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The Wanderer in Unknown Realms

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  889 ratings  ·  118 reviews
“Books alter men, and men, in their turn, alter worlds.”

Soter is a man who has been haunted by World War I. But when he’s sent to investigate the disappearance of Lionel Maudling, the owner of a grand country house whose heir may be accused for his death, he encounters a home that will lead him to nightmares he could have never imagined.

Maudling’s estate houses countless
ebook, 128 pages
Published June 25th 2013 by Emily Bestler Books (first published January 1st 2013)
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Lori You can find this story in his anthology Night Music: Nocturnes 2
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Average rating 3.94  · 
Rating details
 ·  889 ratings  ·  118 reviews

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Jun 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Any lovers of ambiguous horror
I am a HUGE John Connolly fan. His Charlie Parker series is one of the few that I have stuck with over the years. The writing is still inventive and fresh, and Mr. Connolly can weave words with the best of them. This novella is no exception.

I don't get into the plot too much in my reviews, so I will only say the following:
If you are a fan of well written horror literature with a touch of intensity, in the vein of books like The Turn of The Screw or The Haunting of Hill House, this novella was wr
Jul 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
Soter, a former British soldier turned private detective, is charged with investigating the sudden disappearance of wealthy recluse and obsessive book collector Lionel Maudling. Soter's boss, the wealthy bookkeeper of the missing man in question, urges the utmost discretion in the search for Mr. Maudling's whereabouts. Can Soter find Maudling before the trail runs cold or will an unknown presence jeopardize Soter’s already fragile state of mind?

Connolly does a great job here working within the c
I am a HUGE John Connolly fan. His Charlie Parker series is one of the few that I have stuck with over the years. The writing is still inventive and fresh, and Mr. Connolly can weave words with the best of them. This novella is no exception.
I don't get into the plot too much in my reviews, so I will only say the following: If you are a fan of well written horror literature with a touch of intensity, in the vein of books like The Turn of The Screw or The Haunting of Hill House, this novella was
Jun 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A brilliant novella from Connolly about the search for a missing wealthy man and the discovery of a mysterious book with potential world-changing powers. The writing is flawless as you sink deeper and deeper into the mystery, which does not disappoint in its conclusion. Connolly once again proves why he is the best out there at this, bar none. Very highly recommended.
Jul 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 5-star-reads
A missing man, a long lost ancient book of unknown realms and the man hired to find out the truth about the disappearance and what exactly happens if the book gets opened. Unfortunately, some books and people were never meant to be found, unless they want to be…

John Connolly is one of the best. I have never read anything that was less than stellar from him. His stories are rich with elegant prose and his writing style keeps the story moving at a perfect pace. This could have easily been a full
Kathleen Jones
Jun 02, 2013 rated it liked it
I’m having trouble with Kindle Singles - they’re either so short they’re barely a short story, or they really need to be a novel to do the subject justice. You just don’t know what you’re getting. The Wanderer in Unknown Realms is John Connolly’s much publicised Kindle Single, a horror story of novella length that should really be a novel. He’s a brilliant writer, so I wasn’t surprised to be engaged with a world of Dickensian characters (the lawyer Quayle, the sinister booksellers Dunwidge and D ...more
Emma Flanagan
Nov 01, 2014 rated it liked it
I'm really not sure how I feel about this book. As a general rule I love John Connolly. Both The Book of Lost Things and The Museum of Literary souls were delightful, incorporating some slightly creepy elements and what lets face it is the dream of most book lovers, books coming to life. This book follows a similar premise, examining the role and impact books have on our world arguing:

“Books alter men, and men, in their turn, alter worlds.”

Its certainly an interesting premise.

However I never f
Apr 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-owned
This was an engaging novella from one of my favourite writers. Full of brilliant prose and atmospheric tension which are always John Connolly's strong points. It touched on the supernatural, other-worlds and fragile minds. The historical setting and language flowed flawlessly with the premise of the story. I love books about books.

"Books are not fixed objects: They transmit words and ideas. Their effect on each reader is unique. They put pictures in our minds. They take root. "

This is exactly w
Jon Recluse
Jul 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
A nightmarish novella, written in the time honored tradition of the classic "weird tale", Connolly simultaneously transports and terrifies the reader in this tale about the search for a missing book collector and a mythical tome that makes the Necronomicon pale in comparison. ...more
Jan 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
it's Connolly, so of course the writing is stellar... perfectly chosen settings and characters (caricatures??) with a slowly developing tale of a missing book collector and something much much more diabolical... less of the horror-type tale, more of the atmospheric and eerie, kind of Poe-etical... one question: based on what transpires, who wrote this transcript of woe and otherworldly beings??? as i read this, i kept wondering: have i already read this already? seems the place settings are in f ...more
This little story ended up going places I didn’t expect it to. Probably because I didn’t read the blurb. I just saw it was John Connolly and immediately snapped it up. I think it was a freebie from Simon & Schuster or something. Or I skimmed the blurb. Either way imagine my surprise when it ended up spiraling down the rabbit hole.

The voice is very quirky and old timey and harkened back to a more Edwardian era where things were PROPER and put together. And then the story dissolves into chaos as c
John Wiltshire
Dec 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Superb. Chilling, beautifully written and another triumph for John Connolly. This is the man who can write about a small dachshund called Colin and about apocalyptic ends of the world and make either book utterly compelling.
This is a very bleak novella, exquisitely written with an intriguing plot. Any genuine book lover will find this very disturbing.
What if books were like a virus: they infected the mind?
Look at what's happening in the world now: a dark tide creeping over Europe, the lights
Story-wise, much about THE WANDERER IN UNKNOWN REALMS falls flat. The pieces of the plot don't always fit together as precisely as they should, and the horror elements are sometimes more cheesy than scary, like watching a SILENT HILL movie.
But, man, talk about your well-written prose! Definitely the best-written .99 Kindle Single I've encountered thus far.
The basic premise is sound, and I love Connolly's blending of horror and detective story, like the literary offspring of Dennis Lehane and H.P
May 06, 2018 rated it liked it
I don’t quite know what to make of this book. It starts off well, and throughout it’s atmospheric and leaves me curious. The bit about the power of books is creepily powerful, and there’s some great description in the most uncanny bits. The main character is handled well, too, in my opinion: he has a past which he never has to elaborate on, but which nonetheless colours everything he does and says. But then you get to the end of the book and it suddenly… stops. As my wife pointed out to me, the ...more
Jeff Swystun
Mar 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
My most substantial complaint is this horror mystery ended too soon. So much was appealing including the WW1 veteran now investigator, Mr. Soter. Highly capable but haunted by the battlefield, he accepts a missing person case that soon centres on a missing book. This tome holds a dangerous power and as Soter closes in the pace, intrigue and scares masterfully accelerate. Connolly reminds us in a few clever ways that books can influence, even change, the world.

As always, his turn of phrase invite
John Connolly’s Charlie Parker series has become increasingly anaemic of late, evidence perhaps of a publisher unwilling to slaughter the proverbial cash cow.

More is the pity because this brief novella, published around the time of The Wrath of Angels, shows what a fine horror writer Connolly is. (Everything Dead Thing remains one of the best novels I have ever read).

Unknown Realms is a glorious homage to Lovecraft, replete with mysterious tomes and weird malformed creatures from distant univers
colleen the convivial curmudgeon
I'm not entirely sure how I feel about this book - especially the ending. I'm not a huge fan of (view spoiler) I think it can work sometimes, and others - not so much. The ending of this novella felt rather abrupt, to me, and instead of leaving me feeling disturbed, or whatever, I just felt kind of like, "Is that it?"

The book started well, with a sort of Women in Black vibe as Soter's investigation of Maudling's disappearance takes him to the man's house, fill
Feb 18, 2015 rated it liked it
Although too short by half, I really enjoyed this creepy trip to post-WWI London! Sotor is set on the task to find wealthy book collector Maulding, who seems to have vanished into thin air....ether air? Sotor discovers the hermit has become obsessed with books on the in particular, one they may be better off unfound.
Oct 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
It's been too long since I have read any of John Connolly's delicious books...
This didn't disappoint and makes me want to seek out the Charlie Parker series (I have only read a couple and they were out of sequence) as Soter seems to be of the same breed of private detective.
J.F. Penn
Jun 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: paranormal
scary stuff - written in slightly dated language which works for the setting but different to Connolly's usual Charlie Parker books ...more
Jul 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
A very short tale....hardly seemed like a book at all it went so quickly...but very intriguing and bizarre and a tingly funny-feeling to the innards- kind of scary way! You'll love it! ...more
Dawn Michelle

THIS was one WEIRD book. Totally. CREEEEEEEEEPY.
Dec 30, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Seriously, what a creepy, eerie story. I did not sleep well the night I read this. It was so good, freaky, and needed to be longer!!!
Jul 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
I've been reading a lot of horror lately because I'm obsessed with why a judge in a horror writing contest told me my story wasn't horror. After reading The Wanderer in Unknown Realms I've come to the conclusion that, maybe, there is no hope for the characters in horror. Am I wrong?

Anyway, it's sad that there is no hope in The Wanderer in Unknown Realms because the poor guy has been through so much, watching comrades die needlessly due to lack of good leadership during World War I, seeing his fa
Jan 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Surprisingly good book! Couldn't put it down, read it in one go ;) A friend recommended me John Connolly so I will likely be reading the rest of his works.
I really liked the main character and his struggles, the supernatural element was truly creepy and well the ending leaves you wondering, and kind of sad for not knowing weather his struggle is physical or psychological.
Feels refreshing to read something so catchy after a long stream of mediocre literature.
India C
Nov 30, 2020 rated it liked it
The concept was fascinating, but I found the ending unsatisfying. It was fun to read, though, and quite short so I recommend it for a quick read on a quiet day...probably best if it's a bit stormy as well. ...more
Feb 06, 2019 rated it liked it
Did not love the ending. Felt unfinished.
Apr 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
This also appears in the "Night Music" anthology and is the first appearance of "The Fractured Atlas". ...more
Sarah Jean
May 14, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dark little horror story set in London and revolving around books.
Calvin Cain
Aug 07, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

It's a nice little story. A mysterious story about the occult and searching for the occult. It left me wanting more. I wish that it was longer.
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John Connolly was born in Dublin, Ireland in 1968 and has, at various points in his life, worked as a journalist, a barman, a local government official, a waiter and a dogsbody at Harrods department store in London. He studied English in Trinity College, Dublin and journalism at Dublin City University, subsequently spending five years working as a freelance journalist for The Irish Times newspaper ...more

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