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The Ceremonies [Mass Market Paperback]

T.E.D. Klein
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars A flawed masterpiece of atmospheric horror June 20 2006
By Daniel Jolley TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Mass Market Paperback
T.E.D. Klein entered the world of horror fiction with a great big splash when The Ceremonies was published in 1984. The novel was met with much critical success, being nominated for a 1985 World Fantasy Award and winning the British Fantasy Society award for best novel. Stephen King proclaimed it the most exciting horror novel since Peter Straub's Ghost Story. The Ceremonies really is a magnificent work of horror, but it is not for everyone. If you like action on top of action, you may find yourself bogged down and discouraged by this novel. At over 500 pages, it is rather long, and it can seem even longer than it really is to readers seeking quick thrills. Klein builds this novel quite slowly and tediously, creating an atmosphere of impending doom that grows in short increments from one page to the next. It is not the awful events that make this horror novel work; it is the atmosphere of dread and suspense. One cannot help but detect a little bit of Lovecraft in Klein (and not just because one of the characters is called the Old One), although both men's style differs considerably. The power that stands to be unleashed by the completion of "the ceremonies" described here is gargantuan, an awesome, world-destroying creature called up from the depths of the earth, a creature too ancient to even be labeled evil.

There are several storylines running through this novel, and their paths converge on only a few occasions, which is a facet of the writing that may bother some readers.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A landmark work of modern horror fiction Jan. 31 2000
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This book, as with its companion piece, Dark Gods, should have a permanent place on every horror/dark fantasy fan's book shelf. The disquieting atmosphere evoked by this book provides an inimitable reading experience that is unlike anything being written today by modern dark fantasy writers, the majority of whom seem always compelled to assault their readers with cheap, formulaic narrative. To appreciate this book you must have a natural affinity for the rich gothic literature of the 19th century and a sensitivity to dark, slow-moving drama. You cannot be a passive reader. This book is not a 'stalk-and-slash' thriller; its aesthetic merit is not found in its ability to thrill, but in its ability to inspire awe and a profound sense of disturbing unease. Read it as such and you will not be disappointed.
Other writers capable of producing brilliantly dark and disturbing prose include: Fritz Leiber, Thomas Ligotti, Thomas Tessier, and Steve Rasnic Tem.
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2.0 out of 5 stars More smoke than bacon Nov. 27 1999
Format:Mass Market Paperback
There is a ton of creepy atmosphere in this book, it is obvious to me that Klein is a connoisseur of the genre (probably appreciates Lovecraft). The characters were fine in my opinion, each unique. WHat I did not like at all was that after the slow buildup of the story I was expecting a really explosive climax that never materialized. Instead it seemed to me as if it all fizzled at the end. The author is quite good at keeping the disturbing and uncomfortable atmoshpere churning, but is appears as if he was reluctant in letting it all come to a close. So that ultimately the story has a very unsatisfying ending.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Worth reading March 27 1998
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This novel is kind of a paradox for me. I enjoyed reading it, and it held my interest. However, after finishing the book, I realized that not much happened. The plot was minimal, and although the characters were interesting, they were not particularly captivating. This being said, I still found this book memorable, and although I haven't bothered to reread the entire book, I have occasionally reviewed sections when other books remind me of them. Consequently, I can't decide if this is a good book or not. I will, however, tell you that if you are as affected as me by this novel, it is well worth reading
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1.0 out of 5 stars Like sands through the hour glass... Sept. 13 1999
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Originally a short story, "The Ceremonies" clearly suffers being expanded into a full-length novel.
While my interest may have held over twenty pages or so, there is no way around the fact that the story and characters are boring. Plain and simple. Chapters go by and you realize, "hey, nothing really happened that's different from when I started."
It is too bad because Klein is an excellent writer and there is clearly effort in his work. But I've been more scared reading travelogues.
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Format:Mass Market Paperback
The first time I read this book, I way lying on a beach in the sun, yet parts of the novel truly chilled me. Klein's book is clearly an homage to Lovecraft, yet his attention to detail, dialogue and setting create an often disturbing story with considerable immediacy. For someone who appreciates Lovecraft (as I do), Klein's ability to recreate the texture and depth of Lovecraft's better work makes this book compelling.
My only criticsim: I've been unable to find any other work by Klein.
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