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Publisher's Summary

The Deadfall Hotel is where our nightmares go, it’s where the dead pause to rest between worlds, and it’s where Richard Carter and his daughter Serena go to rediscover life - if the things at the hotel don’t kill them first.

Think of it as the vacation resort of the collective unconscious. With the powerful prose that has earned him awards and accolades, Steve Rasnic Tem explores the roots of fear and society’s fascination with things horrific, using the many-layered metaphor of the Deadfall Hotel. Drawing inspiration from literary touchstones John Gardner and Peter Straub, Tem elegantly delves into the dark corners of the human spirit. There, he finds not only our fears, but ultimately our hopes.

Cover art by John Kenn Mortensen.

©2012 Steve Rasnic Tem (P)2018 Steve Rasnic Tem

What members say

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Not Scary So Much As Interesting

With a title like 'Deadfall Hotel' I expected some serious paranormal happenings. The story delivers on this, in a sense, but this tale felt more to me like a drama about a daughter and father experiencing a traumatic loss than a ghost story. So if you're interested in a touching story that happens to have some paranormal elements, this is for you. If you want spooks, I'd pass on this one. Matt Godfrey does a stellar job with narration, as always!

I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

“You can check out any time you like, but you can

Richard has lost his wife and in his grief, has accepted a job offer at a very unique hotel. It is one of mysteries and wonder, and where the dead can walk the halls with the living. It is a place where dreams can take shape and pets can mutate into monsters.

This book is an interesting read with some odd directions, and for the most part, I found it highly enjoyable. Now I’ll say that with the caveat that I do not feel like many others will like this book. It has an odd detached tone to it while things are happening and it leaves the reader like you are never fully brought into the secrets of the hotel. I enjoyed that because our main character often never feels like he has fully been brought into the fold.

It also does not have a straight central story line where it leads to a massive climax that gets resolved. Instead, the book introduces us to the main character, we have a few adventures with him and his daughter and then the story is over and we are left saying goodbye. I’m okay with that, however the end isn’t fully explained and we’re left not fully understanding what changed. It is the ending that keeps me from rating this book higher.

I did listen to this as an audiobook and the narrator did a fantastic job. In fact, the next audiobook I am going to listen to, by pure coincidence, is also narrated by him and I am looking forward to it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Okay, but...

Normally this would be right up my alley.
Love the narrator. Matt Godfrey has the perfect young dad voice, but I just didn't like the character. Sure, he's been through a lot in life and is just drifting.
What I did enjoy, however, was the "Shining" vibes mixed with older Hollywood horror. There was just something off, and I can't quite put my finger on it.
 “I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review." 

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Beautiful, Surreal, and Strange

THE DEADFALL HOTEL is a beautifully written story, but difficult to describe with any kind of clarity. To vaguely set the scene: a recently widowed man accepts a job as caretaker at a somewhat remote hotel, bringing along his young daughter. The current, elderly caretaker is the one who recruited him, and will be available for on the job training, in the hopes that he will soon be able to retire.

Anyone going into this book expecting something like King's THE SHINING, or Matheson's HELL HOUSE, is probably going to be disappointed. While the Deadfall does have some ghosts hanging around, the story isn't really about them. Then again, it's not really about the living people at the hotel either. (Remember when I said this is a difficult story to review with clarity?)

Here's how I viewed it, (or tried to view it), and that was by looking at each chapter as its own separate story; connected only by their setting. King of the Cats, for instance. Yes, living people were in the tale, but it was mostly about the cats and the hotel. The Craving-yes the caretaker in training was part of the story, but only incidentally.

In these little vignettes, the author really shines, (especially in regards to the werewolf and the vampire), but when it came to the living people, the narrative didn't work as well for me. I enjoyed the characters, but they did a LOT of things that weren't believable. Towards the end, a few of their confusing actions were explained, (like why they went there in the first place), but the father repeatedly putting his daughter into danger was something that was not explained to my satisfaction.

Aside from these issues, I truly enjoyed this story. I've long been a fan of Tem's writing, but other than his novel UBO, (which I loved), I've not read any of his longer works. I pulled over in my car, so I could bookmark this quote from the audio:

"Fall is but a whisper in these environs. With so much death and decay on display year-round, we hardly notice the autumn and so it truncates, crawling off sullen and insulted by our lack of attention."

As I said above, I listened to this story, and I loved the narration-especially the voicing of Jacob, the elder caretaker. Most chapters started off with quotes from his journals over the years and I think those were my favorite parts.

Even though DEADFALL HOTEL wasn't quite what I was expecting, it did grow on me, and I did end up enjoying it. I would go there for a visit...as long as I didn't have to go near that godawful swimming pool. (Trust me, that pool was SCARY.)

Highly recommended for fans of dark fantasy, and/or weird tales!

*I received the audio of this book free of charge from the narrator with no strings attached. I chose to review it anyway. Furthermore, I consider the narrator to be a friend, even though we've never met in person. That fact did not affect this, my honest review.*

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

what a strange place!

** I received this audiobook in exchange for a honest review**

Matt Godfrey did a great job narrating this strange tale. The production quality was great, I had no problems with it. and I absolutely love the cover art. The story, however, was so strange. the word I keep coming back to when thinking about how to describe it, is disjointed. The character's acceptance of the hotel and it's guest was unbelievable. the hotel is very interesting but I don't think we got enough about it. Maybe there will be sequels? There was probably a deeper meaning to the hotel but I really couldn't get into this story.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

A strangely interesting read

This is a very hard book to give a review on. If you are a fan of strange horror as I am I suspect that you will enjoy this gread. The characters are strangely interesting and engaging. I enjoyed this book a great deal. I was voluntarily provided a review copy that the author publisher or no writer at no cost to me. Our opinions are my own

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Odd Hotel

I enjoyed the characters of Jacob (proprietor) and Serena but thought Richard was weird. It was a bit confusing whether it was a dream or real at times. Still question why Richard (recent widower) did not leave right away with his daughter. I did enjoy the part with the stray cats and the Reverend part was ok I think it was the narration that kept it going. Recommend it you like weird horror. I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review. Thank you

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Didn't captivate me.

I just couldn't connect with this book. My mind kept wandering. I couldn't figure out what the story was about. I am going to try it again at another time. I don't know if it was because I had just finished listening to another book and that story was still in my head. I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher for my honest review.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful