The Fall by Bethany GriffinThe Fall by Bethany Griffin

The Fall

byBethany Griffin

Hardcover | October 7, 2014

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Madeline Usher has been buried alive. The doomed heroine comes to the fore in this eerie reimagining of Edgar Allan Poe's classic short story "The Fall of the House of Usher." Gothic, moody, and suspenseful from beginning to end, The Fall is literary horror for fans of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children and Asylum.

Madeline awakes in a coffin. And she was put there by her own twin brother. But how did it come to this? In short, non-chronological chapters, Bethany Griffin masterfully spins a haunting and powerful tale of this tragic heroine and the curse on the Usher family. The house itself is alive, and it will never let Madeline escape, driving her to madness just as it has all of her ancestors. But she won't let it have her brother, Roderick. She'll do everything in her power to save him—and try to save herself—even if it means bringing the house down around them.

With a sinister, gothic atmosphere and relentless tension to rival Poe himself, Bethany Griffin creates a house of horrors and introduces a whole new point of view on a timeless classic. Kirkus Reviews praised it in a starred review as "A standout take on the classic haunted-house tale replete with surprises around every shadowy corner."

Bethany Griffin is the author ofMasque of the Red Death. She is a high school English teacher who prides herself on attracting creative misfits to elective classes like Young Adult Literature, Creative Writing, and Speculative Literature. She lives with her family in Kentucky.
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Title:The FallFormat:HardcoverDimensions:432 pages, 8.25 × 5.5 × 1.33 inPublished:October 7, 2014Publisher:HarperCollinsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0062107852

ISBN - 13:9780062107855

Reviews

Rated 3 out of 5 by from decent it was decent but in a relentless plodding sort of way, although some might not I did enjoy the jumping around age wise, it was interesting to get snippets of backstory randomly
Date published: 2016-12-09
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Gothic YA I was hesitant on rating this novel 4 stars since the writing wasn't great but I really did enjoy the novel and it was a quick read (as in, I didn't dread going back to it). This retelling is great because the original story left more to be desired and this expands a great deal on what The Fall of the House of Usher could have been like were it a novel - and written from Madeline's perspective. The chapters are short, as are the sentences, so it takes a while to get used to. It is YA, however, so a less complex writing style isn't a reason to abandon this book and I'm glad I stuck to it. The novel starts off at a very good spot - it grabs your attention right away - however once you get to the end you see that it, chronologically, would have been on of the last few chapters and I felt a bit cheated by being grabbed with it as a first chapter only to have very little follow after it sequentially. At first I didn't enjoy how the chapters were from different ages in Madeline's life and 'randomly' placed throughout the novel, but I did learn to appreciate it soon enough and can only wonder what order the chapters were even written in and how they were chosen to be placed throughout the book. As much of a part of the trope as including a journal is, however, I didn't find much of a reason to have Lisbeth's journal, however, and that is something that the story could have done without structurally. It may have added a little bit to the story but not enough for it to have been necessary to Madeline. I wish the foreshadowing was a bit stronger. A few items and pieces of information were referenced here and there, but not enough for me to satisfactorily piece together things for myself. The final clue also could have been reference better, as well, as I felt it was just thrown at me and I was to accept that it was the obvious way to bring down the House of Usher. I really did enjoy how Griffin was able to write 'crazy' well. I personally have tried and found it difficult and this came off effortlessly. Madeline's affliction and her connection to the house was well done, even if at times it was a bit unbelievable (at the start of the story especially). It did have a nice Gothic feel to it even though there wasn't much of a creep factor - which is okay - so it did the short story well. It looked like the period was well researched enough to get the right feel for the story and all the characters were at least distinct if not well-rounded. I think my true rating for this book might be 3.5/5, or 7/10, because the writing wasn't amazing (there was even a formatting error on one page, and knowing whether something is said or thought can make a huge difference) but the story was there. It is pretty small in scale so it won't be like many Gothic novels (which seem to value length over good story telling) but it is the perfect size for a YA and it is a good read. I think I would have preferred a tragic ending at least, but for what I got I enjoyed it and I would definitely read this book again. #plumreview
Date published: 2016-11-09

Editorial Reviews

“The disjointed timeline and chapter lengths track along with Madeline’s level of lucidity . . . making her overall narration fascinatingly untrustworthy. . . . An exquisitely wrought gothic tale for a stormy night.”