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Ash by James Herbert

Ash (edition 2012)

by James Herbert

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150879,725 (2.97)3
Authors:James Herbert
Info:Tor Books (2012), Edition: First Edition, Hardcover, 704 pages
Collections:2012 Reads

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Ash by James Herbert



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James Herbert has been one of my favourite author for many, many years. This book just didn't seem to flow like his others. ( )
  JohnAPriest | Jan 30, 2017 |
I can't figure James Herbert out. He's penned some very interesting novels (Nobody True, Creed, Others), and then other novels he's written seem dull and formulaic. I put Ash in the later category. Nothing much new or creative here. ( )
  exfed | Sep 3, 2014 |
Really enjoyed the concept of this James Herbert book... makes you wonder... could it happen?
  Joy.Burniston | May 26, 2013 |
I'm a horror fan, and everywhere I went this book was being advertised at me. I saw it on the tube, I saw it on YouTube... and when I went to Amazon, it was only 99p so I grabbed it. And boy was I disappointed.

I found out later that this was the third book in a trilogy, I don't think I missed much by not having read them.

I've not read anything else by this author, so I have nothing to compare it to, but it was pretty unbearable. It was actually worse than some of the free things I've read from Amazon, and that's a feat.

Instalove, in an adult novel. No explanation, nothing but twoo wuv from the instant they laid eyes on each other. With all of the play about how connected he felt to her, I thought it was a set up for something horrible and supernatural. How disappointed I was.

Some truly dire graphic sex scenes as a result. Sex scenes I actually skipped over whole paragraphs of because they were so goddamn boring.

A woman who had a night of Hot Lesbian Sex That We Can Discuss Endlessly But Really Only Wants Men (tm). A ragingly jealous, bitter, jilted lesbian.

Throughout the whole novel, I just thought David Ash was a wimpy idiot. Yes, he's supposed to be SO BRAVE with all his wandering and not being afraid of anything and talking back, but meh. He just seemed so lackluster, not like any kind of hero (which I'm sorry, if you're the lead in a novel, you're the hero, even if you're an everyman).

Delphine was SO PERFECT and yet SO PERFECTLY USELESS and as a result so flat it was painful. I didn't want to read one more thing about the woman. Their dialogue together was stilted to the point of being painful.

The premise was barely believable (really, this castle that rich people disappear into and no one ever hears from them again and this is just the done thing? No family or friends have anything to say about this? I know, I know, tragedy and criminals but meh. And NO ONE knows where it is, to the point that they try to "trick" him by driving around for ages before going there? Bullshit. It's a ginormous building, everybody and their mother is going to know it's there.). The name dropping drove me INSANE (Gadaffi? Really?).

And let's not forget the writing. This was at least a hundred pages longer than it needed to be, dragging where it should have been suspenseful and full of overly descriptive prose. Also, EVERYONE in the book, even the so-called high minded doctors continually referred to the people held captive in the sub-basement (in frankly appalling conditions) as "lunatics". Are we in 1976?

And do NOT even get me started on the antagonist (of sorts) and "The Boy". The person who invited the haunting was HITLER'S DAUGHTER. The Boy was Louis, son of Charles and Diana, born ridiculously early with serious health issues. Also, big freaking reveal - as soon as they say early on that he's a hemophiliac, you know it's going to be a royal with the way this has been going so far. And Diana's GHOST get's involved and helps them, then takes her son when he dies. HONESTLY. I nearly threw the book then, but it's on my Kindle.

There are so many other things I hated about this book, but frankly I don't even want to think about it any more.

Format: Kindle
Price Paid: 99p
Recommended: No
Value: overpriced
Will I Buy the Next: No power on this earth could make me ( )
  bloodofareptile | Apr 5, 2013 |
David Ash specialises in paranormal investigation, even though he is (paradoxically) more than a little sceptical about the concept. When he is asked to investigate weird-bordering-on-violent and dangerous happenings at Comraich Castle in Scotland, he feels a sense of obligation to take the case. The massive fees will more than bail the agency he works for out of the red and into the black for a long time. He is told very little about the inhabitants/owner, just that it is a kind of sanatorium (for want of a better word) for the very very rich and possibly famous/notorious. He signs a non-disclosure agreement, gets on a plane to Scotland, and almost ends up dead before he has even set foot in the castle. From then on, Ash digs and ferrets his way towards the truth, and a horrible truth it is too, involving the sheltering of many of the world's notorious war criminals and other tarnished political/important figures. Medical experiments, dark and terrible secrets, assassinations, use of unconventional drugs, and many cover-ups make this a castle to fear, plus its bloody past. One thinks of clandestine societies et al once the name Inner Circle is bandied about. One also fears Ash will not be able to leave once he has uncovered the source of the strange and now deadly phenomena. He does, but no one believes him. Despite the place literally crashing about his ears, Ash finds time to appreciate the beauty of the resident psychologist and uncover a Royal secret.

This should be a real page-turner, keeping the reader glued to each word. So, what's the problem? About halfway through, the whole story sort of falls apart. The theories/ideas behind the plot are fantastical and if the pace were speeded up, the reader would be on a roller-coaster horror ride. However, apart from a great start to the novel, the pace just slows down to the wading-through-treacle level and simply drags. Chase, fight, and hunt sequences that should erupt and sweep the reader into fast-paced action are too long and drawn out. I am surprised this book was not more ruthlessly edited. Page after page of running through a forest being chased by wild cats; more pages of creeping through spider-infested tunnels... it's too much. Although the idea of the castle being a shelter for the rich and socially/politically disgraced could work, there are simply too many war criminals, murderers, and African despots to make this angle credible. The Royal secret and use of the royals does not really work. Nor does the highly improbable Nazi connection between the source of the psychic disturbances and Hitler. The fantastic ends up being the unbelivable/ludicrous in some places, and there are just too many historical figures in hiding for this to work. The ending was also inconclusive. I was disappointed. I did expect a tighter, better-paced book, given the author's reputation. The author also seems to be fascinated with the grotesque in humans, both physical and mental. ( )
  FionaRobynIngram | Jan 31, 2013 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0765328968, Hardcover)

Deep in the countryside, ghost hunter David Ash is investigating a mysterious, secluded stately home. Reports from locals regarding strange goings-on make him think the house is haunted... But not even David Ash's long professional history of warding off evil spirits can prepare him for the shocking discovery that awaits.
International bestselling horror writer James Herbert weaves a terrifying narrative featuring his best-loved character, David Ash, the skeptical detective of the paranormal introduced in the UK number one bestsellers, Haunted and The Ghosts of Sleath.
Prepare to be chilled to the marrow…

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:16:51 -0400)

This book features one of Herbert's best-loved characters, David Ash, the sceptical paranormal detective, first encountered in "The Ghosts of Sleath" and "Haunted" both number one bestsellers. Ash is investigating a mysterious and secluded stately home, deep in the countryside. There have been reports from locals about strange goings on, they think it might be haunted... What Ash eventually discovers is truly shocking. Prepare to be chilled to the marrow.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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