Customer Reviews for

The Birthing House

Average Rating 2.5
( 63 )
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(6)

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(13)

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(21)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

I really enjoyed this book. It started fast and strong and finis

I really enjoyed this book. It started fast and strong and finished at nearly the same pace. I appreciated that the author allowed us to learn about this house and its inhabitants as the characters did, choosing not to spoon feed a lengthy back story before beginning th...
I really enjoyed this book. It started fast and strong and finished at nearly the same pace. I appreciated that the author allowed us to learn about this house and its inhabitants as the characters did, choosing not to spoon feed a lengthy back story before beginning the current story. I am most thankful to those authors who don't underestimate the intelligence of their readers, and Mr. Ransom seems to have that quality in spades. I finished this haunted and possessed journey in two sittings, each before bed, and enjoyed every minute of my time with the characters. Kudos to the author for putting a unique spin on an old tale for those of us who just simply can't get enough of our haunted houses, possessions, ghosts, and paranormal horror.

posted by Integrity_Consultants on August 17, 2013

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Most Helpful Critical Review

9 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

Great horror, but has a few pitfalls

Oh my. Where to start. There were plenty of parts where the hair on the back of my neck stood to one end. It hit me by surprise too. (If any of you have read it, remember the popsicle doll part? argh!) I had the misfortune of reading that part at night right before bedt...
Oh my. Where to start. There were plenty of parts where the hair on the back of my neck stood to one end. It hit me by surprise too. (If any of you have read it, remember the popsicle doll part? argh!) I had the misfortune of reading that part at night right before bedtime. So, there is plenty of horror and suspense. The thing is, although the horror parts are very well written and enough to keep you on the edge of your seat, the storyline and characters don't really give the story substance or depth.

I didn't really like Conrad, or Joanna. Conrad hasn't grown up yet and still acts like an 18 year old teenager who still on raging hormone syndrome. Joanna doesn't help much with things either as she appears to be whiny, selfish, and acts like a B-movie diva. Despite the book's great horror moments, Conrad ruins it all with his Lolita moments with Nadia, his constant thoughts about not getting any "action", and his immaturity just has no boundaries. It can be quite eye rolling and very tedious.

What also bugs me, are some moments where things are mentioned, and then are just forgotten. Like the snakes Conrad has as a hobby. One of them undergoes a miraculous conception.....and....that's it. Then you have that strange family that used to live in the house before Conrad. They had children - not very normal children. Bad things had happened to them while in that house. Nadia used to babysit the kids. Then they moved out. Hrm. It's these kinds of details that needed explaining to make the plot and story more enjoyable and thus, more comprehensible.

Now here's the part that really bugged me. There was one single chapter dedicated to how he and and old ex girlfriend spent the night together making love. It was descriptive. It was long. It was very detailed. At that point I thought to myself "Why would you write a chapter all about that, and why should I care?" I actually skipped ahead. I found it unnecessary and didn't add anything to the story. So they had sex. Whatever. If I wanted detail and the dirt I'd get myself an erotic novel. I believe it's not needed here.

The ending was all right. It was something I did rather expect out of a horror novel. Although it did leave me feeling rather as if there should have been a lot more to it. Nevertheless it did succeed in getting me scared in certain parts of the book. It was too bad it fell short in other areas, and the chapter I mentioned above just nearly killed the book for me. Overall, if you don't mind these shortfalls and just want to read it for the thrills, go right on ahead. The horror moments of the book do deserve credit.

posted by Sensitivemuse on June 13, 2010

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  • Posted June 13, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Great horror, but has a few pitfalls

    Oh my. Where to start. There were plenty of parts where the hair on the back of my neck stood to one end. It hit me by surprise too. (If any of you have read it, remember the popsicle doll part? argh!) I had the misfortune of reading that part at night right before bedtime. So, there is plenty of horror and suspense. The thing is, although the horror parts are very well written and enough to keep you on the edge of your seat, the storyline and characters don't really give the story substance or depth.

    I didn't really like Conrad, or Joanna. Conrad hasn't grown up yet and still acts like an 18 year old teenager who still on raging hormone syndrome. Joanna doesn't help much with things either as she appears to be whiny, selfish, and acts like a B-movie diva. Despite the book's great horror moments, Conrad ruins it all with his Lolita moments with Nadia, his constant thoughts about not getting any "action", and his immaturity just has no boundaries. It can be quite eye rolling and very tedious.

    What also bugs me, are some moments where things are mentioned, and then are just forgotten. Like the snakes Conrad has as a hobby. One of them undergoes a miraculous conception.....and....that's it. Then you have that strange family that used to live in the house before Conrad. They had children - not very normal children. Bad things had happened to them while in that house. Nadia used to babysit the kids. Then they moved out. Hrm. It's these kinds of details that needed explaining to make the plot and story more enjoyable and thus, more comprehensible.

    Now here's the part that really bugged me. There was one single chapter dedicated to how he and and old ex girlfriend spent the night together making love. It was descriptive. It was long. It was very detailed. At that point I thought to myself "Why would you write a chapter all about that, and why should I care?" I actually skipped ahead. I found it unnecessary and didn't add anything to the story. So they had sex. Whatever. If I wanted detail and the dirt I'd get myself an erotic novel. I believe it's not needed here.

    The ending was all right. It was something I did rather expect out of a horror novel. Although it did leave me feeling rather as if there should have been a lot more to it. Nevertheless it did succeed in getting me scared in certain parts of the book. It was too bad it fell short in other areas, and the chapter I mentioned above just nearly killed the book for me. Overall, if you don't mind these shortfalls and just want to read it for the thrills, go right on ahead. The horror moments of the book do deserve credit.

    9 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 23, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Not What I expected.

    The cover hooked me and the inside cover remarks were enticing. When I got into the book, however it was a let down. It is an average read and sometimes difficult to follow. I did not hate it, but wouldn't recommend it. I was disappointed.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 12, 2009

    It was just ok

    The writing style was good but some things dragged on too long.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 1, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    The Birthing House starts strong, moves quickly, and falls completely flat.

    The Birthing House by Christopher Ransom was one of those books I found browsing through the new releases on the Barnes & Noble web site. The premise is original and hooked my attention. Conrad and Jo Harrison move from busy and loud Los Angeles to a small Wisconsin town, Black Earth, where they purchase an old Victorian birthing house. The house, whose history remembers countless deliveries of babies, both alive and dead, seems to call to Conrad who makes the purchase without the approval of his wife. He sees it as the perfect environment in which to mend their damaged marriage, plagued by accusations of infidelity and mistrust.

    From the moment they arrive, Jo is uncomfortable in the house and quickly departs to Michigan for a job opportunity. During an encounter with the former owner of the house, Conrad is given some old photographs of the former residents. In one of the photos, he recognizes one of the women as his wife, and so begins his journey to understand how his wife could appear in a photo that was obviously decades old.

    Strange visits from ghostly apparitions, bizarre and violent behavior in his dogs, and an odd attraction to the pregnant teenager next door plague Conrad Harrison as he tries to understand what is happening to his sanity. Meanwhile, his wife becomes impossible to reach after admitting to him that she, herself, is pregnant with his child.

    The story moves quickly through short, readable chapters. Suspense builds throughout as the reader becomes hopeful for a climactic and twisted ending. Unfortunately, shortly before the story ends, the book takes an obscure twist into ambiguity, pummeling the reader into the perspective of Alma, the ghost who possesses the house (and sometimes its residents).

    The house's history is never fully explained, and the ending comes to an abrupt halt leaving the reader confused and frustrated in the last twenty pages. Had the book not taken this strange and abstract twist and had it continued on its original path, it would have been a read worthy of the time spent on it.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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