Floating Staircase by Ronald Malfi


Floating Staircase, Ronald Malfi, 2011

(MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS)

My favorite quote: “It’s been said that nature does not know extinction — that once you’ve existed, all parts of you, whether they’re dispersed or remain together, will always be.” Thank you, Ronald Malfi, for sending me down that mental rabbit hole … 

Notable characters: Travis Glasgow, a writer who blames himself for his younger brother’s death many years ago; Jodie, his wife; Adam, his older brother and a police officer

Most memorable scene: That would probably be when Travis discovers the hidden bedroom of Elijah — the young son of the family who lived in the house before Travis and Jodie — who died in the lake beyond the property some years ago

Greatest strengths: Character development. Everyone in Floating Staircase is clearly defined with a unique set of characteristics that sets them apart. This made me want to check out more Ronald Malfi books because I’m a sucker for great characters (I did check out more Ronald Malfi books and all the characters are that good — just so no one thinks Floating Staircase was a fluke or anything)

Standout achievements: Floating Staircase is a ghost story to be sure, but it digs deeper than most, revealing a story within a story — and a surprisingly touching one at that. I wasn’t expecting to be so emotionally moved by Floating Staircase, but here we are

Fun Facts: Ronald Malfi’s Floating Staircase was nominated for a Bram Stoker Award by the Horror Writers Association and won a Gold IPPY (Independent Publishers Book Awards) for best horror novel of 2011

Other media: N/A — but it would make a great movie

What it taught me: The fluidity of Ronald Malfi’s prose is remarkable. He has a way of simplifying the language without compromising any of its beauty. Reading him is pretty much always a lesson in good writing — and what better place to start than Floating Staircase?

How it inspired me: After reading Floating Staircase, I immediately went out and found more Ronald Malfi novels. I’m still waiting for one to suck, but nothing yet … I guess I’ll just have to keep trying and trying and trying and …  

Additional thoughts: While some reviewers have said there’s nothing here we haven’t seen before, I’d argue that Floating Staircase has deeper layers worth looking at more closely. For me, Ronald Malfi’s characters alone set this one a cut above its contemporaries, but what really sets it apart is its heart. Floating Staircase has got a lot of heart — and for that, I love it

Haunt me: alistaircross.com

Read Floating Staircase

Published by Alistair Cross

Alistair Cross grew up on horror novels and scary movies, and by the age of eight, began writing his own stories. First published in 2012, he has since co-authored The Cliffhouse Haunting and Mother with Tamara Thorne and is working on several other projects. His debut solo novel, The Crimson Corset, was an Amazon bestseller. The Black Wasp, book 3 in The Vampires of Crimson Cove series is on its way. Find out more about him at: http://alistaircross.com ********************************************************************************************* In collaboration, Thorne and Cross are currently writing several novels, including the next volume in the continuing gothic series, The Ravencrest Saga. Their first novel, The Cliffhouse Haunting, was an immediate bestseller. Together, they hosted the horror-themed radio show Thorne & Cross: Haunted Nights LIVE! which featured such guests as Anne Rice of The Vampire Chronicles, Charlaine Harris of the Southern Vampire Mysteries and basis of the HBO series True Blood, Jeff Lindsay, author of the Dexter novels, Jay Bonansinga of The Walking Dead series, Laurell K. Hamilton of the Anita Blake novels, Peter Atkins, screenwriter of Hellraiser 2, 3, and 4, worldwide bestseller V.C. Andrews, Kim Harrison of the Hollows series, and New York Times best sellers Preston & Child, Christopher Rice, and Christopher Moore. ********************************************************************************************** Currently, Thorne & Cross are hosts of Thorne & Cross: Carnival Macabre, where listeners can discover all manner of demented delights, unearth terrifying treasures, and explore the dark side of the arts.

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