While on a fishing trip two men discover the ruins of an old house perched on the very edge of a cliff. In the ruins they discover an old manuscript that seems to suggest the house was once involved in something super natural, and horrific.
Public Domain (P)2013 FNH
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"Not quite the classic I remember"
Yes, on the whole. It's not an especially long book, but it is a key work of its kind.
It begins with strange goings on in and around a very large house where the narrator lives alone except for his sister and dog. Despite being there for 10 years there are unexplored parts of the house, including a vast cellar with a trapdoor to... what? After an investigation, the house is besieged by extradimensional creatures. This is followed by a sequence obviously inspired by Wells's The Time Machine, some dream stuff, and then a rather low key, not to say anticlimactic, ending.
The rapid flight into the future starts off well but ends up as rather poorly described waffle. I had real problems with the narrator, a self-declared dog lover, leaving his dog outside when he knew there was a likelihood of the evil creatures coming back.
At best it's visionary, creepy and exciting. At worst it's a bit dull and irritating because much of the time it's just things happening to the "protagonist"; not only is there no apparent reason for the events, the prot hardly even speculates about why they are happening.
Now there's a question. Some of his pronunciations struck me as non-standard. "Deities" pronounced as "di-et-ies", "denizens" pronounced as "denzins", and "catastrophe" as "cat-a-stroff". (I was hoping he'd pronounce "picturesque" as "picture-scew" but the word isn't in the book.) I also felt he was miscast;the narrator of the main story is supposed to be quite a bit older.
Get on with my own novel. It's not based on a similar idea, but there's a certain vibe I could borrow.
I feel I could almost sum this up as a dream written up. But a very good dream.
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