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Cafe Doom  |  General Discussions  |  Book Reviews  |  The Secret of Crickley Hall, by James Herbert
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Author Topic: The Secret of Crickley Hall, by James Herbert  (Read 4090 times)

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Offline Ed

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The Secret of Crickley Hall, by James Herbert
« on: October 25, 2008, 01:58:47 PM »
I posted this review on Amazon a while back. Apparently 10 out of 16 people found it a useful review.

Hardcover: 600 pages
Publisher: Macmillan (5 Oct 2006)
Language English
ISBN-10: 1405005203
ISBN-13: 978-1405005203

The Secret of Crickley Hall:

I've just finished reading this 600 page doorstop, and I'm left feeling cheated, in the same way as a person might if they climbed a very big and boring hill, only to find it's raining at the top and the view is obscured by low cloud.

Lulled into a false sense of security by the author's reputation, I enjoyed the first 100 to 150 pages, stopping occasionally, it has to be said, to get a dictionary and look up a few ridiculously obscure words. Now and then I would cringe at a turn of phrase or a cheesy character trait, but for the most part I ignored the bad bits, because famous authors are allowed a few foibles. But, as the book dragged along like a legless 200lb labrador on an inclined velcro path, I found myself wondering how the hell James Herbert got this one past the editors.

It's awful.

The plot is as tired as a sleep deprived sloth. The characters are utterly cliched and just pawns of the story line. The prose is dull, over written, over stated and unimaginative. The book unfolded without any surprises - predictable at every turn. And to cap off the 500 odd pages of drivel there's a huge information dump at the end to bring this exceptionally bad novel to a speedy climax at a point just over 600 words.

I will never buy another James Herbert novel after reading this one. Terrible. Just plain terrible.
Planning is an unnatural process - it is much more fun to do something.  The nicest thing about not planning is that failure comes as a complete surprise, rather than being preceded by a period of worry and depression. [Sir John Harvey-Jones]

Online delboy

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Re: The Secret of Crickley Hall, by James Herbert
« Reply #1 on: October 25, 2008, 05:21:05 PM »
I came to the same conclusion - that of feeling cheated - by Herbert's novels some twenty years or more ago. I've read one more of his in all that time because someone told me it was the best book they'd read. It most certainly wasn't the best book I'd read. And from your review I gather things still haven't changed.

Yet... He's selling millions and I can hardly place a short story so I guess the laugh is on me.

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Offline Ed

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Re: The Secret of Crickley Hall, by James Herbert
« Reply #2 on: October 25, 2008, 05:30:13 PM »
Yep - it's bizarre, isn't it? I thought it was terrible, but if you look on Amazon there are a few reviews that make you think it's the bee's knees. Go figure :scratch:
Planning is an unnatural process - it is much more fun to do something.  The nicest thing about not planning is that failure comes as a complete surprise, rather than being preceded by a period of worry and depression. [Sir John Harvey-Jones]

Offline PaulH

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Re: The Secret of Crickley Hall, by James Herbert
« Reply #3 on: October 30, 2008, 06:07:17 AM »
I think if you're young, or haven't read any of his before, it's potentially quite good. Of course, I'm old, jaded and cynical and frankly couldn't wait to get to the end of it, just in case what I thought was going to happen didn't. Sadly, I was as about as surprised as I would be if it turned out a politician had lied to me.

Sad, as I grew up loving his early books.

Offline doolols

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Re: The Secret of Crickley Hall, by James Herbert
« Reply #4 on: October 30, 2008, 08:01:19 AM »
Sad, as I grew up loving his early books.
Me too, Paul. I loved "The Rats", and several others, but I got put off when he mentioned an author in one of his books - the brilliant author was called James Herbert  :pissed: I mean, how crass is that?
My name is Gerald, and I am a writer (practicing for AA - Authors Anonymous)

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