Sunday, 20 March 2011

A Fistful of Burning Room Reviews

I've come across three reviews of The Burning Room, as recently published in the January issue issue of Bull Spec, and thought I  might as well take a few minutes to share them.

All told, the response seems to be a general thumbs-up.  Firstly, here's one from

David Tallerman’s “The Burning Room” is a ghost story apparently set a few centuries ago in London.  A woman who is new to the city finds a room in a widow’s home for a suspiciously reasonable price, and learns why the room was available on her first night, when a specter appears. The new boarder — Miss Taversham, which necessarily gives us echoes of Charles Dickens — neatly unravels the mystery in a way that offers no surprises. It is a nice exercise in setting and mood, though, and Tallerman’s use of 18th century vernacular seems just right.

The ex-history student in me feels the need to point out that the The Burning Room is set around the beginning of the twentieth century, but "nice exercise in setting and mood" is pretty good, right?  Still, this one, from SFRevu, is probably a bit more positive on the whole:

David Tallerman's "The Burning Room" is a chilling little ghost story about a young woman named Taversham who rents an attic room from a widow named Mrs. Faraday. At night she feels a great heat, even though the embers on the fireplace have burned down. She sees a vision of a man. What is behind all this? All in all, like I said, a nice little ghost story.

Last up, and my favourite, since that last-line summary is pretty much exactly what I was aiming for, here's Lois Tilton from Locus Online:

Miss Taversham had expected to live with an aunt while she took employment as a milliner, but she unexpectedly died, leaving the younger woman with an urgent need for lodgings. The second floor of Mrs Faraday’s house seems quite suitable, but her landlady’s nervousness clues Miss Taversham to the fact that something there is quite wrong. And indeed, when the ghost appears, he is not unexpected. But our narrator is not afraid. In fact, she regards the ghost’s appearance as a mystery to be solved.

A nicely-done ghost story in the classic mode, with a tragic conclusion.

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