Meet Guest Adam Nevill

September 13, 2013 - 9:32 pm 2 Comments

On 21st September 13 at the Custard Factory Birmingham, SFF/Horror convention Andromeda One takes place with Guests of Honour Paul Cornell, Jaine Fenn and Rog Peyton. Here I want to introduce you to Birmingham based guest and horror writer Adam Nevill.

About the Author

Adam Nevill

Adam Nevill was born in Birmingham, England, in 1969 and grew up in England and New Zealand. He is the author of the supernatural horror novels Banquet for the Damned, Apartment 16, The Ritual, Last Days, and House of Small Shadows. He lives in Birmingham and can be contacted through www.adamlgnevill.com

House of Small Shadows
Author: Adam Nevill
Publisher: Pan MacMillan
Page count: 370pp
Release Date: 10th Oct 2013
Reviewer: Theresa Derwin

Touted as Britain’s answer to Stephen King, Adam Nevill has a lot to live up to. And thankfully he does. The most recent book of Nevill’s that I read, Last Days, was an explosively scary intercontinental voyage to terror and has stayed with me ever since. So it was with excitement and trepidation that I picked up House of Small Shadows. That’s the thing about Nevill; his work resonates with the reader in such a way as to be a living, breathing presence. In this new novel, Nevill expertly researches a number of areas, Victorian houses, taxidermy and dolls/puppetry, to bring the realistic aspects into play into an insightful ghost story.
Catherine Howard has been hired to value a umber of items in the Red House. Her first impression of this building, which has its own personality in the novel, , is that it is ‘enraged at being disturbed.’ Nevill works within the well established tradition of making a house the largest character in his work. The house only has two occupants; Edith Mason, the niece of an infamous creative puppet maker and taxidermist and Maude the housekeeper; oh, and about a zillion creepy dolls! On her way to the Red House, Catherine passes through Ellyll Fields, her old hometown, which has desperately tried to forget, being an adopted child who was bullied continually. Catherine also has a dark past, as does the village, because her childhood friend Alice disappeared and she was not the only child to have possibly been abducted. As a child, Catherine believed she saw Alice after the disappearance, insighting anger from Alice’s parents. Years later after much therapy, she accepts the various children she saw as hallucinations.
There is a wonderful Dickensian quality to this novel and the wizened wheelchair-bound Edith is a veritable Miss Haversham. This book is rife with history and the relevance of history, focusing on aspects of WWI as well as the taxidermy, which plays an important plot point. Catherine is also an honest character, flawed in many ways and unable to cope with many of life’s hiccups, but with the Red House, she finds a new challenge to face up to. Reading a novel featuring a female protagonist by a male author, there are normally gaps in the presentation of the opposite sex, but here Nevill nails it. Catherine’s idiosyncrasies feel real and her reactions are accurate.
In this novel Nevill continues to explore a theme he has used in a number of his previous books – art; beauty, the relevance of art to our modern world and life mimicking art in very scary ways. Amidst the symbolism and imagery is the recurrent sounds and sights of an ice cream van, a symbol of childhood. But Cathetine’s childhood was not one of fond memories.
In summary, this novel is chilling horror full of subtle scares in the vein of Wilkie Collins or Shirley Jackson; there are no bumbling monsters escaping closets. When the monster appears, it is truly terrifying and viscerally real. Nevill’s imagination is warped – but in a good way! A truly amazing book. His best yet.

2 Responses to “Meet Guest Adam Nevill”

  1. hollister Says:

    I adore your blog.. good colors & theme. Did you design this site yourself or did you bring in help to get it done to suit your needs? Plz reply and i’m seeking to design my personal blog and would want to know where u got this from.

  2. Theresa Derwin Says:

    I did hire someone to do it but they no longer do websites

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