Christmas Dinner of Souls by Ross Montgomery

It’s a dark and lonely Christmas Eve in the dining room of ancient Soul’s College. The kitchen boy, 11-year-old Lewis, has helped prepare a highly unusual meal, made with unrecognisable ingredients, cooked by a mysterious chef. And then the guests arrive … and carnage ensues. They are ex-students of Soul’s College, and they are all completely demented. They demand bottle after bottle of wine, flinging their cutlery and howling like banshees until … silence. The Dean of Soul’s College has arrived, and the evening’s ceremonies must begin.

For this is the annual meeting of a secret club for those who despise children, warmth, happiness, and above all Christmas. Each member must try to outdo the others by telling the most terrible, disgusting story they know.

A spooky, shocking, bloodthirsty alternative to festive cheer that will appeal to, fascinate and delight young readers.

How did I get the book? I bought it.

Genre: Short Story Collection

Previously reviewed: Perijee and Me

Review: There is this wonderful word in German which sums up Christmas Dinner of Souls beautifully: “gruselig”. It translates as creepy, eerie or spooky. Yet none of that really conveys the meaning of gruselig in my opinion. (Isn’t that always the ways with trying to translate something?).

Christmas Dinner of Souls is a collection of stories, some are Christmas themed but not all. What each of them has in common is that the teller is a guest at the Christmas Dinner of Souls. Each of these guests loathes Christmas and the purpose of the evening is to tell the most terrifying tale to win the chance to enter the catacombs beneath Soul’s College. Why? Well that’s the central tale which encompasses all the individual stories and you need to find out for yourself.

Each of the stories told that night is creepy, they are all quite different from each other and I thought that the number of narrators was ideal. The book length means that while you can decide to read one tale at a time you’re probably more likely to read more because you want to know what happens at the end of the evening.

Christmas Dinner of Souls is a wonderful alternative to fluffy cuteness and magical snowflakes (which have their purpose) and is certainly much more my kind of reading. In dark cold nights you want to be curled up reading about the scratching sounds in the walls – surely?

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