This is all very reminiscent of M.R. The book is astoundingly well researched and the references to folk songs were so detailed that they left me wondering what was real and what was not? The novel is told through different voices, the band members and those who saw them during their time at Wylding Hall. It also alludes to a new reason for the British military failures in Afghanistan in the 19th century, which might be difficult to find in conventional history texts. By the end of the summer, the lead singer, a beautiful but shy young man who is fascinated by the "Magik" with a K, Alistair Crowley style, has disappeared without a trace. Wylding Hall was written by Elizabeth Hand, 2015. This is certainly Hand’s approach to the book. Tagged as: 2015, Documentary, Elizabeth Hand, Folk, Horror, Mystery, Novel, Page Turners, Rock, Wylding Hall. The book is available in both the United States and Canada. ghost ship the Baltimore, which was found with only a single survivor. Elizabeth Hand's Wylding Hall is a gothic novella with an acid-rock folk band. Highly recommended. John Benjamin Stone [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commonsstories depend on creating a sense of place and moment, then gradually introducing a sense of disquiet. Nikolai Ge [Public domain], via Wikimedia CommonsIn an interview in her collection Fire, Hand says that she is not a musician. Account & Lists Account Returns & Orders. As my favorite author, M.R. Only one character, the enigmatic Julian (Nick drake?) While the biography of a folk-rock band might seem an unlikely mashup with a ghost story, the result is an evocative page-turner. It’s a tale about the members of a seminal British folk band from the early 1970’s called Windhollow Faire. For example, last year I talked about ghosts of Hong Kong and Macau. The book is also a good complement to Wylding Hall, as that book’s stately home could easily have merited an entry in Evan’s work. “Somewhere up in rock ’n’ roll heaven, Janis Joplin, Brian Jones, Nick Drake and Sandy Denny are all tossing back their drinks, passing a spliff, and recounting how much they enjoyed reading Elizabeth Hand’s shimmering new supernatural novel, Wylding Hall. These might put you in the right mood to read this elegiac, beautiful and gripping novel. Unlike the other books on this list, Wylding Hall is structured as an oral history. Kindle Store Go … Wylding Hall is not Waking the Moon, nor is it intended to be; nevertheless, this novella is great fun and a good introduction to Hand's sensibilities. But then we come to the real sticking point of the story, and the reason it’s being told. I hard about this book when an author I enjoy listed some of his favorite horror and sci-fi stories of the past few years. But, I loved this book and it’s style. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. There they create the album that will make their reputation, but at a terrifying cost: Julian Blake, the group’s lead singer, disappears within the mansion and is never seen or heard from again. The novel is told through different voices, the band members and those who saw them during their time at Wylding Hall. After the death of their lead singer, the band on the advice of their producer, holes up in an old gothic mansion to work on their next album. Personally, my favorite review on Goodreads was the negative one by Redri9hthand, who has a wicked sense of humor. The band had to release the demos instead of a real album, and they broke up, because their intrepid leader never returned. The townsfolk in the nearby pub want nothing to do with the Hall, and keep mum about its past. Wylding Hall starts with the former band members of Windhollow Faire talking about that summer up in Hampshire, England. As musicians or lovers of music, we enter this liminal space and feel it prickling our skin, but when we subject it to our rational thinking, it disappears. In this case one character dabbles in the occult, which he has learned not only from the books he finds in old libraries, but also from the old ballads that he sings. We know that the lead singer mysteriously vanished, and over the course of the novel that mystery is slowly told, all through these first-hand accounts. If you are an Anglophile who wants to put on the kettle, listen to the rain, and spend an afternoon reading a spooky book, you might also want to buy Siân Evan’s Ghosts: Mysterious Tales from the National Trust. Dialogue propels the novel, so that the reader is soon swept into the jealousies, loves, and secrets of a British band. Download for offline reading, highlight, bookmark or take notes while you read Wylding Hall. This year I want to review a novel, Wylding Hall, by Elizabeth Hand. It might run wild for a little while, but it will never mean anything. In this case, it’s not only the house that is haunted, but also the countryside around it. ( Log Out /  Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. James, also said, there is very little that a ghost can actually do. Read my review of Eden Robinson’s Monkey Beach. Wyldling Hall reaches out to touch the place where music and magic merge. Because this wasn’t just a straight-forward novel. Only one character, the enigmatic Julian (Nick drake?) The traditional prose of a novel is pretty set in stone, and it really is a rare occurrence to come across a novel that tries to do something different to tell a story. The characters are primarily members of an English folk band, who came of age in the era of Fairport Convention in the late 1960s, when the folk rock movement was a pop culture force in Great Britain. If you’re unfamiliar with this book, I highly recommend checking it out, especially if you know as little about it as possible. When I first read that book I realized that there’s all sorts of ways to tell stories, and we don’t necessarily need to be confined to the traditional prose structure. There they create the album that will make their reputation, but at a terrifying cost: Julian Blake, the group’s lead singer, disappears within the mansion and is never seen or heard from again. Lovecraft. In a sense, this book reminded me of Evelyn Waugh’s novel Brideshead Revisited, in that evokes the experience of youth, and the nostalgia that these memories can throw over an entire lifetime. 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