'Reading a book is like re-writing it for yourself. You bring to a novel, anything you read, all your experience of the world. You bring your history and you read it in your own terms.'- Angela Carter

Friday, 10 October 2014

REVIEW: The Fall - Bethany Griffin

The FallTitle: The Fall
Author: Bethany Griffin
Series: None
Publisher: Indigo Books
Source: Review Copy
Publication Date: 2nd October, 2014

Madeline Usher is doomed.

She has spent her life fighting fate, and she thought she was succeeding. Until she woke up in a coffin.

Ushers die young. Ushers are cursed. Ushers can never leave their house, a house that haunts and is haunted, a house that almost seems to have a mind of its own. Madeline’s life—revealed through short bursts of memory—has hinged around her desperate plan to escape, to save herself and her brother. Her only chance lies in destroying the house.

In the end, can Madeline keep her own sanity and bring the house down? The Fall is a literary psychological thriller, reimagining Edgar Allan Poe’s classic The Fall of the House of Usher.
The Fall is a book that I've been looking forward to reading for the longest time. I love reading adaptations of classics - it brings out the literary nerd in me - so I quickly read Poe's The Fall of the House of Usher before starting into Bethany Griffin's adaptation. I was really excited to see the story from Madeline's point of view too. In Poe's adaptation she isn't given much of a voice so I was really excited to see what Griffin was going to do with this.

Bethany Griffin succeeded in creating a sinister, claustraphobic and thrilling adaptation. The Fall was so incredibly Gothic and eerie. I found myself wondering about what was going to happen next. It was one of those books that sucks you in and I often found myself feeling thankful for not living in a house that's as oppressive and sinister as the Usher's. It's definitel a book that will give you the chills and the characters evoke emotion and curiosity in you as a reader. I'm still curious about the doctors. What did they truly want with the Ushers? I'd love to have found out more about their motivation, but I'd also have loved to find out more about the curse of the Ushers itself.

Now my reasoning for chosing 3.5* as a rating. I was torn between 3.5* and 4* - it seems to be a recurring theme with some of the books that I read. I really enjoyed The Fall but I found it got a little repetitive and was a little slow moving at times. I know there isn't much you can do with a house that's continuously trapping you in, but I hoped that there would be a little more to the story in the early parts. Another thing that I felt disappointed in was that there could have been so much more done with Madeline. I still feel like she has more of a story left in her. I felt like she could have done more in the house, that perhaps her small acts of rebellion weren't quite enough at times. Having said that, The Fall definitely has me looking out for more Poe adaptations.

Overall, The Fall makes for the perfect Autumnal read. Dark and chill-inducing, it'll be the perfect book to curl up with come Halloween!


  1. I had similar issues with Griffin's other Poe adaptation, Masque of the Red Death. I felt like the MC was missing something and while I loved the atmospheric, gothic setting that instantly sucks you in, the story fell a bit flat for me. BUT I was 100% a black sheep in that case so who knows xD This one sounds like a bit of an improvement though, so I really should bite the bullet and check it out for myself! Glad you enjoyed this one Leah, it really does sound like the PERFECT read for this time of year ♥ Lovely review ^^

  2. The setting and characters sounds great and glad to hear that you enjoyed.
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