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

Who Murdered Mr. Malone?

Garden Girls Christian Cozy Mystery Series Book 1
Hope Callaghan

Who Murdered Mr. Malone? Book 1 of the Garden G... Read more

Cover image for manybooks.net - Reviewed Titles

Phantasia

Book One: Into the Rain
M.U. Riyadad

After finding the body of a dragon in a metalli... Read more

Cover image for manybooks.net - Reviewed Titles

Fearsome

Fearsome Series Book 1
S.A. Wolfe

*This is a stand-alone book in the Fearsome Ser... Read more

Cover image for manybooks.net - Reviewed Titles

Nano Contestant

Episode 1: Whatever It Takes
Leif Sterling

Fans of the Hunger Games and Sci-Fi Thrillers will... Read more

Cover image for manybooks.net - Reviewed Titles

Anais of Brightshire

The Blood Mage Chronicles Book 1
Jamie Wilson

While rumors of monsters rising in the south bring... Read more

Cover image for manybooks.net - Reviewed Titles

Sound of Sirens

Tales of Skylge #1
Jen Minkman

On the island of Skylge, electricity is only fo... Read more

(Promote your book here)