My first comment regarding this book was that I was rather surprised to see it was only 40 pages. I was expecting a longer, full-length type of novel. Not, of course, that I dislike short stories or was anything short of impressed by Hannibal House. It did after all earn 4 out of 5 stars in my book for giving me the creeps even though I read it in the middle of the day, on a treadmill no less. I just had that expectation in the back of my mind that I think threw me off more than anything.
Nevertheless, David Nicol (who I thank for sending me a copy of his story to read and review) does a fantastic job making me just a little more paranoid and jumpy today, even though it's the middle of the day and I know I'm safe.. Everyone knows at least one story like this, where a house is haunted and practically has a mind of its own. I think my first scary house story might have been a Goosebumps novel. In any case, Hannibal House was reminiscent of "The Amityville Horror" in that you never see the monsters or demons or what have you, but you know they're there and watching you. Part of me spent the entirety of my time reading this story shouting out "Get out of there!" at Troy, even though I obviously knew this fictional written character wouldn't respond to my pleas. I like that the subtle clues as to what was happening in the house were so obvious to the reader, yet I'm sure I wouldn't have thought anything of them had I been in Troy's position. I have three favorite events that hint to the dangers lurking in Hannibal House- the pictures Troy took of the house to send to his mother, Gary seeing Troy walking into his pub, and the newly installed television Troy had delivered to his new house. I won't give away what happens, but just know that I really enjoyed these moments in the story.
Like I said, I would have personally liked to see this story last a bit longer (especially after finishing it and knowing how entertained I was the entire time), but David certainly knows how to weave a tale. I really found it interesting how the places mentioned actually do exist, and if I had the money I would love to go visit the famed house myself. Maybe I'll return with my own material for writing a new story...
And I just want to point out how much of an idiot I am; I just went to post this review to Goodreads where I noticed the original cover of the story states "a short story" right on the cover. Whoops. I'm so smaht.