Wednesday, 7 January 2015

An English Ghost Story by Kim Newman

Wonders never cease! I have just read my second tome of 2015. Perhaps this will be a more fruitful reading year after all....

As long as it doesn't involve apples, cider or any Somerset-based stories then I should still be able to sleep at night. After immersing myself in the world of the Naremore's and their time at the outwardly seeming new idyll, 'The Hollow' I'm not sure I am in a rush to return there!!

With such an obvious sounding title, I was expecting generic conformity. I find a cathartic rush in the process of exploring fear on the page (perhaps because you can close your book and feel smug in the relatively safe surroundings of your home). While I was expecting jumps and shocks from the outset, they did not materialise in a way I was expecting. Yet I remain genuinely unsettled at what has unfolded. This story definitely reminds you that the real dangers lie within your four walls- even within the confines of your own mind and indeed how you operate within the confines of your family unit.

Moving to the country is no longer the unifying salve that we can dream of as solution to our daily monotony. Cracking out the self-help CDs may be more productive!

 Who are you? 

If you don't know then you are easy pickings for any malevolent force that wishes to play with you. This was nicely disguised beneath a facade of twee, Blytonesque interplay. Initial thoughs were more Mockingbird Heights (calling the family the Naremore's was genius- cue ravenesque cuckoo-clock type interjection) than Hill House! Whether such malevolent forces are outside agents or the supernatural kind, is really down to interpretation. By the end of the story, influences clearly darken. More 'Tales of the Unexpected'. It is a toss up between an ominous tree, chest of drawers and the phantom hitchhiker mythos as to what delivered the most chills...

Kiss, kiss, kiss

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