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Banquet for the Damned by Adam L. G. Nevill

Banquet for the Damned

by Adam L. G. Nevill

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Decent horror writing. ( )
  turtlesleap | Feb 16, 2016 |
While I happen to sit on the side of the fence of readers who claim that horror is much more potent in short-story format, once in a while I run into a full-length novel that can throw a continually sustained chill down my spine. Banquet for the Damned did just that. Although it didn't give me nightmares or produce the sort of night terrors that some of the characters suffered in this book, the creep factor was intense enough to where I read it in one sitting -- alone, at night, wind howling outside, the perfect horror-read atmosphere. If the object of writing horror is taking the reader briefly into the zone of the worst that might possibly happen and letting him or her experience the fear, panic and hopelessness that abides in that space, well, Nevill's done a great job.

On the whole, I found Banquet of the Damned to be a disturbingly good occult horror read. There are no gimmicky creatures, the terror is manifested at times but for the most part cerebral, and the tension is sustained throughout the story, keeping you alert and ready for what might happen next. Nevill writes without going overboard in the telling, and The setting is inexorably linked to its already-charged historical atmosphere -- St. Andrews was once a place of religious martyrs, witchcraft and the cleansing of heresy ; Nevill has just added a new dimension to the already-existing history of darkness there. It works perfectly, from the dunes on the beaches to the dark Tentsmuir forests.

I'm not a reader who cares about instant gratification -- I'm very much willing to wait, especially in horror and in crime novels. Other readers have complained about the repetition of the night-terror scenes, but I thought they were necessary for raising the tension level right off the bat. Some have noted that Dante makes some really stupid decisions, and that is true, but my take is that in his growing state of disillusionment, he's kind of slow or maybe unwilling to grasp what's really going on. My issues with this book are in some of the characters: first Tom -- while you could argue that he had to be included as the first link in a chain of cause and effect as to Dante's current predicament, we really only see him through Dante's eyes without any real fleshing out, and I was totally unsympathetic and apathetic toward this guy. And when he and Dante have a fight and Dante begins to think about their relationship, the book gets a bit draggy while we have to go through the sordid backstory that I really didn't think added to the tension of the main story. Second is Hart and the way he speaks -- it is so stupid, having him refer to the women as "honey" -- sort of unrealistic for most modern American men.

But truth be told, I really liked this book despite the stuff that niggled at me, and I definitely recommend it when you want an old-fashioned story that will give you the willies for a few hours. ( )
1 vote bcquinnsmom | Aug 13, 2013 |
I wasn’t sure what to expect from Banquet for the Damned after learning that the author, Adam L G Neville, has written seven erotic novels under the name Lindsey Gordan. However, I was pleased to discover that this was fantastic gothic horror filled with dark brooding atmospherics and just perfect for a Halloween read. It’s set in St Andrews University, Scotland and the students are going missing. One of the professors has been communicating with the spirits and has unleashed the Brown Man who is preying on the students as they dream. They begin to suffer from night terrors that leave them powerless to cry out or move, and their eyes are filled with unimaginable sights. I loved Neville’s writing style, due to his masterful way of chilling the reader to the bone without having to resort to cheap shock tactics – although there are plenty of horrifying scenes in this tale! I look forward to Neville’s next offering. ( )
2 vote kehs | Nov 2, 2008 |
Imagine having nightmares, then imagine waking up from one, to discover that there’s something in your room with you.. and you’re unable to move. Now imagine waking up in a strange location, such as a beach or cellar, and being chased by that same creature. These ‘night terrors’ are starting to occur in the University town of St Andrews, and students are going missing.

Into this town come Dante and Tom, rock musicians who have hit bad times. Dante has been invited by his idol, Professor Coldwell, who wrote ‘Banquet For The Damned’, a book that had a profound effect on Dante. The Professor, however, is not quite what he expected.

Adam’s Banquet For The Damned is a chilling supernatural tale of the occult. This is a horror story that doesn’t rely on the sex and gore of some of the modern books, but rather presents a well told tale which reminded me of the more classic horror stories, from the likes of MR James and Edgar Allen Poe. Like all good tales, it facilitates the use of your imagination.

The various characters are well developed, being flawed and believable. The town is described as a place for students, but with a dark history - a history that is once again coming alive.

This is a tale that kept me hooked, wanting to know what was coming next, and what would happen to the various people involved. The ending, which often disappoints, was spot on, building to a climax, then ending on a satisfactory note. This is one to be re-read in the future, and I will be watching for more from this author.
2 vote michelle_bcf | Aug 1, 2008 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0753513587, Paperback)

Few believed Professor Coldwell was in touch with an unseen world—that he could commune with spirits. But in Scotland's oldest university town something has passed from darkness into light. Now, the young are being haunted by night terrors and those who are visited disappear. This is certainly not a place for outsiders, especially at night. So what chance do a rootless musician and burned out explorer have of surviving their entanglement with an ageless supernatural evil and the ruthless cult that worships it? This chilling occult thriller is both an homage to the great age of British ghost stories and a pacy modern tale of diabolism and witchcraft.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:20:28 -0400)

What chance do two visitors have of surviving their entanglement with Professor Eliot Coldwell, the infamous magician and disgraced author of 'Banquet for the Damned', with whom mere contact leads to involvement in an ancient mystery, an ageless supernatural evil and the ruthless cult that worships it?… (more)

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