[[ download pdf ]] Once...Author James Herbert – Multi-channel.co

I grew up reading James Herbert, and I honestly consider myself a fan of his writing This was disappointing.Firstly, this isn t actually a horror story This in itself was not the problem as Mr Herbert has previously turned his hand from the horror genre, with the excellent Fluke being a prime example of this.The book is actually a fairy tale for the modern age Following his recovery from a serious stroke, the irritatingly named Thom Kindred returns to his ancestral home within the grounds of Castle Bracken Thom hopes to reconnect with old friends and forgotten memories He does this, but it comes with a cost.Thom soon discovers that fairies are real, and so too are other, darker things.This wasn t a terrible book, but it was padded with far too much descriptive prose, and the sex scenes my God, the sex scenes I m not in any way opposed to people getting their rocks off in literature, but this was littered with such scenes it began to feel as though they were there purely as further padding.Also, the wicked witch of the piece is continually refereed to as a wiccan A strange word choice for the antagonist.Overall, not a bad book, but not a great one either I d recommend James Herbert to anyone who enjoys horror, but I d advise giving this one a miss. I adored this I listened to it on Audible, so it took quite some time for me, but it was so very good I must say I have not read anything like this from James Herbert It was not the typical horror I am accustomed to, it is really a fantasy book with lots of fairies, witches and the like It is also very sensual, which I was not expecting either Totally worth the time if you get to read it I recommend it for sure, it was a breath of fresh air and as always I love his writing style. Once is an adult fairy tale fantasy with bizarre sexual scenarios, a nostalgic touch, and gothic feel There s a whole bunch going into this one The front of the book has stunning artwork for several pages too, and the author clearly had fun breaking up the classic Once upon a time line between pages, instead starting chapter one with death This is one of those books where you get the bigger impact reading the beginning in book form rather than electronic.The length is drawn out considering the storyline, which doesn t hold enough scenes and action to justify page count The writing style is beautifully done, complimenting the nostalgic and fantasy feel of the protagonist I do wish less reflection had taken place, where a shorter length would have minimized the dragging on , spicing it up a bit.Character wise, Thom is likeable with realistic dimensional, coming back home after a serious health setback Hugo interested me because of his dysfunctional weaknesses and the villain turned out satisfyingly monstrous I do wishtime had been spent about the grandfather The elves and creatures in the forest were fantastical and intriguing, bringing the fairy tale element to life full force, and I liked the revelations Thom learned about himself and what the future holds for the land Sexual scenes are surreal and fit perfectly into the story, especially the erotic scene where he first encounters a main character It shifts to another disturbing sequence that I won t spoil here, but let s just say that one ended up icky There s a fewsex scenes, including two characters you wouldn t suspect, taking up nearly an entire chapter in length.Overall the premise is good but there s too much fluff to avoid getting bored sometimes Characters are worthy of reading about, but you can only care so long in between something happening and characters explaining things The finale, with its flashy battle, worked Pacing is too slow, but the atmosphere is rich and enshrouded with gothic fantasy I expected , perhaps some slimming down would have helped it, but it s a decent book that stands out as unique. The problem with Herbert is, to my mind, that he has always tendedtowards slasher fic than true horror Oh, and the porn Dear gods The porn I mean, I liked him when I was a teenager and still thought that Iron Maiden s Eddie was just the coolest thing ever, but as I grew older I came to realise that a chainsaw wielding maniac and some explicit passages about blow jobs do not a horrifying story make Once declared itself to be a fairy story, of sorts I don t know how it came to be on my shelf, but I knew I hadn t read it, so I thought what the hell.Either it was ghost written or my inner grammar goblin has grown hungrier as I ve aged Spelling mistakes Grammar mistakes Punctuation mistakes Quotation marks missing in the strangest places It was almost as if it had been written by Stewie from Family Guy with occasional help from Quagmire.Language issues aside, I m sure that the explicit sex in Herbert s earlier work wasn t so, well, gratuitous I don t need 4 pages of our hero watching an undine masturbate Really Nor do I need almost an entire chapter describing how TEH EEEEBIL WITCH called a Wicca in this, which I m sure will delight all the Gardnerians in the audience conducts lesbian drug rape on the physiotherapist explicit example redacted.No, no, and no And, lest we forget, the entire plot resolves around the Messiah trope, played absolutely straight and by the numbers Right down to being loved by the birds and bees, and dear gods, he s a carpenter If that weren t enough, it s explicitly stated that he is just like Jesus.The prose is shoddy, the story tedious, the pseudo philosophical ramblings risible To put it simply, this is one of those books that acts as discouragement to the aspiring writer, because you realise that the only way you ll ever be a bestselling author is to produce absolute dreck. James Herbert OnceI don t often get the opportunity to review a book which I really didn t like At least not since college and assigned reading lists I m not beholden to others to do my reviews so I generally try to pick books which I think I ll like and I can stop reading if I don t like it Mostly though I do finish books once I start them and even on books that star off rocky I usually find something redeeming in their pages.And then we have Once by James Herbert I think it s usually a bad sign if ellipsis is part of the book title The cover looks promising, silver fairies and foxes in entwined with thorny vines in front of what appears to be a castle and the words The International Bestseller emblazoned in red across the top Looks like a nice fantasy paper back What could go wrong I could easily go into rant mode, but I want to keep this review short as I really do not want to devote anyof my time to thinking about this book than I already have while reading it Mr Herbert s grasp of the fantastic is akin to a day laborers grasp of Spackle He s seen it, he s touched it, he can probably put up something that looks like it if you give him time and the tools, but in the end it won t pass the test of time and it s a poor veneer on a hole.To say I was disappointed with the prose of this book is to put it lightly The descriptions of fairies, gnomes, elves, and fantastical beasts that populate the periphery of the magical forest our protagonist stumbles through are so mundane and matter of fact that any sense of wonder I might have possessed was wrung out of me like a damp dish rag.I haven t even touched on the plot, because there isn t much of one Your generic orphan boy grows up with a mysterious past and comes back to the home he left and the vague memories of magic that he had long denied You know the trope what he might be the heir to the fortune What he might be party fairy himself You don t say skip past the completely disappointing evil witch bitch villainess and fast forward to the completely pulled out of nowhere SPOILER TIME TRAVEL Dues Ex Machina and put a bow on it This thing is done.Not recommended. It is impossible to shake the inescapable sense that this book must be labouring under some sort of Glamour Certainly all is very stylish upon the surface, a great deal of artistry has gone into the cover, its map and it s imagery and yet none of this can hide the gaping empty void where the actual story should be There are so many things that are bad about this book it s hard to choose where to start but I will begin by mentioning the general prose style and its habit of indulging in unnecessarily long sentences, with lots of commas and subclauses of the kind that contain the most banal and obvious observations that are supposed to pass of insight and at times render the story confusingly unreadable Much like that.I ve not read James Herbert before, but I understand this book had been an effort to branch out from theusual fare of horror and chills into something broader and deeper Sadly though endless meandering sentences does noequal deep insights than awkwardly written sex equals expressions of human desires whilst a man meeting a bunch of fairies and wondering a bit whether it could be real is no kind of investigation into the nature of belief Perhaps ironically the only brief moment when I found the book did come to life was at one of the moments of straight horror featuring a bottomless jar of spiders The rest of the time the tale remains resolutely lifeless, rendering almost comical its apparent pretensions to some deeper insights or truth Then there is the plot which, when it does happen to come along in the last quarter of the book is of such dreadfully contrived and melodramatic proportions as might come out of some bad soap opera There is also the characterisation, or perhaps that should be absence of characterisation This point is most particularly egregious when it comes to the actions of the women At no point is any attempt made to explain the origins of this book s female antagonist and scarce little mention of what lies behind the actions of any of the others All this renders then a somewhat unpleasantly stereotypical characterisation of women, either devious and manipulative in the use of their sex or otherwise pure and innocent and beautiful when it suits this decidedly male fantasy for them to be Were the male hero so very dense, yet occasionally inexplicably insightful, I might yet be somewhatangry about it.Yet the aspect of this book that threatens to invoke my wrath evencan be neatly summed up by the two points in the narrative when our ill defined hero is actually compared to the figure of Jesus The sheer breathtaking arrogance of this empty little book is truly awe inspiring I m an atheist and still it makes me angry, or would at least, were it not quite so laughable I have wondered at times whether I have been too hard in my evaluation of an innocent and playful fantasy of witches and fairies and elves and then I remember no, you actually thought your hero worthy of comparison to Jesus It s ridiclous, if not hilarious, not to mention pretentious, arrogant, tawdry, empty not to mention the confusingly rambling prose , with a somewhat unpleasant air of female objectivity and overall just bad Really, very bad indeed. Really enjoyed this book Recommended. Once by James Herbert wasthan a little disappointing Yes, I had read other reviews first and they were all pretty consistent about this book sucking Yet I still hoped forThe synopsis sounded great and I really liked James Herbert s Haunted And from the synopsis, I was hoping for somethinglike John Connolly s The Book of Lost Things or Neil Gaiman s Stardust Faery with some horror elements My expectations were set way too high.The story initially drew me in and had me quickly turning the pages, but it wasn t long before the descriptions of Faery became tedious rather than magical The horror was gross rather than creepy But I think what irritated me the most and put me off was the unnecessary sex that did absolutely nothing to further the plot 300 pages in and I no longer cared about any of the characters who lived or who died.So, if you are looking for some great dark fantasy and adult fairy tales, skip this one and read instead John Connolly s The Book of Lost Things, Neil Gaiman s Stardust, Lord Dunsany s The King of Elfland s Daughter, or any of the fairy tale collections edited by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling Just to name a few Oh gosh, where to start I ll admit to being entranced by the narrative for the first third of this and I really liked it that far Therefore, I so much wanted to put somethingthat a measly one star for the book Until I remembered that the two star rating on Goodreads is defined as it was ok Which made the one star rating a so called no brainer Following the admittedly well written and alluring intro this thing descended into a cesspool of fairy tale clich s and tasteless porn My initial fantasy of finding another read worthy 80 s and 90 s horror novelist turned to ashes in a few chapters The rest of this review will contain some kind of SPOILERS, so if you are serious about reading this book with no prejudice, I suggest you turn to my great buddy Edward Lorn s review instead Not that he hid his spoilers either, but his review will bring muchentertainment and literary value than this book, and it may persuade you to give it a miss Following the good if not very fast moving first third or so, we are treated to some odd sexual tension scenes, that seem mostly awkward After that, we plunge head first into a impossibly long part where we re bounced between a lesbian lovemaking scene that seems very strange I m no expert here, but I did study anatomy and physiology, and I don t think that is how it works or should be done And I do think the script writers of Orange is the New Black went nailed it instead of hanging their heads in shame like they probably always should Where was I Oh right, bounced between that and a fairytale Now, I never found a fairytale story in an adult book that actually holds upand this is no exception There are fairies and witches and goblins and gnomes and whatever children know about them, but forget as they get older Humans don t sense them, since they are relying on what they can see and prove and not as they should crap that is totally improbable, unverifiable and without logical reason to believe in We know better The elfish world is faradvanced and better and finer and prettier and waypowerful than the human world But the human way of life smothers the other world because reasons And if you thought you could fix that, you can t, because reasons And rules And magic Still here then Well, after the ping pong of explicit male oriented lesbian porn silly fairytale finally grows old, the author ups the ante by switching the first story line first to some sort of SM abusive lesbian porn and then pure assault with sexual overtones , while the fairy tale part turns to fairy porn The fairy porn is strange, because it manages to be both explicit porn and since we suffered a big helping of insta love hearts beating as one and the cheesy like Apart from that, the writing and editing gets continuously sloppier so much that I started to doubt the same author penned the first part Page 52but there had always been something about spiders that had turned Thom s legs to jelly and sent his heart racingPage 335It wasn t as if Thom had ever been afraid of spiders or any otherOh, and the spider invasion The guy s house fills up with spiders kind of scary imagery at first after what feels like a hundred pages not so much You know how you find out the number of spiders You count the legs and divide by eight You ll have plenty of time And then it happens again, I can tTwojust in case anybody is still reading during the dramatic climatic events, a mortally wounded man refuses to relax, but must tell what s on his mindDo you know what kindincredibly dramatic music in my head, that isCan youcan you guessCurtain Last one promisethat was the moment when something else happened Something extraordinary Because all the other turning worst fears into physical manifestations, fairies, gnomes, goblins, murder, betrayal and stuff is just same old, same old.No, I won t even go into the ending Rest assured it did not redeem anything.What I will remember most about this book is the battle for his semen and the authors obsession with body fluids and their movement in general and, oh, of course the one with pubic hair the absence, that is This is not a happy conclusion But, I will also remember that I greatly enjoyed reading it with Edward which is always a special treat, no matter the story and the marvelous if a tad smug support from friends foremost Shelby and Kelly we are waiting for your s a c r i f i c e reviews The International BestsellerFor Thom Kindred, Life Is Nothing Spectacular A Stroke Victim, Thom Finds Himself Partially Incapacitated And Battling Daily To Regain Control Of His Life Moved By Haunting Dreams Of His Youth, He Travels Back To The Wooded Land Where He Grew Up To Recuperate Surrounded By The Comforts Of Castle Bracken, Thom Plans To Relive Old, Forgotten MemoriesBut Thom S Return Has Stirred An Ancient Evil At Castle Bracken, One Cloaked In The Guise Of A Friend His Only Chance For Survival Lies In A World That He No Longer Believes In International Bestselling Author James Herbert Opens The Door Into A Place Of Wonder And Terrible Danger Where The Unexpected Becomes The Norm, Where The Separation Of Dreams And Nightmares Is Thin, And Where Once Upon A Time Doesn T Always Lead To A Happy Ending