Crimson Peak was quite the unexpected delight for me in many ways. I didn’t get a chance to see the movie while it was running in theaters, but the desire to do so had been there. A swoon-worthy British gentleman like Tom Hiddleston stars in it, after all, how could you not want to relish his dashing presence for a couple of hours? However, after reading the novel I find that I’m rather pleased I was able to experience the story in this medium first, as I don’t think I would have enjoyed myself nearly as much if I had seen the flick first.
There I was walking the aisles at my local big-chain bookstore when Hiddleston’s snow white skin and brooding eyes caught my attention. Before I could blink, my hand had snapped out like the tongue of a starving frog and snatched up the book with girlish glee. I went home that evening and began reading right away (with a giant mug of tea as a fine accompaniment), and much to my surprise I found myself being compelled to just keep going and going and going. The reason for this is a relatively elementary one: the writing. It was so damn fluid that my eyes remained glued to the words like a leaf flowing with the river’s current. Cheesy, I know, but I feel it’s such an apt way to describe my inability to stop reading this book!
Crimson Peak is very much a period piece. What that means is that it’s set during the beginning of the 1900s and is true to that period. There was an arrogant elegance and pretentious sophistication during this time, especially where the wealthy and whiny were concerned. Nancy Holder, the wonderful author of this novelization, did a fantastic job of retaining the era’s atmosphere with her writing. Whether it was with the sumptuously visceral scene descriptions, or flowing and natural character interactions—the writing is considerably well-done.
As far as the premise of plot is concerned, I found it inadvertently predictable. Within the first ten pages unto the very last page, I foretold what was going to occur with succinct detail. It may purely be that I’ve encountered such a plot-line in many other movies and books that I’ve experienced, mostly of the international vein, but whatever the reasoning: I totally saw that coming. Normally when this sort of thing arises, I’m disinclined to keep reading, at least with much active interest. Yet, notwithstanding the knowledge of what was to derive, I simply couldn’t put the damned thing down.
While I feel compelled to provide a basic synopsis like I routinely do with my book reviews, I will skip the urge to do so this time. I feel that if I were to try and provide a snippet, I may spoil it in one form or another. All I will say about the story is that it’s a romantic love story (when I say romantic, I refer to it in its truest definition: gothic and dark), concerning sinister stimuli. So, in short: horror and love swirl together for paced story about a couple of intriguing individuals.
It’s been so long since I have encountered a novel that has kept me vehemently awake through the night, quickly flipping page after page. Again, the credit for this is wholly on the authoress, who did a fantastic job of arranging her words in such a manner as to build suspense and to hold said suspense regardless of the story’s obviousness. When I arrived at a point that I expected to pop up, I still found myself struck with slight astonishment. Only a true writer can muster such a reaction from an audience that has foreshadowed the entirety of the plot from page one, okay maybe page seven. But still!
While the tale itself is mediocre, the inscription made this experience wholly worth the insomnia it gave me. Also, to be fair, the story isn’t a bad one at all. If anything, it’s a tad bit overdone. With Nancy Holder penning it, my final judgment on the novelization of Crimson Peak is three and a half ghosts.