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Uncle Montague's Tales of Terror Hardcover – 1 Oct 2007

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC (1 Oct. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0747589224
  • ISBN-13: 978-0747589228
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.5 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 337,154 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Chris Priestley worked as an illustrator and cartoonist for twenty years before becoming a writer. His books have been nominated for many awards including the Edgar Awards, the UKLA Children's Book Award and the Carnegie Medal. The award-winning and critically-acclaimed Tales of Terror series for Bloomsbury feature chilling stories rooted in the tradition of M R James, Saki and Edgar Allan Poe and are available in many languages. Mister Creecher is a novel inspired by, and linked to, Mary Shelley's Frankenstein and his latest, Through Dead Eyes, is set in a haunted hotel in Amsterdam.

Product Description

Review

'Priestley's gothic fest of Poe-like fables stand out like shining beacons' (Guardian)

'My insides were still untangling themselves hours after I had closed the book' (Sunday Telegraph)

'Mesmerising, understated, and convincingly Victorian in tone . . . A book for children who enjoy being frightened - and a perfect introduction to Saki and Edgar Allen Poe' (Guardian)

'Throbs with sinister brilliance . . . The art of the chilling, well-crafted ghost story is still alive and kicking' (Literary Review) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Review

`Priestley's gothic fest of Poe-like fables stand out like shining beacons' --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Lynrow Kernow on 21 Sept. 2009
Format: Paperback
I forget where I first spotted Uncle Montague's Tales of Terror, but I do remember that I was completely captivated by the cover.

And I was delighted to discover that it was a gothic and a portmanteau book - two things I can never resist.

Edgar is a solitary child - his parents are distant and, because he has been sent away to school, he is not close to the neighbourhood children. As the story opens with young Edgar walking through the woods to visit his Uncle Montague. The author takes you along on that walk, and you never leave Edgar's side, through everything that is to come.

Menace is so cleverly hinted at with very small details - a slow-moving kissing-gate, silent children lurking in overgrown woods, a cold and heavy garden gate ...

Finally Edgar and Uncle Montague settle down for tea, cake and stories in Uncle Montague's wonderfully gothic house. And what stories! Each one is simple, clear, and perfectly-formed. And they are strange tales, each with a child protagonist, and each escalating to a striking twist.

A boy enters the house of a woman he believes to be a witch and meets a most unexpected fate; a girl opens a forbidden door and is trapped in a dolls' house; a boy chased off a cliff by a demonic version of himself; a girl granted three wishes who finds that those wishes have dark consequences.... It would be unfair to say too much.

Some of the stories are stronger than others but they all work. And, while each is distinctive, they come together well as a set.

But that's not all. Edgar and Uncle Montague talk between stories, and their own story develops. Edgar begins to wonder. Is there is truth in the stories? Where have the artefacts that Uncle Montague shows him come from?
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By Petra Bryce VINE VOICE on 11 July 2011
Format: Paperback
At home from boarding school, Edgar is a lonely child who likes to escape his indifferent parents to visit his relation of unknown degree, called Uncle Montague, to listen to stories. And what stories they are! This latest visit incorporates items from around the study into each tale, and then Uncle Montague tops it all off by narrating a final story where he himself is the subject.

This is a collection of self-contained short stories framed by a larger narrative involving Uncle Montague and Edgar. Even though the tales aren't quite up to the standard of his other work Tales of Terror from the Black Ship in my opinion, they are nevertheless sinister and frightening, just occasionally bordering on the unpleasant. Edgar's narration on the other hand is a marvellous study in creepiness, the author managing to increase the tension and suspense in small degrees, creating a wonderful sense of foreboding and unease until all is revealed at the end. I especially liked the idea of the sugar bowl on the tea tray having to be refilled at regular intervals and Edgar blaming this on his uncle's sweet tooth, even though he never actually sees him take one.

As always I admire Chris Priestley's twisted imagination that can conjure up stories like these, and even though the narratives' subjects are children, don't be fooled into thinking that this is a children's book, some of the stories are far too disturbing for a younger readership. Worth re-reading again and again.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Elen Caldecott on 10 Aug. 2008
Format: Hardcover
This is a great book to dip into again and again. Each chapter can stand alone, which makes them perfect bedtime story material - if you don't get easily spooked that is!
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By Nick Clarke on 26 Feb. 2011
Format: Paperback
Uncle Montague's Tales of Terror is a very spooky collection of tales brilliantly written by Chris Priestly. I picked it up from the library and wasn't at all disappointed with the read.

It contains and number of stories, some more creepy than others, all tied together by the main protagonist Edgar, visiting his old Uncle Montague, who is a recluse in his gothic mansion. All the stories are from the viewpoints of children, and all the mysteries evoked from the stories and conversations between Edgar and Montague are explained in the final story, that of Montague himself.

The stories are all accompanied by brilliant illustrations, about 2 per story, that help tell the tales even further by bringing the scenes into your mind as pictures.

My favourite story was 'The Gilt Frame', and the twist at the end was a very chilling turn, and something I didn't expect.

My only criticism of the book is, whilst some of the stories were truly scary, others were quite tame, and the author could have enhanced them.
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By M on 14 Dec. 2013
Format: Paperback
This book will run goosebumps along your spine and have you hiding under your chair with your arm still extended as you read, because you just can't stop for one moment. The cover is quite simple, but it captures all the different key aspects from each of the short stories intertwined into this book. The colours are also very tea-like making it appear even more creepy and mysterious.

Edgar's uncle lives in a haunted house, surrounded by a forest, away from prying eyes. But, his garden/forest is filled with statues and little ornaments that hold more significance to them than just a ornament. They all have a story to tell... of which will all give you nightmares.

The short stories in this book were amazing, they linked neatly together like a puzzle and the description and imagery was sensational. It will keep you up all night wondering what certain aspects of the story mean and have you making up your own.

The next book in this series: Tales of Terror from the Black Ship.
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