Amazon.com In this most gothic of Robert McCammon's novels, setting is key: the continuing saga of the Usher family (descended from the brother of Roderick and Madeline of Edgar Poe's "Fall of the House of Usher") takes place in the weird and picturesque heart of the North Carolina mountains. The haughty, aristocratic Ushers live in a mansion near Asheville; the poor but crafty mountain folk (whose families are just as ancient) live on Briartop Mountain nearby. At harvest time, when the book's action unfolds, the mountains are a blaze of color. Add to the mixture a sinister history of mountain kids disappearing every year, a journalist investigating those disappearances, a monster called "The Pumpkin Man," moldy books and paintings in a huge old library at the Usher estate, and a secret chamber with a strange device involving a brass pendulum and tuning forks--and you've got a splendid recipe for atmospheric horror. I really enjoyed this very intense horror novel. McCammon does a great job of updating Poe's story of the Usher family. I have enjoyed other McCammon novels including Mine, Boy's Life, and Gone South. McCammon's style reminds me a lot of Stephen King and this novel compares favorably with some of King's best. This is the second in my Poe-related bookrays. I highly recommend this one!
Ok so when I started reading it, I had nightmares and that's when I knew it was going to be good. Once again Robert McCammon just takes you and throws you into the story. I was very pleased with how the book went and enjoyed it immensely. It was definitely a book you couldn't put down. Thanks so much for including me in this ring!
I tried but couldn't really get into this. I thought it would be fun. I've had it forever and tried. I guess that's why I don't usually read books from this genre. PMd JennyC for address...will send along. Hope she'll like it...sorry for the delay
Mailed out on Saturday night. My schedule has been on overload since before Christmas. There just wasn't time to get this book read in a reasonable amount of time. Its on its way to the next reader on the list.
I thought I would glance through the first pages of this the day it arrived, just to see if it was my kind of thing... What a mistake that was. The other book I was reading (thankfully not a ring or ray book) was put to one side while I plowed through this. It was the traditional horror in the sense of the word, it was more subtle, and as a great fan of Poe, I thought it carried on the story of Rderick and Madeline very well.
Thanks for the great read peeryfan, I'm looking forward to the next one.
I've PM'd the next on the list and will edit this with the DC# when I mail it on.
I noticed a few people mentioning that they don't usually read this genre and then someone else comparing the author to Stephen King so I feel the need to digress for a moment and explain my "requirements of a good ending" rules. I like a book to have a definite ending, where most of the loose ends are tied up, mystery explained, conflicts resolved, universe saved, etc. I don't require a happy ending (but don't we all usually prefer them?), I don't require it to be the ending I had in mind, I don't even require the good guy to win. I just want the author to do what I consider to be their "job" and write me an ending. I don't want to be left hanging in the air to make my own decision about what the ending was or what it means. Anyone familiar with "The Lady or the Tiger?" where you are supposed to conjecture what was behind the door, that's what I mean. That may be a good way to start a discussion in a class or book club but it's not for me. Having seen the mention of Stephen King, I was a little worried as I consider him to be one of the primary offenders of my "rules" above. I started his recent book "Cell" but because he uses this kind of cop out often I had to skip to the end and sure enough he didn't really end the story. So I had to give up on what was a promising premise and good start. But I digress on my disgression. I should mention that I can make allowance in an ending for the set-up of a sequel so that not everything is ended.
Now, all that said I'll get to this particular book. I loved it. The ending had just a hint of a non-ending, so that I gave it the benefit of my sequel set-up allowance. The characters were fascinating, the mood very H.P. Lovecrafty and gothic, and I got sucked in from the start. The story was gruesome and scary. I liked it so much that at the booksale I went to today I snatched up another McCammon. I would recommend re-reading the original Poe "Fall fo the House of Usher story (it's only a short story)not so much that you need to but it gives you the background feel of the characters and situation.
Thanks for the ring. I'll get this off in the mail as soon as I get an address.
I didn't like this book, I found it rather boring, and not scary at all. It took me ages to go through, but I just can't give up on a book... Sorry for the delay!!
Journal Entry 24 by adeps at Auckland, Auckland Province New Zealand on Monday, January 26, 2009
Released 10 yrs ago (1/26/2009 UTC) at Auckland, Auckland Province New Zealand
CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:
CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:
Sent to NZ today. Hopefully it will be liked over there this time... Sorry for the delay!
Journal Entry 25 by ielfling on Tuesday, March 03, 2009
Thanks for this, I'm looking forward to it, despite the mixed reviews...cheers for sending it, adeps!
Journal Entry 26 by ielfling on Sunday, March 08, 2009
I'm still loving the idea of Poe-related reads, but I was disappointed with this one. It was like there was a scary book inside, waiting to get out, but all the promise of the mysterious lodge, with it's shifting corridors and secrets, was pretty much buried until the end of the book. I would have loved to have read a book set INSIDE the lodge, rather than have a main character too freaked out to go near it for most of the story. Also, that main character - Rix just annoyed me. The very swift, blood-soaked and action-packed end chapters were kind of fun (satanists!! cannibalism!! - I hope spoilers are ok now we're at the end of the bookray) but it was a bit of a slog at times to get there. Thanks perryfran though, for setting this up!
I'm going to add this and 'For Edgar' to Bookmooch and send them on to anyone who is keen, as I think I'm last in line with both.