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FriedEgg

FriedEgg

The Casebook of Carnacki the Ghost Finder - William Hope Hodgson Starting off strong, I was struck by the effectiveness of Hodgson's writing. He tells a good ghost story, if not as subtle and gradual a build up as M.R. James, they are more tense and frightening, the supernatural forces (indeed, when they were supernatural) more malignant.

But after a while the foibles of his writing began to grate a little. For instance the tendency of Carnacki to constantly ask his listeners/reader "Do you follow?", "Can you possibly understand what I am trying to convey?", etc. Initially it was fun trying to guess whether there would be supernatural forces underlying the phenomenon under investigation or not but when Hodgson starts conflating the causes, when it happened that by coincidence a real haunting begins at the same time as someone started faking it, it stretches credence a little too far, particularly when that happens for the second time. And then there's the noises and apparitions that seem to be thrown in for effect in the build up of the story that are not always explained away satisfactorily at the end, often dismissed as merely an overactive imagination on the part of the protagonist.

Those criticisms aside, there is still some good stories worth reading here although I would suggest not reading them all in one go, but rather just dipping into this collection every now and again. I suspect that is the best way to enjoy these stories.