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Heirloom and World Made By Hand

The book I recommended is the Heirloom, you can download kindle and buy it here - http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Heirloom-ebook/dp/B004JKMV8G/ref=sr_1_1?s=bo...

Review: Rick Delatolla owns a reasonably successful antiques business in Rancho Santa Fe. He has a beautiful wife, Sara, and a young son, Jonathon, who is six-years old. Rick loves his family, enjoys his work, and is contented with his life. Sunday is the only day he doesn't work, though, and it is on Rick's one day off that Henry Grant arrives with a truck full of antiques. Most of it is rubbish and Grant admits it, but he has one piece, at the front of the truck ,that is pretty special and he is confident that Rick will want to buy it.

Ricks was just about to take Sara and Jonathan to visit the wild animal park, and Grant is a stranger to him, so he is less than impressed with him for turning up unexpected. Grant is quite persuasive though, and manages to get Rick to wait while he unloads a few other things so that he can get at the item he wants to show him.

When Rick finally sets his eyes on the piece in question he has to agree that it is quite special, not to mention unusual. It is a wooden chair, but it is unlike any chair he has ever seen before. There are snakes and apples and wolves heads carved into it and, at the crest of it, there is a grinning creature that looks like a cross between a man and a sea serpent. The back of the chair is even stranger and has intricate carvings of hundreds of people tumbling from Hell into Sub-Hell. It is a one of a kind and Grant assure Rick that it will change his life.

Rick admits that the chair is unique and interesting, but he is not interested in it because it would be too hard for him to sell. Shocked by this, Grant tells Rick that if he buys the chair he will throw in everything else in the van for free. This is a great offer, but Grant seems almost desperate to get rid of the chair and it makes Rick so suspicious that he decides to get on the phone and check up if Grant really did get the antiques where he said he did.

Grant's story checks out, but when Rick goes back outside he finds Sara and Jonathan in a trance-like state and the chair, along with everything else from the van, has been left on his drive. Grant has vanished. Without even being paid. It is a strange situation and Grant was right the chair does change Ricks life -- for the worse -- and no matter how hard Rick tries to get rid of it the chair keeps on coming back. Even when Rick throws it off a precipice and into the reservoir below -- nearly killing himself in the process -- the chair still returns. And when Rick takes an axe to it something very nasty indeed happens to Jonathan.

The Heirloom is one of Graham Masterton's early works; it is 217 pages long and is a pretty good read. I have read any number of stories about haunted houses and few about haunted cars, but this is the first one I have read about a haunted chair. I can't say that The Heirloom is the scariest novel I have ever read, because it is not; it is scary though and it is hard not to like the Delatolla family and to sympathize with them when the Devil's chair starts being a pain in the proverbial butt and turns their happy home into a danger zone where even the pictures on the wall are no longer safe to hang around without interference. Other characters in the book are not so easy to like and some are not what they seem at all. If you want to find out who all the good guys and bad guys are, though (plus the best way to deal with a haunted chair), you will have to read the book yourself because I've given away too much of the story already.

The other book was World made by hand - http://www.amazon.co.uk/World-Made-James-Howard-Kunstler/dp/0871139782/r...

Review: InThe Long Emergencycelebrated social commentator James Howard Kunstler explored how the terminal decline of oil production, combined with climate change, had the potential to put industrial civilization out of business. InWorld Made by Hand, an astonishing work of speculative fiction, Kunstler brings to life what America might be, a few decades hence, after these catastrophes converge. For the townspeople of Union Grove, New York, the future is nothing like they thought it would be. Transportation is slow and dangerous, so food is grown locally at great expense of time and energy, and the outside world is largely unknown. There may be a president, and he may be in Minneapolis now, but people aren’t sure. Their challenges play out in a dazzling, fully realized world of abandoned highways and empty houses, horses working the fields and rivers, no longer polluted, and replenished with fish. With the cost of oil skyrocketing—and with it the price of food—Kunstler’s extraordinary book, full of love and loss, violence and power, sex and drugs, depression and desperation, but also plenty of hope, is more relevant than ever.

Adam