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The Red Tree Paperback – Bargain Price, August 4, 2009

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Paperback, Bargain Price, August 4, 2009
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Roc Trade; Original edition (August 4, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451462769
  • ASIN: B00342VEF6
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.3 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (95 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,427,602 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"[Caitlín R. Kiernan has] a gift for language that borders on the scary."
-Neil Gaiman

About the Author

Caitlín R. Kiernan is an award-winning author, perhaps best known for her work on DC Comics' The Dreaming, a Sandman-related comic book series created by Neil Gaiman.

More About the Author

Caitlin R. Kiernan was born near Dublin, Ireland, but has spent most of her life in the southeastern United States. In college, she studied zoology, geology, and palaeontology, and has been employed as a vertebrate palaeontologist and college-level biology instructor. The results of her scientific research have been published in the JOURNAL OF VERTEBRATE PALAEONTOLOGY, THE JOURNAL OF PALAEONTOLOGY and elsewhere. In 1992, she began writing her first novel, THE FIVE OF CUPS (it remained unpublished until 2003). Her first published novel, SILK (1998), earned her two awards and praise from critics and such luminaries as Neil Gaiman, Clive Barker, Peter Straub, and Poppy Z. Brite. Her next novel, THRESHOLD (2001), was also an award-winner, and since then she has written LOW RED MOON (2003), MURDER OF ANGELS (2004), DAUGHTER OF HOUNDS (2007), and, forthcoming, THE RED TREE. She is a prolific short fiction author, and her award-winning short stories have been collected in TALES OF PAIN AND WONDER (2000), WRONG THINGS (with Poppy Z. Brite; 2001), FROM WEIRD AND DISTANT SHORES (2002), and TO CHARLES FORT, WITH LOVE (2005), ALABASTER (2006), FROG TOES AND TENTACLES (2005), TALES FROM THE WOEFUL PLATYPUS (2007), and, most recently, the sf collection, A IS FOR ALIEN (2009). She has also scripted comics for DC/Vertigo, including THE DREAMING ('97-'01), THE GIRL WHO WOULD BE DEATH ('98), and BAST: ETERNITY GAME ('03). Her short sf novel THE DRY SALVAGES was published in 2004, and has published numerous chapbooks since 2000. Caitlin also fronted the goth-rock band Death's Little Sister in 1996-1997, once skinned a lion, and likes sushi. She lives in Providence, RI with her partner, Kathryn, and her two cats, Hubero and Smeagol. Caitlin is represented by Writer's House (NYC) and United Talent Agency (LA).

Customer Reviews

They made me identify more strongly with her main character and the rest of the story.
Joanne E. Sprott
I would unequivocally recommend doing both through The Red Tree--and unequivocally recommend doing so with the lights on.
Ms. Kiernan has been writing great stories and books for years, and her writing is evolving.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

71 of 78 people found the following review helpful By Soronia on August 5, 2009
Format: Paperback
I read The Red Tree in one sitting because I was simultaneously enthralled and too petrified to look away. Kiernan's story reached out from those pages and grabbed me by the throat, and I followed anxiously behind her protagonist Sarah Crowe as she unearthed fragments of revelation about the Red Oak looming in her backyard. It's just plain good narrative and good writing, and it's also the creepiest thing I've read all year.

This is not your average horror novel. If you like your monsters cliché and your plot points obvious, please look elsewhere. This is a canvas of subtle images, in which the really, really terrible things are only intimated. Which, of course, is the reason it's so scary. Kiernan's nightmares are all the more effective because they never resolve into one solid entity you can categorize long enough to lock in the closet or sweep under the bed. Instead, the vague feeling of dread creeping down your spine is intensified by a host of doubts. It's a rare author who can get both her characters and her readers to doubt what their eyes have seen (or read), but Kiernan manages it with seeming effortlessness. There was no reason to be afraid by page 50. Not knowing, as we do almost immediately, that Sarah Crowe's account is being published posthumously by a (fictitious) editor. Not by the conventions of horror novels that either plod tediously toward some obvious shocker or trot out the gore as early as possible. But I was. And it was a sublime fear, the sort of fear that leaves you with traces of awe instead of just the desire to barricade yourself in. I wanted to watch her world crumble.

This is also not your average Gothic novel.
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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful By G on August 4, 2009
Format: Paperback
I'm going to be honest. I'm a devoted fan of Caitlin R. Kiernan's writing. I first read her chapbook "Candles for Elizabeth" in September of 1999 and her first novel, Silk, that December. I put her novels in other people's hands for many years as a bookseller and most of them came back to the store and thanked me. If you like dark fantasy set in the present day, with a sense of how the deep past lurks underneath everything we do, Kiernan's one of the best writers alive.

Unlike her other books, this is a new stand-alone novel. Her others link loosely, sharing a world and some characters--but this story is the place to start if you've always wanted to read her. It's also an evolution. Kiernan's stunningly brilliant and singular vision blew my doors off. I'm at the point where I'm offering to buy friends copies because I'm so excited that one of my favorite writers has written something this amazing. This really is the book of her career so far.

I've always been in awe of her, but this novel is so deep, stirring and fascinating that it's the one that I didn't know she had in her. Often, when I revere a person's writing, they do something different but as brilliant as what they've done previously and I'll think, "I knew they had it in them."

The experience of reading The Red Tree was: I had no idea anyone, ever, could do something like this.

The writer Sarah Crowe wants out. She left the grind of Atlanta and a shattered relationship to be by herself in a house away from it all in Rhode Island. She finds a half-finished manuscript written by someone who became obsessed by the giant red oak out back. The tree has a dark history and Sarah becomes obsessed too. It's a vivid account of how she is haunted by that oak tree. All I can say is that you might end up checking the backs of your closets for leaves from that oak.
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28 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Babs on August 5, 2009
Format: Paperback
I love horror and I love writers who don't talk down to their readers (I love footnotes and needing a dictionary!). I also appreciate not being hand-fed all the details so everything is neatly wrapped up for me. Ms. Kiernan delivers all of this and more in her latest book. She places us inside the head of Sarah Crowe, a writer seeking solitude after trouble in her personal life only to find more trouble in her chosen "hiding place". Sarah's thoughts and dreams are clearly drawn for us, no matter how confusing and contradictory they may be and how many details, we learn at the end, are NOT given to us. The characters are real, flawed, hurting and one can't help but care about them or at least be drawn into their stories. It is clear that H.P. Lovecraft is a strong influence but the world and the terrors are wholly Ms Kiernan's. I think this is her best work yet and look forward to reading material of hers I haven't yet read.
Technically, I have to say her writing is as fine as Harlan Ellison's and Jacqueline Carey's (Kushiel's Dart). She draws very clear pictures of people and events, elicits strong emotional responses and doesn't waste a word in the process.

The Red Tree additional thoughts: I've read it twice and thought about it and have read many other reviews and comments and have a few more things to say. I think that a lot of people use the word 'horror' as a blanket term for darker uncomfortable feelings. Ms Kiernan has stated that she did not set out to write this as a 'horror story' but that she is seeing a lot of people calling it that.
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