Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Uncle Montague’s Tales of Terror

I chose this book because of the delightfully creepy illustrations on the cover, which reminded me of Edward Gorey, who managed to be at once macabre and whimsical. It also got good reviews, notably from Stainless Steel Droppings, so I decided to read it as my first book for that site’s RIP IV challenge.

There is always a danger going into a book with very high expectations; I had hopes of being transported to a quirky, ominous, Gorey-esque world. I wasn’t, and thus I was disappointed with Uncle Montague’s Tales of Terror. I kept waiting for it to grab me, the way the Graveyard Book did, but it never happened.

The premise of the book is simple: A young boy visits an older relative, who tells him a series of scary stories. The cover informs us that “Uncle Montague’s creepy stories have something - or someone – in common.” Well, okay, but if it hadn’t said so on the cover, I wouldn’t have caught that from the text. The stories were intriguing, to be sure, but I felt too short and disjointed to build up the sort of page-turning, stay-up-all-night-to-finish-it suspense I was hoping for.

In fairness, I think I would have enjoyed Tales of Terror more had I not gone in with such high expectations. It is a children's book, and I think it would be a wonderful book for the kind of kid who likes telling scary stories around the campfire. Unfortunately, I don’t do campfires and my daughter doesn’t do scary stories so there’s just not much call for Uncle Montague at our house.

14 books down, 36 more to go.


  1. This books seems too scary for me! I'm more of a "stupid humor" reader only because my life is so crazy that books like these give me a chance to laugh. I'm embarrased to even type the book I am reading now.

    This does sound like one my husband would like though. Thanks!

  2. I don't know if this book sounds like my cup of tea. Especially since I like to go for literary fiction. But I might be just curious enought o give it a try fromy our review ;-).
    How much time to you have left to read your 36 books?? I have set a similar goal for myself, but not nearly as ambitious - 24 books in one year. Then I kinda gave up, though not entirely. I still read but I have gotten rid of the time limit. LOL. I'm going to go over and request you as a friend on Good Reads though, you seem liek the perfect book buddy!!

  3. Hi - thanks for your comment and very happy you'd like to take part in my Blogsplash! When you get a minute could you send me a quick email to fiona@fionarobyn.com? I'll be emailing everyone nearer the time. Good to meet you, Fiona

  4. I just wanted to say Go, Jessica Go! I'm a book addict and must read at least 3 or 4 books a week so I love your project. If you ever run out of books to read give me a shout. I have more titles up my sleeve than a library. lol.


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