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The Red Tree

por Caitlín R. Kiernan

Outros autores: Ver a secção outros autores.

MembrosCríticasPopularidadeAvaliação médiaMenções
6202837,697 (3.73)26
Fantasy. Fiction. Literature. Thriller. HTML:Sarah Crowe left Atlanta??and the remnants of a tumultuous relationship??to live in an old house in rural Rhode Island. Within its walls she discovers an unfinished manuscript written by the house??s former tenant??an anthropologist obsessed with the ancient oak growing on a desolate corner of the property.
 
Tied to local legends of supernatural magic, as well as documented accidents and murders, the gnarled tree takes root in Sarah??s imagination, prompting her to write her own account of its unsavory history.  
 
And as the oak continues to possess her dreams and nearly almost all her waking thoughts, Sarah risks her health and her sanity to unearth a revelation planted ce
… (mais)
  1. 30
    House of Leaves por Mark Z. Danielewski (ligature)
  2. 10
    The Twisted Ones por T. Kingfisher (sturlington)
    sturlington: Found manuscripts, rural settings, gateways to other places, lots of weirdness--these two go together.
  3. 00
    A Book of Tongues por Gemma Files (GirlMisanthrope)
    GirlMisanthrope: Kiernan's well-researched, thick and juicy prose reminds me of Gemma File's writing.
  4. 00
    The Athenian Murders por José Carlos Somoza (ligature)
  5. 00
    Dreams Of Shreds & Tatters por Amanda Downum (questionablepotato)
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Mostrando 1-5 de 28 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
Hmmm...what to make of this book. As happens with some of the best books I've read, I was prepared to hate it before the last, maybe, 100 pages. I still do hate parts of it, but not the parts you may think. But first onto the parts I don't hate (anymore).

This book is certainly difficult. 1) because the subject matter gets very metaphorical, and 2) because of all of the references to other authors, artists, philosophers, etc. It's hard to keep up. Sometimes I didn't keep up. I don't claim to know what this book is about except in very general, broad strokes.

Other things I hated but now appreciate. The narrator is unreliable (by her own admission) and unlikeable (by her own admission). She seems to want to make everyone around her miserable, and she doesn't seem to treat the people who care about her with any great kindness or as anything other than a place to hang her anger. By the end of the book, she's certainly not excused from being an awful person sometimes, but it's better. She's more human.

This book also seems to move very slowly for a while. It sort of meanders it's way toward the end, then all of a sudden it starts sprinting. You have to hang with it for a good, long while to get to the sprint. It it does make the meandering worth it.

Things I actually hated. The cover is just awful. Is that even an oak on the front? Who is that person supposed to be? Also, the narrator transcribes parts of a manuscript into her journal. Her whole journal is kept on a typewriter, but for some reason only the transcriptions are done in typewriter font. That was ill-advised and nearly unreadable. I'm pretty sure I got a headache trying to make it through one long stretch of typewritten font.

Overall, this book has wrought a very surprising 4 stars from me. ( )
1 vote JessicaReadsThings | Dec 2, 2021 |
This is not a book I would recommend to anyone; it was just so........mediocre. The writing is very good with influences of older classic horror. However, this novel relies so heavily on the melodramatic horror of love gone wrong and guilt that it will probably only satisfy readers who enjoy stories of domestic dysfunction. I do not. Books about relationships just don't hold my interest and I avoid them as much as possible. Kiernan is a talented enough writer to have kept me engaged with the story; but I was relieved when I got to the last page, and looking forward to whatever I intend to read next in hopes it will be a better experience. ( )
  Equestrienne | Jan 5, 2021 |
In many ways, this is an old-fashioned horror story drawing heavily on the traditions of the New England gothic established by Poe, Lovecraft, Hawthorne, and Shirley Jackson, as well as folklore and Native American storytelling traditions. The allusions are thick and heavy, and will keep anyone who's interested in following them up busy for a long while. The main character, Sarah, is a writer who can't write, renting a very spooky and inhospitable-sounding house for the summer, where she discovers an unfinished manuscript in the basement by the previous tenant who hanged himself, about a sinister-looking tree out back and the strange happenings connected to it. It's quite a rabbit hole to fall down (and yes, there are plenty of Alice references too).

Sarah is grieving her ex-girlfriend Amanda's recent suicide, which is probably why she can't write. She begins keeping a journal about her research into the manuscript and the tree. After a while, another tenant moves into the house, a beautiful younger painter named Constance who takes the attic room. Constance seems to exist solely to remind Sarah of things she'd rather not think about. And here I'm going to get very spoiler-y, so maybe stop reading now if you haven't read the book yet.

It is clear, at least to me, early on that Constance does not exist. Sarah has a lot of issues: she has seizures, she has periods of missing time, she drinks, and Constance simply does not make sense as a person. She is a stand-in for Sarah's dead ex and the guilt Sarah feels about it. Based on the way Sarah reacts to Constance, it is my strong sense that Sarah was an abusive partner to Amanda. This is just a supposition I'm making, but it feels right to me, and even though I liked Sarah's narrative voice, I couldn't empathize with the character very much as a result.

The story itself is often vague and sometimes feels overstuffed. The tree itself does not seem that frightening to me. However, that basement is genuinely disturbing, and the two scenes set there were the two creepiest parts of the book. I am usually not fond of the whole found manuscript story-within-a-story trope, but I think it rather worked here, although it was sometimes hard to keep track of which spooky story was which. For me, the most effective piece of writing was Sarah's short story inserted into the middle of the novel, "Pony," which was bizarre as hell but very affecting, and shed a lot of light on Sarah and Amanda's relationship. All in all, this is a hodgepodge: good writing throughout, a thorough knowledge of the gothic tradition on display, a couple of truly creepy parts, an entirely expected ambiguous ending, and yet a sense of dissatisfaction--really, that's it? After all that? ( )
1 vote sturlington | Feb 28, 2020 |
Somehow I didn't find this as unsettling while reading as I did at the end: I think because being a story, as it's told I'm expecting explanation and resolution to come at some point, but when you reach the end and it's explicitly telling you that's all there is, then you're left with trying to make sense of it yourself and... yeah that's pretty unsettling... ( )
  zeborah | Feb 4, 2020 |
Very creepy! In the end, I wish it had been MORE scary, but I did love her writing and her "intertextuality", as post-modernists like to say. She is well aware of the genre and the ideas she's exploring. It's very Lovecraftian and she must have mentioned Lovecraft at least 5 times in it. It's also a very easy read, and really compelling. I read it in three days. All I wish for is a greater, more horrifying impact at the end (following true Lovecraftian tradition). ( )
  xiaomarlo | Apr 17, 2019 |
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Caitlín R. Kiernanautor principaltodas as ediçõescalculado
Mollica, GeneArtista da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
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For Dr. Richard B. Pollnac and Carol Hanson Pollnac,

for making this novel possible.

In memory of Elizabeth Tillman Aldridge (1970–1995).

Sic transit gloria mundi.
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I have visited the old Wight farm and its "red tree," there where the house squats ancient and neglected  below the bogs that lie at the southern edge of Ramswool Pond.
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Fantasy. Fiction. Literature. Thriller. HTML:Sarah Crowe left Atlanta??and the remnants of a tumultuous relationship??to live in an old house in rural Rhode Island. Within its walls she discovers an unfinished manuscript written by the house??s former tenant??an anthropologist obsessed with the ancient oak growing on a desolate corner of the property.
 
Tied to local legends of supernatural magic, as well as documented accidents and murders, the gnarled tree takes root in Sarah??s imagination, prompting her to write her own account of its unsavory history.  
 
And as the oak continues to possess her dreams and nearly almost all her waking thoughts, Sarah risks her health and her sanity to unearth a revelation planted ce

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