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The Possessions Of Doctor Forrest Hardcover – Large Print, 1 Jan 2012

3.0 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Charnwood; Large type edition edition (1 Jan. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1444809415
  • ISBN-13: 978-1444809411
  • Product Dimensions: 15 x 0.4 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)

Product Description

Review

'A thrilling Gothic 2.0... paying homage to a genre that [Kelly] clearly knows intimately and loves dearly.' --Times, May 14 2011

'In The Possessions of Doctor Forrest, Richard T Kelly has put his own original stamp on the [gothic horror] genre.'
--Financial Times, May 21 2011

'Richard T. Kelly's new novel is a rattlingly good yarn that wears a bloody Gothic heart on its sleeve.' --Metro, June 2 2011

'A very satisfying thriller... marshalled with a real feel for pace [and] character.' --The List, May 28 2011 --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Book Description

Dr Jekyll meets Dr Faustus in Richard T. Kelly's The Possessions of Doctor Forrest, a spine-chilling modern-day Gothic fable. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
This book was chosen for me to read by my local book club.

The overall opinion of the club was that this book wasn't a good read, and I was the only one to have a different opinion. I did enjoy it.

But, I have to admit that I haven't read any of the other books which this was compared to, such as Dracula, Jekyll and Hyde, Dorian Grey, Dr Faust. Maybe that is why I enjoyed it, as I couldn't compare it to the other works.

There were two downsides to this book, the first being the reason why I could only score it a 3/5. This was the diary entry style of writing. It didn't work for me. I really couldn't imagine people writing in that style in modern day. I doubt anyone would write multiple pages every day on what had happened to them. Also, as the writing style was exactly the same for each character, it sometimes become confusing which doctor was talking.

The second downside relates to Doctor Forrest and what actually happended to him. The rest of my book club had worked out what the twist was within pages of the book, some even by simply reading the blurb on the back of the book. I avoided reading it in case it spoilt the surprise, and as I was reading I tried not to work things out, and let the book tell me as we went along.

Overall, I don't think I would recommend this book to other people who have read the classics, but it could be good for someone to read that is new to this genre.
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Format: Paperback
This is a book that makes you check that you've locked the front door. And then, when you've turned off the lights, and you're ready to turn in, you go downstairs (somewhat nervously) just to be extra certain that you're safe. This is not because Richard T. Kelly's second novel is gory, explicit and soaked in blood: in fact its power lies in its restraint, in what's missing - but then consider the cliched truth that Hitchcock's "Psycho" grips and terrifies precisely because of its restraint. I've never been this scared by a book: it got into my head and hasn't shifted - and I can only recommend that you give it some space too.
It's a homage to, and an update of, the Victorian Gothic novel - and much more. The title suggests "Dr. Jekyll and Mr Hyde", but it also suggests "Doctor Faustus" and Dostoyevsky's "The Possessed" (or "The Devils", as it's often translated), and the novel is as rich in allusion and reference as the title, taking in Dante, Baudelaire, David Cronenberg and (it sometimes seems) every point in between. But this is no dry, academic pastiche - it is a proper page-turning thriller and horror story about friendship, love and the forces that control and "possess" us.
I can't do justice to Kelly's prose style: it's steeped in muscular, nineteenth century construction, but it's unfussy, clear and direct. His ear for dialogue is bang on and (unusually for this genre) his female characters are every bit as compelling and vivid as the men.
It's a thriller, so I won't go into the plot,other than to say that it twists and turns as satisfyingly and as unpredictably as one could wish. And it is properly frightening: this isn't campy horror cliches - this is Evil with a capital "E" and it's as irresistible, compelling and unforgettable as that sounds.
So: I can only urge you to read it. However the above might read, "The Possessions of Doctor Forrest" wears its learning lightly, and creates something dark, modern and terrifying from it. Brilliant.
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Format: Paperback
I had been looking out for Richard T. Kelly's new novel after being mightily impressed with his first, Crusaders, which was published several years ago.

The Possessions of Doctor Forrest is a very different piece of fiction, but no less impressive. Where Crusaders painted a broad canvas of modern life in North-East England in all its variety (social, political, religious), Kelly's new work is a much more concentrated piece - a dazzling, dark jewel of a novel.

Though Kelly is a devilishly good plotter, no novel can survive without a strong cast. The genius of The Possessions lies partly in Kelly's capacity to create complex, rounded characters: men and women with whom the reader engages closely, wants to understand, and cares about. These are not cyphers, placed on the page simply to advance the novel's scintillating plot, but living people, with all the anxieties, ambitions, doubts and contradictions that lie at the heart of the human experience. They agonise over their careers, worry about their marriages, fret about their fading youth, wonder where their aspirations have led them, and ponder their legacy in the world. They can be sensitive and heartless, cruel and compassionate, caring and brutal. They feel real.

And into this rich contemporary tapestry are woven older, darker strands - Gothic, certainly, but in many ways timeless. Though other readers have rightly cited the novel's Faustian theme, and its embracing of Gothic figures like Frankenstein, Dracula, and Jekyll and Hyde, the story goes right back to the first, mythic act of sin, when man surrendered to temptation, and lost his innocence forever.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
According to amazon's guide as to what makes a good review, one of the points is, "What would you have wanted to know before you purchased the product?". In the case of The Possessions of Doctor Forrest, I would have liked to have known how poorly executed the novel is. There is little distinction between the narrative voices, a serious flaw in a novel that relies on journal entries and letters for its telling. And while I have no difficulty accepting the supernatural framework, dialogue that reads like prose does nothing to encourage a belief in the world of the novel. Nor does a letter in which a mother writes of the death of her son, dwelling in absurd detail on the physical manifestations of his suffering, with nothing to suggest that this is a "real" person who has just suffered a tragic loss. It is at moments like these that exposition takes over from character. The one aspect of the story that could have been interesting if hinted at through the course of the novel is thrown away in the title itself. No scares, and no surprises. (Other than amazon insisting that I go by the name of "the tenant", and have published other reviews under this name. On the other hand, this is more mysterious than anything that takes place in The Possessions of Doctor Forrest.)
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