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This is a very haunting story one I had a hard time letting go of It s based on a very old Christian custom that started in Europe and was brought over with the Scottish Irish immigrants that settled in the Appalachians It s grim it s dark, but surprisingly touching in places It s a story of a young boy living with the social stigma of having a father who is a souleater. Very slow beginning, but once it started, the action was really on a role Knowing something about the origin of the sineater before I read this, probably helped my interest in the subject matter, and kept me reading on, even when I wasn t sure I would in the beginning 3.5 stars, rounded up to 4 for the excellent writing style and great ending. the story is not that impressive and there is some really horrible animal cruelty in it the narrator for the audiobook wasn t that great either. This book was tense, gruesome, and emotional it creeped me out, frightened me, made me nervous and even made me cry a little I absolutely loved it. This was like reading about a town chock full of the moms from the movie Carrie A young boy is destined by his family ties to live within the shadow of the mythical Sineater who happens to be his father and shunned by an entire community out of fear of this lineage Though he tries to pave his own way through kindness and being earnest, he still stands alone There are some murderous scenes here that take your breath away in a four ticket haunted house ride kind of way Superbly dark and psychotic, this novel speaks to the concept of the witch hunt in all its religious fanatic glory. I picked this up because it was on the Horror Writers Association list of horror must reads I have always been a pro horror film voice, but was never attracted to reading horror novels Movies are over in 90 minutes Novels takes hours and hours And I also had the not uncommon prejudice against the genre, or at least against anything written much later than the turn of the 20th century.But I liked Sineater I guess it s a horror novel, although I wondered if Massie s publisher didn t promote it as a genre book so it would not get lost in mid list literary fiction It s really a pretty good coming of age story set in a grotesque situation If there is such a thing as the Hillbilly Anti Defamation League, I am sure this book is on its radar One lesson I took away from it was to fill up the car with gas before driving through Virginia and don t make any stops These people are crazy.Sineaters, a tradition that made it to the states from Scotland and Wales, are outsiders, shunned by the community but necessary to its functioning They appear at wakes and eat a light meal prepared for them by the grieving family and placed on the corpse of the recently deceased loved one The meal is the sins of the one who has passed on, and by consuming it the sineater assures their soul will go to heaven No one must ever look on his face.Avery Barker is an unusual sineater He is married to the woman he loved before he took up his profession, and although even she must never look on his face, that have managed to have three children Joel Avery, the youngest son, is the central character, the first Avery allowed to attend school His only friend was the son of the liberal Methodist minister who has recently moved his family to a parish outside Washington, D.C Joel s potential new friend is a very different sort of person Burke Campbell is a skinny, angry redhead sent to live with his religious nut aunt after her daughter has gone missing Burke s friendly overtures to Joel involve shooting him the finger every time he sees him in the halls at school Sineeater is not the gorefest I assumed contemporary horror novels to be The story is long and leisurely Southern Gothic with lots of character development and one moment so repulsive that I made that pledge about never getting out the car in Virginia. By page 100 out of 396 this story had still not captured my interest so I ve decided to move on to better books The main reason I couldn t get into Sineater is the long descriptive passages Elizabeth Massie spends a lot of time describing the town, history, and people This would be okay if it happened in the unfolding of the story, but these are separate pages and paragraphs which interrupt the sequence of events It s great for an author to have so much background invented, but there areclever ways of giving the reader the info than simply typing it out, essay style in the middle of a novel I was really looking forward to a cool and creepy story about American folklore in the heart of Appalachia, but ended up being bored to tears There isto this novel I didn t like, but really it was the telling rather than showing that killed it for me. The Sineater is a stunning debut from an incredibly articulate, well rounded writer This is, without question, one of the best debut horror novels I ve ever read This original tale grips you and never lets go, having one of my favorite all time endings The world Elizabeth Massie creates is frighteningly real, populated with characters so believable that it sometimes feels like nonfiction I can t wait to dig intoof her books Do yourself a favor and read The Sineater You won t be disappointed. Whoa This book gave me a whole new appreciation for southern gothic and introduced me to Elizabeth Massie Her work is nearly impossible to put down Also, this book was a Bram Stoker award winner. `DOWNLOAD KINDLE ⇲ Sineater ⇺ According To Legend, The Sineater Is A Dark And Mysterious Figure Of The Night, Condemned To Live Alone In The Woods, Who Devours Food From The Chests Of The Dead To Allow Them To Ascend To Heaven To Look Upon The Sineater Is To See The Face Of All The Evil He Has Eaten, And To Become Insane With The Overwhelming Presence Of Sin But Now The Order Has Been Broken, The Tradition Violated The Sineater Has A Family Of His Own, Although Even His Wife And Children Must Avert Their Gazes On The Rare Occasions He Visits Them When Joel, The Youngest Child, Tries To Lead A Normal Life, Strange Occurrences Affect The Community Before Long, No One Is Safe From The Dark Forces Set Loose, And Joel Must Discover If The Havoc Emanates From The Sineater, The Community Itself, Or Some Other Mysterious Force