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"Uncle Montague's Tales of Terror" by Chris Preistley




   
 
Uncle Montague's
  Tales of Terror
          
  
          author:
Chris Priestley
   published:
October 2007
    publisher:
Bloomsbury
                         240 pages

                        

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"But I wonder if this tale may be too
      disturbing for you..."
     

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      Edgar's Uncle Montague is a most curious fellow who lives in a creepy
      old house beyond the woods. He's a man who hordes strange curios and
      artefacts, as if he were a magpie. And for each oddity, he has a story
      to tell. Bad bedtime stories in which curious boys and mischievious girls
      encounter all sorts of cruelty and horror. Oh yes, Uncle Montague likes
      telling his scarey tales.
But are they really just stories..?

      Over the course of an eventful visit, young Edgar hears nine grisly tales,
      and as each reaches its fearful conclusion, so he left feeling more and
      more perplexed - not just about the stories, but about the very house
      and lifestyle his uncle has adopted. How did he come across all these
      distasteful items, is Uncle Montague hiding something, and if he is,
      does Edgar really want to know the truth....?

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       The Gnome says

       Now here's a chilly, chilling read. Uncle Montague's stories are best
       read in bed as the wind whips and whistles outside, or by a fireside
       whose flickering flames can stave off the darkness as it creeps up
       on the reader...

       A drawing, a photograph, a gilt frame - each has dark story behind it,
       which Uncle Montague will share with us, if we dare to listen. In
       essence, we are Edgar, poised by his uncle's fire as the author
       steeps his fingers and evolves into his sinister storyteller.

       The nine tales are splendidly unsettling - probably too spooky for a
       few younger readers. The author's not afraid of his subject matter,
       and there are some ghoulish images to help spurr on the creeping
       sense of dread that pervades every page. Bad things happen to the
       boys and girls in these stories. Uncle Montague/Chris Priestley
       does a fabulous job of getting into our heads and tickling our fear.
       He even teases us between each story. Is he frightening us too much?
       Perhaps he should stop...? Perhaps we're too scared to continue
       this parlour game...?

       The tone is very much helped by the book's presentation. There's a
       sombre, sepia cover with a twisting tangle of tree tendrils entwining
       around the border and coiling all over the endpapers. And there, in the
       thick of things is young Edgar, looking out to us with fearful wide-eyes.
       The artwork is by David Roberts, and he also presents us with a series
       of masterful full-page illustrations scattered throughout the book. His
       scratching, hatched style compliments the stories beautifully. The
       pictures have a shimmering sense of movement, just like the shadows
       in Uncle Montague's study...

       If you want full-on horrors and high-jinx, you'll do better reading the
       latest Darren Shan, or Dean Vincent Carter. The former, in particular,
       knows just how to terrorize us with his bright red tales of blood and
       mayhem. But if you're in the mood for the macabre... If the nights are 
       drawing in and you seek a few old-fashioned chills to raise the hackles...
       Well, Uncle Montague's ready and waiting for you...

    
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       Collectors

       No spooky special editions here, alas. But there are signed copies
       of the hardback available on the collectors market, if you dare to
       track them down...

       "Uncle Montague's Tales of Terror" - signed first edition
       


    
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      Buy this book


      Uncle Montague's Tales of Terror                  
      UK Hardback edition...

    
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      On the web


      Tales of Terror
      Take the candlelight tour, and see what info you can reveal...

      Bloomsbury
      The publisher's guide to the author and his works...



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