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The Damned Place

Narrated by: Daniel Caravetta
Length: 14 hrs and 13 mins
Categories: Sci-Fi & Fantasy, Horror
5 out of 5 stars (1 rating)

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Summary

A small town with dark secrets. A house hidden in the woods that holds horrors unimaginable. Four friends on summer break fighting off a group of bullies dead set on ruining their summer of fun. The little town of Winnsboro has buried its secrets beneath years of history and faded memories. But it’s about to be unearthed, releasing ancient creatures as a budding psychopath blooms.

Will they survive what comes for them - and possibly the world - or will the damned place end it all?

©2019 Chris Miller (P)2019 Chris Miller

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A truly terrifying read. Couldn't put it down.

There aren’t many books that scare me, I consider myself a “hardened horror reader.” But this one managed to do it. Every kind of horror one can think of. Sex, gore, violence, with a good bit of science fiction mixed in to it all. Jake Reece is one disturbed individual. I could write so much about him, but I’ll leave that for you to find out! Suffice it to say, he caused shivers to run down my spine and I was left asking, is there anything he wouldn’t do? The history of the house was the most terrifying part for me. That really was some scary stuff. The plot, characters and narration kept me on the edge of my seat. All of the above were brilliant. The history of the house was my favourite part, before the dramatic face-off. If you’re going to read this book, I’d listen to the librarian’s advice if I were you. “Don’t come crying to me when you need a nightlight…”

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Profile Image for Christopher Dowell
  • Christopher Dowell
  • 01-01-20

Amazing as a whole package, story could use work

I'll start with the good:

The performance that Daniel Caravetta gives is nothing short of amazing. I listen to a lot of audiobooks and can say that he is now among one of my favorite narrators based on this production alone.

He has a good range, reads dramatically while still being light and engaging, and performs great dialogue without getting too cartoony or overly annoying. He strikes the perfect balance between entertaining an informative. So I would say the audiobook as a whole is worth picking up just to listen to him.

All that said, the story itself has some pitfalls, but I'll go into those after getting through what all it does right.

One of the best things about this book is how it presents its ideas. The pacing and narrative all flow, with one exception, very well and keep you on the edge of your seat as you press on through this world of juvenile delinquents and blood-soaked beasts. The worldbuidling that is done through this process forms places in my mind I can actually imagine as real and how they function.

The descriptions of the pain, torture, and nightmare-inducing scenarios the kids in the book go through is done almost expertly, but there are some exceptions which I'll talk about later. In terms of the things that happen in the book, as in the story itself, it works very well and has a good ending where (spoilers) character deaths feel earned and like a cheap plot device.

Now for the not-so-good:

I'm not a fan of censorship, and there's none of that here, but some of the incest and underage sexual incidents verge on gratuitous. Part of me understands why the moments are in the story, but I think they would have gone a lot farther in terms of shock factor and additional creepiness by having less of it happen.

For example, there's a part in the middle of the book where a historical narrative is given to add some background to the story. A lot of the things that happen in it are meant to show a family's decent into complete depravity, but the number of incidents and how it occurs seems to happen to rapidly and intensely. Another describes one of the bullies dominating one of his family members, but it's brought up far too frequently to be effective as a narrative tool.

A few odd similes also took me out of the story. I can't think of any off the top of my head, but one was something to the effect of "they hunted for her like semen hunts for an egg," and that example isn't the only one of its kind. Odd word choices like "butt" instead of "behind" or "ass" kind of bugged me too, but I might be getting too nitpicky with something like that.

There is one part where a man is going out to fix a well pump for another guy, and the segment goes on just a little too long and doesn't have any place later on in the story. There are other examples of scenes that seem to go on for too long, or plot elements that don't go anywhere, but they don't detract from the story too much. They're just small things that could have worked better on the editing room floor.

Overall:

I hate that Audible makes it so you have to give star/number ratings for things. I feel like they don't mean anything and I spend more time trying to come up with what "the perfect rating" should be than I do on the actual review. That being said, ignore my star rating and pay more attention to what I've said. The nitpicks I have are more a preference, and the story is very much worth your time.

This is my first time listening to a book by Chris Miller, and after my time with this one, I think I'll read more. If his other books are anything like this one, I'm sure he'll have a good career ahead of him.

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  • Rowland
  • 23-12-19

Excellent read

I was apprehensive about taking on a 13 hour audiobook, figured I'd get bored and loose interest but boy was I wrong. The Damned Place was anything but boring. The characters were thoughtfully fleshed out and likeable and Chris Miller is masterful at being able to tell a story and give the reader visual details without being overwhelming in it's description. It's strange to use a word like eloquent when talking about a horror story but, as I was listening to The Damned Place I kept think to myself that Chris Miller is eloquent in his storytelling prowess.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Christy
  • 17-12-19

Damn Good

This was a phenomenal story! I really enjoyed the characters, could really feel their emotions & their experiences. Highly recommended!

3 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Joshua adams
  • 14-12-19

Full spectrum emotion wrenching horror. I loved it.

Where to start.. I have quite an affinity for horror, especially when the preternatural is involved. I have also read Chris’s other books and loved them so naturally I was more than stoked when this hit the ‘shelf.’

He really hit the ground running with this one. Unlike many typical horror novels written with little more substance than cheap flashbang and shock, in The Damned Place, the full depth and spectrum of the human experience is expressed. Thoughtfully scribed and totally riveting, the attention to even the smallest detail leaves the imagination wanting very little. I quickly became so immersed in this world of violation and revenge that I felt as if I could... no, should jump in and help save the day. I literally finished this book in less than a week. I could not shut it off. Still, I wish it wasn’t over.

I gave this book four stars (I would have done 3.5) instead of five for one reason alone. I’m a bit of a sensitive Catholic so the blasphemies and sexual content were a bit much for me. That being said, I absolutely cannot wait for Chris Miller’s next work. He is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors

3 people found this helpful

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  • TwiztidQueen17
  • 16-01-20

Wow, this story!

What can I say other than I loved this book! The story itself kept me hooked wanting to listen more. Daniel Caravetta did an amazing job narrating. His voices for each character, the emotion, such a great performance. Chris Miller's writing was descriptive and captivating. I don't want to say too much but that epilogue has me itching for the next book. Seriously such a great listen!

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  • Patrick Harrison
  • 27-01-20

Terrifying!

THE DAMNED PLACE has some of the most frightening scenes I’ve read in recent memory. Expertly written and superbly narrated. Fans of horror don’t want to miss this one!

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • justin
  • 10-01-20

Very disturbing elements infused with violence and

Some very disturbing elements involving children, gratuitous violence, torture, and incest infused throughout the story along with a healthy dose of pure horror. I enjoyed this book for the most part, but the incest and sexualized violence against children took me out of the story a couple times.

The other part that I found to be a bit strange was that parts of the narrative were clearly mirrored off of Stephen King's "It". The author even references a scene from sir Pennywise the clowns tale in which the bully carves his initials into poor Ben Hanscom's chubby belly. I will say that the Damned Place definitely takes a departure from King's original, and it was enough to make me forget about the blatant parallels long enough to finish and enjoy this yarn.

An interdimensional evil eating machine that lives to devour flesh is terrorizing a group of preteens in the Damned Place, and I recommend you take a trip yourself and see the horrific world, but buyer beware...it's not for the faint of heart, or stomach.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Kristine Prais
  • 05-01-20

Original? Not quite.

This is a COA horror book that, to me, is a mashup of IT by Stephen King and the Netflix show Stranger Things. The premise was easy to follow and the characters were fleshed out well. However, the story itself could have been shorter. The narrator did an amazing job and has a pleasant reading voice.

Some listeners like to be warned of certain scenarios, and this book does include incest, gay slurs, animal mutilation (thankfully not too much detail), rape, attempted rape, and torture.

1 person found this helpful

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  • adam walters
  • 28-02-20

Poor mans IT

Worth a listen but if you haven’t listened to IT Use the credit to buy the original.

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  • Denise Smith
  • 20-02-20

Very engaging. Amazing characters and narration

New to Audible and this book is one of my favorites. The characters development is so complete and rich that you have genuine hate or love for them. I really enjoyed the creatures and the descriptions of them and their interactions with the humans. The narration was exceptional and really helped to keep me hooked. I never had to wonder who he was trying to portray and it made them that much more individual.