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Candles Burning

3.27 of 5 stars 3.27  ·  rating details  ·  643 ratings  ·  84 reviews
A mix of magic realism and Southern gothic, this stunning collaboration between King (Survivor) and McDowell (The Elementals), who died in 1999, moves at a hypnotic pace, like an Alabama water moccasin slipping through black water.
Audio CD, 0 pages
Published September 1st 2006 by Blackstone Audiobooks (first published 2006)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,157)
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Linda
Very very disappointing. Michael Mcdowell is one of my favorite authors. I have read and re-read most of his books. This book felt so disjointed and Mrs. King's lack of skill was so clear. It was easy for a fan to pick out what was her ideas vs. the original manuscript.
Elke
I read some of Tabitha King's novels as a teenager and really enjoyed them. This novel is quite different from her earlier work, which is understandable considering that the manuscript was written by another author.

Reading the book was something like a rollercoaster: from great expectations at the beginning to slow motion with only a few twists and loops in between. At the beginning I was sure I'd love this story, but my enthusiam was slowed down somewhere in the middle, where the story dragged
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Chelle Newton
This was a good book, but it's fairly obvious where Mr. McDowell stopped writing and Ms. King started. I have a feeling that this was not the ending that Mr. McDowell envisioned, but I think she did a good job of finishing the book. It was an interesting story, but I found that there were a few things that weren't explored quite enough or developed to the point where I could understand what the writer was trying to convey. But it did keep me interested, so I would give it a 4 out of 5. Horror is ...more
Guillermo Jiménez
Esta es una joya literaria, que me informan, gozó de mucha fama en su momento. Sí, está bueno, es una historia de vampiros; y, sí, acaban de realizar la segunda o tercera peli 'inspirada' en la novela (que a mi parecer es un filme excelente), sí, sí, y sí a todo lo que me digan, eso no le quita a Matheson ser un autor dentro y fuera de género.

En mucho tiempo no había leído una 'buena' historia, escrita con una pluma directa y concisa. Escrita con solo lo necesario, sin paja, sin añadidos, etcéte
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Debra
Tabitha King is Stephen King's wife.

I've read most (if not all) of Michael McDowell's books and especially loved his Blackwater series. He definitely knows how to write creepy stuff.

I really enjoyed this book of his finished after his death by Tabitha King (Stephen King's wife). It was subtle and insidious!
wally
i enjoyed this story. Calley brings to mind huck finn, in pigtails. she hears things. was reading the sundial by shirley jackson and was reminded of this one...michael mcdowell is another i need to add to the pile to read. read one other by tabitha king, the trap...

here's a quote or two from the story i liked:

to this day i have found no reason to believe that the human soul, duplicitous to is core, suddenly becomes truthful just because it comes to be divorced from a corporeal form


yeah, and so y
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S.L. Ellis
Candles Burning is a southern saga or a dark gothic begun by Michael McDowell and finished after his death by Tabitha King. I haven't read anything by Michael McDowell prior to this book (he died in 1999 and Candles Burning was published in 2011), but will most likely look for his previous works after reading this one.

I enjoyed this story a great deal and appreciated its atmosphere and setting which both become character in the book, although Calliope "Calley" Dakin is the main character. Calley
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Jennifer
I listened to the audio version of this book and I loved the narrator. I thought she kicked butt on this book... perfect voice. The story got off to a pretty strong start, I was immediately engaged and curious as to where the book would go. Unfortunately, by the end I was disappointed because it just didn't go much of anywhere. It's touted as a ghost story, but it didn't feel like a ghost story. It gives you a feeling that there is something otherworldly going on, but then maybe there isn't? I d ...more
Elizabeth
I thought this book would scare the crap out of me. The manuscript was found in McDowell's effects after he died. Apparently, I was too scared to read any of his work before. His genre is horror and while I will delve into the occasional Stephen King, somehow this guys work scared me. I picked up this book at a library book sale. I thought D would enjoy it, but somehow it worked it's way into my hands.


And I loved it.


Written from the perspective of Calley Carroll Dakin, the unfortunate daughter
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K.B. Hallman
Candles Burning is a beautifully written Southern Gothic novel. As with most Southern Gothic novels, you take the least direct path from start to finish. So if you like a plot-driven novel, pass this one by. But if you want to spend a lot of time immersed in atmosphere and the psyche, this is a good book to do it with.

The plot is very simple: (1) Calley Dakin's daddy is brutally murdered and (2)everyone treats Calley like a misfit, and she'd like to know why. The POV is all Calley's but sometim
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Suzydumeur
J'ai acheté ce livre pour quelques euros dans une station service (on y fait de très bonnes affaires dans ces endroits là d'ailleurs, ouvrez l’œil !), parce que j'avoue que de voir le nom KING sur la couverture, m'a grandement alléchée.

Toutefois le talent ne se transmet pas via une bague au doigt (sinon ce serait trop facile). Maintenant le livre n'est pas mauvais, loin de là, mais il manque d'un je ne sais quoi de fluide, et il reste à la fin un goût de précipitation et d'inachevé. Tabitha Kin
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Lisa H.
Note: I usually burn through a book within a couple of days. This one took me nearly 3 months, in fits and starts, between other reading. It just wasn't a good fit.
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Candles Burning was completed by Tabitha King (wife of Stephen King, and a good writer in her own right), from a partial manuscript by Michael McDowell (author of a number of other mystery/Gothic/horror novels, and the screenwriter for Beetlejuice.) In some ways it reminds me of both Pat Conroy's The Princ
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Susan
This book is coauthored by Tabitha King (Steven King's wife) and Michael McDowell who left the unfinished manuscript upon his death in 1999. The narrator is a 7 year old girl who has suddenly lost her father to a horrific murder dismemberment when the family was attending a convention in New Orleans. There are multiple character storylines threaded through the book - Callie's Southern Belle mother who steps into the barely acted role of grieving widow that dotes on her son and ignores Callie; Ca ...more
L
I wanted more ghosts. That's the truth, plain and simple. Perhaps it's a seasonal thing. If scary stories are too intense for you, you shouldn't have to worry. This is more atmosphere and character than spooky.

In any event, this was a satisfying, albeit uneven, read. I don't know where McDowell left off and King picked it up, but the tone of the book is inconsistent. Calliope (and what a great name, no?) suffers abuse at damn near everyone's hands (maybe not so much the ghosts) . . . more psycho
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Shannon Yarbrough
Candles Burning was Tabitha King's last stint at novel writing, though after you read the book it's obvious that Michael McDowell had more than likely finished most of this novel before he died in 1999. I could easily find the parts that McDowell wrote over the parts that King added.

If you have read McDowell's previous work, you know he was a master of painting images in your head using words. He was so good at giving things odd descriptions, or presenting them in such a way that they were hard
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Kristina Harper
After reading an article about the Stephen King family recently, which made clear husband and children's complete respect for and admiration of wife Tabitha's talent for writing, I decided to find something of hers to read. I had only ever read one of her novels, One on One, and liked it, but her books way back when -- before Amazon and my discovery of the independent bookstore as a resource -- were hard to find and I never read another until now. This one caught my eye -- she didn't start this ...more
Melanie
If I could give this novel ten stars, I would. It took me forever to read it because each chapter was such a surprise left-fielder. I enjoyed it like a box of truffles. I made it last forever. And in the end, the payoff was sweeter than I ever could imagine. A King and a MacDowell hybrid is sure to be over the beyond. And that it is. In droves.
Great quote from the inside: Forgiveness wracks the guilty far worse than hate ever could.

For Southern Gothic Supernatural lovers to be sure. And one las
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Sibillac
"Credimi sulla parola Calley. Devi stare molto attenta a ciò che ami , xchè l amore si paga"
"Il perdono è una cosa terribile. Distrugge chi è colpevole più di quanto possa l odio"
Bellissimo libro
Elizabeth
I don't get the one star reviews. I loved this book...it sucked me in and I read until it was done. I couldn't leave it unfinished. Granted, I've never read a Michael McDowell book, so I'm judging this book on its own merits. Engrossing with a satisfying ending.
Alexandra Lucas
Parts of this book were wonderful and I was swept into a world in the Deep South where magic flirts with reality. Unfortunately, there were too many inconsistencies in writing style to carry it and the ending seemed rushed and disappointing.
Kelley
Tabitha King is Stephen King's wife. I read her book, Pearl, years ago. I can't remember it now, but I liked it. This novel is a collaboration, although the other author, Michael McDowell, died before he finished it. So Tabitha King picked up what he had and finished it.

I'm not sure why I'm still reading this book. It took 300 pages for anything to happen and THAT wasn't very exciting. Now I've come too far to quit.

This could have been a good book. Awesome hints were dropped, which kept me readi
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Ashley
Kind of a creepy book. Told from the perspective of Cally Dakin from age 7 through her adult life, but always told in the voice of an adult even when her base of knowledge is child-like. The novel follows the story of her father's mysterious and brutal murder by two women with no motivation for the murder. Cally's whole life is spent listening to the voices of dead people who she can somehow hear as her "gift" and trying to figure out what happened to her father and how various people in her lif ...more
Christina
I love the way they built up the characters and nice twist at the end. I totally loved reading this book and sad that I've finished it, because it was a good story.
I almost put it down at the beginning, because there's a really gory detailed murder. I enjoy scary and I can handle some gory details, but this was more than I cared to read, I'm not going to spoil it for other readers with more details. I will say that I'm so glad I kept reading through to the end. That was the only part of the boo
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Camilla
I was so disappointed in this book! "Tale of gothic horror" my $@!!. It was well-written, and mildly interesting, but the synopsis is COMPLETELY misleading. Yes, the girl's dad gets murdered, and yes, it leads her into an abnormal situation, and she does think about it from time to time, but...really not the focal point of the book. And it wasn't creepy, and it wasn't chilling, and it just wasn't scary at all. Plus, the ending felt like the author didn't know what to do and just kinda slapped so ...more
Laura
Complex, textured & freaky. Tabitha King did an excellent job maintaining not only McDowell's writing style but the integrity of his story as well. I liked that things didn't work out exactly as I hoped or expected, as it kept the off-balance feeling that permeated the entire story. L-O-V-E-D listening to the the story! The narrator did a fantastic job with all of the characters, voicing them appropriately and creating a distinctive & memorable audio experience. This is not Tabitha King' ...more
Jessika Baskett
I wasn't sure how to rate this book. I found the story interesting and well-written and I stayed up late to finish it but upon doing so was ultimately disappointed.

What kept me interested was the feeling that everything was being built up slowly for a reason, that there would be a big pay-off in the end. There wasn't. Instead it felt like I was watching one of those movie endings where the fate of the characters is shown alongside the movie credits. The conclusion of the story did not equal the
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Jan
This was a fascinating Southern Gothic horror novel about a young girl named Callie whose father is kidnapped, tortured, and murdered. Her mother, suspected of being involved in the murder, takes off with her daughter. They end up in a strange boarding house in Pensacola, run by a mysterious woman who encourages Callie to develop her gift of speaking to "spirits." The book is written by Tabitha King and based upon an uncompleted ms by horror author Michael McDowell, who died before the book was ...more
Tina
A great Southern Gothic novel, particularly since it was largely written from a non-southerner. The main character, Calliope, reminded me a great deal of Scout from "To Kill a Mockingbird." I would've have given the book five stars, but, in my opinion, there was a big build-up to a very small ending.

Ms. King (the wife of Stephen King) finished this work after her friend, Michael McDowell, died. It would be interesting to know where McDowell's writing ended and King's began.
Lisa Greer
This one drew me in quickly because it portrays an Alabama family, and it feels real to me. In the past, I have put down TK's novels, so I thought I'd try this one since it's co-authored.

This was going okay until 40 pages or so in. Then, I gave up. I lost interest, and the characters were not compelling enough to keep me involved in the story. My for the last few years has been Life is too short to read a bad book. So, it is going back to the library.
Chris Eirschele
I would call the book a gothic ghost story but elsewhere it is labeled a southern saga. Candles Burning was begun by Michael McDowell and finished by Tabitha King. Calliope "Calley" Dakin is the main character. The child loves her father, but then he is viciously murdered.
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89986
Tabitha King (née Tabitha Jane Spruce) is an American author, the wife of author Stephen King and the mother of authors Joe Hill and Owen King (her daughter is Naomi King).

Tabitha King was born Tabitha Jane-Frances Spruce in Old Town, Maine. She was born to Raymond George and Sarah Jane White Spruce and is one of eight children.

Her primary education took place at St. Mary’s Grammar in Old Town, fr
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More about Tabitha King...
One on One Pearl The Book of Reuben Small World The Trap

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