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The Elementals

The Elementals By Michael McDowell The Elementals On a split of land cut off by the Gulf three Victorian summer houses stand against the encroaching sand Two of the houses at Beldame are still used The third house filling with sand is emptyexcept

  • Title: The Elementals
  • Author: Michael McDowell
  • ISBN: 9780380783601
  • Page: 377
  • Format: Paperback
  • The Elementals By Michael McDowell On a split of land cut off by the Gulf, three Victorian summer houses stand against the encroaching sand Two of the houses at Beldame are still used The third house, filling with sand, is emptyexcept for the vicious horror which is shaping nightmares from the nothingness that hangs in the dank, fetid air.The McCrays and Savages, two fine Mobile families allied by marrOn a split of land cut off by the Gulf, three Victorian summer houses stand against the encroaching sand Two of the houses at Beldame are still used The third house, filling with sand, is emptyexcept for the vicious horror which is shaping nightmares from the nothingness that hangs in the dank, fetid air.The McCrays and Savages, two fine Mobile families allied by marriage, have been coming to Beldame for years This summer, with a terrible funeral behind them and a messy divorce coming up, even Luker McCray and little India down from New York are looking forward to being alone at Beldame.But they won t be alone For something there, something they don t like to think about, is thinking about themd about all the ways to make them die.
    The Elementals By Michael McDowell

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      377 Michael McDowell

    One thought on “The Elementals

    1. PirateSteve on said:

      I would read a lot horror tales if they were all this well written with this much originality If you are looking for that perfect horror story to take with you to the beach this is it.So have you ever been walking along a beach and felt the sand trying to pull you down Just a natural settling you say But did you look to see if perhaps it had left a mark around your ankles The sand wants what it wants.Have you ever returned indoors after a day at the beach, took a long shower in order to wash al [...]

    2. mark monday on said:

      here s a rant the constant marginalization of horror really pisses me off this is, after all, a genre that includes works by Edgar Allan Poe, Henry James, Ambrose Bierce, Ray Bradbury, Shirley Jackson, Joyce Carol Oates, Justin Cronin so many classic and modern luminaries it includes modern unknowns like Thomas Ligotti, who can out write 9 authors out of 10, and dazzling semi unknowns like Robert Aickman, whose prose can be compared favorably to best of Beattie or Byatt or Boyle and yet it remai [...]

    3. Char on said:

      This book was a total pleasure, from start to finish To enhance that pleasure, I read it with a group of horror lovers over at and we had a ball This book was written in the 80 s and a lot of my fellow book loving friends have recommended it to me over the last few years Problem was it was out of print and I couldn t even find 1 copy of anything he s written in the various used book stores in which I shop Then, Valancourt Books came to the rescue Valancourt is dedicated to bringing back some of [...]

    4. HFK on said:

      My friend Char introduced me to an independent press called Valancourt Books a few years back They specialize on publishing works that could be labelled under the tags of neglected, forgotten and rare, and they really seem to have a great range of horror fiction under their belt which has resulted me stocking some Kindle editions of horror books from the 80 s to my personal digital library I like this as I am drawn to old school horror, but I am only that with the cinematic horror I have no clue [...]

    5. Jonathan Janz on said:

      If Tennessee Williams wrote a supernatural horror novel, it would read like THE ELEMENTALS This statement isn t completely true, of course Michael McDowell was a fiercely unique author who wrote unlike any other But some of the most fascinating aspects of Tennessee Williams s plays are exhibited in this novel atypical dysfunctional familial relationships unpleasant truths suppressed or left unspoken horror through acquiescence moments of shocking violence manipulative, vicious matriarchs and pat [...]

    6. Horace Derwent on said:

      savage mothers eat their children up ill the parrot squawking about my earsin 1981, the paperback costed 2.95, now it costs over 20.95, but that s not what s stir frying my ass s that the golden age of horror novels is really gone and it s long gone, alasi d been prepping for not getting ass stir fried by this great book, but i m now just being ass stir fried by it and i m enjoying it the sands is the elementals, the sands is combing for you

    7. Paul Nelson on said:

      The Elementals by Michael McDowell was first released in 1981 and then re released in 2014 by Valancourt Books with an introduction by author Michael Rowe.The story begins with the funeral of Marian Savage, the matriarch of an old and opulent family from Alabama with an intriguingly peculiar and disturbing burial rite.The Savage family are linked by marriage, friendship and history to the McCrays and both families spend the summer at Beldame An island compound on which sits three identical Victo [...]

    8. Kimberly on said:

      SOLID 5 STARS Honestly, I think I d have a difficult time finding a better example of a quiet horror book that delivers genuine chills The southern atmosphere and isolation of the vacation houses of the two main families couldn t have been in a better location With nothing except the shifting sands and surf for company, the scene here was set perfectly for a horror so unsettling, that even I couldn t predict what would happen next If you re looking for a gore torture fest, you won t find it in t [...]

    9. Tiffany Reisz on said:

      Never EVER let me read a horror novel when I m home alone at night EVER again EVER.

    10. Char on said:

      The Elementals is absolutely fantastic and listening to it somehow makes it even better A horror story from the golden age of the 80 s, The Elementals stands head and shoulders above the rest Everything about it has the ring of truth, from the accents of southern Alabama, my Alabama friend Tressa assures me of this, and R.C Bray nails it , to the strange familial relationships, and the supernatural beliefs of the characters All of it combines to bring together an actually scary story Even to me, [...]

    11. Jon Recluse on said:

      Three houses Isolated on a spit of land along the Gulf Coast of Alabama known as Beldame Two are occupied in season One is abandoned, slowly being swallowed up by the ever shifting dunes But far from empty For within the shifting sands, something stirs.This book is a masterpiece of Southern Gothic An atmospheric sun drenched sojourn into horror that matches pace to place, a laconic stroll through the hazy, lazy days of summer, populated by the kind of eccentrics you only find below the Mason Dix [...]

    12. BrokenTune on said:

      Oh, he whispered, sorry, Nails, you all right He smiled, remembering in what affection his mother had held the shrill bird despite its disappointing speechlessness He raised the cover to peer inside The parrot flapped its iridescent, blood red wings and stuck its beak between the bars Its flat black eye reflected light that was not in the room For the first time in its eight year life, the parrot spoke In cold imitation of Luker McCray s voice, the parrot cried Savage mothers eat their children [...]

    13. Layton on said:

      I m so glad I had read three other Michael McDowell books before this one It made The Elementals seem even better.Welcome to Beldame, a sandbar set out in the Gulf of Mexico, where three houses stand Two are used by the connected families, the McCrays and the Savages The third sits at the end of the sandbar, slowly being covered and filled by sand It sits there long abandoned and ready to be forgotten.Something evil lurks in that third house and the inhabitants of Beldame are about to figure out [...]

    14. Erin ☕ *Proud Book Hoarder* on said:

      3.5 starsWhen reading this, expect to go between dry humor and subtle creepiness.Unusual characterization makes the book stand out as much as the plot does I ve never seen a father daughter relationship like Luker and his daughter India It s not possible to describe well he hates his ex wife and she hates her mother, and they don t care either I m guessing he does what is right and loves his daughter but has much of a friend than father relationship they swear comfortably in front of each other [...]

    15. Bill on said:

      Despite its slow pace or maybe because of it I was drawn into this one from the very first chapter, which really set the tone and feel of this one.Screaming Nails Family secrets Family rituals The Elementals.Something sinister is going on near the McCray and Savage family homes at Beldame A presence has made itself known It lives in the sand that is slowly devouring the third house and now it wants Much .A very good Southern Slow Burn Horror tale that really cranks up the tension in the last qu [...]

    16. Tom Mathews on said:

      Alabama native and horror writer Michael McDowell knew Southern Gothic This creepy masterpiece from the golden age of horror blends the indolence of a steamy southern summer with the horror of unknown things that lurk on the fringes of the imagination The setting, three Victorian mansions set on a tiny island on Alabama s gulf coast is an ideal setting for a tale that will leave you chilled even in the hot summer sun.I want to thank the folks at the Literary Darkness group in for introducing me [...]

    17. Sadie | sadie_reads_them_all on said:

      This is a tough book for me to review There are things I hated about it and there are things I really, really loved about it This is a very slow burn of a book It starts off with an interesting hook in the prologue but then it rambles for an age before anything really gets interesting Fans of a classic Southern Gothic tale will love the way McDowell sets the stage and then engages his characters in witty banter you can almost hear the whiskey laced, Southern drawls.A matriarch, Mother Savage, di [...]

    18. David Brian on said:

      There are certain books which I tend to think of fondly and consider as favorites, only later to re read and discover that the passing of time has dulled the enjoyment I felt during that initial reading Maybe, in later years, I will re read The Elementals by Michael McDowell, and perhaps by then I will have found deserving favorites.It s a possibility.For now though, I would have to say that The Elementals is the finest example of Southern Gothic, and or Quiet Horror, that I have had the pleasu [...]

    19. Mike (the Paladin) on said:

      You knowI d forgotten these books My wife found this and I ll say these as she went from this book to McDowell s Blackwater series This isn t part of that series, but I always think of them together as I read it after my wife in her McDowell Period.My wife was always the horror fan than I was am and she ended up introducing me to several authors books I probably would never have tried had she not found them first During our marriage we would occasionally come across books we both liked That was [...]

    20. Addy on said:

      This was an amazing piece of southern literature The characters were likeable and pretty awesome, especially India, although her relationship with her dad could be questionable The houses in Beldame seemed like the perfect vacation although I emphasize seemed and if you read this book, which I highly recommend, you will see why I ll tell you this, you certainly won t see sand the same way Something is waiting for these two families that you won t wanna miss Can t wait to read from this author.

    21. Nancy Oakes on said:

      This one s a 4.5, and I do have to say that while I was reading it, nature provided the perfect backdrop hard rain, thunder, and lightning so bright it flashed through the closed blinds I would also like to say that Valancourt Books has done readers a huge favor with this reissued classic they have made it widely available at a very good price have you seen the cost of a used crappy mass market paperback of this book absolutely no spoilers ahead The Elementals focuses on two Alabama families, th [...]

    22. Twerking To Beethoven on said:

      Maybe you ve read Peter Straub s Ghost Story The Elementals sort of reminded me of that amazing novel, plus a couple of splatter ish bits towards the end There s a haunted house And funny stuff happening in and around it.And sand Plenty of sand.Bear in mind this is not a proper ghost story the elementals aren t exactly people who, you know snuffed it also they appear to be active in plain daylight.Oh, before I forget, gone in Alabama means going to Just so you know.

    23. Melissa on said:

      The person who wrote the prologue was correct when he stated that the setting was a character in this book This review won t do the book proper justice because I m writing it in a hurry Aside from the strange opening act, the first half of the book left me wondering if this book was indeed correctly classified as horror There were a few events of a supernatural nature that occurred in the early stages of the novel, but then things appeared to calm down Just past the halfway point, the simmering [...]

    24. Latasha on said:

      This is such a good story The setting is great, the people are just normal people It s very good creepy.

    25. The Just-About-Average Ms M on said:

      An amazing Southern Gothic tale just this side of over the top, tongue in cheekiness characters whose names are perfect for the genre, and Lower Alabama, and whose speech is spot on, suggesting through the judicious use of a few words like gone for going and cain t for can t the entire honeyed treacle drenched cadence of Southern speech without having to actually wade through it on every page.The plot involves an old family compound on a back of beyond and nearly inaccessible spit of land on the [...]

    26. Leah Polcar on said:

      I simply can t believe I have never heard of this book, or McDowell, before As a huge fan of ghost and haunted house stories, this omission is really unexplainable I came upon this book recently on a list of the best horror novels ever written, or something like that, and given that it seemed I had read the other 300 novels listed, I thought I should giveThe Elementalsa try As I find the name rather silly, and definitely un scary, and the author also wrote Beetlejuice, which was interesting, but [...]

    27. Glenn Rolfe on said:

      Michael McDowell s 1981 paperback horror novel, THE ELEMENTALS, is what they call a slow burn Patiently and expertly crafted, the numerous characters in this book carry you along as the events, past and present, unfold The tension slowly rises as you learn and about the ghosts Spirits surrounding the Beldame property and the families that own it When Marian Savage dies, her son, Dauphin, is left to handle the aftermath After the odd family ritual Dauphin, along with his wife, Leigh, and the Mc [...]

    28. Gala on said:

      Rese a disponible tambi n en mi blog ceresplaneta 2Despu s de la muerte de la madre Marian, las familias McGray y Savage se trasladan a la zona playera de Beldame para pasar unos d as En la regi n se encuentran tres mansiones una para los McGray y una para los Savage, mientras que la tercera est abandonada Es, de hecho, inhabitable porque la arena est empezando a cubrirla por completo Pero eso no es todo entre sus paredes habita algo tenebroso, algo que ya hab a perturbado las mentes de ambas fa [...]

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