Maciek's Reviews > The Ceremonies

The Ceremonies by T.E.D. Klein
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's review
Jan 17, 2011

it was ok
bookshelves: own-in-paperback, owned-books, horror, read-in-2011, classic-horror

2,5 stars. "The Ceremonies" start with great promise, only to end up in a wildly unsatysfying way. Klein weaves a well-enough tale of a rural community, completely severed from the outside world, where everyone knows everyone and all day the Lord's praises are sung. To this community comes a young man named Jeremy Freis, who's preparing his dissertation and is getting ready for teaching a class on Gothic literature. Klein is obviously an expert in the field, and often quotes and references authors famous and those that are less well known. The atmosphere is vividly detailed, and one can almost hear the crickets and see the moths battling with the windowscreen. And to add to all this, there's a separate plot where an extreme evil is getting ready to reign once again....

Sounds good? It does, until you realize that he's going absolutely nowhere with it. As the pages go by and the plot thickens, you notice that the novel starts behaving like a flat tyre; the atmosphere keeps evaporating faster and faster, and the fewer pages left, the more absurdly predictable it becomes. This is one sweet gigantic buildup to a climax that never happens, and then it's over on ten pages. I've read that it's an expansion on a short story, so my advice is to read that one instead.
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Reading Progress

January 17, 2011 – Shelved
January 17, 2011 – Shelved as: own-in-paperback
January 17, 2011 – Shelved as: owned-books
January 17, 2011 – Shelved as: horror
May 18, 2011 – Started Reading
May 18, 2011 –
page 100
May 20, 2011 –
page 200
May 21, 2011 –
page 250
May 22, 2011 –
page 300
May 24, 2011 –
page 400
June 5, 2011 –
page 500
June 6, 2011 – Finished Reading
July 24, 2011 – Shelved as: read-in-2011
March 14, 2013 – Shelved as: classic-horror

Comments (showing 1-10 of 10) (10 new)

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Amanda Lyons I hope you like it :)

Maciek I really like the atmosphere and the story the author untangles, but I must admit that he does go around the bush a bit.

Amanda Lyons My brother said that it does take a bit to get going after awhile. Its been a bit since i originally read it but I do remember liking it a lot over all.

Maciek Thanks, Amanda. I'm about 150 pages from the end, and anxious to see how it all will conclude.

message 5: by Mike (new)

Mike Puma I've read that it's an expansion on a short story, so my advice is to read that one instead.

What a practical reader!

Maciek Always at your service!

message 7: by Will (new)

Will Errickson Agree! I read the story it's based on, "The Events at Poroth Farm," and while it's good, overall I prefer Klein's collection of novellas, DARK GODS.

Maciek Thanks, Will. I haven't read the story, but I can tell it must be better than this expansion, which was very bloated.

message 9: by [deleted user] (new)

You are spot-on, Maciek! I just finished the novel and it's been a while since I've been this disappointed in a book. I love horror from the 60s-80s and I have heard such good things about Klein's novel. But it seemed to tread water for half its length. Nice review, my friend.

Maciek Thank you, Jesse! I was very happy when I found this book as it's supposed to be a classic novel by a reclusive author, but it's disappointing and overlong. I've not read anything else by this author so I've no idea how his other work compares.

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