- File Size: 433 KB
- Print Length: 142 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: Horrific Tales Publishing (July 16, 2016)
- Publication Date: July 16, 2016
- Sold by: Amazon.com Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B01GXQMEA8
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,297,551 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
The Grieving Stones (A Haunted House Tale) Kindle Edition
|Length: 142 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
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Told through the point of view of this unfortunate, the reader is treated to the distorting power of insanity as the revelations come about the pasts of her fellow visitors and the house itself, but how much is real and how much is madness?
The only drawback is that the author tends to overwrite slightly, explaining conclusions or connections that are obvious to the reader. That, and the book is too short.
The story is told from the point of view of Alice, who recently lost her husband, and who begins to feel a deep affinity with the house.
Right from the start, this was a very atmospheric story with a menacing sense of doom. Gary McMahon’s writing was excellent. This was my first time listening to any of his work, but it definitely won’t be my last. I was really impressed with the way he managed to flesh out the characters and make them into believable people with real emotions. He also created this dark and brooding atmosphere and described the scenery so vividly, all within 150 pages. At just under three hours, this was a great one to listen to in one sitting.
The Grieving Stones wasn’t a blood and gore horror story, it was very subtle and looming, instead focusing on the classic sinister house/ghost elements. The author skillfully combined this with mental health issues. The punch dummy and the Backwards Girl were clever ideas and truly frightening. There were some scenes involving animals that I found rather unsettling, but that’s just one of my personal don’t-cope-well-with triggers.
Listening to Chris Barnes narrate this story was a total delight. His voice was clear and really pleasant to listen to. I loved his Scottish accent. He varied tone and delivery sufficiently to give each of the characters a distinct voice. He really knew how to accentuate the chilling, creepy atmosphere and how to evoke the necessary emotions, but he did so in a fairly understated, measured manner. Very professional! I will definitely look out for more audios by Chris Barnes. There were no issues with the production of the audio.
Quite unusual for me, but I have no complaints whatsoever… except maybe, it could have been a longer story.
Audiobook provided for review by the audiobookreviewer dot com
The writing in this one is very good. As much as I don't usually like to read about depressing circumstances, Alice elicited my sympathy and the events along the route to the primary location were interesting enough to keep me transfixed.
The plot moved in directions I didn't expect and there were times when I wondered what was supernatural and what was hallucination. It definitely moved into disturbing realms before the end. I do think more could have been made of the history of the stone circle, but that's just me with a fascination for such monuments.
There were some revelations towards the end that reminded me of actual mentally ill people I've spoken to. In some ways, the realistic parts were more disturbing than the supernatural incidents for their all too believable authenticity.
Top international reviews
This is a novella that blends the best of traditional and more experimental horror. There are mysterious megalithic stones, witches, and a haunted house in the countryside but these are all treated in a much more thoughtful way than is usual for stories of rustic horror. The tropes are not merely presented to us as a means of creating unease but are interrogated themselves by the author; leaving the reader to question what it means to be haunted.
Every time you feel like you have a grasp of what is happening, something shifts in the narrative, creating a new perspective on events as they unfold. In a less-skilled writer’s hands, this would leave things feeling uneven but the sense of flow is never broken as we follow Alice not only through her exploration of Grief House and its surroundings, but through her discoveries about her broken self.
The emphasis is placed on horror as something glimpsed not just out of the corner of the eye but as created by those rare moments of understanding that can bring the world crashing down around you – and we see some are better able to cope with this kind of truth than others.
The malice of inanimate objects is resident in the house as the haunting begins to shape the characters’ behaviour or is it, in fact, being shaped and guided by them? The resolution opens up even more questions – leaving the reader wanting to start over again to see if there are pieces to the puzzle which were overlooked, or just to take this dark journey once more for its own sake.
The Grieving Stones examines death and loss through the context of a very well-told and disturbing tale of the supernatural. I highly recommend it.
Another McMahon book that comes highly recommended.