Chris and Cathy made such a loving home for 14-year-old Jory - so handsome, so gentle. And for Bart, who had such a dazzling imagination for a nine-year-old.
Then the lights came on in the house next door. Soon the Old Lady in Black was there, watching them, guarded by her strange old butler. Soon she had Bart over for cookies and ice cream and asked him to call her "Grandmother". And soon Bart's transformation began....
Fed by the hint of terrible things about his mother and father...leading him into shocking acts of violence. Now while this little boy trembles on the edge of madness, his anguished parents await the climax to a horror that flowered in an attic long ago, a horror whose thorns are still wet with blood, still tipped with fire.
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Audiobook narrator in my own right, I'm a voracious listener of anything & everything. I'm a sponge, absorbing entertainment & the craft!
"If There Be Thorns" has always seemed like the dark horse of the Dollanganger series to me. I've read the series many many times in the last 20 years and always I dread this book, yet come away having enjoyed it, only to forget the enjoyment as I approach it the next time. The two preceding books just eclipse everything! Fresh from finishing this third installment, I'll write this review and say that it really is a great story. Since it's from Jory's and Bart's point of view (the only Andrews book to feature male main characters), you have to approach it almost as a stand alone book. Though you know all the back story, the lead characters don't. There really is some masterful handling of Bart's growing mental decline and brainwashing making for some seriously disturbing and creepy moments! The book is great! Corey Brill as narrator does take some getting used to. (Joy Osmanski is barely heard at the start and finish so I can't really say anything there.) His narration isn't the best but it grows on you. He doesn't have enough range to play 14 years old and 9 years old effectively, in my opinion. His vocal quality sounds a good deal older and at times it was bothersome! He also mispronounces common words which also troubled me, though the most troubling was that he could never decide whether Jory's last name was (the commonly accepted) Mar-KET or Mar-KAY. I can't believe that the producer or director didn't correct him. And if he produced it himself, which a lot of audiobook narrators do nowadays, someone should have checked for quality control! It's still nice to see these books finally getting audio productions! If you've listened to the masterful productions of "Flowers In The Attic" and "Petals On The Wind" before this one, don't be undecided! Get "If There Be Thorns"! It's different, but worth it!
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