Praise for The Birthing House & Christopher Ransom
“If Christopher Ransom's The Birthing House had just been a biting and well-written novel about a contemporary marriage, that would have been enough to make it worth your time. If it had just been the kind of genuinely scary story that makes little hairs stand up on the back of your neck, that would have been sufficient as well. But what's remarkable is that it manages to have the best of both genres, without sacrificing thrills for insight. This is a rare thing: a ghost story with class. Read it.”
author of Slow Motion Riot and Slipping Into Darkness
“The Birthing House by Christopher Ransom is a debut novel that is alternately beautifully surreal and downright terrifying. It’s been a very long time since I read a book that actually scared me. Pulse pounding, turn on the lights and pull your feet up off the floor and tuck them under you, your bejeebers have left the building, type of scare-me.”
The Novel Bookworm
“It's rare that a first-time novelist comes at you with all weapons locked and loaded, with a voice that can be hard-edged, lyrical or funny, with mind and heart -- and a story and characters solid enough to display both mind and heart without being overwhelmed by them. It's also rare to find yourself in the midst of a damn creepy, very original ghost story. Christopher Ransom is just such a novelist and The Birthing House is just such a book.”
"The Birthing House is the literary equivalent to Nirvana’s semaphore effort In Utero . . . themed with birth, babies, and new beginnings . . . inviting the reader to share with him an advent of existence that is steeped in blood and mystery. It’s full of life, the prose like that of a professional, and certainly not a debut."
“Once in a long while, the claim of a "stunning debut novel" is actually deserved. Christopher Ransom's The Birthing House is one of those rarities. Not a traditional mystery -- no cops-and-villains stuff, nary a PI to be found. Nor a straight-up horror story, haunted-house or otherwise. But, merging all of these, thriller it most assuredly is. And if little shudders aren't tap-dancing your spine about 20 pages into this thing you should lay off the Prozac. Infectiously terrifying (not least because Ransom does not bludgeon you with it), this tale could make you re-examine your dreams, memories, marriage, kids, neighbours, even your dog. And stop your breath cold.”
Winnipeg Free Press
"A blend of supernatural horror and psychological thriller, Ransom's impressive debut chronicles a couple's descent into madness after they purchase a 140-year-old Victorian house in rural Wisconsin. But the sprawling structure has a dark history, and after his wife lands a new job and leaves for a few weeks of training in Detroit, Harrison begins to unravel the house's bloody past, even as his own sanity is unraveling. Replete with subtle symbolism that supports the birthing motif (spiders with bulging egg sacs, a moist clutch of snake eggs, etc.), this addictively readable ghost story will keep readers up all night, with the lights on, of course.
"As much about the terrors of humankind as it is about the supernatural, this is an exceptional debut, full of action-packed gore and carnal imagery. Ransom’s style mimics that of the early Stephen King and Dan Simmons’s horror fiction (e.g., A Winter Haunting)."
"The Birthing House is as scary as they come, but calling it a horror novel is too simplistic. A passionate, thoughtful exploration of the darker regions of the human heart, rendered in prose elegant and luminous as the edge of a knife, it's quite simply a terrific novel. Christopher Ransom is going to be huge."
author of The Blade Itself and Good People
“Either I don't know my horror stories (and I do know my horror stories) or Christopher Ransom's The Birthing House was so all-out scary that it kept me up until the wee hours in a way few novels have since Carrie went to the prom. Alone, in the dark, this modern-day tale of ancient Liliths and their spawn kept me wondering if every sound was a tall, bone-pale woman in a long, crackling black dress. This book is killer.”
author of The Deep End of the Ocean and Still Summer
“A stunning debut — swaddling the reader in dread from the very first sentence, and spiraling into a heart-stopping climax.”
author of The Straw Men and The Intruders
“Terrifying and beautiful. I couldn’t put The Birthing House down.”
author of Come Closer
“The birth of an exciting new voice in dark fiction. Christopher Ransom leads us into the shadowy avenues of the human heart with surprising detours into the light. The Birthing House is a book that will leaving your holding your breath.”
Bram Stoker Award finalist, author of They Hunger
“A book to be read in one sitting, Ransom has all the fire and guile of the great ghost storytellers and so makes The Haunting of James Hastings leap off the page at ever turn. Dark, disturbing, deeply absorbing and demands to be read with all the lights within reach. Indeed, to put it simply, this is brilliant stuff.”
“Christopher Ransom is a name to take note of. He has a command of the medium that shows a maturity well beyond that of a second book novelist and delivers a modern, hip style to a genre that can be slightly moribund at times. Killing Ghost, fully recommended, is a novel not to be missed.
“The second novel from the author of bestselling The Birthing House, this is an old-fashioned chiller packed with spooks to send a shiver down the strongest spine. Compelling from first page to last -- just don't read it at night.
“Ransom is able to tap into the neuroses bubbling underneath the surface of communities and individuals that have removed themselves from reality to the point where they begin to fall apart. Reviewers may have to stop describing him as ‘the next Stephen King’ and start praising him for being the first Christopher Ransom.”
“Gripped me from the first chapter to the last with its rich, sometimes gritty, and occasionally downright nasty details. The terror felt by James Hastings was portrayed with such skill that I can see readers cringing, yet being compelled to keep speeding through the passages, screaming and looking away at the same time. This is one well written novel and an author that I would highly recommend to any horror fans.
“As avid readers of dark and speculative fiction, most of us know the correlation between music and fiction: they feed each other. And that’s what we have with The Haunting of James Hastings: a striking hybrid of gothic romance novel and a CD box set chock full of lyrical extras. Like Rebecca and Bag of Bones, has at its heart a beautiful illustration of domestic married life and how emotions can be woven into the brick and mortar of houses.”