Thursday, March 3, 2016

The Ghost Pirates and Others: The Best of William Hope Hodgson: edited by Jeremy Lassen (2012)



The Ghost Pirates and Others: The Best of William Hope Hodgson: edited by Jeremy Lassen (2012): containing the following stories: 


  • The Ghost Pirates (1909): Brilliant short novel of the sea and its terrors is a fine, tightly plotted work of horror and disquieting weirdness. A careful, fairly slow build of suspense climaxes in a rapid-fire and horrifying climax. See full review here. 
  • A Tropical Horror (1905): Monsters from the sea attack a sailing ship. Gruesome stuff.
  • The Sea Horses (1913): Bittersweet but overlong and a bit treacly modern folktale set at sea.
  • The Searcher of the End House (1910): One of the weaker Carnacki the Ghost-Finder stories seems an odd choice.
  • The Stone Ship (1914): More weird but pseudo-scientifically plausible events at sea. Really a nice little tale of mounting terror.
  • The Voice in the Night (1907): You'll know what movies have lifted the central premise of this horror story once you read it. Probably Hodgson's most-reprinted piece.
  • Eloi Eloi Lama Sabachthani  (1919): Unusual tale set on land applies really, really odd pseudoscience to the events of Christ's crucifixion. The last few paragraphs are the most Machensque writing Hodgson ever did.
  • The Mystery of the Derelict (1907): Yet more weird but psuedo-scientifically plausible events at sea. Actually, remove the 'pseudo.' This could actually happen. Also one of Hodgson's tales of the Sargasso Sea. 
  • We Two and Bully Dunkan (1914): Humourous tale of revenge on the high seas. Certainly shows Hodgson's range.
  • The Shamraken Homeward-Bounder (1908): Odd, almost fabulistic sea tale.
  • Demons of the Sea (1923): Monsters from the sea attack a sailing ship. A minor work.
  • Out of the Storm (1909): Strange, disturbing tale involving shipwrecks and telegraph signals.


Overall: Really more of a career survey than a 'Best of,' as some of the selections are dubious (well, "The Searcher of the End House," "Demons of the Sea," and  "The Sea Horses").   Nevertheless, highly recommended.

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