Stefan Kiesbye takes the reader on a dark and twisted journey in Your House is on Fire, Your Children All Dead.
The book is written in differing points of view from each of the main characters. It's almost like a connected collection of short stories in that way, and each overlap slightly in regards to timeframe.
Written with beautiful prose rife with simile and metaphor, the story covers the disturbing reminiscence of 5 children growing up in rural Germany and the horror that is the human psyche.
It was an unsettling and beautifully written nostalgic horror show full of emotion.
LITERAL ADDICTION gives Your House is on Fire, Your Children all Dead 3 1/2 Skulls. It was an enjoyable and disturbing read, but I'm not sure I'd read it a 2nd time.
An aside note: The press didn't really match up to the real deal. It was advertised as The Twilight Zone meets The Children of the Corn, meets the X-Files. Twilight Zone, maybe. The others... not so much, in my opinion anyway. One thing I will say though, the cover design is absolutely GENIUS (creepy looking child straight on, embossed with "If you tell on me you're dead" when you tilt it)! Loved it!
"Publishers Weekly Review"
by Publishers Weekly,
"Can a terrible history generate a terrible present? That is the question posed by German-born author Kiesbye's dark second work of fiction (after Next Door Lived a Girl), composed of linked stories set in an archetypal rural German town in what seems to be the immediate postwar period. As in Shirley Jackson's The Lottery, the vague setting heightens the narrative tension, as Christian, first, provides us with a framing device in the funeral of Anke, one of a group of young friends now elderly and distant. Each tells their story in flashback, a perspective that suits the delicate prose. Extraordinary things happened to the villagers 40 years earlier. Some are tinged with the supernatural — a traveling carnival worker hints at mysterious origins; an annual cooking contest ends badly — and some are truly horrifying: incest, child murder, and a father's brutal act of violence that leaves permanent scars. Why are these things happening in Hemmersmoor? Are tales of witches and curses to be believed? Or does the real reason lie at the end of the railroad tracks? Too subtle to be lurid yet too spooky for comfort, this book should appeal to readers of psychological fiction and literary tales of the supernatural. Agent: Markus Hoffmann, Regal Literary." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"[A] wicked novel....Stunning....[There is a] quiet, unnerving effect [to] Kiesbye’s Brothers Grimm–like prose....An episodic, poetic, nightmarish offspring of Grace Metalious’s Peyton Placeand Ray Bradbury’s Something Wicked This Way Comes."
by Kirkus Reviews,
"Nearly always startling....Quietly savage....Clinically dispassionate and chilling....Smack[s] of shades of Shirley Jackson and Stephen King....In an age when ‘torture porn’ still makes regular returns to the multiplex every Halloween, it’s worth being reminded that novelists, especially gifted ones, can make the trespasses we inflict on others just as ghastly as any chain-saw massacre."
“Chilling...inflicting both terror and wonder....Kiesbye digs deep...and comes up with horrific gold....There is just one word potent enough to describe [it]: the novel is sublime.”
“[A] wicked novel....Stunning....[There is a] quiet, unnerving effect [to] Kiesbye’s Brothers Grimm–like prose....An episodic, poetic, nightmarish offspring of Grace Metalious’s Peyton Placeand Ray Bradbury’s Something Wicked This Way Comes.”
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