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The Red Tree

af Caitlín R. Kiernan

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MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
5292835,144 (3.74)22
Sarah Crowe left Atlanta and the remnants of a tumultuous relationship to live alone in an old house in rural Rhode Island. Within its walls she discovers an unfinished manuscript written by the house's former tenant - a parapsychologist obsessed with the ancient oak growing in a desolate corner of the property. And as the gnarled tree takes root in her imagination, Sarah risks her health and sanity to unearth a revelation planted centuries ago.… (mere)
  1. 20
    House of Leaves af Mark Z. Danielewski (ligature)
  2. 10
    The Twisted Ones af T Kingfisher (sturlington)
    sturlington: Found manuscripts, rural settings, gateways to other places, lots of weirdness--these two go together.
  3. 00
    Dreams Of Shreds & Tatters af Amanda Downum (questionablepotato)
  4. 00
    A Book of Tongues af Gemma Files (GirlMisanthrope)
    GirlMisanthrope: Kiernan's well-researched, thick and juicy prose reminds me of Gemma File's writing.
  5. 00
    Platons hule af José Carlos Somoza (ligature)
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» Se også 22 omtaler

Viser 1-5 af 28 (næste | vis alle)
This is not a book I would recommend to anyone; it was just so........mediocre. The writing is very good with influences of older classic horror. However, this novel relies so heavily on the melodramatic horror of love gone wrong and guilt that it will probably only satisfy readers who enjoy stories of domestic dysfunction. I do not. Books about relationships just don't hold my interest and I avoid them as much as possible. Kiernan is a talented enough writer to have kept me engaged with the story; but I was relieved when I got to the last page, and looking forward to whatever I intend to read next in hopes it will be a better experience. ( )
  Equestrienne | Jan 5, 2021 |
In many ways, this is an old-fashioned horror story drawing heavily on the traditions of the New England gothic established by Poe, Lovecraft, Hawthorne, and Shirley Jackson, as well as folklore and Native American storytelling traditions. The allusions are thick and heavy, and will keep anyone who's interested in following them up busy for a long while. The main character, Sarah, is a writer who can't write, renting a very spooky and inhospitable-sounding house for the summer, where she discovers an unfinished manuscript in the basement by the previous tenant who hanged himself, about a sinister-looking tree out back and the strange happenings connected to it. It's quite a rabbit hole to fall down (and yes, there are plenty of Alice references too).

Sarah is grieving her ex-girlfriend Amanda's recent suicide, which is probably why she can't write. She begins keeping a journal about her research into the manuscript and the tree. After a while, another tenant moves into the house, a beautiful younger painter named Constance who takes the attic room. Constance seems to exist solely to remind Sarah of things she'd rather not think about. And here I'm going to get very spoiler-y, so maybe stop reading now if you haven't read the book yet.

It is clear, at least to me, early on that Constance does not exist. Sarah has a lot of issues: she has seizures, she has periods of missing time, she drinks, and Constance simply does not make sense as a person. She is a stand-in for Sarah's dead ex and the guilt Sarah feels about it. Based on the way Sarah reacts to Constance, it is my strong sense that Sarah was an abusive partner to Amanda. This is just a supposition I'm making, but it feels right to me, and even though I liked Sarah's narrative voice, I couldn't empathize with the character very much as a result.

The story itself is often vague and sometimes feels overstuffed. The tree itself does not seem that frightening to me. However, that basement is genuinely disturbing, and the two scenes set there were the two creepiest parts of the book. I am usually not fond of the whole found manuscript story-within-a-story trope, but I think it rather worked here, although it was sometimes hard to keep track of which spooky story was which. For me, the most effective piece of writing was Sarah's short story inserted into the middle of the novel, "Pony," which was bizarre as hell but very affecting, and shed a lot of light on Sarah and Amanda's relationship. All in all, this is a hodgepodge: good writing throughout, a thorough knowledge of the gothic tradition on display, a couple of truly creepy parts, an entirely expected ambiguous ending, and yet a sense of dissatisfaction--really, that's it? After all that? ( )
1 stem sturlington | Feb 28, 2020 |
Somehow I didn't find this as unsettling while reading as I did at the end: I think because being a story, as it's told I'm expecting explanation and resolution to come at some point, but when you reach the end and it's explicitly telling you that's all there is, then you're left with trying to make sense of it yourself and... yeah that's pretty unsettling... ( )
  zeborah | Feb 4, 2020 |
Very creepy! In the end, I wish it had been MORE scary, but I did love her writing and her "intertextuality", as post-modernists like to say. She is well aware of the genre and the ideas she's exploring. It's very Lovecraftian and she must have mentioned Lovecraft at least 5 times in it. It's also a very easy read, and really compelling. I read it in three days. All I wish for is a greater, more horrifying impact at the end (following true Lovecraftian tradition). ( )
  xiaomarlo | Apr 17, 2019 |
Excellent horror novel. One could describe it as a Cthulhu Mythos work, but no prior knowledge of any Lovecraftiana is necessary to enjoy the book. The horror is built subtly and understated through first-person narration. Not gore porn.

This is the first horror story I've read in a long time that genuinely frightened me. ( )
1 stem piquant00 | Oct 20, 2018 |
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Caitlín R. Kiernanprimær forfatteralle udgaverberegnet
Mollica, GeneOmslagsfotograf/tegner/...medforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
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For Dr. Richard B. Pollnac and Carol Hanson Pollnac,

for making this novel possible.

In memory of Elizabeth Tillman Aldridge (1970–1995).

Sic transit gloria mundi.
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I have visited the old Wight farm and its "red tree," there where the house squats ancient and neglected  below the bogs that lie at the southern edge of Ramswool Pond.
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Sarah Crowe left Atlanta and the remnants of a tumultuous relationship to live alone in an old house in rural Rhode Island. Within its walls she discovers an unfinished manuscript written by the house's former tenant - a parapsychologist obsessed with the ancient oak growing in a desolate corner of the property. And as the gnarled tree takes root in her imagination, Sarah risks her health and sanity to unearth a revelation planted centuries ago.

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