Why did I read it: I have to admit that this was initially a case of cover instant-love, but I also loved the concept behind it.
Ian Rogers explores the border-places between our world and the dark reaches of the supernatural. The landscape of death becomes the new frontier for scientific exploration. A honeymoon cabin with an unspeakable appetite finally meets its match. A suburban home is transformed into the hunting ground for a new breed of spider. A nightmarish jazz club at the crossroads of reality plays host to those who can break a deal with the devil for a price. With remarkable deftness, Rogers draws together the disturbing and the diverting in twenty-two showcase stories that will guide you through terrain at once familiar and startlingly fresh.
Review: A reader’s expectations always have a way of coloring the actual experience of reading. I was really excited when I read the introduction, which presented the book as a collection of stories about haunted houses and/or haunted people. Because of that, and because the layout of the collection moves the reader further and further into a fictional house, I really was expecting the idea of haunting or being haunted to really stand out.
Many of the stories delivered on the premise, of course. Rogers has an enjoyable Lovecraftian/Night Gallery approach to some of his stories and a great dark sense of humor. However, I definitely felt that some of the stories seemed somewhat out of place or ill-fitting. Once I got to the author’s acknowledgements page at the end of the book, I discovered that Every House is Haunted was primarily a collection of the author’s previously published works. I really, really wish I’d known that upfront because, as dumb as this might sound, I do think it would have made a difference.
In conclusion, a good collection even if the packaging was misleading. I wouldn’t recommend reading it straight through, which is what I did. Instead, I think I would suggest just browsing and seeing what titles appeal to you. My personal favorites were “Cabin D,” “The Cat,” “The Currents,” and “Autumnology.”
How I would rate it: 3 out of 5 stars for the collection as a whole. My rating for each story would vary significantly.