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Carnacki the Ghost - Finder
Wisconsin: Mycroft and Moran, 1947.. Illustrated by Not Illustrated. This the First Edition of This Edition. Black Cloth. Very Good (AVERAGE)/No Jacket. 12mo - over 6¾" - 7¾" Signed By Author Margery Lawrence ( a Fan ) HARDBACK Carnacki the Ghost Finder, a collection originally serialized in The Idler.This Copy is signed by the Author Margery Lawrence , it was her personal copy and she was a life long fan of all things occult. Her signature makes an already RARE book UNIQUE.241ppYou could also call it "Ripping Ghost Stories" for the enthusiasm and purple-tinged prose. It's a quick read. But I guarantee that, with Carnacki, you will encounter things that you will never forget. When Hodgson is good, he's unbeatable. The world in which Carnacki plies his trade as a ghost hunter and debunker (for some of the hauntings are hoaxes, for profit or revenge) shares with Lovecraft's the "suggestion of lurking worlds and beings behind the ordinary surface of life." But Lovecraft's horror is that of the completely other, so alien that it is virtually impossible for matter to mediate it in any way a human being can comprehend. Hodgson's other, alien as it is, manifests in more comprehensible ways; in the case of The Whistling Room, as a kind of "spiritual fungus" rotting a human soul, of which nothing remains but the desire for revenge. Or, in The Hog, another story in the collection, as the grunting of pigs, which Hodgson transforms into an unforgettable evocation of bestial malevolence that recalls, in its mindlessness, the horrid emptiness of the possessed physicist Weston in C.S. Lewis's Out of the Silent Planet. But for me, at least, that the horror is less alien in no way diminishes its power. More problematic for many readers, I suspect, might be the cumulative nature of the narrative. The horror manifests itself less in a pounding pulse than in the persistent and growing strength of the images after you lay the story down. In this sense, Hodgson brings to mind the gourmet Brillat-Savarin's distinction between eating and enjoying one's dinner. I last read Carnacki perhaps 20 years ago, but enjoyed it for years afterwards when something would evoke a vivid image from it. So when the call went out for Halloween posts, it was the first book I thought of. But, as I said, his prose may not be to your taste. Here's a sample, from The Whistling Room. Carnacki was investigating a haunting that manifested as a whistling, and is relating to his friend what happened when he first entered the room that is the focus of the manifestation. "When I reached the door, and put my hand into my pocket for the key, I had a sudden feeling of sickening funk. But I was not going to back out, if I could help it. I unlocked the door and turned the handle. Then I gave the door a sharp push with my foot, as Tassoc had done, and drew my revolver, though I did not expect to have any use for it, really. "I shone the searchlight all round the room, and then stepped inside, with a disgustingly horrible feeling of walking slap into a waiting Danger. I stood a few seconds, waiting, and nothing happened, and the empty room showed bare from corner to corner. And then, you know, I realised that the room was full of an abominable silence; can you understand that? A sort of purposeful silence, just as sickening as any of the filthy noises the Things have power to make. Do you remember what I told you about that 'Silent Garden' business? Well, this room had just that same malevolent silence--the beastly quietness of a thing that is looking at you and not seeable itself, and thinks that it has got you. Oh, I recognised it instantly, and I whipped the top off my lantern, so as to have light over the whole room."Then I set-to, working like fury, and keeping my glance all about me. I sealed the two windows with lengths of human hair, right across, and sealed them at every frame. As I worked, a queer, scarcely perceptible tenseness stole into the air of the place, and the silence seemed, if you can understand me, to grow more solid. I knew then that I had no business there without 'full protection'; for I was practically certain that this was no mere Aeiirii development; but one of the worst forms, as the Saiitii; like that 'Grunting Man' case--you know. "I finished the window, and hurried over to the great fireplace. This is a huge affair, and has a queer gallows-iron, I think they are called, projecting from the back of the arch. I sealed the opening with seven human hairs--the seventh crossing the six others."Then, just as I was making an end, a low, mocking whistle grew in the room. A cold, nervous pricking went up my spine, and round my forehead from the back. The hideous sound filled all the room with an extraordinary, grotesque parody of human whistling, too gigantic to be human--as if something gargantuan and monstrous made the sounds softly. As I stood there a last moment, pressing down the final seal, I had no doubt but that I had come across one of those rare and horrible cases of the Inanimate reproducing the functions of the Animate. I made a grab for my lamp, and went quickly to the door, looking over my shoulder, and listening for the thing that I expected. It came, just as I got my hand upon the handle --a squeal of incredible, malevolent anger, piercing through the low hooning of the whistling. I dashed out, slamming the door and locking it. I leant a little against the opposite wall of the corridor, feeling rather funny; for it had been a narrow squeak. . . ." Review by Dave Trowbridge.Email for further details.
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Last Found On: 2012-12-27           Check availability:      UKBookworld    

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