The stories are tales of murder, revenge, and adventure. Some are creepy, some are gory, and all are fantastically told. The writing has a poetic feel to it at times, and that makes the action taking place all the more jarring. Mid-way through the book I started thinking that it could easily be turned into a play, and imagining the stories being shared on the stage as I read made them all the more compelling.
Interspersed with the tales told is the story of what is happening in that room between the orations. This helped me recover from one story before diving into another, and it also helps build the already tremendous tension.
Each story has an illustration to accompany it, and they add subtle depth to Shelton’s already brilliant book.
The stories in Shelton’s book aren’t necessarily terrifying; I’d call them unsettling instead. That combined with the elegant writing and the unique voices of the thirteen narrators ensures the book and its characters will stay with me long after I’ve passed it on to others—and pass it on I will because THIRTEEN CHAIRS by Dave Shelton is one of the best books I’ve read in quite a while. I will happily pick up and read anything else that this author writes.
My thanks to YA Books Central and the publisher for a copy of the book in exchange for my unbiased review.
A great vehicle for unsettling tales