Something's not quite right about the neighborhood of Woodland Heights. Five years ago six children disappeared in this suburban heaven. When Laura Wagner moves into a house that had been vacant for most of those five years, this something comes alive.
Laura Wagner, divorced mother of two, addicted to alcohol and Valium, sees nothing wrong with her life; she sees nothing much at all. She gets by as well as she can, aided by the solace of her drugs and whiskey, until the day she backs into a police car in the parking lot of her favorite bar and is sentenced to involuntary rehabilitation treatments.
Returning home clean and sober is an eye-opening experience. The spirit dwelling in her house reveals its true, evil nature and begins to prey upon her, her friends, even her children, avid to spread its message of death and despair.
Laura must learn to control her inner demons before she can subdue these outside forces threatening to break free. She must learn how to distinguish hallucinations from reality so she can stop the spirit that desires her death - and the deaths of her loved ones.
©2015 Karen E. Taylor (P)2015 Karen E. Taylor
Admittedly, I try to avoid most media in the horror genre (my real life is scary enough!), but I do read (and listen) regularly, and had to try Cellar based on the very strong recommendation of a close friend. I was very pleasantly surprised by the book!
I’m not going to ineffectively rehash the entire novel, as many other book reviews do, but rather focus mainly on the highlights and positive points of the book (and there are many).
First, it should be mentioned because of my poor experiences with other audio books that the narrator in the audio version of Cellar is both easy to understand and listen to. Maybe I’m a little too picky, but several narrators of past audio-book purchases have driven me crazy! And no, it’s not like George’s obsession on Seinfeld, where he is determined to enjoy a book through the voice of a female, because I’ve enjoyed several male narrator’s readings as well. The point is that this narrator is very easy to listen to.
As for the actual novel, Cellar does many things perfectly. For anyone that’s “scared” to read horror (both because of its general style and common story pitfalls), starting Cellar will really reinvigorate or even develop an interest and appreciation for the entire genre. Because the book is so well-written and immersive, it’s not only frightening, but essentially impossible to stop enjoying. Between the easy-to-listen arrangement of individual pages to the overall flow of the story, Cellar is difficult to start (just look at that cover!), but very hard to not finish!
Also worth noting is how well-developed the main character, Laura, is. Not only does it make sense for her to be faced with the horror of the cellar, given her geographic location and circumstance, but it is a natural progression of her personal characteristics as well—making the entire story very well-thought and rounded. Basically, the largest detractor of many other horror and fantasy works, in my opinion, is the way that they often throw an unsuitable main character into an otherwise well-thought world and situation; everything, from the main character to the environment, as well as the actual horror, has been considered and thought-out in Cellar.
Accordingly, this is a must-read book, for horror fans, as well as anyone that’s simply looking for a good read. It’s scary, but not artificially so, as many others are. Additionally, the novel has an impressive flow and movement, in both the short and long term—a testament to the overall skill of Taylor’s writing.
If you’re on the fence about enjoying Cellar, go ahead and jump over to the purchasing side. Before you know it, you’ll be recommending the book to a friend that isn’t particularly fond of horror—and they’ll have no choice but to enjoy it!
I read the book and now have listened to the audio. This is a great weekend listen! I would definitely listen to it again
Don't go inside the CELLAR!
I read this book originally looking for a deep dark and paranormal story. I was given a much more complex read dealing with addiction and mental health issues. I usually don't get audiobooks, but wanted to hear it from a different perspective. Great overall work!
This audio book will grab hold of you and not let go. The main character, Laura, struggles with alcohol and Valium but turns her life around once she goes to rehab and meets Mike. Now that she's sober she can admit there's something more going on that meets the eye. This story had me hooked from the very first word. Its creative, well-written and well told. If you enjoy a creepy story this book is for you.
I have not read the print version however I can't see it getting any better than the audio version. The Audio was well narrated and hits on all keynotes and even some of the emotions of the character.
I cant think of a direct book at this moment to compare Cellar to, but this book remind me of the movie Out of The Dark. A movie based on buried secrets and evil lurking in dark places.
The main Character Laura was my favorite, I can definitely relate to her losing a child and the emotions, regrets and what ifs that goes with it.
This book definitely had me on edge and guessing in all fairness. I just wanted to know what would come next.
I would love to see a movie version of Cellar.
Author - The Happiness Animal
‘I should have stopped at one’. I could relate to the wasted days that I myself have spent drinking. Then shaming myself for my worthless behavior. Grimacing at the large tabs and the questionable booty calls. This is the story of a woman, a mother, and a wife’s struggle to face her (and other’s inner demons), and a triumph over alcoholism.
For the first time the desire to see her (Laura – the protagonist’s) daughters was greater than her desire to drink. But on her way to see them she is arrested on a DUI by a man who she will come to know well when sober.
Better off dead, better off dead, Laura thinks of herself in the bath. Are these her own thoughts or whispers from the cellar?
With a tour de force in mastering the vivid instance, the author takes through the daily conversations of rehab.
From one cell and cellar to another…and perhaps all her furnace needed was some routine maintenance to stop the ghosts playing with her circuit breakers. Or perhaps it was her own mind’s circuit breakers that needed maintenance.
This is a story of parallels of the real and the unreal of people and of ghosts, of external and internal demons.
I, having had my own issues with alcoholism could resonate with the protagonist acutely. I have heard the inner voices telling me ‘I’m better off dead’, that ‘I’m useless’ ‘Go on just have one more drink’. Eventually Laura refuses to be bullied any more by that inner voice, but not without the support and the close connection to others. She acknowledges that without that connection, it could very well be her dead instead.
Her own battle with alcoholism won in the cell and cellar of her mind, comes the haunting voices from the cell and cellar of her house. It take’s a life full of death and a great deal of courage to face the tortured souls of a house full of death, but if Laura can help, then why not.
The narrator’s voice is soothing to listen to, good intonation and emphasis so no meaning is lost from the author’s voice. I listened to the entire book over 3 afternoons as I travelled on the trains in Sydney, Australia.
Whether you are an alcoholic, recovering or otherwise, or someone who just enjoys a compelling listen, or a fan of thrillers and suspense, this audiobook will not disappoint. 5 Stars.
Review by Will Jelbert, Author of The Happiness Animal
This book wz extremely predictable & boring! The author seemed to struggle at finding non repetitive words resulting in very poor writing. The narrator sounded ridiculous when portraying the opposite sex & children. The main character who wz drinking bc of her child's death & getting "sober" 4 her remaining children barely thought about or spoke of her kids at all. Also her addiction, recovery, sponsor, relationship with boyfriend, roommate, ex spouse & ex best friend were extremely shallow, inaccurate & just dumb. I would not listen to this again or recommend it.
I love the characters and the pace of the book..captivating👀....it kept me on the edge of my seat.. 👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽
I like that you did not know for sure what was in the cellar until almost the end. I keep formulating ideas of what I thought was in the cellar but I never knew for sure.
yes! There are a handful of twists and interesting details.
Well I was the most on the edge of my seat on my drive to work when all the equipment was beeping in the cellar and Laura gets stuck down there with a broken leg. Tries to scoot up the stairs only to find the door is locked. Then goes through the doggy/kitty door, I enjoyed that bit I use to do that myself as a teen.
No I didn't want to listen to it all in one sitting. I like to concentrate on what I am listening to and doing 5+ hours strait is a bit of a stretch. If I were on a road trip then by all means, yes!
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.