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Other Kingdoms

2.78 of 5 stars 2.78  ·  rating details  ·  674 ratings  ·  150 reviews
For over half a century, Richard Matheson has enthralled and terrified readers with such timeless classics as I Am Legend, The Incredible Shrinking Man, Duel, Somewhere in Time, and What Dreams May Come. Now the Grand Master returns with a bewitching tale of erotic suspense and enchantment.…

1918. A young American soldier, recently wounded in the Great War, Alex White comes
Hardcover, 316 pages
Published March 1st 2011 by Tor Books (first published 2011)
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The Trigger by Tim ButcherAll Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria RemarqueThe Guns of August by Barbara W. TuchmanBirdsong by Sebastian FaulksA Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway
The Great War
122nd out of 342 books — 438 voters
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. LewisThe Subtle Knife by Philip PullmanNeverwhere by Neil GaimanAlice's Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass by Lewis CarrollA Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
Fantasy Books Set in Two Worlds
293rd out of 557 books — 604 voters

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Community Reviews

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If you are thinking that you want to read a book where the narrator is the most annoying person you could ever imagine, than this book is for you. I mean, you get an old man who recounts his tale. He does it as if he were telling you the story, harping on favorite items like the fact that he was 18 years old (roughly 500 times) and that he has a bad father (roughly 500 times) and that the story he is telling you actually happened EXCLAMATION POINT (roughly 500 times). Yet, he is still writing, s ...more
How can an author with such a lasting legacy can produce a book so subpar, boring and unsatysfying?

Other Kingdoms is a short story or novella gone wrong. Poorly executed, meandering and seemingly directionless, not specially imaginative or exceptional in any way. It's just sort of there, showing signs of promise, but never trying too much to achieve it.

It's narrated in the first person by Alex White, a 82 year old writer who publishes under the name of Arthur Black. He recounts his experiences
First off, let me say that I "read" this book on audio book. It was read by Bronson Pinchot and he did a really great job! Anyone that uses audio books knows that the reader can make or break a book. Even the best of books can be smothered under a poor reader. I have heard readers that actually set my teeth on edge.

Now, how many times in movies or books has someone said with caution to another, that may be new to the area, "stay on the path".............and always much to the cautioners head sh
Four stars for the first half of this novel and one for the second, which devolved so severely I had to skim the last 100 pages, which I almost never do. Matheson squanders the opportunities of his set-up, and by its end the novel retains little in the way of originality, emotional effect, plot interest, or point.

At first I really enjoyed the narrator and his self-consciously pulpy voice. But soon Matheson began to belabor the point, indulging in too many parenthetical asides about postmodern nu
Mandy Moody
I'm giving this 2 stars, rather than 1, only out of respect for Richard Matheson.
Uhg. What a disappointment! I had high hopes going into Other Kingdoms and they were just SMASHED. The more I read, the more I was just SAD about this book. It was just so irritating.

The narrator or the story, Alex White/Arthur Black, is an 82 year old man, recounting a story of his youth - a TRUE story (he reminds us several times.)
The story itself wasn't terrible. It was GREAT, but it wasn't awful. The TELLING of
Shellie (Layers of Thought)
Original review posted on Layers of Thought.

A fantastical and historical story that’s dark, funny and erotic – it includes fairies and a witch. Set in the trenches of WWI and the forests of Northern England, it’s told from the perspective of the narrator at 82 years old, reminiscing this adventure from his younger years.

About: In 1918 Alex White is 18 and enlists in the army to escape his sadistic militaristic father. Shipped off to the trenches of WWI in Europe, he meets what appears to be a yo
Feb 20, 2013 Shana rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Fans of fairy and witch porn
Shelves: fantasy
I've been told by my male friends that there is every type of porn imaginable in this world. So I can only assume that there is fairy and witch porn and that Richard Matheson was watching quite a lot of it when he wrote this book. The book is about a young soldier during WW I named Alex who befriends a British soldier he is in the trenches with. Of course, his soldier buddy dies. His buddy's dying wish is for Alex to visit his home town of Gatford in England. So Alex goes to Gatford, where witch ...more
I enjoyed this novel despite the irritant of having a narrator who kept taking me out of the story. The protagonist of the adventure is a somewhat successful writer of a series of horror novels. He has decided to tell a fascinating true story of his youth. As he narrates he is in his 80s. This narrative technique is the weakest part of the book because the narrator constantly comments on the sentences and words he has chosen and keeps reminding you that this is a book. Just when you feel that yo ...more
John Onoda
I am a fan of Richard Matheson, so I had high expectations for his most recent book (as of 2011). Unfortunately, I was greatly disappointed.

The story, about a World War I veteran who finds a hidden village in England that links to a fairy kingdom, on its face is something that you would expect Matheson to handle well, and the bones of he story are enough for a writer of Matheson's skill to make engaging. But it isn't.

Maybe the problem is that Matheson writes in the (first-person) voice of a man
Richard Matheson wrote some really great things, some true classics, but this, sadly, is not one of them. The story is told by an eighty-some year old man, remembering events from when he was eighteen. He fought in the First World War, then traveled to England to visit the home of his friend who was killed in battle. He meets a witch and some fairies and has some sex. During the course of the narrative he stops very, very frequently and reminds the reader that all of this really, really happened ...more
Chris Garcia
Alexander White, at 82 years old is looking back at the best and worst time of his life, the period that made him Arthur Black, a popular horror writer whose novels he feels little respect for. As a young American he enlisted in the Army to escape an abusive father and lived the horrors of trench warfare in World War I. His best chum, a Brit named Harold was killed in combat but not before slipping an enormous lump of pure gold in his ruck sack and telling him to visit his town of Gatford Englan ...more
Originally posted at

My Review: Richard Matheson has entertained the masses for over 60 years! He received the World Fantasy Award in 1984 for Lifetime Achievement and was inducted into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame in 2010. So needless to say, any new release from Mr. Matheson will be eagerly anticipated.

Told from the perspective of Arthur White (aka Arthur Black) who is reflecting back on his previous 82 years. Matheson begins Other Kingdoms by showing us the hor
A new fantasy from the Master.

This type of book is not my favorite form of literature. But it is Matheson.

Alex White is the eighty-two year old author of the long MIDNIGHT(as by Arthur Black) series of horror novels. He's telling a story he swears is all true and happened in his late teens/early twenties, starting with the friend he met in the trenches of the Great War.

Harold was constantly regaling him of the beauties of his home town of Gatford in northern England. A German grenade in the tren
Lady of the Lake
This story is told by 82 year old Alex White... (AKA Alex Black...) It's the old man telling the "true" tale of what happened to him During and after he was injured in battle of WWI 1918, he was 18 yrs old. While fighting in Europe,
He met a young British soldier in the trenches, Harrold Lightfoor....And that is where all the supernatural happening began for Alex. He went to Gatford England and bought himself a cottage in the beautiful woods.... Where he found out that the Faerie people were real
"Avoid the Middle..."
Kingdom of witch-rape. Escape
to marry a fairy.

Really surprised I was able to get to the end of this one. As a fan of Richard Matheson, I'm going to think of it as 'doing him a solid' by finishing his book despite the pain. As with any book, the were characters I liked, and interesting scenarios, but those were few and far between. Magda the witch was pretty cool.

What ruined this book for me was bar-none the most grating and obnoxious narrator of any book I've ever read in m
I was quite interested to get this home and start reading. The premise you can get from the book blurb, so I won't belabor that--suffice to say that it piqued my interest, both because of the promised fantasy elements and because this is RICHARD FREAKING MATHESON.

Unfortunately, I was very disappointed. The quirky narrative voice didn't bother me as much as it seems to have irritated some other reviewers, nor did the story asides. If you've ever spoken at length with someone who is elderly, you k
Eric Leblanc
Other Kingdoms is a pleasant read, but at the same time, I believe it will be quickly forgotten.

I finished this book quickly because, well, it is a small book, but also because the story is flowing through the pages, if you know what I mean. I was not bogged down anywhere during the reading. Although there are some scenes that you can qualify of gripping, mostly it is a simple recount of events that happened 60 years ago. However, this is the kind of book where you can “feel” what is going on at
Ryan O'Laughlin
This new novel from the now-ancient Matheson is a dark paranormal romance, retold as fact by an aging author. The characters and plot development are somewhat two-dimensional, but deliberately so, as the author has grown jaded with horror conventions and retells these important events of his past with irreverent sloppiness.
As a wounded veteran of the Great War, the hero retrns to a war buddy' s home town in England, only to encounter the place' s proximity with the faery kingdom. A love trangle
Ah, I realize I'm about to commit sacrilege here. I've only read one other book by him, and it left me a bit cold. I didn't hate it, but it was less than impressive.

I hated this one. I found it condescending, snarky, sexist, dull, and completely vacuous. The treatment of women is pathetic. The smoking hot voluptuous woman is--of course--a redhead and VERY BAD. The little tiny fairy is good as gold and tender. There are unrealistic sex scenes. And the hero--whose name I couldn't be bothered to re
Cody Lakin
Being a huge Stephen King fan, the legendary works of the legendary Richard Matheson were absolutely necessary for me to read. In the past I've read some of his masterpieces (Hell House, I Am Legend, What Dreams May Come) and fell in love. Matheson is concise, he's intelligent, and he writes with what I call masterful elegant simplicity. For the longest time I didn't know that Matheson was still writing (though now deceased), and thus discovered this intriguing book.

The story is of an old man, a
Lauren Van vice
Matheson wrote one of my favorite books and some of my favorite short stories. This isn't one of them. I don't think it's fair to blame the quality of Other Kingdoms on his age as so many readers have. If you ask me, I think it's more a victim of the author's reputation. There's no way this thing would have been a hardback if it hadn't been handed down by a god.

Sometimes writers try things and they don't work out. Matheson's signature hyper-masculine voice plugging away about fairy sex, Oedipal
Mar 12, 2014 Benjamin added it
Shelves: audiobook
This book was a little--just a little--interminable. Or at least it felt that way to get through. (And only seven discs long!) Skimming through some other reviews, this seems to be Matheson's least solidly-recieved book, in that it has a wide range of reviews.

And sure, there are things to like: the 82-year-old narrator remembering his 18-year-old self gets to voice some of our own problems with his younger self's actions. And...

Well, maybe there's more to dislike here: the plot is thin, the epis
Okay, it’s my fault—I kept reading. Normally if a book doesn’t grab my attention within the first chapter or so, I set it aside for something else. In this case, I thought “it’s just off to a slow start–there are all of these hints of danger and supernatural goings-on, I have to keep reading”. If you find yourself thinking the same thing, don’t believe it. It’s slow, rambling and dull—and remains that way. Scenes which should be intense and frightening, aren’t. Not recommended.
Kristi Richardson
I have read many books by Richard Matheson, some I loved and others I just enjoyed. This is one of the enjoyable ones. Bronson Pinchot does a fine job with his narration, although his female characters were a little off.

The story concerns Alex White also known as author Arthur Black, am 82 year old man telling the story of his life and the women he loved. He begins in the trenches of WWI where he meets an Englishman, Harold Lightfoot who has a lump of gold he carries with him. When Harold dies h
This was my first Richard Matheson book. I came into it deeply respecting the man who contributed so much to what The Twilight Zone was. If it hadn't been an audiobook, I never would have finished this title.

Matheson wins awards for both most annoying narrator and most frustrating protagonist, who happen to be the same person in the story, told 60+ years later. The really sad thing about this book is that the first 5 chapters or so made me happy beyond belief. I was elated to have stumbled upon
Matteo Pellegrini

Divenuto ormai da tempo un autore di culto nel campo del genere fantastico, all'età di ottantaquattro anni Richard Matheson è ancora in grado di stupire il suo pubblico. Altri regni conferma le sue intatte capacità di narratore, unite in questo caso a una vena di leggera autoironia, a una sorta di gioco della scrittura che irride sé stessa, senza peraltro rinunciare ad ammaliare il lettore con una storia sospesa tra il fantasy e l'horror, e che affonda le sue radici nel romanzo gotico inglese. A

This is the first I’ve read from the author of I Am Legend. A very bizarre and disturbing book. I was initially turned off by the writing style. It’s written in the first person with parenthesized interjections in every other sentence. Literally. Sure, look who’s talking, I do it all the time, but not in published prose. Anyways, as I continued on I was able to get into the flow of his writing and it didn’t end up bothering me (too much) (whoops, there I go again). Okay enough of that. There is ...more
S. M.
Beyond a doubt one of the absolute worst books I've ever come across. Unfortunately this was my induction into Matheson's literary work to boot. Having seen 'The Last Man on Earth' (w/ Vincent Price) and 'The Legend of Hell House'--both of which I adored--I figured it was safe territory no matter which book of his I started with. I guess it goes to show that you really can't rely on an author's track record, and I have no doubt that were it not for that past success this book never would've been ...more
Norman Howe
Successful author Alex White reminisces"," at the age of 82"," about his experiences during and after the Great War. Wounded by a grenade"," he convalesced in Gatford"," the home town of one of his comrades"," who was killed in the same attack. There he encountered romance and terror at the hands of witches and fairies.Matheson's skill at narrative has never been better: he captures the tone of Alex's unsophisticated teenage self"," as well as those he remembers"," friends"," lovers"," and enemi ...more
A fantasy 'love' triangle, where the man in the middle is now an 82 year old horror novelist looking back to tell the 'true' story of him at 18: having been a complete idiot with no strength of mind of character, blundering alternately through the trenches of WWI, faerie paths in an enchanted wood, and the house of a witch, accepting blindly (ha!) whatever any of them told him at the time and now quite annoyingly amused by aligning alliterations ("double combo," as he says) and reminding you tha ...more
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Born in Allendale, New Jersey to Norwegian immigrant parents, Matheson was raised in Brooklyn and graduated from Brooklyn Technical High School in 1943. He then entered the military and spent World War II as an infantry soldier. In 1949 he earned his bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and moved to California in 1951. He married in 1952 and has four children, three of w ...more
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