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The Last House on Needless Street –…
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The Last House on Needless Street (vuoden 2021 painos)

– tekijä: Catriona Ward (Tekijä)

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioKeskustelut
583351,139 (4.15)-
Jäsen:hannahmck
Teoksen nimi:The Last House on Needless Street
Kirjailijat:Catriona Ward (Tekijä)
Info:Tor Nightfire (2021), Edition: 1, 352 pages
Kokoelmat:Oma kirjasto
Arvio (tähdet):****1/2
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Teoksen tarkat tiedot

The Last House on Needless Street (tekijä: Catriona Ward)

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näyttää 3/3
Thanks to Tor/MacMillan for an advanced readers copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I am not entirely sure what kind of novel this is, and I hardly know how to describe “The Last House on Needless Street” without spoilers. There’s a man, Ted, and his daughter, Lauren, and his cat, Olivia. And visions and flashbacks of the Ted’s dead mother and father.

The use of unreliable narration is one of the first things I noticed, and it’s brilliantly done. Ted makes it clear that he is dealing with mental challenges, and warns the reader early that he gets the past and present messed up.

It’s left to the reader to try to piece together the weird accounts of the three characters/narrators to determine who is dead and alive; who is real and imaginary. There are ghostly green boys in the attic and many children disappeared nearby, including a little girl named Lulu who drowned. Her sister, Dee, turns up to investigate Ted’s possible connection with Lulu’s death.

Red herrings abound, and at the end there are two huge twists which make this an entirely different kind of book than you think it is. I love it when an author makes you say at the end, “ohhhh that’s right. She didn’t exactly say that. She just made me infer it, and my inference was way off and so I missed the vital clue.”

Overall the book is extremely well done, the horror angle is original, and the creep factor is off the charts. The denouement was overly long and it was too foggy with all of the various narrators for the reader to get a clear view of every plotline that was being all sewn up at the end.

What was needed: more artful use of Detective Karen, who is shoved offstage when she really needs to walk onstage and, in a completely clear, reliable narrative voice, lay out precisely what has taken place. This would have better accomplished what the author was trying to do and eased the confusion for the reader. It was a smash in England, to be adapted by Andy Serkis and I expect an adaptation in which Detective Karen plays a much larger role. ( )
  jillrhudy | May 6, 2021 |
omg this book. OHMYGOD.
It is not what you think it is and it is brilliant!
The author says it best when she tells us that it is a story about survival disguised as a horror story; and what a story it is!
It is about Ted, Lauren, Olivia and Dee, and how their lives intertwine to mark them all forever.
I do not want to say anything more about the plot as I feel I could it give it all away; but this book will give you the creeps, make you laugh, feel rage and a sadness that will sit in your heart long after the book is done.
Read it. It might well be the best book of the year. ( )
  AleAleta | Apr 18, 2021 |
Ted lives in the last house on Needless Street. It’s windows are boarded up so he can no longer look out onto the forest that backs his garden. Inside the triple locked door Ted keeps his cat Olivia and his daughter Lauren safe from the outside world. But he can’t help thinking about Little Girl with Popsicle, a girl who went missing from the lake a few miles from Ted’s house. Dee, the girl’s sister, has never stopped thinking about Lulu. She’s honed in on Ted and is determined to find out what became of her sister. Truth will out, or will it?

I was immediately drawn into the story, intrigued by Ted with his idiosyncrasies and strange way of living. Depending on how you view him, he can come across as creepy, sinister or benign. Olivia, the cat, has her own chapters and it is a little startling at first to view the world from the vantage point of a cat. Lauren appears in her own narrated chapters later in the book. Each character has their own distinctive voice, each one giving a slightly different viewpoint of the story.

The story is narrated by Ted, Oliva, Dee and Lauren with some characters in third person and some in first person, a technical that allows a rounded tale, told from limited but different viewpoints. There are a limited number of characters who are given names. Those that Ted interacts with are christened with Ted names such as bug man his therapist and Chihuahua lady, one of his neighbours. All of this means there is a closed, almost claustrophobic feel so the reader feels as closed up as Ted’s house with it’s boarded windows and triple lock.

I had figured out what was happening and what had happened about half way through the story but this didn’t spoil the story, in fact it made me somewhat more invested as I raced to see how it would all manifest.

This is a great example of the skill of showing and not telling. The clues are all there, slowly introduced by fact or omission, even the street name takes on a different tone when the final page is turned. The reader has to hunt them out, reflect on what they’ve already read to find out where the story is going to take us. There is also a skill to taking difficult and horrific situations and diffuse care and feeling into the writing, so that the issues raised aren’t dealt with gratuitously. Catriona Ward manages to carry out this balance with aplomb. If you usually ignore the afterword in books, make this one your exception (though not until after you’ve finished the book as there is a spoiler in there).

There is so much going on in this book that it’s easy to slip up and inadvertently spoil the story for others which makes it especially hard to review. Sometimes you just want to say read it, and then talk to me about it, and leave your review at that.

The Last House on Needless Street has been called a horror novel or a gothic thriller. I didn’t find it horrifying or terrifying, though it is thrilling to read. To me it is a tightly woven tale, full of tension and intrigue, with the truth just dangled tantalisingly out of reach.

It sounds trite but this is story-telling at it’s finest. There isn’t a page where the story lags. Deftly written, intricate, absorbing, The Last House on Needless Street draws the reader into it’s web. It’s futile to resist it.

Highly recommended. ( )
  JanetEmson | Mar 31, 2021 |
näyttää 3/3
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