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Those Across the River [Kindle Edition]

Christopher Buehlman
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (132 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $15.00
Kindle Price: $10.99
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Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC

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Book Description

Haunted by memories of the Great War, failed academic Frank Nichols and his wife have arrived in the sleepy Georgia town of Whitbrow, where Frank hopes to write a history of his family’s old estate—the Savoyard Plantation—and the horrors that occurred there. At first their new life seems to be everything they wanted. But under the facade of summer socials and small-town charm, there is an unspoken dread that the townsfolk have lived with for generations. A presence that demands sacrifice.


It comes from the shadowy woods across the river, where the ruins of the Savoyard Plantation still stand. Where a long-smoldering debt of blood has never been forgotten.

Where it has been waiting for Frank Nichols…

Editorial Reviews


“One of the best first novels I’ve ever read.”—Charlaine Harris, #1 New York Times Bestselling Author

“What a treat. Terrible and beautiful. As much F. Scott Fitzgerald as Dean Koontz. A graceful, horrific read.”—Patricia Briggs, #1 New York Times bestselling author

“Wonderfully eerie from start to finish—a novel sure to enthrall readers of all stripes.”—Grant Blackwood, New York Times bestselling author
“An unsettling brew of growing menace spiked with flashes of genuine terror—do not miss this chilling debut. Christopher Buehlman is a writer to watch. I look forward to hearing from him again. And soon.” —F. Paul Wilson, New York Times bestselling author of Fatal Error 

“Lures you into a different era, seduces you with eloquent prose and sensual period details, then clamps down on your jugular…An outstanding debut.”—Hank Schwaeble, Bram Stoker Award-winning author of Diabolical

About the Author

Christopher Buehlman is the winner of the 2007 Bridport Award for Poetry and the author of several plays. He lives in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Product Details

  • File Size: 428 KB
  • Print Length: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Ace; Reprint edition (September 6, 2011)
  • Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0052RHBGC
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #84,137 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
38 of 41 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Old-school horror done pretty well August 28, 2011
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I think this review is spoiler-free; any information I'm giving shouldn't be a surprise to any horror/suspense novel fans.

First, I liked most of this book a lot. Christopher Buehlman's writing voice captured the 1930s mood and southern gothic tone the novel required. The building sense of forboding was not harmed by his subtle foreshadowing, and while certain elements were clearly telegraphed, it all made sense within the narrative.

I especially liked the narrator's identity as a World War I veteran with PTSD. This kept it current to today's wartime experiences, while remaining rooted in the narrative's time period. I do wish the author had done more with the narrator's identity as a disgraced college professor - it's important for the early pages, but then it fades into the background. Academia is its own kind of horror, so I just think there was untapped tension there.

Buehlman has a poetry background, and I believe that comes through. One advance review compared him to F. Scott Fitzgerald, but William Faulkner is more accurate (it also compared him to Dean Koontz, but Buehlman is a superior writer).

The first two-thirds are close to HP Lovecraft in overall feel (and Faulkner in writing style). The reader knows there's something bad going on, but the point of the novel is what the reader expects to be the horrific reveal, as ancient secrets come to light, and the narrator falls victim to curses, blood, destiny, etc. But, as for the big reveal...I was kind of meh about it. Let me put it this way - Buehlman sets up an expectation of supernatural horror based on the bad luck of bloodlines, but the real ending doesn't connect those dots in a unique way, and it sort of devolves into conventional Grand Guignol.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition
Frank Nichols had carried on an affair with Eudora Lehman for two years before her husband discovered them. Disgraced and blacklisted, Frank has been unable to find another job in a University, but, in what appears to be a great stroke of luck, he inherits a house from his late mother's sister. She warns him to just sell the house - to not move down to Georgia - but he decides that it would be a good idea to write a book about his great-grandfather who, after the end of the civil war, refused to release his slaves and treated them so badly that they rose up in revolt and killed him, his family and all his livestock. So, he and Dora move to Whitbrow, Georgia, where Dora has been offered a teaching position to replace Frank's aunt in the high school. However, it's not long after they arrive that Frank begins to notice the superstitious awe with which the townfolk view Megiddo forest, across the river. Once a month, on the full moon, they send two pigs over the river - no one is really sure how this began, although there are a lot of rumors. However, times are hard, and the townfolk decide to stop wasting pigs they could be eating. That's when things begin to go horribly wrong. That's when people begin to die ...

I've read a lot of creepy books over the past couple of months; I think this is the creepiest. The build-up of suspense and horror starts slowly and subtly, with hints and clues and vague allegations. However, once those across the river are revealed completely, things progress rapidly. A crescendo is reached and it seems like that might be the end, only for things to start back up, reach another crescendo ... it's like watching a horror movie when you think the monster is dead, but they aren't really and they pop back out at you time and again. I loved it - I think it might give me nightmares, but I loved it! If you like horror, you will LOVE "Those Across the River."
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Spooky, sultry & intensely erotic September 3, 2011
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Whitbrow is a forgotten backwater Georgia town in a forgotten backwater time. The time is 1935, back when Huey Long was assassinated on the statehouse steps in Baton Rouge. But few people remember such things anymore. None of the houses and precious few of the businesses in Whitbrow have power, and the hardware store owner moonlights as the Sheriff. None of the local residents ventures over the river to where the ruins of an old plantation are said to lie, a plantation whose owner was so evil that his slaves rose up and killed him. People tell stories to explain why they won't go there, but they know they are just stories. Yet every month the town gets together and holds The Chase, a ritual older than anyone can remember. Despite their scant resources, local farmers donate two hogs, which are then decorated with garlands of flowers by local girls, taken across the river on the makeshift ferry and released. None is ever seen again.

Enter Frank Nichols, a wounded Great War veteran escaping a checkered past, who hopes that an inherited house might provide just the new start that he and his young 'wife', Eudora, need. While Eudora replaces Frank's deceased aunt as schoolteacher, Frank settles down to write a book about his grandfather, the aforementioned evil plantation owner. In his quest for understanding, he is drawn over the river in search of the ruined plantation. What he finds sends him scurrying back across the river, uncertain what exactly he encountered and whether he wants to share what he has seen with others.

As Frank and Eudora begin to adapt to life in Whitbrow, they are are invited to a townhall meeting to discuss whether or not to abandon The Chase. What they decide will change Whitbrow forever.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderfully written with great character development
Wonderfully written with great character development! Not your typical horror story, and that's fine by me. Mr. Read more
Published 2 days ago by Karen E. Schaeffer
5.0 out of 5 stars Cerebral and chilling!
When Frank Nichols and his wife Dora move into his aunt’s house in rural Whitbrow, Georgia, they’re eager for a fresh start. Read more
Published 3 days ago by MyBookishWays
4.0 out of 5 stars This was a good story that was great for the first 230 pages
This was a good story that was great for the first 230 pages. The chapter where Frank meets the boy across the river was one of the creepiest I've read in any genre. Read more
Published 29 days ago by Joe Harrop
5.0 out of 5 stars great book!
Really enjoyable read! Couldn't put it down. Story line reminded me a bit of the movie Skeleton Key, but then veered off on its own trajectory. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Great!
Item was as described. Great!
Published 1 month ago by WtW
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Beautifully Descriptive prose, interesting characters, and hard to put down. I enjoyed this book thoroughly.
Published 2 months ago by Carol
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
I really enjoyed the book. It was hard to put down.
Published 2 months ago by C
4.0 out of 5 stars The author did a great job of building suspense
The author did a great job of building suspense, although the last part of the story was disappointing in a way that is hard to articulate. Read more
Published 2 months ago by faffie
4.0 out of 5 stars Spooky
Mr. Buehlman is a great story teller. I loved the characters and couldn't wait to see what happened to them next.
Published 4 months ago by MaryJo
4.0 out of 5 stars Enough to keep you flipping pages
Those Across the River (2011) is a first novel by Christopher Buehlman. The story is set in Whitbrow, Georgia, a rural town located in the Cotton Belt of the southern United... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Up All Night Horror Fiction Review
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More About the Author

Christopher Buehlman is a native Floridian and author of the literary horror novels 'Those Across the River' and 'Between Two Fires.' He is the winner of the 2007 Bridport Prize in poetry, and the author of several provocative plays, including Hot Nights for the War Wives of Ithaka. Many know him as comedian Christophe the Insultor, something of a cult figure on the renaissance festival circuit. He lives in St. Petersburg, Florida. His first novel, 'Those Across the River,' was nominated for a World Fantasy Award for best novel in 2012.

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