Friday, March 27, 2015
An English Ghost Story
This book was on a local book club's reading list and it sounded pretty interesting, so I checked it out.
At first I was taken in by the language and style of how the book was written. There was something about it that was different from what I had been reading and it was refreshing. I think that Kim Newman brought some wonderful description writing and in fact, the setting of where the book takes place is as much of character, if not more so, than the actual people characters brought to life among the pages.
It is interesting to see how a family moving into a home could alter themselves and the ghosts that inhabit the place upon doing so. This family was truly dysfunctional and it set up a wonderful foundation for a traditional ghost story with a few new tricks. Add in some ancient paranormal power, like the Druids for instance, and you have an explosion of supernatural potential.
However, about a third of the way in when it starts to take on that paranormal/horror persona, it began to get a little out of control and the structure of the piece began to suffer. I wish that Newman would have really thought about pacing and about why parts of the book happened in the places that they did. The biggest problem I had was how the book actually ended. Without giving too much away, it was almost as if the whole book was a family therapy session of sorts and that is not really what I am looking for when reading a scary book.
There were a few parts in the book that made me say things out loud, which is why I am not completely upset with spending the time I did reading it. The moment when the mother put the son in the magical dresser was one of them. I think I might have even got a little misty eyed as I wondered what would become of the little boy.
If you are someone who needs their scary books to be so freaky that you can't read them at night without every light on in the house, (or apartment or dorm room or hotel), then this book isn't for you. If you don't mind reading a scary book only to find out that you were in therapy for a few hours, then this book might be for you. Overall, an interesting book that had a few wonderful, nail biting moments.
Rating: 3 out of 5
I borrowed this book from my local library; I was not asked to write a review of this book.