To stare into the painting is to play dangerously with the unseen demons it hides, and become the victim of its macabre beauty....
©2007 Long Barn Books Ltd; (P)2008 Long Barn Books Ltd
Rating scale: 5=Loved it, 4=Liked it, 3=Ok, 2=Disappointed, 1=Hated it. I look for well developed characters, compelling stories.
Susan Hill has the ghost story down pat. She writes with great economy - no frills, just chills. Hers are the fun, tingle-up-your-spine campfire stories in which you may see what's coming, but enjoy getting there anyway. The premise of The Man in the Picture has been seen before in other formats, but Hill's writing is good enough to make it a worthy read. Paul Andsell's reading is mostly good, although his voicing of the ancient Countess is too old lady falsetto for my taste. I just enjoyed this short little tale for what it is - a nice spooky snack between larger reads.
An enjoyable story within a story within a story; there are four narrators embedded within each other. Don't let that throw you off; this is one of those horror stories that makes you tense and nervous without blood or grime. It is the reader's imagination that provides the horror behind the loss and the mysteriously-powered painting. A concise, quick-read novella, the author of the Woman in Black has created a tight tale, an old-fashioned horror/ghost story that is a real pleasure to read and makes fear and literary anxiety fun.
Yes, the narration brings the sense of suspense and doom inherent in the story vividly to life.
The final chapters add an ironic twist to the expected outcome. It was sometimes difficult to follow the level of the story as it was being told through several layers.
Both did a great job.
If you liked the Woman in Black, you will like this story.
"Another scary story from Susan Hill"
You can rely on Susan Hill to deliver a story that is genuinely spooky and without resorting to crass over the top horror. This is a fantastic example and just the right length for one atmospheric sitting.
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