Deadfall Hotel Paperback – Apr 17 2012
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Tem's Deadfall Hotel makes The Shining 's Overlook Hotel look like Butlins. Eerie, disturbing and yet strangely touching, you'll check in but may never check out.' Christopher Fowler, bestselling author of the Bryant and May Mysteries and Hell Train 'Rasnic Tem is at the height of his powers with this effort.' Fearnet.com 'Steve Rasnic Tem is a school of writing unto himself,' Joe R. Lansdale 'Truly brilliant' Denver Post --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
About the Author
Steve Rasnic Tem is an author, artist, and poet. His works have earned him numerous international literary awards, including the World Fantasy Award. Joe R. Lansdale has referred to Steve as “a school of writing unto himself,” and others have compared his work to that of Ray Bradbury, Dino Buzatti, Raymond Carver, and Franz Kafka. Tem has long proven his understanding of the dark parts of the human soul, with books and stories that have earned him 9 Bram Stoker Award nominations (3 wins) and 7 International Horror Guild Award nominations (2 wins, plus one story nominated for the 2007 awards). Deadfall Hotel is the product of nearly twenty years of work.
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Full review at: http://drewrowsome.blogspot.ca/2014/12/saturday-funnies-john-kenn-mortensens.html
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Deadfall Hotel may not be for everyone, but if you like really good, stylized writing on the gothic/horror side, you will adore and love it. It's about a man who has lost his wife in a fire and his name is Richard. He answers a rather obscure ad in the paper for a caretaker of a hotel and is interviewed by a man named, Jacob. Richard takes Serena, his young daughter who is on the brink of teenagerhood to live in this very interesting place, the Deadfall Hotel. It's vague and sometimes more nondescript than I would have liked, but nonetheless, the hotel is enchanting and scary in its own way. There are creatures and people who live or come to stay in the hotel who would rather stay to themselves and sometimes they do mix in with Jacob, and Richard who is learning the ropes, and Serena. The lines blur and come back into focus and things get stranger and stranger and then come back into focus and that's how I found this book throughout. I am also sure it's worth another read. If if gets confusing for you as a reader, have another sip of wine and keep reading.
Jacob keeps a diary throughout the book and I really enjoyed his take on the happenings. He's been at the Deadfall since the sixties and he's used to the way it changes shapes and how certain rooms and areas open up and then go away. He's also used to the strange inhabitants that are sometimes more alluded to than uncovered entirely. There are some very strange visitors that one gets to know, shall we say a little more intimately, than others. I will let Steve Rasnic Tem tell you about them when you read the book, as I could not do justice with a description. There are also strange ritualistic things that need be done each year around the hotel and Jacob explains them to Richard in ways that say, 'they just need to be done,' and for good measure.
Then there is the underlying theme of dealing with loss and love and life and family. This book covers a gambit with expertly written prose. I don't know, but I learned to love it. It's well written and very different, which makes me think the book is like fresh air, well maybe not fresh because it is the Deadfall Hotel where nightmares and the like reside or go to....(well never mind). Think Kafka. It's really about going on your way in life, getting to the brink of something disastrous, coming back and getting on track again and hopefully, in the best light possible.
Deadfall Hotel is an atrocity of a hotel. At three stories high there is no uniformity of it whatsoever. Angles of walls and chimneys meet in odd ways that don't seem possible in any geometry of physics. The hotel is more of a giant who fell stone dead and is splayed haphazardly than a building that any planning was put into constructing. As fitting for a hotel as this, it's guests are of an equally disturbing caliber. Residence is never refused to it's living (and less than alive) patrons. The hotel and its guests are taken care of the manager -- Jacob Ascher -- who is looking for a replacement. This is where Richard Carter and his daughter Serena come in. They've been looking for a fresh start after their house fire which took the life of their wife and mother Abby. Richard jumps at the chance before he gives any time for second thoughts and soon finds himself installed as the new manager of Deadfall. Completely unaware of it's clientele and sometimes mysterious happenings, Richard is trained by Jacob on a need to know basis and before you know it some very terrifying events unfold. These are compounded by other troubles, such as his daughter reaching the tumultuous time of puberty and the arrival of a guest who looks strangely similar to a recently deceased Abby.
There are only six long chapters in this 301 page book, so you'll need to settle down for a read if you dislike ending a chapter midway. Chapters mostly seem to confine to one season and usually have their own adventure in addition to the overarching story which gives them an almost episodic quality. Don't expect an intense climax as you experience the mysteries of the Deadfall Hotel and maybe even one of Richard's own he's kept hidden. While this novel could be better, overall it's a good story that has many redeeming qualities and is well worth a gander. Especially if you tire of classic ghosts and zombies and want to take a leisurely horror-filled trip into the unknown of the spirit world and the dark, hidden corridors of the Deadfall Hotel.
Written by Tyler Reedy from Horror Novel Reviews. Horror Novel Reviews does not receive payment for reviews. All books are promotional copies.
Richard Carter and his young daughter, Serena, arrive at the hotel in the opening pages. They approach the front desk scarred and stained from recent tragedy. They are welcomed by Jacob, the current caretaker and the man who will “train” Richard as his successor. He will show him the ropes and rules to the hotel, a place where nothing is what it seems and even the most simple things can be dangerous.
Along Richard and Serena’s journey to accept and embrace their grief, we encounter a sinister old man and his lupine alter-ego, Dragon, the King of the Cats, disturbing housekeepers, and things that scuttle and bite. Meet the pool man, easily one of the most haunting characters I’ve read in some time.
Tem is quite masterful with his words. And even when the pacing and story become a bit slow, his language is hypnotic. The characters are rich and real. But the real star here is his cunning skill at presenting a feeling of loss and sadness. He has done this in several shorts I’ve read. The man can put that feeling of empty and sadness into words like no one else.
This is a novel about grief and what a heavy yoke it is to bear. About how it can be a many-faced monster that will devour your life, all aspects, right from under your nose.
It’s also about a creepy hotel with boarders who are not always human and not always nice. An utter joy to read.