Forced to work to repay the debt for smashing some windows, Lewis finds himself at Soul's College on Christmas Eve. Expected to serve dinner at a highly unusual feast, he is horrified to discover the guests despise Christmas and lack any decency. They have gathered to tell the most gruesome, repulsive tale they know in a bid to win the Dead Man's Jabberers and wipe Christmas from the face of the Earth. Is Christmas doomed? And how will Lewis ever survive the night?
Ross Montgomery is a fantastic story teller and these gruesome, gory tales are revoltingly good! This is no ordinary Christmas story, but a festive feast of the dark and devious for those who love a frisson of fear!
Each guest's story is seamlessly woven into the tapestry of the whole fiendish plot which offers a pleasing twist to the tale. I made the mistake of reading this in bed last night. The cottage we are staying in is very old and has all the creaks and groans which come with age. Our room also has a locked door to the old gatehouse arch... not the best book to ensure a good night's sleep!
Not for the feint hearted, each tale is well constructed, pacey and deliciously dark, yet with plenty of Montgomery humour. As each dinner guest tells their story, the tension builds and Lewis's fate hangs in the balance. Nothing can be taken for granted and there are plenty of gruesome surprise- I particularly enjoyed ‘The Kensington System’.
The cover - and each chapter heading- is like an advent calendar with each window offering a glimpse of the darkness within, David Litchfield’s wonderful illustrations adding to the sombre tone of the tale!
I might be a year behind in reading this, but I’m very glad I’ve caught up at last! Festive nightmares to all!
Christmas Dinner of Souls Ross Montgomery, illustrated by David Litchfield
Faber and Faber ISBN: 978-0571347582