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Apartment 16 Paperback – November 1, 2013

3.6 out of 5 stars 42 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Superbly written." —Suspense Magazine

About the Author

Adam Nevill (aka Adam L. G. Nevill) was born in Birmingham, England, in 1969 and grew up in England and New Zealand. He is the author of the supernatural horror novels Banquet for the Damned, Apartment 16, The RitualLast DaysHouse of Small Shadows, No One Gets Out Alive, and Lost Girl. In 2012, 2013 and 2015 his novels were the winners of The August Derleth Award for Best Horror Novel. The Ritual and Last Days were also awarded Best in Category: Horror, by R.U.S.A. Adam lives in Devon, England, and can be contacted through adamlgnevill.com.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 452 pages
  • Publisher: Pan Macmillan (November 1, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0330514962
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330514965
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.3 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,244,104 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Steve Benner VINE VOICE on May 16, 2010
Format: Paperback
Adam Nevill has already established himself as a writer of classic-style horror with his 2008 novel "Banquet for the Damned". His latest outing, "Apartment 16", is equally spine-tingling and every bit as unnerving, and an absolutely compulsive read to boot.

None of the material here is particularly original but Nevill combines ideas and inspirations from a variety of sources -- the cosmic horror and mirror world ideas of H P Lovecraft; episodes and facts from the life and artistic output of Wyndham Lewis (especially his short-lived vorticism movement), the Bloomsbury set, plus the author's own experiences working as a night porter in apartment blocks around Knightsbridge and Mayfair -- to produce an intense blend of the weird and the disturbing from which he weaves a spine-chilling tale of obsession, possession and the looming presence of evil lurking behind the façade of the everyday world. The result is a good solid contemporary horror story, built on the classic horror tradition but not seeming in any way derivative.

Nevill's prose is top rate, almost poetic at times, and never less than highly atmospheric. In fact, I would go as far as to say that this is the first book I have ever read that feels to have been written in colour, so vibrant -- and visual -- is it. It would adapt perfectly for the screen. The story is well paced, escalating the tension and the terror steadily to a fast moving, adrenalin-inducing finale. My only criticism of the book is reserved for the very end; personally I found the ending curiously unsatisfying, inconclusive and something of a disappointment -- an anti-climax, almost -- after the sustained excellence up to that point.
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Format: Paperback
In the movie `1408' Samuel L. Jackson's character asserts that the room of the title is "just an evil f**king room." Apartment 16, however, is not evil in itself, but it is imbued with it, and has been for fifty years, through the tortured and twisted paintings of its previous owner, the obscure and now dead artist Felix Hessen. And for those fifty years this expensive apartment in a luxury building in the heart of London has sat empty and brooding, its evil seeping out into the rest of the apartment building, filling it with shadows no amount of lighting can disperse.

Into this dim gothic domain enters Apryl, a young American who has come to sell apartment 39, which she and her mother have inherited from an old aunt she never met. And through aunt Lillian's diaries she discovers a catalogue of madness, delusion, paranoia and nightmares in its residents, all induced by the paintings of Hessen, residents who, in fifty years, have never been able to venture more than a mile in any direction from the building before becoming disorientated and ill . . . the only escape is death.

Meanwhile, when nightwatchman and aspiring-artist-down-on-his-luck Seth investigates noises coming from apartment 16, he soon experiences hallucinations, paranoia and ultimately finds himself becoming a channel through which new paintings are created - paintings which open up a gateway in apartment 16 to the Void.

This isn't simply a haunted English country manor transplanted to a city setting, for London is an integral part of the story - a character in itself - and in that sense Nevill brilliantly conveys a Thomas Ligotti-esque flavour of a city relentlessly grinding down its citizens.
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Format: Paperback
Apartment 16 follows two different characters as they explore the secrets of the luxurious old building. The first is Seth, the building's night watchman. The job is ostensibly perfect for Seth. His own lodging is a vile bedsit in a decrepit pub, so the long hours aren't painful. Plus, as a former art student, Seth hopes to get some sketching done during his nights on duty.

Of course, this is horror - it never really works that way. Seth's not only wrestling with artist's block, but also his theoretically quiet nights on duty are frequently interrupted by strange and inexplicable things. Bumps. Sounds. Ill winds. Dark and flickering figures. All emanating from the titular apartment - a flat that's been empty for almost fifty years.

The other character plagued by the abandoned apartment is Apryl, a stylish young American. She's surprised to learn that she's the heir to a "long lost" great-aunt's flat (also in Barrington House) and her possessions. Apryl flies over to do a bit of speculative looting and finds a cobwebbed hoard of treasures worthy of Miss Havisham. Apryl also learns that her deceased relative was a little bonkers - prone to wandering around the neighbourhood with her expired passport, avoiding the sight of mirrors, and, perhaps most importantly of all, scribbling hundreds of pages of nonsense in her journals.

Seth and Apryl take baby steps towards apartment 16 from different directions. Seth's investigations are more physical - actually sneaking into the abandoned apartment. Appropriately, his results are tangible. His dreams are haunted by strange characters and horrible visions; ones that slowly spill over into reality. For almost the entirety of Apartment 16, Seth is feverish and weak.
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