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text 2018-02-12 04:36
A View from the Lake - Greg F. Gifune
A View from the Lake - Greg F. Gifune

Katherine and James purchased lake property in rural western Massachusetts when they were in their mid-twenties. They rented out the various cottages while James worked on his poetry. It was an idyllic setting and life. That is, until James discovered the body of a boy floating by one of the cottage docks. The accident sent devastated James and he slowly sank into madness and depression from a broken mind. Katherine watched as James became more and more recluse and angry until one day he disappeared without a trace. Trying to pick up the pieces of a shattered life, Katherine makes the decision to sell the property in the spring and to try and start a new life. All she has to do is get through the winter. Not an easy task now that she's hearing strange thing that sound like James. Is this all in her mind or is he out there somewhere?



I've read a handful of Gifune's work and most of them are noted for the story being enveloped in shadows and fog, to the point where it's hard to tell what's going on, what's real and what's not. A View from the Lake is no different. But where it is different than my other experiences with Gifune's stories is that there is no pay off. The last 1/3 doesn't ratchet up and have this wonderful revelation that ties everything together. In fact, the ending came out of the blue and left you with more questions than answers. The characters weren't all that interesting and I didn't feel for Katherine or James. I know this is one of Gifune's earlier works and I think it shows. When you read his later works, you'll see that he commands things so much better.



2 Confusing Hallucinations out of 5


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review 2014-06-30 00:00
A View from the Lake
A View from the Lake - Greg F. Gifune Here is my better, more thorough review of this book for my Review Month
The Goodreads description is:
The modest lakeside resort in the small town of Blissful Point, Massachusetts once offered an alternative to the crowded beaches of Cape Cod. Tourists rented cabins, swam, relaxed, and enjoyed the miles of surrounding forest in a peaceful and safe environment. Katherine lived there for years with her husband James, a poet, and their cat Barney. They ran the small resort during the hectic spring and summer months, then hunkered down and endured the often brutal and desolate winters in relative isolation. Their lives were uncomplicated, happy and quiet - or so Katherine thought - until one summer morning when the dead body of a young boy is found floating in the lake. From the moment the child accidentally drowns, Katherine watches as her husband slowly begins to lose his grip on reality, spiraling down helplessly into insanity. And then he's gone, vanished from their home without a trace. The authorities drag the lake and search parties comb the woods, but to no avail. James is gone. Months later, as a blizzard descends over Blissful Point, Katherine, alone at the resort, faces her final winter on the lake. But things are no longer what they seem. Perhaps they never were. Are there others out there, in the woods, in the snow, in the lake, waiting and watching and luring her toward the same madness that claimed James? Is there a lingering and primordial evil haunting the lake, bringing with it the truth behind its existence, the answer to the mystery surrounding her husband's disappearance, and the life she thought she knew, or is her own grip on reality beginning to loosen? A View from the Lake is a haunting novel of dark literature that will not soon be forgotten.


Sorry I rely so much on Goodreads descriptions, I'm just not very good at summing up the plot of books without becoming a stupid rambling mess.

The description calls this novel haunting. You have no idea how true that is.

I read this book last month and gave it 4.5 stars, which at the time I was being really nice to it, because when I first finished it I kind of hated it because you never really know what is happening. Were the events in this book supernatural? Was Katherine going mad? Did the lake spread this madness like a disease to her friends? Why did James go apeshit crazy?

Well if you are a reader used to getting all your questions answered, A View From The Lake is probably not for you. But then again I usually like everything tied up in a little bow by the end of my stories too, but when I didn't get that here it made me strangely appreciate this book even more.

Because that ambiguity, and uncertain air that pervades the whole book provides some of the most real suspense I've ever read,. And the atmosphere of that cold, snowy lake makes everything even more creepy and chilly (pun intended).


This book also is packing some extremely creepy and frightening imagery. Definitely some of the creepiest scenes I've ever read are IN THIS BOOK.


And one of the scenes near the end of this book, when Katherine finally is confronted and learns the partial/kinda/sorta truth as to what is going on is definitely my favorite part of the book. I've probably thought of it at least once a day since I finished the book.

But even when this story is scary it is also very much an emotional story, with Katherine's life being a mess since James's disappearance.

I love this book, and I'm on the verge of proclaiming Greg F. Gifune a horror-writing god.


5 chilling/haunting stars out of 5.

Read this book my friends. You won't forget it for a long while.

I'll be reading The Bleeding Season in a week or two and I hope it lives up to my high expectations.



Original reviews:
4.5 out of 5

Update: It has been a few weeks and scenes from this book still "haunt" me. Only truly great books can do this. I'm upping this to 5 stars.

5 out of 5
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review 2013-04-26 00:00
A View from the Lake
A View from the Lake - Greg F. Gifune I hate to say but not my favourite Gifune...but I still rate him as a powerful author with an emotional level of writing that many aspire to but few attain!
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review 2012-01-05 00:00
A View from the Lake - Greg F. Gifune A very literary but perhaps not literal ghost story. And like many great writers, Gifune gives you the story and lets you spin your own interpretation out of the threads of facts that do exist. The reader can choose to make this a story of demons, of ghosts, or of madness. My vote is madness but that is just one interpretation. And I keep coming back to the story and re-thinking my conclusions. I will most likely read it again and come up with yet another analysis. One thing that is clear is that Mr. Gifune is a great writer and I am looking forward to reading the rest of his catalog.
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