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Ash


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62 of 84 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A long time coming.
This book has been in the pipeline for quite sometime so I was delighted when it finally was released.
Thankfully Mr Herbert has made the wait worthwhile as I consider this to be his best book in some years.
This is the third novel to feature the parapsychologist David Ash, the first two being "Haunted" and "The Ghosts of Sleath".
It is not necessary to...
Published 24 months ago by M. Crossman

versus
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Badly ghost-written?
I'm certain this was ghost-written (no pun intended!). James Herbert was never a perfect writer, and in particular has always struggled to write convincing romantic plot lines, but Ash was nowhere near his previous writing standard. The premise was good and this could have been either an excellent black comedy, with all the missing celebrities popping up, or it could have...
Published 11 months ago by G. Keogh


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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Badly ghost-written?, 11 Sep 2013
By 
G. Keogh (London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Ash (Kindle Edition)
I'm certain this was ghost-written (no pun intended!). James Herbert was never a perfect writer, and in particular has always struggled to write convincing romantic plot lines, but Ash was nowhere near his previous writing standard. The premise was good and this could have been either an excellent black comedy, with all the missing celebrities popping up, or it could have been a very creepy horror novel without the celebrities, but in either case the writing would need to improve dramatically.

I quite enjoyed the beginning of the novel and finding out what Comraich Castle was about, but once it became obvious (and it didn't take long) all there was to grip me was finding out what was causing the paranormal activity. Likewise this became obvious very quickly except for minor details and in the end I only kept reading to find out if there was an interesting twist coming. There wasn't.

I skim-read the last 200 pages or so, stopping to read it properly when a passage looked interesting, but was usually disappointed.

I'm going to pretend this was never written and remember James Herbert for his other, much superior, books.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed, 18 Feb 2013
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Mr. J. Clements (cardiff,uk) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Ash (Kindle Edition)
I am a big fan of James Herbert, and firstly was slightly amazed when I managed to purchase this book a few months back for just 20p.

Having read it I sort of see why it might get heavily discounted. As is typical with Herbert's writing the story meanders along, and probably does concentrate a bit too much on descriptions or areas of the book that you could do without.

The horror side of it seems rushed, and for me that's where more description would have been welcome, but it seems it was not to be.

The story itself evolves into a horror (just) come outlandish tale of bad folks banished to a secluded prison come hospital come retirement home.

I dare say in this modern age you can imagine such a place may exist, but to this degree I just don't buy it.

Not sure what the last two pages were about, Im no royalist but really.

It's a big book and it was heavy going because it just lacked the hook to make it a real story, I only finished it because I don't like not finishing books that I start, but overall I thought it a poor effort from one of my favourite authors.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not his best, 16 Aug 2013
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This review is from: Ash (Kindle Edition)
I grew up loving his books, if this is your first look at Herbert please look up his earlier work.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Very Poor, 17 Aug 2014
By 
M. Dowden (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Ash (Paperback)
Over the years James Herbert has written some really good books, and some not quite as good, but I don’t think he ever wrote anything as bad as this, his last book. It has been sitting on my TBR pile to read since it first came out in paperback, but I have only now got round to it. It is a real shame that the last book we have from the late author has to be the worse. It would look like he had some fun writing this, but that is perhaps one of the problems, in doing so he went perhaps a bit too far, making this much longer than it needed to be and in the process making this very clichéd.

At times you do wonder if you are reading a horror novel, or a thriller, and there is just too much here that is rather silly. With a secret organisation called the Inner Circle that ultimately wields great power due to the secrets that they have on governments, top people, and royalty; this organisation can more or less blackmail the rich and famous to get what they want. David Ash is called in to do some paranormal investigative work by his employer at Comraich Castle, on the Western shores of Scotland. With a very tight contract that forbids him ever mentioning what he sees he finds the castle is actually a luxurious place for supposedly dead or missing people to live on in total secrecy. But this in itself is a very weak plot. People pay exorbitant fees to enter this place and are really held prisoner, as they can never leave. Placed on drugs and even used as guinea pigs for some medical treatments you do have to wonder who would voluntarily pay to live here, although I should point out that some have been incarcerated by their families, or by government approval.

Although there are some good action sequences here, a lot of this is just a string of conspiracy theories about different people, with some facts thrown in to make it seem a bit more believable. And although there are paranormal occurrences in this story, most of it is more of a conspiracy thriller. With an assassin that looks a lot like Donald Pleasence we go through the same thing over and over again about doesn’t that man look like that actor in those horror films, which does start to grate after a while. With one of the inhabitants at the castle known as ‘The Boy’, we do know who he is before Ash finds out, as it is obvious as you read through this book. What really annoyed me though is when a character dies we are treated to some wonderful out of world experience that seems to imply that Princess Diana was a saint, or Madonna like. Please, whatever you think of the woman, she was a human and just like the rest of us.

In all this was all rather turgid and for most of us it is best probably to forget that James Herbert ever wrote this. Please remember him for better books that he wrote, for instance something like ‘Others’.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars not exciting, 10 Aug 2013
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This review is from: Ash (Kindle Edition)
it wasn't as exciting or as riveting as I would expect from mr Herbert. I'm sure it was a good idea at the time
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars a ghostly disappointment, 5 Mar 2014
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This review is from: Ash (Kindle Edition)
Having read the two previous books I was looking forward to this one. What a disappointment! Now I know I shouldnt complain about a ghost story being far fetched, but come on. Hitler's daughter in the basement, a royal prince in the tower, lord lucan?? Could you throw anymore conspiracy theories in there?!?!

Far too long, predictable 'love story' all in all not the authors best work. If you havent read any of his books before, dont start with this one. The magic cottage is much better!

The kindle version of this book also seemed to gave some gremlins of it's own. I had to repeatedly download it onto my tablet as I kept getting error msgs and text would dissapear......
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29 of 33 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Such a shame., 20 Sep 2012
This review is from: Ash (Hardcover)
I never thought James Herbert could write a book that i wouldn't like. I have always regarded him as a brilliant writer and after many eagerly awaited years, grabbed this book at the first opportunity. He starts in his usual style of building the stage to what you think is going to be a good read, only for you to be scratching you head half way through wondering where hes trying to go with the story. It was sadly to far fetched and the plot seemed to go off on tangents that left me wondering why some were added in the first place. :(
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not his best, but...., 28 Mar 2013
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This review is from: Ash (Kindle Edition)
...not as bad as some reviews say. Yes, it could have been edited down a bit in places. Yes, some plot items could have been expanded on (Hitler's daughter...). No, the relationship between the two lead characters isn't written terribly well. But it is still readable.
If you have never read James Herbert book, don't start with this one. If you are a fan, read it with a forgiving heart.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars What a let down!, 10 Oct 2012
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This review is from: Ash (Hardcover)
I have just finished this book after skimming a lot towards the end because I was so bored! I have always been a very big James Herbert fan but this was one of the worst books I have ever read. It started off quite promising but then the storyline became ridiculous! Towards the end the plot was like something out of Indiana jones and not once was I scared.
Very disappointed and will not rush to buy any future books from James Herbert.
Also, does Prince Phillip really use the F word?!
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A right Herbert, 20 Jan 2013
This review is from: Ash (Kindle Edition)
I read James Herbert 20 years ago and this is not the Herbert I got to know and love so well back then. He was probably sharper and I was probably less demanding but this book is a real dog's dinner. The supernatural events were actually more plausible than the so called normal ones and the pace dragged interminably. There were huge gaps in credibility in the pace of events and whole chapters devoted to narrative that warranted paragraphs at most. I am not sure who rushed the ending most; Herbert or me.
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Ash
Ash by James Herbert (Paperback - 14 Mar 2013)
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