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Usher's Passing (1984)

de Robert McCammon

Altres autors: Mira la secció altres autors.

MembresRessenyesPopularitatValoració mitjanaMencions
5001436,687 (3.84)15
Poe's classic tale lives on in this gothic novel of ancestral madness in the mountains of modern-day North Carolina, from a New York Times-bestselling author.   Ever since Edgar Allan Poe looted a family's ignoble secret history for his classic story "The Fall of the House of Usher," living in the shadow of that sick dynasty has been an inescapable scourge for generations of Usher descendants. But not for horror novelist Rix Usher.   Years ago, he fled the isolated family estate of Usherland in the menacing North Carolina hills to pursue his writing career. He promised never to return. But his father's impending death has brought Rix back home to assume the role of Usher patriarch--and face his worst fears.   His arrival forces him to confront a devious and impassive family and his vulnerable sister's slow descent into insanity. Stirring memories of the grim folktales born out of the surrounding Briartop Mountains and the terrifying legends of missing children, Rix knows that in the dark, twisted corridors of Usherland, that dreadful something he saw as a young boy is still there. It's waiting for him, as decayed and undying as the Usher heritage, and more depraved than anything Poe could have imagined.   This eerie novel by the Bram Stoker Award-winning author of Swan Song and Boy's Life is "a frightening pleasure" and a worthy tribute to the master who inspired it (St. Louis Post-Dispatch).  … (més)
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Es mostren 1-5 de 14 (següent | mostra-les totes)
I loved the Gothic themes in the book; McCammon is a guy who characterizes the spirit of Halloween. The middle of the novel is a great place to be, too bad the ending was weak. ( )
  Equestrienne | Jan 5, 2021 |
That certainly added some punch to the original story! I have to say that Usher deserved his fate.

McCammon is so much fun and easy to read. He's a great author for reading on the porch and avoiding all things real. *happy sigh* ( )
  authenticjoy | Nov 15, 2020 |
Just finished re-reading Usher's Passing and was thrilled to find out that this book is as creepy and fun to read as I remember. Highly recommend. ( )
  tattooedreader13 | Aug 27, 2020 |
So all in all I wish I had liked this book more. I loved Robert McCammon's other work I read, "Boy's Life". I thought this book would be more like that, instead it was not as engaging and I ultimately did not feel connected to one character in this book.

Usher's Passing starts off with an Usher confronting Edgar Allen Poe and how that man came close to revealing the secret of the Ushers. I got to the ending and I am still at a lost everyone how Poe was anywhere near the reveal that was the ending in this book. Anyway, we fast forward to present day with Rix Usher being visited by his brother Boone telling him that their father is about to pass away from Usher's Malady (the disease that strikes every Usher eventually and ultimately kills them) and he needs to return home to North Carolina.

The story segues back and forth between Rix and two other characters.

A secondary story is about a boy named New who is one of the mountain people who have lived near Usherland all of his life. After berry picking with his brother Nathan, we have New's brother disappearing with New realizing the so-called Pumpkin Man and his panther Greediguts (why oh why this name) stealing him away.

The third story revolves around a woman named Raven (get it, do you get it?) Dunstan who is looking into the disappearances of children near Usherland and also what are is the Usher family going to do when the patriarch Walen Usher passes away.

I think if McCammmon had stuck with one of these three to tell the story maybe it would have worked better. I honestly didn't like the character of Rix. I found him weak and judgmental of everyone else around him. He is so focused on not being anything like his brother Boone or his sister Kattrina, that he doesn't realize he is just like them in any manner of ways. Rix is a aspiring horror author who wants to write a story about his family so he can finally make a name for himself. Going home and seeing his family and beloved family servants has him wondering constantly if being in charge of the Usher billions would really be a bad thing.

Some of the secondary characters felt a little more developed, such as Edwin fared better in this book. But others such as Mrs. Usher, Mr. Dunstan, and New's mother were not very well utilized.

Weirdly enough I think the diary entries told from Walen Usher's mother point of view and also Cynthia Usher (Rix's great great grandmother) were better done. Sadly the book didn't dwell too much on them.

I definitely like magical realism in books, but everything surrounded the mystery of New and his family and other families that lived on the mountain did not make a lot of sense to me. I think that I would have liked it better if McCammon had not tried to over explain everything. Just let a thing be because of something unknown. I think that is why I was ultimately so let down by this book when I got to the end. When you get to who was behind all of the strings going on I was like, really? Okay.

Raven never felt fully realized to me as a character. There is no rhyme or reason why she is trying to investigate children's disappearances. Her total 180 on Rix in the end didn't make any sense to me at all.

The writing at times was pretty gruesome. At one point I thought I could almost smell the decay of Walen Usher's body based on all of the writing. I just wish things had flown together more. This was a long book and it felt like nothing really got going til I got to the 85 percent point in the book.

The setting of the house of Usher was done very well though. As was the so-called Lodge. I could see both of them in my head and everything took on a dark shadow due to it being autumn would most of the story took place.

I did feel letdown by the ending though. I think this was McCammon's read of a happily ever after. I think the reveals were not that great, except for the explanation behind the Pumpkin Man. ( )
  ObsidianBlue | Jul 1, 2020 |
When I first started reading this book, I thought it would be a historical fiction novel featuring Edgar Allen Poe and the Usher family that he wrote about over a century ago. It turned out to be set in modern day. I was hoping for historical fiction given that McCammon is terrific as an author in that genre. Having said that, Usher’s Passing did not disappoint.

It was an interesting and imaginative tale. In this world, the Usher family is one of the wealthiest in the world, with their fortune tied to the sale of arms. Rix Usher is the outcast of the family. He’s a horror writer (I imagine Robert McCammon put some elements of himself into this character). He’s vehemently against the family business but returns to their compound in North Carolina with his father dying. Although Rix doesn’t want anything to do with the family business, he wants to write an expose/history of the family in sordid detail. But what lurks beneath the surface is the supernatural and how the family has been able to achieve the fortune through ties with otherworldly forces.

There are some nice twists and turns in this novel. The main baddie here is the Pumpkin Man, a supernatural character who has been abducting children for decades. When the reveal was finally made about the Pumpkin Man’s identity, I was surprised. It was a well delivered set up that made sense in retrospect but caught me off guard. I thought there was good character development in this novel, with a good many memorable characters. The writing was strong and purposeful. The supernatural elements mixed in well with the parts that were grounded in reality. My only negative was that I felt it dragged in certain parts and could have used some trimming to make it a tighter story.

Carl Alves - author of The Invocation ( )
  Carl_Alves | Apr 26, 2020 |
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Nom de l'autorCàrrecTipus d'autorObra?Estat
Robert McCammonautor primaritotes les edicionscalculat
Reinert, KirkAutor de la cobertaautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat

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The Devil's Passing.
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To Michael Larsen and Elizabeth Pomada
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Poe's classic tale lives on in this gothic novel of ancestral madness in the mountains of modern-day North Carolina, from a New York Times-bestselling author.   Ever since Edgar Allan Poe looted a family's ignoble secret history for his classic story "The Fall of the House of Usher," living in the shadow of that sick dynasty has been an inescapable scourge for generations of Usher descendants. But not for horror novelist Rix Usher.   Years ago, he fled the isolated family estate of Usherland in the menacing North Carolina hills to pursue his writing career. He promised never to return. But his father's impending death has brought Rix back home to assume the role of Usher patriarch--and face his worst fears.   His arrival forces him to confront a devious and impassive family and his vulnerable sister's slow descent into insanity. Stirring memories of the grim folktales born out of the surrounding Briartop Mountains and the terrifying legends of missing children, Rix knows that in the dark, twisted corridors of Usherland, that dreadful something he saw as a young boy is still there. It's waiting for him, as decayed and undying as the Usher heritage, and more depraved than anything Poe could have imagined.   This eerie novel by the Bram Stoker Award-winning author of Swan Song and Boy's Life is "a frightening pleasure" and a worthy tribute to the master who inspired it (St. Louis Post-Dispatch).  

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