Reviews by Anthony Staines

Carnacki, The Ghost Finder

by William Hope Hodgson

This is Hodgson's best work, or so critics generally agree. His creation, Carnacki, arrogant, cynical, rude and opinionated, is the most memorable character in his books.

The stories themselves are a mix of detective stories, where fake ghosts and hauntings are uncovered, and some truly horrifying stories of real ghosts. Hodgson is not a major literary figure, but these stories will live on for the sheer force of his imagination.

Reviewed on 2005.06.22

The Night Land

by William Hope Hodgson

This is Hodgson's longest book, and perhaps the one that grates most against modern sensibilities. It is in form a love story, told as a dream of the very far future, by a narrator whose beloved wife, Midrath, has just died in (roughly) Hodgson's time.

The dream serves only as an introduction to one of the strangest romances ever written, set far in the future, when humanity survivies only in one heavily fortified enclave - the Redoubt.

The writing and dialogue are self-consciously archaic. A short excerpt gives the general idea -
"In my earliest knowledge of that place, I was a youth, seventeen years grown, and my memory tells me that when first I waked, or came, as it might be said, to myself, in that Future, I stood in one of the embrasures of the Last Redoubt--that great Pyramid of grey metal which held the last millions of this world from the Powers of the Slayers."

Five hundred pages of this might seem hard going, but Hodgson's extraordinary imagination draws the reader in. Many of the themese are similar to those in his 'House on the Borderland', but this is a far more detailed and extensive elaboration of his vision.

The love is between the future narrator and the Maid, and their relationship seems very odd by our standards. Hodgson was himself a physically and morally brave man, who espouses in this book a kind of chivalric ideal, of male physical dominance, and female moral dominance. The relationship betweeen Launcelot and the Maid of Shallot in Malory is perhaps a more familiar model.

The Night Land is very strange, but also memorable, visionary and ultimately enchanting. If you like Hodgson's other stuff - read this too, you won't regret it.

Reviewed on 2005.06.22

more reviews ->

(advanced)
login | register

User ID

Password

reset password

Help ManyBooks by sharing this page!

See it as donating a moment of your social media time, every little thing helps us improve and stay online.

Featured Books

Cover image for manybooks.net - Reviewed Titles

Valkyrie's Vengeance

Loki's Wolves Book 0
Melissa Snark

Fans of paranormal and urban fantasy will enjoy... Read more

Cover image for manybooks.net - Reviewed Titles

The Titan Drowns: Time Travel Romance

New Atlantis Time Travel Romance Book 6
Nhys Glover

2013 SFR GALAXY AWARD WINNER

"Heroism and... Read more

Cover image for manybooks.net - Reviewed Titles

Helga: Out of Hedgelands

Wood Cow Chronicles Book 1
Rick Johnson

VOLUME ONE in the WOOD COW CHRONICLES series. <... Read more

Cover image for manybooks.net - Reviewed Titles

Chausiku

Nightmare of the Clans Book One
Pamela E. Cash

There are six secret clans across the world–Afr... Read more

Cover image for manybooks.net - Reviewed Titles

Mademoiselle At Arms

A Georgian Romance
Elizabeth Bailey

Set in the late Georgian era, Elizabeth Bailey’... Read more

Cover image for manybooks.net - Reviewed Titles

The Tales of Tim Hurtletuta - New Beginnings

Tales of Tim Hurtletuta Series, Book 1
Matthew James Wilkins

"Tim Hurtletuta has forgotten something. He can... Read more

Cover image for manybooks.net - Reviewed Titles

After the Cure

Deirdre Gould

Eight years ago the December Plague swept throu... Read more

Cover image for manybooks.net - Reviewed Titles

The Unveiling

Book One (Age of Faith 1)
Tamara Leigh

12th century England: Two men vie for the thron... Read more

Cover image for manybooks.net - Reviewed Titles

Healing Her Heart

Crystal Lake Series Book 1
Laura Scott

Dr. Gabe Allen has a rule about dating colleagues... Read more

Cover image for manybooks.net - Reviewed Titles

Never A Choice

The Choices Trilogy #1
Dee Palmer

Bethany Thorne has secrets and she’s told a few... Read more

(Promote your book here)

SUBSCRIBE TO MANYBOOKS 

FREE EBOOKS 

Join 120,000+ fellow readers! Get Free eBooks and book bargains from ManyBooks in your inbox. 

We respect your email privacy