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The Concrete Grove (The Concrete Grove Trilogy) by [McMahon, Gary]
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The Concrete Grove (The Concrete Grove Trilogy) Kindle Edition

3.5 out of 5 stars 31 customer reviews

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Length: 432 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Gary McMahon’s fiction has appeared in magazines and anthologies in the UK and US and has been reprinted in both The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror and The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror. He is the British-Fantasy-Award-nominated author of Rough Cut, All Your Gods Are Dead, Dirty Prayers, How to Make Monsters, Rain Dogs, Different Skins, Pieces of Midnight, The Harm, Hungry Hearts, and has edited an anthology of original novelettes titled We Fade to Grey.

His most recent novel is Pretty Little Dead Things from Angry Robot Books.

Author website:

Product Details

  • File Size: 768 KB
  • Print Length: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Solaris (January 28, 2011)
  • Publication Date: January 31, 2014
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,516,252 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Jared VINE VOICE on August 11, 2011
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Gary McMahon's The Concrete Grove (2011) is disconcerting little standalone - combining the grim reality of urban poverty with the supernatural horror of ageless otherworldly entities. It is, in short, exactly the sort of book you shouldn't read on the tube at night.

"The Concrete Grove" is the accepted nickname for Hailey Fraser's new council estate home. The estate, with the decrepit and towering Needle at the center, is the lowest rung of the socio-economic ladder - "the bottom of the pile" as Hailey's mother phrases it. Hailey, 14, is a bright kid and a sensitive one. Although she puts on a brave face, she knows that she and her mother, Lana, are in trouble. At home, Hailey escapes with the television. Outside of her front door, she keeps her head down and walks as softly as possible. Her only real privacy comes when she sneaks into the abandoned rooms of the Needle - a meditative escape under tons of crumbling cement.

Although a pencil sketch of Hailey (smart, pretty, 14 and a bit gothy) makes her sound like the prototypical urban fantasy heroine, she's not actually all that likable. She's strong for her mother's sake - at least, she thinks she's being supportive - but from Lana's viewpoint we see Hailey as distant, uncooperative and very often cruel. The opening chapter concludes dramatically with Hailey blacking out while adventuring in the very darkest part of the Concrete Grove. There are strong inferences of some sort of eldritch possession going on. However sweet she may appear (and honestly, she doesn't seem all that sweet), the book essentially begins with a narrative caveat emptor. This girl is not to be trusted.

Nor are the rest of The Concrete Grove's cast any more trustworthy.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I was always going to find this book an interesting read. I spent the first 23 years of my life on an East London estate, akin in many ways to the North of England one McMahon describes in The Concrete Grove. In fact, during that time I lived on the 19th floor of a tower block very similar to the derelict Needle that lies at the heart of this book's setting. From the moment I heard about The Concrete Grove, I was intrigued to see where McMahon would take his idea for a series of horror novels set in such a location.

Well, what he has done is to create an updated version of those earlier tales that suggest our pagan forebears were aware of hidden primal forces. That ancient rites, particularly those involving ritual sacrifice, were practised to appease or control such forces at specific locales in nature, nodes of power, such as those marked by megalithic stone circles or groves of ancient oak trees. Some of these ideas may seem a little dated in the light of contemporary scholarship, but they were very much in vogue following the release of books such as Sir James Frazer's massively influential anthropological treatise, The Golden Bough, published in 1890. This in turn had an influence on many of the great writers of supernatural fiction working at the turn of the last century.

In the Concrete Grove, these influences are given a contemporary face by placing the primal power node at the centre of a modern council estate. So that here we have the inhabitants of a fractured urban community sowing seeds of despair in a place of ancient power. Needless to say, the fruit of these seeds are shown to be of a particularly malign and twisted nature.

Of the characters in the book, some are of the twisted type, and some are merely broken.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Originally appeared on my blog, The Arkham Digest.

British supernatural horror seems to be booming these days. Names like Adam Nevill, Simon Bestwick, Reggie Oliver, and Gary McMahon spring to mind. Nevill has been a favorite of mine and his fifth novel comes out this year. Bestwick won me over with his short fiction and then had a hit with his first novel The Faceless which was published last year. Gary McMahon was another author who first snagged my attention with some of his short fiction and has been keeping busy, with an impressive output of novels in the last few years alone.

McMahon has done something that is not too often seen in the field of horror fiction, and has delivered a horror trilogy. The Concrete Grove was published in 2011, and was followed by Silent Voices and Beyond Here Lies Nothing in 2012. They have all been well received, so I finally picked the first one up off my shelf and gave it a read.

The Concrete Grove is a fine example of urban horror. At times I think it's better described as "dark urban fantasy", but the horrific moments are plentiful enough to classify it as horror. McMahon opens the novel with a bang, the first chapter easily grabbing the reader's attention and setting the mood for what to expect throughout the book.

The novel follows a few different characters, all of whom have issues. McMahon does a great job making believable characters that each have their own flaws and weaknesses. Some aren't even all that likeable. The story follows Hailey and her mother Lana, who are forced to live in The Grove (a council estate, known in America as "projects") after their husband shames the family before committing suicide.
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