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The House on the Borderland cover art

The House on the Borderland

By: William Hope Hodgson
Narrated by: Felbrigg Napoleon Herriot
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Summary

While on a fishing trip two men discover the ruins of an old house perched on the very edge of a cliff. In the ruins they discover an old manuscript that seems to suggest the house was once involved in something super natural, and horrific.

Public Domain (P)2013 FNH

What listeners say about The House on the Borderland

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Not quite the classic I remember

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

Yes, on the whole. It's not an especially long book, but it is a key work of its kind.

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

It begins with strange goings on in and around a very large house where the narrator lives alone except for his sister and dog. Despite being there for 10 years there are unexplored parts of the house, including a vast cellar with a trapdoor to... what? After an investigation, the house is besieged by extradimensional creatures. This is followed by a sequence obviously inspired by Wells's The Time Machine, some dream stuff, and then a rather low key, not to say anticlimactic, ending.
The rapid flight into the future starts off well but ends up as rather poorly described waffle. I had real problems with the narrator, a self-declared dog lover, leaving his dog outside when he knew there was a likelihood of the evil creatures coming back.
At best it's visionary, creepy and exciting. At worst it's a bit dull and irritating because much of the time it's just things happening to the "protagonist"; not only is there no apparent reason for the events, the prot hardly even speculates about why they are happening.

What aspect of Felbrigg Napoleon Herriot’s performance might you have changed?

Now there's a question. Some of his pronunciations struck me as non-standard. "Deities" pronounced as "di-et-ies", "denizens" pronounced as "denzins", and "catastrophe" as "cat-a-stroff". (I was hoping he'd pronounce "picturesque" as "picture-scew" but the word isn't in the book.) I also felt he was miscast;the narrator of the main story is supposed to be quite a bit older.

Did The House on the Borderland inspire you to do anything?

Get on with my own novel. It's not based on a similar idea, but there's a certain vibe I could borrow.

Any additional comments?

I feel I could almost sum this up as a dream written up. But a very good dream.

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2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Incredible!

Just the kind of old school haunting story I was looking for, well worth it!

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Chilling, Racist, Boring and just a little odd.

Starts well. Creepy ruin, mysterious dairy, creepy house, then it spends a good hour or more with some 70s bad acid trip cosmic experience. Let the whole thing down. Also I hate it when stuff isn't explained or even vaugely wrapped up.

Hinted at even?

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Gobbledygook

Absolutely nothing about this story makes any sense at all. It's just a series of random visions, none of which are particularly memorable or thrilling. And it's so verbose I suppose the author must have been paid by the word.

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