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Apartment 16 [Paperback]

Adam Nevill
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent story Aug. 6 2013
By Rob
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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5.0 out of 5 stars Scary and Unputdownable June 17 2012
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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Amazon.com: 3.5 out of 5 stars  29 reviews
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Solid old-school horror story May 16 2010
By Steve Benner - Published on Amazon.com
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.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Subtle and creepy... Adam's best work yet! Aug. 7 2010
By Paul Campbell - Published on Amazon.com
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.
9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 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.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 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.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Ending (or lack thereof) cost it a star Aug. 28 2013
By Peter Fitznuggly - Published on Amazon.com
I'm not a big fan of drawn out descriptions or incessant self-questioning/internal monologue, all of with which Apartment 16 is heavily afflicted; the story could have been told in about a quarter of the space. Nevill is admittedly skilled at painting a vivid picture, but he frequently gets carried away by his own prowess. Many scenes, particularly those earlier in the tale, needlessly repeat themselves, characters having strange experiences over and over well after the point is made that unusual things are afoot.

These qualms are relatively minor next to the ending. The depictions of madness and loathing are intense in many places throughout the book and Nevill introduces some chilling ideas about what awaits us beyond the mortal coil, but the climax does not build upon either of these compelling aspects, nor is it particularly climactic. The final struggle is very brief and the protagonists are not threatened with anything the reader isn't already thoroughly familiar with - an egregiously missed opportunity, considering the long buildup and Nevill's competent imagination. Perhaps worse than this, nothing is resolved. No mention is made of the affects the ordeal had on the surviving characters, nor of the future of apartment 16.

I expect to hear the name "Adam Nevill" again, but in my opinion he hasn't quite hit his stride yet.
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