Five Stories High: One House, Five Hauntings, Five Chilling Stories

Five Stories High: One House, Five Hauntings, Five Chilling Stories

One house, five hauntings, five chilling stories.Five Stories High is a collection of five novellas each set in the same house – Irongrove Lodge. This five storey Georgian mansion, once a grand detached property, has now been split into five apartments.  This is a building with history, the very bricks and grounds imbued with the pasts of those who have walked these corrid...

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Title:Five Stories High: One House, Five Hauntings, Five Chilling Stories
Author:Jonathan Oliver
Rating:
ISBN:1781083924
Edition Language:English
Format Type:Paperback
Number of Pages:320 pages

Five Stories High: One House, Five Hauntings, Five Chilling Stories Reviews

  • Bark's Book Nonsense
    Feb 10, 2017

    I received this ARC from Netgalley. Thanks, Netgalley!

    Oh the Blurbs. Why do they lie? I promised myself this would be the year of the DNF and I am failing quite spectacularly at that promise. The problem is story collections. I may never read another one again. Story collections are the bane of my reading life this month. I can’t DNF them because I fear that if I do so, I’ll miss out something mind-blowing. This one has two good stories that are

    I received this ARC from Netgalley. Thanks, Netgalley!

    Oh the Blurbs. Why do they lie? I promised myself this would be the year of the DNF and I am failing quite spectacularly at that promise. The problem is story collections. I may never read another one again. Story collections are the bane of my reading life this month. I can’t DNF them because I fear that if I do so, I’ll miss out something mind-blowing. This one has two good stories that are chilling and set in a haunted house. The other three? I haven’t a clue how they found their way into this collection.

    Maggots started out interesting enough but it soon went off the rails for me. A young college student suspects something is off with his beloved aunt after she goes missing for a brief moment while on vacation. He begins to obsess over thoughts that her body has been inhabited by another. . . Sounds good right? And it was at first but then it got terribly dull. It devolved into his search for the truth. That search leads him to Irongrove Lodge, which isn't haunted in the typical way, ugh, and then he discovers some cosmic weirdness. This kind of story just wasn’t what I was expecting from the blurbage. I didn’t find it chilling or haunting. 3 Stars

    After my disappointment with story #1, I will admit to skimming Priest’s Hole almost immediately once I realized it too was not about a haunted house but about a shape-shifter instead. If I wanted to read the daily goings-on and meanderings of a day in the life of a shape-shifter I would’ve picked up another book. A sexier book, if truth be told. What on earth is going on here?! I cannot rate this one because I only read enough of it to realize it wasn’t the story I was looking for and I moved on to the next. DNF

    It was here that I nearly DNF’d the entire book but figured I’d give it one more shot and I’m glad I did.

    Yep, that was not a typo. I’m glad I did!

    The perfect little family moves into Irongrove Lodge and the husband begins to renovate. Uh oh! You know that is never a good idea! His wife has reservations about the whole thing but the husband does what he wants. This story is a slow, slow burn but boy does it ever start to pay off in the final act. The son starts acting strangely and then the wife starts seeing extremely unsettling visions. I absolutely adored this story. The atmosphere, the creeping dread, the horrific images it has burned into my brain? It’s all awesome and it is the reason I am so glad I did not DNF this book! This was the kind of story I was hoping for when I requested this ARC from Netgalley. It’s a shame they weren’t all written in this vein. 4.5 Stars

    This is story would fit right in if this were a bizarro collection but this was not marketed as a bizarro collection. So, what we have here is a baby born with only a head. It has no legs, no arms, no torso, no nothing besides the head but it’s alive. Alright. But don’t you worry, soon after another baby is born with just a torso and a little peepee and the two baby parts find each other, hook up and match perfectly. Now what are the odds? Then things switch over to a boy and a strange little door that appears only on his birthday. Was it the same baby boy now fully whole? Don’t ask me because I was skimming at this point. I honestly couldn’t comprehend what was going on here and found it all just a strange jumble of words. Eventually I threw in the towel and DNF’d it. This was not at all what I wanted when I picked up this book.

    The collection ends on a good note, at least. Skin Deep is about an older woman who purchases Irongrove Lodge for her boy toy. It's clear a terrible thing happened when the story begins and it is slowly revealed how she earned the nickname “The Butcher”.

    This was told from many POV’s which kept things lively and kept me guessing. It was dark with slowly creeping dread and as a bonus I got to watch a slow descent into madness. Great stuff and another 4.5 star story that’s worth a read.

    It’s a shame 3 out of these 5 stories felt like they belonged in another collection.

    Not an audio

    Book #4

    See this and the rest of the crap I write at my blog.

  • Irene
    Nov 13, 2016

    When is a wood louse not just a wood louse? The answer to that is in the first story "Maggots" by Nina Allan.

    A happy, family oriented young man, home visiting from college begins to suspect that his aunt is an imposter after she briefly goes missing and then reappears somehow changed. He is the only one who notices this difference. There was a delicious sense of foreboding that permeated this story from start to finish, made even more intense by the fact that I actually cared about this family

    When is a wood louse not just a wood louse? The answer to that is in the first story "Maggots" by Nina Allan.

    A happy, family oriented young man, home visiting from college begins to suspect that his aunt is an imposter after she briefly goes missing and then reappears somehow changed. He is the only one who notices this difference. There was a delicious sense of foreboding that permeated this story from start to finish, made even more intense by the fact that I actually cared about this family and was hoping things would turn out well for them. I would give this story 5 stars

    "Priest's Hole" by K.J. Parker is a story about a shape shifter who makes his living by becoming other people. It got off to a slow start, and did eventually pick up a bit but it just didn't grab my interest that well. Not to say it was a bad story, it was just not my type.

    "Gnaw" by Tade Thompson

    Harry and Tara move into the house with their 2 children Adrienne and Corey. The spooky happenings begin almost immediately, and it's not just the children who see and hear things that should not be there. This was one of my favorite stories in the book, again 5 stars from me.

    "The Best Story I Can Manage Under The Circumstances" by Robert Shearman

    I don't know what to say about this. It was like some kind of bizarro fiction. It begins with a very strange pregnancy and gets more weird from there.

    "Skin Deep" By Sarah Lotz

    This was a story of accused murderer Malika "the butcher" told from multiple points of view. When Malika and Robin meet they feel an instant connection. It doesn't matter to them that she is 20 years his senior or that he doesn't have a cent to his name. When they decide to move in together and he wants to live in Irongrove Lodge, Malika buys the apartment to make him happy even though she feels there is something off about it. If only she had trusted her gut!

    This was in my opinion the shining star of this book, the absolute best saved for last.

    I received an advance copy for review.

  • Trev Twinem
    Nov 03, 2016

    I am perplexed by this story and think that the content is almost too clever for the events that they purport to represent.

     

    Irongrove Lodge is a house of mystery and intrigue where five separate happenings or ghostly chilling stories unfold so says the blurb.......What actually unfolds is well nothing!! words and events happen and escalate past my eyes and mind with no particular order, sense or meaning. So frustrated did I become with the style of writing and the content that (for my own sanit

    I am perplexed by this story and think that the content is almost too clever for the events that they purport to represent.

     

    Irongrove Lodge is a house of mystery and intrigue where five separate happenings or ghostly chilling stories unfold so says the blurb.......What actually unfolds is well nothing!! words and events happen and escalate past my eyes and mind with no particular order, sense or meaning. So frustrated did I become with the style of writing and the content that (for my own sanity) I desisted from reading, just before the midpoint having attempted to digest (and failing) two of the novellas within the five.

     

    I find it even hard to explain what it was I had actually read? In the second of the two stories the narrator, a shapeshifter, ( a person or being with the ability to change their physical form at will) markets himself as in individual who, for a price,  will supply you the client with an alibi. In addition to this he "becomes" you by physically adopting your appearance and character. Centered around this unusual occupation are thoughts and observations on the narrator's wife (an artist of some repute who has deserted him) and his father, a mathematical genius and the author/originator of a calculus/mathematical solution which has greatly added to his credibility and fame (until an Indian professor disputes the theory) During these events our narrator purchases a suit of armour (don't ask me why) and finds solace and content within a small room in his flat at Irongrove Lodge....ah Irongrove Lodge....remember it was the subject of this collection of 5 novellas.

     

    Having requested this book from netgalley I was excited about the possibility of reading five separate ghostly adventures around the beautifully named, the historical and stately, Irongrove Lodge. What I read was a confusing literary mess with the actual Lodge playing a secondary role to the rambling and overfed egos of so called writers masquerading as horror authors! A reader must be honest and fair in his thoughts when reviewing, especially if he received that book free in return for an honest review.  His thoughts and words must be impartial and not be influenced as the recipient of a "gratis" copy. I rarely dismiss a book at the midway point, but on this occasion the text, form and content proved much too confusing and abstract for me to continue. A great disappointment and a book I do not recommend to anyone!

  • The Haunted Reading Room 2017 - Year of Lovecraft
    Nov 07, 2016

    Review: FIVE STORIES HIGH by Various Authors

    FIVE STORIES HIGH is a themed collection, stories from five authors, interwoven into a framework entitled "Notes from Irongrove Lodge." There exists on a fairly quiet street in London a large residence...or it doesn't exist. At times, it can be located by some few individuals; at other occasions, it can't be found. Sometimes its title is Irongrove Lodge, at other times Greystone Lodge. Sometimes it's a private residence, at other times an apartment bui

    Review: FIVE STORIES HIGH by Various Authors

    FIVE STORIES HIGH is a themed collection, stories from five authors, interwoven into a framework entitled "Notes from Irongrove Lodge." There exists on a fairly quiet street in London a large residence...or it doesn't exist. At times, it can be located by some few individuals; at other occasions, it can't be found. Sometimes its title is Irongrove Lodge, at other times Greystone Lodge. Sometimes it's a private residence, at other times an apartment building of five flats; sometimes a horrible asylum. It is also a building whose dimensions frequently change, and it is a passage to the void.

    One thing is for certain: the stories contained in FIVE STORIES HIGH will definitely boggle the mind.

  • Sheila
    Dec 15, 2016

    2 stars: Meh.

    Two things bugged me about this book. First, I expected horror stories, and the majority of these are more in the weird/dark fantasy/speculative category, not horror. Which is fine, but I adore haunted house stories, and that's what I wanted. (The book's descriptive copy mentions both "ghosts" and "terrifying," but that's not what it delivers.)

    Second, the stories seemed to throw in a mention of the house, rather than being ABOUT the house. It felt like the authors wrote the story t

    2 stars: Meh.

    Two things bugged me about this book. First, I expected horror stories, and the majority of these are more in the weird/dark fantasy/speculative category, not horror. Which is fine, but I adore haunted house stories, and that's what I wanted. (The book's descriptive copy mentions both "ghosts" and "terrifying," but that's not what it delivers.)

    Second, the stories seemed to throw in a mention of the house, rather than being ABOUT the house. It felt like the authors wrote the story they wanted to write, and then just mentioned off-hand that the events occurred in Irongrove Lodge, rather than writing about the Lodge itself. Does that make sense?

    I'd give this one star, but I did very much enjoy Sarah Lotz's story, the last in this collection (it alone gets 4 stars from me). She wrote about the house itself, and in a very chilling way, and I always enjoy her multi-narrator format.

    I received this review copy from the publisher on NetGalley. Thanks for the opportunity to read and review; I appreciate it!

  • Gayle Pace
    Jan 04, 2017

    MY THOUGHTS

    The book brings the reader five eerie and haunting tales all with the same setting, a five story Georgian mansion. This mansion used to be a grand place but through time it has started to deteriorate. It has been converted into five apartments. Many have come and gone during the duration of this grand ole' mansion. The past have stayed when the occupants have left. The reader gets five haunting tales from five authors in a mansion with five floors and five apartments. Could the number

    MY THOUGHTS

    The book brings the reader five eerie and haunting tales all with the same setting, a five story Georgian mansion. This mansion used to be a grand place but through time it has started to deteriorate. It has been converted into five apartments. Many have come and gone during the duration of this grand ole' mansion. The past have stayed when the occupants have left. The reader gets five haunting tales from five authors in a mansion with five floors and five apartments. Could the number five have a meaning? You get Maggots by Nina Allan, Priest's Hole by KJ Parker, Gnaw by Take Thompson, The Best story I Can Manage Under The Circumstances by Robert Shearman and Skin Deep by Sarah Lotz. You also get notes on Irongrove Lodge. The author gives you a line between reality and the unknown, light and darkness, calm and fear. There are twists and turns on each story of the mansion and in each apartment. Each occupant has his or her own deep dark past and present, each have their own hauntings and each story of the mansion has it's own story. All are strange encounters of the occupants and all will make the reader sit on the edge of his seat. We all love horror to a certain degree and according to your personal taste for the level of horror, the authors give level for everyone. Some will love, some will not, but all are worth reading. The method of writing is a bit different than most so it took me a little while to get used to it but once I did, I started to enjoy. I especially liked the Notes On Irongrove Lodge, giving background and specifics on the grand ole' mansion. Was the mansion a place for punishment? Where some came and never left, some left and never were seen again. The occupants never spoke of what happened or what was seen in the mansion. To the outsiders it was just an ole' run down mansion where some were just drawn into the land of insanity. The authors give you the feeling that maybe Irongrove Lodge existed in the minds of those who entered the open doors. Irongrove Lodge is supposed to be there but it seems to be out of the reach of one hand. You are also left with the feeling that after the fifth floor, the stairs continue even though there are only five stories. What is above the fifth floor and where does it lead? These authors have given some terrifying stories of five occupants, five stories, five apartments, and five levels (possibly more, it's all in your mind). The mind can play tricks and in this book, it does. What a combined group of stories for the reader who loves that line between reality and the other side. I would recommend this book to anyone who loves that line. You will get the suspense, the thrill, the unknown and so much more. Decide for yourself, if Irongrove Lodge really exists or is it a state of mind?

    I received a complimentary copy of this book from the authors and Night Owl Reviews and voluntarily decided to review it.

  • Susan
    Feb 02, 2017

    Five Stories High by k j Parker is a horror and general fiction (adult) read.

    One house, five hauntings, five chilling stories.

    Five Stories High is a collection of five novellas each set in the same house – Irongrove Lodge. This five storey Georgian mansion, once a grand detached property, has now been split into five apartments. This is a building with history, the very bricks and grounds imbued with the pasts of those who have walked these corridors, lived in these rooms.

    OMG. Fantastic read wi

    Five Stories High by k j Parker is a horror and general fiction (adult) read.

    One house, five hauntings, five chilling stories.

    Five Stories High is a collection of five novellas each set in the same house – Irongrove Lodge. This five storey Georgian mansion, once a grand detached property, has now been split into five apartments. This is a building with history, the very bricks and grounds imbued with the pasts of those who have walked these corridors, lived in these rooms.

    OMG. Fantastic read with brilliant characters. Do not read alone. Give me the chills. Highly recommended. 5*. I voluntarily reviewed an advanced copy of this book from netgalley.

  • Johann
    Feb 13, 2017

    When I received this book in my first Nocturnal Reader's Box, I was very intrigued. It's quite an interesting premise - five different novellas, written by five different authors, but all focusing on the same building, called Irongrove Lodge. I thought the best way to review it was to take each story individually, as some were far better than others...

    First up was Maggots by Nina Allan, and this was a very interesting one. It focuses on Willy Randle, a young man of university age, who has a perf

    When I received this book in my first Nocturnal Reader's Box, I was very intrigued. It's quite an interesting premise - five different novellas, written by five different authors, but all focusing on the same building, called Irongrove Lodge. I thought the best way to review it was to take each story individually, as some were far better than others...

    First up was Maggots by Nina Allan, and this was a very interesting one. It focuses on Willy Randle, a young man of university age, who has a perfectly normal life until one day after a fall, when he begins to have altered perceptions, starting to believe his aunt is not herself. He then decides he must investigate what is happening and therefore delves deeper into the mystery and secrets surrounding Irongrove Lodge. This was a good story to open the book with, in that it sucked me in and left me wanting to know more. A criticism of this story, however, is the writing itself - it was just not very good. Overall, I rated this story 4 stars!

    The second story was Priest's Hole by K. J. Parker. This story is about a man who is hired by people who wants to use his unique skill - the ability to change his face. Of course, there are many reasons why you would want to hire such a person, such as providing an alibi, manipulating evidence etc. But then one day, he is stabbed when under one of his guises and he ends up encountering Irongrove Lodge, upon which he begins to question reality. This novella was just BAD. It was all over the place, I felt a bit confused at times, I just didn't enjoy it that much. Even thinking back now, I feel like I can't remember what really happened and I only finished this a few days ago - truly forgettable. It even reminded me of House of Leaves at some parts. 2 stars from me.

    The middle story was a vast improvement from its predecessor and it was Gnaw by Tade Thompson. Now this story was amazing! Tara and Harry buy and move into the beautiful Irongrove Lodge, along with their two children, but they are not the only inhabitants of this house... Creepy written messages appear, as well as sounds of children laughing and running around. Gah, even writing about this is starting to freak me out. I don't want to say too much, but if you get the chance - read it! This was a great story, it even left me with a restless night. I really need to stop reading before bed... This one clearly gets 5 stars!

    The next story was The Best Story I Can Manage Under the Circumstances by Robert Shearman. This story was just insane, it opens with a mother giving birth to a baby born without a body - so basically just a head. For his first birthday, she finds him a torso, and then follows the limbs. The narration then switches quickly to a young boy who is drawn into an strange and extraordinary place through a door in his bedroom wall. There he encounters a storyteller, who longs to tell him haunted house tales and kind of becomes a surrogate dad. He also shares a bed with a girl who is essentially put into the sister role. This story was just... batshit crazy. I will not forget it for a while! I'd give this one 3 stars.

    The final story in the collection was Skin Deep by Sarah Lotz. Malika and Robin move into their new house, thinking it will be a real fixer-upper. However, Robin becomes a little too obsessed with renovating their new abode, it almost gets under his skin, you could say... The story is told from the objective of a number of different characters, and it was AWESOME. I loved how the story was initially told from the perspective of people like the estate agent, their friends, co-workers etc, before "The Butcher" herself, Malika, tells her side of the story. It was so creepy that I just blasted through it, as I couldn't put the book down. There was also a shout-out to my girl, Jillian Michaels, which I may have got a tad too excited about. This was a great story, well-told. Already planning to look out for more work by Sarah Lotz. My favourite story in the entire collection - 5 stars!!

    Overall, this collection of stories was pretty enjoyable, with 4 out of 5 being very good. I'm so glad this book was included in last month's Nocturnal Readers box as I probably would never have found it otherwise - so thanks, guys! I'd love to give the book 5 stars, but that second story Priest's Hole was just so awful that I feel like I have to deduct a star... so it's 4 stars from me!

  • Mindi
    Feb 12, 2017

    I got this very interesting collection in the January Nocturnal Readers Box.

    Let me just stop right here, and tell everyone who loves the horror genre that this subscription box rocks, and is a total must have for fans of scary stories. The book selections have been outstanding every month, and the bookish swag is amazing. Check them out at their website:

    Now, as for this collection of novellas, some were OK, and two were outstanding, so I've rounded up and given the ent

    I got this very interesting collection in the January Nocturnal Readers Box.

    Let me just stop right here, and tell everyone who loves the horror genre that this subscription box rocks, and is a total must have for fans of scary stories. The book selections have been outstanding every month, and the bookish swag is amazing. Check them out at their website:

    Now, as for this collection of novellas, some were OK, and two were outstanding, so I've rounded up and given the entire collection 4 stars. Five Stories High is a collection of 5 novellas written by 5 different authors, but all involving a single dwelling called Irongrove Lodge. The standouts for me where Gnaw by Tade Thompson (which, quite honestly is worth the price of the book alone), and Skin Deep by Sarah Lotz. I'm not going to give anything away about either of these, since I always like to go into short stories knowing as little as possible. Let me just say that I woke up in the middle of the night after reading Gnaw, and actually felt sort of creeped out.

    The first novella, Maggots by Nina Allan, was OK but nothing mind blowing. Robert Sherman's offering The Best Story I Can Manage Under the Circumstances is totally bizarre and almost comical. It's definitely one that you just have to laugh and go along with. The weakest story in the collection is Priest's Hole by K.J. Parker, mainly because it becomes rather vague very early on, and I'm not entirely sure what happened. Plus, quite a bit of it is about math.

    Overall, Five Stories High is an uneven collection, but completely worth it, even if you only buy or borrow it to read the fantastic story Gnaw. I'm still a bit creeped out by that one.

  • Sadie Hartmann
    Feb 14, 2017

    I buddy read this with two of my good friends from BG, Johann and Mindi which was way fun. All three of us got Nocturnal Reader's Boxes and this book came in the box. There are 5 short stories in this book. The first one, Maggots, was OK. The second one, Priest's Hole I didn't care for at all. But the third story, Gnaw is worth buying the whole book. It's so unsettling. Even the writing was weird and foreign to me. The story and imagery totally got under my skin. I loved it! The Best Story I Can

    I buddy read this with two of my good friends from BG, Johann and Mindi which was way fun. All three of us got Nocturnal Reader's Boxes and this book came in the box. There are 5 short stories in this book. The first one, Maggots, was OK. The second one, Priest's Hole I didn't care for at all. But the third story, Gnaw is worth buying the whole book. It's so unsettling. Even the writing was weird and foreign to me. The story and imagery totally got under my skin. I loved it! The Best Story I Can Manage Under the Circumstances is the 4th story and it was so WEIRD! It had me laughing and nervous at the same time. Skin Deep was another fantastic story. So overall I very much enjoyed this collection of stories.