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A House at the Bottom of a Lake

3.26  ·  Rating details ·  8,644 ratings  ·  1,918 reviews
Both seventeen. Both afraid. But both saying yes.

It sounded like the perfect first date: canoeing across a chain of lakes, sandwiches and beer in the cooler. But teenagers Amelia and James discover something below the water’s surface that changes their lives forever.

It’s got two stories.

It’s got a garden.

And the front door is open.

It’s a house at the bottom of a lake.

For t
Kindle Edition, 118 pages
Published October 31st 2016 by This Is Horror
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Average rating 3.26  · 
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 ·  8,644 ratings  ·  1,918 reviews

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Aug 28, 2020 rated it it was ok
i...what...huh?? wtf was that ending? who decided to market this as horror? did i like it? wHAT???
Lala BooksandLala
This is NOT a book for everyone. Please keep that in mind when seeing my 5 star rating and proceed at your own risk.
Chelsea Humphrey
Jan 04, 2017 rated it liked it
Well, I kind of enjoyed this? I'm not 100% sure what I just read, but I feel like it's been marketed unfairly. I wouldn't consider this horror; it might be stretching things to call it suspense. I was slightly bored throughout the entire novella but did find bits and pieces interesting, especially toward the end. If I had to narrow it down I feel as though this would fit well under a YA/Magical Realism. A quick read and I did feel the ending was strong, so I decided to bump the initial 2 up to a ...more
Two and one half stars rounded up to three.

My thoughts on this novella are that “A House at the Bottom of a Lake” is incorrectly marketed. One is led to believe that this is a horror novella. Wrong. While marketed by “This Is Horror” there is no evidence that any essence of horror has been exposed to this work. Even if one hired the world’s best consulting detective, horror could not be discovered within these pages.

In the first sixty or seventy pages of the book, the author Josh Malerman, pres
"We found a dangerously magic place. A place to fall in love."

Two adventurous teens on a first date happen across a dark tunnel just barely wide enough to squeeze through in "the green canoe with the brown trim."

And, beyond the tunnel, they are shocked to discover A HOUSE AT THE BOTTOM OF A LAKE.....a creepy house they must investigate, a mysterious house full of the bizarre, a house they must keep a secret as the presence begins to consume their every thought, a house where they must be careful

Sadie Hartmann
Jan 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This novella is an English teacher's dream! I wish I was 17 again and in Mr. Emmett's English class. The students could read this and discuss all the metaphors and symbolism while Mr. Emmett nods his head with approval and then blows all our minds with his thoughts on this book. He would LOVE this book!
James and Amelia go on a first date--but not your typical first date for two 17 year olds. They venture out on a lake in a canoe-James cursing the fact that he chose
Feb 23, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Just because a house is empty, doesn’t mean nobody’s home.

this is the perfect tagline for a horror story. and between the ominous promise of that line and my having enjoyed malerman’s full-length books, Bird Box and Black Mad Wheel, well - it did not take me long to whip out eleven of my dollars for what i thought would be a sweet little nightmare.

and while i have a shelf for “titles that lie,” i do not have a shelf for “publisher names who lie,” but i gotta say, if you are a publisher calling
Nov 10, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
2.5 stars rounded up

What did I just read? I am not sure. Plus, the ending, I do not even know what to say about that.

Two teenagers go on a date, go to a lake, through a tunnel to another lake. What? Only to find a house at the bottom of the lake. I like to think that I am a good swimmer, but I don't think I could hold my breath that long or see so well under water......Nor, do I feel I would do so well with diving equipment with no experience using it. But I am not seventeen, on my first date, i
Paul O'Neill
Nov 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing

A hauntingly beautiful, enchanting novella by Josh Malerman, who probably gets my author of 2016 award! His writing is just so good in this and in Bird Box. Apologies, you've probably seen me mention Bird Box at every opportunity but it's just that good! And this story proves that Josh isn't a one hit wonder. It's a shame he hasn't got many books released as I'd dive straight in if he did.

My favourite thing about Malermans writing? It's quite old school. It's subtle and he lets you com
Apr 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars
Holy crap I enjoyed this so much more than I thought I would. I was hesitant going in because of so many negative reviews on goodreads, but this book was everything. I buddy read this one with my friend Jacqueline and I feel like this was a perfect buddy read because there was so much discussion!

This is a very creepy and short novella about these two teenagers who go out canoeing on a lake for their first date and they discover a house at the bottom of the lake. I've only read Bird Box
Aug 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: net-galley
My thanks to the Publisher, Mr. Malerman and Netgalley.
I'm giving this novella a 4 star. Although, the ending was much less so!
This story gave me the wee willikens! That means the serious creeps! Something about towns or houses left underwater. That makes my skin crawl!
Unfortunately, about the 63% mark is where this story became less weird.
I rule. Start weird. End weird.
The House disappearing then showing up again? Lame. Was it the author's doing, or something his editor came up with? An open
mark monday
Mar 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
An exploration of a first and perhaps enduring love, conveyed in often microscopic detail. Malerman is a superb writer and his teen lovers are endearing creations. I was consistently impressed by their complete realism in terms of personality, inner monologue, affect, and dialogue. Surprisingly enough, I was reminded of a benevolent Robert Aickman when reading this surreal novella: like Aickman's many strange mansions and landscapes, the house at the bottom of a lake makes no rational sense; it ...more
Sep 06, 2020 rated it liked it
3.5/5 stars!

A HOUSE AT THE BOTTOM OF A LAKE is a great story, but it's not a horror story.

These two teens awkwardly make their first date for a canoe ride. Both are nervous and shaky, but end up having a great time, especially after they decided to squeeze themselves through a narrow tunnel into a connected but smaller lake. As they paddle around, they can see the roof of a house from above. Each takes a turn diving down to take a closer look and they were right. It is a house. Under a lake. Of

During the summer they are seventeen, James and Amelia, go on their first date. They are both nervous, but decide to take a risk.

They canoe out on a local lake with some sandwiches and beer; planning to make a day of it. James knows the busy lake well and also knows a passageway to a connecting lake that sees less traffic; a place for them to be alone.

It's romantic, it's adventurous and the young pair really hit if off.

As they are exploring the second lake they come across another w
Sep 10, 2020 rated it it was ok
Copy furnished by Net Galley for the price of a review.

There's nothing like falling in love for the very first time.  Unusual to discover a house under a lake on your first date.  I cannot label this horror by any stretch of the imagination.  One reviewer suggested it might fit better in a YA/magical realism slot, and I would agree with that assessment.  Loved this author's Bird Box and Unbury Carol, but I wasn't able to wrap my arms around this one.
Jul 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
So this was a reread for me, which I don’t often do. But I remember really enjoying the creepiness of this one a lot. As for the second time around, I’m just as creeped out.

I feel like I would have taken one look at the roof and been like, NOPE!! Not going in there!! But I assume there’s a pull like moths to a flame, which freaks me out. As if there was no other choice than to go inside. To be scared and have to proceed anyway.

James and Amelia are almost sickeningly cute together. I guess
Jonathan Janz
Aug 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I went into this not knowing what to expect. I know Josh, I know he's a fabulous writer, but this one sounded...different.

It is.

A HOUSE AT THE BOTTOM OF A LAKE is magical, mysterious, creepy, and...well, beautiful. I loved it. I especially loved the ending, which I didn't see coming at all.

Highly recommended.
Jul 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
Having read one of his recent psychological thrillers, I was eager to plunge into this novella by Josh Malerman. James has had his eye on Amelia for a while and has wanted to ask her out but lacked the courage. When the moment arises and they both agree to spend time together, their first date seems cemented. Wanting to try something different, James uses his uncle’s canoe and takes Amelia out on the lake. They paddle together, traversing through a tunnel and into a second connected body of wate ...more
“What was dark but the absence of light?”
― Josh Malerman, A House at the Bottom of a Lake

I am rating this a five even though there is so much about it that I do not understand. But it is soo readable. And just plain spell binding.

I have always been fascinated by the ocean. And what lies beneath the waves. I remember a dream I had where there was a whole world under water..with human beings living there. Not fish no r mermaids. People.

So this book..reading it..made the fantasy come true for a bit
JV (semi-hiatus)
Nope. This is not horror at all! However, this one is rather hard to classify. It's an amalgamation of mystery, thriller, dark fantasy, and romance. It's a coming-of-age novella filled with awkward dialogues and exploration of young love. As Amelia and James paddle and navigate through the pristine waters, we see how their relationship blooms. Moreso, when they find that mysterious house at the bottom of the lake. Diving into the very depths, everything in the house seemed unfettered by water, d ...more
I love the concept of this one. This could have been a very good horror, but it wasn't. ...more
Maxine (Booklover Catlady)
Dec 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
Well! I am a fan of Josh Malerman so was excited to read this novella. To be honest I went into it with an open mind and was glad I did as this was something quite different.

We have a young couple, a first date, a lake, a boat and one hell of a discovery. Not one I'd like to have made personally. A house with a garden underwater! Yes, it's true. The book gradually pulls you in until you are literally hanging to see what is going to happen next. It's haunting and special.

I will say the book wasn
May 14, 2020 rated it liked it
At 116 pages, it was pretty easy to get through this in one sitting. But as I'm sat here now, attempting a review, I'm not totally sure how I feel about it. It was definitely intriguing, no doubt about that. There was just something about the whole read that felt... unresolved? As if the story never really went anywhere? ...more
Nov 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: horror
Josh Malerman is quickly cementing his reputation as one of the best and most original horror writers on the scene. His first novel, Bird Box constructed almost literally a horror out of nothing and gave a new meaning to the term "see no evil" as its protagonists' fear of seeing created a haunting agoraphobia. In his new novella, A House at the Bottom of a Lake, we have a even quieter but still original horror tale that somehow serves as a setting for one of the most non-horror themes you can fi ...more
A HOUSE AT THE BOTTOM OF A LAKE, by Josh Malerman , is published by This Is Horror Publication. I need to start out by stating that I think this book was marketed in the wrong genre. Personally, I didn't find anything in this "horrific", so much as "fantasy"--perhaps bordering on "thriller" towards the end.

That being said, this story is beautifully written, and the pangs of a "first-love" are quickly brought back to the reader as the story unfolds. The characters were endearing, and in another
Umut Rados
Aug 26, 2019 rated it it was ok
I think this book would be polarising, some will love it, some will dislike it strongly.
Unfortunately I'm on the latter side. I really enjoyed Malerman's Bird Box, but this wasn't for me.
It's a slice of life kind of little novella. James and Amelia meet and go on their first date canoing in a lake, and they stumble upon a sunk house under the lake. They become obsessed with it and dive in the lake to visit the house, and then weird things start to happen.

If you're keen on atmospheric paranorma
Sep 21, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novella, horror
I almost called on Grumpy Cat for another review appearance. But Grumps is for special occasions, so I’ll save him for another time. Here’s the thing with this book: It just wasn’t scary. I felt the hair on the back of my neck stand up at one point, but that may well have been the ceiling fan. Now, if you have fear of the water, especially being under the water – down where it’s dark and creepy, and something may be sidling up close, unbeknownst to you – then it may be a different experience. I ...more
Chelsea (chelseadolling reads)
BooktubeAThon Challenge #7: Read a book with a person on the cover (THEYRE LITTLE AND TINY UP IN THE CORNER BUT THEYRE THERE) - COMPLETE!

This was weird af. I was terrified for a good chunk of this book bc the thought of deep water scares me to no end, but the ending was really dumb and did nothing for me. Meh. Meh. Meh.
Ellen Gail
Nov 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Ellen Gail by: My all consuming love for anything Josh Malerman writes

This is how you write a novella! You come in, bang out some freaky and beautiful shit, and leave me wanting more. Damn you Malerman! Damn you.

There was no sense of being watched, not exactly, it was something much less focused than that. As if all that blackness was one dumb eye, pointed in his direction, capable of simply observing the small teenaged boy at the base of the house, with no brain to transmit the news to. Not watched. But seen.

Lakes are at the top of a list* of shit that freaks
Nov 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved this story. This is how you do a novella.

I really enjoyed Malerman's first novel, Bird Box, so I was super excited to discover that he had this little novella coming out. I was going to buy the ebook copy, but I opted for the paperback, since the cover looked intriguing, and I always prefer physical copies over digital ones. I'm so glad I did! The cover is perfect, with beautiful imagery and deep blue coloring that makes you feel as if you are under the lake, looking up at the house.

The c
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Readers Unbound: A House at the Bottom of a Lake 4 23 Nov 13, 2018 07:40PM  
Spookathon 2017 2 10 Oct 15, 2017 12:54PM  
horrorbookclub: HorrorBookClub's February '17 Book of the Month 1 17 Feb 08, 2017 03:33PM  
Goodreads Librari...: Incorrect page count for A House at the Bottom of a Lake 3 24 Jan 07, 2017 02:26PM  

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Josh Malerman is the author of BIRD BOX and the singer/songwriter for the band THE HIGH STRUNG.

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