the dumb house by john burnside

“No one could say it was my choice to kill the twins, any more than it was my decision to bring them into the world.”

When I first stumbled upon this book, I had the impression that this would be another cheesy horror novel. But upon reading the synopsis and the reviews, I was very much interested in picking it up as it sounded very creepy.

And creepy it was indeed.

The book has an unnamed narrator, who is very much mentally disturbed, even though he starts off by talking about his childhood which was none other than good, so you end up wondering why the hell a man could end up this crazy.
It starts off very slow, but gradually starts picking up a few pages in. Bear in mind the book has no chapters which makes it even more mysterious. It does start off in a somewhat normal matter, but as you keep reading, you stumble upon weird fetishes, abuse, disturbing hobbies, and graphic thoughts.

The book is not creepy or disturbing in the sense that its pure gore and blood, but its the the thrill and the vibe that it gives off. Its also the fact that you, judging from the synopsis, already know what a disgusting human being the main character is, so it completely changes the atmosphere of the novel when you pick up the book.

Being inside the main characters head is horrifying and disturbing, a man with an Oedipus complex and a disgusting voice that tugs at you at all times, almost like having a monster tickling your skull and whispering into your ear.

Overall, this book was a scary and horrifying read, living up to the expectations of a horror novel, the writing is beautifully done, the character a great study for psychological sociopaths, and I had no problem except for the fact that we got more backstory than of the experiment itself.
I highly recommend picking up this novel if you’re in the mood for a short creepy read, as its barely 200 pages, and although slow to get into, it can be read very fast.

Until next time,



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My name is Batool, but I’m mostly known as Bat or B, so you can call me whichever you prefer. Not only an avid reader and goofball, I’m also a student and professional procrastinator.

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