12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Careful layering of unease, unfortunately not sustained - SPOILER ALERT!,
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This review is from: Naomi's Room (Kindle Edition)
For about three quarters of this book I was swept up and admiring Aycliffe's ability to layer on unsettling, heart-pounding unease, in this story of a disappeared child. This was well-crafted, even M.R. Jamesian in its ability to unsettle and disturb the reader. Like some other reviewers I was unable to read this at night, settling for daylight hours only.
The story of a missing and then murdered child, and the investigation by her parents, particularly her father, and the sense of palpable, creeping, ghostly malevolent evil reminded me increasingly of The Omen [DVD] , particularly when some rather gruesome and visceral shocks began to occur.
However, what began well and was sustained and intensifying, with the child's parents and other investigators getting chillingly increasingly disturbed by what they were begin to unravel, then began to descend, quickly and in an overdone fashion into schlocky and savagely described horror; in fact, the story changed genres. For the most part, the book had felt 'realistic' in the way that the best ghost writers do, but the final Liddley unravelling, and the segment with Charles' sister felt gratuitous, slasher horror fest. Unfortunately the book then unravelled backwards for me, with the character of Laura, in particular, becoming less and less plausible, as aspects of her behaviour and interior landscape, slightly strange at times as I read, being revealed as rather crass plot devices.
The bulk of the book was product of a much more psychologically clever and restrained imagination than the last section, which felt implausible, rushed, and curiously, as if it had run out of steam, as the various carefully teased out threads were suddenly covered in buckets of overdone gore.
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Showing 1-6 of 6 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 1 Jan 2013 21:10:16 GMT
S. Ambrose says:
Thanks, I love true suspense and detest blatant horror and gore!
In reply to an earlier post on 19 May 2013 00:13:29 BDT
Naomi has some horror, but all in keeping with the work of that master of the ghost story, M.R. James. Much of James's work contains physical horror, and he was the primary influence on Aycliffe. Aycliffe himself sees his work as more in the ghost story than the horror genre. Even the last scenes in Naomi are peopled with ghosts, one of whom pressures the narrator to repeat some horrors of the past.
Posted on 18 Dec 2013 12:52:25 GMT
A. Linton says:
Yes I agree totally with this review.
In reply to an earlier post on 16 Jan 2014 14:31:23 GMT
He might see his work as "more in the ghost story than the horror genre", but in this case he's wrong.
In reply to an earlier post on 16 Jan 2014 15:03:47 GMT
Actually, I am Jonathan Aycliffe, and I maintain that the primary cause of fear in Naomi's Room is the presence of ghosts. The physical horror at the end is not the driving force behind the story, which should be obvious.
In reply to an earlier post on 24 Feb 2014 11:14:00 GMT
Last edited by the author on 24 Feb 2014 11:14:29 GMT
Well if you are indeed Jonathan Aycliffe,you are a good writer,but there are always people who dislike a book that most others enjoy,it happens with all Authors including people such as Stephen King and the late great James Herbert.......
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