Those Across the River

Those Across the River

4.1 73
by Christopher Buehlman
     
 

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Haunted by memories of the Great War, failed academic Frank Nichols and his wife have arrived in the sleepy Georgia town of Whitbrow, where Frank hopes to write a history of his family’s old estate—the Savoyard Plantation—and the horrors that occurred there. At first their new life seems to be everything they wanted. But under the facade of summer

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Overview

Haunted by memories of the Great War, failed academic Frank Nichols and his wife have arrived in the sleepy Georgia town of Whitbrow, where Frank hopes to write a history of his family’s old estate—the Savoyard Plantation—and the horrors that occurred there. At first their new life seems to be everything they wanted. But under the facade of summer socials and small-town charm, there is an unspoken dread that the townsfolk have lived with for generations. A presence that demands sacrifice.

It comes from the shadowy woods across the river, where the ruins of the Savoyard Plantation still stand. Where a long-smoldering debt of blood has never been forgotten.

Where it has been waiting for Frank Nichols…

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Buehlman packs suspense and secrets into his debut novel, set in the deceptively quiet fictional town of Whitbrow, Ga., just after the Great Depression. When unemployed soldier Frank Nichols inherits a house from his last living relative, he ignores the disjointed note from his deceased aunt warning him away and moves in along with his girlfriend, Dora. At first, everything is idyllic, but as Frank uncovers strange superstitions concerning the woods across the river—the site of his great-grandfather's plantation—the mysterious inhabitants of those woods are starting to take notice of him. The era is vividly rendered, complete with Jim Crow laws, vigilante justice, and racial tensions. The elegant prose and heavy foreshadowing keep readers on their toes right up until the big reveal, but once the monster is out of the bag, the novel clumsily muscles its way to a formulaic finale. (Sept.)
Linda Marotta
I won't give away the specifics, but as the title suggests, this is a book that deals with the Other : black/white, city/country, civilized/savage. Complex enough for Freud yet primal as Peckinpah, part literary fiction, part primal folk tale, this is much more than a supernatural STRAW DOGS. Economic upheaval has a way of exposing the guilt and violence lurking just beneath the civilization's thin skin. Toss the haves in with the have-nots and see what kind of monsters crawl out.
Fangoria
From the Publisher
“One of the best first novels I’ve ever read.” —Charlaine Harris, #1 New York Times Bestselling Author

“An unsettling brew of growing menace spiked with flashes of genuine terror—do not miss this chilling debut. Christopher Buehlman is a writer to watch. I look forward to hearing from him again. And soon.” —F. Paul Wilson, New York Times bestselling author of Sibs

“Lures you into a different era, seduces you with eloquent prose and sensual period details, then clamps down on your jugular…An outstanding debut.”—Hank Schwaeble, Bram Stoker Award-winning author of Diabolical

“Beautifully written…with a cast of Southern characters so real you can almost see the sweat roll down the page. The ending is exceedingly clever.”—Boston Herald

Library Journal
College professor-turned-would be author Frank Nichols comes face to face with his past and a violent family secret when he inherits his family's old estate in the rural Southern town of Whitbrow. Although instructed to sell the house as soon as possible, Frank finds whispered stories of a slave-owning great grandfather who tortured his slaves for sport too compelling not to investigate. With his mistress, Dora, down-on-his-luck Frank moves south with plans to write about his family's history. After a town decision, influenced by Frank and Dora, to stop sending sacrificial pigs into the woods, strange and deadly things begin to happen. Something living in the woods wants the pigs to be sent and is making it known. When Frank has nothing left to lose, he starts to understand what it will take to overcome the thing in the woods. VERDICT Buehlman delivers a creepy, suspenseful, and well-crafted debut set in post-Depression era South. The action begins early and never lets up. Recommended for horror fans and those willing to be scared enough to want to stay out of the woods!—Amanda Scott, Cambridge Springs P.L., PA

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780425256510
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
09/04/2012
Pages:
352
Sales rank:
461,102
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
“One of the best first novels I’ve ever read.”—Charlaine Harris, #1 New York Times Bestselling Author

“What a treat. Terrible and beautiful. As much F. Scott Fitzgerald as Dean Koontz. A graceful, horrific read.”—Patricia Briggs, #1 New York Times bestselling author

“Wonderfully eerie from start to finish—a novel sure to enthrall readers of all stripes.”—Grant Blackwood, New York Times bestselling author

“An unsettling brew of growing menace spiked with flashes of genuine terror—do not miss this chilling debut. Christopher Buehlman is a writer to watch. I look forward to hearing from him again. And soon.” —F. Paul Wilson, New York Times bestselling author of Fatal Error

“Lures you into a different era, seduces you with eloquent prose and sensual period details, then clamps down on your jugular…An outstanding debut.”—Hank Schwaeble, Bram Stoker Award-winning author of Diabolical

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Meet the Author

Christopher Buehlman is the winner of the 2007 Bridport Prize for Poetry and the author of several novels and plays. He is the author of The Necromancer's House and Between Two Fires. He spends half the year in St. Petersburg, Florida, and the rest on the road.

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Those Across the River 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 72 reviews.
JerseyAngel More than 1 year ago
Set in the early 1900's, an unwed couple from Chicago arrive in a small Georgia town. The kind of town where the Sheriff still rides a horse & everyone knows everyone else. The couple both have separate pasts & this small town is to be the beginning of their new lives. The town seems perfect at first, moved into Frank's dead aunt's house, they make friends, attend town hall meetings, and socials. Dora is the new school teacher & Frank intends to write a book about his family's past in a plantation nestled in the woods across the river. Nobody goes across the river though. And soon Frank & Dora learn there is a reason why. A reason that is connected to Frank's family and it's been waiting for him. Those Across The River will take you to a place long ago. You will get to know the majority of the people that live in town, and begin to feel like you are living there with them. The opening passage of the book is a hint to what is to come & you read eagerly, waiting for the moment when it will be revealed. When the horror begins, you are left on the edge of your seat as the entire town is thrown into disturbing chaos. I read this book in 3 days. I literally could not put it down. The characters, the town, and the history all bring this book to life. This isn't your typical blood & gore horror. This is intelligent, suspenseful, thrilling, emotional & quite simply, horror at its very best. An amazing first novel from the author!
Elensari More than 1 year ago
A wild ride through the rural south in the 1930's with all the local color and horror that that can entail, and then it just gets really good. I loved the poetic quality of the first part of the book and was completely surprised by the end. I loved this book and loan to all my friends. Read it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Christopher Buehlman's masterful first novel is a moody and truly frightening journey into the deep south of the 1930's. Evoking Faulkner and Eudora Welty with his well hewn prose, he crafts a tale both moody and horrific. Frank Nichols is a philandering professor, escaping the failure of his academic career by moving from the north with his lover to an inherited ancestral home in the very isolated town of Whitbrow, Georgia. Frank inherited this house but was told by his dying aunt to NOT move there, just to sell it and to stay up north and enjoy the proceeds of the sale. Moving to Whitbrow was not a good idea for Frank, as he would discover to his misery. The results of his decision take some time to come to fruition, but in the end, they are disastrous for him and those he cares for. Buehlman takes his time building up to the grand reveal of just exactly why Frank should not have come home to Whitbrow, but when he does get there, it is very frightening. I was reading this late at night, alone, and had to put the book down and resume in the daytime. Well written, atmospheric and frightening, this book is all the more astonishing for being a first novel. The prose is assured and seems carefully chosen to evoke the mood and speech of the era and the location.Speaking as a southerner, this is very much appreciated. A terrific first novel. I can't wait until his second one arrives. JTB says check it out!
harstan More than 1 year ago
Former University of Michigan professor Frank Nichols accompanied by his almost wife Eudora travels from Chicago to Whitbrow, Georgia where he inherited a yellow house from an Aunt Dottie McComb whom he never knew existed. Dora dubs the place The Canary House. Frank plans to write the definitive historical about his family's Savoyard Plantation to include the atrocities that occurred there while Dora dislikes the idea of bringing literarily life to his late malevolent great grandfather. Frank and Dora find they enjoy the quiet friendliness of the townsfolk. Then the trouble begins as it has in past generations. Something evil is killing people. Frank and other locals vow to find out who or what and end the reign of terror that has waited dormant at Savoyard Plantation for Frank to arrive to pay a family blood debt. This is an exciting horror thriller that starts slow and meanders a bit as the local area is established. Once the rural Georgia background, which will remind readers of James Dickey's Deliverance even with tea socials, is set, the action-packed story line accelerates as the evil comes to collect. Frank holds the plot together as the prime focus of the dreaded malevolence. Harriet Klausner
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Recommended for fans of Southern Gothic lit, I loved the playful humor of the banter between characters and the voice of narrator of the story. Humor and horror, when properly blended are like sweet and savory complements -- it's a difficult balance, but well handled here.
Kellie_P More than 1 year ago
Some people hear "horror genre" and think "I'll pass" (that's usually me). This is no gratuitous horror story. Yes, it will scare the bejeeziz out of you. But the depth of historical detail, brilliant imagery, crisp dialogue, well-crafted characters and rhythm like a Native American drum will absolutely entrance you on your walk into hell. Hope it's Buehlman's first of many.
jgoehl More than 1 year ago
This book was...well...amazing! I am so glad I was chosen by Net Galley to read this before it publishes on 9/6/2011. Honestly, when I first started reading it I thought oh how am I going to get through this one? I almost...almost...gave up on it after the first few chapters and here's why. I did not know it took place in the early 1900's for one so that kind of through me for a loop, second I took the description to mean that the book was centered around Frank writing this book and the troubled, evil family members he had had, third it jumped around a bit in the beginning and wasn't making sense to me. I am go glad I stuck with it because everything in the beginning came together as the story progressed. Yes, Frank has the intention of writing a book about the history of his family and the land they lived on but it is so much more than that. It is en-depth and descriptive. I felt like I was in that same time era, could see what the characters saw, and smell what they smelled. The characters, for the most part, are likable and people you would be friends with if you could go back in time. The town members come together to fight an evil that has been residing in the woods and across the river for many many years but only raises it's ugly head when Frank and his soon to be wife Dora move from Chicago to Whitbrow, as Frank is left a house in Whitbrow by the death of an aunt he didn't know. As adults and children alike are found dead, the men are determined to find the who or what is responsible. Though out this book I was on the edge of my seat, had a death grip on my nook, flinched, cringed, felt horror, and felt sympathy as things start coming together. This debut novel by Christopher Buehlman is a must read and I look forward to more from him in the future.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Amazing first book from a talented author. Good characterization and story. Chris Buehlman will be a famous one day soon.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book strait away! The images were so clear and the story was amazing - its been ages sense I couldn't put a book down then wished it would never end......
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
...even if some putz did ruin the end for me in the reviews. I thoroughly enjoyed this book; the author's style of writing, his sense of humor. I finished the book in two sittings, so it was very easy to read. I didn't find it scary at all, but it did keep me reading and, as they say, on the edge of my seat.
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JGolomb More than 1 year ago
<i>There was something powerful here, something beyond the reach of lightbulbs and combustion engines.</i> &quot;Those Across the River&quot; is a moody, horror-thriller, dripping with intensity and menace. I enjoy Buehlman's writing style which is more literary than most pop-fiction currently on the market, and highlights the fact that writing can be smart as well as fun. I enjoyed this story of a couple who finds themselves in the deep South, exploring a family history that's better left unexplored. The main characters are well drawn and fully three-dimensional, but most of the others are so weak that I completely lost track of who was who. They simply became an amalgam of indistinguishable southern accents. I think this book could easily have doubled in size to build upon the tremendously creepy foreboding built up from the earliest pages. The conclusion was mostly satisfying, but had greater epic potential. I don't want to delve too much further into the details of the story for fear of spoiling much of the punch. Christopher Buehlman is a terrific writer. This is the second book of his I've read and he's definitely on my short-list list of new-ish go-to authors.
JSAP More than 1 year ago
So predictable and not even close to being a horror book! It started and continued to be soooo slow only with a few pages of ANY type of action. I'm so glad a friend let me borrow it because I would have been so disappointed if I paid for that. Overall will not recommend anyone waste their time on this crap!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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cabnthrulife More than 1 year ago
Incredibly disturbing, but in a delicious sort of way! Fantastic horror novel set in my favorite time period of early 1900's. One thing about this book that I liked the most was that the whole story line MOVED. At no point were there any lulls to the story or in characters. The character development was superb throughout the entirety of this tale of shear horror and terror. I couldn't put it down! 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
the story kept my interest to the end. yes, it's another one of those monster vs. human stories, but a step up from the teen versions.
ToriM More than 1 year ago
Ridiculous. Not scary and the promising turn point ends up being far fetched and silly.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book was okay, I expected more story...the plot is given about three chapters after the reader figures out the plot.....the story could haved ended three times before it comes toa slow open ended finish.....I guessed I liked it but not sure I would tell someon else to pick this up for a summer read........
Anonymous More than 1 year ago