Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Book Review: Those Across the River by Christopher Buehlman

Those Across the River is Christopher Buehlman's debut novel.

Book Description
Failed academic Frank Nichols and his wife, Eudora, have arrived in the sleepy Georgia town of Whitbrow, where Frank hopes to write a history of his family's old estate-the Savoyard Plantation- and the horrors that occurred there. At first, the quaint, rural ways of their new neighbors seem to be everything they wanted. But there is an unspoken dread that the townsfolk have lived with for generations. A presence that demands sacrifice. 

It comes from the shadowy woods across the river, where the ruins of Savoyard still stand. Where a longstanding debt of blood has never been forgotten. 

A debt that has been waiting patiently for Frank Nichols's homecoming... 

Those Across the River had a really slow start for me.  I made it about 50 pages before I put it down with no intention of picking it back up again.  I wasn't enjoying the writing style, and I didn't like the characters or the setting.

Over the course of the next week, however, I continued seeing reviews that claimed Those Across the River was a great "creepy" read.  I love "creepy".  Great "creepy" is hard to come by.  Those Across the River started calling out to me.  What if it really is every bit as creepy as they say and I'm missing out?

So I picked it back up.  There were some good moments in Those Across the River.  It was kind of like what M. Night Shyamalan's The Village would have been if it hadn't all been a farce.  Unfortunately I could have done without 70% of the book.  Those Across the River would have made an excellent novella.  That is what I love about short fiction.  It cuts out all of the filler.

Even though most of Those Across the River was lost on me, I encourage you to seek out some of the great reviews.  This book has been well received by other readers.

4/10: Not for me

Review copy provided by the publisher


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  1. Oh it happens. Hopefully your next read will be more enjoyable.

  2. My friend just told me about this today that it is getting a lot of buzz. Stinks you didn't like this one. I may or may not try it.

  3. You did way better than me. I didn't Finnish this one so I couldn't review it.


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