Apparently I have no problem reading books (though I’m slower than I used to be); I just have a problem sitting down to write about them. So, again I’m about to unleash a few CBR updates about my reading from August to now. First, Edward Carey’s Heap House.
Heap House was my book club’s selection for August/September, and as it’s been quite some time and I rated it one star on Goodreads, this review will be brief. Heap centers on Clod Iremonger, an ill-treated and often neglected member of the quite large Iremonger family that populates Heap House, a large mansion in the center of “the Heaps” outside London. What are the heaps? The heaps are the mounds and mounds of detritus from London – odds and ends, furniture, cutlery, trash, clothing, etc. Each Iremonger is given a birth object to which they are tied for life. Clod’s is a bath plug (I think I remember that correctly). What’s unique about Clod is that he can hear the birth objects speak their names to him – his is James Henry. Clod meets a new servant girl named Lucy Pennant and against all rules, befriends her. Hijinks, danger, and disturbing family secrets follow.
I’m not sure what to say about this book aside from recommending you not read it. I don’t understand why this is classified as young adult fiction; perhaps it’s the heightened quirk level, I’m not sure, but it’s actually quite frightening what is really going on in the house. Perhaps a teenage audience could handle this just fine I just expected it to be a little less dark. The book is incredibly long, and unnecessarily so. For example, Carey often lists all the junk in a room or that Clod can hear talking to him. When the setting is a place overrun by junk, this can encompass a page and really seems like it’s quirk for quirk’s sake. I’m getting annoyed just remembering the book now. I don’t know how I forced myself to finish it to be honest. Most of my book club didn’t and the ones that did hated it as well. If you like long-winded, dark, quirky-as-hell stories with little satisfactory endings, by all means check this one out. I just won’t be revisiting this one or finishing up the rest of the series.