Uncle Montague’s Tales of Terror – Chris Priestley: review

“The way to Uncle Montague’s house lay through a small wood. The path coiled between the trees like a snake hiding in the thicket, and though the path was not long and the wood not at all large, that part of the journey always seemed to take far longer than I would ever have though it could.”
Edgar is a strange boy, boarding at school away most of the term during the holidays he takes to going to his Uncle Montague’s, who is not an actual relative. There his Uncle embarks on mysterious tales of older times which Edgar sometimes fails to believe. This particular journey to his Uncle’s house unleashes some quite terrifying tales which Edgar tries to not take to heart as he doesn’t want to appear scared. But somethings not right in his Uncles tales on this trip and Edgar is starting to worry for his Uncles sainity, being locked up in a cold, dark house.

Wow! I loved this book so much! I loved the story telling element, it’s told is exactly the way I would have wanted a scary story told to me when I was a youngster!
I wasn;t prepared for how scary this book actually was. I had read rave reviews about it which mentioned that it had scary elements but seriously, I was terrified through some parts of it. The book follows Edgar on one of his visits to see his Uncle, and it tells us about his relationship with his Uncle and the tales which his Uncle tells him. I loved that it went back and forth between the tales and the study and every time Edgar would notice something in his Uncle’s study which would lead into a story. Its aimed at an audience a bit younger than what I would usually read but the great reviews made me want it and once I started reading I couldn’t put it down!
In total there are nine short stories within the larger story of Edgar and his Uncles relationship. I loved that each glimpse into the study was a sign of things to come later in the book when we learn more about Uncle Montague. I loved all the stories so much but I think my favourite had to be The Un-door and The Gilt Frame, these were also, in my opinion, the scariest!
I am so glad I got this book out the library when I did. I think its fantastic and I cannot wait to get my hands on more by Chris Priestley! His style of writing is immense and he sets the scene amazingly well. There were definitely times when I could envision myself in Uncle Montague’s study with his voice sharing the amazingly creepy stories!
I was a bit shocked at first about how scary the stories were considering they are aimed at a 9+ audience. But then I remembered what I was like at that age, and how much time I spent in the local cemetery with my friend telling ghost stories.. I was still at primary school then so I’m fairly sure I would have been 9 or 10!! I love a good ghost story and these ones are fantastic and really get your imagination going!! I urge you to get some of Chris Priestley’s writing into your life and get some of the childish terror into your minds whilst you encounter his spooky stories! 


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