House of Darkness House of Light: The True Story (Anglais) Relié – 4 mars 2011
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It was a good read but she did float off at times loosing my attention
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In one chapter she suddenly brings up "Holly." Unfortunately, she doesn't actually introduce the character until several chapters later - it's at that point we find out who this "Holly" person is. There are typos in here, and no, I'm not normally the typo police, but it seems unprofessional. Andrea also writes about the Warrens all the way through the first book, but you don't find out how it is they came to be there or what actually happened until book 2. Had she put things in chronological order, her readers might understand more of what she was trying to convey to us with what the Warrens brought to the story.
Okay, so Andrea gets a dog and names her Bathsheba, then they encounter "Bathsheba" at the house. I kept waiting for her to comment on such a coincidence, but she doesn't. It just seemed natural to me that she would - otherwise why even put it in? She also brings up an incident and writes about it more than once. We got it the first time, thanks! And enough with the "Boo!" It's way overdone.
How many of you want to throttle the mother yourself? After a couple of incidents in the 'burbs, she sees this place, takes every dime out of the bank account and they make the move work. Yet, after her children are frightened, threatened, nearly killed (not to mention what she, herself, was going through), she still keeps her family there, year after year - subjecting them to horrors they still carry.
I have to admit, I skipped over much of the book (especially volume 2), when Andrea starts carrying on about philosophical musings. That's not my cup of tea. I grew up on a haunted farm. There can never be a book that will be able to convey the intense terror, the dread, the heart pounding and the sheer intensity of dealing with something not of this world; but I read these to try and understand, maybe get some insight into what I went through. To be fair, there are some gold nuggets in this book. There just aren't enough to overcome the bad writing. I really, really, really wish I'd read these reviews before purchasing the books.
Andrea Perron has simultaneously proven both the failure of the American education system and the desperation of Hollywood in these modern times in which they'll slog for years through endless pages of drivel and sophomoric narrative padding in order to tease a semi-coherent and decently scary story out of what would otherwise be nothing more than a prime candidate for both the physical and digital recycle bins. If you can believe it, self-proclaimed "author," Andrea, actually holds an inter-disciplinary degree in philosophy and English literature from Chatham College in Pittsburgh, PA. Meaning that she actually went to school, spent the time, and paid a whole bunch of money to learn about English literature, and still produced these "novels." I don't know whether to laugh at or cry for her.
Now having seen the movie, I can safely say that everything I wrote in my review is absolutely, completely and 100% justified; besides the names, they didn't use a single line or event from the book in the movie, much to the moviegoers' delight, I'm sure. As the "Warrens," played by Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga (who are a bajillion times more sane, logical and sympathetic than the Warrens are in real life), explain in the movie, ghosts are not able to possess people. Only demons can do that. This means that the only ghost they kept from the book, Bathsheba, is now a demon and no longer a ghost. Surprise, surprise.
To the person who said that the movie was going to be different because it was from the "Warren Files," and more from their point of view, let me just say how funny it is that the Warrens just happened to skip over the part in the book (in Vol. 2) where the husband physically threw them out of the house and refused to let them back in and how the story, according to the movie, is now about how the Warrens have super powers and save the day sans capes and spandex.
If you've come here after seeing the movie looking for more details about what happened in Harrisville, save your money and turn back while you can. This book has nothing to do with the movie at all (which is why the movie is so good), and will do nothing but give you a literary migraine.
Let me begin my diatribe, if you'll indulge me, fair reader, with a disturbing trend I've noticed in the reviews on this book. Almost all of the people who gave it a 5 star rating, or even a slightly positive review, are from or around the town the book is written in, Harrisville, Rhode Island. Apparently these people are desperate for some vicarious fame by association with the town this dreadfully written book takes place in. Read them with a grain of salt. If you're looking for an honest review from someone who is not skeptical of the supernatural, just critical of this, and I use the term loosely, "author's" work, then please read on for a detailed, unbiased review.
I think the reason it took Andrea 30 years to write this book was that she needed to read "The Amityville Horror", "The Devil in Connecticut" and "In a Dark Place: The Story of a True Haunting" a few times so she could steal as much of their stories as possible for her own. She also needed time to wait for Poltergeist, Burnt Offerings and the Exorcist to come out on DVD so she could watch them all a few times (and their special features!) for some new ideas. This book is nothing but a derivative retelling of better, scarier ghost stories. All she did was put her own family into the roles of other, more interesting characters; your basic "fanfic," if you will. The funny part is, I could have lived with that if not for the horrible writing. A good story is a good story, even if the general theme has told before. But even a great story loses its gravitas and poignancy when told by a seven year old, which is about Andrea's level of writing. Well, to be fair, it's more like a seven year old who knows how to press Shift+F7 in Word and come up with bigger words to use from the list of synonyms, but who then overlooks the green squiggles of the Grammar Check function. She also entertained the infamous nutbags, Ed and Lorraine Warren. All you have to do is a quick Google search on them and you will find out how untrustworthy these two are. Being they also worked on the Amityville case and the two Connecticut cases, I can see why this story features all of their greatest hits: who could forget the classic, "It must be a DEMON," or "The spirit is mocking the Holy Trinity," and the ever delightful, "Of course we have no proof of ANYTHING, you're supposed to just believe whatever we say!" Could it be mere coincidence that Harrisville reeks of the same pseudo-religious, quasi-supernatural hokum featured in Amityville and Connecticut? I think not!
Let's start with Andrea's grammar and punctuation. She loves to put about 3 bold words on each page as she thinks the reader is too dumb to get the meaning of what she is trying to tell us. You know when an airheaded teenage girl gets upset and overemphasizes a word to show she's really upset? That's what I feel like she's doing. "But `Moooooooom' there's like `totally' a ghost and it's really `scary.'" There's no good reason to emphasize words like that. If you put the word there, trust us, as the readers, to be able to know how that word is supposed to work with the rest of them to convey the idea your describing in that sentence. She constantly insults our collective intelligence. For example, she feels she has to emphasize the fact that during an argument over money that someone is feeling "angry."
She also likes to tell us what everyone was "feeling" for 3 or more pages without describing the actual event that caused the upset. If you are lucky, she will tell you a few chapters later and then she rehashes the 3 pages again of what everyone was "feeling." It reminded me of when your teacher wants you to write a 500 word essay. Like an underachieving, lazy student, most of the book is just filling space. At one point she describes in painfully overblown details of her Mother's meltdown in the kitchen over her husband killing flies, ala Amityville Horror. She then copied and pasted the same story later on in the book hoping the reader would not remember she already told this story. She did this a few times. Maybe she never went back and read over what she wrote. It was painful enough for me to read once, so I can't imagine what torture she was facing having to re-read it as the author.
Apparently desperate to show that she has some grasp of what colons and semi-colons are Andrea doesn't hesitate to use them at every possible turn. Ironically, she doesn't use them correctly. She loves to do stuff like this: "The mother had a bad feeling; a dread she felt." A little redundant, am I right? Half the time those little add-on's are just terrible, as in, "...; an angelic angel." Keep your sanity and just skip over anything immediately to the right of any colon or semicolon. What this book really needs is a, "colonoscopy." (Cue rimshot) You thought that was a terrible pun? Just you wait; Andrea's got a metric ton of them waiting for you! Like, "They did not stand a ghost of a chance with the ghosts in the house!" Also, I think Andrea suffers from multiple personality disorder. I mean, what else could possibly explain her tendency to switch back and forth from the third person narrative to the second person and back to the third every few pages?
In all honesty, I would have never finished this book if I had not paid money for it. You will find that skipping long monologues of pure, unadulterated "feeling" will help you to read the book faster. I think she fancies herself the next Steven King and thinks that if she puts as many words on a page as he does, she'll be just as critically acclaimed.
Now before you say, "Oh, he is a skeptic and a non-believer, which is why he is so mean about all this," that is just not true. I do believe in ghosts and have lived in 2 houses that had ghosts, one who made me uncomfortable enough to the point I did move out. I won't directly say that her book is full of lies, (libel laws and all that), but I think it is strange that all the Warren cases tell the same story: A family moves into a dream house, it turns out to be haunted, the father will not believe it until the very end, Lorraine Warren kicks open the front door and starts yelling about demons and then everyone gets a nice, lucrative movie deal out of it. By the way, "The Conjuring," based on The Warren Files concerning this case, is coming this summer to a theater near you! And even if it was real, what kind of mother would subject her 5 kids to this kind of thing for 10 year? Yes, 10 YEARS!!
So to spare you the terror of trying to read this book, I'll summarize it for you: Estrogen soaked family pester their absentee salesman father to throw all of their money into a farm they don't really need and that the owner is super desperate to offload on them. After ignoring this first warning sign, the family can't get warm in a 200 year old house in Rhode Island during winter (umm... duh?) and keep smelling death in certain rooms. After ignoring this second warning sign, the mother is attacked by the ghost of Joan Crawford (think wire hangers), the kids start seeing creepy stuff and the doors very politely open themselves. Flies gather in the house where the kids keep sandwiches under the bed (shocking!) and then the mother has a nightmare and claws up her husband who is apparently a very sound sleeper. After trying to set herself on fire several times, the mother spirals into a generic supernatural obsession (cue the montage of Mom in the local library discovering the evil history of the house), and ropes everyone she possibly can into it, culminating with the arrival of the Warrens who proceed to add a few Mentos to the mom's glass of crazy, which happens to taste a lot like diet soda. Add in some levitating beds, telepathic crows, self-sweeping brooms and other fun things, and you've got a recipe for a good kind of crazy that is seriously hampered by the author's grievous lack of an editor.