I’m a pretty big horror fan. I graduated from Christopher Pike novels to Stephen King before I hit my teens. Naturally, I’m pretty familiar with the works of H.P. Lovecraft. So when I came across an author who Lovecraft named as a major influence on his work, I naturally had to give it a read. The similarities are apparent from page one. It has many of the ingredients of classic Lovecraft: cosmic horror, strange locals, unnamed horrors. It’s a must read for anyone who is a fan of Horror or just H.P. Lovecraft.
The story begins with two English gentlemen named Tonnison and Berreggnog who are taking a fishing trip to a remote Irish village. During their trip, they come across the ruins of a strange old house next to a lake where they find a partially dilapidated journal of someone whom they call The Recluse, who apparently lived in the house some time ago with his spinster sister and his faithful dog, Pepper. The journal details the increasingly bizarre and horrifying events occurring in the house and ends abruptly. The journal accounts for most of the book. After reading it the two men, already unnerved by the atmosphere around the old house agree never to return the the area.
The book does a good job of maintaining the feeling of unease and dread throughout the story. Even when the men have returned to the village proper, one is not completely at ease. The House on the Borderland is a pioneering classic of the cosmic horror genre.