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on 16 April 2004
This is the only book i have ever read that has truly scared the hell out of me. It changes the whole atmosphere of the room you are in, and sends constant shivers up your spine, even on repeated readings! The story flows very well. Every person i know that has read it finished in one sitting, they just found they couldn't stop reading it. it is a very shocking and gruesome story, but it is not graphic as such, your imagination fills in all those bits better than they could ever be written. it's just a shame this book is out of print, i think it would sell very well if re-released especially seeing as there are rumors of a movie being made, although i am a little sceptical of how true to the book it will end up. i shall leave you now saying only this, venture into naomi's room, i promise you will not be dissapointed
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on 30 December 2012
My love of Aycliffe's work began with his Book The Lost which I bought by chance simply because I liked the cover. I hurriedly began hunting his other novels down and enthusiastically recommending his work to friends. Very few authors write ghost stories and creeping tales of dread and terror as well as he does. If you like M.R. James then you'll probably like Aycliffe, though Naomi's Room does become a little more grisly as it reaches it's shocking ending. It is such a shame nothing new has come from his pen in recent years.
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on 20 July 2015
This book starts with an academic writing about the academic life in Cambridge University. He, like several thousand novel narrators before him, has written a thesis about Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. Then his daughter is snatched and killed and, by the end of the book, he is raping his own sister under the possession of a devil ghost. If that is a spoiler, then I make no apologies for it, because your response should be either a) that sounds revolting; I shan't bother reading that or b) Oh good, I love stories about demonic incestuous rape; I just hope I can get all that Sir Gawain stuff out of the way quickly. If you choose (b), then I wish you well with Naomi's room and I hope never to be locked in a dark attic with you.

The hysterical and absurd second half of this book is all the more disappointing because Aycliffe can clearly write - the description of the fateful trip to London that leads to Naomi's abuction is beautifully written and heart-rending. Even the pantomime villain is well researched and given a proper character. However, the novel just doesn't work. For a start, there is the dual, 'before and after' timeline, where the sections in the present are dull and take all the pacing out of the novel. In the 'present' section, every paragraph ends with a portentous 'but that was just the start of it' note, which is hokey for the first few times and then just laughable. Secondly, the character of Lewis, the photographer who serves as a plot exposition device, is nonsensical - the narrator treats him as almost omniscient for no better reason than because he is Welsh and a former alcoholic, as far as I could tell. Thirdly, when things start getting weird and things start to go bump in the night, none of the characters behave in any way rationally. The novel is (mercifully) short, but this means that the speed of unravelling is ludicrously fast and the timeline of when things happen and how the characters react to them makes absolutely no sense. Finally, (and I won't spoil it for any sister-rape fans out there), there is a revelation towards the end, thrown in so casually that it is as if Aycliffe himself is embarrassed by it, which is just so skull-crushingly stupid that I have spent several minutes investigating whether it is possible to give a book zero stars. Horrible.
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on 30 October 2013
I read this book back in the early nineties when I was in my early 20s, I read mainly horror and ghost stories then
and this book really stood out among the rest.
it was one of the most creepiest books I think I have ever read then and since.
I cant remember the story very well but I certainly remember the feelings it gave me.
I passed it on to my mum when I had finished, I don't think she liked it very much, FOR ALL THE RIGHT REASONS
now ive found it on amazon I will read it again and hope it has stood the test of time. (forgive me if it hasn't)

it was creepy, spooky, not gory. just a great ghost story. I certainly have not found many others since that have not
disappointed me.

I hope you will give it a try.
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on 25 August 2013
I first listened to this on audio cassette when my dad won it in competition years ago and found it very disturbing and scary.But then years later when i saw it on the kindle for 99p i thought i'd give it another chance and was not disappointed they was a lot more information about the characters.The horror of the story start off when charles take Naomi to london for the day while her mum at work it's christmas eve and very busy the last place they go is Hamleys toy store and while they watching a toy train going round the track and Naomi goes missing it is every person worst fear when they looking after a child.Then she get found but not how her parents wanted her to be found and this is when the true nightmare begins.It is one of them books that you can't help but read a bit more even when you can't believe what your reading and it take a long time after you finshed it for it to leave you.Has to be the scariest ghost story i've every read and heard in my life.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 3 January 2014
The first three quarters of this book were quite brilliant. It was a suspense filled ghost story to rival Susan Hill's "The Woman in Black" until suddenly it all went to pieces.
The beginning of the story is simple enough with the picture of a happy academic couple just approaching Christmas when their daughter is 4 years old. It all goes to pieces when their daughter, Naomi, disappears on a London shopping trip. Small clues from the start of the book start to take on a different meaning and all is very much not as it seems.
The author creates a very natural scene of a couple torn apart when they loose their only daughter. Strange sounds start in the house and pictures have extra people in them. This is all a very traditional style of ghost story which has brilliant suspense and leaves the reader not wanting to put it down. All the traditional ghost story props are there - photos, locked attics, things being moved & Jonathan Aycliffe really makes the most of them. He also takes things a step further with feelings of menace, overpowering hatred and lust.
Unfortunately the author is unable to sustain this level of writing and seems to go adrift in a big way. Instead of continuing the brilliant atmosphere and suspense of the ghost story it lurches into some sort of second rate horror story with mass murders and excessive descriptions of gore. In a matter of a couple of pages the atmosphere is gone and the reader is left feeling very cheated. Ghost stories should be full of suggestions and atmosphere so that the reader's own imagination takes over rather than descriptions of blood and gore.
I felt very cheated at the end of this book. The author could have arrived at the same ending whilst continuing with the same style of writing. There was no need to lurch into a second rate horror novel that didn't do his earlier writing justice. I really felt the writer let himself down. What caused this change - a rush for a deadline? The author ran out of steam? Who knows but it was terrible mistake on the part of the author and the publisher to allow this to happen.
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on 27 June 2013
A really creepy horror story. Spooky and haunting. The writer manages to build up great atmospheres of terror. The plot reveals itself at good speed, with great need to keep turning the page. I read this within 2 nights, hooked on it. The writing is well crafted and flows nicely. The writer is excellent at describing the hauntings, sending a chill through my bones.

However, I felt the ending was rushed, surprising and cliche all at once. It felt like maybe an easy way out to end it, even if it quite a brutal way to end it.
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on 3 January 2014
I bought this blindly for 99p. Having very little idea what I was about to read I started and was gripped from the beginning, or should I say 'for' the beginning. The first 1/3 of this book I would give 5 stars, the second, 4 and the final merely 3 which is what lowers my overall rating. Towards the end it feels like a different book. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed the whole thing but my enjoyment dwindled as the story went on. A good read, and well worth the 99p but not outstanding.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 4 February 2015
Ghost stories are not easy to write well. There is a reservoir of ingredients: isolated houses, children, dolls, mists, suspicious locals etc. which it is difficult to avoid calling upon. In today's secular society there is little serious belief in the supernatural, so that world does not evoke the fear it once did. All the more credit to Jonathan Aycliffe then that he succeeds in making us suspend our disbelief, while shunning many of the clichés of the genre. However, this is as much a horror story as a ghost story, or perhaps it would be truer to say that what begins as a ghost story becomes more and more steeped in horror.

As others, I found the first half of the book gripping, a real page-turner. Charles is a convincing character, a bit pedantic but a credible university don. From the opening scene in Hamley's, the tension is skilfully built up, the writing all the more effective for restraint. Although there are dark implications of various kinds, nothing prepares us for the savagery of the later sections of the book. If torture, mutilation and incest are your cup of tea then there is a feast in store for you. For me, these elements are not only repulsive but gratuitous and offer no sort of satisfying ending to what began as such a promising ghost story. Subtlety gives way to horrific brutality, nuances of suggestion to, crude accounts of unspeakable acts. The story has careered hopelessly out of control. Sad,for Aycliffe can write and hold the reader's attention without these abominations.
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on 10 March 2014
Wouldn't want to spoil the story for anyone who hasn't read it. I did, when i was about 19 and i've never EVER forgotten it. Yes the man can write, some of his other books e.g. The Vanishment were a lot kinder to my poor stomach. To be honest i'm not great on horror and prefer suspense to gore, however i found this horrific in a way i could not stand. The things done in this book were just nasty and although i know there are sickos out there who do these evil and twisted things i could not get entertainment out of it.
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