Delectably dark, and with a beautiful gothic style, this is a book that will appeal to all ages.
Robert Harper is going back to school, and it is the first railway journey he has ever made alone. And it is not a very usual sort of railway journey. The train stops at the mouth of a tunnel and in order to help while away the time a strange woman dressed in white tells Robert stories. But these are not the kind of stories normally told to a child. Soon Robert is both entranced and terrified by the strange woman and her macabre stories.
The age-old idiom states that you should never judge a book by its cover. Although this advice is in principal sound, it is not one that I can honestly say that I completely agree with anymore. In my experience, if the book looks awful and the synopsis of the back cover is badly written, then the content on the inside pages will frequently back-up this first impression.
When I picked up Chris Priestley’s Tales of Terror from the Tunnel’s Mouth the first thing I noticed was the quality of the book cover itself and the beautiful illustrations. A quick glance inside the cover presented me with a compelling synopsis that resulted in me wanting to start reading the book immediately. Bloomsbury have spent money on making this book look fantastic and that in turn shows that they hold Chris Priestley’s work in very high esteem.
So, I did judge a book by its cover, and was right to do so for the story itself is as excellent as the presentation. Consisting of nine short stories, all the tales are told by a strange woman in white to a young Robert Harper as he makes his way back to school. The stories are of a very high standard but there are two that really stood for me: A New Governess is a superb tale of a mean-spirited Governess who gets her deserved comeuppance and The Whispering Boy is a truly spine-tingling tale of a boy called Roland who is too clever for his own good. The only thing that tops these two stories is the ending itself, which is just right.
Parents may well remember Dr. Terror's House of Horrors, produced by The Hammer House of Horror team. This is possibly where Chris Priestley’s inspiration lies as the film is also set in a train car, where five passengers have their fortunes told by the all-seeing Dr. Schreck (Peter Cushing). The recently knighted Christopher Lee and Donald Sutherland were also in the cast.
Tales of Terror from the Tunnel’s Mouth will chill and thrill in equal measure and is the perfect kind of scary for children in that it will make the hairs on the back of their necks rise and send shivers down their spine but will not give them nightmares. Delectably dark, and with a beautiful gothic style (perfectly captured by David Robert’s illustrations), this is a book that will appeal to all ages.
Review by Floresiensis
1 positive reader review(s) for Tales of Terror from the Tunnel's Mouth
Silverwolf from Wales
Sorry, have to disagree with you. I thought it was superb.
9.6/10 from 2 reviews