- Paperback: 224 pages
- Publisher: Unbridled Books (April 11, 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 160953140X
- ISBN-13: 978-1609531409
- Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.5 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 6 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,452,917 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Legend of the Albino Farm Paperback – April 11, 2017
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“A dazzling cautionary tale of the dangers of a self-fulfilling prophecy. In beautiful, hauntingly atmospheric prose, Steve Yates tells of the legends and myths that surround the slow fall into decrepitude of a once-magnificent family estate. The boundaries of fact and fiction, superstition and belief blur together in this complex and gripping novel, which suggests, ultimately, that perhaps families are the most unknowable mysteries of all.” –Alex George
“In the same way Faulkner built of his “postage stamp of earth” so Steve Yates returns to the haunted, haunting land of his childhood, the usually overlooked Missouri Ozarks. The Legend of the Albino Farm is about myths and legends, about inheritance and free will. Its compelling saga, rendered with lush and sometimes startling language, takes its readers deeply into itself and does not let them go.” --Beth Ann Fennelly
“If the border state setting of Missouri might call into question The Legend of the Albino Farm’s southernness, the style and quality of Yates’ writing do not. In its attention to the details of domestic and family life, Albino Farm echoes the work of Katherine Ann Porter and Eudora Welty; the obduracy of the grown and estranged Hettienne calls to mind Ron Rash’s Serena. The quality of Yates’ prose merits such comparisons.” –Matthew Guinn, The Clarion Ledger
“Yates’ vision seems as much Shakespearean as Southern in this beautifully written blend of family saga and fantastical tale. He seems able to merge, as in a long strange dream, current times with the ever-present past. This world is put before us, inscrutably real.” --Brad Watson
“A rollicking tale of inherited demons, apocalyptic visions, loss, longing, and love―in other words, the story of a family, although told through the cracked lens of Yates' wild, unblinking eye. This unconventional saga is a gripping, joyful read.” --Sabina Murray
"The Legend of the Albino Farm drew me in from the first page. An enthralling and tragic tale, beautifully rendered." –Laura McHugh
Family myth and superstition mingle in the Ozarks in the talented new novel The Legend of the Albino Farm. One part Bridge to Terabithia, one part Bag of Bones, Steve Yates’s novel is full of haunting scenes and stories that blur the line between reality and nightmare...Yates’s writing is confident and controlled. The lingo of the 1950s, as well as historic details, makes The Albino Farm almost disturbingly believable. Alternately wholesome and spine-tingling, the novel is full of surprises. Yates isn’t afraid to take risks, and the reward is an unusual, smart paranormal fantasy that effortlessly blends elements of the midcentury Midwest with classic ghost-story imagery. The Legend of the Albino Farm is satisfying, suspenseful, and full of good old-fashioned scares. - Foreword Review
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I recommend this thought provoking book.
One of the biggest issues is probably the pacing. It was just too uneven. One minute the story goes racing by and the next it drags on and on (and on). By page 100, it was a chore for me to keep reading. (I almost considered giving up.) It also has a lot, and I do mean A LOT, of characters--far too many for a novel that is barely 200 pages. Not just that, but, with the exception of Hettienne, none of the characters are very well developed or distinctive from one another. Many don't even serve much of a point. They're just sort of there. Because of this, it was difficult to keep track of everyone.
The last issue I had was the writing in general. Like I said, the beginning of the novel was very well-written, but about a quarter of the way through the quality deteriorates significantly. It's almost as though you can tell where the author figured he had readers hooked and so he didn't put in the same amount of energy in writing and refining. There were also a few places where it felt like he was trying just a little too hard to "write good." The prose felt forced and inauthentic.
All in all, I'd probably give this book a two-star rating, but I feel bad doing that since I met the author and he was very friendly, so I'm giving it three stars. I probably wouldn't recommend it to anyone I know, though. If you're into this genre (myths/legends/suspense/horror) there are far better examples out there.