the country to the effect that Mr. W. HOPE HODGSON's "Carnacki" stories are producing a widespread epidemic of Nervous Prostration! So far from being able to reassure or calm our nervous readers, we are compelled to warn them that "The Whistling Room", which we publish this month, is worse than ever. Our advertising manager had to go to bed for two days after reading the advance sheets; a proof reader has sent in his resignation; and, worst of a
...more
Charles Dee Mitchell
Although he had his predecessors, Sherlock Holmes’ appearance in the 1880’s set the pattern for the scientific investigation of crime. It did not take long for an occult element to be added to the genre. Algernon Blackwood anthologized his John Silence stories in 1908. In 1913, William Hope Hodgson collected his tales of Carnacki, the Ghost Finder.

Hodgson relates his stories in fine Edwardian style. An unnamed narrator is part of a group of gentlemen who assemble when summoned to the London home
...more
F.R.
Sep 23, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this a lot, and at the end have the kind of feeling I would have had if I'd got to the end of 'The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes' and discovered there were no more stories.

True, some of the stories are hokey (particularly those where the hauntings are man-made, very Scooby Doo) and the character of Carnacki doesn't have much character at all.

However good horror runs through these stories, and the descriptions of the supernatural incidents are as spinetingling as any out there.

Recommend
...more
Karl Steel
Read this because Eugene Thacker uses some of it to good effect in In the Dust of This Planet .

I recommend several of the longer goodreads Carnacki reviews, which hit all the important points.

Odd to come at this after reading Lovecraft (or, for that matter, Ligotti). Unlike Lovecraft's heroes, Carnacki seems to have no special affinity for the otherworldly. He's a scientist, not a man of culture, and doesn't feel himself to be an outsider. There's nothing gothic or romantic about him, nor about
...more
Nev Murray
Nov 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favs
You're privileged again. 2 reviews of this one.

Review one: If you own a Kindle and read horror then you must get this......end of. IT IS FREE!!!!!!!

Review two: Thomas Carnacki is an Edwardian ghost hunter. Each time he goes on an adventure, when he returns he calls his 4 close friends Dodgson, Arkright, Jessop and Taylor to his house for dinner and a story. Carnacki is a very forthright chap. He is very set in his ways and can come across as curt in many instances but his friends keep coming bac
...more
Mohammed
Good collection of Carnacki stories, not William Hope Hodgson most compelling work but good enough written to enjoy the stories and the main character.
Ralph
It's important to remember these tales of Thomas Carnaki, the "Ghost Finder," were written prior to the Great War, a conflict which WH Hodgson did not outlive,dying in 1918 at Ypres. In that light, the narrative style, that of an after-dinner story told to a group of friends is very much in keeping with the era, the same form affected by Wells for "The Time Machine" and Conrad for "The Heart of Darkness." Actually, Carnaki's friends serve as naught but props for the telling of the story, for the ...more
Nerdish Mum
Review to follow.
Ray
Jan 11, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, edwardian
A disappointing collection overall. The main problem is that most of the stories are longwinded and boring. Hodgson clearly has a remarkable visual imagination but his pedestrian writing (at least in this collection) fails to convey his scenes with any vividness or excitement. Then there is the "fish or fowl" problem: some of Carnacki's cases are supernatural through and through; others appear to be supernatural at first but turn out to result entirely from human agency; while still others end u ...more
Del de la Mare
Dec 26, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-favourites
Loved this book, probably about 4th or 5th time I have read it. The Kindle version does not have 'The Hog' or 'The Haunted Jarvee' and 'The Find' but they are available separately.
My favourite stories are 'The Horse of the Invisible','Gateway of the Monster' and 'The Thing Invisible'.
I have read some criticisms of the style or nature of the writing, but I think you have to read books like this while bearing in mind that they are approximately one hundred years old.

Incidentally 'The Horse of the
...more
Annalisa
10-01 - GdL Agenzia investigativa Pinkerton
Bbrown
Oct 29, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hodgson’s Carnacki stories, despite featuring numerous affectations that add nothing, are kept intriguing by the question of whether the phenomena that Carnacki is experiencing are actually supernatural or whether they have a natural explanation (or if they’re a bit of both). This replaces the tension lost through Hodgson’s use of a frame narrative. These aren’t nearly as good as the mysteries of Sherlock Holmes, which Hodgson was obviously influenced by (especially evident in the story The Find ...more
Roberta
It's been sitting on my virtual shelf too long, and October is a good month to read about ghosts.
Carnacki is surprisingly modern, with all his paraphernalia such as electric pentacles and photo-apparatus, but he still manages to tremble as a maid in the dark.
Marianna
The gateway of the monster: 3*
The house among the laurels: 2*
The whistling room: 4*
The horse of the invisible: 4*
The searcher of the end house: 2*
The thing invisible: 3*
The hog: 4.5*
The haunted Jarvee: 5*
The find: 1*
Wonderful use of language, above all.
Michelle B
Free from Gutenberg. The stories are not bad. The pattern has Carnaki encounter a problem, solve it, then brag to his friends about how brilliant he was in doing so. The situations are interesting but Carnaki himself comes across as a blowhard and I don't think I'd enjoy an evening in his company.

I also admit I kept getting distracted because every time I thought about the name "Carnaki" my mind kept hearing Ed McMahon saying, "I hold in my hand the envelopes..."
Andy
Nov 10, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a good collection of classic-era horror tales that never insult the intelligence. Typically stories with this much action in them don't achieve the horrific in my experience, but these were often creepy, unsettling, a couple generate some cosmically horrific scenes I've rarely read about elsewhere.

The Gateway of the Monster - Pretty good little tale, has some moments that are creepy, all around one of the best. Carnacki is called in to investigate a haunted room with a door that slams a
...more
Jorge Roldán
No le pongo una nota alta porque Carnacki es lo más flojito que leí de Hodgson, pero hay intangibles que no puedo reflejar en esas tres estrellas y que quiero exponer en esta opinión.
Disfruté mucho Aguas Profundas y Los Piratas Fantasmas, por ejemplo, y tenía más expectativas con este personaje investigador de lo paranormal que me parecía que iba a dar mejores historias, aún cuando fueron publicadas en pulps en su tiempo, y en ese sentido se comprende el tono de las mismas.
La fórmula que utili
...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
More about William Hope Hodgson...