Sunday, 19 June 2016

An English Ghost Story

Kim Newman
Titan Books

A dysfunctional British nuclear family seek a new life away from the big city in the sleepy Somerset countryside. At first their new home, The Hollow, seems to embrace them, creating a rare peace and harmony within the family. But when the house turns on them, it seems to know just how to hurt them the most—threatening to destroy them from the inside out.

I'm not entirely sure why but even as a fan of  both Kim Newman and of ghost stories I found this book very hard to start reading,  it just didn't appeal somehow.  But, at the third time of asking I got a some traction with it and made it through to the end over the course of a couple of evenings.

The Naremore's are a particularly dysfunctional family who move from London to 'The Hollow' a massively haunted house in Somerset.  

The Hollow had previously been the home of a popular Enid Blyton-esque children's author and much of the story is a reveal of how much of the house and it's supernatural inhabitants had made their way into her stories.

At first the house welcomes the family but soon things begin to change as the family discover that good vibes can only paper over the problems at the heart of their relationships with each other and with themselves.  As everything becomes increasingly sour and the ghosts of The Hollow change from the frolicsome sprites to more malevolent entities and the book gets increasingly dark but never manages to really get me to  immerse  myself fully into the story.  The whole thing feels just too disjointed and in the end a little preachy.

I'm going to chalk this one up as a bit - note I said 'bit' - of a miss and look forward to dipping into one of the other two Newman books on my bookshelf.

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