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Fingers of Fear

3.33  ·  Rating details ·  64 ratings  ·  15 reviews
Utterly ruined by the stock market crash of 1929, Selden Seaforth has lost his money, his job, and his wife. When an old school friend, Ormond Ormes, offers Seaforth a job cataloguing the library at the mansion of Ormesby in the Berkshires, it seems as though things may finally be turning around. But almost as soon as he arrives at Ormesby, it is clear that something is te ...more
Hardcover, 0 pages
Published January 28th 2002 by Midnight House (first published 1937)
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Average rating 3.33  · 
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Nancy Oakes
3.8 rounded up.

This 1937 title has been brought back recently into print and out of obscurity by Valancourt, whose books are sending me to the poorhouse because I can't resist picking up their latest titles. I'm smiling all the way there though, because so far I've had incredible luck with the books I've bought -- some I probably would never have even known existed without the Valancourt guys making it possible. Fingers of Fear continues my run of good luck with this publisher -- here you have a
Orrin Grey
Can a book be both a lot of fun and a bit of a slog? If so, Fingers of Fear is that book. When the good folks at Valancourt reissued it, I knew I had to pick it up from the back cover copy, specifically, "Ghosts stalk the corridors, and Seaforth awakens to find a mark made by a human mouth on his neck. Is there a vampire, a werewolf, or something even worse, at Ormesby?" Seriously, how could I not read that book?

And there are lots of moments when it hits notes exactly as high as that bit of back
Sep 27, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
You have: 1.murder 2.madness 3.old dark house 4.lycanthropy 5.secret passageways 6.moving portrait eyes 7.stormy night...and several other horror cliches all piled together into one novel from 1937. As a friend said, 'It's NOT great literature,' but it's definitely a fun, vintage romp through depression-era horror fiction. Sort of a lost-cheese-classic.
Justin Howe
Your great-grandma's weird sexy goth slasher novel! A feckless narrator takes a job in a mysterious old house where strange doings are getting done and there are ghosts and vampires and werewolves and vampire ghosts and incest and murder and etc. I ended up rage reading bits of this because the prose can get pretty dull.

It's fun at times but The Werewolf of Paris does a better job at being my great-grandma's weird sexy goth slasher novel.
Timothy Mayer
Apr 09, 2009 rated it it was amazing

Fingers of Fear was #10 on KEW's 13 Best Supernatural Horror Novels list. As I open the pages of my old copy of Twilight Zone Magazine, this is what he said:

"This one has it all: lycanthropy, vampirism, family curse, patricide, incest, infanticide, hauntings, the works. Supposedly it was marketed as straight detective fiction. Must have freaked out the Agatha Christie fans."

What he should've added is that the most of the action in the book takes place during one night.
As always, the back story o
Oct 10, 2019 rated it it was ok
This is another of Karl E Wagner's famous "13 Best Horror Novels," a list that encompasses many rather obscure titles. Having thorougly enjoyed R. R. Ryan's Echo of a Curse (which also made the list), I gave this a go.

There's quite a few well-worn "old dark house" tropes here -- discovering dead bodies, vampires/werewolves, family curses, hidden money, evil twins, secret passages and portraits with eyes that "follow you." I admit -- this novel does generate some eerie mood and creepy moments in
Apr 23, 2015 rated it liked it
Anyone looking to buy this out-of-print book should know that it is full of editing errors. It's really bad.
Story was OK. I liked the Old Dark House setting, ghosts, cursed bloodlines, and lycanthropy (real or imagined), but the plot kept thickening to the point of becoming a little ridiculous.
This was so over the top that at times I thought it might be a parody---a house with secret passages, people who might or might not be ghosts, secret insane relatives, possible werewolves/vampires, soap-opera-ish family trees---and definitely racier than I would have expected for a book published in 1937. A wild read for sure.
This Old Dark House tale was originally published back in the 1930's and clocks in at only 213 pages, but it was still a chore for me to get through. It starts out promisingly, with all the right ingredients in place for a good old fashioned scare-fest, but its frantic but somehow plodding pace and mystery upon mystery upon mystery plotting got just plain tiresome midway through, plus the characters were strictly from stock and uninspired. This is the first re-release from the wonderful folks at ...more
Oct 17, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle-lending
did not finish this one..
May 02, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Reads like it was written like a 13-year-old boy back in '37. There's no discernible arc (or even plot, really); just scenes piled on implausible scenes, like a 214-page ride on an especially noisy, rickety, un-fun fairground ghost train. Good luck finding a relatable character in this mess. That one's insane! This one's a vampire! (I think.) The one over there's a werewolf! (Kind of.) There are ghosts (I guess), incestuous relationships, cut throats, secret passages, murderous hounds, hidden tr ...more
Dr. Andrew Higgins
Jun 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a really captivating page turning horror thriller which has a good plot and as the editor of the new edition from Nodens Books Douglas A Anderson says ‘J(ohn) U(rban) Nicolson (1885-1944) was a Chicago warehouse manager with literary interests. Fingers of Fear (1937) was his only novel, a precursor to the melodramatic horror of the 1960s like the television show Dark Shadows.’ I agree - Ormesby is not far from Collinwood. Recommend to read with the lights on! T ...more
This book has so much in it I theoretically like, and yet managed to bore the pants off me once the plot actually got going. Also I found the narrator completely insufferable, even for the time period it was set in. Blarg.
Feb 15, 2016 rated it liked it
Eh... Not a bad book and a description of the horror tropes involved sounds pretty cool, but all in all, it was a bit difficult to get through (even as a short book)--it was slow, without great descriptions of atmosphere, or very relatable or likable protagonists. Great to see these old books back in print from Valancourt, but despite the old dark house setting, this one wasn't my favorite.
Chet Williamson
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Dec 03, 2015
rated it it was ok
Jul 24, 2008
Jeff Sinclair
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Jul 24, 2017
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Jun 16, 2019
Benjamin Uminsky
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Apr 02, 2011
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Nov 13, 2008
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Dec 12, 2010
Jordan West
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Jul 03, 2019
Fy K
rated it it was amazing
Aug 03, 2013
Alice Ambrose
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Jan 07, 2016
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May 30, 2019
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Oct 01, 2018
rated it it was ok
Feb 18, 2012
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Jan 10, 2012
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Oct 08, 2013
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Horror Aficionados : Fingers of Fear by J.U. Nicolson 35 31 Nov 04, 2015 02:28AM  
Valancourt Books: Fingers of Fear (1937) by J.U. Nicolson 8 11 Oct 17, 2015 11:10PM  

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