book review, horror

The Switch House by Tim Meyer

Angela and Terry are in a bad place after the loss of their child. In an effort to save their marriage, they enter a house swap television show. However, when they return home, their lives spiral into a worse state than before.

Filled with twists and turns, the reader is at a loss to know who or what to trust. The denouement will have you turn to the first page and start reading again to see if you could have figured it out from the start.

The loss of a child is truly horrible, so no wonder it is a subject that is often tackled in the horror genre. Angela and Terry’s relationship is believably strained, and as increasingly bizarre events unfold, and new information is revealed, it’s often difficult to work out exactly what’s going on.

I enjoyed The Switch House and was happily turning the pages, interested in the story but not blown away by it, until I came to a chapter near the end that is so brutal and horrific that it changed my perception of the book and raised it from a three star read to a four star.

In the author’s note at the end of the book, Meyer says it was a difficult chapter to write and made him feel sick while he wrote it. I’m not surprised. It’s truly horrific. It made the book for me, and will ensure I’ll be rereading The Switch House again soon.

Perhaps it’s the pink and purple colour scheme of the cover on my copy of the book, but I think this would make a wonderful movie with Nicolas Cage as Angela. I imagined him in the part as I read the book, and I think his blend of madness and mundanity would be perfect for the character.

I award The Switch House

The Switch House is available for $3.02 ebook and $12.99 print book on Amazon.

Bonus content

The ebook I purchased came with three short stories at the end of the book. I’ve mixed feelings about this. It’s very generous of Meyer to include this bonus material, but comprising 30% of the volume and having no connection to the main novel, it felt both disappointing (while I was reading The Switch House, I thought I’d an hour left in the novel and was disappointed that wasn’t the case) and jarring (I wanted to sit and think about what I’d just read, and the short stories took me out of the atmosphere of the novel).

How to Shoot a Bear with a Bow and Arrow: A hen pecked husband decides to protect his neighborhood with the bow his father made him decades before.

A well written story with a realistic depiction of humanity.

Siren’s End: I don’t know if I’d really call this historical horror, as the location and time period was so vague. A hit at imperialism and control of women, with some monsters thrown in. Not bad.

Aperture: There’s something romantic about old timey projectionists and three screen cinemas. Meyer conjures up the perfect magic of the movie theatre, and the nightmare like horror that it can hold.

10 thoughts on “The Switch House by Tim Meyer”

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