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Once...

af James Herbert

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7052332,356 (3.14)32
Remember the faery stories you were told as a child? Tales of tiny, magical, winged beings and elves, wicked witches and goblins. Demons . . . What if one day you found out they were true? What if, when you became an adult, you discovered they were all based on fact? What if you met the fantasy and it was all so very real? That's what happened to Thom Kindred. The wonders were revealed to him. But so were the horrors, for not far behind the Good, there always lurks the Bad. And the Bad had designs on Thom. The Bad would show him real evil. He would see the hellhagges and the demons. He would be touched by perverted passion. And corruption. And he would encounter his own worst nightmare. The Bad would seek to destroy him. And only the magic of the little beings would be able to help him. Once, James Herbert's masterful novel of erotic love and darkest horror, will take you to a realm where fantasy and reality collide, where faerytales really can come true.… (mere)
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» Se også 32 omtaler

Viser 1-5 af 23 (næste | vis alle)
Ah, here we are back to Mr. Herbert once again.

I have two more novels to go, and I'm truly looking forward to finishing his bibliography.

As for this one. This one I have to liken to a meal that went down okay, but then just didn't sit right with you, leaving you ultimately unsettled and unsatisfied.

There's several things that just didn't sit well with me.

The first is, there's not a lot of story here, and the pacing seems off, because the entire novel seems padded with extremely long scenes involving approaching a destination, walking through woods, dwelling on how much fear a character is feeling instead of getting on with the horror, sex, or massive info dumps on how this entire world of elves and fairies works. In between all that is a very thin plot.

I will admit that much of my problem with this novel is that I have zero patience with fairies and elves. It's not that it doesn't scratch my itch, it's that I have no itch to scratch when it comes to this topic. So, to be forced to go through pages and pages of Herbert tying himself in knots to explain how it all works (with a triple scoop of a lot of woo-woo semi-science gobbledygook) didn't help.

As per usual for a Herbert novel, men are described in the vaguest of terms, unless they're a major player, but every single woman is described from their hair, to eyes, to figure, to pert braless breasts, to legs, to what they're wearing, to precisely how stunning each and every one of them appears to the male characters. And then, because of that, you know...you just KNOW...that Herberts going to give you a long, gratuitous sex scene involving them.

But I've got to say, the lesbian sex scene in this book? Yeah, he probably drew that one out twice as long as most of his others.

And finally, this is more of an erotic fantasy novel than horror. Yeah, it's got a few horror elements, but overall? Nah, it's urban fantasy.

So, if you like fae, elves, and gratuitous sex? You'll love this one.

Me? I'll have forgotten it by this evening. ( )
  TobinElliott | Dec 10, 2023 |
No

Absolutely not.

The blurb to this reels you in. Do not be catfished by it.

I did not finish this at chapter 8 when James Herbert decided to add pedo content. Disgusting to say the least and really unnecessary.

It was going well up until the introduction to to the strange sexually appealing "nurse" showed up... then it quickly lost its interest.

The pedo porn part was the instant no for me. I don need to hear about a prepubescent "bald" girl fingering herself in ecstasy thank you very much.

( )
  Enchanten | Mar 12, 2023 |
RIP James. ( )
  sitting_duck | Mar 22, 2018 |

Once is an adult fairy-tale fantasy with bizarre sexual scenarios, a nostalgic touch, and gothic feel. There’s a whole bunch going into this one. The front of the book has stunning artwork for several pages too, and the author clearly had fun breaking up the classic “Once upon a time” line between pages, instead starting chapter one with “death.” This is one of those books where you get the bigger impact reading the beginning in book form rather than electronic.

The length is drawn out considering the storyline, which doesn’t hold enough scenes and action to justify page count. The writing style is beautifully done, complimenting the nostalgic and fantasy feel of the protagonist. I do wish less reflection had taken place, where a shorter length would have minimized the ‘dragging on’, spicing it up a bit.

Character wise, Thom is likeable with realistic dimensional, coming back home after a serious health setback. Hugo interested me because of his dysfunctional weaknesses and the villain turned out satisfyingly monstrous. I do wish more time had been spent about the grandfather. The elves and creatures in the forest were fantastical and intriguing, bringing the fairy tale element to life full force, and I liked the revelations Thom learned about himself and what the future holds for the land.

Sexual scenes are surreal and fit perfectly into the story, especially the erotic scene where he first encounters a main character. It shifts to another disturbing sequence that I won’t spoil here, but let’s just say that one ended up icky. There’s a few more sex scenes, including two characters you wouldn’t suspect, taking up nearly an entire chapter in length.

Overall the premise is good but there’s too much fluff to avoid getting bored sometimes. Characters are worthy of reading about, but you can only care so long in between something happening and characters ‘explaining things.’ The finale, with its flashy battle, worked. Pacing is too slow, but the atmosphere is rich and enshrouded with gothic fantasy. I expected more, perhaps some slimming down would have helped it, but it’s a decent book that stands out as unique.
( )
  ErinPaperbackstash | Jun 14, 2016 |
Tried to finish this, but I couldn't get through. Needlessly explicit sex scenes killed the action for me and whilst I understand they may have been necessary, the excess detail however was not. The book felt more like soft core porn and I wasn't really looking for that type of story. ( )
  Mephestophelesx | Sep 19, 2011 |
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'...there is enough (evidence of fairies) already available to convince any reasonable man that the matter is not one which can be readily dismissed...'
THE COMING OF THE FAIRIES
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
'...fairies are not tiny; they also come in medium (brownies) and full sizes (beautiful human-sized fairies)...'
THE COMPLETE BOOK OF DEVILS AND DEMONS
Leonard R. N. Ashley
'Fairy tales can come true
it can happen to you...'
YOUNG AT HEART
Johnny Richards and Carolyn Leigh
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Once upon a death, when life for Thom Kindred was fading fast and his inner eyes, the eyes that focused from his soul, were already dazzled by the shining way ahead (was the brilliance approaching him, or was he approaching it? he wondered in a curiously detached way), when his scant twenty seven years apparently were drawing to a close, something occurred that halted the untimely rush.
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Remember the faery stories you were told as a child? Tales of tiny, magical, winged beings and elves, wicked witches and goblins. Demons . . . What if one day you found out they were true? What if, when you became an adult, you discovered they were all based on fact? What if you met the fantasy and it was all so very real? That's what happened to Thom Kindred. The wonders were revealed to him. But so were the horrors, for not far behind the Good, there always lurks the Bad. And the Bad had designs on Thom. The Bad would show him real evil. He would see the hellhagges and the demons. He would be touched by perverted passion. And corruption. And he would encounter his own worst nightmare. The Bad would seek to destroy him. And only the magic of the little beings would be able to help him. Once, James Herbert's masterful novel of erotic love and darkest horror, will take you to a realm where fantasy and reality collide, where faerytales really can come true.

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