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Paperback The Boats of the Glen Carrig Book

ISBN: 1406812552

ISBN13: 9781406812558

The Boats of the Glen Carrig

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Format: Paperback

Condition: Very Good

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Book Overview

This description may be from another edition of this product. The Boats of the "Glen Carrig" is a horror novel by William Hope Hodgson, first published in 1907.The novel is written in an archaic style, and is presented as a true account, written in 1757, of...

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A TRULY OTHERWORLDLY FIRST (???) NOVEL

The conventional words of wisdom for any aspiring new author have long been "write what you know," a bit of advice that English author William Hope Hodgson seemingly took to heart with his first published novel, "The Boats of the Glen Carrig." Before embarking on his writing career, Hodgson had spent eight years at sea, first as an apprentice for four years and then, after a two-year break, as a third mate for another long stretch. And those hard years spent at sea were put to good use not only in "Boats," but in his third novel, "The Ghost Pirates," and in many of his short stories and poems as well. According to August Derleth, "No other writer--not Conrad nor Melville nor any other--has so consistently dealt with the eternal mystery of the sea," a sentiment very closely echoed by Lin Carter in his excellent introduction to "Boats" in the Ballantine Adult Fantasy edition pictured above. "Boats" is in many ways a remarkable book. It takes the form of a saga of survival narrated by John Winterstraw to his son in the year 1757, and tells of what happened to the two remaining lifeboats after the sudden sinking of the Glen Carrig. The survivors had drifted for many days before coming upon a desolate swampland (referred to by Winterstraw as the Land of Lonesomeness), replete with strange wailing noises and some decidedly nasty arboreal life. After fleeing this inhospitable land and surviving a horrible storm, one of the boats had fetched upon a small island in the middle of a gigantic area of entangling seaweed. Their adventures on this unusual island make up the bulk of Winterstraw's narration, and what a strange tale it is! Indeed, this island almost makes the one featured on the hit TV series "Lost" seem normal, surrounded and infested as it is with giant crab monsters (could Roger Corman be a fan of this book?), humongous octopi (think 1955's "It Came From Beneath the Sea") and, most memorably (WARNING: possible spoiler ahead), the weed men: pale, slimy, vampiric, bipedal slug creatures that swarm in the hundreds and attack both on land and at sea. Between fending off attacks from the nasty animal life on the island, seeking food and water, and attempting the rescue of an old, manned sailing vessel that had been trapped for years in the seaweed morass, the Glen Carrig survivors surely do have their hands full. But a capsule description of this novel cannot possibly succeed in conveying the eeriness of the book, or its outre sense of mood and otherworldliness. Hodgson has his Winterstraw narrator speak in a seemingly pseudo-archaic language that may intially put some readers off, but that (for me, anyhow) lends to an unusual veracity nevertheless, as well as strangeness. A single sentence can easily run on for 2/3 of a page in this novel, with six or seven semicoloned sections. The grammar and syntax used are quite bizarro, an expedient that Hodgson also used in his 1912 epic novel "The Night Land." In that later novel, this invented form of Eng

An immortal story of heroic men triumphing against unimaginable terror!,

_I cannot believe that I never came across this book before in all my reading. I also cannot believe that it was originally published in 1907. This is because it combines two of my favorite life-long interests: realistic sea stories and weird monster tales. In fact, this book reads like C.S. Forester meets H.P. Lovecraft. Or perhaps it is more like _Mysterious Island_ meets _At the Mountains of Madness_. In any case, I loved it. _Not only is the narrative tight and well crafted, but the technical details are fascinating and accurate. The old fashion style is charming. No one speaks English that perfectly anymore- not even the English. Plus, you can really tell that the author was a merchant seaman in the last days of sail. As for the story itself, it is set in 1757- one hundred and fifty years into the author's past. It is the tale of the strange adventures of the surviving crew of the good ship Glen Carrig after she rips her bottom out on an uncharted rock- and they have to take to the boats. Yet, that rock was the least of the unknowns to put them in peril. They happen first on the unearthly "Land of Lonesomeness" and its otherworldly denizens. Yet, this is only a practice run for the living hell and stark terror of the "Continent of Weed." This appears to be the first use of the Sargasso Sea in a horror story. And Hodgson must have actually been there, for he got too many details right- like the tiny little craps that infest the weed. _If you like this story, then seek out the author's _The House on the Borderland_. It is even more like Lovecraft- but written long before. _By the way, this particular paperback edition has an excellent biographical introduction about Hodgson written by Lin Carter. It answered many of my questions about the author's real life- it seems that he really was a hero.
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