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Invisible Fences

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  150 Ratings  ·  33 Reviews
Invisible Fences (Cemetery Dance Novella Series #19)
by Norman Prentiss
About the Book:
Do you see the point of the story, Nathan? We all cut parts of ourselves away, but we never lose them. Things stay with us—souvenirs with memories attached. We can't always choose what to keep, what to throw away.

Nathan's parents devised cautionary tales for him and his sister—gruesome sto
Hardcover, 165 pages
Published July 1st 2008 by Cemetery Dance Publications (first published 2008)
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It's taken me a while to write this review because it's not clear to me how to do it without spoiling everything. Since I don't want to do that, I will be brief.

This is a coming of age tale, (sort of), involving young Nathan, his sister Pam, the baby sister they both lost, and their parents, (each dealing with the loss of their daughter in a different way.)

In the end, Invisible Fences is a literary ghost story. It doesn't show its cards until near the very end and when it is done, you will be
Thomas Strömquist
Really enjoyed this quick read and the main reason was that I really did not know what to expect. The text had a few hints of the ending along the way, but still, I could not for the life of me see that coming. Well written and told, the story revolves around two siblings; the narrator, Nathan and his older sister Pam, starting out in their early years. The first two parts are essentially a good coming-of-age, with some dark inclusions and happenings, just as life is. The child characters work w ...more
Jun 14, 2012 rated it really liked it
This was a really great novella from Norman Prentiss with a lot of heart and depth of character.

Invisible Fences are meant to protect. For animals, they can keep them contained and safe from harm. For siblings, Nathan and Pam, they came in the form of life lessons from mom and dad. Sometimes, however, these fences can be cruel, like ghosts of the past masquerading as grease spots on the asphalt of our memory and suddenly they aren’t invisible anymore.

4+ Stars and Highly Recommended.
Mar 31, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Miles above the normal sort of free ebook one might stumble upon on Amazon, this one won the Bram Stoker award for achievement in long fiction and deservingly so. This was my second experience reading Prentiss and a much more favorable one. A fairly straight forward story of a family told from the perspective of a young boy and later a man...with a ghost. A ghost doesn't appear until much later, but the readers are promised one and Prentiss delivers as a childhood secret repressed and forgotten ...more
The Behrg
Mar 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 5-star-reads
Genres are funny things. They sort of remind me of the factions in that one book / movie with that one girl where you're either Dauntless or Timid or Grumpy or Sleepy. But you can't be more than one thing, right? I mean, that'd be crazy.

The publishing industry loves genres because it helps sell books, but I tend to find the lines blur a lot more than you'd think. Enter "Invisible Fences" by Norman Prentiss, which is categorized under the genre of "Horror" but which reads more like Literary Ficti
Feb 17, 2017 marked it as to-read
This book is an Advance Uncorrected Proof signed by Norman Prentiss.
May 04, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
A great portrayal of childhood that doesn't really become a horror story until the very end. Successfully treads the line between what you think happened and what really happened without having the reveal feel like a cheat.
Oct 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars.

We are all afraid of something: heights, spiders, strangers, ourselves... I think for most people fear comes from experience, real life levels of aversion therapy. But some, some seem to be born afraid of their own shadow; it is as if there hasn't been a single safe place for them since they left the womb. For yet others, fear has been conditioned into them by other people and those other people are usually the ones who are supposed to be the safest place of all--our parents. Nathan is
Mar 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror
Although this novella was published by Cemetery Dance, it reads more like contemporary or literary fiction than horror, at least until the last 20 pages or so. That said, the preceding pages are absolutely vital in setting up the conclusion.

The first half of the story looks at the childhoods of siblings Nathan and Pam. It’s set in a small town in the early ’70s, and it’s kind of a coming of age story, heavy on foreshadowing. In parts it brings to mind Stephen King’s classic The Body. The kids ar
William M.
Jun 29, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: horror

Invisible Fences reads like a timeless classic. Flawed but honest characters populate the story in a world that feels all too familiar. Childhood loss of innocence is balanced with the joy of exploration and the imagination of youth. The reader is sure to recognize some of the personalities within - whether they are family, friends, or people they knew from their neighborhood. It is this realistic tone and sensitivity that gives added weight to the final revelation, and is sure t
Pete Mesling
Jul 11, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a great book for opening a discussion about genre. I didn't read it for a reading group, but it would work well for that. Is it a horror story? Not necessarily, though it's definitely a ghost story, and there are some chills to be had. Surefooted, it straddles the borderland between the short story and the novel, as all novellas must, and the length works in its favor. The expansiveness of a novel would have been too much for the intimacy of Prentiss's narrative, and as a short story, mo ...more
Иван Величков
Nov 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: Ужаст
Отново книга наградена с Стокър, този път за 2010. Абе, хора, защо не виждат кирилица тези призьори?

Норман Прентис е непознат за мен автор, но с този кратък роман успя да ме хване за гърлото. Чудесен пример за преливане на жанрове, от скучната „класическа” литература към хорър. Романът е книга за порастването, но такава която показва какво ще стане, ако нещата се объркат съвсем. Героите са развити в дълбочина, а стилът е перфектен.
Натан е съвсем обикновено момче, което живее със сестрите и родит
Nov 10, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: horror, novella
This is a difficult story to rate. I spent a good portion of it scratching my head, not because it's confusing or anything, but because I kept thinking "What's the point?". For the most part, INVISIBLE FENCES feels less like a story and more like a memoir. Then you hit the ending and discover a new dimension to the narrative, a dimension that satisfactorily ties up all the loose ends and takes the story to another level. Finally, I understood why this novella was published by a horror imprint li ...more
Aug 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
Four and a half stars.

This is one of those stories that transcends genre. While there is plenty of suspense and a touch of the supernatural, this is more of a character study of a family. It is beautifully structured to involve the reader and its novella length is perfect. Chalk down Norman Prentiss as an author to watch.
Jan 10, 2014 rated it it was ok
2.5 rounded down, this one kind of bored me. I kept expecting it to be building up to an awesome ending like slower books usually do and I was disappointed with the ending when I got there. I don't regret reading it but it's forgettable.
Robin Edman
Oct 24, 2012 rated it really liked it
I started to give this book a lower rating because I found it painful to read. I can't say more without giving away the story of this beautifully-crafted novella ( and isn't it just wonderful that electronic bookselling is making it easy to sell and to buy novellas? They're just long enough to have the full buildup of suspense and just short enough to be free of anything but the things that are necessary.), and the story is where the real psychological punch in the face is to be found. So I'm no ...more
Tony Knighton
Apr 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is possibly my favorite horror story. No monsters, no gore, just a solid story. If you're a horror fan, you gotta read it.
The writing is elegant.
Anything else I say here might give something away, so I'll shut up.
Timothy Youngs
Aug 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Suttle horror story, great family study, loved it.
Apr 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing

I don't want to say very much about this story, it should be unwrapped by each reader, like a melancholy gift. Open it and see for yourself.
Jul 30, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, e-book, 2017
Before reading this novella, I thought "Quiet Horror" was a realm to which only Charles L. Grant belonged. He's still a one-and-only (the atmosphere he creates is unique), but Norman Prentiss is an author who understands it well enough to do his own version of a Charles L. Grant story. Invisible Fences is it.

The title refers to those devices used to keep dogs in yards, using a collar and an underground perimeter line. The author expounds on the idea by telling us how parents create invisible fen
bryan richter
Apr 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good, solid storytelling

Americana tinged with amnesia. Comes on slowly then finishes strong. Some seriously creepy moments to spice up a family's journey through a crisis you can't see clearly until you get close enough to smell it.
This is a signed, advance review copy. An exclusive bonus for members of the 2008 Book Club. Cemetery Dance Publications has this slated for a December 2008 publication date.

I think I counted, like, six glitches. Mostly typos, an extra 's' at the end of a word. There was also one instance of 'stumble speak'.

Overall, I enjoyed the story. I like the revelatory pacing of the ending. It was an odd point of view shift, going from what sis heard to what Nathan saw while talking to sis. Interesting tre
P.S. Winn
Nov 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book. The author tells the tale of looking back, growing up and realizing all is not a it seems. For brother and sister, Nathan and Pam, things in life sometimes seemed simple and plainly laid out by their parents. There is something haunting Nathan's past though, something he doesn't even remember. He doesn't come to terms with it until years later and in an extraordinary and heart touching way. Great writing style and a wonderful story line make this a book to grab.
Phil Zimmerman
Sep 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ebooks, novella
What a great read. Norman Prentiss is impressing the hell out of me!

This is the story of Nathan and his family. The first 90% just reads like a memoir and then stuff gets real weird. Completely unexpected and one that leaves you scratching your head for many pages as you wonder, why is this a horror novel.

Touching, honest and very good!
Jan 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Growing up in the Fifties and Sixties, my parents always warned me about places in our neighborhood I shouldn't go to. Sound familiar?

If so, you need to read read Prentiss' " Invisible Fences." Sometimes the invisible fences of our youth come back to haunt us as adults.
Apr 16, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: kindle-read
This was not as much a horror novella as suspense, with an interesting twist. I was intrigued by the concept but the actual stories that were supposed to guide the novella didn't feel as powerful as the protagonist and his inner struggles.
Jul 18, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This is nearly flawless. Prentiss accomplishes a heck of a lot in a short space. A powerful, pitch-perfect story.
Mar 01, 2011 rated it it was amazing
The horror doesn't surface in this novella until maybe three-quarters of the way through, but it's a very compelling read with fascinating characters and events regardless.
Lori Bartus
Jul 17, 2013 rated it it was ok
Not what I expected. Expected more but got less.
Nov 19, 2016 rated it liked it
More of a coming of age story.. Nothing spooky.. Disappointing.
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Horror Aficionados : Novellas: Invisible Fences 161 114 May 16, 2017 07:38PM  
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