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1928, Perdido. Il clan Caskey è dilaniato dalla spietata lotta tra Mary-Love ed Elinor. Ma all'orizzonte si allungano altre ombre: sui legami, sui patrimoni, sulle anime. E le ripercussioni varcheranno i confini dell’immaginazione. Da quando Elinor ha preso possesso della casa più bella di Perdido, negli angoli bui della magione allignano ricordi spaventosi che, come ragni instancabili, tessono tele mortali.

245 pages, Paperback

First published March 1, 1983

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About the author

Michael McDowell

50 books909 followers
Michael McDowell is a prolific horror writer who has distinguished himself with a varied body of work within the genre. He was born in Enterprise, Alabama, in 1950 and died of AIDS-related illness in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1999.

His first horror novel, The Amulet, relates the tragedies that befall various individuals who come in possession of a supernatural pendant in a small town.

In McDowell's second novel, Cold Moon Over Babylon, a murdered woman's corpse is dispatched into a river, but her spirit roams the land, and in the evening hours it seeks revenge on her killer even as he plots the demise of her surviving relatives.

Don D'Ammassa, writing in the St. James Guide to Horror, Ghost & Gothic Writers, noted that McDowell's ability to maintain a sense of mundane normalcy against supernatural activity provides the novel with "a fine balance between reality and unreality," and he called Cold Moon Over Babylon "one of the best ghost stories ever written at novel length."

A similarly disturbing tension between dull reality and the supernatural is produced in The Elementals, wherein a host of visitors come to stay at a secluded house occupied by embodiments of elemental forces.

McDowell's Katie, meanwhile, concerns a clairvoyant serial killer whose powers of perception enable her to evade her trackers. The attractive but deranged heroine of this novel manages to conduct her murderous activities despite the awareness of her parents, who are content to derive financial gain from their daughter's crimes.

Madness is central to McDowell's Toplin, which details the vile imaginings of a man who suffers from mental illness but nonetheless determines to conduct himself within society. D'Ammassa praised Toplin as "perhaps the best novel ever written from the point of view of a schizophrenic."

Among McDowell's other writings is the six-part serial novel Blackwater, a chronicle of a southern family drawn to the supernatural. In addition, McDowell has also supplied the screenplays for various films, including director Tim Burton's horror comedy Beetlejuice and his animated production The Nightmare Before Christmas.

Stephen King called McDowell one of the "finest writers of paperback originals in America today." Tabitha King was asked to complete McDowell's unfinished novel Candles Burning, which was published in 2006 to good reviews. Concerning his career, McDowell never tried to be something he wasn't. "I am a commercial writer and I'm proud of that", he said in the book Faces of Fear in 1985. "I am writing things to be put in the bookstore next month. I think it is a mistake to try to write for the ages."

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5 stars
1,851 (41%)
4 stars
2,084 (46%)
3 stars
520 (11%)
2 stars
37 (<1%)
1 star
3 (<1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 348 reviews
Profile Image for Justin Tate.
Author 7 books889 followers
April 5, 2019
Part 3 of the Blackwater saga is intense. Previous plot threads are aligning, tensions have never been more high and there's creepiness throughout. The intriguing build-up of the previous two books are proving worthwhile now that McDowell is taking full advantage of the festering family drama and eerie setting. I still can't decide if this epic is the greatest thing ever or an unreasonably long (but good) tale. So far leaning toward the greatest thing ever, but we'll have to see what the remaining 3 books have in store!
Profile Image for TheBookWarren.
401 reviews88 followers
August 8, 2022
5.0 Stars — Michael McDowell’s ‘magnum-opus’ continues with this third instalment of his epic, gargantuan, breathtaking masterpiece Blackwater.

This portrayal of fictional Alabama powerbroker family and their infestation from River-monster-turned-housewife is about as good as Eery Horror ever could get. It’s the perfect Literature-Horror coagulation, with McDowell’s wonderful sweeping prose, combined with extremely rich fulfilling characters and just a hint of horrifying gore thrown in once every 150 pages.

The Caskey family continue to be in fine form here, with the next-generation now with their hands beginning to firmly take grip of the wheel. Mary Love Caskey, the matriarchal figurative monster and Oscar’s wife Elenor the Literal one, their subtle southern-charmed battles reach their peak here just as the Levee is finished and well and truly a part of the Perdido community. Yet the Perdido river remains the true King of this Southern Jungle and whilst it appears to be angry, it also manages to to find time to heal as well..
Profile Image for Char .
1,613 reviews1,464 followers
September 16, 2014
This Southern Gothic soap opera continues to deliver!

The Perdido river runs through town and who knows what it brings with it? It seems in some cases to heal and in others to kill and building a levee didn't do a damn thing to contain all that. The river remains within its boundaries but its not happy about it.

I just can't get over how much fun I'm having with this series. It's a total blast and I would recommend it to anyone at this point-fans of soap operas, ghost stories,southern horror, southern gothic, creature features, mysteries, 80's horror and just plain rip-roaring FUN!

I can't say it enough...I love this series!
Profile Image for Kimberly.
1,673 reviews2 followers
September 5, 2015
THE HOUSE is the 3rd book of Michael McDowell's BLACKWATER series. At this point, I can't really write a full review without giving away information from previous books. However, the atmosphere of this one intensifies dramatically, and events begin to happen that drastically alter what we've come to know of Perdido. There were scenes in this volume that will stand out for some time to come, and many new revelations.

I'll be diving into Book 4: THE WAR, immediately.

Highest recommendation for this entire series!
Profile Image for David.
89 reviews33 followers
December 11, 2022
Michael McDowell was a brilliant writer!

An American treasure who still remains a bit under the radar. Gone way to soon 😢.

The House has been in my opinion the best book in the Blackwater saga so far and I can’t wait to dig into the next part! The creepy factor definitely ratcheted up here and the southern gothic characters are superb.

It is so cool how he broke his masterpiece into parts that were released separately. Like King did with The Green Mile. Some say McDowell inspired King to do so. It is very effective and I can only imagine how difficult it would have been for fans of both authors to wait for each installment to be released 😂! Not to mention each book reads like a small fast paced novella and is over before you know it!

⭐️ ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Profile Image for Julien L..
104 reviews20 followers
May 16, 2022
De nouveaux personnages entrent en scène. Les clans s’agrandissent et les rancunes s’accentuent.
Attention au plot twist majeur à la fin 😱
Comme d’habitude la lecture est très fluide et l’écriture pensée comme le scénario d’un film.
Les décors prennent vie, la chaleur est étouffante et poisseuse, l’eau de la Perdido est boueuse et on ne veut surtout pas être dans les parages quand les événements étranges commencent à la tombée de la nuit…
Profile Image for Fei.
383 reviews44 followers
June 12, 2022
4.5 Le meilleur tome de la série pour le moment, ca se lit tout seul :)
Profile Image for Pauline.
Author 10 books1,068 followers
February 1, 2023
Une fois les mille réveils nocturnes pour tirer mon lait enfin derrière moi, plus aucune raison de m’astreindre à l’audiobook de cette saga que je trouvais un peu laborieux. Je pensais donc ne jamais finir ce tome et puis quand une amie m’a offert le tome 1 en poche (si beau !), l’intérêt est revenu. J’ai profité d’un bon d’achat en librairie pour acheter les 2 suivants et donc j’ai enfin fini celui-ci. Il m’en restait environ la moitié, en fait, et je l’ai dévorée – définitivement + une fille du livre que de l’audio. J’ai mieux aimé l’ambiance glauque sur le papier et le personnage d’Elinor me fascine de plus en plus. Je profiterai d’autres bons d’achats pour continuer la saga, sûrement, sans grande hâte mais avec plaisir quand l’occasion se présente.
Profile Image for Leggoromance .
228 reviews473 followers
February 12, 2023
Ieri sera sapevo che avrebbe vinto Marco Mengoni
Songnavo una 🌹 all’eurovision ma evidentemente non ce lo meritavamo
Per questo a un certo punto me so messa a leggere
E più leggevo, più ne volevo
Questo terzo libro è davvero una droga
(Anche perché si realizzano i miei sogni)
Elinor e Mary-Lovea a viso aperto finalmente si scontrano (peccato che Mary love sia una cojona che non capisce assolutamente nulla nemmeno le cose che gli stanno di fronte)
Ho amato il fatto che uniscono la storia Americana, come la grande depressione, ma non è la parte principale del libro
Che rimane veloce super coivolgente
E quando finite la storia ne vorrete ancora 🫠🫶

Poi vorrei dire che il formato tascabile è comodissimo, la copertina è una bomba e per ora è la mia preferita 🤩
Profile Image for Giordano Bruno.
160 reviews1 follower
March 2, 2023
Non c'è che dire: McDowell è un narratore sapiente. Un po' come le acque del fiume Perdido, ti trascina fra le correnti della sua trama e uscirne non è così facile. Questo terzo volume per ora è stato il mio preferito fra i tre che ho letto. I molti personaggi trovano ancora una volta una loro collocazione, niente va sprecato, tutto ha una propria funzione e gli incastri sono perfetti (o comunque molto azzeccati). Stavolta la componente soprannaturale/horror è un pochino più presente, forse anche per questo motivo la storia mi ha coinvolto più dei precedenti libri. In attesa del quarto volume!
Profile Image for Empress Reece (Hooked on Books).
915 reviews77 followers
September 4, 2016
Elinor's House...

Ooh that was good! Lots of stuff happening with the Caskey clan! Carl-Queenie's husband, Francis - Elinor & Oscar's daughter & Marylove- the Caskey matriarch all had significant roles in this third book of the Blackwater Saga and Elinor's house was the central locale for all of the action & drama. I can't say too much about the plot without spoiling the story but if you like Southern Gothic horror, you should give this old 80's serial a try, the characters alone make it worth the read! 
*I read this with HA-Buddy Read & for 2016 Halloween Book Bingo
Profile Image for Reinbach.
35 reviews
March 21, 2023
In questo terzo capitolo della serie Blawckwater, la componente horror/gotica si fa più protagonista che nei primi due volumi, dando vita a quello che per me è un equilibrio pressoché perfetto tra questa tematica e la narrazione della storia della famiglia Caskey. La casa è un titolo capace di soddisfare sia chi era interessato soprattutto a questo genere, sia chi è più interessato ai suoi intrecci famigliari, che pagina dopo pagina si fanno sempre più tesi, fino ad esplodere violentemente più di una volta, con tragiche conseguenze che creeranno verso il finale un vuoto difficile da colmare per il lettore così come per i personaggi.
Per quanto io mi fossi inizialmente approcciato alla lettura della serie prevalentemente per la sua componente horror/gotica, dopo il mezzo passo falso di La Diga che ho trovato sottotono, ormai posso dire che il mio interesse per le vicissitudini famigliari di Elinor, Oscar e tutti gli altri è tale che avrei apprezzato questo libro anche se la narrazione si fosse concentrata unicamente su quest'ultimo aspetto... Ma così non è stato, cosa che mi ha fatto apprezzare questa terza parte ancor di più, divenendo il mio capitolo (finora) preferito.
Profile Image for Cody | CodysBookshelf.
719 reviews206 followers
April 15, 2020
It’s been only a year and a half since I read and reviewed the previous volume in the Blackwater saga, The Levee. I enjoyed the hell out of that book, as I did this one, so why the long wait? Well, the original plan was reading these little novels a month at a time, as they were published ... and life got busy ... and I read other things. Excuses, excuses.

But I’m back! And boy, The House is a treat.

This series is only getting better with each book, and in this one previous plot-lines come to a head, making for some excellent suspense and scenes of true horror. And I must say a certain death in this book actually shocked me—I didn’t think the plot would allow for it to happen, but that made the experience more fun—and even though said character isn’t, um, the most likable I dug him/her. I’m curious where the story will go without that person.

Should I start volume 4? Should I wait till next month? I don’t know, but I’m itching to get my next fix. Michael McDowell’s books deserve all the praise they get, and more.
Profile Image for Jon Recluse.
381 reviews245 followers
September 20, 2014
Reviewing a serial novel is like reviewing the chapters of any other book, so I'll just cut to the chase and say that this slice of life, supernatural Southern Gothic is a must read!
It is everything that horror fans got into reading for, and so much more.
Profile Image for wutheringhheights_.
451 reviews156 followers
March 10, 2023
Quant'è stato coinvolgente questo terzo volume, La casa. Da parecchio tempo non mi succedeva di iniziare un libro e non accorgermi nemmeno che stava già finendo. La saga di Michael McDowell ha proprio questo effetto su di me, ed è rilassante, avvolgente. Mi piacciono tantissimo gli elementi gotici - horror, uniti a quelli della saga familiare e dei complotti tra parenti. Continuo ad avere una predilezione per il personaggio di Elinor, inquietante, misterioso, spietato e forte. Come in tutti i romanzi con una trama ben fatta è spontaneo tirare i fili, fare delle riflessioni, rendersi conto dei movimenti sotterranei dei personaggi. Stupita dalla scomparsa della prima nemica di Elinor, Mary Love, ora ho tante aspettative su Miriam che forse subentrerà nella guerra contro la sua stessa madre. Mi viene anche da dire povera Frances, che si accorge di tutto, e che ha capito che la casa in cui vive nasconde un oscuro mistero.
Profile Image for Davide.
214 reviews16 followers
February 28, 2023
La casa di Michael McDowell, terzo libro della serie Blackwater, preme l’acceleratore sulle dinamiche temporali e calca su quelle familiari.
La Perdido che abbiamo conosciuto ne La Piena è solo un vago ricordo, stravolta dall’arrivo di nuove figure. L’atmosfera melmosa, stagnante e malinconica rimane però immutata dando una continuità alla saga.
La calma apparente dei volumi precedenti comincia a presentare le prime increspature e le prime crepe tra i vari componenti della famiglia.
Questo libro mi ha dato grandi soddisfazioni, un cambio improvviso di marcia, una scossa necessaria ad una trama bella ma non proprio da montagne russe.
La parte horror viene lievemente accennata, ma spero che nei prossimi capitoli prenda più spazio.
Non vedo l’ora del quarto!

Puoi trovare questa e altre recensioni sul mio profilo Instagram “I libri di Dede” www.instagram.com/ilibrididede o sul mio blog/sito www.ilibrididede.it 📚
Profile Image for Anthony Vacca.
423 reviews279 followers
November 2, 2017
The war for the Caskey throne comes leisurely to a head as a new generation of these Alabama elites steps onto the stage of this sprawling gothic soap opera. Though the Great Depression serves as a mile marker for this entry, the Caskeys are less concerned with financial ruin than with some more child swapping, a malevolent haunting and a maniac with a stockpile of rifles. The writing is as sinuous as ever, and McDowell's sensitivity to character and to the affects time has on us all are laudatory. The elements of horror are as dreamy and secondary as ever, but this entry does feature a particularly gruesome comeuppance that will make the aficionados of the genre shiver with pleasure.
Profile Image for Benjamin - Les Mots Magiques.
218 reviews60 followers
June 8, 2022
A ce jour, c’est très certainement le tome que j’ai préféré parce qu’il est, pour moi, le plus réussi en termes d’ambiance. Si le deuxième tome avait commencé à faire un peu grimper la tension, ce troisième tome contient quelques scènes assez angoissantes. Rien de bien traumatisant mais quand même, le mystère entourant une certaine penderie provoque pas mal d’inquiétudes chez l’un des personnages et son angoisse est assez communicative.

Au niveau des personnages, j’ai beaucoup apprécié découvrir Frances qui est très douce et agréable à suivre. En revanche, Miriam s’avère assez difficile à tolérer, ce qui est assez logique étant donné les similitudes entre son attitude et celle de Mary-Love. En ce qui concerne Elinor, j’apprécie de plus en plus le personnage. Malgré son passé et certaines actions douteuses, je trouve le personnage très intéressant et loin d’être aussi mauvais qu’on pourrait le penser après certaines scènes. Je pense au contraire qu’elle voit simplement au-delà de la notion de bien ou de mal.

Par contre, il y a une chose qui me gênait déjà dans les tomes précédents et qui prend encore de l’ampleur dans ce tome : la façon dont sont traités les enfants. Pour une poignée de personnages, les enfants sont presque considérés comme des commodités qu’on s’échange, voire même parfois comme des simples pions permettant d’obtenir certains résultats. Je trouve ça quand même assez dérangeant. Certes, le roman se passe à une autre époque mais ça reste un « détail » assez embêtant.

Quoi qu’il en soit, arrivé à la moitié de cette saga, l’envie de continuer est toujours aussi présente, malgré une fin qui augure un changement significatif dans la dynamique des tomes à venir.
Profile Image for Laurelas.
437 reviews181 followers
August 7, 2022
Encore un tome que j'ai lu à toute vitesse, totalement happée par les évènements (dramatiques, effrayants, funestes....) qui se passent à Perdido. Décidément, je ne m'attendais pas à être tant prise au jeu !

Profile Image for Carla (Carla's Book Bits).
499 reviews127 followers
April 24, 2018
I am absolutely utterly in love with this series. I'm the kind of person who, even with novellas, usually likes to break after a book or two to read something else. But I'm currently reading the 4th book and am not thinking of breaking away from this story anytime soon.

Read this if you like any of either: Southern gothic, epic family dramas, and horror. Also, even if you don't like any of those things, you can still read it! This stuff is addictive.
Profile Image for Clarabel.
3,170 reviews21 followers
August 9, 2022
La saga continue d'explorer ses zones d'ombres et ne cesse de distiller un parfum inquiétant. Les enfants grandissent, la vie de famille est chahutée. On perd aussi un élément important dans le paysage. Et le mystère sur Elinor ne désépaissit pas. Je suis captivée !

Je soupçonne également le format audio d'être partie intégrante à mon envoûtement - la comédienne est excellente. L'ambiance et la tension dramatique sont palpables. C'est franchement parfait pour encadrer ce feuilleton.
Profile Image for Red Cat Library.
37 reviews6 followers
February 27, 2023
Con questo terzo volume si entra finalmente nel vivo della storia, con avvenimenti, intrighi e colpi di scena sempre più frequenti!
Profile Image for Virginia Moscatelli.
54 reviews2 followers
March 16, 2023
Per certi versi Elinor è ammirevole, e Mary-Love ha sbagliato così tanto e in così tanti modi! Ma Sister...
Le cose si complicano, diventa sempre più difficile capire tutti i piani
Profile Image for Andrew.
2,142 reviews
August 25, 2013
Its never easy trying to put down comments about a book in the middle (ok close to the middle there are 6 in total) of the series without giving anything away and not sounding bland and pointless. Therefore what can I say? The families main characters start to straighten their positions and now the supernatural elements start to become more and more tangible - well in their evidence at least- the proof of their doing or malevolent intention are still obscure and difficult to blame on anyone person (though you are left in no doubt as to who the perpetrator is). This to me is where the book starts to cut new ground - there are many a book now that mixes family feuds and intrigue and supernatural powers but this to me was one of the first and with its short episodic instalments to me the most addictive.
Profile Image for Moka Aumilieudeslivres.
138 reviews16 followers
June 12, 2022
"Le matin est rarement propice aux agressions non préméditées. Les passions violentes naissent plutôt de la chaleur accumulée au fil de la journée, de l'alcool et de la lassitude des corps."
Profile Image for Bookeen la rouquine .
250 reviews13 followers
June 18, 2022
Une suite à la hauteur de cette série que j'apprécie de plus en plus. L'événement que j'attendais arrive enfin dans ce tome, ça bouleverse l'équilibre de cette famille si intrigante... j'ai hâte de voir quelles en seront les conséquences et comment vont évoluer nos Caskey suite à cela.
Cela ne m'arrive pas souvent mais je vais enchaîner avec le tome suivant!
Profile Image for Aude.
738 reviews165 followers
June 29, 2022
Pour le moment, c’est sans aucun doute le meilleur livre de la série !!! Je l’ai dévoré !! L’histoire est intense et terriblement angoissante. Et puis ce qui arrive à Mary-Love voyons !?! J’ai hâte de lire la suite !!
Displaying 1 - 30 of 348 reviews

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