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The Bone Key Paperback – 15 Aug 2007

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Product details

  • Paperback: 248 pages
  • Publisher: Prime Books (15 Aug. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0809557770
  • ISBN-13: 978-0809557776
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 0.6 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,687,335 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Joyeuse VINE VOICE on 4 Dec. 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I read this when it was first published and am so pleased to see it's now being reprinted. So many good books vanish all to soon and it's good to see this one back again.

In fact I was quite excited to see the new cover as I thought for a moment that this was a second volume - I've hoped that she would write some more tales of Kyle Murchison which, while in the great tradition of ghost stories, are better than most of her forebears and, in my experience, unique in being all about the same hero who is haunted rather than one off tales of those who stumble unawares into haunted places and situations. Poor Kyle Murchison draws the hauntings to himself and has to try to learn to live with his experiences.

Thanks to Ms. Monette I've found myself going back to the classic writers of ghost stories, Kipling, James, leFanau, Arden and Onions among others.

And I'm still hoping for another helping of Kyle Muchison tales.
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6 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Stephanie Samphire on 8 Nov. 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Lushly written, with some of the creepiest ghost stories I've ever read, laced by humor and sharp intelligence. A perfect book for curling up with on a crisp autumn evening, with the darkness closing in.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A. L. French on 16 July 2009
Format: Paperback
I'm very fond of the classic ghost story, and these are excellent contributions to the genre, beautifully chilling tales after the gentle but deeply troubling style of MR James. The central narrator, Kyle Murchison Booth, is realised with precision and the period flavour of the tales never slips.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 27 reviews
23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
Well worth reading. 20 Oct. 2007
By S. Johnson - Published on
Format: Paperback
I do not usually write reviews. Not because I don't read. I would simply rather read than write a review. The Bone Key is the first book by Monette that I have read, and it will not be the last. This book is a shining example of great writing. It is a series of interconnected short stories about a man named Kyle Murchison Booth. Booth is shy, brilliant and, through some fault of his own, a magnet for supernatural...things. A museum archivist/curator he lived in a very safe and isolated world until a brush with necromency brought his attention to things that he had not known existed. He could have lived quite nicely, and gone back to his safe little world, if not for the fact that the "brush" also brought the attention of the things to him.
If you like your horror with a bit of a twist, I recommend this book. It does not rely on blood and gore to get its point across. It is subtle, often funny, sometimes sad, and always disturbing.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Superior literary creepiness 27 Dec. 2007
By Glinda Good - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I love it when an author takes the time and trouble to include an introduction, or forward. Monette took the time, and what she said about literature and horror struck a chord with me. Monette names James and Lovecraft as two important influences on her desire to write fantastic fiction, noting that although she loves their use of language and crafting of story, she missed a more modern examination of the sexual and psychological aspects of characters.

The stories in The Bone Key are pure gold. Short, with as much of the stories left to the imagination as she puts into words, the language is reminiscent of the old fiction Monette says she loves. Her character, Kyle Murchison Booth, is eccentric yet sympathetic and appealing. Since he is such a shy, lone man it takes time to accumulate knowledge of the other people in his world. But slowly and surely Booth's experiences begin to build a population of interesting fringe characters -- some dead, some living. Booth's brushes with the unnatural are simultaneously creepy and thought-provoking.

If you're looking for subtle, literary stories with themes of horror (and how the most excruciating horror arises from the way people treat each other), try The Bone Key. You'll read these stories more than once!
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
In the Best Tradition of Gothic Supernatural Horror 22 Jan. 2008
By April - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
On the cover it says: The Necromantic Mysteries of Kyle Murchison Booth. The book consists of ten short stories and the intro says the author was highly influenced by M. R. James and H. P. Lovecraft, but wished for a bit more character development.

Booth is a retiring character who works as an archivist at a museum. The setting feels quite Victorian and Gothic, but there are phones, though not much more evidence, so far, of a modern world. The first story is "Bringing Helena Back"--and if that sounds creepy, it is. These are stories reminiscent of old fashioned horror, full of eccentric characters, dark secrets, vengeful spirits. There's no warm and fuzzy ghosts back to save the living. Life can be tragic and disturbing in this world. Cursed necklaces, family secrets, common human failings that turn tragic, murder, haunting, demons... it's all here.

I love a good ghost story and it's been too long since I've read one. This collection is among the best.
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Gothic and Modern, and most importantly, Wonderful. 19 Dec. 2007
By Christa - Published on
Format: Paperback
I'm not a big fan of short stories, most of the time, even by authors whose novels I love, but this collection had me hooked from the first page to the last. Monette manages to capture the feel of those wonderful ghost stories from the Victorian writers, with their romantic melancholy while sparing us the excesses of prose and also giving us a fascinating protagonist.

'Elegy to a Demon Lover' is one of the most haunting stories I think I have ever read, and the book is worth buying for that one alone, but the others are also excellent.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
an excellent collection of ghost stories 1 Nov. 2007
By Margaret Johnston - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Kyle Murchison Booth is a museum archivist, bookish, erudite, awkward, and painfully shy. After a reluctant experiment with necromancy, in the collection's first story, "Bringing Helena Back", he finds that he has opened the door to the world of the supernatural, beginning a series of encounters which will bring him into contact with ghosts, ghouls, demons, and the mysteries of the human soul. The stories are all excellent -- subtle, witty, atmospheric, and quietly bone-chilling -- but it's Booth himself whose presence pulls them together and makes them remarkable. He could choose to ignore the odd events around him (some of them, anyway -- some demand his attention), but he can't; his compassion for others and most of all, his deep need to know and understand compel him to investigate the mysterious happenings around him.

If I had to pick out favorite stories, I would say "The Venebretti Necklace", which has a wonderful secondary character among other virtues, or "Elegy for a Demon Lover", which brought tears to my eye, but really, they're all absorbing and a wonderful reading experience for a chilly autumn evening.
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