- Paperback: 384 pages
- Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin; Reprint edition (July 21, 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1250068819
- ISBN-13: 978-1250068811
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 58 customer reviews
Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
#1,146,916 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- #306 in British & Irish Horror
The House of Small Shadows Paperback – July 21, 2015
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“Adam Nevill is a fantastic storyteller, a master of slow-building tension, and he's written a fever dream of a book. House of Small Shadows is chilling, disorienting, and deeply creepy. It has the feel of a cult classic, something horror fans will still be reading with immense delight fifty years from now.” ―Scott Smith, New York Times Bestselling author of The Ruins
“Modern storytelling...and old school terror. Very scary, highly recommended.” ―Jonathan Maberry, NYT bestselling author
“One of the most subtle and powerful writers of dark fiction - a unique voice.” ―Michael Marshall Smith, New York Times Bestselling author
“Adam Nevill is a spine-chiller in the classic tradition, a writer who draws you in from the world of the familiar, eases you into the world of terror, and then locks the door behind you. The House of Small Shadows grows darker and takes on more menacing life with each step forward.” ―Michael Koryta, New York Times Bestselling author of THE PROPHET
“All I can say is, wow. What an amazing book. Last Days has just about everything I look for in a horror novel; it is well crafted, has a strong plot with believable characters and the horror sequences get under your skin and into your mind. And the images just won't go away. You'll find yourself replaying scenes in your mind for days.” ―Fangoria on Last Days
“There are moments in Last Days that are so frightening, it feels like Neville is giving your heart a bare-handed squeeze. And as a rudimentary crash course in the art of guerrilla filmmaking, Last Days is top notch.” ―Bloody Disgusting on Last Days
“Deliciously chilling.” ―Publisher's Weekly on Last Days
“Horror fans will revel in this appropriately chilling tale of modern-day murder and mayhem that stretches back several centuries.” ―Booklist on Last Days
“Obsession and megalomania, sex and power make for a sophisticated, literate and well-crafted paranormal horror.” ―Kirkus Reviews on Last Days
“This is what a horror book should be.” ―Suspense Magazine on Last Days
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 Ritual, Last Days, House 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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Also, I thought the childhood friend Alice might have grown up to be Maude, but Maude ended up being her biological mother.
Lots of themes from Alice and Wonderland here. Friend’s name is Alice. Going down a ‘rabbit hole’. Being in drug-induced dreams. Leonard might have been the grinning cat with his secrets. Edith the mad-hatter, pouring tea and spouting her nonsense (as much of a victim as Catherine). The Queen of Hearts—-Edith’s mum, though we really didn’t get to figure how much of her, just what Edith says and how Catherine perceived her in old photographs.
A very interesting read. It will stay with you long after as you try to figure things out. It is not one of thos satisfying books that wraps the ending up all nice and neat.
There are some great scenes in this book and at times you'll find it difficult to put this book down because you'll be that desperate to know what the great mystery is and what exactly will happen to all of the various people in this book. Our lead character of Catherine is sort of wishy washy, which both helps and hurts the book at points. It does help explain why she'd be so willing to put up with the ridiculousness she does, but at the same time it kind of makes you shake your head at what she does put up with in order to complete the job. At times she's just so passive that you just want for the Big Bad to happen already because she just doesn't seem to have that much fight in her to last the rest of the book.
That brings me to the biggest flaw of the book: it's just too long. It's just under 400 pages, but the story here almost felt like it could have been told in about 250-300 pages. Too much time is spent hinting at the mysteries and exploring the house, so that I was a little underwhelmed when the book did start moving towards its climax. There are some great scenes, but drawing them out gives the reader plenty of time to see where things are going- especially if they've read some of Nevill's previous works.
Still, there's enough here to entertain us fans of his work and to continue to draw in new fans. It's not his best work- I'd say that Last Days is my favorite of his works so far- but it's still pretty entertaining for the most part. I'd probably just recommend this as a library read for most people that are curious about this work.
And none of that is to imply that the style is anything less than one expects from Nevill. The writing is atmospheric and engaging, the main character likable enough to invite empathy, and the settings--particularly Red House and its environs, the obvious stars of the piece--vividly decrepit and encroachingly creepy.
Overall, though, it remains a rewarding read that was a just a bit lacking in surprises and a bit heavy on convenient, ridiculously bad life choices on the part of the main character. (I know, I know--if main characters didn't walk into haunted houses, there wouldn't be any spooky stories to tell. But that doesn't eliminate the reflexive need to try to stop them.)