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Uncle Montague's Tales of Terror

(Tales of Terror #1)

4.01  ·  Rating details ·  4,450 ratings  ·  501 reviews
Uncle Montague lives alone in a big house and his regular visits from his nephew give him the opportunity to relive some of the most frightening stories he knows. But as the stories unfold, a newer and more surprising narrative emerges, one that is perhaps the most frightening of all.
Hardcover, 238 pages
Published September 18th 2007 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens (first published 2007)
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Kyle A They are certainly creepy and the imagery is great but I would definitely suggest them as a gift. The series adds on to each previous book. I'm 25 and…moreThey are certainly creepy and the imagery is great but I would definitely suggest them as a gift. The series adds on to each previous book. I'm 25 and loved this series. (less)

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Average rating 4.01  · 
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 ·  4,450 ratings  ·  501 reviews

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Young Edgar grows increasingly unnerved as his strange Uncle Montague spins tale after haunting tale. The hour grows late in that dark and eerie house. There are noises - creaks, groans, someone dragging something across the floor in the room upstairs... Is it Franz, the mysterious butler whom Edgar has never seen, or something much more sinister?

Do not be lulled into complacency by the almost whimsical Edward Gorey-like illustrations. The stories in this book are genuinely creepy. Children
May 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: re-reads, favorites, 2017
"These things around us are possessed with a curious energy. They resonate with the pain and terror they have been associated with. My study has become a repository for such items. I am a collector of the unwanted, of the haunted, of the cursed - of the damned."

A sinisterly brilliant little book. I have loved these stories since I was 11 and even at 17, I still find them fascinatingly creepy. Excellently and maturely written, wildly entertaining and deliciously disturbing. The main plot linking
I've read Chris Priestley's 'Tales of Terror' series in a strange order which has meant I've come to this, the first one published, last. I also liked it the most. The formula used in the other volumes, with a central narrative tying all the other tales together, is at its best here. Naive young Edgar goes to visit his ancient Uncle Montague to listen to his macabre stories, each of which seems to be linked to an object in the room where they sit. Though he feigns bravado, Edgar grows ...more
Jonathan Stroud
Oct 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Superbly chilling ghost stories to scare young and old. JS
Amy Eye
Jun 11, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: scary story lovers, people who like The Series of Unfortunate Events, older YA audience
I picked this book up from the library on an excursion to find something different. And I definitely found it in this book. I have always been a fan of things that touch on the darker side of things, but not going too far into it. I like my horror, don't get me wrong, but I also like the books that give you that little knot in your stomach without making you freak out every time the house settles or your dog barks.

That being said, I am an adult... the stories in here were written to frighten
There were a few interesting stories in here but a lot of them didn't really keep my attention, and many of them ended very abruptly kind of left me wondering what the 'point' was. Things do come together a bit at the end when we learn about Uncle Montague's backstory, but I still found myself bored by a lot of the stories. The stories might be more entertaining for younger readers, but I don't think they translate well to an adult audience. Also there's a lot of pretty messed up stuff including ...more
 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books)
Uncle Montague's Tales of Terror turned out to be a good choice to read for my 2nd Annual October Scare Fest. It's a creepy and unsettling book that features a story within a story narrative.

Uncle Montague tells his young nephew (more like great, great nephew) chilling tales based on knick-knacks and artwork the old gentleman has in his creepy house. These stories are short and edgy, with endings that are quite disturbing (for a children's book). In short, horrible things happen to some of these
Oct 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Bizzare, creepy, disturbing and full of horror. I had a great tense times reading this book.
There are moments when I have to put the book down and breathe, because I didn’t expect that it would be this scary!!!
My heart was beating so fast, and as I read story by story, I know that it would not end well, yet it still
gave me goosebumps! Just perfect for Halloween/ autumn reading!

I am just glad that I read it when I’m adult, because I can’t imagine a kid reading this book and how scared they would
Ova - Excuse My Reading
Apr 25, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely adoring the style of drawing/illustration and also loved the story too.
Oct 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned
“‘Give me a funeral over a wedding any day,’ said Uncle Montague with a sigh. ‘The conversation is almost always superior.’”

Edgar’s Uncle Montague owns a lot of random knick-knack and there seems to be a story behind all of those items. Full of curiosity as he is, Edgar is eager to hear every single one of them and his Uncle is more than willing to narrate. But as it gets darker and the stories get spookier, Edgar starts to wonder if there is more to the stories than his Uncle is telling him…
Courtney Johnston
May 25, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
Gothic tales about naughty kids, with a little twist in the tale, probably perfect for 8-12 year-old readers.

As a kid - and yes, still, more recently - I loved Rudyard Kipling's* 'Puck of Pook's Hill' and 'Rewards and Fairies'. Both are collections of stories about English (and pre-English) history - ranging from folk to historical tales - connected together through the figures of Dan and Una, who one day accidentally summon Puck (yep, Shakespeare's one) who becomes their guide through these
May 26, 2010 rated it liked it
Throughout this book, I kept trying to decide whether or not I would have liked it when I was a kid. Like most kids I liked spooky stories. I always had a Goosebumps stuck in my backpack. I would sit in my best friend's room and we'd dare each other to open Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark to a random page and see how long we could last before being too freaked out by the illustrations to continue. (Seriously, just looking through Google Images for pictures like this one and this one is kind of ...more
Jan 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
Christopher Priestley's Uncle Montague's Tales of Terror is the kind of book that begs to be read aloud, with a British accent, and in the dark of night sitting next to a roaring fire while an unnatural storm brews outside. This book is an anthology of ghost stories and cautionary tales, all told by the mysterious Uncle Montague to a rather dimwitted nephew, Edgar. Most leave you with a crooked smile after finishing.

Uncle Montague's home is filled with odd collectibles. An old brass telescope. A
Jul 17, 2011 rated it liked it
imagine a cross between M R James and Edward Gorey, in particular 'The Gashlycrumb Tinies', and you pretty much have this book spread out in a nutshell. Solitary Edgar is in the habit, during the school holidays, of visiting his Uncle Montague, an equally solitary soul whose house (or at any rate the study, the only room Edgar has ever been in, save the lavatory) is filled with curios, each of which has a story behind it. A ghastly, creepy story which inevitably ends in the grisly death of its ...more
Jennifer Wardrip
May 12, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Reviewed by Grandma Bev for

Uncle Montague is a bachelor who lives alone in a house that is packed with artifacts and collectibles. Edward loves to walk through the woods and visit Uncle Montague to hear his spine-tingling stories. Uncle Montague is reminded of each story as he picks up an artifact that is associated with it in his memory.

Edward's imagination is sent into a tailspin when he begins to wonder how Uncle Montague knows all of these frightening stories, and a darker
Ken B
Apr 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Edgar listens to the dark-themed stories told by his Uncle Montague about the collection of items that have, over a lifetime collecting, filled his study. Eventually, Uncle Montague ties all of the stories into his own dark, chilling past.

Oct 28, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-with-kid
This is a really good middle grade horror book. My son (7) thinks he loves scary stuff, but when he sees/reads/thinks about anything scary, he's up half the night terrified. This book was pretty spooky, but it's written in a way that didn't seem to frighten him. He actually really enjoyed the mystery of what was going on in each story ("I bet she's a ghost!"). He was usually right, as the stories are fairly predictable, which I think maybe took a bit of the scary edge off.

It's basically a book
Dec 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebook
I meant to read this on Halloween and got sidetracked:) The stories are definitely spooky and not for you if you don’t like hearing of unhappy ends for children. But I don’t normally like horror stuff and this was fine for me, so it certainly wasn’t extreme.
Jan 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Beautiful gothic writing style, creepy stories and a nice twist at the end! The Gorey-esque illustrations fit it perfectly.
It is more of a 3 1/2 stars than a full 4.

This is a fine little book. I found it in the childrens section at Hatchard's a while back. And though it is meant for children - but of a certain age, it is quite scary at times! I know I would've been impressed reading it younger - those tales are still very enjoyable to read as an adult (as is the case with any good childrens fiction). I read them mostly one a day, as bedtime stories.

I don't particularly care for collections of short stories, although
My review for the R.I.P. Challenge #3:
Uncle Montague's Tales of Terror was not on my initial list, but after reading Cornflower's great review I immediately ordered a copy for myself.

During the school holidays Edgar often visits his uncle, who lives in a house beyond the woods and knows many scary stories. The book relates one of those visits. The structure is simple: after an introductory chapter in which we meet Edgar and his uncle, each chapter consists of a cautionary tale linked to one of
Aug 21, 2011 rated it really liked it
Edgar loves listening to good stories and his uncle Montague loves to tell stories. So the boy will visit him in his old mansion to learn more about all the knickknacks his uncle has accumulated over the years.
Being the first part of a series of books by Chris Priestley, this is actually intended for young readers, but I enjoyed the stories regardless the fact that I'm by no means young anymore. The narrative is both captivating and intricately written, and the authors love for storytelling
May 05, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I chose this book as I am a fan of David Roberts' illustrations. They suit Chris Priestley's creepy book very well. It is a series of short scary stories tied together neatly by an equally unnerving narrative thread.
I had only one niggle with the book, just one word in fact that put me off! 'The sound of slow and heavy footprints could be heard in the corridor outside the bedroom door.' Do footprints make a sound? Shouldn't it be 'footsteps'?
Anyway, apart from that tiny glitch I thought it was
Nusrat Mahmood
Oct 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is a children book but it's too spooky, too dark still enjoyable to devour. Even reading it in daylight won't lessen the shiver. I simply love it. A total 'worth it' book for this Halloween season. Highly recommended. Writing proper horror is one of the most difficult section of literature and writing it for children is way too difficult. Chris Priestley nailed it. Read it, Just read it !
Mar 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
It's exactly the type of book I love. It's that fascinating creepiness that made me love this book, even though my main reason for reading it were David Roberts' drawings. I loved them with Philip Ardaghs books but in this creepy fashion they are even better. The whole harmony of the stories and the art was amazing and it is 100% enjoyable and recommendable. Loved it!
Iván Gutiérrez
Jul 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
It was on my to-read list for a while and I'm glad I finally did it, it has this creepy, dark theme that I love on books, Edgar was such a good character, I find myself in him, I love the ending, it was the perfect ending for this story, even if I didn't see it coming.
Nov 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
the great author of this book
Sep 29, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: too-white, 2018
I thought this was really good. This is meant for kids so I really appreciated that all the main characters are kids and that the parents don't really have their names but are referred as mom or dad or as Mrs or Mr because kids don't think about their parents' proper names. The set up of the stories was more spooky than the actual ending but I thought that was really appropriate. I found very interesting that some of them was about losing one's identity and becoming someone else, and at the same ...more
Some of the stories were decent although I realized part way into it that it's not really my cup of tea so to speak. A little more Gothic than appeals to me. While it was all sort of wrapped up in the end, I didn't really like the way one story went to another and another give n the premise that this kid often went to visit Uncle Montegue. I guess it was jut at attempt to weave them all together into a bit more of a narrative than just a collection of short stories, but in my opinion wasn't that ...more
Uncle Montague tells Edgar such creepy tales, each tale linked to a curious item in his Uncle’s study. His Uncle’s house is creepy, it makes strange noises, it’s very cold, it’s the perfect setting for the stories that Edgar’s Uncle tells. Each creepy story features a child, and each story ends with the child’s ill fate. The final chapter, Uncle Montague tells Edgar his own story.
Despite this being aimed at YAs, it is really creepy. Not scary, but very eerie.
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His father was in the army and so he moved around a lot as a child and lived in Wales. He was an avid reader of American comics as a child, and when he was eight or nine, and living in Gibraltar, he won a prize in a newspaper story-writing competition. He decided then “that my ambition was to write and illustrate my own book”.
He spent his teens in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, before moving to Manchester,

Other books in the series

Tales of Terror (5 books)
  • Tales of Terror from the Black Ship (Tales of Terror, #2)
  • Tales of Terror from the Tunnel's Mouth (Tales of Terror, #3)
  • The Teacher's Tales of Terror
  • Christmas Tales of Terror (Tales of Terror)
“Give me a funeral over a wedding any day,.' said Uncle Montague with a sigh. 'The conversation is almost always superior.” 9 likes
“Does something amuse you?' asked Uncle Montague.
'I was merely reminding myself, Uncle, that I am getting too old to be so easily frightened by stories.'
'Really?' said Uncle Montague with a worrying degree of doubt in his voice. 'You think there is an age at which you might become immune to fear?”
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