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BSFA Review: The Night Land by William Hope Hodgson

05/06/2024 17:02 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

The Night Land cover

The Night Land by William Hope Hodgson

(The MIT Press, 2023)

Reviewed by Duncan Lawie

There are influential books which are now rarely read. Some have slipped out of print through luck or complexities of ownership. Some, despite their influence, are barely readable; The Night Land falls into this category. When I noticed this new edition was abridged, I wondered whether I should be seeking a complete edition, but within pages of starting to read, I was grateful for any word excised. The prose is clotted; the story wearing; the dull detail of the journey, of eating and drinking each six hours—or discussing exactly why our narrator has delayed—is exhausting:

Yet, in truth, as I do now have knowledge, it was the North that drew; and I do seem to make a great telling about this little matter; but how else shall I show to you mine inward mind, and the lack of knowledge and likewise the peculiar knowings that did go to the making of that time, and the Peoples thereof, which is but to say the same thing twice over.

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Review from BSFA Review 23 - Download your copy here.


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