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Hell Train Paperback – 5 Jan 2012


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Product details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Solaris (5 Jan. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 190799243X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1907992438
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 2 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 291,086 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Christopher Fowler was born in Greenwich, London. He is the multi award-winning author of many novels and short story collections, and the author of the Bryant & May mysteries. His first bestseller was 'Roofworld'. Subsequent novels include 'Spanky', 'Disturbia', 'Psychoville' and 'Calabash'. He spent 25 years working in the film industry.

His collection 'Red Gloves', 25 new stories of unease, marked his first 25 years of writing. His memoir 'Paperboy' won the Green Carnation Award, and was followed by a 2nd volume, 'Film Freak'. Other new novels include the dark comedy-thriller 'Plastic' and the haunted house chiller 'Nyctophobia'.

He has written comedy and drama for BBC radio, including Radio One's first broadcast drama in 2005. He has a weekly column called 'Invisible Ink' in the Independent on Sunday. His graphic novel for DC Comics was the critically acclaimed 'Menz Insana'. His short story 'The Master Builder' became a feature film entitled 'Through The Eyes Of A Killer', starring Tippi Hedren and Marg Helgenberger. Among his awards are the Edge Hill prize 2008 for 'Old Devil Moon', and the Last Laugh prize 2009 for 'The Victoria Vanishes'.

Christopher has achieved several pathetic schoolboy fantasies, releasing a terrible Christmas pop single, becoming a male model, writing a stage show, posing as the villain in a Batman graphic novel, running a night club, appearing in the Pan Books of Horror, and standing in for James Bond.

His short stories have appeared in Best British Mysteries, The Time Out Book Of London Short Stories, The Best Of Dark Terrors, London Noir, Neon Lit, Cinema Macabre, the Mammoth Book of Horror and many others. After living in the USA and France he is now married and lives in London's King's Cross and Barcelona.

Product Description

About the Author

Based in London, Christopher Fowler is the multi-award winning author of more than thirty novels, including the lauded Bryant & May mystery novels. In 2010 alone he has been nominated for eight national book awards.

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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
During World War II card sharp Nicholas Castleford, who is on the run for fraud, ends up on the wrong train, at the wrong time, at the wrong town of Chelmsk, an uncouth town where he discovers the luscious county flower, the blonde Isabella. As foreign troops close in on Chelmski, Isabella learns she may be mutilated by her husband and his friends so that she won't cheat on him, and so that she won't be raped by the advancing foreign troops.

Well, this is the last straw, Isabella decides to decamp the backward Chelmski with the womanizing slick Nick, and in desperation they get on the wrong train, a ghost train called "Arkangel" that only shows up on midnight at Chelmski once per year. And they aren't the only ones, also getting off the wrong train, and then being forced to get on the Hell Train are the unhappily married Thomas and Miranda Wellesly, a pair who will provide stark contrast to Nicholas and Isabella.

Then as the couples realize that they are trapped on the train they can't get off of, the poo does a mighty fine job of hitting the fan as all of the people on the train will be subject to trials that will try their souls from zombies, killer insects, plague, vampires, and (maybe) a personal representative from Satan himself. There is the realization amongst the survivors that the peasants that populate the train may already be dead, and have to relive their damnation over and over again for eternity. This is while the living must bet their souls in a game in which Satan forever wins, all in the hope that maybe this time things will be different.

This is a story within a story within a story.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By S. Groves on 29 Dec. 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
All aboard indeed for the latest from Christopher Fowler.Hell Train is like having all the best moments from the Hammer /Amicus films in book form.I don't want to give the plot away but half way through this book there is a chase sequence that had me turning pages almost faster then I could read.I found myself nearly reading this book in one sitting so engrossed had I become with the fates of the chracters and the situations that they found themselves.It even had me rooting for minor characters who's story looked a foregone conclusion.

The story has all the elements you would wish to find in a good chiller,dark atmospheric enviroments, a feeling of unease creeping into the events throughout,well drawn characters you care about ,the right amount of gore without becoming torture porn but adding to the feeling of threat,and don't start me on the Conductor or the other one beginning with B,( I PROMISE NO SPOILERS.)

The story, like the train on which the unsuspecting protagonists board moves along at a cracking pace.This is truely a genuinely thrilling and chilling read .Not to be missed.

Arkangel .let the train bring the pain.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Pablo Cheesecake (The Eloquent Page) TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 5 Jan. 2012
Format: Paperback
Hell Train starts with an intriguing premise. American screenwriter Shane Carter has left Hollywood and come to the UK during the `swinging sixties', when Hammer Films are at the zenith of their popularity. He is given the opportunity to write a script for the studio. It is the story of the Hell Train, The Arkangel, he writes and this forms the main body of the novel.

I don't want to give away too much plot detail but suffice to say that the four main protagonists fall nicely into the well-established stereotypes you would expect to find in many Hammer films. Just remember that Hell Train is meant as a homage and everything will make perfect sense. There is the innocent wide-eyed female villager, the womanising army deserter, a weak willed vicar and his over-bearing wife. Each character has their own secrets and flaws and these are revealed as the story unfolds. This is where a novel gets the opportunity to excel over the visual medium of film. Readers get a deeper glimpse into the motivations of the characters. We get to learn more of their back story and their reasons for boarding the train the first place.

Interspersed throughout the main narrative we get a few occasional jumps back to Shane as he continues to write. I have to admit the first time this happened I was so engrossed in the goings on aboard the Arkangel this caught me completely off guard. Kudos to Christopher Fowler, I had all but forgotten that this was a story taking place within the confines of another story. It was also an unexpected and pleasant surprise to have the likes of Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee appear in cameo. The suggestion of their proposed roles in the Hell Train movie was a particularly nice touch.

Hell Train is a visceral love letter to Hammer Films.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Gareth Wilson - Falcata Times Blog TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 2 Jan. 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
Christopher Fowler is perhaps best known for his Bryant and May Detective series so I was a little apprehensive when I discovered that he was writing a horror story for Solaris, not that I doubted that he could do it, but when an author is established in one genre, it is often hard for the reader to adapt to them in another.

That said, I really shouldn't have worried as a lot of the skills utilised in the crime genre translate wonderfully to the horror. As usual with Christopher's writing you have top notch characters, solid prose and of course when added to an illustrious history of British Horror Giant, Hammer, then it's a tales that's as gripping in the bound form as the celluloid was for me growing up.

Add to this, a few magical twists alongside an identifiable authorly voice which will leave the reader in no doubt about what a treat this title is with the odd sleight of hand trick. Cracking.
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