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3.57  ·  Rating details ·  879 ratings  ·  154 reviews
An original thriller from bestselling author Christopher Fowler that reinventing the haunted house story.

There are two things you need to know about haunted houses. One, there's never been an actual authenticated haunted house. Two, it's not the house that's haunted, but the person.

Callie is a young architectural student who marries Mateo, a wine importer, and moves to a
Paperback, 320 pages
Published October 7th 2014 by Solaris
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3.57  · 
Rating details
 ·  879 ratings  ·  154 reviews

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Maxine (Booklover Catlady)
Aug 30, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of Ghost Stories, Gothic Fiction, Light Horror, Quirky
This book was really quite incredible, the way the tension and creepiness factor slowly oozes through the words as you read on had me hook, line and sinker. Don't make the mistake of thinking because the first 20% is slow to boil that it's not a great book. There is so much stuff to come. Hold on to your hat, turn off the light, and whatever you do, don't look too closely in the corner.

Newly-married architect Callie and her wealthy husband Mateo move to Hyperion House, a grand old home in southe
Mar 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
4.333333 Stars rounded down to 4:
Gothic at its best!
There is a haunted house, or is it?
There is a crazy Lady of the House, or is she?
There are some weird as folk locals, or are they normal and our protagonist weird?
Confused yet?
Good, you are meant to be.
That very confusion is what kept me turning page after page after page. This was my first book by Mr. Fowler, I had never heard of him before I stumbled across this wonder of a story.
At only 300 pages or so this was a short read but Mr. Fowler ha
Kealan Burke
Aug 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
Reminiscent of Shirley Jackson's THE HAUNTING OF HILL HOUSE in the best possible way, with a touch of John Fowles' THE MAGUS for good measure, this story of a woman fighting to keep her family and her sanity in a house of light and dark, easily earns its place in my top five favorite haunted house novels. Highly recommended.
Jan 10, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
I'm painfully on the fence on this book, I really can't decide whether I loved it or hated it. Actually hate is probably too strong a word, but I am conflicted about the ending of the story.

The troubled Callie marries a much older Spanish man and moves with him to a house in his homeland which is drenched in sunlight but which hides a dark secret. Gradually she uncovers those secrets, possibly as the the cost of her sanity...

The tension builds slowly in this story (perhaps a little too slowly fo
Aug 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ebooks, netgalley, horror
This is the creepiest book I've read in a long, long time: Callie, a young architect with a so far troubled life, moves into a huge lonely house in the Spanish countryside with her husband Mateo and her stepdaughter Bonnie. The house is built so that the front lie always in the light and the back rooms, which are locked, lie always in the dark. With the family are living a housekeeper and a mute gardener. Mateo has to do a lot of travelling and thus Callie is often left alone with the other thre ...more
Jon Recluse
Jul 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ghost-stories, horror
The brightest light casts the darkest shadows.....

Fowler spins the haunted house tale into something unexpected....a fresh take on a classic archetype, balancing modern style with pitch perfect "old school" pacing that raises the creep factor exponentially.

Highly recommended!
Melissa Chung
Nov 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned, 52-in-2018
This book was slow, but entertaining. Confusing, but engaging. If I had to put this book in the same category of another book, I'd say this is sort of like "I'm thinking of Ending Things". It's got the same kind of vibe. A slow story that starts to reveal itself piece by piece. The ending may be predictable to some, (broken record...story of my life), but I didn't seem to see what was going to happen until it did and was left feeling sort of empty. The ending is ambiguous. I don't know how I fee ...more
Sep 30, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: horror
I am really torn in two with this read! In fact I first drafted a review a day after I read it, but now, several days later, the final thing that had been bugging me about it suddenly clarified itself in a “lightbulb moment”.

There are parts that I really loved but others just left me rather confused at first. Callie and husband Mateo have bought their dream home in Spain and are moving in and life should be perfect, with the two of them still in their honeymoon period. Callie even gets on well w
Leah Polcar
Nyctophobia is an almost perfect exemplar of mediocrity. It's definitely not bad -- the plotting is decent; the writing is clear -- but it is not good either. More or less a haunted house novel, Nyctophobia starts out strong, at least by the standards of the haunted house horror sub-genre, by putting our haunted house in Spain and making it a modern dwelling full of light. If ever there seemed to be a less haunted house in terms of architectural design, I don't know what it is. We even get a ...more
Jan 16, 2015 rated it it was ok
I can't decide if I want to give this two or three stars, but I am giving it two because I genuinely disliked almost every character presented to me. Callie is the most clueless and naive excuse for a protagonist I have ever met. She seems to make decisions based on absolutely nothing, with no regard for the consequences. She seems to know nothing about the man she married, and throws herself into whatever whim next crosses her mind. Her character read like a teenage girl. Which, is not necessar ...more
Oct 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This story is partly about things done to escape a phobia of darkness and something, a house built for a beloved to protect her from that fear. Callie and her husband but this beautiful home that is both stunningly filled with light and, at the back, dark. It functions like a camera obscura, but Callie can't help but meddle with the dark miniature rooms and defy the housekeeper who came with the house. She chases things in the dark. But what is there? What is real? The ending is very puzzling an ...more
Feb 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars. I liked this book but there were some things mentioned I would have liked to known more about.
April Showers Bring Fungi From Yuggoth
Review: NYCTOPHOBIA by Christopher Fowler

I chose to review this as an ARC because I am such an admirer of Christopher Fowler (so far, specifically ROOFWORLD and RUNE), but at first (perhaps because the core of the story occurs in Spain), I didn't cotton to it as I'd expected. I thought I was reading a cross of Daphne du Maurier with Sarah Rayne. As I persevered, the tale grew on me. Eventually I realized that I held a story truly terrifying (I expect it will come alive in my dreams). If you're e
Aug 26, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: arc-review
ARC for review.

I was so excited about the first half of this book, a delightfully spooky story about a house haunted by....sunlight? It was both creepy and interesting, but the cracks started to show about halfway through as the strain of creating a believable relationship from an unlikely pairing (although I want a Mateo for myself!) and some of the stupid acts of the heroine diminished its effectiveness a bit. The end redeemed the book a bit (no spoilers here) and overall it was a page turner
Nov 20, 2014 rated it really liked it
Nyctophobia is slow to start but, it builds to a much faster pace. There are some genuine scares in here and the ending is good and creepy. Not what I expected and that was a good thing.
Empress Reece (Hooked on Books)
Are you Afraid of the Dark??... 3.5 stars

Nyctophobia - defined as the "extreme or irrational fear of the night or of darkness"

Nyctophobia is a haunted house/ghost story. It's about a newly married family that moves into Hyperion House, a new house they just bought in Southern Spain. 

 "There are two things you need to know about haunted houses. One, there's never been an actual authenticated haunted house. Two, it's not the house that's haunted, but the person."

The first three quarters of this bo
Sep 19, 2015 rated it liked it
This book has a number of things that I enjoy, mainly an unreliable narrator and an ambiguous ending. I like psychological stories that make you question if all of the events of the novel actually happened, or if they are just the imaginings of a deranged mind. "Nyctophobia" leaves the reader with a lot of questions and no clear answers, so if you are put off by that type of story this one is probably not for you.

I enjoyed this novel, but there really isn't anything new here in regards to haunte
Jack Haringa
Jul 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: horror
I finished Chris Fowler's NYCTOPHOBIA Thursday morning and raved about it all weekend. It's a genuinely creepy, thoughtful, effective haunted house novel. Fowler is aware and respectful of his predecessors in the genre--particularly Rebecca, Jane Eyre, and The Haunting of Hill House--without being encumbered by their presence. There are unexpected revelations that make perfect sense but are thoroughly unpredictable, and the writing is fine from start to finish. At one point as I was reading this ...more
Jun 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
Clever, very clever this little story will keep you thinking the whole time. You may work it out at the end or it will take a few hours and WHAM! Now the plot cannot be discussed as a wrong word could spoil a third of the book.

The ending is superb with a good chance that you dear reader, like me, could add the paragraph at rhe end that does not need to be written to understand.

A five star thumbs up for this.

Oh best 10 page opening sequence ever before the book starts. Love the flickering light b
Aug 17, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A gradually unfurling psychological thriller

This was my first experience with Christopher Fowler and it will certainly not be the last. Nyctophobia was a highly enjoyable read that turned out to be a page-turner till the very end. The plot devices might be a little clichéd but Fowler manages to keep you guessing as the storyline slowly plays out. This is one of those books where new pieces of the overall puzzle will emerge on each subsequent read...
Jan 28, 2017 rated it it was ok
This book was the worst kind of disappointment for me. The story was very cool and held so much promise but the author seems utterly unable to deliver that promise. The book reads completely unedited. Typos and grammar mistakes abound and so many words used completely inappropriately I lost count. The dialogue was abysmal. I physically cringed. I very nearly did not finish and upon finishing I immediately regretted wasting my time. Such a disappointment.
the gift
250318: set in spain. so it reminds me of recent spanish horror films (the orphanage, the others, pan's labyrinth...), the kind i like- there is something just wrong, subtle but absolute, buried history, inescapable, progressively absorbing central protagonist. slowly. i enjoyed this far too much, read it in one sitting. the final 'reveal' haunts the reader as much as protagonist...
Honestly I want to say 2.5 - 3.5 stars.
I saw another reviewer state they had a love/hate thing going with this book. Same for me. I was so drawn in at first. Loved the whole feel of the book. It kept me wanting more. But then maybe half way thru, I just started to not care at all & almost decided to ditch the book altogether. But, since I already was somewhat committed (barely but just enough), i decided to see where it went. For me, not far. Didn't really get the ending but then again, not
Oct 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Depending on your point of view, I suppose I am either the perfect or the worst ever candidate to read this book. Ever since I can remember I’ve always had “issues” with the dark. To give you some context, I have been known to walk/talk and, on one memorable occasion, scream while asleep. I also regularly wake in the pitch black utterly convinced that there is some else in the room. Sometimes these night terrors are so vivid I am unable to even open my eyes, I am literally paralysed by fear. The ...more
Oct 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Book Review originally published here:

Nyctophobia is the best horror book I’ve read in 2014, and I doubt I’ll find a better book any time soon. The writing was exquisite, rich in detail, atmospheric and haunting. The book started out slow, and I expected to find a rather standard haunted house story, but this is completely different, and utterly, utterfly terrifying.

I had nightmares about this book last night, and I don’t think they’ll be the first. I don
Lilyn G. | Sci-Fi & Scary
Fowler lays this book out with all the haunted house elements one can imagine – the young impressionable girl, the loving but disbelieving older man, the mute gardener, the stern housekeeper, etc. The first twenty percent or so is rather slow going, but soon enough the tension starts to ratchet up and you find yourself wondering how everything is going to end. Callie’s nyctophobia – better known as fear of the dark – was a very relatable element for me. Honestly, I wouldn’t have been as brave as ...more
May 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
I know Christopher Fowler mainly from some of his incredible short stories that appear quite regularly in Best New Horror. (If you haven't done so already, please track down Norman Wisdom and the Angel of Death). An autographed copy of his latest book (bought at London's Forbidden Planet) seemed too good to pass up even if the blurb implied a rather done to death narrative.

And sure enough, if you are a longtime horror fan, they are cliches aplenty: the disturbed narrator with a tragic, violent p
Tracey Allen at Carpe Librum
Jun 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
Nyctophobia is a fear of the dark (or darkness) and is the perfect title for a novel, don't you think? Paired with an appropriately dark and spooky cover, Nyctophobia by Christopher Fowler ticks the box in a number of genres, including: science fiction, urban fantasy, supernatural and mystery of the highest order.

I'm still reeling from this book. I adored it, it was a five star read..... right up until the ending. This book had me in its grip, but it ended one sentence too soon, argh!!

I haven't
Sep 27, 2015 rated it really liked it

He quedado muy sorprendida con este libro. Tiene un inicio lento donde la trama se va desenvolviendo poco a poco. La protagonista sufre de nictofobia, miedo a la oscuridad, por lo que cuando comienzan a suceder hechos extraños en su nueva y misteriosa casa, comencé a dudar de si todo era imaginación de ella o realmente había algo raro con este lugar.

Me encantó como el autor logró transmitir las dudas y miedos de la protagonista al lector, hubo escenas donde sentí el miedo de Callie. El últi
✟Roxanne✟(Death by Book Avalanche) ☠
2 Star Rating ★★

This ended up being quite a difficult read for me as I found it very slow paced, there was so much build up to pretty much nothing in my opinion.
I found each character quite annoying and fairly dim to be honest as who really buys a property without seeing half of it? Not a lot of the storyline made a lot of sense and there were quite a few errors in the writing which was pretty distracting.
It wasn't all bad as there were a couple of chilling scenes but unfortunately they were ver
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Horror Reading Ch...: February 2016 Group Read: Nyctophobia 28 23 Feb 21, 2016 09:03AM  
2015 Reading Chal...: Nyctophobia by Christopher Fowler 1 18 Jun 03, 2015 11:36AM  
  • The Unquiet House
  • House of Fear
  • We Will All Go Down Together
  • The Boy Meets Girl Massacre (Annotated)
  • An English Ghost Story
  • House of Windows
  • Brodmaw Bay
  • The Well
  • The Dazzling Darkness
  • Wild Fell
  • Chasm
  • Dead in the Water
  • The Uninvited
  • The War (Blackwater, #4)
  • Sing Me To Sleep
  • Banquet For the Damned
  • Harrison Squared
  • A Shadow on the Wall
Christopher Fowler is an English novelist living in London, his books contain elements of black comedy, anxiety and social satire. As well as novels, he writes short stories, scripts, press articles and reviews.

He lives in King's Cross, on the Battlebridge Basin, and chooses London as the backdrop of many of his stories because any one of the events in its two thousand year history can provide ins
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