Fall, The

Bethany Griffin
Madeline Usher has been buried alive. The doomed heroine comes to the fore in this eerie reimagining of Edgar Allan Poe's classic short story "The Fall of the House of Usher." Gothic, moody, and suspenseful from beginning to end, The Fall is literary horror for fans of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children and Asylum.Madeline awakes in a coffin. She was put there by her own twin brother. How did it come to this? In short non-chronological chapters, Bethany Griffin masterfully spins a haunting and powerful tale of a tragic heroine and the curse on the Usher family. The house itself is alive around Madeline, and it will never let her escape, driving her to the madness just as it has all of her ancestors. But she won't let it have her brother Roderick. She'll do everything in her power to save him—and try to save herself—even if it means bringing the house down around them.With a sinister gothic atmosphere and relentless tension to rival Poe himself, Bethany Griffin creates a house of horrors and introduces a whole new point-of-view on the timeless classic.


Reviewed: 2017-12-07
Initial Impressions 9/28/14: This was really interesting! The perfect amount of creepy for a person like me who likes a bit of dark but can't handle TONS of horror. I really enjoyed this! It didn't totally bowl me over, but it was a really interesting read. I actually hadn't read the original Poe story (which now I'm going back to look up) so I don't know exactly how well it does at retelling but from what I do know, I like what Bethany Griffin did with it.
The short chapters were both a blessing and a curse, I think. I loved that each chapter was so short and I felt like I was breezing through the book but it also made me feel like it sort of took a lot longer since I had made it through so many chapters and wasn't even done yet.

I'd recommend this one! A great amount of creepy and an intriguing story.

Full review posted HERE on The Book Addict's Guide 10/17/14: I’ve actually read very few original Edgar Allan Poe stories but when I was looking for a good, creepy Halloween read, I immediately turned to The Fall, a retelling of Poe’s The Fall of the House of Usher, for a good book with just the right amount of scary for me. See, I’m a total chicken when it comes to the scary. I like creepy, but I don’t like my books (or movies or TV shows) to be too scary. Fortunately, Bethany Griffin’s THE FALL was just the perfect mix for me!

I actually can’t really compare too much to the original Poe tale since I haven’t read it, but upon finishing, I definitely wanted to! The book revolves around Madeline Usher and her family. The chapters are quite short and each one details a different point in Madeline’s life from her childhood all the way through teenage years, meeting up with the “present-day” story line in the novel. Sometimes it’s hard to jump around from age to age, but I think just focusing on Madeline and not having a second point of view in the mix really helped and I also found it really interesting to slowly get the pieces of how the family curse worked, how it affected Madeline and her family, and getting that information in a strategic way. I’m always impressed when authors are able to manipulate a timeline like that to remove things from chronological order in order to maintain a mystery.
At times, the short chapters seemed like both a blessing and a curse. I really like short chapters because especially during times when I don’t have a ton of time to read, the short chapters really help me feel like I’m making progress with a book. At the same time, having so many chapters did make me feel like I was progressing really quickly and then it came as a surprise how much of the book I really had left. I’m not saying I would have done it differently but it was definitely something that I was aware of while reading.

I think the reason THE FALL worked so well for me as a good, creepy book was how much the actual house itself was involved in the story. I am not a ghost person. I don’t handle ghost stories well because they’re just too real and I always get a little too creeped out. There were ghosts in THE FALL, but really the culprit behind all of the actions — and actually part of the reason why the ghosts are even present — is the house itself. There’s more to the curse and the explanation as to why, but that’s more for the reader to experience! Anyway… I just really enjoyed how the house was its own character. It had its own reasoning, a sense of feeling, and it interacted with the other characters. I loved its daunting presence and exactly how big of a role it played in the book.

The other characters were fascinating as well. Madeline was a very interesting character, being the main point of view as well as the “favorite of the house” so she had the most insight to the curse and everything that went on in the book. The interactions of the other characters and the house was really interesting as well. I was totally sucked in, analyzing exactly how the curse affected each person in turn and how the house chose to manipulate each of them.

Pretty much everything about this book worked for me! It was such a perfectly dark and spooky book with a fantastic gothic-horror feel and such a great horror read for a person like me who doesn’t like being scared pantless. I was still able to totally enjoy it without getting so scared that I wanted to stop reading and yet it never felt like anything was really missing either. It was really just a great balance for me and one I’d recommend for a creepy read!
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