UNCLE MONTAGUE'S TALES OF TERROR by CHRIS PRIESTLY.
Edgar likes to visit his uncle in his house beyond the woods, and hear his stories. But one day Uncle Montague tells him a particularly chilling set of tales, and Edgar discovers the house is full of objects that appear in these ghastly narratives. How did his uncle come by such a grim collection?
But there is no time for answers. Edgar must return through those wood before dark ....... or are the answers OUT THERE?
........ Outer back cover.
FIRST SENTENCE (Chapter 1): The way to Uncle Montague's house lay through a small wood.
MEMORABLE MOMENT (Page 180): "Give me a funeral over a wedding any day," said Uncle Montague with a sigh. "The conversation is almost always superior."
KEEP IT OR NOT?: Probably not as though this is a good read I think I'll find it at its best on the first reading as it is the twist in the tale that makes it so special and to know that twist will, I believe, greatly reduce the magic that is Uncle Montague's Tales Of Terror. I will, however, be passing this on to Niece #2.
Having seen this recommended by several blogger buddies and, I confess, loving the cover (it has to be one of my favourites this year) I was tempted to buy a copy but alas the voice that is my self imposed book buying ban fairy whispered in my ear and I managed to restrain myself, that is until I saw it in a charity shop for the bargain price of 75p...... well, it was for a good cause.
The story of Edgar who, visiting his uncle Montague in his decidedly spooky home, is told 11 stories, all of which are scary and kind of sad, especially the last one which is Uncle Montague's own story - I found the reading of this needed two tissues.
Scary to varying degrees (I certainly wouldn't recommend this as suitable for younger readers), to be honest, I found the novel as a whole a bit of a hit and miss affair with some stories hitting the mark and others, well, not.
Kind of Gothic in tone, and relying heavily on a feeling of menace, each story has a connection with an artefact belonging to Montague (a pocket watch, a telescope, and a gilt frame to name but a few) and involves a child.
But best of all is the relationship that develops between uncle and nephew as stories are told, tea drunk and cake eaten. Wonderfully written, the atmosphere positively thickens as Edgar begins to wonder just how much truth is in the telling of his elderly uncle's tales, and just where did the artefact's come from?
And that's not all - also adding to this magical little book are the pen and ink illustrations by David Roberts. Beautifully crafted, they are simple and yet wondrous to look at, complimenting the book perfectly.