SF/F Review: Wylding Hall by Elizabeth Hand https://t.co/OJLygIwb3W Short Review: 5 out of 10 (1/3)— garik16 (@garik16) May 10, 2017
Long Review after the Jump:Short Review (cont):An "oral history"/mockumentary horror short novel/novella that doesnt really provide a reason for its own existence(2/3)— garik16 (@garik16) May 10, 2017
Wylding Hall is either a long novella or a short novel. Unfortunately, no matter what it is, it doesn't really work. The story is told as if it's an oral history or documentary of a fictional band Windhollow Faire, a British folk band from the 70s. After their debut album and the death of one of their original members, the band's manager has the band all go off to a strange manor in the middle of nowhere, known as Wylding Hall, to record their second album in seclusion. But strange things seem to happen in the manor, and something happens to the band's star singer and guitarist, Julian. The story tells the oral history of what happened at the manor from the prospectives of the other members of the band and others who were around Wylding Hall when it happened.
The problem with Wylding Hall is that well, it doesn't really justify its existence as a novel. What happened to Julian is kept mysterious till the end, where it's well, still kept mysterious, and none of the characters are particularly interesting to the point of making this mystery curious to the reader. I don't care what happened to each of these characters, as I'm never given any reason to care about them, and there really isn't a horror aspect here in this book either, despite it seeming to be in the Blair Witch-esque mold. It just sort of is.
This isn't a bad story, but to me it just seemed pointless. Reviews suggest it worked for others better, but not so much for me.