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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
The Thing on the Shore ....is very dark, gritty and very very readable. There are comic moments too. I think the descriptions of Whitehaven are as accurate as needed in a work of fiction and add realism (I live near Whitehaven and visit regularly). I would thoroughly recommend it and can't wait for 'The Ravenglass Eye'.
Published on 26 Jun. 2011 by Arthur Miller

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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Waste of a good idea
I really wanted to like The Thing On The Shore. According to his author biog, Tom Fletcher is still only in his 20s and lives locally to me; plus, I'm always looking out for new horror that's intelligent and well-written but also gripping and fun.

Unfortunately, The Thing On The Shore didn't really meet those criteria.

I did come away from the book...
Published on 26 April 2011 by Joanne Sheppard


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 26 Jun. 2011
This review is from: The Thing on the Shore (Paperback)
The Thing on the Shore ....is very dark, gritty and very very readable. There are comic moments too. I think the descriptions of Whitehaven are as accurate as needed in a work of fiction and add realism (I live near Whitehaven and visit regularly). I would thoroughly recommend it and can't wait for 'The Ravenglass Eye'.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant and bizarre but slow going, 25 April 2012
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This review is from: The Thing on the Shore (Paperback)
This book has some brilliant ideas and the descriptions are very vivid but the tendency to overdescribe makes it slow going.

What I found more horrific than the 'horror' was the depiction of call centre life, the depression of the characters and the way their jobs ruined their lives and the resultant escapisms and eccentricities. To me that's where it's real strength lies.
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Waste of a good idea, 26 April 2011
By 
Joanne Sheppard (England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Thing on the Shore (Paperback)
I really wanted to like The Thing On The Shore. According to his author biog, Tom Fletcher is still only in his 20s and lives locally to me; plus, I'm always looking out for new horror that's intelligent and well-written but also gripping and fun.

Unfortunately, The Thing On The Shore didn't really meet those criteria.

I did come away from the book feeling that the author showed promise. The three central characters, Arthur, Yasmin and Bony, were realistically unexceptional without ever being dull, and the setting - the bleak, blustery, unattractive stretch of the Cumbria coastline that lies in the shadow of Sellafield - is captured perfectly, with all its storms, seedy pubs and 'regenerated' sea fronts. Also brilliantly rendered is the corporate call-centre in which Arthur and Yasmin work, its employees being gradually worn down by the tedium of the daily grind and the endless soul-sapping pressures of targets and restructures. If anything, the real horror in this novel comes from the daily lives into which the characters have unwillingly settled. Because the real horror plot, for me, simply doesn't come up to scratch.

The general idea is that one of a sinister in-between world. Various explanations and hypotheses about this are bandied around, but they are vague and inadequate. This world itself is poorly and briefly described and its connection to the sea - which one might be forgiven for imagining to be in some way important to the story after reading endless descriptions of Arthur's mother drowning herself in it, Arthur and his friends watching the storms from the pier, Bony discovering a mysterious 'thing' on the beach and Arthur fishing for mutant crabs - is apparently arbitrary and seems to be largely forgotten by the end of the book. Artemis Black, attempting to access other dimensions on behalf of his sinister employers in between bullying and date-raping his staff, is an utterly unbelievable pantomime villain, and the end struck me as a rushed anti-climax.

Not much else happens, and what does happen happens mostly for very little reason. The Thing of the title is a red herring (not literally, of course) and seems to be an idea that the author had for which he couldn't think of a more interesting use. Most of the supporting characters are arbitrarily inserted, such as Arthur's manager, Bracket, and his pregnant wife, who seem to exist solely for the author to expound a half-baked theory about why people like Animal Crossing on Nintendo DS. Because apparently, Tom Fletcher likes gaming. I don't know this, of course, but if he doesn't, the lengthy descriptions of Super Mario Galaxy are a pretty odd thing with which to pepper his writing. I assume that by including them he is trying to say something about people allowing themselves, mentally, to enter 'other worlds', and there is some portentous discussion about Mario being able to jump into a pipe and emerge in another, parallel world-within-a-world which is presumably analogous to the central idea of the story. But for me, these passages just needed a damn good edit. They weren't the only thing that would have benefited from being slashed through with a red pen, either: I didn't need to read on three separate occasions, for example, that Artemis feels most at home and most powerful in the bland, soulless, corporate environments of chain hotels and generic offices.

I finished The Thing On The Shore feeling irritated. It seemed like a waste of an author's early promise, and read like a mish-mash of fuzzy-edged ideas and concepts that didn't quite gel together and didn't really have any clear resolution. The parts of the book that were done well were done very well indeed - but the rest? Sorry, but I can't say they worked for me. There were some good things in the book, but it just wasn't sufficiently cohesive to make for a good read.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Same problem as the Ravenglass Eye, 4 Feb. 2014
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This review is from: The Thing on the Shore (Kindle Edition)
This novel has a great concept, and is well written, drawing a clear picture of semi rural angst. But end fails to satisfy, a very bleak writer in all three novels.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Oh dear, 31 May 2011
This review is from: The Thing on the Shore (Paperback)
I picked this book up at a local book shop when needing to find some holiday reading.
The title 'The Thing On The Shore' instantly got my attention (as I enjoy a good horror) and i had already heard of Tom Fletcher as an up-coming horror writer, along with the info on the back i was sold. Unfortunatly the book didnt live up to expectations and I nearly didnt finish it a few times. But with no other books and time already invested i decided to finish it. For me there was too much misdirection and the parts i found intersting were never fully explained or followed up. The characters were not bad and the grim world of work was well done but i just felt short changed by the end. Disappointing.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 22 July 2014
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This review is from: The Thing on the Shore (Paperback)
great book for the money very quick delivery
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4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A real let down, 21 April 2011
By 
Gareth Wilson - Falcata Times Blog "Falcata T... - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Thing on the Shore (Paperback)
Being a lad from Haven I looked forward to seeing what Tom Fletcher would do with the town, likewise I was also interested to see how things would work out with the horror set in familiar locations. Unfortunately I did end up wondering if the author had ever visited. The locations which whilst technically correct had a lot of the inner details wrong, add to this a stereotypical villain that felt almost laughable in his evil almost moustache twirling schemes left me feeling that parts of this title were just that a joke.

Add to this what felt like poor description, bad prose and an overall arc that really wasn't anything more than a novella expanded to full novel length and I did end up wondering why he even bothered. There was so much more that could have been done such as the utilisation of the old Marchon facility and the author really sold himself short. A great shame to be honest.
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The Thing on the Shore
The Thing on the Shore by Tom Fletcher
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