Monday, May 16, 2011

The House of Lost Souls Book Review

Release date: 2007. Author: F.G. Cottam. Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton. ISBN: 9780340953860.

Annotation: Something dark and mysterious is haunting the Fischer House; something that lingers on long after visitors have left its walls. Prepare to be scared in this dark and spooky ghost story.

Personal thoughts: This is definitely a book for older teens or adults as it does get quite scary at times, but for those who can handle it, you're in for a treat! I loved the mix of history and fiction, they worked together well to make an excellent ghost story. Can't wait for F.G. Cottam's next novel, Dark Echo!

Plot summary: This ghost story follows the lives of those who have visited the Fischer House on the Isle of Wight off the English coast, those who have survived their visit anyway. The novel begins with Nick Mason, former military operative, who is deeply concerned for his younger sister. It seems that she and her friends, all philosophy students studying the paranormal, visited the mysterious Fischer House and encountered something so awful, one has committed suicide. Mason’s sister seems to have slipped into a perpetual state of paranoia bordering on hysteria, and the other students are following-suit. Seeking to solve the mystery behind his sister’s condition, Mason contacts journalist Paul Seaton. It seems that Seaton visited the Fischer House as a college student himself, and lived to tell the tale, though not without his own sense of unease and paranoia. Together, Mason and Seaton decide to uncover the truth behind what seems to be haunting the girls, and discover a horrifying tale dating back to the 1920s. As Mason’s sister declines more and more, the hunt to stop whatever is stalking her grows more desperate.

Review: British writer, F.G. Cottam, has created a dark, gothic ghost story in The House of Lost Souls that will appeal to adults and teens alike. The novel begins with a sense of foreboding and mystery: something terrible lurks in the Fischer House, something that drives anyone who visits the house insane with terror. After visiting the house, one of four college friends has committed suicide. The other three seem ready to follow suit. Trying to discover what it is that is haunting these students, as well as journalist Paul Seaton, enthrall the reader. The ghostly experiences of those who have visited the Fischer House, as well as the fact that the haunting continues long after they have returned to their normal lives, will appeal to teens. Fans of the horror/monster/ghost genre will enjoy the spooky happenings in The House of Lost Souls. One factor that makes the story appropriate for older teens is the lack of gore, language, or sexual situations that are often better suited for adult horror novels. Cottam prefers the psychological scare, and doesn’t need blood and guts to achieve his goal. Another factor that will appeal to horror fans is the presence of historical horror and occult novelist Dennis Wheatley as a character in the novel. The House of Lost Souls is an excellently crafted and truly creepy ghost story; one that is sure to be
loved by teens and adults alike.

Genre: Horror/Fiction, Adult-crossover

Reading level: Grade 10+

Similar titles: Dark Echo by F.G. Cottam

Themes: Ghost stories, hauntings, occult.

Awards/reviews: Positive reviews from Publisher’s Weekly, Financial Times, Lancashire Evening Post and Times Online.

Series information: None

Discussion Questions:

- Did you find this book to be scary? Why or why not?

- Do you think it's possible for locations to be "haunted" or "cursed"?

- Look up one of the famous authors or historical figures featured in the story. Relate how they real lives might impact their appearance in this novel.

- Do you think people still practice the occult?

No comments:

Post a Comment