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Other Kingdoms

2.83  ·  Rating Details ·  778 Ratings  ·  166 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. TuchmanA Farewell to Arms by Ernest HemingwayBirdsong by Sebastian Faulks
The Great War
134th out of 382 books — 491 voters
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Fantasy Books Set in Two Worlds
313th out of 576 books — 618 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Dec 02, 2011 Cameron rated it did not like it
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
Mar 18, 2012 Maciek rated it it was ok
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
Nov 04, 2011 Stephanie rated it really liked it
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
Jul 18, 2011 Efseine rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2011
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
Mar 31, 2011 Mandy Moody rated it it was ok
Shelves: fanstasy
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)
Mar 23, 2012 Shellie (Layers of Thought) rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: historical fantasy readers
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
Chris Garcia
Apr 02, 2012 Chris Garcia rated it liked it
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
Feb 20, 2013 Shana rated it it was ok
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
Jan 09, 2014 James rated it liked it
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
Jan 13, 2015 Craig rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 04, 2011 AudioBookFans rated it really liked it
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
Aug 10, 2011 Randy rated it really liked it
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
Jun 05, 2013 Andy rated it did not like it
Shelves: audio-books
"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
Aug 13, 2012 Autumn rated it it was ok
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
Mar 14, 2011 Eric Leblanc rated it liked it
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
May 15, 2011 Ryan O'Laughlin rated it really liked it
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
Jun 11, 2011 Woowott rated it did not like it
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
Missie Sturdivant
May 17, 2014 Missie Sturdivant rated it liked it
The first 3/4 of the book gets 4.5 stars. At that point, it was a truly intriguing book that I didn't want to put down. The last 1/4 gets practically no stars. I'm a happy ending type of person. In my readings I prefer the loose ends to be tied off and an actual resolution to occur. This book seemed to just give up on telling the story. Also, I was not a fan of his writing style. Although Matheson did write very well, he had these annoying interjections into the story that kept interrupting the ...more
Tony Laplume
Mar 13, 2016 Tony Laplume rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mark Twain is often considered to be the first great American writer, but before him was Edgar Allan Poe, whose legacy, perhaps, still looms larger, whether in the fiction of Stephen King, or King's predecessor, Richard Matheson. Matheson had the same pop culture impact King has had, including being a perennial Hollywood favorite (I Am Legend). Until now, I'd never read him.

I made the King connection before I did Poe. Matheson is clearly a born storyteller, in the uniquely American fashion that
Cody Lakin
Mar 17, 2015 Cody Lakin rated it liked it
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
Sep 26, 2014 Lauren Van vice rated it it was ok
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
Jul 29, 2016 Stormi rated it liked it
Other Kingdoms was definitely not what I was expecting when I picked this book up, but it was still an interesting read. The story is written from the point of view of 82 year old Alexander remembering the all of the craziness that happened when he was 18. There were several times where the narration did get on my nerves quiet a bit. Each time there was alliteration in the story, the narrator would stop in the middle of his sentence and point it out.

If the narrator wasn't interrupting his thoug
Jun 16, 2011 Lighthearted rated it did not like it
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
Feb 26, 2015 M. rated it did not like it
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
May 29, 2016 Michelle rated it really liked it
SLIGHT SPOILER AT THE END OF THIS REVIEW! First off, this book was more like 4.5 stars but we all know that Goodreads doesn't (yet) allow for that. So now that I've gotten that out of the way, I still cannot figure out exactly why I like Richard Matheson's writing style so much, and it bugs me! He has a dark sort of tongue-in-cheek humor, which really floats my boat. He busts it out even in the darkest of moments and it is beyond amazing. He has a way of creeping you out with making it full-on h ...more
Feb 03, 2016 Cheryl rated it it was ok
Laborious. That is what this book became. This is horrifying. I'm a huge fan of Matheson. I have loved everything else I've read. This, however, took effort.

Some people have been bothered with all the asides. I didn't really have a problem with that. This story could have been so much more than it was. The information about his home life was good ground work. The trench scenes were really good. Horrifying, used properly now, at it's brutality and gore, but still endearing for the friendship form
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

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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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