Three men are offered a million dollars each if they will spend a month in an isolated Pennsylvania mansion, The Pines. There they will confront madness, murder, and the ultimate evil – so that their billionaire host might find the key to life beyond the grave. But as they learn, dead souls dwell in The Pines. And death is just the beginning.
©1987 Chet Williamson (P)2010 CrossRoad Press
When I got this book, it was because I was running out of books in the 'Horror' section that isn't about vampires. I really didn't think it was going to be that good. To my surprise it turned out to be excellent. I have enjoyed it several times just since I got it and every time it's as good as the first. I wish they'd get more like this.
There have been several novels similar to this, The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson, and Hell House by Matheson, Soulstorm doesn't really add a lot of new elements to the world of seriously messed up houses...but it does add some interesting glimpses into characters with no holds barred. Sometimes it's difficult to realize that every action, reaction, and emotion the characters feel or express is an interaction with or reaction to the house. You come to like, and then loathe, and then distrust the characters one after another as they seem to weather the storm - or cave instantly to the power of the place. You want to root for them, but you know that even if they escape, the influence will desert them and they will realize how warped their thoughts have become.
An entertaining read, well narrated by the author.
Jackson's "The Haunting of Hill House" was published in 1959; Richard Matheson's "Hell House" in 1971; Williamson's "Soulstorm in 1986. These three novels tackle the "prove life after death by living in a 'haunted' house" scenario. I've listened to all three recently, and they hold up surprisingly well in 2010. Soulstorm seems very much a first novel, with weaknesses that are evident, but not overwhelmingly distracting. This is a novel I'd love to ask the author to rewrite after his additional 23 years of writing and life experience. While not in the league of Jackson and Matheson's stories, and suffering from an ending that was very much in vogue for horror during the late 60s onward, Soulstorm is still an interesting entry in the genre, and worth a listen.
Lovers of “Haunting of Hill House” and “Hell House” should only read this book if they are in for a good laugh, followed by revulsion. At best the writing style is unpracticed and inept. The characters are paper-thin, too many clichés, and the plot is ultimately predictable. Also, every strait character (except for the cop) is a closet rapist. All of them make at least one reference to having their way with, if not forcing themselves, upon a female…with many of them actually making the attempt at least once. As well, the author needlessly decided to add gay bashing into the mix. The main character is a homosexual. The house makes him strait and he ultimately decides he likes it better that way, as if homosexuality was a disability that a person had to overcome in order to function in society.
If I had known about these elements, I would not have purchased this book.
did not read the printed version
more spooky, I thought it would be more of a haunted house type story
it was ok sometimes droned on a bit put me to sleep sometimes
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