Skip to main content

CBR4 #5: Haunted by James Herbert

I love a ghost story. I'm not especially picky about them, but I prefer those in which the ghost is a definable character rather than a mysterious evil force. While an anonymous angry spirit is certainly spooky, a specific vengeful ghost is much more interesting in my opinion.

James Herbert's Haunted is such a ghost story, though the actual existence of the ghost is in question most of the way through. Protagonist David Ash works for a London supernatural society as a sort of ghost hunter. Mostly, he travels around and tries to debunk hauntings with science, equipment, and modern thought. He's a notorious skeptic, even though he does work with people who do seem to have paranormal gifts.

When he gets invited out to Edbrook by the young Mariell siblings and their spinster aunt, he agrees to go without much thought. Since Ash believes very little in the spiritual realm, he doesn't think he has much to worry about. Unfortunately, when he arrives, he finds that everything is just the slightest bit off-kilter. He isn't sure whether the problem is with the house or with himself, but something is certainly wrong. The longer he stays, the more perilous circumstances become.

I liked the book quite a bit, and only partially figured out the twist ending. The character of David is fairly well-drawn, though the others are all a bit vague. However, the story is more about the plot, which churns along at a decent clip. All said, it's not a bad book--definitely entertaining--but nothing special.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

CBR11 #2 - YES. THIS. -- Nothing is Okay by Rachel Wiley

I have a confession to make: I am a monster. No, not the kind who stampedes through Tokyo (though #goals) or the kind that lurks outside your window at night. I am dog-earer. I know, a shiver ran up the spine of book lovers everywhere--I could feel you all cringing. I know, it's a bad habit. But when I read (poetry especially) I like to be able to mark the page where I found something really striking, so I can double back and find it later. When it comes to my books, a turned down corner means "HERE! THERE'S SOMETHING IMPORTANT HERE!"

I'm telling you this dirty secret of mine so that you'll understand what it means when I say that by the time I got through Nothing Is Okay, nearly every other page had a bent corner. Some were bent over twice because there was something valuable to me on both sides of a single page.

I discovered Rachel Wiley after someone posted a video of her performing her poem "Ten Honest Thoughts On Being Loved By A Skinny Boy," a…

CBR9 #6: Crystal Flowers: Poems and a Libretto by Florine Stettheimer

I love traveling alone, and one of the things I like to do on my trips is go to museums. I just dig learning things I didn't know, I guess. The problem--when it comes to cities I've visited before--is that I have often already seen the better-known museums. And when it comes to New York City, I've worked my way through MOMA, the Met, the Museum of Natural History, the Guggenheim, and several of the other most well-known institutions. So this last time I visited, I decided to branch out and visit a couple I'd never heard of before.

One of the three museums I visited on my last trip was The Jewish Museum of New York City. Now before you ask, I'm not Jewish. But like I said, I enjoy learning things, and this museum just happened to be near the location of a theater where I was going to be seeing a show in the afternoon.

It was a Friday afternoon in August, and when I arrived, I was informed that due to renovations, only one exhibit would be open. I was disappointed, b…

CR3 # 17: Mount Misery by Samuel Shem

Mount Misery is the sequel to Samuel Shem's first book, House of God (review here). It follows Dr. Roy Basch as he leaves the House of God and moves to psychiatric hospital Mount Misery to begin his psychiatric residency. Unfortunately, it turns out that psychiatrists are just as crazy, confused, and often detrimental as medical doctors. As Dr. Basch cycles through the various sectors of the hospital (talk therapy, admissions, Freudian Analysis, drug therapy) he is horrified to discover that it seems everything he is being taught is not only wrong, but potentially dangerous. He begins to fall into terrible patterns of behavior, mirroring the problems his patients are having. Each area is worse than the last, with one doctor who thinks the best way to treat is to be aggressively hostile, one who cares only about insurance premiums and efficiency, one who treats with silence and "regression," and one who thinks the only viable treatment is to pump every patient full of exp…