Monday, June 11, 2012
Finding the Ghost Finder
I've always enjoyed stories about Occult Detectives. From Jules de Grandin to John Thunstone and from Anton Zarnak to Adam Spektor. Somehow though, I'd never gotten around to reading any of William Hope Hodgson's Carnaki tales. Couldn't really say why. I like Hodgson's classic horror novel The House on the Borderland quite a bit. Reading Carnaki would seem a natural. Just slipped past me somehow. Anyway, I have corrected that oversight in the last couple of days. I found I could get the short story collection Carnacki, the Ghost Finder as a free download for my Kindle, so I downloaded the book and I've read the first four stories and I've enjoyed them quite a bit. What I find interesting about the Carnaki stories is that sometimes Carnacki runs into 'real' supernatural menaces, but sometimes the ghosts turn out to be fakes. As a result you never know what to expect. Is it a Scooby-doo ending or will some horrible creature of darkness loom up out of the night? You won't know until you get to the end. The book came out in 1913 but the prose has a nice, modern feel to it. Carnacki narrates his own stories, usually telling then to a group of friends which includes Hodgson as a character. And Carnacki isn't some self assured, unflappable narrator. When things go bad he gets just as scared as any of the other characters, but he has knowledge and experience and usually manages to pluck up the courage to do what has to be done. An interesting character. So if, like me, you've somehow missed the adventures of Carnaki, check them out. All manner of spooky goings on are guaranteed.