Warning: This is an extreme horror novel. There is gore. There is bad language. There are scenes of a sexual nature. But hidden underneath it all is also a chilling story. Please do not purchase this book if you are easily shocked, disgusted, or offended. This book is not for you.
Would you give up your child if a stranger asked? No? What if they offered money? Still no? What if they threatened the rest of your family? Give your child up or lose your entire family in the most horrific way possible. What would you do? How would you protect those you love and at what price?
©2014 Matt Shaw (P)2015 Matt Shaw Publications
An ordinary family is up late one night, kept awake by the terrible storm, when there is a knock at the door. A stranded and wet couple ask to use the phone to call a recovery service for their broken down car. The family invites the in the strangers, who seem very taken with the five daughters of the house.
This is the start of what turns into a nightmare for the titular family. It escalates pretty quickly from the merely creepy to extremely nasty. And it’s pretty effective, mostly, to the extent that I was annoyed when work forced me to stop listening at a crucial point.One for fans of splatterpunk and torture porn.
There were problems however. The prose in general is a little clunky, with a constantly shifting POV - a more limited POV from one character would have made this a lot better. There’s quite a lot of repetition in the prose, the dialogue, even the violence. One eye-gouging is shocking; using it twice diminishes the effect.
The narration is very good. Chris Barnes’s steady delivery works well with the gruesome subject matter to the extent that he became almost invisible, serving the story and bringing the characters to life.
Overall, the story was quite fun, but could have been better – I most likely wouldn’t have read this to the end in any other format. The narration saved it, injecting character and compensating for a lack of care in the writing.
When I first read the story I described the pacing as a linear construction of tension followed by an exponential ride through a scene of madness, torture and gruesome acts of dispicable nature. Finally the story brings the reader to a chilling and slightly saddening conclusion that will leave you panting for breath. This pacing is not lost in the audiobook and you will find yourself stopping whatever else you are doing whilst the story takes hold of your thoughts.
Is this not a repeat of the above question? I guess I'll give another reason that I liked the tale. As a parent, this is more than a nightmare. I cannot imagine a day when I will ever stop worrying about my girls or ever stop experiencing parent guilt. You know, that feeling where your kids are stuck in your thoughts and you worry that they need something from you whilst you're not there. Many parents would say that they'd rather die than make any of the choices offered in this book. But what if the choices were 'horrible' or 'really horrible'? What if death wasn't an option put on the table? How would you deal with that situation? I defy any parent not to hug their kids tightly after reading this.
How do you make a Matt Shaw tale even darker? Get Chris Barnes to read it. His gritty scottish tongue amplifies the steadily dominating sense of dread that Shaw worked so hard to create. The mannerisms that Barnes gives to his interpretation of the antagnonist is terrifying. You really get a sense that the bad guy has no awareness of his own evil and has almost childlike thought processes. Think Marc Warren as Mr Teatime in 'The Hogfather' and you'll get what I mean. This was highlighted most when I heard the line: "Waste not, want not". Pure horrifying evil. I have never had the pleasure of experiencing a performance by Barnes before. However, based on this production, I'll be sure to try some of his other audio books.
I finally had the chance to find a quiet spot in the lab, put my headphones on and project strong "LEAVE ME ALONE" vibes to those sat around me. I have never had to stop what I was doing for an audiobook before. Having read the book previously, I knew what was coming and I wanted to experience how those sequences were performed. This is not a book you can dip in and out of. It'll grab you by the short and curlies and accelerate you into a gruesome scene of madness and terror. Do not listen to this story (at least the second half) in bed, unless you like insomnia.
My favourite audiobook of all time is Librivox's version of Moby Dick. This is a close second. Congratulations Shaw and Barnes; I rate you almost as highly as a classic work of literature. You should be very proud of yourselves.
A confession, My name is James Hudson and I commisioned this novella from Matt Shaw as a christmas gift to my wife, Cathy. I can forgive you if you believe my opinion is biased, heck, I'd think the same thing too. I have tried to approach this review as a fan of audiobooks who is new to the dark world of Shaw and Co. I just want to assure you that I have had nothing to do with this particular production and saved up my monthly credit when I heard it was coming out, to purchase the audiobook. Therefore, as a paying customer, I believe my opinion is as valid as the next person.
I loved the story and the characters. This could happen to you would you be prepared to give up your children to complete strangers?
This has to be the line "waste no want not" it just makes you shiver when you listen to it.
Chris Barnes is a awesome narrator he puts his heart and soul into all his audio books. He makes you bond with the characters and feel their emotions.
This book has made me think would I help a stranger? What would I do if this happened to me and my family?.
Great book brilliant story by Matt Shaw. A must for all horror fans.
Wonderful book Matt has the greatest ability to write awesome books this one is shocking and very moving showing the lengths people will go to to get what they want 5 star read
"Don't answer the door!"
This is another amazingly twisted book from Matt Shaw.
A nasty thunderstorm wakes the entire family one night, so they all gather in the living room to calm everyone down. A stranded couple sees the lights are on and decide that is the house to ask for help. Would you let them in your house to use the phone to call for help? Seems like the nice thing to do right? I can honestly say that I don’t think I will ever open my door to a stranger after dark again after listening to this book. This is every parent’s worst nightmare come true. And it’s not entirely unbelievable. Watch the news. You see tons of people who think they are entitled to something just because they want it. What is to stop them from believing they can adopt a child just because they ask? Do you think someone like that is going to take no for an answer?
Chris Barnes is easily one of my favorite narrators. He always breathes life into the story, and makes it a pleasure to listen to. He also narrates my favorite genre, so it’s a win – win for me :)
To me, the best kind of horror novel deals with situations that could happen in real life. My Family is one of those kinds of books.
During a particularly nasty thunderstorm, Jeff and Dawn show up on Cathy and James's doorstep after their car breaks down. James, being the nice guy he is, invites the couple into their home, allowing them to use the phone to call for help. The couple immediately shows an interest in Cathy and James's five children. Luckily, help comes soon enough and Jeff and Dawn head out. The next day, Cathy and James are approached by the two strangers who want to adopt two of their children because they can't have kids of their own. They try to convince the parents that five kids it's just too many. Of course, Cathy and James refuse the offer and that's when their lives take an unimaginable, dark, and twisted turn.
My favorite audio book narrator, Chris Barnes, brings this disturbing tale to life and his narration can only be described as chilling. His passion for narration combined with the intensity of the story comes through in every word, and the saying, "Waste not, want not" will never be the same again.
This is another excellent tale from Matt Shaw that combines a well-thought out story with excellent characters and scares you won't soon forget.
The best thing I can say is that Cris Barnes brings his usual excellence to the table in this book. Aside from that the book is slow to get on with itself and never reached anything close to what matts other books attained. Not even sure what went wrong to be precise, it just want very good.
"Great and just the right type of Morbid!"
Great Plot and great twists with the perfect ending! Great narrator who told the story well.
The storyline was pretty good....I believe you could encounter crazies, if you're crazy enough to open your door at midnight! The narrator was good also. My problem was the warning.... The book doesn't need it. It wasn't as bad as I thought it would be after reading the warning. It's pretty short too....but overall good for a quick read.
Lots of suspense, although the main characters made many mistakes. The bad guys were exciting. I kinda wished for a more triumphant ending. . I enjoyed listening to this audio book overall.
The story starts a little slow in the beginning, but the author has to introduce us to the members of the family. Then there is building some mystery and tension. When you get hooked up with the story, it really will take you to the thrilling part.
"Horror? I think not."
The story line made sense for a phyco but I have read much much worse so what is being hailed as horror is mild.
I received this free for an honest opinion
"Warning: This book isn't worth buying"
I expected big things from this book. I purchased it so save the credit on a short book. I wish I had saved the money to ball it up and throw it away instead. The storyline is original-ish but I didn't find it Horror-worthy. Skip this.
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