Thirteen Chairs: In an abandoned house, the ghosts gather. They argue, they laugh, and they tell their stories. Some tell their own stories, some tell stories they have heard elsewhere. Some of them are true, some are not. But each tale draws you closer.
One by one, the storytellers depart, until suddenly it’s just you and the narrator, alone in the dark…-Goodreads
Thirteen Chairs Review
I had trouble, initially, getting into Thirteen Chairs. I don’t know if I was just a bit too distracted or what. However, once I actually got through the first story, I was officially hooked, and just read it straight through.
I liked how all the stories had their own flavor / were truly told in the ‘voice’ of the person presenting them. My favorite was probably the Woodsman one, simply because trying to read it out loud made me laugh. There are nods to classic horror stories in some of the tales, but also some refreshingly modern ones. A particularly creepy one, to me, was “Unputdownable”. It tells the tale of a book that truly hooks. While none of the stories are particularly unique, they’re well-written and easy to read.
Thirteen Chairs is definitely a solid collection of ghost stories, which kind of surprises me because it’s aimed at 12-17 year olds. I like how it was all tied together via just a few pages in between each story. Shelton does a good job of building the tension in the young boy. The ending, which is a little bit of a surprise even though it really shouldn’t have been, was interesting and disconcerting. Plus, the idea of a bunch of ghosts getting together to try to scare each other is just a fun, unique idea.
Overall, Thirteen Chairs by Dave Shelton didn’t quite live up to my expectations (I think I was thinking it’d be a bit more adult than it was), but it was a good read nevertheless. The stories are definitely appropriate for the intended age range, and perhaps even a bit younger (depending upon the maturity level of the child.) Obviously, its one adults can enjoy, too, if they keep in mind that it is aimed at a younger audience. After all, a good ghost story never gets old.