Those Across the River
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

Those Across the River

3.58 of 5 stars 3.58  ·  rating details  ·  2,073 ratings  ·  498 reviews
Failed academic Frank Nichols and his wife, Eudora, have arrived in the sleepy Georgia town of Whitbrow, where Frank hopes to write a history of his family's old estate-the Savoyard Plantation- and the horrors that occurred there. At first, the quaint, rural ways of their new neighbors seem to be everything they wanted. But there is an unspoken dread that the townsfolk hav...more
Hardcover, 357 pages
Published September 6th 2011 by Ace Hardcover (first published September 4th 2011)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
If Tennessee Williams wrote horror fiction this is what it would read like. "Those Across the River" is old school horror written by a poet. This is what I want every horror novel to be when I pick it up.

Haunted by a scandalous past Frank Nichols and his beloved wife Eudora have arrived in Whitford, Georgia, where Frank is hoping to revive his nearly decimated academic career by writing a book about his ancestors who once owned a large plantation in the town. Whitford has a great many secrets a...more
Francis Nichols inherits a house and its possessions from his departed Aunt in Whitbrow. But this comes with a stark warning from her to sell the property and keep the money and not to live there. She warned him that bad blood lies in that dwelling and the place will smell out what's in you and claim you for it's own.
Something insidious is gathering attention from across the river. One by one people go missing and turn up dead. This story is a good old chiller of an intriguing tale of something
I began this book yesterday when I was supposed to be weeding, continued it when I was supposed to be making dinner, and finished it when I was supposed to be sleeping.

At 3 o'clock this morning, I had a terrible nightmare in which someone was eating my feet, and I woke up and tucked my feet firmly under the sheet and was certain that I couldn't fall back to sleep, but I was too scared to stay awake.

I slept horribly, just as Mr. Buehlman intended, the lousy bastard.
Wow. The second half of this book was incredible.

Those Across the River is the kind of book that seems to sneak up on you. At first, you are reading about a small depression era town in the south. Everything has a slow motion kind of feel about it, on account of the oppressive heat. At times, the narrative gets bogged down with a lot of the small town stuff. While it does slow the story down, it captures the essence of a small town, the poverty, the racism, and the lack of anything to do.

Those Across the River Review


John Michael Decker

The year is 1935. Frank Nichols, a former history professor from Chicago, has moved to the quaint little town of Whitbrow, Georgia with his paramour Eudora. Frank’s intention is to write a book chronicling the history of his ancestor, an infamous Civil War general. But Whitbrow is a town with many dark secrets. Secrets which threaten to erode not only Frank and Eudora’s newfound happiness, but their belief in a rational world as well. There is so...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kelly Cochran Davis
Oh, that was fun! I was lucky enough to have an advanced copy of this debut novel loaned to me. I am so glad it was, what a ride! I am a fast reader and I wanted to make sure I didn't miss anything. So I took my time with the beginning half. I moved from North to South, I sweated, I loved, I laughed, and was disgusted by reminders of a time that is thankfully gone,but not always finished. Then things started getting really weird. Not just the "languid backwoods redneck" weird, but the "deeply di...more
I found it difficult to put this one down, owing largely to the strength of Buehlman's writing.

Buehlman's narrative voice is particularly strong for the vast majority of the work. Southern Gothic elements are painstakingly woven into the narrative in Faulkner-come-O'Connor fashion. The narrator's jibes concerning Southern culture and religion are well played, a bit snarky without becoming preachy, and his casual racism is spot-on for the era -- especially with its attendant, subsumed guilt. Once...more
Anna Walls
This creepy, atmospheric tale made perfect reading for rainy, late October nights. For some reason, I had thought I might be turned off by the post World War I time know, that it might seem old-fashioned and affected. But the author's skill with language and dialogue (which, owing to the time period and location does not match today's, and my own, standards of political correctness) really drew me in. There were at least, make that three...scenes that really gave me the he...more
Shellie (Layers of Thought)
Original review posted at Layers of Thought.

A historical gothic thriller set during the great depression in the rural south. It has a thread which links to the US Civil War. Readers won’t guess what the source of the horror is until two thirds through the book; be prepared to linger at the edge of your comfort zone and have a hard time putting this book down.

About: Main character Frank Nichols is a WWI vet turned college professor. His girl friend Eudora and he have decided to marry after a seve...more
Apr 29, 2013 Katy rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who enjoy horror
Recommended to Katy by: netGalley
Shelves: ebook, net-galley
Please note: Read and reviewed in October 2011 from a copy provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

My Synopsis: Frank Nichols had carried on an affair with Eudora Lehman for two years before her husband discovered them. Disgraced and blacklisted, Frank has been unable to find another job in a University, but, in what appears to be a great stroke of luck, he inherits a house from his late mother’s sister. She warns him to just sell the house – to not move down to Georgia – but he d...more

Oh, we fell in love! And Eudora looks like a Sphinx. She is Sphinx-like. Like a Sphinx, she is. And we sweat! It is so hot that we sweat, and we make love a lot. Like, A LOT. LOTS. And we get sweaty. Like the sweaty Negroes. There are Negroes about and sometimes I suck up to the Negroes, and sometimes the Negroes make me feel awkward. And sometimes, kinda racist. While I sweat with my sexy sphinx-like Eudora. And The Great War messed me up, and The States War messed everybody up, and there is a...more
WW I vet Frank Nichols leaves Chicago with his girlfriend for Whitbrow, Georgia, a town harboring dark secrets going all the way back to the Civil War, but now struggling to survive during the Depression. Frank's great grandfather was a notorious Confederate officer and slave owner, whose nasty exploits still haunt the town, many of whom don't venture into the woods across the river, believing those woods to be haunted. Instead, the dying town sends flower-garlanded hogs out there as a tribute.....more
I was also fortunate to see an advance copy of this book and endorse John Michael Decker’s review in every respect. I had no idea this was a horror story, which I wouldn’t normally choose to read, hence I read it with an open mind. The first chapter enthralled me, and by the time I realised it was a horror story, I was hooked.

I was familiar with the author’s writing ability from his plays and poetry, but i wasn’t expecting a well-crafted work of such exceptional quality, depth, erudition and ma...more
Richard Gazala
The roots of Christopher Buehlman's novel, "Those Across the River," are tangled inextricably in the classic Southern Gothic literary tradition. Emblematic of the best of the genre, Buehlman's writing is as elegant as it is powerful. Through deft choices of language, idiom, place and pace, he conveys well the cadence of life in the American South at a time the country teetered between the first and second World Wars, the Great Depression raged with seeming immortality, and the American Civil War...more
MaritaBeth Caruthers

My Reading Experience, 6 June 2011

I have just read a horror novel. That’s a very rare occurrence in my world. The last time I read horror, I think I was still in high school. Nightmares followed and alternative genres have filled my library shelves in the thirty years between then and now.
I have also just read an adventure romance novel---much more my style of reading. Funny thing is: the two books were one and the same. Funnier thing: I loved it!

When our friend Christopher Buehlman first told u...more
Haunting, poetic, erotic, this is high-brow horror at its best. The atmospheric setting, rural Georgia in 1935, draws you in, and the characters, complex and flawed, make you stay. The tension builds up slowly as Frank and Dora arrive in the small town of Whitbrow, where he has inherited his family's old plantation and she has acquired a teaching position. They dutifully attend socials, make nice with the locals and have lots and lots of sex. Things wouldn't be so bad if it weren't for the foreb...more
Jo Anne B
I did not like this book.

I didn't like either of the main characters, Frank and Eudora. They were sarcastic and uninteresting. They seemed unintelligent despite being scholars. Frank, a war veteran and professor, inherits a house that he was warned against living in. But he moves there anyways to get away from his previous job where his girlfriend, Eudora, committed adultery with him creating a huge scandal. The new town is creepy from the get go but they both carry on and try to fit in. Two pi...more
Oct 28, 2012 Rebecca rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Rebecca by: Melanie
Shelves: books-to-buy
Christophe the Insultor, the author's alter-ego, is an evilly funny man. This book is just evil--in the best way possible. This is good, old fashioned book horror, done the way only a truly intelligent writer can manage. Anyone can do hack and slash; only a true talent can spin so much terror out of so much atmosphere and really, very little gore until the very end. Buehlman takes a page from Hitchcock's play book, relying on suspense and innuendo, hints and foreshadowing, images seen from the c...more
I've been meaning to get into more Buehlman ever since he rocked my socks off with Between Two Fires & I'm now going to kick myself for waiting so long to get on it at the same time as I hide under the covers with all the lights in the house blazing; my oh my, this book scared me silly! There are several criteria that must be met before a book that's read at night can graduate into the Yikes! category. First, I must be compelled while reading to check that the doors are locked. Second, I mus...more
Potentially one of the best "horror" novels I've read in quite a while. *Almost* five-star worthy, except the last little bit left me wanting something more. As other reviewers have noted, it builds and builds and then BAM! It shoots its wad. It's not a bad wad, by any stretch, but after the previous slow build before, it feels rushed and somehow incomplete. Perhaps by comparison only, but still...

I smell a sequel, I think, and I'm not sure if that's a bad thing or a good thing. So much of what...more
Melinda Chadwick
Christopher Buehlman writes with a refreshing economy of words that somehow still does not allow the story to be anything but rich in its telling. A really remarkable talent. The story is beyond creepy. I had bad dreams while I read this book. I think another reviewer said that this story reads like stepping into someone's nightmare and I think that's a perfect way to say it. It is like a pandora's box of phobias and paranoia and dread. A perfect October read.
There's a lot to love about this book. Its set in the 1930's. An era of time I am utterly fascinated by. Gangsters, prohibition, moonshiners, just had a certain wildness about it. A yankee boy having to go down to the deep south, a little Dueling Banjos playing in the background, and the way the author whips this bad boy into a complete feeding frenzy, and I do mean feeding frenzy. Absolutely great read.
This is one helluva ride. I finished it in less than 24 hours because I had to see the characters through so we could mop our brows, share a drink and make nervous small talk until the willies subsided.

Teresa Frohock
Excellent book. I read Those Across the River in two days. The story is set in post-World War I Georgia when Frank Nichols and his wife Eudora move to Whitbrow, Georgia and learn of the town's disturbing history. Once a month, the town sends a gift of two pigs across the river where the old Savoyard plantation once stood, but the Great Depression is hitting all of the farmers hard, and the town votes to stop wasting its livestock in a ritual that only a few want to maintain. However, it isn't lo...more
This book is deeply creepy, and I only made it more so by reading it on a weekend as the
moon was coming full. And the moon definitely plays a role in this story, set in the
rural south in 1936. Frank and Eudora, posing as man and wife though they hadn't quite
made it official yet, have come to live in the house bequeathed to him by his aunt. It
came with a curse, interestingly enough, and a dire warning from his aunt to just sell
the house and not come to see it ever. It seemed to stem from a great...more
Shelley aka Gizmo's Reviews
*Genre* Horror/Fiction
*Rating* 4.0

~*You can also find this review at


Those Across the River, by Christopher Buehlman, is a strange, disturbing, and fascinating journey through the eyes of World War I veteran Frank Nichols as he and his fiancé nee wife to be, Eudora Chambers, travel to Whitbrow, Georgia where they hope to start a new life together.

Frank has been ostracized from the academic community because of his actions concerning Eudora’s current re...more
Do you ever read a book, have a firm and definite opinion on the book, then log on to goodreads and realize that your opinion is completely opposite of the majority? I am telling myself that the other reviewers must have been paid or rewarded in some way because this was not a good book.

It was slow. Painfully slow. I skimmed through entire pages of the book in hopes that it would improve but it did not. Eventually, I decided to skim through the entire book in hopes that the beginning would becom...more
Although it starts out a bit slow, this dark tale of revenge really picks up the pace in the second half as the story develops and you begin to understand the earlier setup. The characters are wonderfully drawn out and the plot carefully reveals itself as you get a greater sense of the creepy goings-on in the town and the identity and motives of "those across the river". The ending is very satisfying and leaves you wondering about the fate of certain characters. Very entertaining and highly reco...more
S.A. Bodeen
OMG. I started this about 8pm last night. Mistake! I couldn't stop reading but it kept getting scarier and freakier. I finished it about 1130 and couldn't figure out how to get into bed without having to turn out the lights. This story scared the crap out of me.Great read. Freshest take on a certain genre that I've ever read.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Joyce's Reading Log: Those Across the River by Christopher Buehlman 1 2 Jun 17, 2014 09:21AM  
  • The Dead Path
  • The Ritual
  • Dark Echo
  • Hell Train
  • The Croning
  • Raising Stony Mayhall
  • Vacation
  • No Doors, No Windows
  • Floating Staircase
  • Dark Harvest
  • Seed
  • The Ridge
  • Wild Fell
  • Come Closer
  • Isis
  • The Sleepwalkers
  • Ghost on Black Mountain
  • Kin
Between Two Fires The Necromancer's House The Lesser Dead Ceux de l'autre rive Suspense Magazine September 2011

Share This Book

“But when I make a good [taxidermy] mount I feel like I beat God in a small way. As though the Almighty said, Let such critter be dead, and I said, 'Fuck You, he can still play the banjo.” 14 likes
“That was a mean thought, and not funny at all. I let it turn to sand and blow out of my head.” 4 likes
More quotes…