Review: The Chair by R.R. Sechi
Posted by Secret Lives of Fiction Lovers
Title: The Chair
Author: R.R. Sechi
Published: 21st February 2014
“John Anderson goes to the site of an old dilapidated mental institution called, ‘Willow Brook’, in the hope of finding a special chair previously used for electro-shock therapy. His wife, Jess is a ‘white’ witch who believes the chair possesses supernatural power. With the correct spells and incantations, she thinks that she may be able to control and direct its spiritual energy to her own devices. Some might say, they should have left it where it was…”
When I discovered that this was about a chair in a mental institute, my initial thought was: “Ohhh crap! Stories about mental institutes never end well” and by “end well” I mean that it’ll be mega spooky and will more than likely scare the crap out of me! That was then …
Does anybody else find it hard to get into a book when there’s lots of bad punctuation that hasn’t been corrected? Well that was my problem. By the third page, I just wanted to give up and throw it across the room. There were commas in the wrong places and commas where there should have been full stops. In general, it just wasn’t reading right and therefore the story wasn’t flowing the way it should. As a proofreader, problems like this really irk me. The author also changes the character’s thoughts from italics to normal and are sometimes in speech marks and sometimes not which was a teeny bit annoying.
At one point in the story Sarah (John’s girlfriend’s best friend) and John sit on the chair and get transported back to the 50s. Sarah finds herself in the body of a woman called Liz but a couple of pages later, Liz’s friend, Sherrie, calls her “Sarah” instead of “Liz”. Oops! As you can see, I found the story to be inconsistent at times. Another example being: The author seems to go from implying that John hardly knows his girlfriend’s best friend, Sarah, to then saying she’s the couple’s best friend and then back to saying John hardly knows her and that she’s Jess’ friend, not his. Also, as you may have seen from the blurb, John’s other half is known as his wife, yet in the book she’s his girlfriend. These kinda things really shouldn’t have been over looked by the author.
The constant misuse of “feint” instead of “faint” became really annoying and made me wonder if the book had been proofread by anyone before the author published it. (He eventually did get it right). This can also be said for the misuse of “to”, “too” and “two” and also “their” and “there”.
I can’t say I really liked the protagonist. He was quite weak willed and was clearly governed by his penis. In the beginning he seemed so sickeningly in love with his girlfriend (I even wondered if he was under some spell) that he would never hurt her, yet further into the story it didn’t take much for him to give into sexual desire and fall into bed with her best friend!
Imagination was a little lacking at times. For example: Sarah’s husband, Rick, sits in the chair as joke, disbelieving their claims that it has magical powers. He then disappears but comes back several hours later engulfed in flames. Both Jess and Sarah faint and then, after trying to unsuccessfully douse out the flames, John faints too! And I thought, “Really? That’s all you could come up with?”. I know it’s a shocking thing to happen but I honestly thought the character would have the balls to stay conscious and at least phone the emergency services! Shortly after, there is a scene where after ringing the police, they are handcuffed and taken to the station to be questioned. The police are adamant they are all guilty of murder, yet they haven’t even investigated the scene to find out how exactly Rick caught on fire! The only reason the police eventually go back to the house is because they were at a “dead end” and so want to see if they can find evidence to actually put John, Jess and Sarah in jail. They also go in an unmarked car! I find it very hard to believe that investigating a crime scene would actually work this way. I mean, why go in an unmarked car? It just looks suspicious! And only going there as a last resort? That’s ridiculous. They should have had an investigation going on at the house anyway!
The author seems to forget what he calls his characters as at one point Detective Inspector Barnes gets referred to as “John” which is actually the main character’s name. Now, it could be possible that his name *is* John too, but giving characters the same names in stories is usually avoided so it’s highly unlikely that this is the case.
Over halfway through the book, Barnes tells John, Jess and Sarah that he’s no idea how he’ll tell his peers about what has happened regarding the chair and the mysterious deaths and that they’ll probably be re-arrested. He then says this again to them a little over a page later! It’s just not necessary and this wasn’t the first time that something was repeated in the book. Repetitiveness is a pet peev of mine I’m afraid.
Near to the end of the book, Jess and Sarah have decided to return the chair back to the mental institution. Sarah suggests they should just leave it near the entrance but Jess says, “John told me he took it from somewhere in the basement so maybe we need to leave it there as whatever we do, I don’t want to have to come back!” What? Plot-wise, this just doesn’t make sense! The institution was burned down and is now derelict so why would they even need to go back? To me, it looks as though the writer has got something planned to happen in the basement and needed a way to get to that point. – It didn’t quite happen that way which made Jess’ earlier statement even more pointless.
The writing comes across as very amateur. In fact, I was reminded of when I was in year 9 (age 14) and my English teacher had crossed sections of my story out due to it being unnecessary or irrelevant to the plot. That is what I wanted to do with this book!
I was so relieved when I got to the end. I stuck with it in the hopes things would improve but sadly they didn’t. There was also no explanation as to why the chair seemed to have magical powers and would transport a person back into someone else’s memories who had previously been in the chair.
As you can see, I seem to have a lot of negative feelings towards this book and not a lot of good things to say. The premise of it was a good idea. It wasn’t exactly spooky like I thought it’d be and to be honest it was quite a frustrating read, though you may have guessed that. It’s not really a book I would recommend unless you can overlook the things I can’t.
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Posted on May 20, 2015, in Book Reviews and tagged author, blog, blogger, blogging, Book, Book Review, Book Reviews, Books, Fiction, horror, magic, proofreader, proofreading, r r sechi, reading, Review, reviews, suspense, the chair, thriller, writing. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.