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Wylding Hall (2015)

de Elizabeth Hand

Altres autors: Mira la secció altres autors.

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4794252,574 (3.86)27
This Shirley Jackson Award-winning novel is "a true surreal phantasmagoria . . . [a] gothic supernatural" horror story set in the decadent world of British rock (Chelsea Quinn Yarbro). When the young members of a British acid-folk band are compelled by their manager to record their unique music, they hole up at Wylding Hall, an ancient country house with dark secrets. There they create the album that will make their reputation, but at a terrifying cost: Julian Blake, the group's lead singer, disappears within the mansion and is never seen or heard from again. Now, years later, the surviving musicians, along with their friends and lovers--including a psychic, a photographer, and the band's manager--meet with a young documentary filmmaker to tell their own versions of what happened that summer. But whose story is true? And what really happened to Julian Blake?… (més)
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My wife recommended this book to me and boy, she was spot on! I loved Wylding Hall.

Wylding Hall is gothic/folk horror novella about a fictional acid folk band, Windhollow Faire, and the creation of one of their most revered albums. The novella reads as an oral history of a folk band that never was. It is also the history of a haunting. The band itself is haunted by a tragedy in its recent past as events open. A young woman, who sang in the band, is dead. The band is unsettled, and their manager books them into a remote and strange old house—Wylding Hall—for the summer. To write songs, to regroup. The place is golden, maybe even a little magic. But it's also haunted. And sure, they produce their most infamous album in the process of this retreat but at what cost? You see before they leave the crumbling estate, their most popular group member, Julian, will have vanished into thin air, never to be seen or heard from again. It’s the stuff legends are made of.
But, now the surviving members are looking back on those sessions and the weird atmosphere of the house, and speculate on what may have happened to Julian, revealing a supernatural tale of gothic horror.

This Shirley Jackson Award–winning novel is fun gothic supernatural horror story set in the decadent world of British rock. As a British folk rock fan myself (I enjoy Fairport Convention and Steeleye Span), I found the references to the acid folk rock movement to be well-researched and that was probably the most enjoyable part of this novella for me. The horror aspect is restrained but effective. Mostly the novella is an exercise suspended tension. It starts with a summoning and ends in a Christopher Nolan-esque moment of "did they really happen?"

An unusual, well-written, gothic/folk horror novella that hits all my buttons: acid folk rock, summoning spirits, hauntings, ghosts, Britain.

Now, if Tor Nightfire would get the rights to this one and reprint it (cause it is hard to get your hands on a copy of this). ( )
1 vota ryantlaferney87 | Dec 8, 2023 |
I really liked this until the end when it whiffed things in giving a sort of explanation but one that didn't really connect with any of the images and ideas otherwise brought up, and that sort of retrospectively made me rethink stuff and enjoy it a little less.

There's lots I really liked here - the early 1970s music scene conjured up has verisimilitude. The house is nicely sketched out and creepy. In general I really, really liked the atmosphere. One particular scene has old photos depicting a peculiar custom on the walls of the pub. For some reason that really resonated with me, pubs having old stuff on their walls that had some connection to local stuff but is barely understood now is common even today. There's a lot of just really nicely done detail to create a great atmosphere that feels very connected to British "folk horror" stuff even though almost everything is merely "sinister" than actually scary.

Nothing really gets explained - it's all about something inexplicable and how it affects a bunch of people. That's fine. I enjoyed that. But there is an attempt to provide a basis for some of it at the end - decades later a neolithic tomb is discovered under the house. Which... ok? It feels weirdly like bringing something concrete into something which doesn't need it.

Basically like, the best, creepiest images were around wrens. The walking into a room and there's suddenly all these dead wrens on the floor. Or when one of them walks into the room the guy disappeared in and finds wrens just flying in and committing suicide. The whole thing around that feels genuinely creepy and with the photos of the wren hunting tradition it builds into a folk horror thing - even if there's no explanation or understanding the images themselves are so good and there's the general atmosphere of "there's this ancient tradition of some kind relating to something Bad but as outsiders it's impossible to understand" that's really great. So that the girl is like, just some random girl except in a photo she had 2 sets of teeth or something? and there's no real explanation but also it doesn't really connect to the images is a bit disappointing... it feels a little disconnected. Idk. Basically I really liked it all along and then at the end I was just like ahhh if only this all tied together a little more, you know?

One thing I felt curious about was that right at the start the band members talk a bit about one of their ex-bandmates committed suicide or possibly was murdered? which felt like it SHOULD be important and somehow connect or parallel other stuff but I never felt there was any thematic resolution on that... hmm. It's quite possible there's some hints about stuff that I just missed and if you thought it through more there's a little more to the story. But I dunno. ( )
  tombomp | Oct 31, 2023 |
Read for a graduate Studies in Fiction seminar at CU Boulder.

I was absolutely blown away by this read. It was not only entertaining, but also beautifully written. I loved the author's approach to building horror and suspense while refraining from all the usual tropes of horror/haunted house. An echo of this haunting story has stayed with me all day - a sure sign that I've stumbled on (or been led to) something bloody brilliant.

Do give this one a read - and if you'd rather have a listen, the audio version of this is STELLAR. One of the best I've ever heard. Each of the novel's characters is portrayed by a different voice actor, and they do an amazing job of making the whole thing sound like they are giving interviews for a documentary! ( )
1 vota BreePye | Oct 6, 2023 |
Interesting story about a folk group (Windhollow Faire) in the 1970’s who go to an isolated old house (Wylding Hall) in the country because their manager wants them to get away from it all and concentrate on making their new album. This story is told in interview style by members of the band in present day, letting us know what happened all those years ago at Wylding Hall which led up to the vanishing of their charismatic lead singer, Julian Blake. Eerie and spooky at times, this was quite a captivating read. But I did have a lot of unanswered questions about what exactly happened to Julian and the mysterious girl, among other things, by the end of the book. ( )
1 vota SandraLynne | Jun 2, 2023 |
Daisy Jones & The Six-like format of band member interviews and looking back forty years or so. Subtle and chilling. ( )
  beaujoe | May 1, 2023 |
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Elizabeth Handautor primaritotes les edicionscalculat
Heacox, Neil AlexanderDissenyador de la cobertaautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
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This Shirley Jackson Award-winning novel is "a true surreal phantasmagoria . . . [a] gothic supernatural" horror story set in the decadent world of British rock (Chelsea Quinn Yarbro). When the young members of a British acid-folk band are compelled by their manager to record their unique music, they hole up at Wylding Hall, an ancient country house with dark secrets. There they create the album that will make their reputation, but at a terrifying cost: Julian Blake, the group's lead singer, disappears within the mansion and is never seen or heard from again. Now, years later, the surviving musicians, along with their friends and lovers--including a psychic, a photographer, and the band's manager--meet with a young documentary filmmaker to tell their own versions of what happened that summer. But whose story is true? And what really happened to Julian Blake?

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