Read The Shelter by James Everington Online


It’s a long, drowsy summer at the end of the 1980s, and Alan Dean and three of his friends cross the fields behind their village to look for a rumoured WW2 air raid shelter. Only half believing that it even exists beyond schoolboy gossip, the four boys nevertheless feel an odd tension and unease. And when they do find the shelter, and go down inside it, the strange and horIt’s a long, drowsy summer at the end of the 1980s, and Alan Dean and three of his friends cross the fields behind their village to look for a rumoured WW2 air raid shelter. Only half believing that it even exists beyond schoolboy gossip, the four boys nevertheless feel an odd tension and unease. And when they do find the shelter, and go down inside it, the strange and horrifying events that follow will test their adolescent friendships to breaking point, and affect the rest of their lives...A horror novella of 15.5k words, plus an author’s afterword....

Title : The Shelter
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 12655660
Format Type : Kindle Edition
Number of Pages : 60 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Shelter Reviews

  • mark monday
    2018-12-29 19:58

    Stephen King's moving novella "The Body" depicts a summer when four young friends from a small town decide to take a look at a rumored dead body. the boys are all good kids who support each other in a world of bullies and dysfunctional families.James Everington's absorbing novella "The Shelter" is about a summer when four young friends also go on a brief journey to see something best left unseen. except in this story, the four boys are not really friends, they don't support each other, two of them are bullies, and they don't find an actual body. what they do find is something much, much worse.The Shelter does not suffer in comparison to The Body. it is well worth reading and comparing the two novellas actually added to my enjoyment. The Shelter both parallels and functions as a negative of The Body in many interesting ways. I wonder if it was intentional. probably not - the author's afterward notes that his piece is also based on events from his life. another intriguing parallel. and one major difference: unlike King, I do not get the sense that this author is a sentimental humanist. not remotely. as a sentimental humanist myself, I felt the lack - but it didn't take away from my positive experience reading the tale. it's not my favorite tone, but I can do bleak and hopeless. it's like an anti-vacation from my own personal outlook on life.Everington certainly knows how a too hot summer filled with "friends" you actually don't like should feel. he put me right there; the boys felt real and so did their late 1980s milieu. his descriptive powers are strong and the boys' visit to an abandoned air raid shelter is genuinely unnerving. the sense that something is goading them to anger and feeding off of that anger, the dank shelter itself and the visions it contains, the bleak ending... well done. it gave me the creeps. 'tis the season.Happy Halloween!

  • Trudi
    2018-12-25 14:50

    This is when Goodreads is acting at its optimal best -- friend reads book and writes great review: friend recommends book to you: you seek book out and read it: you enjoy book and will now recommend it to others. I most likely would never have stumbled across this title on my own, especially since it is a short novella available only in ebook format by an author I had not previously heard of. This is why we cherish our book pushing friends who can give us a poke, a nudge, a heads-up when something special passes across their reading radar.For those of you Goodreads users who believe three stars indicates an average, unenthusiastic endorsement, PLEASE do not take my rating as such. The Shelter is a supremely creepy, in a lot of ways "classic" horror story that is filled with sublime suspense and great characterization. The tone and mood are heavy and dark, cynical even. I was enthralled every moment. The writing hits that sweet spot at the intersection of literary meets pulp. The Shelter is a familiar horror trope of going where you're not supposed to and paying the price. Yet, for all of its familiarity and even its predictability, the story still manages to suspend the reader in a prolonged state of uneasiness and upset. The exploration of the nebulous and often toxic ties binding together young boys where bullying and manipulation masquerade as genuine friendship is also very well done. If you're looking for a quick and dirty foray into the dark for Halloween, you'll not go wrong with this one.

  • Maria
    2018-12-23 13:04

    The Shelter is a well crafted story by a master storyteller. I am a big fan of James Everington's writing. After reading his short story collection The Other Room I was excited to hear that he was about to release a novella. I just have a feeling that this author is going to be a big name in literature one day.James has self-titled his style of fiction 'weird fiction' and I would agree that there is an element of the weird in his writing, but underlying it is a deep understanding of human nature and why people think or behave in certain ways. He takes us inside his characters' heads, and we live through their hopes and fears with them. This skill is proof of his talent as a writer.The Shelter is a creepy, spooky, horror story. It contains elements of psychological thriller, ghost story, and mystery. The relationship between the schoolboys is realistic and well portrayed. It kept me hooked all the way through and deals with the subject of how guilt can change the course of a person's life. An interesting and thought provoking read.

  • Char
    2018-12-27 20:13

    I picked up this short novella (deliberately not calling it a novellette, see why in the afterward to this story) because I adored this writer's short story anthology The Other Room. I was not disappointed. I don't like to talk too much about the plot in my reviews (many a book has been spoiled for me because of reviews like that), but I will say that the story line involves 4 children taking a walk to go check out an old air raid shelter. It is reminiscent of Kings "The Body" or "It" in this way. In fact, the author gives nods to those books in his afterword. James Everington, like King, writes about children very well. You do feel as if you are traveling with them as a part of their group. You might wish you weren't as the story progresses. I like how the story unfolds and reels you in. It also had an ending that was not quite expected, which I always enjoy. I appreciated how this story focused on more old-school type creeping horror, rather than outright blood and gore.I enjoy and appreciate this author very much and am looking forward to anything else he may offer in the future.

  • Darcia Helle
    2018-12-31 18:17

    James Everington has the rare ability to spark all of my senses as I read, without ever using wordy descriptions. One or two short sentences and I can feel the character's fear and confusion. I see the scene, taste the dust and dirt. And I can almost hear the characters breathing. From the very beginning, I was totally immersed in this story.The Shelter incorporates a little horror, a lot of psychological suspense, some paranormal aspects and mystery. This could be a tale of madness or redemption. Either way, you won't want to put it down.

  • Lauren
    2019-01-05 12:48

    The Shelter is centered around at least two classic horror elements—a group of young boys in summer and an adult’s recollection of a supernaturally-tinged childhood incident—but Everington adds his own distinct tilt to matters. Besides, there’s a reason these are frequently used tropes: everyone’s childhood is haunted, isn’t it?In the case of The Shelter, four boys—ostensibly friends, but without much real affection (one of Everington’s early subversions of the type)—set out to find an abandoned air raid shelter. There’s Alan, our narrator, a boy smart enough and thoughtful enough to clearly sense something wrong about the whole proceeding from the beginning; Duncan, the not-very-bright “best friend,” whose moment of brightness Alan vaguely resents; Tom, the oversensitive bully; and Mark, the leader, a sometimes-bully himself, but charismatic and thoughtful. They’re a delicately balanced group in the pressure-cooker situation of later summer boredom, with Tom’s temper and Mark’s unpredictable interest an overhanging threat—and then there’s the way the shelter looms in everyone’s minds (and Mark’s dreams), creating odd bubbles of impulsively violent thoughts…It’s short, and I don’t want to give too much away. But it’s a well-written, psychologically realistic story with a great setting and great ambiguity. You’ll enjoy it.

  • Patti (baconater)
    2019-01-03 18:49

    I have been a fan of Stephen King for many years especially his short stories. James EverIngton's short story collection and this, his novella, are even better than King's earlier works, which I've always considered to be the best in the genre. Thank you, James. If it's not too creepy, please feel free to refer to me as your biggest fan!

  • Shyinrapdrac2016
    2019-01-18 14:14

    subliminal horror at its best

  • Kayleigh
    2018-12-26 15:16

    The Shelter is quite a small book (hence referring to it as a novella previously), which works incredibly in its favour. This is a very immersive book, and I think it will resonate to readers much more distinctly if they read it from cover to cover in one go. Which is where the length comes in as a real benefit, obviously. I found myself stuck right in amongst the claustrophobic fear that builds and builds to oppressive heights as we follow Alan Dean's story, and I honestly think if I had tuned out and come back to it the next day it might not have impacted me quite as heavily. That isn't to say it relies on this, and I'm sure there are people out there who have read it in shorter bursts and still enjoy it. But if I can offer one piece of advice, it'd be find a comfortable spot, dig yourself in and read, read, read until The Shelter is complete. You can thank me later.The Shelter is reminiscent of a Stephen King short story. In fact, James Everington mentions in his Author's Note that he was heavily influenced by the work of King at the time. It shows. Like King, Everington has a fantastic ability for painting the characters for you in great detail that captivates every sense. I could smell the sweat steaming off Tom's body, I could see the glint of Mark's earring under his long hair, and I could hear the ever present "thud-thud" of Alan's heart as he grew closer to the ominous shelter. Also like King, the book manages to balance that precarious line between real and supernatural horror. The story is, for the most part, grounded in the real, but there is that ever present "what if" that you simply can't ignore. The real focus of the story are these four boys, Alan in particular, and this one day in their life, a hot summer day where everything changed. What happened doesn't really matter, what matters is the interactions and the reactions of these boys and the oppressive tension that builds because of it. Like Stephen King, James Everington manages to hit all these highs and produce a dark and moody horror that stays with you because of the possibility of its reality.The Shelter is a great book that manages to wind itself tight around you until you find yourself struggling to catch you breath. This is definitely a "stayer" and I imagine parts of the book will continue to haunt me for weeks to come. So for any fans of Stephen King, atmospheric horror or short, unique reads then consider reading The Shelter, I think it'll be right up your alley!

  • Maxine
    2019-01-21 20:08

    The Shelter is a novella by the independent writer James Everington in the style of Stephen King's The Body which resonated with me in the fact that it is about a group of children (in this case four boys) getting up to no good during a school summer holiday. Set in England, it brought back memories of those long six week holidays, with not much to do except going exploring with friends. It is something we probably don't let our children do today but, without Foxtel, Apple, X-box or PC's, our options for entertainment back when I was a teenager in the late 70's and early 80's lay in the outdoors.The story of The Shelter is related by a thirteen year old Alan Dean who, with his best friend Duncan and two older boys that he knows from school, goes in search of an old air raid shelter that supposedly lies outside of their village. When they get there it's location seems a bit bizarre with the shelter being located in the far corner of a field, the atmosphere changes too with the incessant buzzing of wasps and a feeling of rising anger that threatens to overwhelm the boys themselves.Driven by excitement and fear, and wondering if this is the resting place of Martin, a local schoolboy whose disappearance has dominated the news reports lately, they open the metal lid that covers the entrance to the shelter. Everything appears normal until a simple prank leaves Alan in a terrifying situation and open to a supernatural event. But did it really happen? As children we are ready to accept the unknown, and in a state of heightened terror we can imagine any amount of horrors. Yet for all those nights of being too afraid to look under the bed, or in the closet or at that bundle of clothes thrown on the chair that looks like something unimaginable.......... did any harm ever come to us? This then brings doubt and cynicism into the mind of the adult, and the realisation that there never was anything there at all. This is the thought that the older Alan will ponder as he reviews the events of that summer.The writing style does need some polishing, and the idea itself of using a group of bored children to propel the story along isn't all that original - just read Stephen King and Dan Simmons - but I found that I really liked it because of the memories that it stirred up for me and I almost (almost mind you) felt a pang for a genuine English Summer.

  • Iain Rowan
    2018-12-31 17:03

    When I was growing up, I lived opposite a field with horses in it. In the dragging, oppressive heat of late summer, in the minutes before a thunderstorm, they'd charge around the field like mad things, breathing hard, eyes wild. They knew the storm was coming.The first half of The Shelter has that kind of feel. Everington is excellent at evoking a mounting sense of unease, turning to dread, that close, oppressive feeling when everything is still and ordinary, but the whole world is filled with the sense that something huge and terrible is just about to happen. The Shelter is set in late summer, in the heat and boredom of the long school holiday that I can remember from my own childhood, adventures in woods punctuated by occasional casual, random violence of older kids. A group of teenagers at that confused, angry transition between childhood and an adulthood not yet understood, set out across the fields and woods to explore an old air-raid shelter. The tension builds and builds, and then terror ensues, and that's the second success of this impressive novella.Horror fiction often disappoints me, as the suspense and dread rises, but then you see the monster, that it? The terror in The Shelter is mostly unseen, and mostly revealed through the actions of others, and as a result is far more unsettling and interesting. Just enough is explained, and more importantly for me, just enough is not, and all of this happens within a confident and controlled narrative and natural, convincing dialogue.One of the best things about the growth of the ebook market is that it's far easier for writers to make available stories that might previously have been deemed 'uncommercial' in length, and this is a perfect example. The Shelter can be read in one sitting, which I think is one of the virtues of horror fiction at shorter than novel length, as the atmosphere can be sustained. Don't start it though if you have something to do, as you won't want to stop until you've finished. Everington's The Other Room was one of the most impressive debut collections that I've read in some time, and The Shelter follows this up and takes it further, and would absolutely not be out of place in any print anthology. Start reading James Everington now, so when he's a star of the genre you can be smug about the fact that you've been reading him from the start.

  • Mark
    2019-01-11 17:57

    During the long summer of 1989, thirteen year-old Alan Dean hung around with three friends - Mark, Tom and Duncan. Mark was a charismatic bully, a bad seed who was used to getting what he wanted and when he suggested the four of them explore an old shelter, they all agreed. At the same time, a local boy called Martin had gone missing and the newspapers are asking if a killer’s on the loose but once Alan and his friends find the shelter, they experience something strange and horrifying that will change all their lives forever.I love coming-of-age tales and I love eighties nostalgia and so, as my introduction to the writing of James Everington, this couldn’t have gone much better at all. Although he’s at the opposite end of the decade to me (in terms of points of reference), he perfectly evokes a long boring summer to the extent that the reader can almost feel the prickly heat and hear the flies buzzing and there’s nothing that knocks this illusion at all. The characters are well drawn, though Alan - who narrates - is probably the only one most people will identify with - Tom and Duncan are herd animals, not quite smart enough to strike out on their own and instead happy to be the muscle, whilst Mark is almost chilling in his relentness need to be in control, though Everington spotlights his vulnerability well as the story progresses. The peer pressure too is well evoked, with the other boys being two years old than Alan, so he goes along them with because he’s too scared not to, plus he likes the increased social status their comradeship gives him.The shelter itself is a superb invention, very real and with a claustrophobic atmosphere that is almost tangible. When Alan sees what he sees, we’re there on the ladder with him and equally desperate for release.With an afterword that explains where the story came from, which is interesting in itself, this is an excellent novella. It has good pace, believable characters, a nice use of location and a sureness in the telling that pulls the reader through. A wonderful exploration of powerful, quiet horror, this is well worth a read and highly recommended.

  • Steve Byrne
    2019-01-20 11:56

    I loved this. Very evocative, bringing back memories of my own aimless school holidays, hanging around with people I didn't quite trust and didn't quite like. There are shades of King's 'The Body' in here, and the horror elements are perfectly inked in - not too ott, not too quiet - just the right pitch for the tale. James Everington is a writer to watch out for. His eye for detail - and the psychology of his characters - make for an immersive experience. You fall through a hole between the words, and you've gone back in time, an 80s schoolkid in the British countryside.I also enjoyed the coda at the end, where James discusses the provenance of the story - an unpresuming glimpse into the writing process that does a great job of humanising the writer and warming the reader to the story all the more...

  • Jim
    2018-12-27 16:02

    James Everington is one of my favorite new authors I've discovered this year. His collection, Falling Over, is one you don't want to miss if you're a fan of what some folks call 'quiet' horror. (For me, an unsettling sense of dread always trumps gratuitous violence and gore.)The Shelter, a novella, is different from Everington's more recent work; it's closer in tone to Stephen King than to Robert Aickman. There are some truly chilling scenes here, and the climactic scene in the shelter itself is memorable.

  • A Cup of Tea Big Enough
    2018-12-29 12:10

    The fabulous descriptive writing had me there immediately, with four teenage boys kicking dust and squabbling during a long hot summer. The premise is great, I enjoyed this, but three stars because I feel there's the scope for this to be a full novel - I could have spent hours happily reading this - I felt it was a missed opportunity. Come on James, your writing is fab, get back into it and make this the brilliant full-length novel it could be!

  • Vicki
    2019-01-19 19:50

    Fabulous little ghost story. Short enough to be read in one sitting it pulls you in then throws all these scatty happenings at you, and you aren't really entirely sure if the character of Alan is actually seeing ghosts, or his imagination is running wild. I'd recommend it to anyone who wanted something scary but didn't have much time on their hands to read it.

  • Georgiann Hennelly
    2019-01-11 13:14

    The Shelter is a horror Novella. Alan Dean and three of his friends ield behind their Village to find a rumoured WW2 Air raid shelter. Only half believing it is there,When they do find the shelter and go into it, the strange and horrifying events that follow will test their friendships to the breaking point and affect the rest of their lives....

  • Manuel Antão
    2019-01-11 16:12

    Takes after the Dan Simmons and Stephen King "school of thought", but this is not detrimental to the enjoyment of the book.I've just finished it. It's very, very good.The protagonist and antagonist are complex and realistic. The horror is subtle and described with subtlety. Free up an hour and read it at a sitting.

  • J K
    2019-01-22 16:48

    A creepy story of a childhood terror during a long, hot summer in the UK. The boys' interactions and their brutal friendships felt very realistic, and the shelter is a creepy idea, with the right amount of ambiguity to keep it unnerving. A very quick read, and worth a look.

  • The Grim Reader (
    2019-01-09 17:56

    Seek shelter here.This is a great little novella from James Everington. The story revolves around a group of adolescents who discover an old air raid shelter. What lies inside? Read it and discover for yourself. Great stuff.

  • Helen
    2019-01-18 15:48

    I gave this a big five because I know a shelter very much like the one in the story and it reminded me of summers spent doing fun stuff that was, in retrospect, potentially very dangerous. Good times!

  • Vincent Hobbes
    2018-12-30 15:59

    This was my first read of the author's work, and I'll say I'm impressed. He created a vivid story, wonderful characters, and a thrilling read. I'm hooked on Mr. Everington's work.-Vincent Hobbes

  • A.J. Armitt
    2018-12-29 16:53

    This is the second title I have read by James Everington, and he is quickly becoming a new favourite author of mine.As with his anthology 'The Other Room', Mr Everington offers a tightly written masterpiece in horror; a tale that is genuinely frightening because of the expert way in which he hints at what you DON'T see rather than what you DO. I read quite a lot of horror stories, and all too often I find myself disappointed with the way in which many writers seek to shock. Over-the-top gore and violence seems to be creeping its way into literature more and more these days, and it is quite refreshing to read something from a writer whose storytelling ability is good enough to carry a tale in a far more subtle, and ultimately terrifying fashion. 'The Shelter' reminded me in many ways of Stephen King's 'It' (without the weird sex scene), a group of youngsters on the cusp of adulthood. Each characters has their own unique voice and personality, and although they are generally unpleasant, you feel a real connection to them. I think that this is the secret to good writing. You feel what the characters feel. You recognise and understand their fear.Add to this well written prose and a varied and appropriate use of language, and you have the makings of a first class horror novella.Well done once again Mr Everington!

  • Tony Talbot
    2019-01-18 15:15

    I was disappointed at the lack of a resolution. I would have prefered the main character to have gone back and faced whatever was down in the shelter. There wasn't much tension in the story either, although the feel of the summer descriptions was nicely done.

  • Andy Weston
    2019-01-04 16:57

    Aimed at teenage boys, but plenty to enjoy here for all. My only criticism is the last par, and feel that it peters out somewhat.

  • Paula
    2019-01-01 12:48

    ‘The Shelter’ is a quick short story with loads of atmosphere and creepy moments.