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The Keep by [Egan, Jennifer]
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The Keep Kindle Edition

3.8 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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Length: 247 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Product Description

Review

'Egan has conjured a surreal and creepy contemporary horror story which eerily veers between reality and fantasy.'
-- Sunday Telegraph

`A novel boobytrapped with metafictional tricks and trap doors, it makes traditional gothic tales look positively homely in comparison' -- Independent

`A smart tale that is horror, fantasy and thriller, yet never loses its hold on the reader. A gripping yarn' -- RTE Guide

`This is one of those rare books that reminds you of exactly why you love reading. Full of wry reflections on communication, loneliness and the power of the imagination, it's so entertaining you'll forget to be impressed.' -- Daily Mail

Sunday Telegraph

`Egan has conjured a surreal and creepy contemporary horror story which
eerily veers between reality and fantasy.'

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 546 KB
  • Print Length: 247 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1439559279
  • Publisher: Abacus (21 July 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00550O0YM
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #218,299 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
'The Keep', Jennifer Egan's third book, is a cleverly written novel that conceals its true nature almost to the end. At the outset, it appears to be a modernised gothic thriller: Stephen King rewritten by an author of a more literary bent. As it develops, it becomes apparent that this first story is itself being told by an at first unnamed narrator, whose personal story then frames and comments on it. But Egan is far from finished. A third story emerges, within which the second story takes its place as an episode. The reader constantly has to readjust: are any of these stories fictional, or are they all to some extent real?

Egan is a sophisticated writer who is clearly familiar with the likes of Mrs. Radcliffe, but also comfortable with postmodernist and metafictional games. She presents her take on both with a light touch. As in older gothic stories, there is play with levels of reality, suspicion and threat. Ultimately, the author handles serious themes - drug addiction, prison life, guilt for past misdeeds, fear of growing up and growing old - with confidence and conviction.

Egan has since won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction (for 'A Visit From the Goon Squad') and her intelligence and subtlety certainly deserve to be taken seriously. I enjoyed 'The Keep' rather more than its prize-winning successor - possibly because I like the gothic mode, possibly because I had lower expectations. I suspect that readers will differ in their reactions depending on whether they expect straightforward thrills, or are prepared to be led deeper by Egan through stranger and less purely entertaining tunnels. On the other hand, readers familiar with the more self-conscious metafictions of Italo Calvino, Franz Kakfa and others may find 'The Keep' a little too postmodern-lite, and a little too American in its solutions.
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Format: Paperback
I thought The Keep was fantastic. Egan offers a unique and modern twist on the gothic novel. Egan is a skilled writer and the atmosphere in the novel is perfect – I had a sense of foreboding and uneasiness from page one. Egan manages to make shivers crawl down my spine at every turn. From the start I got a sense something was very wrong with The Keep, the mysterious Baroness and Howard and Danny’s relationship. Things take a sinister turn Danny falls (or was he pushed?) from the window of The Keep. I thought the second half of the novel after Danny’s ‘accident’ was much darker than the first half and slightly better written. I loved the strange and unsettling conclusion.

I loved The Keep and would highly recommend it.
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Format: Paperback
Far from the usual one dimensional horror story, this is a story of colliding and intertwined personal histories with a delicious twist at the end. Requires a certain degree of engagement by the reader, and anybody who has failed to get beyond Dan Brown level is probably going to be disappointed - but this is a surprisingly moving and thought provoking tale.
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By Martin Belcher VINE VOICE on 9 Jun. 2008
Format: Paperback
I found this story quite odd, it seems to jump from the main narrative with Danny the New Yorker visiting his cousin Howard in the castle somewhere in Eastern Europe and then quite absurdly jumps to the story of Ray back in the States in a prison.

Although I found some of the story quite thrilling and entertaining, especially involving Danny and the Baroness; I found the story rambles and jumps to such to an extent that I kept sratching my head with disbelief and re-reading several pages thinking I might have missed something important.

I was expecting something different and the ending left me feeling let down and thinking this novel could have been so much more.
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Format: Paperback
When I first picked up this book with its promise of the "creepy elements of gothic-castle novels" I expected a haunted castle, a brooding hero, a beautiful princess, maybe a vampire or two. What I got was a crumbling ruin, an imperfect protagonist, an ancient baroness, a multi-layered world and narrative within narrative.
The story starts with Danny fleeing some unidentified problem in New York to a castle in an unnamed European destination. There he intends to help his cousin Howard restore the castle and turn it in to some sort of hotel and retreat. There are unresolved issues between Danny and Howard, stemming from their childhood days and these cause Danny to experience a sense of mistrust and discomfort when Howard's presence. As we learn more about Danny, we discover that despite his obsessive need to be in contact with the world at all times (he even lugs a portable satellite dish to the castle to ensure that his mobile phone will work) he is a loner and struggles to communicate with people on an honest and open level. Even his encounter with the enigmatic baroness of the castle ends up in disaster, leaving Danny repulsed, disbelieving and even injured.
Just when we think we are beginning to get to know Danny, the scene changes to an American prison where the inmates are attending a creative writing course. It all seems to be clear at this point - Danny is actually writing a story about the castle, the baroness, etc. Perhaps it is autobiographical in nature - perhaps Danny really was at the castle, perhaps Howard really was his cousin. Regardless, it seems obvious that the story we have been reading is Danny's submission for his creative writing class which gives him some pursuit with which to while away the tedious hours in prison.
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