0177 | The House on the Borderland – William Hope Hodgson

Context: Listened to this from librivox.org as we moved from Piddington back to Bar Hill.

REVIEW
Get a good look at that cover because that’s as scary as this ‘tale of terror’ is going to get.

For most of this, I was bored out of my mind.

It wasn’t just that nothing really happened, it was that what did happen was neither scary nor made much sense nor was particularly well written.

Nor was it helped by the fact that it consisted almost entirely of a narration of a book discovered near the start of the story. Ever since narration was introduced to me with Heart of Darkness, I’ve hated its pointless employment and it seems to be very popular with novels from Hodgson’s era.

The story is about a house that has piggy things that attack it, the narrator going on wild flights of hallucinatory happenings and a suspected zombie or two. There’s no real point to it all, as far as I could make out and it’s about as terrifying as picking your nose.

Wikipedia describes this as a milestone in literature. That may be so, but like all milestones, they’re boring to look at in detail when you just want to get to your destination.

FIRST LINE
Right away in the west of Ireland lies a tiny hamlet called Kraighten.

CLOSING LINE
And the noise of the water rises upward, and blends—in my sleep—with other and lower noises; while, over all, hangs the eternal shroud of spray.

RATING
rubbish | poor | mediocre | okay | good | very good | excellent | superb

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