Susan Hill truly has a gift for creating stories. Especially creepy- I'm- going to- stay- with- you- for- days ghost stories. She truly is a talent anSusan Hill truly has a gift for creating stories. Especially creepy- I'm- going to- stay- with- you- for- days ghost stories. She truly is a talent and I don't know why that surprised me.
Let's start with the essentials, the setting to start with was so brilliantly thought up I don't think I've ever found a setting so mesmerizing The typical use of isolation was not new, obviously, nearly every horror movie/Gothic novel occurs in isolation. It helps the feeling of entrapment and hopelessness. Exactly what was needed in this novel to the extreme, so not only did you have marshes (creepy places) but you also have haunted houses, fucking weird hamlets and generally places that you know you should just avoid. The list of creepy awesome just continues...........
The characterization in this book is also immense, even the Woman herself has such a presence when really she doesn't get that much "screen time" as it were. Each and every person has a suggested past or back story which you just know that Hill would be able to tell you if you so chose. But that's the thing, Hill doesn't and won't tell you all the facts. She wants you to be kept in the most mystery possible. This keeps you enthralled to the very end, you really cannot wait to hear the back story, put all the pieces together and come up with a totally random total you didn't expect.
Truly though, cutting through the analysis the story is intriguing, plus more than that it's refreshing. The new and improved ghost story if you will.
Plus Susan Hill is living, which sounds like something you shouldn't concern yourself with but it does mean a new shot of horror every 6 months or so....more
So yet more historical romance fiction for you, though I'll reassure you I think the phase is ending thank the Lord! This book did however set the dowSo yet more historical romance fiction for you, though I'll reassure you I think the phase is ending thank the Lord! This book did however set the downward slope for me so don't hold out a lot of hope for a glowing review.
It was however good, I did like it...I DID, promise. It was a bit....preachy and spiritual really, just why she felt the need to include the Lady in every single sentence is actually beyond me. When she read it back did she not think "Blimey, I've used the Lady a lot, better take a bit out before it gets too hippy" nope she kept right on with it. It got so bad that she completely emasculated the main dude! Poor Richard! Confined to a "consort" role which basically just made him sound like her free hooker and not definitely not her husband. God forbid he would actually challenge her ideas or her complete control, he'd be in for it then!
That being said I quite liked Catriona she just was a bit TOO everything TOO opiniated TOO hippy TOO confident (slightly full of herself) TOO into the Lady
Generally too much for my tastes which made the story drag and drag and drag and it didn't need to! It really didn't, it had so much going for it otherwise! All the wild Scottish landscape with illicit affairs and his name was Scandal FFS!
My final point which I had to pick with this book was that YES STEPHANIE LAURENS THERE IS A NEED FOR THE COUPLE TO STATE USING SOPPY LANGUAGE THAT THEY LOVE EACH OTHER!!!! Well I need it, and if you want to read this kind of book I would think odds are your gonna want that too, just to give you a heads up. It doesn't happen. Ever. I was most distressed.
THERE WILL BE SPOILERS BUT IT IS FOR YOUR OWN GOOD
I know I'm a bit behind with the wave of reviews this book got and what reviews! Such good reviews!THERE WILL BE SPOILERS BUT IT IS FOR YOUR OWN GOOD
I know I'm a bit behind with the wave of reviews this book got and what reviews! Such good reviews! "I loved it", "best book of the summer!" How could I not put this amazing new, original, freaky, paranormal/horror book on my TBR list??? I had to be a crazy person.
So let me be contreversial. WHAT WAS THIS PILE OF JUDGEMENTAL HORRENDOUS PILE OF HORSE CRAP THAT HAS BEEN DUMPED AND SHAPED INTO A BOOK?!?!! I saw where it was going but I didn't/couldn't beleive that THAT was where it was really headed until the final chapter and then it just......happened. There was no more book to justify this crap!!
Why am I so angry? Because who deserves to die after posting a soul-bearing dicussion on facebook or school page or whatever it was?
Plus who can make this decision? Definitley not Miles with all her infinite wisdom on the bloomin subject! Her content backs me up on this, although we go throughout the book being aware that Miles is creating this world, the characters and everything else she then shifts the blame of this horrible hunt for revenge onto karma and the fact that, if you didn't know, the furies are like that and I as the author of this book have no control over them whatsoever....
Well, actually as an author you do. You have complete control over your characters. They're fictional and if they're not in Between The Lines they don't talk back. I get that you have to keep it realistic and true to the characters personality as it were or it would be a crap book (unles this out-of-character thing has significane a la Miss Marple and the like). However you can make the furies do pretty much what you want so long as they're after revenge, why really are they after revenge for this?
I guess what I'm angry about is that this book seemed to say to me that people don't deserve forgiveness for their mistakes when they're teenagers especially when I think it's right in many cases to forgive.
Overall this was infuriating and I couldn't recommend it to a soul. ...more
As I knew we had to study this next year for A Level I decided just to buy it, read it and see what I had let myself in for. Turns out, it isn't so baAs I knew we had to study this next year for A Level I decided just to buy it, read it and see what I had let myself in for. Turns out, it isn't so bad, I mean I think I could analyse the hell outta these stories just looking at the descrptive language. All of the stories are adaptations of fairy tales, slightly twisted I have to say but interesting, she definatley puts a new spin on them and makes you think how the fairy tales could've been told.
The Bloody Chamber was the best story out of the book I thought, it was typically gothic which was helpfull for my course next year which studies the gothic. The characters I thought were interesting and there was enough of mystery to keep the gothic theme going. The chamber sounded like something that might send me into the blind piano tuner's arms, what with the dead people around, then again I kinda guessed what was going to be in the chamber. However the description was excellent and I loved the story.
The Courtship Of Mr Lyon was suprisingly sweet and adorable, I wasn't expecting it at all right up until the end. It was gothic but brilliant and was a good short story to read. It also had a moral to it kind of, the vanity and the easiness of how Beauty fell into the wealthy lifestyle. Then again, her father was easily forgotton when she met Mr Lyon....funny that...
The Tiger's Bride started off well, and I thought it was going to be brilliant so I blitzed through the first pages and then slowly..grinded...to..a..halt. I got to the end and found..disappointment, it was just not a good ending I hated it, I was so disappointed I passed right onto the next.
Puss-In-Boots was a pretty cruddy one too, basically about a woman having an affair, killing her husband and all with the help of a cat....not much more to say really...
The Erl-King was another one which I didn't particulary enjoy and I hope I don't have to study it next year, it just wasn't interesting. Nothing was definate and there was so much description that it swallowed the story and ended up as almost a cycle of description with no action in the story at all.
The Snow Child was brilliant, my class have already started analysing it and I've found it really interesting every sentence has a subliminal meaning and the more you read into it the more meaning it has. It was the shortest story but definatley a force to be reckoned with.
The Lady Of The House Of Love had a different idea, I loved the idea of a vampire Queen locked away from the world who just replays her tarot cards again and again just to wish for a different future than the one that seems set in stone. The cyclist is just the catalyst for her eventual demise but Carter makes it seem a positive ending rather than the sadness which normally comes with death.
The Werewolf I liked because she referenced back to the origin of many fairy tales......Russia. A lot of people are actually unaware that Russia had a) some of the most goriest tales b) most of the famous tales that we tell today. But it was clever of her to do this as it worked well, however she put all the Red Riding Hood tales together which I didn't like and by the end found incredibly boring.
The Company Of Wolves was surprising in the fact that it stuck to the original story much more than any of the other stories. Carter kept a lot of the famous aspects of Red Riding Hood, such as "what big eyes you have" and yeah..you know the story moving on, she kept her original spin on things of course but she kept original detailings which I thought worked well.
Wolf-Alice coming from aspects of the original to getting rid of the original completely this was just about influenced by Red Riding Hood but it really confused me at first, then after a bit it was brilliant I really liked it just bcause I liked the idea of a completely savage girl who tried to become human, thus scaring away her supposed rescuers or attackers of The Duke by making them think she was a ghost. It was clever and different and I appreciated it.
To sum it up, it was a good book and although I will probably hate it by the end of the year, as I always seem to with our set texts for now, I would recommend it.