If you've not read/listened to anything by Neil Gaiman I recommend you don't start with this one.
This book is much darker than his other work; though perhaps bleak is a more accurate word. The pacing is also much slower and it's not a strictly linear plot. Finally, there is a lot of swearing and some rather gruesome passages, but nothing I would call obscene.
So, why did I give it four stars?
The book is full of fascinating ideas. You can read it and re-read it and find interesting new things hidden around every corner.
The depth of the characters is very satisfying. You feel that they aren't just there to further the plot, but that the plot is there to explore their depths.
The main character is, of course, one of the most interesting. "Shadow" as he is aptly named, is not so much a reluctant hero as an apathetic one. After losing everything, he no longer cares what happens to him. So he plunges down the rabbit hole. As things get crazier, he must search within himself to find if can again care about himself or anyone around him.
I'm sure you already know this book is Hilarious, but having Stephen Fry as the narrator takes Douglas Adams' wonderful work to a whole new level. It's like having an entire chocolate cake served to you on a solid gold platter by Sara Lee herself.
I already owned this audiobook, but I had to buy it again just to hear it read by Stephen Fry.
I'm not sure if it was the narrator or the author, but the plot was very hard to follow. I couldn't tell where the change of scenes took place, so I was never sure what was happening to whom. I listened through it twice, and I'm still confused. It was wonderfully descriptive for a zombie book and each scene had plenty of chilling encouters with the undead. But as I couldn't follow who was who or where they were, it was more like a series of Zombie encounter vinettes rather than a cohesive whole.
This book is one of my favorite horror stories. It has gotten several bad reviews, and I'd like to clarify it just a bit.
This is not in your face horror. This is subtle and cerebral horror. No monsters jump out at you. There are no gruesome murders, no buckets of blood, and no gaping portals to hell.
The horror is all about the unknown and the unexplained. Most of the chills come from what isn't said.
At one point, Ellenor is affraid in the dark and holds tight to Theodora's hand. It isn't mentioned until later (and only in passing) that Theodora was nowhere near her at the time. At another point one of the four is chased through the garden. But by what, is never mentioned. The passage of time is described only vaguely adding to the creepy disorientation of Hill House. Shirly Jackson does a masterful job of weaving tone and character to create a chillingly realistic stay in a haunted house... with an unexpected conclusion.
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.