Read Haunted by James Herbert Online


Three nights of terror at the house called Edbrook. Three nights in which David Ash, there to investigate a haunting, will be victim of horrifying and maleficent games. Three nights in which he will face the blood-chilling enigma of his own past. Three hideous nights before Edbrook's dreadful secret will be revealed... and the true nightmare will begin....

Title : Haunted
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780450493553
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 224 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Haunted Reviews

  • TK421
    2019-02-08 01:39

    Stephen King gushes over James Herbert; I don't see why. Herbert is a decent writer and storyteller, to be sure; but, I found nothing fascinating about HAUNTED. For a haunted-house story, it was pretty clear from the beginning that Herbert never intended to do anything different from the already established sub-genre of horror fiction (how can a writer expect to top THE HAUNTING OF HILL HOUSE?). With that said, it does have an interesting protagonist, an anti-hero named David who is battling his own personal demons while trying to debase the supernatural. But the supporting cast in this novel is laughable. (view spoiler)[The "medium" who succumbs to what can best be described as stage-fright is one of the sorriest ends to a character I have ever read. (hide spoiler)] Overall, this is a fast read that suits the Halloween atmosphere. Perhaps because it was written in the early 80s some of the pizzazz has been lost. Perhaps. You could do worse for a "fright" read. That being said, I am still going to read some of Herbert's other titles, they just won't be moving to the top of the TBR pile any time soon.RECOMMENDED (with reservations)

  • Werner
    2019-02-17 07:10

    "Our complacency is shaken; we thought the universe was a tidy, locked room, but there seems to be a scratching outside the door. For a moment, we pretend to know everything and pridefully assert, 'There is no such thing!' Something out there seems to respond, 'Oh, really?'" --Lint Hatcher, "The Truth That Is Out There," Rutherford, 1995.The above quote could well serve as an epigraph for this novel; for the author has very clearly set up a conflict here between two opposite views of the world. Hard-drinking, emotionally distant paranormal investigator David Ash is, above all else, an apostle of a hyper-rational, purely materialistic view of reality; natural causes, he believes, must explain all of the phenomena he investigates, and he's built a very successful career on debunking the supernatural. Now, however, when he's been summoned by the eccentric Mariell family to their isolated 16th-century country seat Edbrook to investigate a purported haunting, my shelving this book as supernatural fiction should be a dead giveaway that his worldview is going to undergo some revision. (And it won't be a particularly easy or comfortable experience.) Herbert's message here, IMO, isn't necessarily to be taken as a literal assertion that ghosts actually exist; but as supernatural elements in fiction often do, the haunting here serves as a metaphor for aspects of reality that aren't reducible to the neat, the mathematical, the rational, and the naturally explainable.During his lifetime, James Herbert was the best-selling fiction author in the U.K. Often, best-seller status only testifies to the power of advertising and the ability of bookstore chains to manipulate the lists. But after reading this page-turner, I'd surmise that Herbert earned his status a different way: by providing serious readers with well-crafted, good-quality, extremely effective fiction, which is exactly what this is. His characterizations are round and life-like, and his prose style suited perfectly to his intention. The pacing is flawless, and the evocation of an increasingly scary atmosphere nicely done. Transitions from David to his Psychical Research Institute colleagues are ably positioned to build suspense; the prologue, set in David's childhood, and the flashbacks aren't just filler, but serve a very real purpose in the crafting of the whole edifice that is the novel. David's inner psychological baggage is as important here as the external goings-on at Edbrook; and as noted above, there is some real philosophical depth here, not just scares for scares sake.This is definitely a dark novel, at many levels. Although there's no explicit sex, it has a franker treatment of sexuality than the classic ghost story tradition characteristically did; and while there's no obscenity, there's a certain amount of religious profanity that I found gratuitous (though, to be sure, some people do talk that way). But there's no splatter-punk; the horror here is mainly psychological (though that can be potentially lethal). One reviewer characterized the plot as "predictable." Personally, I beg to differ; I found it to be anything but, and in fact to involve more than one jaw-dropping surprise. But Herbert is a consummate master of literary surprises --he knows they have to grow organically from the story itself, not be dragged in from left field against logic, and he adeptly hides his clues in plain sight.Much later, the author wrote two more novels with David as the central character, so that they form a trilogy. But this one stands on its own perfectly well, with no cliff-hangers and a basic resolution.

  • Adam Light
    2019-01-28 04:36

    David Ash is sent to a remote village to investigate a haunting at the Edbrook house. Ash is renowned for debunking supernatural phenomenon, and he dives into this assignment ready to do just that.Too bad the place is really haunted.Well executed, but fairly predictable ghost story with some genuinely hair raising scenes.I will certainly read the rest of the series.

  • Nancy Oakes
    2019-02-05 01:21

    can't think of a star rating I'm happy with right off the top of my head right now. Back when I initially read Haunted (which was probably in the 90s), for some reason I thought it was one of the best haunted house stories I'd ever read; now rereading it, I think that it had its moments, it was fun, but in the end, it's really only the ending that saved this story from being just another ho-hum haunted house story. Before anyone who is a huge James Herbert fan starts mentally pelting me with rotten tomatoes, consider the fact that eons and a growing taste for more sophisticated haunted house stories now stand between this reading and my first time with it. What I did notice most prominently about it this time around, and what I really enjoy about it in the long run is that it's really quite twisted in a hugely-ironic way, and what the author's done here turns his story into something wholly unexpected. plot (if you want it) without spoilers can be foundhere; if not, just keep reading. The sad thing is that up to the last few pages, and I'm really sorry major Herbert fans, what happens along the way may have been earth shattering in the 80s but well, kind of old hat by now. That's not saying I didn't like it, but it really is a book that depends on its final few pages for the major shock value. On the flip side, it was fun revisiting this novel even if I no longer think it's the greatest haunted house story ever told.

  • Dreadlocksmile
    2019-02-04 03:13

    First published back in 1988, `Haunted' was Herbert's fourteenth full length novel to be published. `Haunted' was the first novel to introduce the anti-hero character of David Ash, who later returned in Herbert's 1994 novel `The Ghosts Of Sleath', which takes on the role of a loose sequel to `Haunted'. From the very beginning the reader soon becomes accustomed to Ash's bad habits, cynical view on life and overall downbeat traits, of which followers of Herbert's work will recognise as a somewhat recurring theme within his novels. Ash is certainly not a polished, goodie-two-shoes type of character, and this in itself gives the novel a harder and more true to life feel to it. The book follows the classic structure of a `haunted house' novel, laying down the premise of a possible supernatural presence from the offset. Herbert carefully builds the underlying tension of the storyline, interweaving the sub-plots of the developing character relationships, whilst still subtly hinting to the reader an uneasy atmosphere to the whole scenario. With suggestive bursts of ghostly appearances that become more and more frequent as the tale progresses, the old cliché of "am I going insane" is thrown into the equation, until finally the horrifying truth is revealed in an almost explosive manner. For sheer nail biting tension this novel delivers the goods from the very first page until the dramatic final conclusion. Well written, Herbert weaves a tale that beckons the reader into the storyline, with heart-stopping suspense that you can cut with a knife. At only 224 pages in length, you will find yourself wondering how you managed to get so absorbed in the novel in such a short span of pages. The film director Lewis Gilbert (him of James Bond fame no less) later went on to make the film adaptation of `Haunted' in 1995 of the same name. The film did not stick particularly firmly to the course of Herbert's original tale, but is nevertheless a reasonably enjoyable film.

  • Kevin Lucia
    2019-02-07 04:20

    I've already read Ghosts of Sleath - the sequel to this, didn't know it existed - and The Shrine, and it's very clear I need to read more of James Herbert's work.

  • Maciek
    2019-02-03 04:26

    Gripping novel with a finale that shocked me !

  • Dark-Draco
    2019-02-13 02:12

    I've read this book more than once and still enjoy it. David Ash is a paranormal investigator, but with a cynical outlook that has him continually unmasking fakes, frauds and con-artists. The Merriel haunting should be just another case, but the three siblings and their old Aunt seem to be delighted to tease him and play games ... even put his life in danger. But it is the links to his own past that cause the biggest scares.I think I like this because there is no nonsense - it gets right on with the story, setting the scene quickly and playing out the action over three nights. There is no drawn out, overdone prose trying to get you frightened, it just does it by describing what Ash is going through. To be honest, the 'twist' in the tale isn't that hard to spot, but I think that makes a good horror story - if the reader is one step of the protagonist and can see what is going to happen, our fear and emotions are heightened.Great read - onto the next in the trilogy.

  • Cheryl
    2019-02-04 02:35

    Interesting haunted house tale. First in a series starring paranormal investigator David Ash. The plot had some genuine chills and unexpected turns. Spooky fun!

  • Becky
    2019-02-12 05:38

    This was another of the BOGO Audible selections I picked up last month, and to be honest, I wasn't sure what to expect. I listened to the sample probably 4 times before taking the plunge and going for it anyway, because the reader didn't really do much for me, but it was one of those scenarios where I wasn't completely in "NOPE." mode either. I was just undecided which way it would go - whether I'd end up enjoying the reader or whether I'd regret it. I'm rather picky about audiobook readers, and generally I can tell after just a few seconds of sample time whether I'll want to listen to a reader for an entire book or not. (There was one sample I listened to where the first words were "ABEL, HELP!!" and that's all I heard before I stopped it. Literally one two-word sentence was enough for me to know that the reader would have ruined the book for me.)Anyway, this was one that, thankfully, ended up being enjoyable. There was a section of the book where many, many voices were being channeled in extremely rapid and random succession, and that section was extremely well-read. Well, either well-read or well-edited. Could go either way there. The rest of it was enjoyable too, but that scene stands out in my mind for being the best read of the book. I liked how the reader gave each character his or her own personality and voice, but it didn't feel cartoonish or caricaturish - just natural. Which is pretty important to me. I cannot stand when the reader gets in the way of the characters. So, in all actuality, though I was undecided on the reader at first, the reading itself ended up being the high-point of this one. I enjoyed the story, but it wasn't all that unique or ground-breaking, and there were times when I was either confused or frustrated by the way that the story was told, and by some of the characters. For instance, we get a mostly 3rd person limited perspective throughout the story, seeing things as David does, but not being inside his head. But then there are times when the story shifts perspective randomly to other characters, and then other times when the story shifts to flashbacks, and then times when it shifts to other characters' flashbacks. It wasn't necessarily hard to keep up, but it was kind of confusing when all of a sudden we're at a seance instead of in the car, with no explanation of how we got there except for a minor reference to the flashback that's to come. But I don't always expect a reference to a character's past to result in a full replay of the scene, and there were times when I didn't see it as necessary at all. It was more like it was just padding to fill out examples of fraud vs real paranormal events. And then we have inexplicable actions or just blatant ignorance from some of the characters, and I found myself annoyed. For example, when a medium who works with David and his on-again/off-again girlfriend mentions to the semi-girlfriend that she's concerned that David is in trouble, she's blown off SEVERAL TIMES. And considering past situations where the semi-girlfriend is concerned about David in a very girlfriend-y "I want the best for you, so take care of yourself, please!" way, it just seemed out of character for her to so roundly ignore their mutual friend who would have the means to know his situation. The ending was a bit of a disappointment as well. I saw the "twist" coming from a mile away, and then I was really disappointed that there was no closure to the story, and I really felt that there should have been. But, as I said, it was enjoyable, but do I wish that it was a little better fleshed out and... finished.

  • Miloš
    2019-02-10 05:23

    Uhh... Chill peace of work.For a moment, I had felt my heart bounced like a hammer from the stonewall.I do not know why I have waited so long to finish this book, but, life has a strange ways...I gave it only four stars (only) because the first part of the book was a little slow and did make me unexpectedly dull. But, as the story goes on it become better and better, until the end. It was very, very good. :-)At last, I would recommended it to anyone who do not have a weak heart and do like a horror stories.By by...

  • Daria
    2019-02-14 07:34

    Naszym główny bohaterem jest Dawid Ash, który pracuje w specjalnym Instytucie, zajmującym się wszelkimi nietypowymi zjawiskami, uznanymi często przez zwykłych ludzi za nadprzyrodzone. Sam Dawid uchodzi za mistrza udowadniania, że to jedynie wymysły. Poznajemy go, gdy wyrusza na kolejne zlecenie do pani Webb do Edbrook.W kwestiach technicznych – prawdę mówiąc, książka nie stoi językowo na zbyt wysokim poziomie. Dalej jest już znacznie lepiej, ale na początku powtórzenia mogą razić. Ciężko powiedzieć czy zawinił trochę tłumacz (szczególnie, że mój egzemplarz jest pierwszym wydaniem), czy faktycznie szału nie ma też w oryginale, ale całościowo książkę czyta się dość łatwo. Jednak są kolejne rzeczy, za które lecą minusy. Już w pierwszym rozdziale usłyszymy nie raz, że Dawid nie pamięta szczegółów swojego koszmaru (jakby raz nie wystarczył). Również Dawid, który stronę wcześniej twierdzi, że nawet lepiej, że nie może w pociągu napić się czegoś mocniejszego, bo nie wypada, żeby klient na dzień dobry poczuł alkohol, to gdy już dociera na miejsce nagle o tym zapomina i pierwsze co zamówił w pubie to wódka (czyli stronę później). Ach, jakiś ty konsekwentny. Już nie wspominając jak głupie jest proponowanie swojemu kierowcy wypicie drinka. Serio?Moją uwagę zwrócił też dialog między współpracownicami Dawida – Kate i Edith. Przypomina mi to dziwną próbę przedstawienia czytelnikowi jak wygląda praca w Instytucie i co się będzie działo. Pozwolę sobie na zacytowanie (nie ma tu niczego istotnego dla fabuły, więc bez obaw):‘’[Edith] – Właśnie się nad tym zastanawiam. W Instytucie jest zawsze pełno roboty, a właśnie zbliża się termin otwarcia Konferencji Parapsychologicznej…- To fakt. Sam udział w dorocznej konferencji wiąże się zawsze z dużym wysiłkiem, a tym razem należymy do organizatorów.- No właśnie. Poza tym jeszcze prowadzicie obecnie wiele badań.- Tak się składa. Na szczęście, w większości przypadków nie potrzeba wiele czasu, aby badane zjawiska zakwalifikować do zupełnie naturalnych, pomimo iż pewne okoliczności mogłyby wskazywać, że jest inaczej.- Masz rację, ale są też takie przypadki, które zabierają nam tygodnie, a czasami nawet miesiące wytężonej pracy.- Prawda. Ale właśnie te przypadki cenimy sobie najbardziej – powiedziała Kate krojąc jajko.’’Dlaczego mówią sobie rzeczy oczywiste, o których obie doskonale wiedzą? Wygląda to dziwnie. Szczególnie, że w dalszej części dialogu temat tej konferencji już nie występuje. Jeśli chodzi o bohaterów, to o ile ciotkę Webb nawet polubiłam, to jednak pozostali domownicy na pewno nie grzeszyli odpowiedzialnością. Chyba obca jest im zasada ograniczonego zaufania do swojego psa, gdy są goście na jego terenie (szczególnie, jak się ma akurat takiego psa). Ich niedojrzałość też denerwuje – dorośli ludzie świadomi dziwnej i trudnej sytuacji, w której się znaleźli, chwilami mentalnie cofali się do poziomu śmieszków. Aż mi żal było pani Webb. Zachowanie bohaterów wydawało mi się chwilami całkiem bezsensowne. Chociaż wszystko można wybaczyć, gdy pozna się już zakończenie. Główny bohater, chociaż mało konsekwentny w swoich postanowieniach alkoholowych, jednak nie był denerwujący. Całkiem przyjemny facet i chwilami trudno się dziwić, że jest sfrustrowany i po prostu wkurzony. Byłabym w stanie przeczytać kolejne książki z jego udziałem.Co do fabuły: było ok. Na pierwszy rzut oka główny problem mógł wydawać się dość powszechny, ale z czasem zaczyna się bardzo interesujący obrót sprawy, który niekoniecznie jest dobry dla bohaterów i warto przebrnąć przez początek dla ostatnich rozdziałów. Chociaż chwilami czułam jakby ta ‘’intryga’’ była ciągnięta na siłę. Nie chciałam za wszelką cenę poznać prawdy – bardziej denerwująca była ta zmowa milczenia. Chociaż im dalej, tym książka lepiej się rozkręca. Rozdziały są krótkie, zachowana jest równowaga między opisami a akcją. Nie ma czegoś za dużo czy za mało. Sceny poboczne były naprawdę w porządku.Książka, która w moim wydaniu jest króciutka (191 stron) i którą mogłabym przeczytać w jeden dzień, czytałam jednak kilka dni. Nie wiem czy to dlatego, że nie zrobiłam sobie przerwy po poprzedniej książce (którą dość mocno przeżyłam), czy dlatego, że nie mogłam kompletnie wczuć się w historię i jakoś niezbyt interesowało mnie, co będzie dalej. Ale nie zrażałabym się moją oceną. Jeśli ktoś chce poczytać jakiś krótki, całkiem przyjemny horror, to śmiało.Rozważałam nawet podciągnięcie na 3 gwiazdki, ale popatrzyłam też na to pod kątem innych książek, które oceniłam na 3, więc uznałam jednak 2 za najlepszą opcję.

  • F.R.
    2019-02-21 05:21

    David Ash, a cynical and jaded investigator of the paranormal (or ‘irregular-normal’) heads out to a country house to investigate – and disprove – a tale of a haunting. It’s a nice set up, as in this disbelieving ghost hunter figure, there’s both a great knowledge of the supernatural and an immense scepticism. As such he can spout of all the ghostly rules that a book like this needs, while at the same time being totally shocked when things start to get out of hand. Indeed the world weary man with a scarred past is a type which normally features in crime novels (the opening on the train actually reminded me of Michael Caine at the beginning of ‘Get Carter’, except he was going North while Ash is heading West), but it works so well in a ghost story setting too.The ridiculously generic title tells you the type of tale this is going to be, and on that score it never disappoints. There are things going bump in the night, situations which aren’t what they first appear and a big, terrifying conclusion. To be fair I guessed what the twist would be about halfway through, but it didn’t really harm my enjoyment – in fact, getting to watch all the pieces slip into place, may have made it even more fun. This is a short, sharp and scary story (albeit, with a little bit of padding), which I would definitely recommend if you have a couple of hours spare and feel like some chills.

  • Bandit
    2019-01-22 03:21

    James Herbert continues to impress me. This book was so much better than an average haunted house fare, it was dark, well written, atmospheric and really kept the reader guessing as to what was going on. The characters were interesting and well developed and the pacing kept me turning the pages and finishing the book pretty quickly. Years ago (before I read any Herbert) I watched a movie this book was based on, I couldn't remeber much of the plot, but I remembered some of the cast and so while reading this book I kept picturing Ash as Aidan Quinn and Christina as Kate Beckinsale. Good casting, actually, although now I want to see the movie again. Very good book, highly recommended.

  • Sam
    2019-02-15 04:38

    While this was a good read and was well set in a creepy and creaking old house where the walls seemed to have a life of their own, this felt like more of a psychological mystery than a horror (it could be that I'm just hardened against such things). The story follows David Ash, a paranormal investigator sent to Edbrook to look into the haunting that the family have been subjected to over the years. In doing so he is forced to face his own past and his own ghosts, something that he has tried to avoid since he was a child. Don't get me wrong this is a good read, well written with very interesting characters, I was just hoping for something a little different that sent chills up my spine.

  • Siobhan
    2019-01-30 07:24

    Deciding to jump headfirst into the world of David Ash is one of the best choices that a person can make. David Ash is one of the best characters I have found in a very long time, being easy to understand as well as being much fun to read – developing so much across the three books.In this first instalment of the parapsychologist we’re thrown into a classic ghost story. It’s a relatively short story compared to the other books in the series but it works to set the scene for the following books, giving you the understanding of David Ash that you need. It is possible to read the three books in any order but it is much better for the reader if they are read in order. The biggest downfall, for me, was the predictability of some aspects of the book: some aspects are really easy to work out – not just for myself but other people who I have given the book to borrow. Regardless, it is very much worth a read.

  • Vicki Willis
    2019-02-08 04:37

    This was not the book for me. I listened to it on audible and found it very difficult to pay attention to the story. Then I found that it didn't matter that I wasn't paying attention because very little was happening. The last hour of the book was definitely the best part, but basically I was happy it was short and now over.

  • Ignacio Senao f
    2019-02-03 07:16

    Parapsicólogo va a una mansión en la que perturbadores acontecimientos joden la convivencia de 3 hermanos y su tía. Este “especialista” tuvo una juventud diferente al ver cosas que no debería. Así que llega muy chulo él diciendo a estos habitantes que no le digan nada, el solo descubrirá que pasa.Yo también hare lo mismo, y no os diré nada más.

  • Terry
    2019-02-03 09:24

    I enjoyed the audiobook well enough, but probably would have enjoyed reading it more.

  • Rebecca McNutt
    2019-02-13 07:26

    Haunted was incredibly eerie and suspenseful, really a fantastic novel.

  • Manda
    2019-01-29 06:23

    So great to read this haunted house gem set back in the late 80s in the days before mobile phones when you had to put silver coins into a public phone box to make a call. So of course back then it wasn’t so easy to call for help whilst being haunted by mysterious, unexplained, ghostly events as it would be now.....The first of the David Ash Trilogy and an easy to become absorbed into horror read. I’m straight into the Second in the trilogy on the strength of this first.

  • Deirdre
    2019-01-31 01:10

    I was right... Thought so.  That was creepy, disturbing and strange.  I read it as 80s Horror and could have used it for ghosts and haunted houses.  This is the story of a man working for a psychic research institute who mostly debunks psychics and haunted house stories finding himself in a house that the occupants claim is haunted.  There's a lot of strange stuff happening when he arrives and his usual crutch of alcohol may not work this time.  There's no phone and it's the 80s. Oh man, that was twisted. I'm not sure how some of the events in the plot worked but that was a twisted story that I'm not sure David Ash is going to recover any time soon from.  I did get one of the major twists fairly early on, but still I was creeped out by it all. It did feature 80s treatment of female characters and does linger a bit too much on value based on looks. A product of it's time.

  • Miriam Michalak
    2019-01-29 01:34

    Still super creepy after all this time!

  • Son Agia
    2019-01-23 04:12

    Belakangan saya lagi demen nyari buku-buku (lebih tepatnya download ilegal) yang dulu sewaktu kecil (SD-SMP) pernah saya tonton adaptasi filmnya.Di antaranya Haunted.Sebagaimana judulnya, novel karangan penulis yang sering disebut sebagai "Stephen King dari Inggris" ini mengangkat satu tema yang paling tidak asing dalam genre horor, yaitu rumah angker. Menceritakan petualangan David Ash, seorang parapsikolog yang cenderung skeptis dengan segala hal yang berhubungan dengan makhluk halus.Jujur aja, dulu saya sampe nggak bisa tidur gara-gara nonton film ini di Trans tv (ehemmm tolong maklum, saya kan masih SD anjis).Sedangkan untuk bukunya, mungkin akan lebih saya nikmati andai saja saya belum pernah baca novel dengan tema serupa. Yoi, walaupun terdapat segelintir kejutan, buku ini terlalu banyak klisenya. Mulai dari ending yang mudah ditebak, flashback yang dialami si tokoh utama, dsb. Dan sialnya, ini makin diperparah dengan saya yang sering kali keinget scene-scene yang ada di film.Lumayan buat nostalgia. Ha ha ha ha (tawa manis gitu lho).

  • Andrea
    2019-02-02 01:36

    After being hired by the Mariell siblings, David Ash sets out to a remote village to investigate the haunting of Edbrook house. The haunting should be just another cut and dry case, but the siblings and their aunt are as creepy as the house. They seem intent upon playing games with him; they’re not taking the haunting seriously at all.So why did they hire him?David Ash is a classic anti-hero. He is cynical and downbeat, tortured by a dark past, and he investigates by trying to debunk the existence of the supernatural. He believes in the paranormal, not the supernatural. I always thought the two were interchangeable, but this book showed me that they’re not. This is not a typical ghost story, where the investigator sees the ghost, identifies the lost soul, dredges up her twisted past, then figures out how to "kill" her. Sam and Dean never come busting through the door with salt and iron, sorry. Though there are hints of that formula, Ash, like the reader, is never sure what to believe. Though I did predict the twist, I could never be certain of that prediction until it came true. The clues were subtle but hidden in plain sight, and there were enough wrenches thrown into the plot to leave you in doubt, which lent a psychological air to the story. Even the unflappable Ash starts to wonder if he’s going crazy.This is a creepy, fast-paced read, in which the underlying tension builds and builds towards a horrifying climax. It’s not a very long book, and it reads very fast, so it’s shocking how quickly and effortlessly you get absorbed into the plot.

  • Deb Atwood
    2019-02-11 03:25

    David Ash, a paranormal investigator for the Psychical Research Institute, has taken a case in rural England where he meets the siblings Simon, Christina, and Robert; and their aunt, Nanny Tess. They live in a decaying mansion full of mysterious noises and drafts and fires that disappear. To complicate matters, David is an alcoholic, latent psychic who is haunted by a past that includes the drowning death of his young sister. David insists ghosts are either natural phenomena or the result of charlatans, and makes it his mission to ferret out the truth and disprove the existence of ghosts. The Psychical Research Institute employs David for this reason. The Institute’s rationale is that if David can expose fakery, this will provide a basis to legitimize actual hauntings.Once at the Edbrook mansion, David struggles to obtain proper equipment readings or explain sensations of crippling fear. Nanny Tess avoids him even though she summoned him. David is hindered by the tricks and half-truths of the brothers, and finds himself falling for the beautiful but enigmatic Christine. Meanwhile, he nightly follows a giggling young girl in white ankle socks and a translucent woman in white who leads him to a treacherous pond.Back at the Institute, psychic Edith Phipp’s visions tell her all is not right at Edbrook. Just as her dreams escalate in intensity, David’s behavior becomes more erratic and his thoughts more troubled. Gradually David will awaken to a truth he may not care to see.~~~ What I thought:James Herbert is a renowned writer of the supernatural. Haunted is the first of a series featuring David Ash (don’t you love his evocative last name?) and Kate McCarrick. I read the second of the series, Ghosts of Sleath, and found it too macabre for my taste. In Haunted, the author does a wonderful job with setting and character to establish a dark and eerie tone, more atmosphere than in the graphic horror scenes of the second David Ash book.Edbrook is the perfect setting for this atmospheric novel. Bounded by ornate, 16th century gates and dominating the landscape, Edbrook is “imposing in its grayness” and “disconcerting in its bleakness” (36). Author Herbert knows how to ratchet up tension as when David touches a bed and reacts “as though his fingertips had dipped into icy liquid” (222). David’s trials of terror and exhaustion are rendered in believable scenes, compounded by his isolation in the dreary, remote countryside. And bonus of bonuses—there’s a hidden mausoleum. I’ve loved mausoleums ever since I used to race home from middle school to watch Dark Shadows.Haunted was made into a movie in 1995 starring Aidan Quinn and Kate Beckinsale. This is one of those instances in which I enjoyed the movie slightly more than I enjoyed the book, partly because the book interrupted the plot to insert long flashbacks that I found disruptive. However, Herbert’s novel is a book that must be added to any aficionado’s comprehensive list. Haunted is to ghost fiction what The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and Catcher in the Rye are to American literature.For a ghost tale filled with dark foreboding and spine-tingling scenes, James Herbert’s novel, as well as the 1995 movie, will leave you feeling Haunted.

  • E L A H
    2019-02-15 07:33

    I was a bit disappointed it wasn't because it's a short story, but it wasn't that scary at all.I'm a bit ashamed, I didn't know that this is part of a series and I just found out when I joined Goodreads. I already read the second and third series a long time ago which I did like a lot. It was scarier than this one. However, this book was creepy. The story is quite disturbing, but again it wasn't my cup of tea.I can't really say much about the book. The writing was good, but it didn't scare me at all. It wasn't that interesting which I never expected at all. It was readable, not boring or horrible. I am just one of those readers who didn't enjoy it. However, this is not the reason that I will stop reading his book. I bought a lot of this works, and I am looking forward reading them.

  • Ubiquitousbastard
    2019-02-18 02:16

    I was actually surprised at how much I liked this book. I expected it to be much slower, but stuff started right away, which is one way to raise a book in my opinion. And it really just got better as it went, I'm pretty sure my heart rate sped up. Any book that gets a physical reaction is also just plain awesome. I really love it when books are better than expected.There were some actually creepy parts, and I thought I might get annoyed at (view spoiler)[the seemingly tossed in romance, but not, this time Herbert was doing it not only to be gratuitous; it ended up being pretty awesome that the chick was a rancid ghost the whole time. Awesome. (hide spoiler)]This book is also a bit different from anything else I can think of (outside other Herbert books,) it's not really Stephen King-esque despite being the same genre, and it's definitely not Koontz-like. All that is intended as praise, if that wasn't apparent.

  • Christopher Riley
    2019-01-23 08:31

    Haven't read any James Herbert for about 20 years, but I had this on the shelf for a while and wanted to read something not too heavy.It's a page-turner, not many characters, not loads of depth to them, but it kept me reading and the pulse racing at times.I guess Haunted is less in the outright Horror mode of say The Dark or the Rats trilogy, dealing more with suspense and the supernatural.A couple of minor points where the reader is encouraged to suspend disbelief a little too much and one poor character that we empathise with being rather heartlessly dispensed with aside, this is a steadyaway perturbing potboiler from a hugely successful writer and storyteller of no little skill.

  • Matthew Bielawa
    2019-02-10 01:22

    I really enjoyed this book, a classic haunted house story with all the prerequisites. It reminds me of how I felt when reading ghost stories when I was younger: Staying up late at night under the covers, getting completely enveloped in the story, turning the pages as fast as I can, thinking about the story from time to time during the day, and really just having fun. James Herbert makes it easy. Even though the storyline wasn't complex, and the characters weren't deep (I want to know more about Kate and Edith!), I just had a great time reading. Remember when reading a haunted house or ghost story was just plain FUN?!