Although I have not been able to bring myself to read more than a bit of Barker's other works, this one is beautifully plotted and beautifully written. I have read it twice. It reads like a modern fairy tale, and I feel that it is mistakenly classified as horror. Granted, horror is an element in many fairy tales, but the fear in this one is nothing like what you find, for instance, in a Stephen King story. It is the delicious fear of a fairy tale, when you know that the bad thing could never really happen to anybody, but the writer has gotten you to suspend disbelief. There is a sort of moral to the story, too, which is another frequent element in fairy tales, but I must leave the reader to discover for himself what that it, because I don't want to give away the ending.
What a great story. I literally read this in about two hours. It was so good I couldn't put it down. I've read some of Barker's work in the past and they've been pretty heavy works. This was different. I almost want to say it was written with the teen or young adult in mind, as it was a very quick and easy read. Despite that, the story was great.
Mr. Hood's house had stood for a thousand years tempting children bored with their lives and looking for excitement. There is a price to pay for the bliss that the children receive. Harvey is different however, he sees through the charade and eventually sees the dark side of the house. He was the will power and courage to fight back against the house.
Some things seemed a bit stretched, but I'll forgive these minor issues because of the quality of this novel. I wish Clive would write more novels like this one. Great stuff.
Read this from cover to cover in 2 days-suspenseful. But the big surprise was when I was describing it to my 8 yr old daughter, she wanted to read it. We ended up reading it aloud on a car trip, and everytime we stopped (dry mouth-LOL), my husband who was driving, begged us to keep going! I don't re-read many books, but would definitely read this again, and I'm not usually a fan of science-fiction or suspense
This was an excellent book, every bit as imaginative (and disturbing) as I've come to expect from the works of Clive Barker. While not especially gory like some of his other films and novels, there is a distinct sense of menace and suspense throughout the novel, that really keeps the reader entranced. NOT recommended for young readers, though - there's an earlier version of this book that's formatted to look like a childrens story book, which it is most definitely not. Teens and up however, particularly those who are fans of fantasy/horror, will love it.
Harvey, a little boy, is bored on a rainy day. A stranger with an unusually large grin appears and leads him to a house where he can have and do whatever he wants. From here the story takes a leap from this predictable storyline to a compelling eeriness. Initially, Glover's reading is as dimensionless as the story's beginning. As the story becomes creepier, Glover's voice becomes appropriately unsettling. He gives uncanny reality to the hosts of the house by delivering their sense of humor as well. Though it is even disturbing to adults, the tale never becomes graphically violent and is suitable for children.