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Breakfast with the Borgias (Hammer) [Englisch] [Gebundene Ausgabe]

DBC Pierre

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31. Juli 2014 Hammer

'Hell is other people.' A chilling, page-turning Hammer novella by the Booker-Prize-winning author of Vernon God Little.

The setting: a faded, lonely guesthouse on the Essex coast. Outside, it's dark, and very foggy. Inside there's no phone or internet reception, no connection with the outside world.

Enter Ariel Panek, a promising young academic en route from the USA to an important convention in Amsterdam. With his plane grounded by fog at Stanstead, he has been booked in for the night at the guesthouse. Discombobulated and jetlagged, he falls in with a family who appear to be commemorating an event.

But this is no ordinary celebration. And this is no ordinary family.

As evening becomes night, Panek realises that he has become caught in an insidious web of other people's secrets and lies, a Sartrian hell from which for him there may be no escape.

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"A thoroughly modern nightmare . DBC Pierre stacks up the layers of horror with relish and skill - the Hammer label gives him a perfect excuse to leave no stop unpulled" (The Times)

"Pierre lets his baroque storytelling powers run riot in this latest addition to the excellent Hammer series . exerts an uncanny, bone-chilling thrill" (Metro)

"Pierre's prose is a sumptuous, metaphor-infused confection . Quirky characters and off-the-wall observations about modern life's obsession with electronic communication keep the book constantly entertaining." (SFX)

"Beautifully written, creepy and funny ... A fascinating, occasionally chilling tale" (The List)

"Pierre's insights into human nature elevate this way above most psychological thrillers. It's well-paced, with a cast of large-as-life characters and a structure that makes more than the odd nod towards Agatha Christie. As the tension builds to the final chaotic spiral of revelations, it becomes apparent this is a novel crying out for a full-blooded stage adaptation. It's the least it deserves." (Event Magazine, Mail on Sunday)


'Hell is other people' A chilling, page-turning Hammer novella by the Booker-Prize-winning author of Vernon God Little.

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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf (beta) 4.5 von 5 Sternen  2 Rezensionen
4.0 von 5 Sternen Breakfast With the Borgias 14. August 2014
Von S Riaz - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Kindle Edition
This is one of a series of short, novella length reads, in the Hammer series by some very well known authors. In this book, Booker winning author DBC Pierre, turns his attention to the horror genre, with a clever take on the traveller finding himself suddenly veering off the expected course and being abandoned in a remote location. However, instead of black capes, stagecoaches and encroaching forest, our hero is a rather nerdy academic en route from the USA to Amsterdam, whose plane is grounded at the somewhat less romantic location of Stanstead. Ariel Panek is supposed to be meeting up for a romantic, if secretive tryst, with student Zeva at the conference. Instead, he finds himself driven to the remote and run down Cliffs Hotel and his isolation is a very modern one – a couple who live their lives, and romance online, mostly via their mobile phones, are suddenly disconnected by a lack of phone network and Wifi...

Desperate to try to connect with Zeva, Ariel finds himself meeting up with the bizarre members of the Border family; who seem only too happy to welcome him into their midst. Hearty Uncle Leonard assures Ariel he can obtain him a working phone, while overly emotional Margot renames him, ‘Harry Panic’ and Ariel finds himself embroiled with Margot’s daughter Olivia and the damaged, creepy Gretchen. Of course, if you read a lot of horror books, I am sure you will find the twist obvious, but I was happy enough to go with the flow and not try to second guess the plot. I enjoy the genre, but prefer the books to be interesting rather than scary, and this fulfils that criteria very well. The book is genuinely disconcerting, as Zeva and Ariel gradually realise that forces other than distance are keeping them apart and events escalate out of control. Like the rambling hotel that Ariel finds himself him, and the overwhelming inhabitants, the story somehow both meanders to its conclusion, yet has a real sense of building tension. I enjoyed the book, liked the characters and setting and thought this one of the most enjoyable of the Hammer books I have read. Lastly, I received a copy of this book from the publishers, via NetGalley, for review.
5.0 von 5 Sternen Fraughty Towers: A jet black comedy. 29. August 2014
Von Sue Kichenside - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Kindle Edition
Cool Polish-American professor geek, Ariel, is off to read a potentially career-making paper at a computer science conference in Amsterdam. There he is meeting one of his students, Zena, with whom he is having a secret love affair. When bad weather grounds his plane in the UK and all London hotels appear to be full, he is diverted to a dilapidated guest-house on the Suffolk coast. His phone, his laptop - none of his devices have a signal. Wunderkind Ari is completely cut off from the world. Oh, the irony!

The hotel is strangely reminiscent of Fawlty Towers right down to the patterned carpet which "seemed to writhe underfoot". The staff make Basil look positively on the ball and the only guests are a rum bunch indeed. I'm not saying another word about the plot because I don't want to spoil the five-star fun for anyone. Not being a regular reader of this genre, I had no idea what to expect and I found it a completely fizzing, fabulous read. DBC Pierre: *respect*
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