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The Remaking

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Inspired by a true story, this supernatural thriller for fans of horror and true crime follows a tale as it evolves every twenty years—with terrifying results. Ella Louise has lived in the woods surrounding Pilot’s Creek, Virginia, for nearly a decade. Publicly, she and her daughter Jessica are shunned by their upper-crust family and the Pilot’s Creek residents. Privately, Inspired by a true story, this supernatural thriller for fans of horror and true crime follows a tale as it evolves every twenty years—with terrifying results. Ella Louise has lived in the woods surrounding Pilot’s Creek, Virginia, for nearly a decade. Publicly, she and her daughter Jessica are shunned by their upper-crust family and the Pilot’s Creek residents. Privately, desperate townspeople visit her apothecary for a cure to what ails them—until Ella Louise is blamed for the death of a prominent customer. Accused of witchcraft, both mother and daughter are burned at the stake in the middle of the night. Ella Louise’s burial site is never found, but the little girl has the most famous grave in the South: a steel-reinforced coffin surrounded by a fence of interconnected white crosses. Their story will take the shape of an urban legend as it’s told around a campfire by a man forever marked by his boyhood encounters with Jessica. Decades later, a boy at that campfire will cast Amber Pendleton as Jessica in a ’70s horror movie inspired by the Witch Girl of Pilot’s Creek. Amber’s experiences on that set and its meta-remake in the ’90s will ripple through pop culture, ruining her life and career after she becomes the target of a witch hunt. Amber’s best chance to break the cycle of horror comes when a true-crime investigator tracks her down to interview her for his popular podcast. But will this final act of storytelling redeem her—or will it bring the story full circle, ready to be told once again? And again. And again…


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Inspired by a true story, this supernatural thriller for fans of horror and true crime follows a tale as it evolves every twenty years—with terrifying results. Ella Louise has lived in the woods surrounding Pilot’s Creek, Virginia, for nearly a decade. Publicly, she and her daughter Jessica are shunned by their upper-crust family and the Pilot’s Creek residents. Privately, Inspired by a true story, this supernatural thriller for fans of horror and true crime follows a tale as it evolves every twenty years—with terrifying results. Ella Louise has lived in the woods surrounding Pilot’s Creek, Virginia, for nearly a decade. Publicly, she and her daughter Jessica are shunned by their upper-crust family and the Pilot’s Creek residents. Privately, desperate townspeople visit her apothecary for a cure to what ails them—until Ella Louise is blamed for the death of a prominent customer. Accused of witchcraft, both mother and daughter are burned at the stake in the middle of the night. Ella Louise’s burial site is never found, but the little girl has the most famous grave in the South: a steel-reinforced coffin surrounded by a fence of interconnected white crosses. Their story will take the shape of an urban legend as it’s told around a campfire by a man forever marked by his boyhood encounters with Jessica. Decades later, a boy at that campfire will cast Amber Pendleton as Jessica in a ’70s horror movie inspired by the Witch Girl of Pilot’s Creek. Amber’s experiences on that set and its meta-remake in the ’90s will ripple through pop culture, ruining her life and career after she becomes the target of a witch hunt. Amber’s best chance to break the cycle of horror comes when a true-crime investigator tracks her down to interview her for his popular podcast. But will this final act of storytelling redeem her—or will it bring the story full circle, ready to be told once again? And again. And again…

30 review for The Remaking

  1. 4 out of 5

    Fran

    "These woods whisper...the woods know what the people of Pilot's Creek have done." The residents of Pilot's Creek, Virginia, a superstitious town, felt that Ella Louise Ford was "touched". As a child, she made dolls that looked like totems. (like effigies) Shunned by the populace, disowned by her parents, she raised her daughter Jessica, supporting the family of two, with Ella's Apothecary Shop nestled in the woods. There were"...miracle cures...roots and leaves and fungi of all kinds." "These woods whisper...the woods know what the people of Pilot's Creek have done." The residents of Pilot's Creek, Virginia, a superstitious town, felt that Ella Louise Ford was "touched". As a child, she made dolls that looked like totems. (like effigies) Shunned by the populace, disowned by her parents, she raised her daughter Jessica, supporting the family of two, with Ella's Apothecary Shop nestled in the woods. There were"...miracle cures...roots and leaves and fungi of all kinds." Unfortunately, a pregnant woman died after taking Ella's suggested cure. On October 16, 1931, at four minutes past midnight,...five men went beyond the law...Tonight they were going to burn a witch." Both Ella Louise and nine year old Jessica were burned alive. Thinking that Jessica was "more powerful", she was buried in the cemetery in a steel-reinforced coffin under six feet of concrete. A metal fence of more than one hundred interlocking connected crosses was installed to prevent Jessica's ghost from searching for and reuniting with her mother who was buried somewhere deep in the woods. "Until they are reunited, her soul won't be at peace." Based upon a true witch burning, an urban legend was born. "...a legend that is told and retold without knowledge of what really happened-and why." "The Remaking" by Clay McLeod Chapman is a ghost story divided into four chapters. The first part is a "campfire" style version of the legend of "The Witch Girl's Grave at Pilot's Creek". Subsequent retellings include the tale as a horror film, a horror film "remake", and a podcast. Amber Pendleton, a nine year old budding actress, is chosen to star as Jessica in the flick "Don't Tread on Jessica's Grave"." [Amber] was a vessel, a conduit for her character, for Jessica Ford, the Little Witch Girl...Whispers of dialogue had followed her into her dreams." Amber is "swept up in their history". She acts as the thread binding and connecting the embellished remakes of Ella Louise and Jessica's haunting story. Although the writing was uneven at times, on the whole, this reader was impressed with the concept of four reworkings of an urban legend, one remake every twenty years. Be careful where you are at four minutes past midnight! A creepy, spooky read. Most enjoyable. Thank you Quirk Books and Net Galley for the opportunity to read and review "The Remaking".

  2. 5 out of 5

    Tucker

    look at the cover!!! it's a danger noodle but it could be a nope rope who's to say

  3. 4 out of 5

    Blair

    I was hooked by the concept of The Remaking. It tracks the evolution of a local ghost story about a 'little witch girl' through several decades. We hear the original 1930s campfire tale first: a suspected witch, Ella Louise Ford, was hounded out of the town of Pilot's Creek after bringing disgrace upon her family. She lived in the woods, helping desperate locals with herbal remedies, until she was accused of causing a woman's miscarriage and became the subject of a literal witch-hunt. Ella I was hooked by the concept of The Remaking. It tracks the evolution of a local ghost story about a 'little witch girl' through several decades. We hear the original 1930s campfire tale first: a suspected witch, Ella Louise Ford, was hounded out of the town of Pilot's Creek after bringing disgrace upon her family. She lived in the woods, helping desperate locals with herbal remedies, until she was accused of causing a woman's miscarriage and became the subject of a literal witch-hunt. Ella Louise and her young daughter Jessica were burned at the stake, and Jessica (whom the locals suspected of being even more powerful than her mother) was buried in a reinforced, fenced-off grave. According to lore, the two ghosts are still searching for one another. This allegedly true story is adapted into two films: a low-budget 70s slasher and, two decades later, an ironic proto-Scream remake. Amber Pendleton, the child actor who plays Jessica in the first film, goes on to play her mother in the second. Finally, in 2016, there's a podcast which seeks to uncover the truth behind the Jessica story and the legends that have sprung up around it. I loved the idea and I loved the story. Unfortunately, I did not love the style. In this book, nothing is ever stated once when it can be phrased in five different ways and repeated to death (with line breaks). To give an example of what I mean, it's this sort of thing:      Amber glanced back up and realised Miss Lambert was still holding her arms out.      Reaching out for her.      For her. For a hug. An embrace.      To hold Amber. Why are any of the words after '... holding her arms out' necessary? Why do they need to be on separate lines? Occasional use to emphasise a particular point would be fine, but it's no exaggeration to say most of the book is written like this. I ended up skim-reading a lot of the text, focusing solely on the important plot points, which I remained interested in despite my irritation. Get a ruthless editor to remove all the reiteration, and this would be an excellent creepy tale with an irresistible concept. As it is, the style gets in the way of the story. But I did really like the story. I received an advance review copy of The Remaking from the publisher through Edelweiss. TinyLetter | Twitter | Instagram | Tumblr

  4. 5 out of 5

    megs_bookrack

    ...for fans of horror and true crime... Side Note: Is it just me or are ouroboros all the rage right now??? They seem to be popping up everywhere. I mean, I dig it, but what gives?

  5. 4 out of 5

    Mackey

    I've been watching The Haunting of Hill House and it reminded me how much I utterly love horror/ghost stories. It used to be my "go to" genre of choice. I thought I had left it behind, but it's back: my craving for a good, well told ghost story. The Remaking is a fantastic tale, the type you tell around a campfire to scare the heebie-jeebies out of everyone else. From the very first line in the story until the very last, I was captivated, enthralled with the story and the method the author used I've been watching The Haunting of Hill House and it reminded me how much I utterly love horror/ghost stories. It used to be my "go to" genre of choice. I thought I had left it behind, but it's back: my craving for a good, well told ghost story. The Remaking is a fantastic tale, the type you tell around a campfire to scare the heebie-jeebies out of everyone else. From the very first line in the story until the very last, I was captivated, enthralled with the story and the method the author used to tell his scary tale - and retell it.... and retell it again. I thought it might be a bit boring, the same story told over and over again but isn't that what we do with a good ghost story? The kind that never lets us go... that is what The Remaking is - a good, horrifying ghost story and it is one that you will not want to miss. Post Note - I love the dedication page and the artwork almost as much as the story itself.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Mae Crowe

    *Received an ARC through a Goodreads giveaway, as run by Quirk Books. Thank you! The Remaking... Where do I start with The Remaking? I suppose I should say right up front that I'm extremely conflicted about this book. It's this odd mixture of a poignant theme and an underwhelming story that I usually only find in classic literature. That is to say, I could write essays on this book and thoroughly enjoy exploring the implications, but the reading experience itself was somewhat lacking. As a result, *Received an ARC through a Goodreads giveaway, as run by Quirk Books. Thank you! The Remaking... Where do I start with The Remaking? I suppose I should say right up front that I'm extremely conflicted about this book. It's this odd mixture of a poignant theme and an underwhelming story that I usually only find in classic literature. That is to say, I could write essays on this book and thoroughly enjoy exploring the implications, but the reading experience itself was somewhat lacking. As a result, I've been wondering what to rate this for a while now, and I'm still not sure what I settled on is right. This book is just too nuanced to be limited by a five-star rating system. So buckle down for a long review as I try to break down the nuances. (And if that's not for you, as always, there's a bolded tl;dr at the bottom.) Firstly, it is a disservice to this book to describe it as a supernatural thriller. The supernatural entities that exist in The Remaking have very little sway over the actual story or the horror therein. In fact, for the first couple encounters, you're left wondering if what happened was real or just a product of Amber's fear and trauma. It isn't until the last portion of the book that there's any evidence that anyone else can see and hear the things she has seen and heard. The real horror of this book has nothing to do with the ghosts of Jessica and Ella Louise Ford; rather, it has everything to do with egotistical male creatives who believe they have the right to romanticize the wrongs committed against women. There are three male creatives who attempt to recreate the story of the Little Witch Girl of Pilot's Creek: Lee Ketchum, Sergio Gillespie, and Nate Denison. There is very little difference between the three of them: they's all overconfident in their creative abilities, they all believe they were destined to tell Jessica's story, and they all actively use Amber to their own ends. I think the best part of their characterization is that they all seem like decent men - if a tad egotistical - when they're first introduced. They all practically worship Amber in their own ways, but as soon as she gets in the way of their goals, suddenly she's a bitch, a witch, and everything in between for preventing them from telling a story that is rightfully theirs. Except, no, it's not. Which brings me to my second point: The Remaking is a masterpiece of parallelism. Amber's story follows much the same track as that of the Fords: she is ostracized for the trauma that society has brought upon her. First, it's her mother forcing her into an acting career and not allowing her to have a childhood. Then, it's Lee's treatment of her on set. Then, it's horror fans romanticizing her trauma, Sergio to the point where he thinks he loves her. Then, it's the disaster of the remake and the failure of the cast, crew, and court system to recognize her distress. It goes on and on and on, until Amber identifies herself as a Ford - seen as a witch and murderer when she's just trying the deal with the traumas that everyone else refuses to recognize. And thus, she follows the same course: people hate her, but believe they are entitled to their romanticized version of her story. It's more than a little sick. (Just a side note, a large part of me is convinced that Jessica and Ella Louise were not witches, despite the supernatural elements of this story. Why? Because of the role of rumors in Amber's story and the way everything else lines up.) As for the story itself, the plot's execution just isn't as good as it could have been. I know, I know: that sounds weird after I just praised the implications of the story, but it really is something separate that I have to consider. Chapman clearly set his sights high for The Remaking: a story like this requires subtlety, nuance, attention to detail. It's not supposed to be an in-you-face story, but one where the tension builds gradually, dread and anger swelling in your heart. I can admire the intentions that were obviously there, and it pains me to say this, but the intention wasn't enough. It just... it wasn't quite there. A result of pacing? Style? Personal preference? That, I can't quite pin down, but despite the implications and intrigue, the story itself was rather underwhelming. I also have no clue what's going on with POV in this book. Seriously. I've examined and re-examined the points where the POV switches again and again, and I can't think of any rational reason it was done. "But Mae, I thought you loved when you got the POV of different characters!" I do. But as it turns out, I'm less of a fan of the changing between types of POV. I'm serious. This book goes from second-person to third-person to first-person. The only switch that makes sense is having the first part of the book in second-person - it serves almost as a prologue, told as though you're sitting by a campfire with a drunk old man who's telling you the story of the Fords. It has an awesome effect, but... I have no clue why the book later went from third to first. And to make things absolutely clear, it has nothing to do with the character - Amber has sections that are both third and first POV. After part one, there should have been either third or first chosen. No switches. Just one or the other. (I also think we could have done with some more of Amber's POV in the last section. Her unraveling is a big part of this story, and being cut off from her thoughts for so long feels wrong somehow. I truly think we need Nate's POV, because a lot of the horror comes from the bullshit that goes through the head of him and those that came before him, but while the other parts feel balanced between, this one... Doesn't.) To make it perfectly clear, I'm glad I read The Remaking, even if I'm not entirely sure I'd read it again. As a woman who takes interest in the happenings of the TV/film industries, I admire Chapman for bringing up the problem our entertainment industries have with the careless romanticizing of real-world tragedy. Because it is a problem. We have a habit of making these things glamorous and heart-wrenching while willfully ignoring how ugly the story really is. And honestly, kudos to the author for basing this story on a true story with that theme without falling into the same trap. You have to admire the attention-to-detail that takes. The Remaking speaks to some very real issues of the entertainment industry: namely, the romanticizing of tragedy and men's entitlement to a woman's trauma. This theme manifests through careful parallelism and glimpses into the characters' psychs. Despite some shortcomings of the story itself, it's an important message that Chapman presents in a way that it cannot be ignored.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Quirkyreader

    I won this as a goodreads giveaway. Thank you Quirk Books and Penguin Random House. After you read the book make sure you study the cover on the dust wrapper. Once I got into it, the story was a fast read. And while reading it I kept thinking about all of the off kilter 1970’s horror flicks that I have seen. Especially “Let’s Scare Jessica To Death”. I see this book as an homage to the horror film genre and good set piece for the fall season.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Kristi

    The Remaking is told in 4 chapters, a chronological story that follows an urban legend about a woman, Ella Louise, and her daughter, Jessica, in the small town of Pilots Creek, Virginia. It starts with a man at a campfire, who requires a bottle of booze as his payment for a story about the tale of the two witches. He tells his tale in a reminiscent way - talking about the mother and daughter and how they were not only sought out for their cures but also outcast from society and eventually, The Remaking is told in 4 chapters, a chronological story that follows an urban legend about a woman, Ella Louise, and her daughter, Jessica, in the small town of Pilots Creek, Virginia. It starts with a man at a campfire, who requires a bottle of booze as his payment for a story about the tale of the two witches. He tells his tale in a reminiscent way - talking about the mother and daughter and how they were not only sought out for their cures but also outcast from society and eventually, burned as witches when a cure goes wrong and takes a life. And thus, an urban legend is born. Next, there is a horror film in which a young Amber Pendleton plays Jessica, only to experience a life time of trouble during and after the film; years later, a horror film remake, in which Amber plays the mother, Ella Louise and ultimately, a pod cast in which the host tries to debunk the ever-growing legend of the two witches, with Amber but is it really? - giving her experiences throughout it all. A good book that I enjoyed and a worthy read.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Emily

    "A good ghost story gets told...and retold. It's in the telling where the tale takes on a life of its own. A ghost story grows. It exists on the breath of those who tell it." 4.5 I had so much fun reading The Remaking! This book has so many things I love - horror movies, ghost stories, true crime podcasts, and a spooky setting. The cover is eye-catching, and I was hooked on the story immediately. This story is told in 4 different sections - the original ghost story, the filming of the movie about "A good ghost story gets told...and retold. It's in the telling where the tale takes on a life of its own. A ghost story grows. It exists on the breath of those who tell it." 4.5⭐ I had so much fun reading The Remaking! This book has so many things I love - horror movies, ghost stories, true crime podcasts, and a spooky setting. The cover is eye-catching, and I was hooked on the story immediately. This story is told in 4 different sections - the original ghost story, the filming of the movie about the ghost story, the filming of the remake, and then several years after the remake. This was such an entertaining format, and I really loved reading this story. The only reason this doesn't have a full 5⭐ review is because the ending was a little too confusing / vague for my taste. I went back over it a couple times, and still wasn't entirely sure what had happened. It was still such an enjoyable read, though, and I definitely recommend this book.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Missy (myweereads)

    “No. You’re not here for any of those stories. You want to hear about Jessica don’t you? Course you do. That’s why you’re here, isn’t it? Tonight of all nights…Twenty years ago on this very evening. October 16, 1931” The Remaking by Clay McLeod Chapmen It’s the horrifying supernatural story about Ella Louise who lived in the woods surrounding Pilot Creek, Virginia. Her and her daughter Jessica are publicly shunned by the locals and privately seeked out for her herbal medicine to help them. When “No. You’re not here for any of those stories. You want to hear about Jessica don’t you? Course you do. That’s why you’re here, isn’t it? Tonight of all nights…Twenty years ago on this very evening. October 16, 1931” The Remaking by Clay McLeod Chapmen It’s the horrifying supernatural story about Ella Louise who lived in the woods surrounding Pilot Creek, Virginia. Her and her daughter Jessica are publicly shunned by the locals and privately seeked out for her herbal medicine to help them. When she is accused of the death of a baby she is labelled a witch and burned at the stake in the middle of the night along with her daughter. Their story becomes an urban legend told around a campfire by a man who is marked by his encounters with Jessica. Many years later a boy from the campfire would cast a girl to play Jessica in a horror movie based on her story. A remake in the 90s will cause terrible consequences and years on a true crime investigator will create a podcast shedding light on Amber and the truth behind the legend as it comes full circle. This book is full of twisted surprises. It honestly reads like a movie and is inspired by true events which makes it all the more exciting to read. I like how the story evolves every twenty years, it begins with the terrible deaths of Ella Louise and Jessica, these two have been dealt an unfair death on the hands of the fear emanating from the towns people. This chilling reality echos throughout the book and is often touched upon in unsettling ways. From its description it may sound like a fun horror movie, it is that and so much more. I found this book to be very gripping, I couldn’t not possibly put it down without finding out the fate of Amber. I laughed and cringed with the characters in their scenarios as well as feeling sorry for them. I was both moved and unsettled. A definite recommended supernatural horror read. Huge thanks to Quirk Books for sending me a copy of the book.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Elna

    *Received via NetGalley for review* (view spoiler)[At the very end, Chapman (in the voice of Ellen Louise, a women murdered with her young daughter in rural America on accusations of witchcraft), delivers a kind of closing message: men have and never will do the story of these two women justice. Which is fine and fits into the themes of the novel... but why, then, call yourself out as a male author writing about these two women? (hide spoiler)] The Remaking focuses on the titular remaking of an *Received via NetGalley for review* (view spoiler)[At the very end, Chapman (in the voice of Ellen Louise, a women murdered with her young daughter in rural America on accusations of witchcraft), delivers a kind of closing message: men have and never will do the story of these two women justice. Which is fine and fits into the themes of the novel... but why, then, call yourself out as a male author writing about these two women? (hide spoiler)] The Remaking focuses on the titular remaking of an urban legend about two women, Ella Louise and Jessica, who were accused of being witches and burned at the stake. A first, failed movie is made that achieves cult status, a second is permanently stalled by a death, and an attempted debunking podcast finds out the truth but is unable to pass it along. Much is made of how ignorant the people of Pilot's Creek were in burning the two women, but much of the novel focuses on how their story has touched people and remained in the subconscious mind. Amber, who played Jessica in the first movie and was slotted to cameo as Ella Louise in the second, is the most touched, being in contact with the ghosts of both women throughout her career. Chapman seems to have bit of a bit more than he could cover, however. In wanting to discuss the impact of failed cult films on their actors, in addition to the story of the two tragic women, in addition to Amber's trauma stemming from both the film and her mother, in addition to the satirization of true crime podcasts... it's all too much, and just gets muddled in the delivery.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Audra (ouija.doodle.reads)

    I absolutely love the concept for this book. It’s the reiteration of a scary tale from the true story to the urban legend to a movie to a meta remake to a podcast that wants to uncover the truth about it all. It is instantly intriguing, right? If you're into horror movies at all, I know this one is making your Spidey senses tingle. The remake concept is not really applied to books—it is weird when you think about it. It feels like it would be a violation to re-write someone else’s book, and yet I absolutely love the concept for this book. It’s the reiteration of a scary tale from the true story to the urban legend to a movie to a meta remake to a podcast that wants to uncover the truth about it all. It is instantly intriguing, right? If you're into horror movies at all, I know this one is making your Spidey senses tingle. The remake concept is not really applied to books—it is weird when you think about it. It feels like it would be a violation to re-write someone else’s book, and yet it’s done all the time with movies (with varying amounts of success). Film is a much more mutable medium. Books feel like they are forever. So Chapman, an obvious fan of film and horror, sets out to create an homage to those types of stories, only, in this story, the legend is true. The problem is, I just didn’t find the execution of the story itself that compelling. It felt as though the idea of the concept was trying to hold the weight of the story, which simply won’t work. There needs to be substance, suspense—you can’t live in a building if only the foundation is built. Though the book is slim and reads very quickly, I often found it repetitive, treading and retreading the same lines of thought and action for the main character and not allowing her very much room to breathe or change. Strangely, through all the metamorphosis of the story, Amber is a very static character, not very interesting to read about. I also found the writing choppy, with an over-reliance on short, simple sentences. I still enjoyed reading The Remaking because I love horror films like Scream and the quirky, intellectual bent that they take on while still being an honest horror movie with scares and a mystery and a cast of characters you want to root for. This book didn’t feel quite developed enough on the story side, but I can tell that Chapman is interested in telling genre stories in a new way.

  13. 5 out of 5

    tattooedreader13

    I really enjoyed parts I & II of this book, was mostly just irritated during part III, and just ready to be done by part IV... I was super intrigued by the premise of this book and the pacing of the first two sections felt really good and I was absolutely rooting for Amber, the child actor. Adult Amber, however, made me roll my eyes completely and the writing became overwrought & incredibly repetitive. If the author's goal was to make me despise the main character, he succeeded. Mostly, I I really enjoyed parts I & II of this book, was mostly just irritated during part III, and just ready to be done by part IV... I was super intrigued by the premise of this book and the pacing of the first two sections felt really good and I was absolutely rooting for Amber, the child actor. Adult Amber, however, made me roll my eyes completely and the writing became overwrought & incredibly repetitive. If the author's goal was to make me despise the main character, he succeeded. Mostly, I was just hoping that the ghosts would finally show up and put her (& me) out of our misery. The final section was better, but still very repetitive and, strangely, rushed. The audiobook was good, the narrators were overall excellent. I hope others get better mileage from this one than I did.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Anna

    The Remaking begins with a campfire story - the type of story you'll have heard before: a small town tragedy that has developed over the years into an urban legend, a ghost story. Every single town in the world has one - my own town has one, not altogether dissimilar to the one depicted in the novel - witches, innocent women, persecuted due to ignorance, fear and mania. After this introduction we are thrust into the 1970s and the pulp horror of the time. The two perspectives of this time setting, The Remaking begins with a campfire story - the type of story you'll have heard before: a small town tragedy that has developed over the years into an urban legend, a ghost story. Every single town in the world has one - my own town has one, not altogether dissimilar to the one depicted in the novel - witches, innocent women, persecuted due to ignorance, fear and mania. After this introduction we are thrust into the 1970s and the pulp horror of the time. The two perspectives of this time setting, while linked, couldn't be more different. McLeod introduces us to a director determined to tell the story of the witches from his hometown - just like in the campfire story he remembered from his youth, and Amber Pendleton - the young girl chosen to play Jessica in the movie.  It's Amber's story that's easiest to sympathise with - a show pony for her single, determined to latch onto fame mother, Amber doesn't particularly want to play the part. She doesn't want to sit in auditions and be compared to dozens of other girls that all look alike. She wants a regular childhood and a mother who lets her have that. Instead, she is cast in the part of Jessica thus changing the course of her life forever.  Amber's story goes a long way in showing the treatment of how women have been historically treated within the horror genre - particularly by a certain subset of fans of the genre. McLeod's depiction of the now washed-up Amber in her early 30s is a particularly harrowing section of the book where toxic fandom and the culture of The Final Girl is thrust into the spotlight. Like many parts of the book, the Amber of the 1990s reiteration of the tale holds a black mirror up to the obsessions found within the horror fandom. Which brings us to the third telling of the story when the original 1970s film is set to be remade for a then-modern audience. The story is subverted one more time, moulded into something new that remains all about the director's vision for his piece, his fanaticism for the original. Once again the source material is forgotten, the real tragic figures - Jessica and her mother - remain an afterthought, nothing more than creepy talismans. When tragedy strikes there's such an inevitability of it - these people didn't take their first warning with the events that transpired during the making of the first movie. Fame, glory, and a vision proved more important than heeding the fact that history is doomed to keep repeating itself.  The fourth telling moves away from the movie genre and instead turns into a true crime podcast. These days there are hundreds of true crime podcasts which, however noble the intentions may be, still use real tragedy as entertainment. By then the town has become a victim of itself, now clinging onto the tragedies that have happened there to bring in tourists and capitalise on the misery that continues to reverberate there.  I loved this book. LOVED it. I adore meta, self-aware horror that takes a long hard look at itself while also paying homage to the genre. It's rare but The Remaking's got it. It's got it in spades.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Neelam Babul

    A gripping story!!!!! The Remaking tracks the evolution of a local ghost story about a 'little witch girl' through several decades. We learn about the original 1930s campfire tale first, of a suspected witch, Ella Louise Ford, who was hounded out of the town of Pilot's Creek after bringing disgrace upon her family. She lived in the woods, helping desperate locals with herbal remedies, until she was accused of causing a woman's miscarriage and became the subject of a literal witch-hunt. Ella A gripping story!!!!! The Remaking tracks the evolution of a local ghost story about a 'little witch girl' through several decades. We learn about the original 1930s campfire tale first, of a suspected witch, Ella Louise Ford, who was hounded out of the town of Pilot's Creek after bringing disgrace upon her family. She lived in the woods, helping desperate locals with herbal remedies, until she was accused of causing a woman's miscarriage and became the subject of a literal witch-hunt. Ella Louise and her young daughter Jessica were burned at the stake, and Jessica (whom the locals suspected of being even more powerful than her mother) was buried in a reinforced, fenced-off grave. According to lore, the two ghosts are still searching for one another and waiting to be united. This allegedly true story is adapted into two films, a low-budget fil in 1970 and, two decades later, an ironic proto-Scream remake. Amber Pendleton, the child actor who plays Jessica in the first film, goes on to play her mother in the second. Finally, in 2016, there's a podcast that seeks to uncover the truth behind Jessica's story and the legends that have sprung up around it. Amber's life is completely transformed by playing Jessica in the movie and the ghosts of the movie and events during the shooting leave her with never-ending chills and fears. A horrific story.

  16. 4 out of 5

    ❤️

    A fun take on the horror genre that utilizes an immersive and fresh concept to accomplish what it sets out to do. There are nods to all the great horror cliches and tropes, and even some examination of them, and there is definitely an underlying nuance of the residual effects of appropriating someone else's story to make it our own for our own gain. In this case, the book examines the urban legend of a mother and daughter burned at the stake by their town's men after being accused of witchcraft A fun take on the horror genre that utilizes an immersive and fresh concept to accomplish what it sets out to do. There are nods to all the great horror cliches and tropes, and even some examination of them, and there is definitely an underlying nuance of the residual effects of appropriating someone else's story to make it our own for our own gain. In this case, the book examines the urban legend of a mother and daughter burned at the stake by their town's men after being accused of witchcraft (in the 1930s, no less) and the men who came after (in the 1950s across campfires, the 1970s and again in the 90s on movie sets, and in 2019 during the production of a podcast) who become infatuated with the idea of being ~the one~ to tell Ella Louise and Jessica Ford's tragic life (and death) story. The first half is definitely its strongest, and it isn't without its minor flaws (for example, the section in which the character Amber narrates, I didn't find her voice to be believable - she sounded more often than not like an angsty young man just out of his teens than a troubled/haunted woman in her 30s). But overall, the book is written in a style that easily draws you into its story and is extremely fun to read if you're a horror fan or simply just in the mood for horror in general.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Jensen

    Definitely a good read and will have you flipping pages. I like how the book is laid out and different from chapter to chapter, but it takes a moment to be fully clear on who’s the focus of a segment. Otherwise a fun idea, more thriller than horror but interesting and well done.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Keith Chawgo

    The remaking is an interesting novel which is told over a span of a hundred years at around 20 year intervals. We have the legend, the film, the remake and the podcast – with each written in different styles. Does this work within the confines of the novel, yes and no but I’ll get to that a bit later. The opening of the novel we have the legend of the little ghost witch was excellently done. The origin story is frightful and horrible which is steeped in legend. Chapman develops this mythos The remaking is an interesting novel which is told over a span of a hundred years at around 20 year intervals. We have the legend, the film, the remake and the podcast – with each written in different styles. Does this work within the confines of the novel, yes and no but I’ll get to that a bit later. The opening of the novel we have the legend of the little ghost witch was excellently done. The origin story is frightful and horrible which is steeped in legend. Chapman develops this mythos excellently. From there we move to a cheap horror film being made by a writer and director obsessed with the legend. We are put into the hands of the young actress who will be picked to play the part of the ghost witch where things go a bit askew. We then jump again to a remake where things are not what they seem until the final part takes us down a different route with an investigative reporter looking into the mystery of both films and the legend. The plot is very strong and interesting and I was well invested in the story from the beginning. Chapman lovingly creates horror and great emotional depth into the legend of the ghost witch. He also is able to delve into the horror of the human condition and he really knows how to capture the audience attention. The next part of the book, the original film about the legend works very well and he captures a very young actress, overbearing stage mother and the problematic low budget production that starts out fun but turns to terror. Chapman ends this on a question mark and at first you are thinking what the hell until the next part. This is told from the point of view of the actress going from conventions to acting in the big budget remake of a film that has cult status. For the record, I sometimes have difficulty with first person narrative as it can sometimes ramble. In this case, there is some rambling but upon reflection, I do think this is down to the character’s state of mind. The last part of the book which brings everything full circle is probably what makes this book a bit clever which is podcast section. We have a podcaster ready to debunk the legend and the mystery behind both films. Having a sceptic tone to the final part really lifts the novel and helps surpass what came before. It also gives a different perspective on the situation and we also get to catch up on the characters from before and what happened to them. This was excellently done. The characters are all well drawn. Their likability changes with the time span but fit within their universe. Very well crafted and insightful with enough pathos and emotions to make them stand out. I currently run host a podcast and we have marked this book a must read for our audiences and will highlight it in our newsletter of over 200,000 subscribers because I really have faith in this book. The different styles set it apart from other novels, Chapman has really out done himself with the different parts of the book to make a fully realised legend. There is a believability to the proceedings. This is not a fast paced novel with chase sequences and horrific gory encounters from a Hollywood standpoint. Chapman delivers a low key, rich in atmosphere and realism that fits. His writing has a dreamlike quality that is horrific as well as extremely sad. The ghosts are always out of the corner of the eye and this is what makes this novel work. I highly recommend this fascinating novel that haunts the reader long after the final words leave a stain on your memory and vision.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Horror DNA

    My favorite part of writing for Horror DNA is being exposed to unfamiliar authors and stories and falling in love. And I absolutely love Clay McLeod Chapman's The Remaking, it would totally go in my top ten books of the year list if I ever get around to making one. You can read Jennifer's full review at Horror DNA by clicking here.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Angela

    Entertaining read revolving around a campfire urban legend growing in scope each generation. It's not scary itself but a great homage to scary stories and cult movies. And wow, really a fast read! I read 240 pages in one sitting last night and finished up beside the pool today. 3.5 rounded up.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Domonic Gaccetta

    Started reading this today. Mostly because I saw the author at comic con and he sold me and my group of friends on the book. The premise of telling the same story through four different lenses sounds spectacular. Clay gets five stars for being an awesome guy and chatting with me and my friends. He also may have mentioned he checks good reads so this is my way of saying thank you again for a great panel and giving some insight into the processes for maintaining and building suspense. You and the Started reading this today. Mostly because I saw the author at comic con and he sold me and my group of friends on the book. The premise of telling the same story through four different lenses sounds spectacular. Clay gets five stars for being an awesome guy and chatting with me and my friends. He also may have mentioned he checks good reads so this is my way of saying thank you again for a great panel and giving some insight into the processes for maintaining and building suspense. You and the rest of the panel rock! I promise to write a real review once I finish this book. Which will be on me all con because lines.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Octavia (ReadsWithDogs)

    The perfect book for anyone who sighs when their favorite horror movie is remade and also anyone who loves witchy tropes and final girl stories with spookiness. An ideal book to start October with! The story follows the urban legend of the little witch girl as it's made into a slasher in the 70's, and a remake in the 90's each time with weird things happening on set- especially to the girl cast as the witch. The original movie girl tries to figure out if she's haunted and goes on a popular true The perfect book for anyone who sighs when their favorite horror movie is remade and also anyone who loves witchy tropes and final girl stories with spookiness. An ideal book to start October with! The story follows the urban legend of the little witch girl as it's made into a slasher in the 70's, and a remake in the 90's each time with weird things happening on set- especially to the girl cast as the witch. The original movie girl tries to figure out if she's haunted and goes on a popular true crime podcast to discuss the happenings with the hope of stopping the cycle. Excellent atmosphere and I loved the script parts(the author also write movies and you can tell because the script parts were very readable). The female protagonist, Amber was strong as heck and relatable and gave me strong final girl vibes. I also really enjoyed the ending... mysterious and left me wanting more in the best way. The author ended the book in a way that made me really like him... feminist power all the way! 4.5/5 stars from me and I can't wait to read the next book by this author!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Kyle

    Thanks to Mr. Chapman and Quirk books for the Advance Reader Copy of The Remaking. I read several different genre's and particularly enjoy thrillers, horror, and some true crime, so when I saw the synopsis I quickly requested. I did enjoy the book, it is a little different than what I was expecting, a little more on the YA side, which is fine, I just usually enjoy more adult themes in my horror. That being said I do read Graphic Novels, including some by Mr. Chapman and I enjoy them. If you Thanks to Mr. Chapman and Quirk books for the Advance Reader Copy of The Remaking. I read several different genre's and particularly enjoy thrillers, horror, and some true crime, so when I saw the synopsis I quickly requested. I did enjoy the book, it is a little different than what I was expecting, a little more on the YA side, which is fine, I just usually enjoy more adult themes in my horror. That being said I do read Graphic Novels, including some by Mr. Chapman and I enjoy them. If you enjoy Graphic Novels and YA horror, I think this will a great book to add to your TBR this summer! The book moves at a brisk pace with some definite creep factor that kept me interested throughout. I look forward to more work from Mr. Chapman. Thanks again to the publisher and NetGalley! Happy Reading! #theremaking #netgalley

  24. 5 out of 5

    Megan Houde

    The premises of this book was really intriguing. Take a real life ghost story that over time has been turned into an urban legend and turn it into a book. Yep that’s what the author did. And he wrote it perfectly, that sometimes these stories never leave you no matter how many times they’re told. Our main character Amber is a child actor when she gets a role in a horror film starring as the little ghost girl of Pilot Creek(based on a real story). She has a controlling mother and keeps hearing The premises of this book was really intriguing. Take a real life ghost story that over time has been turned into an urban legend and turn it into a book. Yep that’s what the author did. And he wrote it perfectly, that sometimes these stories never leave you no matter how many times they’re told. Our main character Amber is a child actor when she gets a role in a horror film starring as the little ghost girl of Pilot Creek(based on a real story). She has a controlling mother and keeps hearing voices, that ultimately lead her to running away and then being buried. As an adult, she has issues with substance abuse and things that effected her as a child. Her movie has become a cult classic and a new director wants to remake it, with her in mind. Can she go back? Can she uncover the things that happened to her. And can she protect the new “Jessica” aka ghost girl. How many times can a story be retold? A lot! That’s how we pass down stories we hear and that’s how they spread. You hear a spooky story and decide to investigate because that’s what grabs people. They like the scare factor. See for me in the town I grew up in there is a story of a haunted bridge, so of course as a teenager you want to check it out. Almost like the Urban Legend of the kids who crashed their school bus and their hand prints appear on your car... I sat there waiting for my own ghosts handprints to appear. That’s what these stories do. People hear something spooky and truthfully want to believe. Like the Ghost girl of Pilot Creek. People want to believe her spirit is never at rest. That’s what these stories do to us. We believe what we hear and we pass it on. I like how this story delved into that and turned it into a story where our main character stars in a horror movie and how even movies we see always get remade. Because we love them! They turn into cult followings that make people want more and definitely make sure the story never ends

  25. 5 out of 5

    Rosemary

    I have been in such a mood for a good horror story - maybe it’s the time of year, but I feel like it’s been a minute since I read a good, old-fashioned horror story. Clay McLeod Chapman’s The Remaking is that horror story. The plot: Ella Louise lived in the woods of Pilot’s Creek, Virginia, back in the 1930s. She and her 9-year-old daughter, Jessica, are outcasts; the townsfolk call them witches, but always manage to find a way to ask Ella Louise for help with various ailments. When one of her I have been in such a mood for a good horror story - maybe it’s the time of year, but I feel like it’s been a minute since I read a good, old-fashioned horror story. Clay McLeod Chapman’s The Remaking is that horror story. The plot: Ella Louise lived in the woods of Pilot’s Creek, Virginia, back in the 1930s. She and her 9-year-old daughter, Jessica, are outcasts; the townsfolk call them witches, but always manage to find a way to ask Ella Louise for help with various ailments. When one of her customers experiences a horrific loss, a handful of the men in town pull Ella Louise and Jessica out of their home one night and burn them alive. They’re buried in the middle of the forest, and fade into urban legend until the early 1970s, when a filmmaker decides he needs to tell Jessica’s story. Casting a 9-year-old Amber, an actress with an awful stage mother, sets off a chain of events that will form the rest of Amber’s life. From the unexplainable occurrence on set that forever shot the film into cult status, to the inevitable ‘90s remake, Amber and Jessica will always be considered one and the same. A brilliant look at fandom culture mixed with a good, old-fashioned ghost story, The Remaking is damned near unputdownable. Clay McLeod Chapman creates an ultra-creepy tale that old school cult film fans will love. It’s horror without the gore, and all the creepy, and the creepy isn’t only coming from the ghosts and witches. It’s coming from the fandom culture that won’t let a haunted woman forget the one movie she made and the one role she can’t escape. Modern pop culture elements are all over this story: investigative journalism podcasts, fan and con culture, and remake fever all have their moments here, but at the story’s heart is little Jessica’s curse: you’ll never forget her once you read it, either.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    “From campfire story to ‘70’s horror flick to ‘90’s meta remake to true crime podcast...Some stories refuse to die.” This is the story about a girl, who’s life and career are ultimately ruined by an urban legend and who ends up being the target of a witch hunt. She can’t escape the stories, the horror fans, the past and definitely not Ella Louise or Jessica Ford. Although there were some parts that tended to drag a little in this story, I overall really enjoyed it. I especially enjoyed the “From campfire story to ‘70’s horror flick to ‘90’s meta remake to true crime podcast...Some stories refuse to die.” This is the story about a girl, who’s life and career are ultimately ruined by an urban legend and who ends up being the target of a witch hunt. She can’t escape the stories, the horror fans, the past and definitely not Ella Louise or Jessica Ford. Although there were some parts that tended to drag a little in this story, I overall really enjoyed it. I especially enjoyed the characters referring to horror movies I’ve seen myself. It was nostalgic thinking back to those days I’d visit the video store and linger by all the horror movies, such as The Gate, Friday the 13th, The Exorcist, Evil Dead, Halloween, Faces of Death and The Stuff. Really got a kick out of this book. It was deliciously creepy in many parts and even the cover tells a tale if you look close enough. Definitely one for the horror lovers to add to their collection! This book will be released on 10/8/2019 from Quirk Books. Thank you to Quirk and Book Riot for sending me an ARC for an honest review. “Suffer a witch to live.”

  27. 5 out of 5

    Judy

    Ella Louise and her daughter Jessica are accused of witchcraft and burned at the stake in Pilot's Creek Virginia. No one knows where Ella is buried but her daughter's grave is a steel reinforced coffin surrounded by a fence of interconnected crosses. Obviously, someone was afraid she would rise from the dead and come after them. Their story became an urban legend just right for campfire stories and movie making. This is a fun book not too scary but definitely creepy. It will keep you reading and Ella Louise and her daughter Jessica are accused of witchcraft and burned at the stake in Pilot's Creek Virginia. No one knows where Ella is buried but her daughter's grave is a steel reinforced coffin surrounded by a fence of interconnected crosses. Obviously, someone was afraid she would rise from the dead and come after them. Their story became an urban legend just right for campfire stories and movie making. This is a fun book not too scary but definitely creepy. It will keep you reading and is quite entertaining. It is well written with some suspense and mystery thrown in. It might even make you want to check out Jessica's grave site yourself if you're brave enough. I received the book for free through Goodreads First reads.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Kayla Mckinney

    Those who suffer witches The Remaking takes readers through a cycle of witch stories: a legend, a cult horror film, and the remake of the film - which is haunted by the original ghost story. In pacing, it is reminiscent of Norman Partridge’s Dark Harvest, creating a horror film in the reader’s mind and making her turn pages faster and faster. But it’s real success lies in the almost feminine rhyme quality of its repetition (words repeat and echo throughout) paired with an understanding of women’s Those who suffer witches The Remaking takes readers through a cycle of witch stories: a legend, a cult horror film, and the remake of the film - which is haunted by the original ghost story. In pacing, it is reminiscent of Norman Partridge’s Dark Harvest, creating a horror film in the reader’s mind and making her turn pages faster and faster. But it’s real success lies in the almost feminine rhyme quality of its repetition (words repeat and echo throughout) paired with an understanding of women’s plights: being infantalized, being fetishized, being saddled with accusations of “witch” or “whore”. It also takes a clear-eyed look at popular culture, creates an authentically spooky atmosphere and is filled with rich details ranging from the cola-sticky floors of a theater to the cheesy cover art on 80s horror VHS tapes. A very satisfying and literary autumn read!

  29. 4 out of 5

    Gaja

    Hey, I won a copy of this book from Goodreads. So, I liked this. It was spooky, but not spooky enough to leave you sleeping with the lights on. It was a nice, comfy, atmosphere spooky, and there was enough going on to make me go 'well...okay, ONE more chapter, and then bed' more than once. Overall it was an enjoyable read, though I don't think it's one that's going to stick with me, scratching at the back of my head for more attention. I gotta say, though, he names of the teens in the first movie? Hey, I won a copy of this book from Goodreads. So, I liked this. It was spooky, but not spooky enough to leave you sleeping with the lights on. It was a nice, comfy, atmosphere spooky, and there was enough going on to make me go 'well...okay, ONE more chapter, and then bed' more than once. Overall it was an enjoyable read, though I don't think it's one that's going to stick with me, scratching at the back of my head for more attention. I gotta say, though, he names of the teens in the first movie? *chef's kiss* Perfection.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Megan BG

    3.5 stars *Giveaway winner* I really enjoyed the story itself. A really good ghost story. I wasn't a huge fan of the style in parts. It made a little sense because the main character is abusing prescription drugs, but it was throughout the whole book.

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