- File Size: 3381 KB
- Print Length: 304 pages
- Publisher: Orion (October 15, 2009)
- Publication Date: October 15, 2009
- Language: English
- ASIN: B002UPVVV0
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Not Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #995,613 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
The Winter Ghosts Kindle Edition
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|Length: 304 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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From Publishers Weekly
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ADDED: For clarification, "Krakatit", subtitled (probably by the publisher to generate sales) 'an atomic fantasy', presumably addresses atomic power/bombs. "Ice" superficially is viewed as a tale of an encroaching ice-age. [I have been waiting for "Krakatit" to be available for Kindle.]
One cannot go wrong, reading anything by Kate Mosse.
As soon as we reach the fete at the Ostal we meet a group of characters whose names come straight out of Ladurie's Montaillou and a reader who is up on medieval heretics knows exactly who our ghosts are going to turn out to have been. That knowledge did not affect my enjoyment, especially as Catharism fascinates me.
To summarize, this is a good ghost story but not a great ghost story.
Top international reviews
The most mysterious thing about this truly pathetic and predictable ghost story is that you are left with the question, are there two Kate Mosses? The one who wrote the brilliant "Labyrinth" and "Sepulchre", and the one who's name appears after the title on this drivel? Because unlike "Labyrinth" and "Sepulchre" which were crafted with effort, creativity and artfulness, this I imagine was knocked-off on a wet afternoon in the Languedoc when La Mosse had nothing better to do. The story is so predictable, the main character is utterly pathetic and so full of self-pity that I was really hoping something bad would happen to him, the writing is thin, and the book so short that the only enjoyment I got from it was watching the percentage read counter on my Kindle increase with each page I turned. If this was aimed at dyslexic teenagers then I imagine it might hit the mark, but its not for grown-ups.
Ultimately it is a book more about grief and depression than ghosts. I enjoyed the writing style and descriptions, the historical aspect could have been quite interesting had it been developed further. As it is, you learn more from the notes than from the storyline.
It was an easy read and pleasant enough but no meat to it, nothing original in it and I would not dream of reading it again.
What this book has is atmosphere in spades. Freddie Watson carries his melancholy around with him, never having recovered from the death of his brother in the First World War. As he travels through the southern French towns Kate Mosse brings to mind a greyish kind of world that seems to be a kind of half-life. Especially evocative is the scene in the mountain woodlands where the fog creeps in and Freddie seems to be hearing voices from among the trees.
It is charming that though the events of the story can be rationalised we understand that they were real; somehow time or nature was distorted to enable Freddie to make contact with the Cathars and enable them to rest in peace.
It is never freaky or scary, just the telling of a strange little story, perhaps influenced by the tales of M R James or those minor Edwardian ghost story writers now only anthologised. A comfortable ghost story, I suppose.
I would say this book is extremely touching and does give you a little warm glow at the end.
I really enjoyed each of the stories, and liked Mosse’s ability to use historical events as the basis of certain stories, as well as taking well known ghost stories yet telling them in a gripping manner.
This is a great collection of haunting stories, without the gore or unnecessary spooks that many horror novelists insist upon using.
If you enjoy really scary ghost stories it might not be for you.
It is very thoughtfully written and has a satisfactory ending which is very credible.
I will now try some other works by this author as I had not read any others. For me, this was a Book Club read so I am looking forward to seeing what others make of it.
Overall disappointing, but I do have to say that I did read to the end in fairly quick fashion, so it must have had something going for it, but it was not one of my most memorable read to date, and the short story seems a more suitable medium for the reading public.
However my parents listened to this after me, didn't guess what was going to happen and enjoyed it so much that they listened to it twice in succession.
Julian Rhind-Tutt is an excellent reader so I didn't really mind it taking 5 disks to tell what was (to me) a fairly obvious story. And as I said, other people found the story more mysterious and exciting than I did.
Covering the same subject matter - the Cathars in the south of France,the book starts in the 1920's with a life weary traveller who gets stuck in the pyrenees and then gets transported in time honoured fashion to the distant past, when the Cathars were being persecuted. There is love interest for the time travellor which cannot be fullfilled, so adding a touch of pathos and he gets to be a hero in his own time by finding the cave where the Cathars had been holed up; so initiating a tourist centre in the area.
Kate Mosse's writing style is quite pedestrian.It is often cliched and laboured with many hackneyed phrases. Also her descriptions of nature are quite odd. For example she paints a picture of a frozen lanscape in the depths of winter, the traveller having crashed his car in a freezing blizzard. She describes the icy footpath he finds himself on and in the next minute describes everything as being sodden with dripping trees.
But in spite of the anomolies and general bad writing, I did find myself wanting to know what happened in the end and finishing the book.