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The House on the Borderland (1908)

de William Hope Hodgson

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MembrosResenhasPopularidadeAvaliação médiaMenções
1,1953912,273 (3.42)154
From the beasts of the pit to the endless terror of the void A manuscript is found- filled with small, precise writing and smelling of pit-water, it tells the story of an old recluse and his strange home - and its even stranger, jade-green double, seen by the recluse on an otherworldly plain where gigantic gods and monsters roam. Soon his more earthly home is no less terrible than this bizarre vision, as swine-like creatures boil from a cavern beneath the ground and besiege it. But a still greater horror will face the recluse - more inexorable, merciless and awful than any creature that can be fought or killed.… (mais)
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Mostrando 1-5 de 39 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
I read this only knowing it was a classic horror tale, by an author who HP Lovecraft owes a huge debt of gratitude. As I finish, I still have no idea exactly what happened. The prose is creepy; the plot absolutely weird and utterly fascinating; a hard to pinpoint, palpable horror fills this entire piece. Definitely a tale which would help set HP Lovecraft onto his Cthulhu mythos and worth reading. ( )
  illmunkeys | Apr 22, 2021 |
*very slight spoilers ahead*

If Edgar Allan Poe and George Romero had a child in whom they were both slightly disappointed because he had fallen in with Stanley Kubrick and lots of psychedelic substances, it would be this book. A fever dream populated with possibly time-travelling pig men, a house that seems to be a portal through time and space, and the sad death of not one but TWO dogs. Weird in a definitely not good way. So yeah, that's a big NOPE from me. ( )
1 vote electrascaife | Jan 17, 2021 |
The House on the Borderland can be seen with or without a historic lens (changing the perspective to include era of creation, any repercussions it had on the later literary production, etc), as is the case with all of literature.

Seen on its own, de-historicised, this is a novel that has one main weakness, as far as I am concerned: the tediousness of the pure descriptive narrative that recounts the protagonist's cosmic experience through time (on the later half of the book – the same thing happens two times apart from this one, but on a lesser scale). Page after page, paragraph after paragraph, of plazas and vistas, which if taken on their own they have quite a majestic strength. But as they are presented in the novel, forming a long-winded narrative with no respite, their inherent awe and fascination tend to be watered down; a constant barrage does wonders to chip away intensity, especially when this barrage consists of phantasmagorical alien landscapes and apocalyptic mirages. Even the language itself works here against the reader, becoming quite tiring in all its ornamental character. In this concern the book reminded me somewhat of John Uri Lloyd's Etidorhpa, whose main part tends is also a lonely journey in an almost alien world, with strange spectacles and alien landscapes.

As far as the story itself is concerned, it is satisfyingly vague, leaving a number of threads unexplained, twisting a bit through the corridors of Time in unorthodox ways, and evoking a sense of the Weird. The framed format (the main story is a manuscript found by two characters) is a nice touch, sprinkled throughout with notes by the character(s) that read it, so as to keep reminding and reinforcing the sense of encapsulation.

From a historical point of view the book is groundbreaking. Its crossover nature, a hybrid of gothic horror and science fiction, is quite remarkable for its year of release. The use of hard science in conjunction with the spiritual somewhat mirrors the spiritualist movement of the Victorian era (whose spawn this book is), a movement trying to reintroduce the paranormal under a scientific guise (see the protagonist's scientific comments concerning the life and death of stars, as well as the notes on the manuscript), so as to make it more acceptable by a world rationalized. H.P. Lovecraft has praised the HotB, and with good reason if one thinks of his most exotic descriptions of alien worlds. The same holds for Clark Ashton Smith. As far as I am concerned, this style is not my cup of tea, neither when done by Hodgson, nor when done by the aforementioned two horror giants. But, this is one of the earliest specimen of cosmic horror. And for that its influence and importance cannot be overstated.

So, for those who love Ashton Smith's and Lovecraft's space/alien stories, and are not tired by them, nor do they see some of their paragraphs getting hazy in front of their eyes due to the monotony of the descriptions, the House on the Borderland is an absolute must. For all others, it is a rather tedious read, alas, with a pretty huge historical importance. On its own, de-historicised, I'd rate it 3/5, but in historical context it is easily a 4 out of 5 stars. ( )
3 vote Athotep | Sep 26, 2020 |
I listened to this book while on an Internship. Thank you, William Hope Hodgson, for giving me something to do 107 years after you published this book. ( )
  bhiggs | May 12, 2020 |
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 on him). After the protagonist returns to his body things go bat-shit crazy. There are some phenomenally scary scenes and wild things going on.

Then, another long interval (another OOB experience?) that was just weird. I enjoyed this section because it really delved into space. The amount of knowledge displayed by this author about our solar system and how it works is amazing since this book was written in the early 1900s.

All in all though, I enjoyed this story. I would recommend it to anyone interested in Lovecraft. ( )
  Charrlygirl | Mar 22, 2020 |
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Nome do autorFunçãoTipo de autorObra?Status
William Hope Hodgsonautor principaltodas as ediçõescalculado
Coulthart, JohnArtista da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Emshwiller, EdArtista da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
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Right away in the west of Ireland lies a tiny hamlet called Kraighten. (Chapter I)
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From the beasts of the pit to the endless terror of the void A manuscript is found- filled with small, precise writing and smelling of pit-water, it tells the story of an old recluse and his strange home - and its even stranger, jade-green double, seen by the recluse on an otherworldly plain where gigantic gods and monsters roam. Soon his more earthly home is no less terrible than this bizarre vision, as swine-like creatures boil from a cavern beneath the ground and besiege it. But a still greater horror will face the recluse - more inexorable, merciless and awful than any creature that can be fought or killed.

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