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The One Safe Place [Paperback]

Ramsey Campbell
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Sept. 28 1995
A minor traffic violation leads to a deadly confrontation for Suzanne Travis with the violent Fancy family as her husband is beaten to death, her adolescent son is kidnapped, and Suzanne herself falls under suspicion.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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An American family in Manchester meets up with serious misfortune at the hands of a British family they accidentally run afoul of. Campbell is a versatile master of psychological horror: He is best known for his evocations of vague dread in protagonists whom you're never sure are completely sane, but in this novel he goes instead for clearly delineated, likable characters and intense encounters packed with emotional anguish. Campbell hits hard, and keeps on hitting. He actually scared this seasoned reviewer. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Taking a holiday from his usual supernatural horrors, Campbell (The Long Lost) delivers his grimmest novel yet, a thriller seething with outrage at a judicial system that makes victims out to be villains. The victims here are the Travises, American expatriates to England who run afoul of criminal lowlife Phil Fancy. After Phil is apprehended for forcing his way into the Travis home, events escalate tragically. Phil slips through legal loopholes with a light sentence. But Susanne Travis, a university instructor, is pilloried in the press for owning videos that violate Britain's tough censorship laws, and her husband falls prey to Phil's vengeful family. Equal horrors befall 12-year-old Marshall Travis, whom Phil's punk son, Darren, kidnaps and torments to win the regard of his relatives. Campbell is an expert at building terror subtly and indirectly. He brings an almost unbearable intensity to Marshall's ordeal by keeping the boy drugged, deprived of his eyeglasses and naively oblivious to the danger of the games Darren plays with him, including one excruciatingly suspenseful round of Russian roulette. Credible renderings of the inner lives of both boys, who seem like grotesque parodies of one another, and of the squalor of the Fancy household, give the story a suffocating sense of desperation. Ultimately, Campbell persuades the reader that the loss of innocence that Darren embodies and that he inflicts upon Marshall is more horrifying that any supernatural menace.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars UNFORGETTABLE! Feb. 13 2001
Format:Paperback
This book is deep and hard-hitting. It's like a trip to another world; an experience you won't soon forget.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent tale of urban horror. May 7 2000
Format:Paperback
This is a brilliant tale of modern horror that totally eschews any of the usual trappings of things that go bump in the night and instead focuses on the cruelty and nasty possibilties of everyday life. The death of one of the lead characters halfway through the book is pretty hard hitting mainly due to Campbells excellent descriptive technique, you almost feel as if you know the family. As with all Campbells novels you finish this book with the satisfaction of knowing you have just read a well written novel by an important novellist.
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1.0 out of 5 stars The book was horrible! Feb. 25 1998
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I absolutely HATED this book. I figured that since Dean Koontz recommended it it might be good. Where did Dean go wrong? This book was poorly written, made no sense, and was B-O-R-I-N-G. In fact, at about the halfway mark I went ahead and put the book back on my shelf. I didn't want to waste any more time when I could be reading a GOOD book.
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.5 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An understated yet hard-hitting look at real-life horror. Jan. 17 1997
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Ramsey Campbell has distinguished himself as one of the top award winners among all active horror writers and his latest, _One Safe Place_, only provides further evidence of his prodigious talent. In moving from the unexplained horror of the supernatural to a more realistic milieu, Campbell sacrifices none of the unsettling quality of his previous work. The book revolves around an American family, newly arrived in Manchester to open up a used and antiquarian bookshop. When the father unwittingly runs afoul of a local thug and his family, the resulting violence has long-lasting effects on both families. This is a haunting and sad novel with a very convincing look at what it must be like for expatriates attempting to start a new life in a foreign country. Anyone who has ever daydreamed of moving to England (a dream I must admit I've had) should read this cautionary tale. Campbell, unlike other horror writers on the bestseller lists, continues to grow and challenge himself as a writer, tackling new subjects and themes with continually superlative results. This reviewer can hardly wait to get ahold of a copy of his next book, _The House on Nazareth Hill_
2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent tale of urban horror. May 7 2000
By "madamebovary" - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This is a brilliant tale of modern horror that totally eschews any of the usual trappings of things that go bump in the night and instead focuses on the cruelty and nasty possibilties of everyday life. The death of one of the lead characters halfway through the book is pretty hard hitting mainly due to Campbells excellent descriptive technique, you almost feel as if you know the family. As with all Campbells novels you finish this book with the satisfaction of knowing you have just read a well written novel by an important novellist.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars UNFORGETTABLE! Feb. 12 2001
By Ponderous one - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This book is deep and hard-hitting. It's like a trip to another world; an experience you won't soon forget.
3 of 14 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The book was horrible! Feb. 25 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I absolutely HATED this book. I figured that since Dean Koontz recommended it it might be good. Where did Dean go wrong? This book was poorly written, made no sense, and was B-O-R-I-N-G. In fact, at about the halfway mark I went ahead and put the book back on my shelf. I didn't want to waste any more time when I could be reading a GOOD book.
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