, May 07, 2022
(view all comments by techeditor)
I read ALL THINGS CEASE TO APPEAR because I heard that Netflix based a movie on it ("Things Heard and Seen"). Now I think I will be disappointed in whatever Netflix did with it because it couldn’t possibly be as wonderful as this book.
Right away the novel lets you know that Catherine Clare has been murdered in her home, her four-year-old daughter, Frannie, was there at the time of the murder and for hours after, and her husband, George, may have done it. Flashbacks make up most of the rest of the book. Was George, in fact, guilty? Is he a sociopath, maybe a serial killer, or did he just cheat on his wife?
I heard that the movie concentrates on supernatural happenings in the old farmhouse where Catherine, George, and Frannie lived much more than the novel does. Maybe that's why their titles differ. But throughout the flashbacks in ALL THINGS CEASE TO APPEAR, Catherine did suspect that the ghost of the woman who had previously lived there was in the same room with her.
My impression of the novel is that characterization, especially of George but also of Catherine, his colleagues, and their neighbors in the small town of Chosen, far exceeds the supernatural in importance. You’ll learn more and more about each but especially about George as the book continues. And the more you learn, the worse you’ll feel about him.
Although I loved this book, I still say that the author was inconsiderate not to include quotation marks.