The House on the Borderland by William Hope Hodgson
The House on the Borderland is a supernatural horror novel, set in Ireland. It begins in very early 20thCentury when a pair of fishermen, discover a few scant remains of “The House” and a journal. The bulk of the novel then is the journals content, set in probably the very early 19thCentury, told by a recluse who inhabited the house.
The unnamed narrator buys the house for a song, owing to its mysterious and sinister legend. He lives with his spinster sister and dog Pepper. Shortly after inhabiting the house he begins to experience bizarre visions – perhaps hallucinations – but eventually, the fantastic manifestations leave unmistakable physical evidence. He is at times, transported through time and space, to the extremes of the cosmos. He encounters the spiritual presence of a long-lost love, and does battle with a herd of intelligent, but clearly malevolent swine-creatures.
I was looking forward to this read, as it was quite unknown to me and somewhat obscure to modern readers. I was quite disappointed. It was at times, riveting when I was scared for the narrator’s life, but overall I felt it was just a series of amazing events, leading to an amazing culmination, without a cohesive point.
I give it 2 ½ of 5 stars
But don’t take my word for it. Smarter readers I love it, including H. P. Lovecraft and Terry Pratchett. Have you read The House on the Borderland? What did you think?