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Publisher's Summary

Poe's classic tale lives on in this Gothic novel of ancestral madness in the mountains of modern-day North Carolina, from a New York Times best-selling author.

Ever since Edgar Allan Poe looted a family's ignoble secret history for his classic story "The Fall of the House of Usher", living in the shadow of that sick dynasty has been an inescapable scourge for generations of Usher descendants. But not for horror novelist Rix Usher. Years ago he fled the isolated family estate of Usherland in the menacing North Carolina hills to pursue his writing career. He promised never to return. But his father's impending death has brought Rix back home to assume the role of Usher patriarch - and face his worst fears.

His arrival forces him to confront a devious and impassive family and his vulnerable sister's slow descent into insanity. Stirring memories of the grim folktales born out of the surrounding Briartop Mountains and the terrifying legends of missing children, Rix knows that in the dark, twisted corridors of Usherland, that dreadful something he saw as a young boy is still there. It's waiting for him, as decayed and undying as the Usher heritage and more depraved than anything Poe could have imagined.

This eerie novel by the Bram Stoker Award-winning author of Swan Song and Boy's Life is "a frightening pleasure" and a worthy tribute to the master who inspired it (St. Louis Post-Dispatch).

©1984 Robert R. McCammon (P)2018 Audible, Inc.

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • B.E.P.
  • Springfield, MO United States
  • 07-09-18

Usher’s Passing: Enjoyable McCammon Novel

I thoroughly enjoy Robert McCammon’s novels, and Usher’s Passing does not disappoint. However, I found the narration to be grating and not very polished. Look past this for another twisting tale from McCammon.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Hunter
  • Huntsville, AL, United States
  • 05-21-18

Wow!!

Great book!! Loved it every step of the way.. This book is a never turn it off type of book. Thanks Robert

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Rick
  • Urcuqui, Ecuador
  • 10-12-18

Beyond Poe

It’s easy to forget that Edgar Allan Poe’s classic “The Fall of the House of Usher” was a compact short story, just over 7000 words. This 17-hour novel is not so much a retelling as a sequel, set generations later and moved from somewhere around Boston to North Carolina. Have no fear: the family is as weird as ever. And the house itself—The Lodge—is a massive, ominous place, a living thing that is clearly evil with its powerful smell of rot and decay. It’s the stench of death.

Other than a historical appearance by Poe himself in the early going (and a fissure down the side of The Lodge, and the patriarch’s hypersensitivity to light and sound), this bears little resemblance to the original. It is all new and imaginative, featuring the likes of the Pumpkin Man, the Mountain King, and a hideous black panther known by the locals as Greedy Guts. But there are worse things. Far worse.

Mystery piles upon mystery, spreading to the Usher family, its lineage, and the hillbillies who populate the surrounding mountains—and whose superstitions are revealed to be based on something more than folklore. Children disappear. There are monsters, and monstrous people. Characters are like shape-shifters who are never what they appear to be for long.

The story steadily gains momentum from a deceptively slow-ish start, moving from the merely peculiar to the abjectly supernatural and terrifying.

McCammon employs a neat trick, used sparingly, where present-day events give way to vivid flashbacks, outside the observations and dialogue of contemporary characters. You barely realize it’s happening, but it serves to reinforce the history of this bizarre family and its impact on their present tribulations.

Scott Aiello delivers an energetic reading, handling many voices with alacrity. He has a habit of dropping odd pauses in mid-sentence, but makes up for it with a lively rendering of a tale that Poe would approve.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Great story!

I couldn't stop listening to this book. I was a little concerned that some of the previous reviews had said the story was hard to follow with the changes in time periods and people, but I found that they flowed really well - if you're paying attention at the particular time it changes.
I loved the narrator's cadence. Some of the audio was a little clipped, but his voices were good and I especially liked his old man mountain voice!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Make this a mini series!

The story begs to be visualized. I enjoyed it very much and appreciated that although it had suspense, darkness and aspects of would be a parents worst nightmare, it didn’t dwell on sadness and kept to it’s haunted feel instead.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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McCammon is a master storyteller

Since I just read Poe’s “The Fall of the House of Usher”, I thought I would jump right into this one and am glad that I did. McCammon takes Poe’s short story and turns it on it’s head with his own imaginings of the Usher family.

Tidy Cat’s litter box of terror, eating brothers Puddin pie, soothing sounds of a satanic symphony, 50 caliber fireworks, mind control magic freaks, and canned peaches with ginger ale.

Oh…and a Pumpkin Man lurking in the woods waiting to snatch up wayward children and secret government weapons of mass destruction.

Yep. It’s all in there.

To say there was a lot going on in this one would be an understatement. I’m not quite sure how McCammon managed to keep it all going without it being a total train wreck, but he did. I thoroughly enjoyed all of the chaos too.

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Reminiscent of other stories

It wasn’t a bad book but I felt like it reminded me of stories from other authors. Still entertaining.

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Well written, but more visceral than my taste

I prefer more paranormal or mystical revelations, and this ends with much more human villainy

2 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Outstanding

Story was wonderful. Reader was the best! I will look for him in the future.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Ushers Passing

Great story as usual from Robert McCammon. I did not enjoy the narrator. What happened to Eduardo Ballerini ?

0 of 1 people found this review helpful