Sunday, September 16, 2012

[Archive] LITERAL ADDICTION's Review of Your House is on Fire, Your Children all Gone

Stefan Kiesbye has an MFA in creative writing from the University of Michigan. Born on the German coast of the Baltic Sea, he moved to Berlin in the early 1980s. He studied drama and worked in radio before starting a degree in American studies, English, and comparative literature at Berlin’s Free University. A scholarship brought him to Buffalo, New York, in 1996. Kiesbye now lives in Portales, NM, where he teaches Creative Writing at Eastern New Mexico University. His stories and poems have appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies, and his first book, Next Door Lived a Girl, won the Low Fidelity Press Novella Award.
The German edition of Your House Is on Fire, Your Children All Gone was published by Tropen Verlag. Next Door Lived a Girl is available from Jens-Seeling Verlag, and was published as a paperback by Heyne Verlag. The Dutch translation is available from Uitgeverij De Arbeiderspers, the Spanish translation from Almadia.

Your House is on Fire, Your Children all Gone
Author:  Stefan Kiesbye

Shirley Jackson meets The X-Files in this riveting novel of supernatural horror

The village of Hemmersmoor is a place untouched by time and shrouded in superstition: There is the grand manor house whose occupants despise the villagers, the small pub whose regulars talk of revenants, the old mill no one dares to mention. This is where four young friends come of age—in an atmosphere thick with fear and suspicion. Their innocent games soon bring them face-toface with the village's darkest secrets in this eerily dispassionate, astonishingly assured novel, evocative of Stephen King's classic short story "Children of the Corn" and infused with the spirit of the Brothers Grimm.

Our Review, by LITERAL ADDICTION's Pack Alpha - Michelle L. Olson:

Stefan Kiesbye takes the reader on a dark and twisted journey in Your House is on Fire, Your Children All Gone. 

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 Gone 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! 

Your House is on Fire, Your Children all Gone

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