Nailed by the Heart Paperback – 1999
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Top Customer Reviews
I enjoyed this one. Clark is very good at evoking a strong sense of atmosphere in his tales and at describing images that are frightening on an almost primal level. He brings to life the coastal fort and the creatures that pop up out of the water and fog to threaten it. I give the book 4 instead of 5 stars because it reads a little choppily in parts, as if it were perhaps edited badly, and because the underlyting theme of sacrifice comes across as a bit forced in places. It is still quite a creepy book.
His tight, well-crafted plot is fueled by terrific characters with which the reader can sympathize.
The plot revolves around an ancient curse that hangs over the English seacoast village of Out-Butterwick. The locals speak of an ancient god who periodically demands a sacrifice from the townsfolk in order to leave them and their village intact.
When the villagers become concerned that the Stainforth family coming into the community to repair and revive an old coastal "hotel" will anger the god with their plan, the plot really takes off. Soon, strange zombie-like creatures are spotted in the surf along the seafort and the family and villages must band together against the assault that ensues.
Without giving away too much plot let me just say that the rest of the novel deals with the townfolk's attempt to survive the onslaught. The Stainforth family is presented with the ultimate sacrifice with their lives and those of the villagers hanging in the balance.
Fans of Dean Koontz, Clive Barker, and Robert McCammon will certainly find a new star in Simon Clark. His novels are becoming more prolific here in the US, so enjoy!
The plot consists of a family who have invested everything they have, monetarily and emotionally, into an island sea fort off the coast of England. The sea fort it turns out, has a long history of mythical beliefs and the town that surrounds it is attracting people with addictions...deep, dark addictions. The family gets bits and pieces of the truth from the townsfolk.
A race of people called the Saf Dar are mythological warriors, they have aided in toppling some of the most famous governments throughout the ages. They disappeared awhile ago...only to be resurrected off the coast of this sea fort. They stand and stare from the ocean at the sea fort and its inhabitants.
Clark maintains the level of suspense by putting believable characters in situations that are interesting and vivid. The hints of what the Saf Dar are and how they can, or can't, be killed are slow in coming but pacing is not Clark's strong point here. He thrives on scenes and this novel is more about action than pace.
This is not Clark's best novel, that would be KING BLOOD, but this is a good introduction to American readers. Be patient with Leisure Books and pick up this one, then wait until they release the next Simon Clark book...you will not be let down.
I was extremely annoyed that every time a piece of information was about to be revealed, someone interrupted. Chris was about to show his wife the shells his son had given him, but she cut him off. His son was about to take him into the basement, and someone interrupted. It happens all through the book.
Chris is a terribly henpecked husband. His wife raises a finger and he knows to obey. His son is the typical horror novel kid: Smarter and more mature than his age. Why can't kids be kids?
The ending was interesting; this wasn't a horrible book. But it was frustrating getting to the end. Finally, maybe it was just that I got a copy from a bad batch of printed books, but virtually every instance of "Mr." and "Mrs." left off the period. It was very annoying. Overall, I felt this book was a *sacrifice* of my time.
Clark's writing is a quieter brand of horror that fills the reader with an incredible sense of unease. The setting of the novel is dank and foggy. The kind of place where you know that evil is lurking right around the corner but there is nothing you can do to avoid. The monsters that arise from the sea are so vividly described that it chills you to the bone. The characters, both main and secondary, are very vivid and well developed. The book weaves together several storylines and contains an intriguing mix of superstition, mythology and modern day fear. Clark builds a momentum of fear from page one that grips the reader and does not let go, even after the book is over.I originally read this novel as a British paperback and became and instant fan of Clark. I highly recommend this book, especially for a dark and stormy night. As an additional recommendation try to get your hands on Clark's other novels which are some of the best examples of modern horror fiction on the market.
Most recent customer reviews
Nailed by the Heart, Simon Clark's debut novel, is a gripping, visceral story of ancient evil and supernatural powers, which I found occasionally reminiscent of John Carpenter's... Read morePublished on March 21 2007 by A. J. Cull
I've read Simon Clark before (Darker, Blood Crazy). This book is better than Blood Crazy, but not as well thought out as Darker. Read morePublished on June 20 2003 by William M Miller
okay. writing style: good. and the descriptions here is really great. the plot: a family settles down on a place that used to be a sacred site in heathen times. Read morePublished on April 25 2003 by jan erik storebø
excellent horror writers. Clark is the latest in a long line of brilliant english horror writers. James Herbert, Clive Barker, and now Mr Clark has made it to the US of A. Read morePublished on Aug. 19 2002 by Darren Jacks
So far, I've read three of Simon Clark's other books and enjoyed them immensely. "Nailed by the Heart" is the most recent of his books and one of the most frightening. Read morePublished on June 7 2002 by FloozyFlapper1926
i have never read horror fiction beforehand except Dracula.i got this and read and found readable.if you say i dont give money for a writer i didnt know,borrow it from library. Read morePublished on May 4 2001 by fatih
Simon Clark who? I'd never heard of him but I'm glad I picked this one.
A hard-hitting horror debut that kept me up half the night turning the pages. Read more
When I picked this book up I couldn't wait to read it. I should have waited. I think this was the WORST book I've ever read. Read morePublished on July 27 2000 by BRIAN LAUCK