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Apartment 16 Paperback – 2010

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Product Details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Pan Macmillan (2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0330514962
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330514965
  • Product Dimensions: 20 x 13.4 x 3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 322 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #531,625 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Rob on Aug. 6 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My wife enjoyed this book very much and is interested in reading more by Adam Nevill.
Arrived on time and in excellent condition.
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Format: Paperback
What lies behind the door of an empty apartment in an upmarket part of London? I loved this book. The lives of the two main characters - the night porter, Seth and the American 'heiress', Apryl - could hardly be more different,but they are bound together by the evil that lies in Apartment 16. The plot is pacy, scary and leaves you peering in dark corners with fear and trembling. If you read it just before you switch off yourbedside lamp, be prepared to pull your duvet way over your head.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 32 reviews
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Solid old-school horror story May 16 2010
By Steve Benner - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Adam Nevill has already established himself as a writer of classic-style horror with his 2008 novel "Banquet for the Damned". His latest outing, "Apartment 16", is equally spine-tingling and every bit as unnerving, and an absolutely compulsive read to boot.

None of the material here is particularly original but Nevill combines ideas and inspirations from a variety of sources -- the cosmic horror and mirror world ideas of H P Lovecraft; episodes and facts from the life and artistic output of Wyndham Lewis (especially his short-lived vorticism movement), the Bloomsbury set, plus the author's own experiences working as a night porter in apartment blocks around Knightsbridge and Mayfair -- to produce an intense blend of the weird and the disturbing from which he weaves a spine-chilling tale of obsession, possession and the looming presence of evil lurking behind the façade of the everyday world. The result is a good solid contemporary horror story, built on the classic horror tradition but not seeming in any way derivative.

Nevill's prose is top rate, almost poetic at times, and never less than highly atmospheric. In fact, I would go as far as to say that this is the first book I have ever read that feels to have been written in colour, so vibrant -- and visual -- is it. It would adapt perfectly for the screen. The story is well paced, escalating the tension and the terror steadily to a fast moving, adrenalin-inducing finale. My only criticism of the book is reserved for the very end; personally I found the ending curiously unsatisfying, inconclusive and something of a disappointment -- an anti-climax, almost -- after the sustained excellence up to that point. Also, looking back over episodes from the middle of the book from the vantage point of the close, I could not help but feel that some events were included more for their disturbing effects, than for any contribution they really made to the progression of the story.

These really are minor quibbles, however; overall "Apartment 16" offers a pretty solid horror story of the old school, guaranteed to make you reluctant to turn out the light at night, or to risk glancing in mirrors when you are tired. I suspect that you'll come to view some aspects and areas of London in an altogether new (and rather less savoury) light as well.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Subtle and creepy... Adam's best work yet! Aug. 7 2010
By Paul Campbell - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
In the movie `1408' Samuel L. Jackson's character asserts that the room of the title is "just an evil f**king room." Apartment 16, however, is not evil in itself, but it is imbued with it, and has been for fifty years, through the tortured and twisted paintings of its previous owner, the obscure and now dead artist Felix Hessen. And for those fifty years this expensive apartment in a luxury building in the heart of London has sat empty and brooding, its evil seeping out into the rest of the apartment building, filling it with shadows no amount of lighting can disperse.

Into this dim gothic domain enters Apryl, a young American who has come to sell apartment 39, which she and her mother have inherited from an old aunt she never met. And through aunt Lillian's diaries she discovers a catalogue of madness, delusion, paranoia and nightmares in its residents, all induced by the paintings of Hessen, residents who, in fifty years, have never been able to venture more than a mile in any direction from the building before becoming disorientated and ill . . . the only escape is death.

Meanwhile, when nightwatchman and aspiring-artist-down-on-his-luck Seth investigates noises coming from apartment 16, he soon experiences hallucinations, paranoia and ultimately finds himself becoming a channel through which new paintings are created - paintings which open up a gateway in apartment 16 to the Void.

This isn't simply a haunted English country manor transplanted to a city setting, for London is an integral part of the story - a character in itself - and in that sense Nevill brilliantly conveys a Thomas Ligotti-esque flavour of a city relentlessly grinding down its citizens. And the moments of hallucination and paranoia (especially the superb sequence with Seth in the supermarket) are nothing short of vintage Ramsey Campbell as the author presents mundane situations which become transformed when seen through the eyes of his deeply disturbed characters. There are shades of Clive Barker, too, not least in the descriptions of paintings but in Nevill's portrayal of what the old and selfish and money-twisted residents of the apartment building truly look like when the thin veil of reality is stripped away. And then there are wonderful moments of delightful weirdness, as witness the chapter featuring a group of people calling themselves The Friends of Felix Hessen!

With the arrival of such imprints as Quercus, Corsair and Corvus there is a sense of horror finally being able to spreads its wings once more beyond the ghetto boundaries of the small press. But if publishers want to find the next, say, Clive Barker then they're going to have to have the conviction to turn their writers loose and let them go nuts, to have the courage to allow their writers to achieve their full ambition. This second novel from Nevill is an excellent 4-star read - but I'm saving the 5 stars for when he's turned loose and writes his equivalent of `Imajica', for there is a forceful sense that that potential is there in Nevill, as it is also in Mark Morris and Conrad Williams: two other terrific writers in need of a publisher to take that big gamble. Only then will publishers see the genre once more breaking out.
10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
A little more disturbing than I thought it would be Aug. 30 2010
By Angela H - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
I ordered this book for my Kindle, and at first it seemed like it would be a ghost story or a typical paranormal story. A lot of the scenes involving the (bad guy) Hessen were really disturbing. It seemed like the author was describing what he thought hell would be like. I found those parts almost unreadable, but I had to read them to understand the latter portions of the book. All along I was rooting for Apryl, and hoping that Seth would become good again. In the end, Apryl made stupid choices, which seemed at odds with her personality. Up until then, she seemed pretty smart, and able to make good choices. It frustrated me that she turned out like every other stupid character in a horror scene. Seth didn't seem to be able to make his own choices, which bothered me because Stephen said he didn't want to kill anyone, and the ghosts left him alone. The book was definitely creepy, but the ending was disappointing. I was racing along reading the book, sure there would be a crazy ending, but it just ended up disappointing me. I say, read this if you are bored and like scary stories, but don't be surprised if the ending wasn't what you hoped for.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Creepy! Jan. 5 2014
By Terry Lynn Warner-Hurst - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed this book. It had great creep-factor...very atmospheric. Put on your MP3 player or a CD of Nox Arcana and read this book. I read it listening to an MP3 download from Amazon of a Thunderstorm and Rain. I recommend this book to anyone who is a Stephen King or Dean Koontz fan.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
No One Knows What Goes On Behind Closed Doors Nov. 10 2010
By M. J. Evans - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I'm always on the lookout for the next BIG SCARE, more so since the market has been flooded with defanged vampires and domesticated werewolves that have even less bite than my mother's toothless pet poodle. So when I saw Adam Nevill's Apartment 16, I snatched it up with the hopes of getting drawn into a creepy haunted house-type story. I didn't get ghosts. What I got was far worse -- in a good way.

Set in the heart of London, Barrington House is a grand old apartment building with a sinister secret. When Apryl's great aunt passes away, all of her worldly possessions, including her apartment in Barrington House, are left to Apryl and her mother. It is Apryl's responsibility to come to England and settle her aunt's affairs, sell off the belongings and the apartment, and then return home. When Apryl arrives, she is quite taken with the affluence of the building and quite fancies herself living there. She soon finds, however, that the beautifully maintained lobby is only a facade. The apartments within Barrington house have certainly seen better days if her great aunt Lillian's place is representative of the other apartments. It's obvious to Apryl that everything she has heard since arriving at Barrington House is true -- Great Aunt Lillian was not right in the head. It is obvious that the old woman was a hoarder, and she had an aversion to mirrors and pictures, as the walls are bare. There is evidence that mirrors and pictures had once adorned the walls as noted by the discolorations on the walls, but they have been taken down and put into storage. When Apryl discovers a series of journals written by her great aunt, it depicts Lillian's descent into madness, but there's more to it. Much more. And everything she learns leads her to Apartment 16.

Meanwhile, Seth, a porter who works at Barrington House is being haunted by a young boy who has seduced him into entering Apartment 16, an apartment that has stood empty for over 50 years, an apartment that the other residents of the building are convinced is haunted by its former resident, Felix Hessen, an artist who dabbled with the occult. What he finds within warps his mind and soul.

After reading the journals, Apryl is determined to find out exactly what happened to her great aunt, even if it means putting herself in harm's way. Will Apryl be able to discover Barrington House's secret and what happened within Apartment 16, or will she become just another victim?

Adam Neville weaves a tightly woven tale of mystery and the occult that is guaranteed to chill you. All the trappings of a typical haunted house tale are here, but Nevill warps it and takes it one step further, twisting it into something you don't expect. While I found some of it predictable, there was enough of a new twist to keep me reading. He has created characters that are believable in your typical horror story way in that you know the heroine isn't going to act in her best interest, but you fear for her anyway. Seth is a character you can sympathize with and hope that he can be redeemed before it's too late. Even the characters that you dislike on first meeting, the residents of Barrington House, become sympathetic as the story unfolds and you learn the horror they have lived with for the past 50 years.

As much as I liked Apartment 16, I did have two issues with the book. My first issue was with the pacing of the novel. The first half moved with excruciating slowness, but there were just enough questions raised to keep me moving forward. It's like that long climb on a roller coaster. Once you pass the halfway point, it's down hill at warp speed to a satisfying conclusion that made the first half well worth the journey.

My second issue was with Seth, as you never really know if an incident he keeps reliving in an event that actually happened to him when he was a child or if it is a memory planted by the powers of Barrington House. You get the impression it is an incident that he actually experienced, and if that is the case, he was destined for Barrington House from the time he was a child. It leaves you questioning long after you've put the book down.

If you are a patient reader, I would highly recommend Adam Nevill's Apartment 16. It's a creepy tale that will have you looking over your shoulder and jumping when you catch a glimpse of something out of the corner of your eye.

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