Saturday, 21 November 2009

The Sound of the Borderland

I seem to be banging the drum long and loud for BBC 7 these days. So be it. I've sort of given up on the telly - I can do without it, so I do. Radio I can listen to while I think, type, doze, eat crisps, sew on a button, and still miss nothing. And BBC 7 does usually have a good spooky or weird tale on the go.

One very good reading is of William Hope Hodgson's odd, hard-to-define novel The House on the Borderland. I've never been quite sure of Hodgson. He has many admirers and his best work is powerful. But his style is starchy and his ideas are often maddeningly vague. THotB is probably his most accessible book. The central idea - of a strange house besieged by weird 'swine things' - really stays with you, as does the rather Wellsian cosmic reverie of the unreliable narrator.

Oh, and did I mention this reading is by Jim Norton? Yes, Bishop Brennan himself. Wonderful voice.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I am very fond of THE HOUSE ON THE BORDERLAND, and of Hodgson's work in general. No other author, save Lovecraft and Clark Ashton Smith, painted the cosmos as such a vicious and brutal chaos in which mankind, a mere footnote in the scheme of things, is unfortunate to exist in. THE HOUSE ON THE BORDERLAND, especially, holds an unaccountable fascination for me: it seems a remarkable fusion of the stupendous cosmic vistas of H.G. Wells and Olaf Stapledon and the brooding supernatural horror of Machen, Blackwood, Lovecraft, and Poe, a style which is rarely encountered, and even today is still unique.
I really appreciate this blog and is connexions; it is an inviting sanctuary in times when all that is supernatural, mystical, and mysterious is in danger vanishing completely.