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The Collected Fiction, Vol. 1: The Boats of the "Glen Carrig" and Other Nautical Adventures

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The first of a five volume set collecting all of Hodgson's published fiction. Each volume contains one of Hodgson's novels, along with a selection of thematically-linked short fiction. Skyhorse Publishing, under our Night Shade and Talos imprints, is proud to publish a broad range of titles for readers interested in science fiction (space opera, time travel, hard SF, alien The first of a five volume set collecting all of Hodgson's published fiction. Each volume contains one of Hodgson's novels, along with a selection of thematically-linked short fiction. Skyhorse Publishing, under our Night Shade and Talos imprints, is proud to publish a broad range of titles for readers interested in science fiction (space opera, time travel, hard SF, alien invasion, near-future dystopia), fantasy (grimdark, sword and sorcery, contemporary urban fantasy, steampunk, alternative history), and horror (zombies, vampires, and the occult and supernatural), and much more. While not every title we publish becomes a New York Times bestseller, a national bestseller, or a Hugo or Nebula award-winner, we are committed to publishing quality books from a diverse group of authors.


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The first of a five volume set collecting all of Hodgson's published fiction. Each volume contains one of Hodgson's novels, along with a selection of thematically-linked short fiction. Skyhorse Publishing, under our Night Shade and Talos imprints, is proud to publish a broad range of titles for readers interested in science fiction (space opera, time travel, hard SF, alien The first of a five volume set collecting all of Hodgson's published fiction. Each volume contains one of Hodgson's novels, along with a selection of thematically-linked short fiction. Skyhorse Publishing, under our Night Shade and Talos imprints, is proud to publish a broad range of titles for readers interested in science fiction (space opera, time travel, hard SF, alien invasion, near-future dystopia), fantasy (grimdark, sword and sorcery, contemporary urban fantasy, steampunk, alternative history), and horror (zombies, vampires, and the occult and supernatural), and much more. While not every title we publish becomes a New York Times bestseller, a national bestseller, or a Hugo or Nebula award-winner, we are committed to publishing quality books from a diverse group of authors.

30 review for The Collected Fiction, Vol. 1: The Boats of the "Glen Carrig" and Other Nautical Adventures

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jacob

    "Son of Man! "Son of Man! "Son of Man!" "Shut up, I'm trying to read!" Readers-who-are-not-me will probably have loads to say about William Hope Hodgson. They'll probably wax lyrical, or poetic, or Brazilian, about his weird fiction, his contributions to the horror genre, his influence on Lovecraft, etc. Not me, sorry. I haven't read most of his work yet--The House on the Borderland, The Night Land, "Carnacki the Ghost-Finder"--and of the supernatural stuff I've read so far, I wouldn't call myself "Son of Man! "Son of Man! "Son of Man!" "Shut up, I'm trying to read!" Readers-who-are-not-me will probably have loads to say about William Hope Hodgson. They'll probably wax lyrical, or poetic, or Brazilian, about his weird fiction, his contributions to the horror genre, his influence on Lovecraft, etc. Not me, sorry. I haven't read most of his work yet--The House on the Borderland, The Night Land, "Carnacki the Ghost-Finder"--and of the supernatural stuff I've read so far, I wouldn't call myself a great fan. The Boats of the "Glen Carrig" and his Sargasso Sea stories are good, sure, but rather weedy. Quite weedy. Lots of weeds in the Sargasso Sea, you know. Lots of foul beasties beneath the weeds in the Sargasso Sea. Enough for a decent-sized novella and half a dozen stories at least, apparently. Taken alone they'd be fine and spooky; collected and read together, and Hodgson's writing becomes, well, rather thick and gloppy, much like a vast ocean of weeds, with foul beasties underneath. Me, I liked the Captain Gault stories. So that should tell you something. Ghosts? Nope. Horror? Nah. Weeds? Hardly. Captain Gault: Being the Exceedingly Private Log of a Sea-Captain tells of the ordinary adventures of a modest sailor and sea captain who just so happens to be (shifty eyes) a master smuggler. Or so the Customs agents believe, haha! All those stories you've heard about Gault sneaking certain items ashore, duty-free? Only stories, of course (of course)! No shred of truth about them. Surely one man isn't capable of smuggling diamonds and jewels and pearls and contraband weapons and, er, the Mona Lisa under the very sensitive noses of Customs, right? Right. You can't prove anything. (Same thing happened between me and Lord Dunnysunny, too. Fairy tales and heroic legends? Bah. Tall tales from a lying old drunk? Huzzah!) Fun stuff. "The Diamond Spy" is collected in The Penguin Book of Gaslight Crime, and most of the stories are also available here on OpenLibrary.org. You can find the non-Gault stories elsewhere, if you look, but I'd watch out for the weeds if I were you.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Michael Battaglia

    I think sometimes so much attention is paid to all the weird stuff that was published in the pulps at the turn of the century that people seem to forget that not every story people read was about weird tentacle monsters from beyond understanding attacking scantily clad women and menacing our strapping heroes (scantily clad or not, depending on the weather, I suppose). That stuff tends to get the most press, sell the most covers and attract the imagination even decades later when it comes what ex I think sometimes so much attention is paid to all the weird stuff that was published in the pulps at the turn of the century that people seem to forget that not every story people read was about weird tentacle monsters from beyond understanding attacking scantily clad women and menacing our strapping heroes (scantily clad or not, depending on the weather, I suppose). That stuff tends to get the most press, sell the most covers and attract the imagination even decades later when it comes what exactly it was that made audiences tingle in the days before cars were even invented. But its not the whole story. If anyone has heard of William Hope Hodgson these days, its either because they have some knowledge of "weird fiction" and its antecedents (Lovecraft was a big booster of his work) or they've read some of the adaptations of his better known stories (the most famous "The House on the Borderland" was made into a graphic novel several years back and was fairly famous before that . . . it's also not in this volume, having been saved for volume two). In his day he was decently popular, having written not only a good number of stories involving the old tried and true ghosts and strange monsters but also tales involving boats and the sea in some way, shape or form, drawing on his years as a mariner to give people the most authentic stories about the sea since the nutty guy chased the big whale. Unfortunately, his life was cut short around age forty thanks to being shelled at the Battle of Ypres during the slow motion nightmare known as World War One and knowledge of his works gradually faded away until writers like Lovecraft began to trumpet his talents and other authors started including the creepier stories in their anthologies. All this leads to this series, a five volume attempt to gather pretty much everything he ever wrote, which turns out to be quite a bit (each volume seems to clock in between the four and five hundred page mark), anchoring the volume thematically around one of the big gun stories and filling the rest up with either series of tales or scattered stories in the same vein as the rest of the collection. Thus, people looking forward to all the bizarre stuff they've heard of might be a tad disappointed with this volume because we lead off with pretty much all the nautical and boat stories, starting with his rather popular at the time "The Boats of the 'Glen Carrig'" Its both a good and bad choice to start off the collection because while its one of his more famous novels, its also deliberately written in a style that was vaguely archaic even back then. It involves the crew of the aforementioned boat getting stranded and having to figure out how to survive in some weird places, including a strange island and a seaweed choked place not unlike the Sargasso Sea, all the while being beset by various terrors that most people on boats never encountered like huge crabs and tentacles. The details of the story are often fascinating but Hodgson seems to be going out of his way to make the story as much of a slog as possible, writing it in huge paragraphs with Proustian sentences that don't give you any promise of being able to lord over your friends that you read highbrow literature later. There's no dialogue to speak of and the characters are really even named or described. What is described lovingly is all the workings of a ship, meaning that while the meat of the story is solid fare, the effect of reading it is not unlike being in a dark room while being blindfolded and having strangers describe to you their adventures in robot voices so that all sense of humanity is completely disguised. It's a tough read, especially if you aren't that into nautical themes but for me the story has two things going for it: the sense of realism that Hodgson brings makes the weird stuff when it does occur that much weirder, and after reading three volumes of Lovecraftian narrators going out of their minds at the merest wiggle of a tentacle, its nice to read a story about protagonists who instead of freaking out when things go cosmically south (although they aren't fighting evils from beyond so much as sea monsters) come up with workable plans and make an effort to survive competently. But for those who barely finished that tale and find yourselves praying to whatever deity you may sporadically worship that the rest of the stories aren't like that, fret not: they aren't. While the rest of them do involve boats and people lost at sea, they're written in a much more modern style that's actually quite pleasing to read, especially after hauling through the giant chunks of paragraph the last tale burdened us with. The stories are broken down into four series, with the first of them "The Sargasso Sea Stories" the only one to not follow the same character. These ones are decent little tales about various people lost in the Sargasso Sea and while some of them involve fighting more giant crabs and tentacle monsters (so much so that reading all of them in a row can get a bit tedious) there's something again charming about people being faced with peril and calmly trying to figure a way out of it instead of falling all to pieces. The ones I really found myself enjoying, honestly, were "The Exploits of Captain Gault", which were a series of tales featuring a ship captain who also likes the challenge of smuggling various items past customs for a fee, sort of a nautical "Mission: Impossible". Hodgson has Gault narrate the tales and he's a great storyteller, taking fairly simple scenarios and having some fun with them as Gault tries to keep one step ahead of customs officials who are used to his shtick and think themselves wise to his games. There's a certain formulaic aspect to it and they won't set the world on fire but its also charming how everyone is gentlemanly to each other off the clock (once successfully, Gault will often have dinner with customs officers he's friendly with and explain to them how he pulled it off) and its a nice look at the world pre-World War One, or at least prior to US involvement in the mayhem (at least one story involves Gault being blackmailed by German spies). Hodgson mixes things up enough to keep it interesting and doesn't make the customs office seem a complete bunch of fools, which also makes Gault seem smarter. This section to me (a good chunk of the collection) makes the rest of the volume worth it, despite not having any supernatural elements to it. They're just well told stories. The remaining tales are a pair each featuring first Captain Jat and later DCO Gargunka, with the former mostly featuring a tough as nails captain who beats his young assistant all the time (and who generally gets his revenge somehow) as the two of them search for treasure in some seriously weird scenarios that involve probably not very sensitive depictions of jungle natives and, in a scene that's sort of unsettling, dog-people. Captain Jat will grate on your nerves before long but the stories are fun, fortunately he either wasn't very interesting to Hodgson or the audience wasn't very fond of them because we only get the two here. The last two have a more entertaining narrator, DCO (stands for Dot and Carry On) Cargunka, who owns his own bar, seems to have a bit of a bum leg and when he hires ships to set out, insists on being the cook because he'd like everyone to eat well (there's also a weird running joke where he keeps insisting to people he looks like Lord Byron, something that was probably funnier in the early 1900s). Neither of the two stories have any weird elements (one involves taking out claim jumpers) but Cargunka is such a fully realized character that his personality takes the stories over and gives them an odd appeal. He wasn't going to set the world on fire but I would have been curious to see what else Hodgson would have done with him. Still, if the strangeness that inhabits stories like "House on the Borderland" is what you crave, you can probably feel comfortable skipping this volume as the strangest story is the hardest to read. Unless you want to brush up on how to survive at sea and maintain an old fashioned ship, in which this book is an entry level course on how to manage storms and fight giant crabs.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Phil

    While I missed out on the gorgeous Night Shade Books print volumes, the e-book edition is a worthy substitute for those unwilling to pay the high secondhand market prices. This first volume includes the novel "Boats of the 'Glen Carrig'," followed by a host of short stories broken into the following thematically-related sections: the Sargasso Sea Stories, the Exploits of Captain Gault, the Adventures of Captain Jat, and the Stories of Cargunka. "Boats of the 'Glen Carrig'" is a rather gripping sur While I missed out on the gorgeous Night Shade Books print volumes, the e-book edition is a worthy substitute for those unwilling to pay the high secondhand market prices. This first volume includes the novel "Boats of the 'Glen Carrig'," followed by a host of short stories broken into the following thematically-related sections: the Sargasso Sea Stories, the Exploits of Captain Gault, the Adventures of Captain Jat, and the Stories of Cargunka. "Boats of the 'Glen Carrig'" is a rather gripping survival horror story that follows the crew of a pair of lifeboats, sailors adrift after the sinking of the titular 'Glen Carrig.' Hodgson wastes no time getting into the action; the shipwreck itself is covered in basically a single perfunctory paragraph, and events start getting strange and deadly very quickly. "The Boats of the 'Glen Carrig'" is similar to his other novels, "The House on the Borderland" and "The Night Land," in that they're basically a linear narrative following the protagonist through a number of bizarre episodes. They read more like travelogues than carefully plotted novels, but the events are interesting enough that this isn't much of a complaint. The story is written in an intentionally archaic style, with no quoted dialogue and few named characters, but it's fast-paced and packed with engrossing imagery. Stylistically it's a much more approachable read than "The Night Land," which--while challenging--I also enjoyed considerably. The Sargasso Sea stories share a very similar tone with "The Boats of the 'Glen Carrig'." From the "Tideless Sea Part 1" and "Tideless Sea Part 2: More News from the Homebird" are genuinely chilling. They're desolate and unnerving, like the very best of Hodgson's work. Unfortunately, the rest of the Sargasso Sea stories aren't quite as stellar, with Hodgson recycling basically the same core premise (a ship encounters a strangely-fortified derelict craft enmeshed in Sargasso weeds, and terror ensues). While vastly different in tone from his supernatural fiction, the Captain Gault stories were an unexpected highlight in this volume. Captain Gault is a smuggler, and these humorous tales are all "howdunit" mysteries about him sneaking contraband past customs. Read consecutively (rather than periodically encountered in anthology magazines as they would have been originally), the formula they follow becomes a little apparent, but they're clever, punchy, and offer enough diversity to keep the reader engaged. The Adventures of Captain Jat were intriguing, if perhaps not fully realized. There are only two stories in the cycle--perhaps a poor reception led to Hodgson abandoning the character--but both are interesting. Jat is an alcoholic, abusive sea captain with a taste for women and treasure, and the exquisitely named Pibby Tawles is his put-upon cabin boy and the only companion he trusts on his gold-seeking adventures. Though almost entirely unlikeable, Hodgson adds an interesting twist to the character of Jat by showing him act gruffly tender towards his young accomplice at surprising moments. Pibby, too, isn't simply a victim. He's equipped with a fair amount of sneaky cunning, often profiting at his master's expense. The dynamic between the characters is interesting and the stories themselves are fun supernaturally-tinged adventure. It reminds me a bit of Indiana Jones, if Indy was a boozer that beat on Short Round. It's unfortunate Hodgson didn't write any more stories featuring these two. The two Stories of Cargunka are probably the weakest in the volume. D.C.O. Cargunka is a wealthy pub-owner that purchases ships and accompanies them on profit-seeking expeditions. While self-aggrandizing romanticist Cargunka himself is a fun character, the stories seemed overlong and plots weren't quite as appealing as the Gault or Jat stories. "The Bells of the Laughing Sally" has some nice ghostly moments, but except for some humorous dialogue, "The Adventure With the Claim Jumpers" is a mostly forgettable heist yarn. While there are a few limp stories (inevitable in a collection of this size), Hodgson nevertheless maintained an incredibly high standard of quality throughout his brief but prolific career. I maintain that he's one of the more underrated figures in early 20th century horror fiction, and this collection also reveals how adept he was in other genres as well. Wholeheartedly recommended.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books)

    I started reading this when I checked it out of the library. Unfortunately I had to return it to the library before I finished it. It was very interesting and unique. Mr. Hodgson had a gift for telling a story and using language very efficiently, yet conveying the horror and the intensity of the plight of the characters. He had a great imagination, which is more than evident in the stories I read in this book. His writing is not dated, but definitely conveys the period in which he wrote. I reall I started reading this when I checked it out of the library. Unfortunately I had to return it to the library before I finished it. It was very interesting and unique. Mr. Hodgson had a gift for telling a story and using language very efficiently, yet conveying the horror and the intensity of the plight of the characters. He had a great imagination, which is more than evident in the stories I read in this book. His writing is not dated, but definitely conveys the period in which he wrote. I really wish I could have kept this book as my own to read at leisure as this is not a book you can read in a week. You want to read a little, digest it, read something else, and then come back to read another story. Although the stories are all related, it can be read story by story. I definitely plan to get a copy of this for my own collection someday.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Brian Engelhardt

    Perhaps not as well known as his comtemporaries H. P. Lovecraft and Robert E. Howard, William Hope Hodgson deserves recognition. Best known for his challenging novel 'The Night Land', this collection focuses on his nautical tales. Hodgson's experiences at sea lend an air of authenticity to these stories, many of which will make you consider sleeping with the lights on. The "Sargasso Sea" stories collected in this volume are my personal favories. Perhaps not as well known as his comtemporaries H. P. Lovecraft and Robert E. Howard, William Hope Hodgson deserves recognition. Best known for his challenging novel 'The Night Land', this collection focuses on his nautical tales. Hodgson's experiences at sea lend an air of authenticity to these stories, many of which will make you consider sleeping with the lights on. The "Sargasso Sea" stories collected in this volume are my personal favories.

  6. 4 out of 5

    John

    A great, weird book that prefigures Lovecraft's work. The book takes place in a mysterious part of the ocean (Pacific, as I recall), where the "Glen Carrig" is attacked my see monsters. The survivors land on a strange island where they are hunted at night by bizarre, chthonic figures. Good stuff, and a great read for fans of Lovecraft. A great, weird book that prefigures Lovecraft's work. The book takes place in a mysterious part of the ocean (Pacific, as I recall), where the "Glen Carrig" is attacked my see monsters. The survivors land on a strange island where they are hunted at night by bizarre, chthonic figures. Good stuff, and a great read for fans of Lovecraft.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Matt

    It's a collection of short stories and novellas. Rarely do I ever enjoy short stories. This proved no different. The writing wasn't good enough to make me want to seek out the other four volumes. At times I got the impression though that the reason everything seemed so trite was that all this was so original and influential when it first came out that everything since had copied from it. It's a collection of short stories and novellas. Rarely do I ever enjoy short stories. This proved no different. The writing wasn't good enough to make me want to seek out the other four volumes. At times I got the impression though that the reason everything seemed so trite was that all this was so original and influential when it first came out that everything since had copied from it.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Sarah B

    This is a large collection of stories written by William Hope Hodgson in 1906, 1907, 1914, 1915 and 1916. They are all sea stories with the ones at the front of the book very different than the ones in the second half of the book. Still I did enjoy most of these stories and I read the last 200+ pages yesterday and finished the book (which actually surprised me as I had thought I might need another day). So the stories in this volume come in sections: The Boats of Glen Carrig: for most parts I did This is a large collection of stories written by William Hope Hodgson in 1906, 1907, 1914, 1915 and 1916. They are all sea stories with the ones at the front of the book very different than the ones in the second half of the book. Still I did enjoy most of these stories and I read the last 200+ pages yesterday and finished the book (which actually surprised me as I had thought I might need another day). So the stories in this volume come in sections: The Boats of Glen Carrig: for most parts I did enjoy this story but the middle of it really dragged. This story is the reason I had stopped reading the book for awhile in favor of other books. It started out very good, lots of dark mysterious stuff, very creepy. This story is a creature story and it not only features large deadly sea life of different types but also bizarre things like plant-men. Of course all of these things want to kill the poor sailors in the story. It also features the Sargasso Sea with the big clumps of seaweed. I did feel a bit confused as to why the sailors in the story were traveling in longboats but I guess their ship must have sunk before the story began. This one could probably be called a novella as it's quite long at 135 pages. The Sargasso Sea stories: this section includes six stories all set in the Sargasso Sea. I enjoyed these more than the Glen Carrig above. These are also creepy creature stories. Many of them include unexpected twists. The one that surprised me the most is called The Mystery of the Derelict. I just didn't expect that type of creature at all (in retrospect I should have but didn't). I read this section pretty fast. The Exploits of Captain Gualt: when I started to read this section it came as a sudden surprise that these stories took a sharp change from the ones right before it. Gone were the creatures and the mysteries of the sea. Instead I was quickly introduced to smuggling! Captain Gualt is a very clever smuggler and he enjoys and even excels at sneaking stuff past the watchful eyes of the custom officers. And to my surprise I really enjoyed these stories! I didn't expect to enjoy them but I really did. It was fun to see how clever Gault was and how he did the smuggling. There were two stories I found a bit confusing as I didn't get it. The last two stories in this section were about world war one. My favorite one without a doubt was The Case of the Chinese Curio Dealer, which luckily is also one of the longest stories in the section. Gault was really put to the test when he had to sneak a young man out of a Chinese shop while the shop was being watched by dozens of people! The Adventures of Captain Jat: this section only includes two stories. But I kind of like Jat. He reminds me a lot of Captain Jack Sparrow and while reading it I sort of imagined that Jat sounded like Sparrow. You have the rum drinking, the searching for treasure, crawling about in exotic jungles and the language. There are basically only two characters in these stories, Jat and a young cabin boy, Pibby Tawles. Also creatures return in these stories along with strange jungle natives. The natives are not nice and decidedly on the dangerous side! D.C.O. Cargunka: these two stories are about a business man who also likes to cook..he goes on adventures looking for treasure. One involved the gold rush and the other a lost ship that's partially sunk. The one about the ship had eerie overtones. D.C.O. stands for "Dot Carry the One" which is British slang from the time period: it means that he limps because one leg is shorter than the other. I didn't like the gold rush story very much and I found it kind of dull. I did learn a lot of new nautical words from reading these stories, including hawser, bo'sun's chair, kedge, bulwarks and painter. I sort of already knew what a bulwark was and I confirmed my suspicion with Google. But if you don't know what these terms mean than some of the stories might confuse you. Of course there are more common words too like capstan, spar, etc. The sentence structure is very easy to read, even if it dates from 1906. The sentences are longer and convey more information but still very easy to read and understand. So don't let the early dates of the stories scare you off. You may run into a few unfamiliar terms from the time period. All in all I greatly enjoyed this book. If you can get past the first story with the slow bit in the middle the rest of the ones in the book move more smoothly and are entertaining. I'm glad I finished this book.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Bill

    I really like the stories of William Hope Hodgson. I read The House on the Borderline years ago and recently enjoyed reading The Ghost Pirates and Others, also edited by Jeremy Lassen. I enjoyed reading most of the stories in this volume as well, but I wouldn't necessarily recommend it to anyone who wasn't already at least somewhat enamored of Hodgson's stories. This is a volume for the fan or completist. The Boats of the "Glen Carrig" is the first of Hodgson's longer fiction, and it suffers slig I really like the stories of William Hope Hodgson. I read The House on the Borderline years ago and recently enjoyed reading The Ghost Pirates and Others, also edited by Jeremy Lassen. I enjoyed reading most of the stories in this volume as well, but I wouldn't necessarily recommend it to anyone who wasn't already at least somewhat enamored of Hodgson's stories. This is a volume for the fan or completist. The Boats of the "Glen Carrig" is the first of Hodgson's longer fiction, and it suffers slightly in comparison to Ghost Pirates and Borderland. Hodgson employs a voice for his narrator that sounds stilted and anachronistic. It takes some getting used to, but the clunkiness of the narrator's voice dissipates once the plot gets moving. The remaining of Hodgson's "Sargasso Sea" stories are very much alike and are not quite as good as Boats, and if you've read one, you've read them all. The same holds true for the "Captain Gault" and "Captain Jat" stories, as well. Each of these series is very formulaic and excessively similar one to the other. Each taken on its own is fine, though and makes for good reading, with three notable exceptions. The Captain Gault stories, “The Adventure of the Garter” and “My Lady’s Jewels,” as well as the D.O.C. Cargunka story, “The Adventure with the Claim Jumpers,” should be horribly grating to readers today. The Gault stories are fairly misogynistic; “Garter” is not so bad that the reader can have doubts whether this misogyny is coming from the character of Gault or from Hodgson himself. In “Lady’s Jewels,” Hodgson doubles down on the tone in a way that leaves little doubt that the attitudes come from the author, not the character. “The Adventure with the Claim Jumpers” is weakened by the attitudes towards race that were common in stories of this period, and a light reading of this story with a mental blinker might only produce a small cringe. In this story, Cargunka and a wronged miner disguise themselves by blackening their faces with burnt cork in order to steal back the miner’s gold from the thieves who stole it. There’s a sort of minstrel-hall feel to Hodgson’s writing when the thieves catch sight of the blackfaced Cargunka as he steals back the gold, but Cargunka gets away eventually. The story becomes deeply horrific when the reader realizes that, had the story actually happened, it is likely that two innocent men would have been tortured and killed for the hijinks of Cargunka and his confederate and that this outcome probably never occurred to Hodgson. All in all, I liked most of the stories for what they were, but I wouldn’t recommend this to anyone not already familiar with Hodgson, and I would warn anyone who might have read better pieces by Hodgson about this volume’s flaws before recommending.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Yve

    The Boats of the "Glen Carrig" and the Sargasso Sea Stories are similar to an infuriating degree. After you've read one, you've read them all. Is that... strange weed in the ocean? Do I see... a wrecked ship?? But what's that on the ship? Could it be... a wooden superstructure built to keep out giant crabs????? My god! Since these were all stories sent to different magazines I really don't blame the guy for trying to get himself out there. Now, the Captain Gault stories are just as equally set in The Boats of the "Glen Carrig" and the Sargasso Sea Stories are similar to an infuriating degree. After you've read one, you've read them all. Is that... strange weed in the ocean? Do I see... a wrecked ship?? But what's that on the ship? Could it be... a wooden superstructure built to keep out giant crabs????? My god! Since these were all stories sent to different magazines I really don't blame the guy for trying to get himself out there. Now, the Captain Gault stories are just as equally set in a formula - Captain Gault is offered a very risky smuggling job, he makes out like it's not going to happen, but of course he pulls it off and then takes ample time to gloat about it. But these are much easier to read than the Sargasso Sea stories, simply because each one has a different plot. Or maybe just different devices. Or maybe just something more than weed clumps filled with evil crab monsters. "Dot-and-Carry-One" (DCO) Cargunka is the most interesting of Hodgson's characters. Unlike Captain Gault, Captain Jat, or the protagonists of the Sargasso Sea stories, all of which are tall, imposing, super macho or at least strong men (despite Captain Jat's degeneracy), DCO is an affluent restaurant and ship owner with romantic tastes and a pronounced limp. And he simply idolizes Lord Byron. The two stories starring him feature everything you could want from pulpy adventure stories - one is about a shipwreck filled with sunken treasure and potentially a vengeful ghost, the other is a California gold-rush heist, and both are filled with violent fights and wacky schemes. The Sargasso Sea stories tend to the wistful, romantic tone of The Night Land, which I didn't think was great. After reading this collection I distinctly prefer the lurid action-packed side of Hodgson.

  11. 4 out of 5

    James Troxell

    The Boats of Glen Carrig is a very imaginative book. Good, but I preferred the minimalist style of WHH’s “Ghost Pirates” over the maximalist style of this prose. It would make a great B horror movie. The Sargasso Sea Stories are fantastic. Some great classic horror. Must reads. I wish there were more. The Captain Gault stories are really funny. A smooth talking Captain that always outsmarts customs agents then gentlemanly tells them how he did it. When they are on they are on, but there a dozen of The Boats of Glen Carrig is a very imaginative book. Good, but I preferred the minimalist style of WHH’s “Ghost Pirates” over the maximalist style of this prose. It would make a great B horror movie. The Sargasso Sea Stories are fantastic. Some great classic horror. Must reads. I wish there were more. The Captain Gault stories are really funny. A smooth talking Captain that always outsmarts customs agents then gentlemanly tells them how he did it. When they are on they are on, but there a dozen of them and not all hit. The Captain Jat stories are pirate horror stories from the point of view of the cabin boy. They were okay. Finally, the DCO Cargunka stories. DCO Cargunka is a an amazing character. He’s a bar owner, with a busted leg, who’s super tough, and vainly obsessed with Lord Byron. Pure oddball. The first of his stories “The Bells of the Laughing Sally” was excellent. The other not so much. Wish there was more of this character. Overall, this collection of WHH nautical tales is worth reading but not all of it is great. However, when it is great, it is really spectacular.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Clare

    First let me comment of the book jacket itself. It was one of the more elaborate covers I've ever seen in a library book, a silver etching sketch of the kind of old woodcut maps of long ago set against a midnight blue background, beautifully rendered. The short stories contained between the ornate covers were spectacular also. There is a slight bit of describing of different groups of people in terms that are not in keeping with political correctness but the reader must take that in the context o First let me comment of the book jacket itself. It was one of the more elaborate covers I've ever seen in a library book, a silver etching sketch of the kind of old woodcut maps of long ago set against a midnight blue background, beautifully rendered. The short stories contained between the ornate covers were spectacular also. There is a slight bit of describing of different groups of people in terms that are not in keeping with political correctness but the reader must take that in the context of when the stories were written (the early 1900's for some).There are five sets of stories included, all set at sea. The Boats of the Glen Carrig is one longer tale that is of the type of a ripping yarn with not only the regular adventures of life at sea but also has fantasy thrown in when the survivors of a shipwreck end up on a mysterious, unknown island during their journey in a lifeboat. The Sargasso Sea stories all take place in that eerie area of the ocean, back in the the days of sail when living for months on a ship took their toll in real and imaginary dangers. These tales all have an ominous tone with a gothic horror feel to them. In the stories all kinds of monstrous sea life inhabits these stagnant waters which put the skills of the sailors and passengers to the test in order to defeat or avoid the menacing creatures. Captain Gault is the featured character of the next set of tales. He is an egotistical, misogynistic, greedy smuggler who not only gets the better of the customs agents but, after the escapade is over and there is no evidence with which to indict him, likes to let them know exactly how he managed to pull the wool over their eyes. The next set of stories are of Captain Jat who likes to try and find treasure in places that are inhabited by some fearsome people and creatures. Finally are the D.C.O. Cargunka, tales where as the owner of the boat, whose real identity is something other than it would seem, will sometimes accompany his hired crew and captain on an adventure. While on board he assumes the roll of cook which is one of his passions, but is always willing to take part in the dangerous parts of the expedition.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Howard Jones

    I liked the shorter stories of the collection more than I actually enjoyed "Glen Carrig." Carrig is an early novel of horror and the fantastic, and is important for its influence, but I don't think I'll revisit. On the other hand, many of the short stories are electrifying, and really bring up the rating for me. I liked the shorter stories of the collection more than I actually enjoyed "Glen Carrig." Carrig is an early novel of horror and the fantastic, and is important for its influence, but I don't think I'll revisit. On the other hand, many of the short stories are electrifying, and really bring up the rating for me.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Salman Hossain

  15. 5 out of 5

    Konstantinos

  16. 4 out of 5

    selena gomezzz

  17. 4 out of 5

    Maureen

  18. 4 out of 5

    Carl Godfrey

  19. 5 out of 5

    Peter

  20. 5 out of 5

    Bob

  21. 5 out of 5

    Geoffrey

  22. 4 out of 5

    Tony Myles

  23. 4 out of 5

    David Davis

  24. 5 out of 5

    Julio Codesal

  25. 4 out of 5

    Ian

  26. 5 out of 5

    Mandy Foster

  27. 5 out of 5

    Doug

  28. 5 out of 5

    Kelly Wick

  29. 5 out of 5

    Jeff Kuykendall

  30. 5 out of 5

    Keith Thomas

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