The House on the Borderland and Other Novels

William Hope Hodgson
The House on the Borderland and Other Novels Cover

The House on the Borderland and Other Novels


The House on The Borderland is a deserved classic. It is more a Gothic than a straight out horror story, but it also has elements of outright horror as well, especially the ending. H. P. Lovecraft says this book was a major influence on him and I can see that!

The story deals with an ill-omened manse set off by itself in the Irish countryside, and the man who buys it to live a solitary life after losing the love of his life. His only companions are his sister and his dog. The story relies on the old epistolary novel formula of being in the form of a diary found among the ruins of the aforementioned house.

The story builds on minor mysteries that the old man sees, which makes him decide to write of his stay. Those minor mysteries build and build until there is no denying there is something evil about the place.

My only complaint is near the 2/3 mark the story devolves into a dream-like section where the man soars through time and sees the end of the solar system and maybe the universe as well. This slowed the pace, at least for me, and knocked my rating down from a five star to a four. It picked back up after the dream-like section and ended with a proverbial bang.

Since this story was published in 1908, it clearly was a forerunner of many a horror story since.