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The One Safe Place [Hardcover]

Ramsey Campbell
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

2 Feb 1995
Don and Suzanne Travis and their adolescent son, Marshall, are trapped in a web of violence. It starts with a minor traffic violation that leads to an assault, then escalates swiftly and brutally. After testifying against Phil Fancy, the man who attacked him, Don Travis is beaten to death by members of Fancy's criminally-minded family. Darren Fancy, a schoolmate of Marshall's, continues the vendetta. Suzanne convinces the police to help her--but soon Suzanne herself falls under suspicion.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Headline Book Publishing; First Edition edition (2 Feb 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 074720666X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0747206668
  • Product Dimensions: 23.2 x 15 x 3.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,065,899 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars One of Campbell's best, though not his usual. 10 Nov 1998
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Ramsey Campbell is certainly one of my favorite authors, horror or otherwise. He has distinguished himself as one of the top award winners among all active horror writers and _One Safe Place_ only provides further evidence of his prodigious talent.
In moving from the unexplained horror of the supernatural to a more realistic milieu, Campbell sacrifices none of the unsettling quality of his previous work. The book revolves around an American family, newly arrived in Manchester to open up a used and antiquarian bookshop. When the father unwittingly runs afoul of a local thug and his family, the resulting violence has long-lasting effects on both families.
This is a haunting and sad novel with a very convincing look at what it must be like for expatriates attempting to start a new life in a foreign country. Anyone who has ever daydreamed of moving to England (a dream I must admit I've had) should read this cautionary tale.
Campbell, unlike some horror writers on the bestseller lists, continues to grow and challenge himself as a writer, tackling new subjects and themes with continually superlative results. He's not just writing the same story over and over. This is the sort of novel that could have quite easily slipped away from him, yet it is ultimately one of his best.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A benchmark of urban horror 21 April 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Ramsey Campbell is generally more well-known for his (in my opinion, significant and massively influential) contributions to the field of supernatural horror. In this novel he has created monsters that are products of our reality - and believe me, the Fancy family are more terrifying than any Old One or Shoggoth for the fact that they are the people whose misdeeds we see on the front page of tabloid newspapers and on the television news. They are people I have probably passed, even interacted with, on the street. This is urban horror in it's purest form.

Violence is the keyword of this novel. It isn't a glamourisation of it but one of the most detailed dissections of it (in many of it's forms) I've read in contemporary fiction: it's nature in the minds of civilains on different sides of the pond, the effects (hysterically/gullibly recieved or otherwise) of it's depiction in the media, the cycle and hereditary nature of violence within communities and familes - the list goes on.

Campbell has an amazing ear for regional dialects. As a resident of Northern England I really enjoyed the various exchanges which felt almost documented. I have a hard time finding another author whose prose alone gives me such sheer joy and this is due largely to Campbell's imagination for conversations. There is also a vein of dark humour which comes from the many awkward exchanges reflecting that which we experience day to day: those cringey misunderstandings where you can't say just what you want to - pure expression slipping just out of one's vocal grasp. The breakdown of communication between the American characters and the British, and the futher innuendo and misunderstanding that comes with this is also a high point.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.5 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An understated yet hard-hitting look at real-life horror. 18 Jan 1997
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Ramsey Campbell has distinguished himself as one of the top award winners among all active horror writers and his latest, _One Safe Place_, only provides further evidence of his prodigious talent. In moving from the unexplained horror of the supernatural to a more realistic milieu, Campbell sacrifices none of the unsettling quality of his previous work. The book revolves around an American family, newly arrived in Manchester to open up a used and antiquarian bookshop. When the father unwittingly runs afoul of a local thug and his family, the resulting violence has long-lasting effects on both families. This is a haunting and sad novel with a very convincing look at what it must be like for expatriates attempting to start a new life in a foreign country. Anyone who has ever daydreamed of moving to England (a dream I must admit I've had) should read this cautionary tale. Campbell, unlike other horror writers on the bestseller lists, continues to grow and challenge himself as a writer, tackling new subjects and themes with continually superlative results. This reviewer can hardly wait to get ahold of a copy of his next book, _The House on Nazareth Hill_
2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent tale of urban horror. 7 May 2000
By "madamebovary" - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This is a brilliant tale of modern horror that totally eschews any of the usual trappings of things that go bump in the night and instead focuses on the cruelty and nasty possibilties of everyday life. The death of one of the lead characters halfway through the book is pretty hard hitting mainly due to Campbells excellent descriptive technique, you almost feel as if you know the family. As with all Campbells novels you finish this book with the satisfaction of knowing you have just read a well written novel by an important novellist.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars UNFORGETTABLE! 13 Feb 2001
By Ponderous one - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This book is deep and hard-hitting. It's like a trip to another world; an experience you won't soon forget.
3 of 14 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The book was horrible! 25 Feb 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I absolutely HATED this book. I figured that since Dean Koontz recommended it it might be good. Where did Dean go wrong? This book was poorly written, made no sense, and was B-O-R-I-N-G. In fact, at about the halfway mark I went ahead and put the book back on my shelf. I didn't want to waste any more time when I could be reading a GOOD book.
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