The Uninvited Guests
3 of 5 stars
A group of friends — each with their own worries and cares — gathers for a dinner party, which is interrupted when a group of lower-class travelers arrives, demanding shelter after an unfortunate railroad accident.
The children, too, feeling that they were at the end of a line, as children do (for indeed, they are), loved Sterne as exhausted travellers with lifetimes of migration behind them might love their first and last home.
This novel of elegant prose and humorous mishaps would be perfect performed as a play; in fact, I wasn’t surprised at all when I read that the author is a screenwriter. It’s a tale of a dinner party gone terribly wrong that captures the flavor of the time period without specifically referring to the date at all (at least that I can recall). The events — and characters themselves, at times — are slightly absurd in a over-the-top, theatrical form that I kept wanting to see on stage.
I was disappointed, however, that the strange, supernatural twist was revealed far too soon. Again, had it been a play, the reader might have found out at the same time as the characters — at the very end — and left their seats with shivers up their spine. Once the reader knows what’s really going on, though, all of the tension and my desire to keep flipping pages is subdued, and the last thirty pages or so seem like a long-winded epilogue.
Overall: A witty story better suited for stage than page.
What other bloggers on the tour have to say about THE UNINVITED GUESTS:
Jan 21 — Conceptual Reception says it contains “Totally entertaining and engaging looks into the lives of the formerly-elite”
Jan 22 – Drey’s Library says it is ” definitely a tragi-comedy of errors, wrapped in snappy and oftentimes sarcastic witticisms”
Jan 23 – Olduvai Reads says “It is a comedy of manners, a Gothic ghost story, really, it’s a mix-up of different genres, but overall an entertaining, clever little book”
Jan 28 – nomadreader says that “its quirks struck me as odd rather than endearing”
Jan 29 – Bibliosue says “It wasn’t quite what I expected, but I enjoyed it nonetheless.”
Jan 31 – 5 Minutes for Books comments that “This is a fun and fast read, and the pace picks up as the story moves along, making this a book you won’t want to put down once you’ve picked it up”
Feb 4 – Speaking of Books felt that it “feels like a hybrid of lyric poetry, the Gothic novel, and the novel of manners.”
Feb 5 – Giraffe Days like that it “went from pure atmosphere and implied menace to an all-out ghost story”
Feb 8 – Peppermint PhD
Feb 11 – All Grown Up?
Feb 15 – Silver’s Reviews