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Carnacki, the Ghost Finder Paperback – December 6, 2007
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Top Customer Reviews
What's even better is that these stories were written by William Hope Hodgson (much admired by H. P. Lovecraft) in the early part of the 20th century (around 1910), so it still has that incredible Victorian feeling of horror, shrouded in antiquity and mystery, with a fantastic and classically spooky atmosphere. Basically, for gothic gaslight ambience, this is one of the most satisfying books you can read. Since it was actually written so long ago, it has none of the modern contrivances you find in books written today set back in that time.
There are a couple of different versions of Carnacki the Ghost Finder. One has only 5 stories, some have 6, and some have 9. I've read both the 6 story and 9 story version; obviously you should try and procure the 9 story version, which adds The Hog, The Haunted Jarvee, and The Find.
Of the stories, all of them are great reading, but my favorites are "The House Among the Laurels," one of the best haunted house short stories I've ever read, and the very Lovecraftian (though Hodgson pre-dates Lovecraft) "The Whistling Room." Other good stories include "The Gateway of the Monster" in which Carnacki bites off more than he can chew in a demonic encounter; "The Searcher of the End House," a frenetic search for the truth behind a ghost, and the unsettling "The Hog," and the nicely done atmospherics of "The Haunted Jarvee."
But the whole book is great. Check it out if you love that classic gothic atmosphere in your stories.
The short stories have two narrators. A friend of Carnacki named Dodgson (ie Hodgson) "frames" each tale with a brief, almost identical beginning and ending. The cases, narrated by the Ghost Finder himself to an intimate group of four friends, are stories within stories. The effect is to focus all the attention on Carnacki's own activities and, especially, his self-described emotions of fear and courage in the face of the "Creature, Monster, or Thing" of the "Outer World" that he's investigating. The central event in each story is Carnacki's vigil in the haunted location and the terrifying experience that he undergoes. This core event usually takes place in utter darkness. That leaves us with Carnacki's own description of what he hears, faintly sees, senses (and, at length, of the terror he feels) while waiting for the supposed ghost to manifest itself.
I did enjoy reading the stories, but in the end I felt cheated. Because Carnacki describes the events after the fact, we know he survives them. No suspense there. Worse, the characters of the victims who are terrorized by the phenomena are incidental, barely sketched out and thus elicit no empathy for their terror. As a result, the stories depend too heavily for their effect on Carnacki's account of his own feelings of terror. It's as if Hodgson tries to scare his reader by shouting "Be Afraid!" It didn't work for me.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A series of "ripping yarns" as they'd say in a book such as, well, a book such as this. The tales of a valiant late 19th Century gentleman of leisure, Carnacki,... Read morePublished 7 days ago by Steve
Kindle edition only contains the first 6 short stories. It does NOT contain the last three stories as shown in the Kindle preview.Published 2 months ago by Radar Blip
Several great short stories. Not really scary by today's standards but much better than today's blood and gore horror. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Richard Fisher
These are wonderfully stories with a bit of the supernatural. You always want to see the solution at the end of the story. Carnacki is a fabulous character.Published 13 months ago by Valerie
Carnacki, the Ghost Finder was originally published back in 1913 and bears some similarities to the works of HP Lovecraft. Read morePublished 15 months ago by David Swan
Worth it for The Whistling Room, otherwise take it in small doses. The stories do get repetitive and a few are pretty stupid.Published 17 months ago by Keith Whitcomb Jr
Not a good read, couldn't get through the first couple pagesPublished 20 months ago by Honesty is the best policy!!!