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Armageddon House

3.50  ·  Rating details ·  143 ratings  ·  40 reviews
Utopia. Four people living together deep underground in a subterranean facility. All their needs provided for. Food, water, medicine. A swimming pool; a gym; a bar. Except none of them can recall exactly how they came to be there, or what they are supposed to do. Dystopia. Where are the others? There must have been others. It's a huge facility, after all. It must be some s ...more
Paperback, 124 pages
Published May 12th 2020 by Undertow Publications
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Average rating 3.50  · 
Rating details
 ·  143 ratings  ·  40 reviews


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Schizanthus Nerd
May 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kindle-food
Welcome to a day in the life of Mark, Jenna, Greyson and Polly. Although, perhaps it’s night. It’s kind of hard to tell when you’re entirely cut off from the outside world.

Everything they could possibly need is provided for them. There’s more than enough food to last a lifetime and alcohol is plentiful. They can laze around the pool, exercise in the gym or explore countless rooms. It sounds like paradise but is it really a prison?
“We all forget things, more and more every day.”
Their memorie
...more
The Grim Reader
May 27, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It’s perhaps ironic the Grim Reader finds himself locked down and at the same time locked inside Michael Griffin’s latest novella, Armageddon House. Quarantine restrictions are being eased but many questions remain unanswered. I have a feeling readers will either love the ambiguity of Armageddon House or despise the fact that there are many more questions than answers by the book’s end. I’ve read Griffin’s other books so I know nothing will be spoon fed to me. Could I stand a Sprawling novel of ...more
Jason
May 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Bloody Brilliant!

This book starts off relatively reminiscent of stories depicting dystopian rule and a lot of isolation. Four characters (Mark, Jenna, Polly, and Greyson) are indeed isolated in what is assumed to be an underground bunker or some deep government secret testing facility. Tension between characters are high. There’s a bully, a mentally ill person, a leader, and what could very well be a passive aggressive psychopath.

At about the half way mark, the story becomes weird and just gets
...more
Micah Castle
Apr 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
Armageddon House is a fast-paced, evocatively written, psychological weird fiction novella about four people living, seemingly willingly, in a bomb shelter or an underground bunker in an unknown location somewhere in the world.

Griffin just drops you into the protagonist mind, and doesn't really explain what's going on in the world that drove them to the bomb shelter/bunker initially, or why they chose to go, or why were they the ones to go and not other people, or—

There's just a lot of questions
...more
Lukasz
Oct 13, 2020 rated it liked it
3.5/5

Not what I expected, but surprisingly good.

Four adults, two men, two women, live together, sealed in an underground bunker. They have no idea how long they have been there, why they are locked away, or when they will get out. Their memories of their past lack clarity and raise a lot of questions. They assume they're participating in a test, but of what kind precisely? No one knows.

Their life revolves around daily routines: cleaning, eating, speaking. When one of them goes missing, the rest
...more
Well Read Beard
Jun 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: my-books
I was enthralled, rapt, held by this novella. The mystery, what are we doing here? how did we get here? and the style that it is written with are absolutely attention capturing. Clear your schedule, don't start this thing when you have other shit to do. It's not happening.

There is a bit of Howey's Wool, maybe some David Lynch, a slice of Lost? I am trying to come to terms with the influences I felt. What I can tell you is that I like these types of stories. Stories where the locale is vast and
...more
Lori
An amazing, I refuse to put it down because I absolutely MUST find out what the hell is going on here, almost read it in one sitting but I started it too late last night, fuck with your head on a multitude of levels, this is why I read small press, book.

It's a wicked noodler of a dystopian/utopian/post apocalyptic novel in which the author drops us smack dab in front of Mark as he awakens, as he always does, at precisely 6:20am in his tiny room. Mark is one of four people who appear to have wil
...more
Roz
Jun 28, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020, weird-fiction
So not my kind of book. Sorry for the rating but ugh.
Steve Stred
May 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
** Edited as review is now live on Kendall Reviews! **

‘Armageddon House‘ by Michael Griffin is one of those books that came onto my radar via a Twitter suggestion. I believe it was Shane from Ink Heist’s tweet I saw saying that Griffin was looking to connect with reviewers for reviews and so I reached out and bingo bango, a digital copy was kindly sent over by the great folks at Undertow Publications.

Not since ‘At the End of the Day I Burst Into Flames‘ and ‘All Hail the House Gods‘ have I been
...more
Lou
May 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Jenna and Mark, Polly and Greyson.
Four somewhere in time, in isolation.
They have memories vague, and thoughts, imagined things, with secrets and questions arising as things unfold on their past and future down in their dwelling place and their very essence and meaning of being there.
The author has you following along their dilemma, rituals, days in cycles, almost like Truman Show same time same witnessing of repeated actions and routines, almost programmed, and then you find this is not Truman s
...more
Monique Snyman
Jun 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: horror
For some reason, probably due to still being in Lockdown Level 3 in South Africa, I found this book super unsettling and weirdly relatable. Armageddon House was a great story and the writing was excellent. Definitely one for the bookshelf.
Joseph
If I hadn’t pre-ordered Armageddon House in early March, before the Covid pandemic escalated, I would have easily believed that this novella was inspired by the lockdown. It starts in medias res, presenting us with two couples of sorts – Mark and Jenna, Greyson and Polly – living in a hi-tech underground bunker. Their subterranean world has all the necessities they require. There’s a well-equipped kitchen, a gym and swimming pool, a tavern and even a sort of museum. There’s food to last many a l ...more
Cail
Jul 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: weird-fiction, horror
I blazed through this book, it’s hard to put down.

The writing is gripping and easy to follow at first, but as it gets farther along, I found myself re-reading sections to confirm I’m tracking with what-the-HELL is going on.

This book left me with a lot of questions, but it’s a helluva fun ride. I’d be curious to hear the author give his take on the ending in a podcast or interview.

Dystopia-drenched weird fiction. Dig it.
Sheena Forsberg
Aug 21, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Groundhog day-but dark, twisted and in an doomsday bunker. 4 people find themselves sealed in an underground bunker. None of them seem to know much about themselves nor how/why they ended up there in the first place nor when/if they are going to get out. All days start the same way and they’re trapped in a seemingly never ending loop of routines. They seem to agree that they’re in a test of some kind, but nothing else. It is at its core an existential horror story and very well written. Who am I ...more
Jess
Maybe if I’d read this at another point in my life and not when I’d just woken up, I’d have got more out of it. As it is, I don’t get it and I’m too tired to question why.

I’m very vocally not a fan of dreamy narratives and metaphysics and to be honest I just wanted some explanation of what was happening. Sure there’s a whole spiel on life and death (though nobody acknowledges the word) and maybe some stuff about the world as a whole ending but I was very confused.
Joe Scipione
Jul 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Full review coming soon to horrorbound.net but quick thoughts. This is one of the best books I’ve read in a long time. Haunting and weird and tremendously impressive.
Bill
Jun 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned-books
Four residents of a strange underground habitat

Michael Griffin’s novella called “Armageddon House” is the story of Mark, one of a quartet of people living in a kind of multi-level bunker. They are experiencing something like a time loop, repeating a daily pattern without any certainty of why they are there or what is happening to them. As the novella’s plot progresses, events become more and more surreal. Griffin has built a unique and fascinating setting for this book, and reading it is like s
...more
Thomas Joyce
May 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
Two men and two women find themselves in a strange underground bunker, and no-one can agree on the reason for them being there. We can always rely on Mike Griffin to deliver a weird and unsettling tale. Told from the point of view of one character, Mark, things soon unravel as tensions and weirdness continue to ramp up the action. The characters all have complex and relatable characteristics (some more relatable than others!) and the unique setting/conflict makes for a very original story.
Shikhar
Jun 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Michael Griffin’s compelling novella centers around Mike (Griffin?) and his thoughts and questions, regarding four people and their isolation in a subterranean facility. Yet, each revelation gives birth to new questions.

Mark and Jenna. Greyson and Polly. Their day begins in separate rooms, each with their own murals on the wall opposite the bed. Mark is wistful of a time when he and Jenna were still a couple, before they began a pantomimed relationship for Greyson and Polly’s benefit. Mark canno
...more
Jim Andrew Clark
Nov 11, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a smart little novella with an intriguing premise that almost pays off.

Mark, Jenna, Polly and Greyson are stuck in a bunker with everything they need to survive: food, exercise equipment, medicine, artificial sunlight. The bunker has many levels, each with its own mystery. But the overall mystery is why they are there. Is it an experiment? Are they the last survivors of an apocalypse? None of them can remember exactly how they got there, or who they really are. It's a creepy scenario tha
...more
Jonathan Walker
This is an elegantly written little mindfuck of a book, which does not 'explain' its mysterious set-up at all. A novella not because of a paucity of ideas but because anything that might give too much away has been ruthlessly pared away from the text. Prose that is very clean and simple, and seemingly straightforwardly descriptive, but an overall effect that is opaque. It's always a bit pretentious to refer to Kafka in a review, but it's reminiscent of him – not so much in mood or tone, but in t ...more
David
Jul 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
4 people are trapped in a bunker with everything they need, except answers. Many reviewers seem to want all loose ends tied up with a bow. Maybe this story is an allegory for life - complete with loose ends. Oh, how humans love certainty and fear uncertainty! Each character or persona did not seem fully 3D, so perhaps there is a way to read this story allegorically - but in what way I just haven’t figured out yet. Maybe aliens study us. Maybe these are the last 4 people. Maybe Mike is on acid, o ...more
Kev Harrison
Jun 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
At the beginning of this book, it felt like something of a departure from Michael Griffin's previous work, the ethereal dreamlike quality of his settings replaced with something all the more grounded, physical. Four individuals, our POV character being Mark are in an underground bunker. None of them seems to know why, for how long, or how they got there.
The novella is character driven, with the settings deliberately quite sterile, and the story advances on the back of the relationships between
...more
Christopher Teague
Jun 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
Truthfully, I didn't quite understand the last chapter but I applaud the dream-like narrative of Griffin's writing.

Starting out, it reminded me of Ballard's High-Rise - albeit underground; a post-apocalyptic bunker, with four survivors: Mark, Jenna, Polly and Greyson.

Then, has the story progressed, it became - to me - stream-of-consciousness storytelling; my mind dizzy, to the point where I had to re-read passages.

Back in the 90s, a form of fiction emerged within the burgeoning small and indepen
...more
Kyrilson
This was a weird little novella. Reminded me a little bit of "Wool" by Hugh Howey. It's about four people in an underground bunker living day to day, with very little knowledge of why they're there and what's outside. There is an pervading sense of tension and claustrophobia throughout the story. It was a pretty good story, but I felt the characters were a little odd, and some of the situations were confusing to the reader. Overall I did find the story enjoyable and I liked the ending, but some ...more
Gurpreet Kaur
Jul 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
First of all.. the writing style is incredible. This book keep me hooked from the starting.. like what the hell is happening... Have I missed something while reading... But no, it's a story with lots of questions hidden in it and so less answers provided in the end.

It was an interesting read. My first book of this author. Kept me on my toes what's going to happen will they be able to escape or what's going to happen with them. All in all a good read which surely make your mind think.. think and
...more
Leigh Farina
Jul 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
This book still has me trying to wrap my head around what I just read. It held me from page one and kept me wondering what and who the 4 characters are and what they are living through. The conflict between the characters is exactly what you would find between people stuck together in a confined space, but yet it is humanizing and relatable the struggle of grasping with what is really happening.
Des Lewis
Jan 28, 2021 rated it really liked it
This book, whether intentionally or not, has a strong special meaning for me today. In my current circumstances.

“The world flips, darkens, shifts.”

But finally opening its walled panorama from its outset all those days-of-reading ago.

The detailed review of this book posted elsewhere under my name is too long or impractical to post here.
Above is one of my observations at the time of the review.
Julian White
Aug 31, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Copy JJ of 52+8

A disturbingly simple premise - four people isolated in a presumably underground bunker built to house many more... As we follow their progress through the day more and more questions arise - and are not answered, either for the reader or the quartet.

Weirdly satisfying, though - and quite short, despite the page number.
Hughes Ouimet
Oct 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
This novella grows on you page after page, makes you question everything. I literally had to stop and ask aloud what the hell is going on? Even the end leaves you hanging with so many questions, making you wish for more but sometimes it’s just the right way to end! A good read for fans of Lost. Amazing art cover with multiple meanings. Makes me want to read more novellas!
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