The House at the Bottom of Needless Street: the review

The House at the Bottom of Needless Street: the review

The House at the Bottom of Needless Street

A missing child, a man who lives with his daughter and cat, a murderer and a woman on his trail to finally discover which destiny was reserved for the lost little sister. This is the horror signed by Catriona Ward entitled The House at the Bottom of Needless Street, in which everything we think we know collapses and is dispersed, in a psychological labyrinth whose architecture has been meticulously erected to make us lose ourselves inside. A magnificent novel published by Sperling & Kupfer for the Macabre series, in which nothing is as it appears and it is easy to be destabilized by the tangle that binds the frightening mystery around that house down the street. At that point where the asphalt gives way to the forest, which swallows and hides everything: hatred, secrets, souls and even gods.

It was a (not) very nice house

Ted he is a big fat man who lives with his daughter Lauren and the cat Olivia in a house down Needless Street. Ted takes care of Lauren as much as he can, memorizes recipes of her invention on his tape recorder and feeds all the varieties of birds that roost in the backyard. However, it's not all rosy in his life: Lauren screams all the hatred of him at him, the tape recorder contains a tape that Ted is afraid to listen to, and someone in the neighborhood has mercilessly killed all the birds that kept him company. Meanwhile, in the attic, something shakes and makes a noise, but the cat Olivia tries to ignore the secrets that lie there in order to fulfill her task: to take care of Ted whenever she feels he is heartbroken or in pain for something.

if (jQuery ("# ​​crm_srl-th_culturapop_d_mh2_1"). is (": visible")) {console.log ("Edinet ADV adding zone: tag crm_srl-th_culturapop_d_mh2_1 slot id: th_culturapop_d_mh2"); } In the house next to Ted's, the one that has been vacant for so many years, a young woman makes her appearance: Dee Dee, who introduces herself to Ted as her new neighbor in a very friendly way. She is actually on the hunt for her missing little sister eleven years ago, Lulu, and the leads she's been following so far have led her to Ted. When he sees his neighbor's house for the first time, he finds himself in front of a heavily neglected and dilapidated house, that of a lonely, unemployed, maladjusted man who goes to the forest by the roadside a little too often, to bury objects of dubious nature. Dee Dee is sure: he is Lulu's kidnapper. It must surely be him.

Destabilize souls

The construction of The House at the Bottom of Needless Street is done by Catriona Ward through specific POVs: those of Ted, Olivia and Lauren, all narrated in the first person (yes, even that of the cat), with the addition of that of Dee Dee, the woman who after eleven has not yet given up and wants to find her missing sister, with a narration in the third person instead. It is therefore easy to empathize a little with each of them, especially at the beginning. The first three tell us directly how they perceive and experience their little big world, built within those four decaying walls that contain more emotions and secrets than they can contain. The reader instead feels close to Dee Dee for the misfortune that has befallen her and for the fortitude she shows in wanting to obtain justice for what has been stolen from her.

As Ward's horror novel proceeds, but each chapter develops in an increasingly frightening and distressing way. The figures we thought we had a vague idea of ​​begin to distort, to deform, they reveal shadows so dark as to plunge us into the black abysses of their soul. The doubts that arose at the beginning take the form of certainties, only to be shattered in turn under the blows of new, shocking revelations. This is not a "sophisticated system of mirrors and levers" devised by Catriona Ward. If we really want to be honest, all the mirrors in Ted's house have been smashed to never show her reflection or images of unwanted figures. We are simply immersed in the unraveling of the consequences on the human soul of life-long trauma and abuse, through a labyrinthine path in which, every time we believe we have found the way to the solution to the mystery, we find ourselves again in front of walls and crossroads. .

if (jQuery ("# ​​crm_srl-th_culturapop_d_mh3_1"). is (": visible")) {console.log ("Edinet ADV adding zone: tag crm_srl-th_culturapop_d_mh3_1 slot id: th_culturapop_d_mh3"); } The House at the End of Needless Street is a small horror masterpiece that feeds our terror of what the human mind can be made to engineer, thus also fueling repugnance and anguish. The Ward disseminates within it a whole series of clues useful to compose the puzzle that can provide the answer to the riddle: an overprotective mother who heals every wound with skilful stitches, the patter of small steps in the attic coming from those who Ted he calls "the green children", strange objects buried at the foot of the trees in a clearing that the protagonist defines as "gods". However, it is all a game of deception: when we believe we have put each piece in its place, our anguish returns even stronger and more alive than before. We no longer know who the monster of history really is and who preys on it, who the executioner and who the victim. Horror is then a black wave that strikes our perception with the force of a tsunami, as we understand how much The House at the Bottom of Needless Street is a reconstruction of abuse and psychic disturbances and that finding the light in the shadows of human soul is a long journey made up of dangers.

The House at the Bottom of Needless Street, in summary

Never judge a book by its cover, they say, but by its appearance aesthetic of The House at the Bottom of Needless Street we understand its value. It is in fact a small pocket gem that we believe should not be missing in the library of a passionate horror: the cover, hard, was in fact illustrated by Davide Toffolo, Italian cartoonist author of Carnera, Pasolini, Il Re Bianco, Il strada della Cumbia and The Last Old Man on Earth, as well as voice and guitar of the Tre Allegri Ragazzi Morti. The cover itself is therefore a declaration of horrific intent (predominantly red, like the cutting of the pages), including Stephen King's comment on the work:

A breathtaking reading that preserves his amazing secrets down to the last page.

It might seem like a cliché, but we have devoured the pages of The House at the End of Needless Street. The sincere horror in front of some of the protagonists' actions, the subversion of our certainties, the need that this story produces in the reader to find answers to the frightening and apparently meaningless situations he is faced with. Everything contributes to completing the novel with greed, looking for a way through the deceptions and traps (especially of the mind) with which it is scattered. Love and hatred for the protagonists then alternate and alternate helping to destabilize us: who deserves our sympathies? Who is the "good" and who the "bad" of the plot? The task then becomes to understand where the truth lies and to grasp it, with a precaution: to read with the awareness that innocence and cruelty can in certain cases be shades in the same spectrum of morality.

if (jQuery (" # crm_srl-th_culturapop_d_mh4_1 "). is (": visible ")) {console.log (" Edinet ADV adding zone: tag crm_srl-th_culturapop_d_mh4_1 slot id: th_culturapop_d_mh4 "); } The afterword signed by Catriona Ward at the end of the book finally confirms another aspect that emerges through her novel, as the truth manages to make its way into our consciences. The task is not only to "unmask" the culprit, the monster, the torturer and the murderer. Awareness collides with another truth: it is not possible to judge the actions of men a priori, without knowing their experience, the deep feelings, the suffering they have had to face. Each individual, even the apparently most hostile one, can be a victim of others and of himself and it is up to us to establish how much we really are "human" in order to make a difference in the life of those who live with pain.

Powered by Blogger.