Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Read This Book Before You Go to Sleep

William Hope Hodgson's The House on the Borderland has always creeped the holy hell out of me. I first read it back in high school when I was on a Lovecraft bent and a friend suggested it. Being such a slim volume, it didn't take long to read. But when I finished it in the wee hours of the morning, I found myself glancing around at random shadows and flipping the lights on before I walked down the hallway on the way to bed. You know, for safety and stuff. *AHEM*

Anyway, this little book turned out to be one of the most disturbing, satisfying horror stories I'd ever read. When I found out a few years ago that Vertigo was due to publish an adapted version with art by Richard Corben, I came as close as a mild-mannered bookstore employee can to completely flipping out. I immediately got that sucker all pre-ordered up and when it came in I set aside a whole hour to read it. I'm happy to say I wasn't the least bit disappointed.

This adaptation has everything you could possibly want from a good horror story.

Creepy-ass mansion overlooking seemingly bottomless pit?
House on the borderland....CHECK

Crazy unreliable narrator dude trapped in asylum?
Cruel mental health officials...CHECK

Scary-mean locals that don't take kindly to strangers?
Scary Townsfolk...CHECK

Forbidden ruins just outside of town?
Creepy Ruins...CHECK

Journal from last dude who messed with unknown forces warning you that you're about to die but that you keep reading anyway?
Evil journal...CHECK

Crazy, naked, portentous dream?
Portentious dreams...CHECK

Happy, unsuspecting new homeowners?
Creepy house...CHECK

Half-glimpsed, shadowy beings?
Something Lurking in the shadows...CHECK

Believed to be doomed animal companion that shows up again at last minute to save his master's life?
protective animal companion....CHECK

Hideous race of other-dimensional, subterranean pig-men?
Hideous race of underground pig-men....CHECK

Barricade that probably won't hold?
Heroes barricaded inside...CHECK

Prolonged and bloody siege followed by brief, false victory?
The siege...CHECK

An axe to the back of a porcine head?
Axe to the head...CHUNK...er, I mean CHECK

Gateway to Hell?
Gateway to hell...CHECK

Ill-advised trip to the basement?
A trip to the basement...CHECK

Secret passageway that was probably sealed up for a pretty good reason?
A sceret passage...CHECK

Sudden mood swing brought on by infected monster bite?
crazy sibling...CHECK

An uncomfortable number of incest-laden panels?
Poesque incest...CHECK

Yet another ill-advised trip, this time into the yawning cavern where all the evil stuff lives?
A descent into the bowels of the earth...CHECK

Gory transformation scene?
A hideous transformation...CHECK

And we top all this off with a breathless escape followed immediately byA breathless escape...
a horrible, bloody death via pig-monster.A horrible death....

from William Hope Hodgson's The House on the Borderland adapted by Richard Corben and Simon Revelstroke with Lee Loughridge

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Anonymous Rich said...

"Why meeeeeeee???" Three question marks and no less than nine vowels? Even Super-Emo Nightwing would be proud of that performance.

That said, Hodgson's a damn fine gothic horror author, easily on par with the better-known Lovecraft. Nice to see him getting some publicity.

10/26/2006 10:54 AM

Blogger Chris Sims said...

The House on the Borderlands? Oh, right, I remember that one from First Edition. If your DM was cool, you could totally keep those laser guns.

10/26/2006 9:45 PM

Blogger Brandon said...

Rich: Super-Emo Nightwing can eat my ass. Hodgson's stuff can be damn hard to locate. Some of his less well known books took me months to track down locally.

Chris: Only if you didn't get turned into a female troll after drinking from that damn fountain.

10/26/2006 10:26 PM

Anonymous Rich said...

Brandon: Agreed on the Nightwing issue. Re: Hodgson, have you seen this site?


AFAIK, that's everything he wrote. Not as handy as having hardcopy, but a lot easier to find. And free, which doesn't hurt either.

10/27/2006 11:38 AM

Anonymous Rich said...

Dammit, truncated the url.

The tail end is willaim_hope/

Sorry about that.

10/27/2006 11:39 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's freakin' awesome! Thanks!

10/27/2006 12:24 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Glad you enjoyed (?) our adaptation.
It could have been better.


10/21/2010 1:07 PM


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