Thursday, September 4, 2008

The Dark

The Dark is by English horror writer James Herbert. This is not a new book - it was published in 1980 - but I read it on a recommendation from my 16 year old daughter.

Beechwood is a mansion on Willow Road and the site of several mass murders and suicides. The house appears to feed on people who come in contact with it, causing them to perpetrate acts of horrific violence, releasing man's most primal fears and instincts. When Beechwood is demolished, this darkness ventures out beyond the parameters of the house, causing those with whom it comes into contact to act out their basest instincts and destroy those who remain unaffected. This novel engages the reader, as the protagonists in the book try to sort things out and defeat this evil entity.

The Dark is creepily atmospheric and nicely "English" in feeling. At times, however, the story felt like it was overly complicated when Mr. Herbert would jump from scene to scene, perspective to perspective and person to person - often with little rhyme or reason, and sometimes with no apparent cause; the overall story could have been a bit more seamless. I also found the ending to be a bit ... abrupt. There is no explanation given for exactly what happened or why, and we're left a bit unsettled. Then again, that could have been his point.

Well-written and interesting, devotees of the horror genre, as well as fans of James Herbert, will enjoy this book. This creepy book is a great little gem to add to your collection.

This is the first book I read for the R.I.P. III Challenge.


Stella said...

Book Nook indeed! How many do you read a week...?

DesLily said...

how nice to have a teenager to point out books!

Stephanie said...

Oh....this sounds good!! Damn. The RIP challenge is going to play hell on my TBR, that's for sure!!

Lynda said...

I read the dark years ago and LOVED it. Glad you liked it too ;0)

Mari said...

Ooh, sounds creepy. I will have to see if I can find this one at the library.