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The Twisted Ones

by T Kingfisher

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3792150,296 (3.87)23
"When Mouse's dad asks her to clean out her dead grandmother's house, she says yes. After all, how bad could it be? Answer: pretty bad. Grandma was a hoarder, and her house is packed to the gills with useless garbage. That would be horros enough, but there's more. Mouse stumbles across her step-grandfather's journal, which at first seems to be the ravings of a broken mind. Until she encounters some of the terrifying things he described herself. Alone in the woods with her dog, Mouse has to confront a series of impossible terrors--because sometimes the things that go bump in the night are real, and they're looking for you. And if she doesn't face them head on, she might not survive to tell the tale" --… (more)
  1. 20
    The White People by Arthur Machen (Jannes)
    Jannes: The Twisted Ones Is written more or less as an explicit sequel to Machen's story The White People
  2. 10
    The Red Tree by Caitlín R. Kiernan (sturlington)
    sturlington: Found manuscripts, rural settings, gateways to other places, lots of weirdness--these two go together.
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» See also 23 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 21 (next | show all)
Pandemic and staycation read. Not my usual genre, but a most excellent book, recommended by a sister. Read it on as dark and stormy day, with the ocean’s roar in the background. Will read more by this author. ( )
  bookczuk | Feb 12, 2021 |
I wish that the author's notes had been an introduction, giving me some clue that the awkward middle section of the story is based on a short story by Arthur Machen - in fact, the whole novel is a sort of updating of 'The White People'. I had never heard of Machen or his stories, so I just thought that the clumsy 'written account of a lost gothic narrative' stumbled across by the modern day character was a weak and rather awkward device. And the book kind of went downhill from there for me!

Copy editor 'Mouse' travels to North Carolina with her dog Bongo to clear out her spiteful old granny's house so that her father can sell the property. Granny was a hoarder and every room downstairs is crammed full of junk, blocking most of the windows and doors - a detail that I read far too much into! Out for a stroll to escape the clutter, Mouse finds a pathway to a 'bald', hilltops in the Appalachian mountains where no trees grow. Only this feature should be geographically impossible in the land behind Mouse's grandmother's house. Not only that, but the land is populated with eerie stone statues, like one found in her grandmother's garden. Mouse finds a journal belonging to her grandmother's second husband which talks about these very same stones and other spooky happenings - but over a hundred years ago, in Wales. Soon Mouse and Bongo are in very real danger from a hidden world.

I loved Mouse's droll narration, and her dog, and her task of clearing out mountains of junk belonging to a woman she never really got on with - but the journal totally killed the suspense of the story for me. I get that the author found the original short story fascinating and wanted to expand on the gothic backstory created by Machen, but I hate frame narratives. So - four star writing bumped down to three by being too clever for the benefit of 'astute readers'. ( )
  AdonisGuilfoyle | Dec 4, 2020 |
Melissa travels to Pondsboro, NC to clear out her grandmother's house after her death. Her relationship with her grandmother was complicated. The woman was mean, difficult and just....off. Turns out she was a hoarder, too. As she slowly starts to clear out the house, she finds her step-grandfather's diary and notices strange things about the surrounding woods. Weird rock carvings. Disfigured animals. Strange effigies. And the tapping sounds....always the tapping. Melissa -- Mouse to her friends -- and her faithful dog Bongo soon discover there are a lot more things lurking in the trees than just deer. Terrible, horrible things.

I live in NC. In fact, my house sits down in a quiet neighborhood with a dense stand of woods right across the road from our house. We live in the middle of town, but deer frequently come through our yard and bound across the street in front of my car. The hills around the small town where we live are covered with tall mountain trees. The forest is beautiful.....but also thick and dark in places. Perfect setting for a horror story. I kept comparing Pondsboro to where I live.....homey, southern people with some weird commune/quirky stuff going on. And.....some real evil crap hiding in the trees. Sucked me right in. To add to the creepy feel, I waited until it was dark outside and sat to read this book on my front porch. Each time Melissa saw something in the woods or Bongo bounded off into the trees, I looked across the road at the tall, dark woods and just let that "I feel like I'm being watched" moment sink in before I continued reading. Perfect!

I loved this story! Very creepy vibe and great suspense. The author said it was based a bit on an old horror story from 1904 -- The White People by Arthur Machen. I have never read this story....but I'm definitely going to find a copy!

T. Kingfisher is a pen-name for author Ursula Vernon, who writes children's books. While I have never read any of her books for kids, I'm definitely looking forward to more of her books for adults! This story was creepy, entertaining and quite scary in places (especially when I'm reading about the NC woods.....sitting quite close to the NC woods! lol)

**I voluntarily read a review copy of this book from Saga Press via NetGalley. All opinions expressed are entirely my own.** ( )
  JuliW | Nov 22, 2020 |
I was expecting horror, and The Twisted Ones does deliver on that, with a pervasive, folksy-gothic atmosphere and some seriously unsettling moments. I was not expecting such a fresh, sarcastic narrator voice and so much humor weaved into the story, but both only added to my enjoyment.

The story starts with our narrator, a thirty something (maybe forty something?) single woman called Mouse and her adorably dumb dog, Bongo, heading into backwoods North Carolina on a mission. Mouse’s mean and nasty old grandmother has died, and Mouse is tasked with cleaning out her home. She discovers that grandma was a hoarder, and begins trying to sort through the mess. In the process, Mouse discovers the journal of her also-deceased step-grandfather, which contains the quote above, and soon strange things start to go bump in the night. And look in the windows in the middle of the night.

I’m not giving away any spoilers, but suffice it to say the things that Mouse and Bongo encounter in the woods outside are terrifying, and the book has more than a few scary moments. The pace is fast, the book is surprisingly modern, the writing is solid, and Mouse is a fantastic character. I loved her wit and realness, and maybe most of all her relationship with her dog.

Speaking of the dog, can I just say how refreshing to was to know early on that the dog was going to make it? Hooray for horror that doesn’t kill off the pet, and double hooray for an author who will tell us that upfront. ( )
  sprainedbrain | Nov 21, 2020 |
I loved this book.

*All of the characters were well written. Special love for all the unseen characters! And Bongo.

*The plot twists were on target and made sense.

*The setting was creepy. A hoarder's house is a unique setting.

*The monsters were truly horrific. They started out as creepy and became worse over the course of the story.

*The writing is tight.

*The dialogue was believable. Lately I've been missing sharp, insightful dialogues. This book brought it back and made me love the main characters and truly care about them. They weren't just there to drag a clever story along.

*It had a solid background in folklore and legend. The author's note at the end was appreciated! ( )
  authenticjoy | Nov 15, 2020 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
T Kingfisherprimary authorall editionscalculated
Huber, HillaryNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stadnyk, GregCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For my own two daft hounds
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I am going to try to start at the beginning, even though I know you won't believe me.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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"When Mouse's dad asks her to clean out her dead grandmother's house, she says yes. After all, how bad could it be? Answer: pretty bad. Grandma was a hoarder, and her house is packed to the gills with useless garbage. That would be horros enough, but there's more. Mouse stumbles across her step-grandfather's journal, which at first seems to be the ravings of a broken mind. Until she encounters some of the terrifying things he described herself. Alone in the woods with her dog, Mouse has to confront a series of impossible terrors--because sometimes the things that go bump in the night are real, and they're looking for you. And if she doesn't face them head on, she might not survive to tell the tale" --

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