The House on the Borderland and Other Novels

William Hope Hodgson
The House on the Borderland and Other Novels Cover

The House on the Borderland and Other Novels


The Fantasy Masterworks version of this is actually three short novels and a slightly longer fourth novel. The four stories all have very similar themes and styling.

Story 1, The Boats of the 'Glen Carrig' sets the scene with some shipwrecked sailors adrift on the ocean, beset by sea-monsters and unseen menace. Running out of both food and water, you would think finding land would be a godsend, but the land is as treacherous as the ocean. I liked this one a lot.

Story 2, The House on the Borderland, recounts a tale found in a manuscript in an old broken down house. A man, living in a remote house, travels through time or space (or possibly both) in his dreams, where he encounters many monsters. Unfortunately, when he awakes he finds the monsters have followed him home. Again, I really liked this story.

Story 3, The Ghost Pirates. The language was a little off-putting in this one, and at times I found it hard to follow. I thought this one was the creepiest of the four stories.

Story 4, The Night Land. The language in this one was even harder to follow. I did not like the change to old-fashioned English here. I found this story fairly tedious, being one long travelogue - I went here, I did this, then I did that, then this happened and went over there. Oh, and it is also excessively sexist. The female character in this story is very rarely even allowed a name, just called 'the Maid' or 'Mine Own', and she was at all times very loving and weak, but having an impetuous nature she occasionally requires a good whipping to keep her in line. Yes I am aware this was written a long time ago, but seriously, I nearly threw the book away in disgust at that.

So to sumerise, the last story is a complete miss for me, however the first three were quite entertaining.