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Nazareth Hill by Ramsey Campbell
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Nazareth Hill

by Ramsey Campbell

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This one took a while for me to get into, I almost stopped at fifty pages where nothing had happened yet but a truly boring tenants meeting However, the setting of modern Northern England as written by a British writer had an inherent fascination for me.

Nazareth Hill is where witches once danced and where an insane asylum once housed them after witch hunts went out of fashion--and there are strange happenings going on there--ones witnessed by several people, particularly a fifteen year old girl, Amy Priestly. She's a typical teenager, in ways I could imagine being maddening if I were her parent: body piercings, shaved head, plays loud music, smokes marijuana, pigsty of a room, sullen and uncommunicative; her father has good reason for concern.

Yet the core of the horror of this book is how easily isolated and vulnerable Amy is, to his authority as a parent since she's not yet of age, as he becomes increasingly controlling and prey to a zealous religious mindset that may be influenced by the dark forces surrounding them. The tension between them and suspense becomes more and more unbearable to take as a reader, especially in those last hundred pages. Particularly, as with the reviewer below, I do find frustrating the kind of story where no one believes the protagonist.

This was well-written, literate, with characters that felt all too real--although be warned, it's also brutal and heartbreaking. ( )
  LisaMaria_C | Oct 22, 2010 |
While I know Campbell is an excellent author, this book didn't appeal to me as strongly as I thought it would. Yes, it is a haunted house book, but it was easy to see where the plot was going to end up. Most of the problem for me is that he did such a great job making most of the characters so unlikable that I didn't want to see the main character, Amy, have to put up with such icky people. It's a good novel, it just wasn't for me. If you hate it when people don't believe a character, this might not be the best Ramsey Campbell book for you to choose! :-) ( )
  alsatia | Jul 10, 2010 |
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Years later Amy would remember the day she saw inside the spider house.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0812539303, Mass Market Paperback)

"Must survive until they take me from this place." Scribbled in the margins of an ancient, moldy Bible, found wedged between the roots of a tree, is the truth about what Nazarill (now a luxury apartment building) was centuries ago. Sixteen-year-old Amy struggles to decipher the messages as her father becomes increasingly dictatorial, fanatical, and monstrous. This perfectly constructed, richly terrifying novel will satisfy even those readers who've been reluctant about Ramsey Campbell. As S.T. Joshi, award-winning scholar of weird fiction, writes in Necrofile, "Nazareth Hill will not be long in taking rank as one of the finest haunted house novels in literature, rivaling even Shirley Jackson's masterful The Haunting of Hill House.... With this novel [Campbell] has unified the many themes of his earlier work--pure supernaturalism; exploration of social and domestic trauma; chilling portrayal of psychosis--in a seamless fusion."

Note: The House on Nazareth Hill is the title of the Headline Press U.K. edition of this book.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:00:56 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

A tale of horror and the supernatural set in England. The protagonists are a man and his daughter who move into a refurbished building which used to be an asylum where inmates were regularly tortured. The pair become the target of ghosts and the father goes crazy, turning on the daughter.… (more)

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