©2003 Tananarive Due; (P)2004 Recorded Books, LLC
"Due handles the potentially unwieldy elements of her novel with confidence, cross-cutting smoothly from past to present, introducing revelatory facts that alter the interpretation of earlier scenes and interjecting powerfully orchestrated moments of supernatural horror that sustain the tale's momentum....[Due is] a writer who grows better with each book." (Publishers Weekly)
Firstly, I was totally delighted wiith this narrator. Either she's a tremdous imitator of different voices, or she got a split personality, each personality taking on a different character in the story. Had me totally engrossed from beginning to end. The story itself is so well written that, before the tale had even ended, I came to Audible looking for another book by this author, or something else read by this narrator. Well worth the money, and a steal using a book credit. READ IT!
An absolutely terrifying read, made so by how well the author "fleshes out" her characters.
I have loved horror type fiction since the mid sixties, and I've read everything, or so I thought.
This author is definitely right up there with Big Steve and Dean. I would rate "The Good House" as in my Top Ten of favorite stories of all my reading/listening.
It is one of those books that you want more when it is finished. Everything is in 3D, and the book 'flows' very well. Nowhere does the listener think, "oh come on, that doesn't fit, no one would do THAT". Everything fits. Every character does what he or she does because it fits the situation. It flows, from situation to situation. From scene to scene. It is very, very well done.
The reader/narrator is perfect for this story, too.
Whether you are new to the genre, or a spoiled oldtime reader like me, I recommend this audiobook.
It does not get gross, don't worry about that, if you don't like blood and gore. She does not "go for the grossout" as Stephen King once said of 'doing whatever it takes to scare you'.
She does not have to resort to that.
Miss Due is just plain deeply chilling, very believable, and deeply enjoyable.
This was my first Due sampling and I'm eager now for Audible to get her previous works. The characters and settings were extremely believable and the storyline was engrossing as a result. Very well written work, brilliantly narrated.
And this is exactly why! I'm a big fan of Tananarive Due's THE GOOD HOUSE. Fabulous. Creepy. Scary (for me--I know you hardcore horror fans have a much higher tolerance!). I must be the only reader in north America who loathes Stephen King, and I'm not usually a fan of horror. (I'm more science- and speculative fiction). I can't praise this book enough. (as a side note, I was also introduced the cubano group The Orishas through this novel). This is a long book, so near the end you may find yourself running into a bookstore so you can finish it quickly, but I see that as proof that the author totally draws us in.
I really liked this book. I plan to listen to other books by the author as soon as they become available on Audible. The author's descriptive skills made this an easy book to follow. Although there were a lot of flashbacks, each one was dated so it was always obvious. All the characters were fleshed-out and believable and interesting.
Here and there a little bit hard to follow because of the constant jumping around on the timeline, but as a whole this is a great book. As an ardent Stephen King fan I have to declare her a worthy disciple of King?s style (not yet his equal, but if the critics are right, we will be in for a treat). I can?t wait for her next book.
Although this book was longer than I am used to, it was one of the few that I continued listening to after I returned home, (usually only listen in the car) The descriptions were not long winded but just right, I could picture the scenes in my mind and the main character, Angela felt like a friend by the end of the book. Yes, I feel Tananarive Due is set to be on Stephen Kings path. I am looking forward to downloading her other books available, but after checking the author's website, wonder why Audible doesn't have them all?
There are things I admire in this book, the characters are strong and the author's style of writing is quite good. But it had some flaws I can't get past. The genre is horror, but the scenes that should be frightening are so drawn out they lose their punch. The author has for some reason chosen to wander off on some rather lengthy tangents that have no relevance to the plot. And the ending is abrupt, ineffective, and for lack of a better word, silly. I will read this author again, but this book comes up short.
This book badly needs a good editor -- with a chainsaw. It would have been a decent pulp thriller if it had been half the length. As another reviewer commented, this book couldn't decide whether it was a horror thriller or a Lifetime movie. I assume that it was intended to be a thriller, which is a genre that depends on pacing for success. The endless, unnecessary, and uninteresting digressions into the pasts of even marginal characters destroyed any possiblity of suspense. The only sense of creeping dread I experienced came from my fear that, at any moment, the author would once again stop the story for a pointless flashback. I'm sure that the author thought that she was fleshing out the characters and making them real people, so that readers would really care about them. It didn't work.
I made it partway into the third Audible installment before I gave up. As it turned out, the dread of another six hours or so of not getting to the point isn't what did me in. It was the reference to a character "flaunting regulations." I'd managed to overlook the numerous grammatical errors (Due seems to have particular difficulty with subject-verb agreement) for about eighteen hours, but without a gripping story to keep me going, I lost my will to overlook any more.
It's possible that "The Good House" has a bang-up scary ending (although I note that another reviewer has characterized the ending as silly). I couldn't say. In the part that I managed to get through, however, the supernatural elements were pretty mild. After you've read most of Stephen King, good and bad (and hasn't pretty much anyone reading this genre already gone through Stephen King?), a bathtub full of mud just isn't going to cause you to lose a lot of sleep. Well, unless it's your own bathtub, I suppose.
(It's possible -- although I doubt it -- that I would have liked this book better if I hadn't listened to it shortly after finishing Dracula. Dracula is long, wordy, leisurely -- and genuinely scary, even though everyone now knows all the vampire tricks that would have been news to nineteenth-century readers. I recommend it. )
The reader of "The Good House" is -- well, fine. Adequate. Unobtrusive, which is often a very good thing. I won't be searching for audiobooks purely on the basis that she reads them, but I wouldn't hesitate to buy another book that she read.
I think this is the first review I've ever written, which means I found the writing and narrating to be good enough to compel me to get up here and offer my opinion. I thought the author wrote tightly and evocatively, but the timing and use of flash-backs was especially compelling--lots of characters but they all intertwine when the main character, Angela, faces off against the curse to finally put it to rest.
I thought Robin Miles as narrator is what put it over the top for me--she has a great facility for infusing each character with believable emotions, voices and actions. Anyway, I often found myself sitting in my car for several minutes after reaching my destination so that I could keep listening. I'll be looking for more books by both Due and those narrated by Miles. I really enjoyed this and am bummed that I had to finish it.
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