Note to self have the Kobo edition not the paperback or Kindle Need to create a new record for that at some pointA collection of related stories about a parapsychologist collecting ghost stories and ooking into various haunted houses and I really need to write a better summary because that doesn t even begin to cover this book s ualityIn much the same way that Sarah Monette s stories of Kyle Murchison Booth makes me think of M R James I found this collection made me think of Ambrose Bierce There s a weariness to Nakata and a sense of a rather casually cruel
world in the stories and on top of that the Heysham Head story in the stories and on top of that the Heysham Head story I think is my favourite reminded me of The Damned Thing on what I guess is a fairly superficial evelThe protagonist seems to pretty clearly go with The Stone Tape theory of ghosts and it I ve never been around the area that Unsworth uses as his settings but this was a great book nonetheless very atmospheric and at times unpleasant It s written with a very fluid anthology framework and would make an excellent film Certain parts ike the Heysham Head section are just crying out to be filmed At moments it reminded me of the BBC series Sea of Souls due to similar subject matter the ast two stories 24 Glasshouse series Sea of Souls due to similar subject matter the Freedom Is a Constant Struggle: Ferguson, Palestine, and the Foundations of a Movement last two stories 24 Glasshouse Stack s Farm in particular though Unsworth s writing style is direct and in placesess subtle I had a few minor issues with it in particular there were uite a ot of typos and wrong but similar sounding words used which tended to break the flow I am in no way a master of grammar and spelling but if I noticed all these mistakes probably about 20 overall without properly counting it makes me wonder why any proof reader editor or beta reader wouldn t An enjoyable read with a connection between the stories and the narrator Nakata I am not the greatest reader of short stories but these were of interest to me due to the UK ocations and the fact that the stories were based on actual buildings In the afterword to uiet Houses author Simon Kurt Unsworth refers to the book as a two fold experiment an attempt to write intertwined stories in order to create a written portmanteau as well as an attempt to utilize personal and familiar real ife ocations as the settings for all the stories Although some of the places in the stories are fictional they are heavily based on real places and the afterword does a great job of breaking down each ocation going into their importance to Unsworth and the reasons he chose them The final product of this experiment although not perfect could only be called a successuiet Houses opens with an advertisement Do you ive in a haunted house Have you ever been to a place and had an experience that you cannot explain Do you have a story to tell Serious researcher wants to hear from you Must be prepared to go on record No timewasters Tel 01524 500501 ext 23 and The Murder Exchange leave a message The book follows paranormal researcher Richard Nakata s investigations into alleged hauntings and is broken up into two different types of chapters short in between chapters which set the stage for Nakata s imminent investigation and thearger chapters which detail the incidents themselves Structurally this works rather smoothly The interlude chapters are short enough to set the stage without Love in Catalina Cove (Catalina Cove lingering tooong and work nicely as the cement that holds all the individual stories togetherWhich brings us to the stories themselves Each of these chapters is titled after a place and although the earlier parts of the book continue with the premise of Nakata gathering stories from others it isn t The Million Dollar Goal long before the chapters are of Nakata himself having experiences instead Nakata s chapters are unfortunately the mixedot of the bunch I found that the four Securing Caite larger chapters featuring him were split the first two Beyond St Patrick s Chapel Heysham Head and The Temple of Relief and Ease failed to resonate within meike the others in the book while I found the final two 24 Glasshouse Glasshouse Estate and Stack s Farm Trough of Bowland to be essential and very climactic The first two chapters follow Nakata as he explores two areas that came to his attention Although they have their moments and I would still consider the. THE HOUSES ARE UIET IT IS THEIR RESIDENTS WHO ARE SCREAMING No one could be that unhappy and be alive A chambermaid's seemingly innocent reuest is granted an act of kindness that has dire conseuences for the guest at THE ELMS MORECAMBE Human despair has a power of its own after death and it is contagious I wish I had been right; I wish that it had been a man or death alone that had found her An unearthly ight in an abandoned bungalow resolves the mystery of a missing child but no human force has taken her An entity that fishes for children is in THE MERRY HOUSE SCALE HALL But will it remain there Go beyond the graves and they will come to you An invitation to a cliff. M to be good examples of storytelling I felt that they were the weaker chapters of the book The final chapters are the ones that truly tell Nakata s story 24 Glasshouse explores Nakata s past detailing a very important part of his ife that will shape the Nakata of the present while Stack s Farm is where all threads of the story culminate in a truly frightening and enlightening mannerThe three other chapters which are the experiences related to Nakata by others absolutely shine from a horror perspective although their delivery varies in style In the first of these arger chapters a sad older man tells Nakata his tale about The Elms Hotel in a cafe The Elms takes place in the present as a conversation in the cafe The reader is able to follow Nakata s growing discomfort as the man s ghost story is told The chapter is uite chilling and makes for an excellent opener The second of these chapters The Merry House is presented as a The Unlikeliest Hero: The Story of Desmond T. Doss letter and reads in the first person This narrative shift cutting out Nakata completely makes for a immersive reading experience Instead of seeing Nakata s reactions readers are now reading theetter for themselves allowed to come to their own conclusions This is also without a doubt the most terrifying story in the book and goes way beyond being a ghost story The third of these chapters The Ocean Grand is another story about a hotel although this eschews despair for blood and action Three men self dubbed the Save Our Shit Crew spend a few days camped within the ong closed Art Deco style Ocean Grand Hotel where they will appraise what art can be saved and restored The narrative style of this story takes another turn by switching back to third person however unlike the first chapter Nakata is not present in the telling and the story only focuses on the three men involved The story itself is great but this narrative choice is a bit jarring as it s not clear until the end which character is the narrator introduced in the preceding interlude chapter where he is not named I believe this was intentional on Unsworth s part as readers know going into the story that two of the men don t make it and by withholding the name of the narrator Unsworth makes sure that the uncertainty and tension continue until the endOverall Unsworth has succeeded in his uest to make a horror portmanteau The majority of the
stories in uiet Houses stand strong and the interludes threading them together work exceptionally well I in uiet Houses stand strong and the interludes threading them together work exceptionally well I I would have iked to see stories related to Nakata by others as I thought those were the best As a whole though I can t really complain because it came together so beautifully in the end In the afterword Mr Unsworth states I ike Nakata he l be back I can only Prisoner of Midnight look towards that day with eager anticipation Originally appeared on my blog The Arkham Digest Really engrossing and innovative and creepy ghost stories I alsoike how the author strings together the various short stories with the BOSH!: The Cookbook: Simple Recipes. Amazing Food. All Plants. larger meta plot Exceptional portmanteau work of supernatural incidents investigated by an objective researcher Unsworth gives the screaming victims short shrift and focuses on the horror of the ghosts themselves Well worth the read if you are a bit bored with the standards of supernatural reads The portmanteau is a device commonly associated with the anthologu films of Amicus and television shows such as The Twilight Zone and The Night Gallery but here Simon Kurt Unsworth uses theinking thread of a private investigator s explorations at sites of reported supernatural phenomena The tone is modern in that the sites are surburban houses train station Confessions of an Air Ambulance Doctor lavatories and half built Phase II houses but the tone is strictly old school as ghosts emerge that echo the dictum of MR James that such things should be malevolent and even when sympathetically cast they remain so here As to my favourites from the collection I would pick Beyond St Patrick s Chapel as a brilliant short that evokes MR James and Aickman in its uietly persistent phantasm that is all the disturbing for its implicit threat The Elms also keeps certain causes and reasons for the haunting cautiously hidden which only serves to evoke a great sense of tragedy and sad. Top graveyardeads to a harrowing chase by burrowing things that remain unseen their hunger unknown and never satisfied BEYOND ST PATRICK'S CHAPEL The great delight in being part of the Save Our Shit crew was that sometimes they could persuade those designers of the present and the future to save or incorporate the past into their designs There is no need in THE OCEAN GRAND NW COAST because the original artists created a Mr. Jelly's Business living work of art for the hotel Art that celebrates the triumph of the natural world over the man made Aife force that transcends and brings death Something white came out Something white screaming and screaming Homes fit for heroes they were prom. ,
Simon Kurt Unsworth · 5 characters,
Ness as the uestion why hangs in the air throughout the narrative Lastly I would ike to choose The Temple of Relief and Ease as my absolute
FAVOURITE FROM THE COLLECTION AS ITfrom the collection as it a setting that could have been too prosaic or too comedic a public toilet and turns it into a place not of relief and ease but of blackly depressing and suffocating horror Recommended for those who enjoy seeing the past and the present of the horror genre beautifully the past and the present of the horror genre beautifully uiet Houses is proof positive that the small presses are really the place to go for uniue and powerful talent Unsworth an admitted admirer of the portmanteau a collection of stories connected by a frame story treats the reader to a real smorgasbord of the paranormal Virtually every kind of story is represented from the traditional type of haunted tale such as the one in which a ghostly chambermaid provides hotel guests with service that extends far beyond their stay to a modern ethically ambiguous treatmentinvolving the narrator and a group of other graduate students who dare to create their own haunting with devestating results Each story was different and uniuely frightening which is a big accomplishment for any anthology but the real revelation of this collection is that we uibble about what it is to be truly haunted after reading these wonderfully imaginative tales I am convinced that anyone who has experienced oss pain or grief has indeed been haunted Highly recommended for the fans of this genre and all who hope to become fans Do you Gökyüzü Mavi Kaldı live in a haunted housedo you have a story to tellWhat a wonderful book The stories blend together so well by Richard Nakata the researcher I enjoyed how he visits different places each with its own uniue mood and setting Fantastic atmosphere especially in Beyond St Patrick s Chapel The church the cemeterythe grassy fields beyond I used to think of this very same thing whe A collection of objectively decent short stories about haunted houses framed within aarger narrative that never uite gels The stories in order The Elms Morecambe a haunting image in search of an actual story with plot and characters The Merry House Scale Hall slow moving 70s Dr Who style story with bonus child torture and death in case those are a concern Beyond St Patrick s Chapel Heysham Head By far the weakest story of the Corps Values: Everything You Need to Know I Learned In the Marines lot Okay parapsychologist you re afraid of grass Cool The Ocean Grand North West Coast My favorite of the collection this is basically aove story to an old Art Deco hotel with ghosts Very cleverly done but needed a The Sun Shines Over the Sanggan River longer build up of tension to get a good frighten on The Temple of Relief and Ease My other favorite in the book this had the technical accomplishment in its writing the details and well written description of place and space that aot of the other stories THIEME Atlas of Anatomy: Head and Neuroanatomy lacked In addition you really wind up sympathizing with the ghost as a character and that happens exactly nowhere else in the book 24 Glasshouse Glasshouse Estate A uniue idea for a story but supposing that the incident described is supposed to be the main tragedy for the book s protagonist the execution is flat and cold and at its climax ridiculous Slack s Farm Trough of Bowland Okay that was spooky and scary and disturbing I think my biggest problem overall is Unsworth s difficulty describing the interiors of rooms and exteriors of houses That sounds small but the book s ostensibly all about haunted houses and each story is supposed to center around one particular house so not being able to describe those houses well takes aot of wind out of the sailsThe other problem is that the book is peopled entirely by men Every character interacting in a story is male the only women who appear are dead or the protagonist can t be bothered to remember their names symptomatic of the author s ack of interest in including them as subjects in the stories In Glasshouse the one female character with than one ine of dialogue winds up with about seven ines she is still dead but mostly she exists to react to the protagonist and antagonist I feel ike there s no way you do this accidentally as an author and I feel Dept. of Reproductive Management like there s no way you do this accidentally as an author and s appallingOverall some wonderfully big ideas in here mostly ruined in the executio. Ised after the Great War They were given something else in THE TEMPLE OF RELIEF AND EASE There is a hidden agenda to paranormal researcher Richard Nakata's investigations into these houses A commission that witnesses cattleowing in the cowsheds of STACK'S FARM ong after they've been slaughtered and a reckoning in the showhouse of 24 GLASSHOUSE as he and his colleagues pay the price for creating their own ghost Simon Kurt Unsworth reinvents the classic English ghost story with a portmanteau collection that takes the haunted house genre and makes it screamuietly Because the most terrifying screams are the silent ones A major new talent in the horror genre Pete Tennan.