Madeline Usher has been buried alive. The doomed heroine comes to the fore in this eerie reimagining of Edgar Allan Poe's classic short story "The Fall of the House of Usher." Gothic, moody, and suspenseful from beginning to end, The Fall is literary horror for fans of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children and Asylum.
Madeline awakes in a coffin. And she was put there by her own twin brother. But how did it come to this? In short, non-chronological chapters, Bethany Griffin masterfully spins a haunting and powerful tale of this tragic heroine and the curse on the Usher family. The house itself is alive, and it will never let Madeline escape, driving her to madness just as it has all of her ancestors. But she won't let it have her brother, Roderick. She'll do everything in her power to save him—and try to save herself—even if it means bringing the house down around them.
With a sinister, gothic atmosphere and relentless tension to rival Poe himself, Bethany Griffin creates a house of horrors and introduces a whole new point of view on a timeless classic. Kirkus Reviews praised it in a starred review as "A standout take on the classic haunted-house tale replete with surprises around every shadowy corner."
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
While Poe's The Fall of the House of Usher isn't my favorite of his short stories, I'm familiar with it, and I appreciate it. And more importantly it's the kind of horror I can get down with, the more cerebral kind of horror. It's written from the POV of Roderick Usher's boyhood friend, who has come to visit at Usher's request. The setting is exceedingly ominous, and someone is inevitably buried alive.
So when I saw The Fall by Bethany Griffin, it was a no-brainer---how cool would it be to use Poe's original story as the foundation of an entire novel, told from to POV of Roderick's sister? SO cool.
Unfortunately, it didn't quite live up to my expectations.
I rarely read horror (b/c chicken). That being said, when I do read horror, especially when it's October, Autumn (my favorite season) is creeping in, and Halloween is looming in the distance, I want to be, at the very least, seriously creeped out.
The creepiest part of this book was the...
Poe's "The Fall of the House of Usher" is a magnificently imagined and realized work, and richly deserves its status as a classic example of American Gothic literature. I must admit that when I began to read "Fall" I was predisposed to believe that there was little to be gained in revisiting the House of Usher as a novel, and I suspected that "Fall" would be mostly a wan retread, and perhaps a gimmicky one at that. Well, please excuse me for being such a superior little snot. "Fall" is a substantial and entertaining work that owes no apologies for its existence.
Ms. Griffin has pulled off the nearly impossible feat of expanding on Poe's story without diminishing it, and of maintaining the air of watchful, sinister and ambiguous malevolence that is one of the hallmarks of the original story.
The author has made one wise and fundamental change in the telling of the story. While the original tale was told by an anonymous narrator, the unnamed "childhood" friend of...
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.) Madeline and her twin brother Roderick live in a cursed house, and they wonder how long it will be until the house drives them to commit suicide.
This was certainly a haunting tale, but I found it a little hard to follow.
Madeline was a bit of a strange girl, but I did feel sorry for her. The way she was looked down upon while her brother was the golden boy wasn’t very fair, and that she should be stuck in a house and subject to a curse, while her brother was sent away to school also wasn’t very nice.
The storyline in this did have a bit of a creepy feel to it, but I personally wasn’t scared as such. I found the way the story jumped around – Madeline is 18, Madeline is 9, Madeline is 15, Madeline is 9, Madeline is 9, Madeline is 15, a bit confusing, and the fact that the curse wasn’t fully...
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