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The House on the Borderland Paperback – August 22, 2009
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This classic novel of the weird supernatural, first published in 1908, was an important influence on H. P. Lovecraft. In the ruins of an ancient stone house in Ireland is found the diary of an elderly man who lived alone with his sister and their pets, and who longed for his lost love. The diary tells of how the man explores a cyclopean cavern beneath the house and fights off swarms of white pig-like monsters pouring up from below. Then, in a visionary sequence, he breaks through to an alternate space-time dimension and sees a doppelganger of his house on a vast desolate plain. The prose is hokey at times, but the strange mood evoked by the other-dimensional setting is powerful indeed. As acclaimed horror writer T. E. D. Klein says, "Never has a book so hauntingly conveyed a sense of terrible loneliness and isolation." --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
William Hope Hodgson's visionary 1908 novel The House on the Borderland proves fertile ground for legendary underground comix artist Richard Corben. It's the haunting tale of an accursed mansion teetering metaphorically between hallucinatory human visions and the dark bottomless pit of the human subconscious. In Revelstroke's adaptation, two young backpackers discover a decaying manuscript among the ancient ruins of a manor house in the remote Irish countryside. They read aloud from the moldy tome, invoking the horrible story of Hodgson's fictional narrator, Byron Gault, who tells a harrowing tale of inexplicable evil and violent struggle against terrors. In the winding cellar corridors of the decrepit house, Gault, his sister and their dog fight off savage attacks by cloven-hoofed half-humans erupting from the depths of the mansion's foundations. Or do they? Hodgson's hair-raising story brings into question the very sanity and reliability of the narrator himself. The nearly 40 pages of mystical descriptions from the original novel (i.e., an exploding sun and the notion of traveling the breadth of the universe in an instant) are judiciously adapted to the graphic novel format. Corben's moody color and dramatically illustrated panel sequences make this eerie book potent reading and a captivating tribute to the original novel. There is an introduction by noted comics writer Alan Moore.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top customer reviews
The story begins with two English gentlemen named Tonnison and Berreggnog who are taking a fishing trip to a remote Irish village. During their trip, they come across the ruins of a strange old house next to a lake where they find a partially dilapidated journal of someone whom they call The Recluse, who apparently lived in the house some time ago with his spinster sister and his faithful dog, Pepper. The journal details the increasingly bizarre and horrifying events occurring in the house and ends abruptly. The journal accounts for most of the book. After reading it the two men, already unnerved by the atmosphere around the old house agree never to return the the area.
The book does a good job of maintaining the feeling of unease and dread throughout the story. Even when the men have returned to the village proper, one is not completely at ease. The House on the Borderland is a pioneering classic of the cosmic horror genre.
Hodgson is very good at infusing his scenery with character. Both here and in his much longer book, The Night Land, it's the very earth that poses the challenges of evil. Here it is this pit underlying the comfortable, if ancient and imposing house that the narrator has moved into. The pit seems to be a kind of gateway, a passage for evil to enter our and the narrator's world. The house, figuratively both our and his dwelling, sits precariously on top of it.
The story itself moves along quickly, as a story within a story. It begins with the discovery of the narrator's manuscript in the ruins of the old house by two vacationers -- a trite mechanism, you might think, but remember that the book was first published in 1908.
I like Hodgson. Both this book and the other that I have read, The Night Land, are more than throw-away horror stories -- Hodgson uses the medium of the horror story to raise bigger questions about the precariousness of life and everything that is familiar and comfortable.