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The Remaking

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Member Reviews

Horror film buffs should delight in The Remaking by Clay McLeod Chapman which chronicles the history of the films made about the legendary witches of Pilots Creek, Virginia. We follow the star of the film through the disastrous original and catastrophic remakes as the persecuted and murdered witches of Pilots Knob exact their revenge on those who dishonor them.
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Loved this book.  Plenty of devious surprises and crackling suspense, along with interesting characters.  Just the sort of book to cause a lack of sleep, but I won't complain!  Highly recommended.

*This book was provided to me as an ARC at no charge in exchange for my honest review.  My thanks to the author, publisher and NetGalley for allowing me the opportunity to participate in this program.*
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I was sucked in right away. With the old guy telling a scary tale at the price of a bottle for admission. The story was solid. Although there were some discrepancies, such as the girl playing Jessica. They say she’s 9, then say that 17 year old Jessica is the same age as me. And later when the podcast finds Jessica’s grave (not a spoiler), and then finds it again 3’pages later. This is an ARC so maybe they caught those changes. I surely hope so or these are huge gaffs to put into print. That said, overall I think it’s a good story. Just needed a little editing. Still worth the read.
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I’m not usually a big fan of horror novels because I usually find them more tedious than scary, however, this one at least had heaps of nostalgia going for it. The plot is unique but a bit convoluted: a witch is burned at the stake by her neighbours in the 1930s; a campy horror movie is made about the tragedy in the 1970s; a remake of the first movie is made in the 1990s; and finally a true crime podcast reintroduces the case to a new audience. Naturally, curses abound every step of the way. Horror movie fans will get a kick out of this one.
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Loved the background story of a witch burning gone wrong, but found it to be slow and repetitive. I could not get into it, and found myself forcing my way through to the end.
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Chapman tells a unique story through different time periods about the continual resurrection of the story of Ella Louise and her daughter Jessica, Accused of being witches, their tale is tragic and one that following generations are engrossed by, often leading to bitter ends.
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I am a member of the American Library Association Reading List Award Committee. This title was suggested for the 2020 list. It was not nominated for the award. The complete list of winners and shortlisted titles is at 
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I read a LOT of horror novels. It’s getting harder and harder to be impressed by a story, but I really went into this thinking I would love it. It’s got everything I like: urban legends, ghosts, witches, & horror movies. However, I was bored. Every part of this book was predictable. The urban legend/ghost story was overshadowed by talk of prescription drugs and movie making gibberish. I waded through the middle and almost gave up, but I kept going hoping for a twist. If the book could have stuck to what the plot was supposed to be, I think it would be an amazing story.
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It’s easy to see why The Remaking has polarized readers. The author uses an unconventional, repetitive writing style at times and also persistently used “could care less” instead of “couldn’t care less.” But despite these quirks, or perhaps even partially because of them, this book based on a real story manages to grip willing readers with its flashes of urgency that put you inside each narrator’s head. 

At times a condemnation of the evils of society and at others a simple tale about the love between a mother and her daughter, The Remaking looks at life through many lenses. It asks readers to consider whether ghosts and witches are real or if one character’s belief in them is a sign of mental illness. Readers are also forced to look at the idolatry that many have for movies and actors, and what it does to the mental health of those on the receiving end. 

This book isn’t perfect, but it has a lot going for it and was well worth reading. 4.5 stars rounded up to 5 stars.
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This story was based loosely on an Urban Legend. I found the story intriguing enough to look the Urban Legend up, after I finished the book. 
I have always been fasinated by stories of witches and ghosts. 
This story  takes it a wee bit further, with a movie about the Little Witch Girl and her mother. The cast, the crew, the legend. What really happened? Read and find out. 
I gave this a 3.0 out of 5.
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The Remaking by Chad M. Chapman was received direct from the publisher and I chose to review it.  Firstly, this is the first time I have read this author and his tale of a witch and her mother.  The storyline, at first, moves right along with no wasted dialogue just for the sake of dialogue, that seems to be prevalent nowadays.  As the story progresses though I started skimming.  If you or someone you buy gifts for likes a supernatural thriller set along the lines of a movie script and it’s remake, give this ghost story a read.

4 stars
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Thank you to the publisher for the ARC.   The book started off with a lot of promise.   Part One set up the history of the Ford women and draws the reader into the story.  For part two and three  the story was less engaging.   Part three was my least favorite, as it seemed to drag on and reached a conclusion I was expecting.  I did appreciate the symmetry that the final part offered to the start of the book.   I did not find particularly like Amber, but the author does a good job making you understand her isolation and issues.   If you want a quick read with an element of haunting, this would be the read for you.
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The Remaking by Clay McLeod Chapman is a horror story I was prepared to enjoy but, unfortunately, I found it to be stagnant and boring. This is the story of Ella Louise Ford and her daughter Jessica who were burned at the stake under suspicion of being witches. This crime was committed by some of the townspeople of Pilot’s Creek in Virginia who subsequently met their end in grim fashion. Twenty years later, an ambitious director comes to town to make a movie about the unfortunate mother and child. Things do not go well and twenty years after that, a remaking of the movie is undertaken. I read the entire book because many reviewers found this novel to be excellent and I wanted to be fair by making sure that I was not missing anything. Unfortunately, it only seemed to repeat itself, at a slow pace, over and over again. Maybe this is not my kind of book and please remember that this is only my own opinion. Thank you to Quirk Books and NetGalley for the e-ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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This novel moved along really quickly and the writing style was easy prose. Although this novel is a fast read, it doesn't diminish the story. As it unfurls, you find yourself lost in the woods with the characters, wondering if you might be stuck there for good! 
This is my first read from this author, and it certainly is a great book to start with. The prose is short and succinct, but overall it didn't pull me away from the experience.
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The last two books I've read have been tales of revenge.  Two very different books.  Here we have tales based on the true story of a woman and her daughter killed long ago by a group of men who declared them witches.  You can find pictures of the real cild grave easily enough and read all the stories and mythology attached.  The fact remains, this woman and this child were murdered.

The fictional tale that we come upon starts with it's own retelling of this story by a local cursed to spread the word of the injustice done by his own encounter with the child when he was just a child himself.  He tells of the once prominent family who spawned a daughter "known" by the entire town to be a witch.  She so shamed her family that they threw her out to live alone in the forest.  She gives birth a suspiciously short time later and it is easier for all of the men of town to believe she was impregnated by the devil than that one of their own was involved.  The woman and her child, both evil of course, are soon killed because they aren't punished enough.

Fast forward to 1971 and a man obsessed with the story from his home town.  He feels destined to make a movie about it, casting a 9 year old girl to play the ghost girl.  We follow this same girl from this point in her life to see how this has changed and molded her life.  For most of the story we see men trying to tell this story.  And they do so poorly.  From the original retelling by the old man, to the men who try to turn it into films for various reasons, to the podcaster intent on debunking the ghost story.  All will fail.  All are telling it through the lens of how it affected their lives.  No thought is given to the actual people murdered.  Instead, it is about how the "creepy little girl" affected them.  

Mixed in with revenge we have a commentary on how flippantly we view violence and romanticize the past.  Every retelling gets further and further from the point, that a woman and her daughter were killed because people did not understand them.

Thanks to Netgalley, Clay McLeod Chapman, and Quirky Books for the ARC.
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I saw this was a Goodreads Choice Award nominee and added it to my list. It's a quick read, which I always appreciate. The story lost some of its oomph and steam at the end--what exactly happened to the guy doing the podcast?--but it was overall creepy and entertaining. I would read more from this author.
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A current, considered and innovative dive into the world of horror and true crime. As with all good urban legends, the story of the Little Witch Girl of Pilot's Creek is fiction steeped in truth. Chapman explores the nature and evolution of ghost stories through the lens of various media. The book raises some interesting questions about what makes us obsessed with the tragedy and misfortune of others and the impact of the horror genre (and ensuing notoriety) on young actors. I found it an interesting read and particularly loved the format.
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This was such an interesting story. The concept is great, following the making of an urban legend and how it impacts others. It was creepy and fun and I couldn't put it down. The only thing I didn't love was the writing style at times, it seemed like an odd choice. Overall, I really enjoyed this book and would recommend others pick it up.
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I am in charge of our Senior School library and am looking for a diverse array of new books to furnish their shelves with and inspire our young people to read a wider and more diverse range of books as they move through the senior school. It is hard sometimes to find books that will grab the attention of young people as their time is short and we are competing against technology and online entertainments.
This was a thought-provoking and well-written read that will appeal to our readers across the board. It had a really strong voice and a compelling narrative that I think would capture their attention and draw them in. It kept me engrossed and I think that it's so important that the books that we purchase for both our young people and our staff are appealing to as broad a range of readers as possible - as well as providing them with something a little 'different' that they might not have come across in school libraries before.
This was a really enjoyable read and I will definitely be purchasing a copy for school so that our young people can enjoy it for themselves. A satisfying and well-crafted read that I keep thinking about long after closing its final page - and that definitely makes it a must-buy for me!
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A novel that is layered like a Matryoshka Doll.   Very engaging story of a story that is replaying an earlier story  brought up to date with an unfolding podcast!  Word of mouth will likely have this novel living on well past its initial release...and eventual paperback REMAKE!
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