Friday, September 25, 2009

Audrey's Door

Audrey's Door was the second book that I read on my 3-week trip to South Africa. I had just received it as part of's "Vine Voice" program and chose to read it next because it would be completely different than the Diana Gabaldon tome. This is a horror book written by Sarah Langan and is her third book.

I've been looking for a new horror author, having read most of King's work as well as lots of Bentley Little and Richard Laymon. Every time I sample a "new" horror author it seems the result is merely mediocre. But this time, I may have found what I'm looking for. Audrey's Door is the tale of Audrey, a young architect who breaks off her engagement and moves into a unique and suprisingly affordable apartment building in Manhattan's Upper West Side. Turns out bad things have happened there fairly recently which could explain the cheap rates but she moves in anyway. Sounds like a typical setup for a haunted house novel but this one takes a new path. As in any good novel, characterization is key and Ms Langan's characters are anything but predictable one dimensional characters. The other tenants of the building are fascinating and Audrey's interaction with them builds the tension and the horror.

Add to that the character of Audrey herself...she has flaws, and a complicated past that leads the reader to wonder if it might not be Audrey herself that is cracking up, rather than the building causing the craziness. She begins to build a door and it is in discovering what the door's purpose may be or where it leads (or what will come through it) that is the source of the novel's horror. The author does not settle for cliched horror but rather introduces logical sources for the terror and the suspense in the book. After reading the novel, I actually did my own research on some of the ideas found within it, including "chaotic naturalism" just to find out more about it. Not many books lead me to do that!

This is a very readable book and a definite page turner with a satisfying conclusion. I'll be looking for her previously published books as well as new stuff; no doubt Sarah Langan has a long career ahead of her.

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Top 10 Books in no particular order (Well Known Authors)

  • "The Stand" by Stephen King
  • "Kane and Able" by Jeffrey Archer
  • "The Killer Angels" by Michael Shaara
  • "The Dark Elf Trilogy" by RA Salvatore
  • "Name of the Wind" by Patrick Rothfuss
  • "River God" by Wilbur Smith
  • "Mortalis" by RA Salvatore
  • "Ender's Game" by Orson Scott Card
  • "Centennial" by James A Michener
  • "The Repairman Jack" series by F. Paul Wilson

Top Books/ Series in no particular order (Lesser Known Authors)

  • "The Sculpter" by Gregory Funaro
  • "Power Down" by Ben Coes
  • "Revolution at Sea Saga" by James L. Nelson
  • "Black Rain" by Graham Brown
  • "Top Producer" by Norb Vonnegut
  • "Prairie" by Anna Lee Waldo
  • "The Wild Blue" by W. Boyne & S Thompson
  • "Unsolicited" series by Julie Kaewert
  • "Freedom" by William Safire