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House of Sighs

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3.90  ·  Rating details ·  142 ratings  ·  44 reviews
A busload of captives on an express ride to terror!

It’s the summer of 1995, and the passengers of the Sunday bus into town have realized that something is very, very wrong with their driver. They don’t know that she began her day planning to kill herself. But they know that she’s threatening to kill them. They began the ride as her passengers, but now they’re her captives.
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Paperback, 280 pages
Published July 3rd 2012 by Samhain Publishing (first published 2011)
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Average rating 3.90  · 
Rating details
 ·  142 ratings  ·  44 reviews


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Mort
Aug 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Crystal Lake Publishing has some seriously talented writers, and Aaron Dries is no exception.

Strange, isn't it, that when you read the blurb and come across the 'bus' part, your mind automatically flashes to the movie SPEED. I'm not judging, mine did as well, but I think SPEED is the wrong movie to think of here.

Before I make that comparison, those who know me will not be surprised to hear me say that sequels usually sucks ass - and not in a kinky way. Bad things happen on a bus, everybody
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Lee  drunkonbookz
Brutal, violent, and vicious. I loved it!

Strap yourself in, Liz Frost is taking you on a chaotic bus ride straight to hell.
Full of blood, guts, and violence this read is not for the faint hearted.
Death is more of an art form than monstrosity in this story. Dries has written a story of a heinous situation with such poetic creativity and probability that truly shook me to my core.

The added fears of outback Australia and its venomous creatures was like icing on a cake.
This is by far the most
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Karl
This is copy 4 of 57 signed numbered copies.
Bill
Mar 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Desperation’s cage is built one bar at a time and we construct it ourselves without even realizing it.

Aaron Dries is good. Really. Fucking. Good.

And evidently a bit deranged. Because holy crap this was brutal.

James Bridge, Australia. Population 2022. Two hours northwest of Sydney, it was a highway town passed through on the way to somewhere better. If you ever come across The Bridge, keep on going and don’t look back. Ever. It’s a toxic place.

Despite some strange time and pov jumps that were a
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Emily
Apr 22, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
"She had nowhere to go. All roads led home."

I liked the concept of House of Sighs much more than the execution. The prologue immediately grabbed my attention, and this book has some great gory scenes. However, they were few and far between until the ending when everything is crammed together.

House of Sighs is set up like a slasher story with a ton of characters that you know are going to get picked off. This book spends way too much time focusing on the backgrounds of all the characters, and
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The Grim Reader
May 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Viscous.

This really is a nasty slice of Horror from Aaron Dries. It's a very realistic story and the pacing is fantastic, particularly in the second half of the book where the violence and horror cranks up even further. I first read his latest novel A Place For Sinners and thought it was exceptional. This is his first novel and a great place to start for new readers. There is chaos, Gore, everything you need, right here folks. Dig in. I will warn you though. You will be in for some late nights.
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Steven
Mar 12, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I don't know a lot of Australian authors that aren't Bryce Courtenay.

I don't know if its just me but it seems like a good majority of Australian authors get lost in the flow of time because their work doesn't pander to Australian culture. The only Australian writers I know of in the speculative fiction genre are D.M Cornish, Shaun Tan and Garth Nix (who write for kids) and David Conyers and Leigh Blackmore (whose work I haven't read much of).

Where are all the Australian horror writers?

Well, now
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Chuck Briggs
Jul 16, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Aaron Dries is a talent to watch. I may personally think of "House of Sighs" as a classic suspense story, albeit with some gruesome details, instead of being a "Horror" novel, but WHATEVER it is, it does what it does quite well with enough originality and story telling ability to merit a confident recommendation. Horror? Suspense? Thriller? Well, there's nothing supernatural going on and the violence isn't portrayed with the loving sadism of a Rob Zombie or Friday the 13th part whatever flick. ...more
Tina Marie
Jun 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Holy Cow

What a ride. House of Sighs is brutal, bloody, edge of your seat brilliance. The reader is taken on one of the most scariest of bus rides, driven by a psycho who thinks she can create a new family from her passengers.

The book also includes the sequel The Sounds of his Bones Breaking. Such an emotional read. You will laugh, you will cry and you won't believe the ending. I am left breathless and this book will be with me for a very long time. Utterly brilliant. A+++++
Stargirl
Sep 03, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a total surprise. The hardcover was borrowed to me by a friend who is a hardcore horror addict and he loved it too! This is some intense, fast paced stuff. I loved the Australian setting and the characters are super well drawn. I really liked how the chapter numbers ran backwards and seemed to throw you closer and closer to the end. The character of Sarah is just wonderful! Very unexpected conclusion and disturbing, to say the least.

I'd recommend it to fans of Jack Ketchum. This book
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Mark Allan
May 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Just finished reading House of Sighs by Aaron Warwick Dries, and all I can say is WOW! This one really grabbed me and impressed me. The premise is simple enough: what if a people on a bus were taken hostage by an unstable and murderous driver? But in Dries hands, there was nothing predictable about this story. It took several twists and turns I never saw coming, and always managed to be gripping and engrossing. The characters were wonderfully realized, and I loved how he gradually revealed each ...more
Alan Baxter
Jan 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, novella
This book is incredible. The original novel is brutal and intense. The included sequel novella is full of heart and equally brutal. Superb, harrowing stuff.
Scott Tyson
Mar 08, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fantastic first effort from Dries. A riveting story that held me from the dramatic first chapter.
This up and coming author shows great promise and I look forward to more from him.
Kaisersoze
Nov 19, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
Interesting debut novel which is hampered by extremely frequent jumps between character POVs from one paragraph to the next, and a completely unbelievable reaction from the family of the initial antagonist. (Sorry, but I just could not get my head around people behaving the way they did - which means either I missed the point or the author did not do a good enough job of establishing why they would react like this)

Those criticisms aside, Dries does a very good job of creating vivid characters
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David Bernstein
Apr 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I had no idea what to expect from Aaron Dries's first novel, but it totally blew me away! From the beginning i was hooked. House of Sighs is gruesome, scary, mean and nasty. As the reader, you have no idea what will happen and when it does you're like "Wow and Woah!" I love his writing style, how he talks about one character's point of view and sprinkles in something like "as his daughter blew some kid's head off". Read it and you'll understand. This is a true, horrifying horror novel, filled ...more
Elaine Lamkin
May 30, 2012 rated it really liked it
A more in-depth review is forthcoming on Dread Central but just quickly, I loved this book! Gruesome, edge-of-your-seat drama, gory, interesting characters and I LOVE the Australian setting - not NEARLY enough Aussie horror makes it across the ocean. A must-read for horror fans!
Alan Spencer
Oct 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Great dark moody horror. Fast paced too. Highly recommended!
Dave
Jan 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is the second book by Dries that I've read, although it was the first written. It's about a really sad and insecure bus driver named Liz who kidnaps her passengers to be her new friends. She takes them home to meet the family. This is some seriously scary horror here!!! Fans of Jack Ketchum, Richard Laymon, and Stephen King (the Stephen King of Cujo, Misery, Gerald's Game, that is) pay note. Dries is the real deal.

Like all of Dries's stuff, House of Sighs is intense, visceral, suspenseful,
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Nikki
Jun 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: horror
I'm not sure I will be able to find the words to articulate how much I loved this book. It is one of the most beautifully written stories I've read. It is darkness and love, beauty and tragedy. Yes, the words painted vivid imagery, but more than that it birthed emotions, raw and powerful. I could taste the fear, smell the asphalt and metal, feel the sweat on skin, see the allure of the tragedy and hear the rushing of blood in my ears. I've always been one who even in the most tragic moments, ...more
Frazer Lee
Aug 25, 2013 rated it really liked it
The reverse engineering in this brutal, bloody debut is a joy to behold as Aaron Dries eviscerates the everyday to reveal the raw meat of his characters. You might want to bandage your fingers when reading - turning the pages so fast can make them bleed.
Nancy
Mar 28, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
wow, very good. Started of a little slow but it was to establish the characters. The chapters were short which made it hard for me to put down. I would read 20 chapters before I had to force myself to put it down and go to sleep
Tracy Robinson
Apr 22, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5-4 review coming this weekend
Paula
May 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Happy endings are highly over-rated! Check out my full review here... https://horrornovelreviews.com/2018/0...
Brennan Klein
No rating because it was written by a friend. But a friend whose horror prose is so disturbing and chilling if I wasn’t already friends with him I’d probably be a little frightened to meet him.
Stephen Jones
Jun 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
House of Sighs is a stunning thrill ride. Just when you think you know where Aaron Dries and the story is taking you there's a hard left off the road and you're once again in unfamiliar territory. House of Sighs has all the horror, gore and psychotic characters we've come to expect and love from Aaron's novels along with some of the clearest evocation of Australian landscape I've experienced in a very long time (as an ex-pat living through one of the worst Scottish winters in recent memory I ...more
Paula Mcgrath
Mar 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very enjoyable and chaotic ride. No one is safe in this novel.

"We teeter on the brink of chaos every day, regardless of the tightly-wound control we think we have over our lives. Beneath everyone—himself included—there lurked the potential to do terrible things. This potential sometimes manifested itself, purged itself, stretched its spindly spidery legs, in a number of ways. And it wore many faces along the way. But most people hold true. They don’t tap into the well.

This was different.

They
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Peter Levinson
Dec 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing
One of the most suspenseful books I've ever read. Impossible to put down. Although be warned, it's not for the faint-hearted. It's full of beautifully drawn characters (some good, bad and even some are lost between), the plot is lightning fast (and superbly crafted in that it makes you think it's about one thing but really it's about another!) and horror fans won't be disappointed.

Finish this and then pick up Dries' second novel "The Fallen Boys". It's just as good -if not better- and the
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Lindy
May 05, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was like a cheesy horror movie on Netflix, I couldn’t stop watching/reading. A little confusing going back and forth between characters but overall a fast paced, twisted, gruesome horror novel.
Iain MacCallum
Nov 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
First class horror.

A relentless horror story that grabs the reader from the start and refuses to let go. There is plenty to enjoy here.

An added bonus was that my kindle version also had the sequel novella The Sound of his Bones Breaking.
Nicole
Wow! House Of Sighs was deeply disturbing. Not even because of the gore, of which there is some, however not over the top. But in the way that your normal, everyday people can become monsters with just the right (or wrong) conditions.
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Avid traveler, former pizza boy, retail clerk, kitchen hand, aged care worker, video director and copywriter, Aaron Dries was born and raised in New South Wales, Australia. When asked why he writes horror, his standard reply is that when it comes to scaring people, writing pays slightly better than jumping out from behind doors. He is the author of the award-winning House of Sighs, and his ...more
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“Michael Delaney used to be fat. Not puppy-padding fat—bursting-frankfurts-in-a-boiling-pot fat. He remembered gym class and swimming lessons. All of the thin guys who could be divided into one of two groups: those who looked but did not comment and those who looked and commented, with enthusiasm...
Fat kids are like alcoholics; they always have excuses.”
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