All good signs then.
But it didn’t live up to them.
I wouldn’t go as far as to say it was a bad book. It had quite an interesting premise. It was all written in the first person, which is fairly rare nowadays and so gave it a bit of a different feel. It built up nicely to a big ending. And it took you to one or two interesting settings.
But it was a bit...blegh. I never really felt any connection with the main character, and his conversion from sceptic to believer was a bit...well...unbelievable. It’s a ghost story, so I expected to be on the edge of my train seat most of the time. I even contrived to make sure I finished the book alone in my flat with just a lamp on to see if that would help. But it didn’t. I never really felt any tension, I didn’t care a huge amount about the main character, and the times when he was in danger I just felt he was being a bit silly. Hill never really got me believing that he was in real danger, or that the small hand was anything other than a minor inconvenience.
Maybe it’s my fault. I couldn’t be more of a sceptic when it comes to ghosts (if they were real, surely one of them would have been on BBC Breakfast by now). Maybe I just wasn’t in the right state of mind to let the book in.
Having said that, The Shining scared me. That relied on the supernatural, but I genuinely feared for the characters in it, and was constantly willing them to escape. So it is possible. I’m not cold hearted and it is possible to scare me. The Small Hand just didn’t.
|The Shining - Better|