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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Time well spent.
I bought this book a while back but never got around to writing a review. While buying his latest book I saw an advert for this and how many negative reviews it had. There are a few reasons for some of these.
This novel has been compared to 'The Shining'. How unfair. How many writers do you know that could compete with the likes of Stephen King, let alone with their...
Published 18 months ago by L. Jenkins

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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars doesn't do what it says on the tin
I bought this book on the strength of its cover, not having read the reviews here - my mistake.

It purports to be a 'horror/ghost' story, but its major failing is that it is not at all scary - in fact for the first half of the book I thought maybe it wasn't a ghost story at all but some sort of mid-life crisis story about the central character - Conrad. (I...
Published on 4 Feb. 2009 by Misty


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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars doesn't do what it says on the tin, 4 Feb. 2009
By 
This review is from: The Birthing House (Paperback)
I bought this book on the strength of its cover, not having read the reviews here - my mistake.

It purports to be a 'horror/ghost' story, but its major failing is that it is not at all scary - in fact for the first half of the book I thought maybe it wasn't a ghost story at all but some sort of mid-life crisis story about the central character - Conrad. (I should point out that I am very easily scared with an over-active imagination and have to sleep with the lights on after watching scary films so if you can't scare me, you're not going to scare anyone!)

As several other reviewers have pointed out - the ending is just terrible - really rushed and badly executed. The device by which Conrad finds out what happened to Alma is levered in with a crow-bar and even then large parts of it are nonsensical. Either leave the past as a mystery or explain it properly!

The idea behind the book is sound but just wasted in poor execution. The initial characterisation is ok too - but Conrad's & Jo's descent into 'madness' is too abrupt and not at all convincing. Take The Shining as a benchmark and this falls far short.

All in all I found this to be a very unsatisfying read and would not recommend it.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars what a disappointment, 4 Sept. 2009
By 
This review is from: The Birthing House (Paperback)
The cover looked great and the story looked great but what a disappointment. I did manage to read the whole book but then wished I hadn't wasted my time. I still don't really know what a birthing house is and only have a rough idea about what happened in the one in the book. The characters were poor and unrealistic, there was very little plot or substance and what could have been scary just turned out to be a bit peculiar. I usually pass on the books I have read to friends or family, I am reluctant to even pass this one on to the charity shop.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The Birthing House, 19 Jun. 2010
By 
This review is from: The Birthing House (Paperback)
I picked this book up because the cover looked good and reading the back of the book aswell. I must say I was quite disappointed.

Conrad has brought a house after his father has died and moved his wife Jo aswell with him. Jo goes away on a course and he is left on his own with his dogs. He makes friends with the neighbours and even has to babysit there daughter who is pregent while they go on holiday. Nadia who he is sort of babysitting has had dealings with the house in the past so she knows what goes on in there. Conrad starts to have weird things happen to him, also he keeps seeing and hearing things.

All the way though the book you asume it's about a haunting but when it finishes you just think what was that all about. I have since looked at some of the other reviews because I just don't get this book and I thought maybe it was me, but I'm glad I'm not the only one who just does'nt get this book. I won't be recommending this to anyone.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars I want those 3 hours of my life back, please, 7 Jun. 2010
This review is from: The Birthing House (Paperback)
Seriously. Give me back those house of my life that I wasted on this book. To me, this wasn't a novel about horror OR about marriage - it was a long-drawn-out midlife crisis with a few weird things happening in between and a rushed, unconvincing ending that left me wishing I'd burned the book for extra heat instead of attempting to read it.

I feel like the author took a lot of promising ideas and horror tropes and threw them down on a page and used that as the plot. None of the characters acted in a way that I would expect real people to act, and the only character I had the remotest bit of sympathy for was the pregnant neighbour. The idea of the haunted birthing house itself is a good one for horror - but it was poorly executed and I just couldn't enjoy any part of this book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars bad characters, bad plot, bad writing..., 24 July 2009
By 
Matheus Guimaraes (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Birthing House (Paperback)
I was tempted to give this one more star only because although I obviously didn't like this book if you paid attention to my star rating, at least I didn't put it down and manage to finish it. However, the fact that this feels like an accomplishment alone goes to say a lot.
First of the all, the only scary thing about this book is how bad the writing actually gets. It progressively degrades and by the time you reach the end section and the author attempts to draw you into the action and make use of what I like calling "active flashbacks" you just completely lose track of what the heck is going on and the writing becomes the biggest anti-climax of a story which already lacked any punch.
The worst thing about this book though has got to be the characters. Conrad and Jo's relationship is the stuff of either extremely adolescent fantasies or a deliberate artifact used to annoy the reader to extremes in order to create some kind of emotional layer in the story. If the latter is true,then it just simply doesn't work, as every time Conrad and his wife had a conversation over the phone I felt like I had to fight just that bit more against my reflex to put the book down.
In short, an extremely dissapointing book which makes you think twice about believing the "best-seller" claims of WH Smith book shelves by checkout counter.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars I have a grudge against "The Birthing House", 8 April 2009
By 
Louise Amkaer (Greenland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Birthing House (Paperback)
I have a grudge against "The Birthing House". I can't quite explain it, but the novel just doesn't cut it. It isn't the kind of novel that you read and forget; this is the kind of novel, that you get angry at - want to slam against a wall.

"The Birthing House" is the story of Conrad, who on a whim, buys an old Victorian house in Black Earth. He and wife, Jo and two dogs then relocate from L.A. Jo immediately leaves on a 8-week business trip and Conrad and the dogs are alone in the house, that is haunted in some way connected to fertility and the history of the house as a birthing house. A major role in the novel is the next-door daugther, Nadia, teenage and very pregnant.

The only positive aspects about this novel are the dogs (most sympathetic characters) and the eerie picture of the house on the front page.

My recommendation: choose something else to read. (Harsh but true).

Louise.
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25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Poor, 8 Sept. 2009
By 
H. O'Brien "obrienh" (Dublin, Ireland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Birthing House (Paperback)
So, I fell for it: like so many others here I picked this up because it 'sounded good' and because the first page was intriguing. Unfortunately this is a poorly written novel that is ultimately devoid of atmosphere. In spite of the presence of all the expected genre ingredients and a potentially interesting twist on the 'haunted house' scenario, it is poorly constructed. The characters behave in increasingly frustratingly abstract ways that serve the author's needs above the logic of the story. He seems keen to generate 'moments' and those 'moments' serve the thematic side of things, but the connecting scenes of characterisation and plot fail to sustain a sense of dread. It lurches between several different story elements none too elegantly, and then moves towards its conclusion in a self-consciously hallucinogenic register that really just shows the author has given up trying to hold it together. This is not a good read, and it becomes worse as you realise that he's not actually going to make it work, and by the time you reach the end you are likely to feel very silly for having fallen for the pitch. I certainly did.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Waste of good reading time!, 25 Mar. 2009
By 
G. Marshall "Gill" (Oxon, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Birthing House (Paperback)
After reading about 20 pages I had decided that I didn't like the writing style at all, and wasn't altogether sure where the writer was going. However, based on the blurb of the back cover and the hype surrounding this book I decided to persevere with it. I did manage to finish it and there were a couple of scenes which to say were mildly creepy would be stretching it! A few times it was confusing as to what was actually going on; was it real or was it a dream? Very weak storyline, with an appalling ending, leaving me completely deflated, not having a clue what was going on, and convinced I must have missed something crucial along the way. This being a debut novel, just one tip for the writer, 'don't give up the day job!' I certainly won't be rushing out to buy his next novel!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Time well spent., 15 Aug. 2013
By 
L. Jenkins (Swansea) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Birthing House (Paperback)
I bought this book a while back but never got around to writing a review. While buying his latest book I saw an advert for this and how many negative reviews it had. There are a few reasons for some of these.
This novel has been compared to 'The Shining'. How unfair. How many writers do you know that could compete with the likes of Stephen King, let alone with their first novel. Christopher Ransom has his own writing style which I found so compelling that I not only finished the book within a week, but I am also the proud owner of every novel he's written since. The novel is psychological rather than a slasher type horror, and as such relies on characters and atmosphere to tell the story instead of lashings of blood. Some people may find the slow pace boring, but for me it just added to the suspense.
If you love old-fashioned ghost stories then you'll love this, but if you are looking for something exactly like 'The Shining', may I suggest reading...erm...The Shining?
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Save yourself! Re-read The Shining instead!, 17 Feb. 2010
By 
C. Langsford (Plymouth, Devon) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Birthing House (Paperback)
Utter, utter pants. I struggled through this, which did have some mildly scary moments - the only reason it earns one star is because I heard clicking dolls feet after I read that scene, and also because I couldn't give minus stars.
I hoped the advertised 'twist' would make everything more clear - boy, was I wrong. it actually made the whole thing worse because I didn't understand AT ALL what the writer was trying to make us think. Surely a twist is supposed to turn everything you thought you knoew on its head - well this one just kind of confirmed all the build up. So not actually a twist at all. Just a really, really bad ending.
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The Birthing House
The Birthing House by Christopher Ransom (Paperback - 1 Jan. 2009)
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