Read Candles Burning by Tabitha King Michael McDowell Online


An extraordinary southern saga begun by Michael McDowell and finished after his death by Tabitha King. Known for his chilling Blackwater series, author Michael McDowell left behind the unfinished manuscript for Candles Burning upon his death in 1999. In the spirit of the ghost stories that Michael loved, Tabitha King has taken up where he left off, weaving a Southern gothAn extraordinary southern saga begun by Michael McDowell and finished after his death by Tabitha King. Known for his chilling Blackwater series, author Michael McDowell left behind the unfinished manuscript for Candles Burning upon his death in 1999. In the spirit of the ghost stories that Michael loved, Tabitha King has taken up where he left off, weaving a Southern gothic fabric of murder, guilt, innocence, corruption, and survival, in the voices of the living and the dead. Calliope "Calley" Dakin is just seven when her beloved father is tortured, murdered, and dismembered by two women with no discernible motivation. In the aftermath, Calley and her mother find themselves caught up in inexplicable events that exile them to Pensacola Beach, where-in a house that's a dead ringer for Calley's late great-grandmother's house-a woman awaits their presence. For Calley is no normal little girl....

Title : Candles Burning
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780425210284
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 432 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Candles Burning Reviews

  • Andrew
    2019-06-21 12:43

    Okay this was a struggle to be honest. I loved the work of Michael McDowell - his Blackwater series I think is amazing but this book - only partly completed at his death does not do him justice. Basically the book was only half completed at his death and was then later picked up by Tabitha King and completed. Now I am not one to give too much credence to other reviewers, I read after all for my own benefit but the comments about this book I totally agree. It is 200 pages too long. It has some amazing ideas but then are never really followed up or expanded upon.And that for me is such a shame, not only for the opportunities lost (since there are so few books by Mr McDowell) but also that this would be seen as his last book - although I see here on GR then do not even credit him.So what of the story well I guess read other people reviews as to be honest you can read far better, any of Michael McDowell's books is worth reading from the standalone Elementals to like I mentioned before the Blackwater series. Michael McDowell was the master of characterisation, where he could create such a believable character and then want you to follow them through their trials and tribulations through the story. Here you just want things to move along and actually get somewhere.Now I never really like criticising a book and rarely do I rip in to one so don't think I am holding back I just feel that knowing what these authors are capable of just makes it such a shame it failed here.

  • Kimberly
    2019-07-07 10:30

    2.5 stars.I have been LOVING all of the books written by Michael McDowell lately. This one was unfinished at his death, and completed by Tabitha King. While I was immediately drawn into the story, it began to get overly descriptive about one third of the way in. Yes, there were some genuinely good ideas in here, unfortunately, (at over 400 pages), I ended up feeling like the story could have EASILY been cut by at least 200 pages, and managed to keep my interest better. This one is very difficult for me to rate, because it's not that I felt the writing was "bad" at any point, just "rambling". By the time I had gotten to the end, there were no "surprise" revelations, and the ending itself was nothing like the other McDowell novels I had read (for obvious reasons).A decent read, just entirely too long for the story that was being told, and an ending that really didn't seem to "fit" in with the beginning initiative.

  • Leah Polcar
    2019-07-20 13:48

    This review refers to the audiobook version. 4.5 for McDowell's portion/2 for King's portion -- somehow this works out to somewhere between a 2 to 2.5, whatever, don't read itOkay, it can't be the easiest thing in the world to pick up an unfinished novel and finish it, but I deeply wonder why someone would want to? How can this possibly turn out well? I think this is the first book I have read (listened to) of this kind, so I really don't know if other endeavors of this type turned out well, but the current example sure didn't.What I feared was what happened: the set-up, characterization, and voice that began the novel did not finish it and the disconnect was horribly disappointing. This would be problematic in any case, here, it was almost crushing. There are two major reasons for this. The first is that McDowell has a distinctive voice. One of the largest strengths in the McDowell novels I have read, theBlackwaterseries,The Elementals ,Cold Moon over Babylon , is characterization and dialogue. It seemed implausible to suggest another author would capture this, especially a Northerner, and she didn't. King was crafty enough to limit dialogue, and insert Yankees into any conversations as quickly as possible, but it just wasn't the same. I find it hard to fault her as not being as good as McDowell until I remember that no one put a gun to her head, that I am aware of, and forced her to write this book. She took it upon herself to try and reach a high bar and she failed. This does not mean that the characters, writing, or dialogue was poor, it just wasn't good enough.The real tragedy of this book, and the reason I warn everyone to stay away, is that McDowell sets up an unbelievably interesting mystery: and King doesn't deliver with her resolution. Whether or not she knew what McDowell intended or just made it all up herself becomes irrelevant as her presentation is rushed and unsatisfying -- we spend hours and hours and hours building up the gifts and specialness of our heroine and contending with dropped hints about her father and family only to have all the secrets revealed in about 30 minutes and an epilogue. (Epilogue! Aren't epilogues supposed to be additions to the story, not a necessary part of a novel?)Even though I gave the book overall a 3, I can't recommend it. Fans of McDowell will get nostalgic and sad and others shouldn't find anything particularly remarkable here. However, the narrator, Carrington McDuffie was superb and I look forward to hearing her in the future. However, what was painful here was what King did with the story Whether all Northerners would have this problem, I do not know, but I know King is unable to copy it.

  • Elke
    2019-06-28 11:34

    I read some of Tabitha King's novels as a teenager and really enjoyed them. This novel is quite different from her earlier work, which is understandable considering that the manuscript was written by another author.Reading the book was something like a rollercoaster: from great expectations at the beginning to slow motion with only a few twists and loops in between. At the beginning I was sure I'd love this story, but my enthusiam was slowed down somewhere in the middle, where the story dragged on and on without really continuing anywhere. There are books where this concept works, where I am confident to just read without reaching a determined destination or climax, but for me it didn't work out with Candles Burning. The first pages built up a good suspense, but then it simply evaporates over the middle part instead of leading to a satisfying end. The story could never quite catch up its pace again and left me only half satisfied (for finding out what really happened and why), and half relieved (to have it finished).I am not familiar with books by Michael McDowell, so I can't compare this book to his other work. As for Tabitha King, I prefer her early novels.

  • Chelle Newton
    2019-07-03 10:48

    This was a good book, but it's fairly obvious where Mr. McDowell stopped writing and Ms. King started. I have a feeling that this was not the ending that Mr. McDowell envisioned, but I think she did a good job of finishing the book. It was an interesting story, but I found that there were a few things that weren't explored quite enough or developed to the point where I could understand what the writer was trying to convey. But it did keep me interested, so I would give it a 4 out of 5. Horror is not usually my genre, except for Stephen King's work, but this book had a very good plot and didn't get too detailed with the blood and gore, so I think it's a good read even if you don't like horror books.

  • Debra
    2019-07-09 10:37

    Tabitha King is Stephen King's wife.I've read most (if not all) of Michael McDowell's books and especially loved his Blackwater series. He definitely knows how to write creepy stuff.I really enjoyed this book of his finished after his death by Tabitha King (Stephen King's wife). It was subtle and insidious!

  • Linda
    2019-07-20 07:49

    Very very disappointing. Michael Mcdowell is one of my favorite authors. I have read and re-read most of his books. This book felt so disjointed and Mrs. King's lack of skill was so clear. It was easy for a fan to pick out what was her ideas vs. the original manuscript.

  • Tom
    2019-07-10 11:39

    I liked it, I liked the heroine and the story but there was something missing. It seemed a lot of time was spent on the filler instead of the stuff that was cool. Calley had lots of talents that I think were unexplored in favor of ... I am not sure. Maybe it was too mellow for me.

  • Guillermo Jiménez
    2019-07-04 11:42

    Esta es una joya literaria, que me informan, gozó de mucha fama en su momento. Sí, está bueno, es una historia de vampiros; y, sí, acaban de realizar la segunda o tercera peli 'inspirada' en la novela (que a mi parecer es un filme excelente), sí, sí, y sí a todo lo que me digan, eso no le quita a Matheson ser un autor dentro y fuera de género.En mucho tiempo no había leído una 'buena' historia, escrita con una pluma directa y concisa. Escrita con solo lo necesario, sin paja, sin añadidos, etcétera.En serio, quien quiera leer algo realmente BUENO, corra y vaya y compre y lea esta novela.

  • Beth
    2019-07-18 10:34

    Not as bad as I was expecting considering the way it was written. Some fairly eerie parts but it felt too forced in other places.

  • Jessie
    2019-07-19 07:28

    I admire the ambition of Tabitha King for taking this story on. Michael McDowell had started this novel, had passed away sadly before he could finish it, and Tabitha had decided to take on the mission of completing it with his incomplete notes and manuscript. Ambition is a good thing, but failing to complete it is not. I understand how it could be a difficult thing to attempt to do. But she decided it on her own, and I hope that her agent doesn’t bring any opportunities like this to her. I’m not so much familiar with Tabitha’s work, but just to judge from this one piece of it, she doesn’t have the same affinity for writing, especially in something that is supposed to be suspenseful and was placed in the horror section for some odd reason, as her husband Stephen King does. As an author, every book you come out with is a reflection of you. I just hope that this reflection of Tabitha is something like looking into a pond through ripples, and I hope that whatever I read next by her is a lot more satisfactory.As for the book itself, the back summery is misleading entirely. I believe that it was written about the parts that Michael McDowell had completed before his death, but was entirely let down by Tabitha’s rendition of his notes. It was convenient to have the main character, Callie Dakin, grow up from a young girl into a fully grown woman, because the mindsets change. I say convenient because it appeared that Tabitha was having troubles trying to get into the character of the little girl, and focused more on the teenage years and the adulthood. Lots of things were brought into the story that seemed like it could be relevant, but ended up hardly being anything at all. There was some things that appeared to be symbolism or foreshadowing and yet nothing was done about it. It was highly disappointing.As for the ending, it was like hitting a brick wall head first.It was blunt, it was final, it was an ending. It left no questions to be answered except for - What the fuck was that? Everything was explained in a quick manner in the last couple of chapters, and yet it was nothing that it seemed to be leading up to. This book obviously was not meant to be a mystery novel with a plot twist at the end. It just felt oh so wrong, and I know I seem like I’m giving Tabitha a hard time but come on. Rating: 4/10 stars, and only so highly because Michael McDowell’s work was beautiful. I really wish I could have read what he had set out to accomplish.

  • wally
    2019-07-11 08:42

    i enjoyed this story. Calley brings to mind huck finn, in pigtails. she hears things. was reading the sundial by shirley jackson and was reminded of this one...michael mcdowell is another i need to add to the pile to read. read one other by tabitha king, the's a quote or two from the story i liked:to this day i have found no reason to believe that the human soul, duplicitous to is core, suddenly becomes truthful just because it comes to be divorced from a corporeal formyeah, and so you have all those bumps in the night. set in the south. new orleans. florida.another one: they managed to insult each other more with courtesies than they could have with a whole dictionary of cuss words is there any more characteristic human behavior than the burning of witches?good read.

  • Jan
    2019-06-29 07:55

    This was a fascinating Southern Gothic horror novel about a young girl named Callie whose father is kidnapped, tortured, and murdered. Her mother, suspected of being involved in the murder, takes off with her daughter. They end up in a strange boarding house in Pensacola, run by a mysterious woman who encourages Callie to develop her gift of speaking to "spirits." The book is written by Tabitha King and based upon an uncompleted ms by horror author Michael McDowell, who died before the book was finished.

  • Gina Beirne
    2019-07-19 12:28

    Tabitha King is Stephen King's wife.

  • Nicole Nikolova
    2019-07-04 13:44

    Както пише самата Табита Кинг, този роман е плод на съвместни усилия. Майкъл Макдауъл го е започнал, но е починал, преди да успее да го напише. Неговата редакторка се обърнала към Табита Кинг с молба да го завърши. Това, в крайна сметка, е историята, която е успяла да изллече от записките му.Взех книгата съвсем спонтанно, заинтригувана предимно от факта, че това е жената на Стивън Кинг и просто ми беше любопитно какво и как пише тя, при все че съм наясно, че самият Кинг е споменавал, че с нея пишат различни неща и не биха могли да напишат книга съвместно. Не съм сигурна, че тази книга е подходяща, за да мога да оценя нейното творчество, но все пак е някакво начало… на което не знам дали ще има продължение. Според анотацията Кали е едва седемгодишна, когато две жени без привидно никаква причина измъчват, убиват и разчленяват баща й. Кали и майка й, попаднали в странни обстоятелства, са принудени да се укрият в къща, досущ като къщата на прабабата на Кали. Там ги очаква жена, която знае каква е Кали, без да разбира, че смъртта няма да унищожи любовта на момиченцето.Дотук добре. Очевидно е, че става въпрос за мистерия/трилър. Действието се развива през 50-те години на миналия век, което внася допълнителна тягостност на цялата обстановка. Вкарани са свръхестествени способности – Кали може да чува мъртвите, а същевременно и интриги, които оплитат Кали и постепенно се разбира какво точно се е случило с баща й и защо. И вероятно това трябва да се приема за централния мотив на книгата и нещото, около което тя се върти.Обаче. Има един куп вкарани елементи, които уж трябва да подсилят тайнствеността и да ни оплетат в свръхестественото, но това някак не се получава. Способностите на Кали се споменават сякаш между другото и само в удобните моменти. Не е ясно защо къщата, в която отиват да живеят Кали и майка й е същата като тази на прабаба й, включая някои от предметите в къщата, при положение, че тя се е намирала в друга част на Америка и е изгоряла до основи преди доста години. Не е ясно защо има толкова много предмети на тавана, които странно напомнят на други или са предметите на хора, които… твърде удобно са се оказали там, нито защо на Кали й е забранено да се качва там. Нито пък е добре обяснена потайността на госпожа Верлоу, нито защо Кали и майка й не бива да напускат острова… докато в един момент се оказва, че го напускат без проблем. И изобщо не мога да разбера защо историята е разтеглена в 415 страници.Или аз не съм разбрала, или има твърде много нелогични неща в цялата история. Действието се развива бавно, мудно, същевременно през цялото време те кара да очакваш, че Нещо Ще Се Случи. Само дето не се случва и най-бурното нещо в книгата е в самото начало, когато убиват бащата на момиченцето. Ако трябва да съм напълно честна, до последната страница очаквах да има някакво „уау“, но такова нямаше. А когато книгата приключи… ами да си призная, щях да съм щастлива ако поне се беше оказало, че някой е сънувал всичко това (а всички знаем, че е ужасно тъпо историите да приключват така).Никак не се разбрахме с тази книга. Имам толкова много въпроси, които дори не искам да задам. Единственото интересно нещо беше, че през цялото време очакваш да стане нещо интересно, но това така и не се случва. Ако трябва да съм напълно искрена, очаквах много повече, а получих… едно голямо нищо. Освен, че стилът на писане на Табита Кинг всъщност е ненатоварващ и приятен, не мога да кажа много други положителни неща за „Лица във водата“.

  • Derwin
    2019-07-14 12:38

    This is an uneven book, unfortunately, but not surprisingly as it was begun by a writer with a fantastic southern Gothic voice but was finished, admirably so, by someone whose writing cannot possibly hope to capture the original voice or tone. King is a great writer, but southern Gothic is not her thing. Michael McDowell, on the other hand, is true evidence of an immense talent lost all too soon. While the story has its moments, mostly in the parts that McDowell completed, it is just after the halfway point that it begins to feel meandering, inconsequential, and maybe too much of an exercise. In fact, it takes far too long to do what it must to get to the climax. While I still finished it in under a week, my norm for anything of this length, it was a sometimes trying experience as I was tempted often to put it down for something else. Additionally, while the ending worked on some level, it truly does not seem to be the ending that fit best. Well, the ending is what it is now, and we'll just never know exactly how McDowell would have ended it had he lived to do it. I'm glad I read it and it had its moments, but it was far too uneven to enjoy thoroughly.

  • Tina
    2019-06-25 09:46

    I really wish that I could wholeheartedly recommend this book. The first half or so was awesome. I couldn’t put it down. But there is a sort of disconnect between the first and last halves of the story because the book was finished by Tabitha King after Michael McDowell’s death. I want to read more of Michael McDowell’s books now. I feel like this story would’ve been amazing. Nothing against Ms. King. I think she did a great job but it just doesn’t quite work.

  • Sarah Piper
    2019-07-19 07:39

    Very disappointing. I kept waiting for it to get exciting ... but it was overly and unnecessarily descriptive. It had the good premise of a story but never had me riveted. And the end just seemed uneventful.

  • Richard Wilson
    2019-06-28 08:36

    For being from these 2 of my favorite authors........who the HELL wrote this!!!? Terribly slow, and boring, boring, boring! Dont waste your time.

  • S
    2019-06-30 10:31

    It was an interesting enough story, except the constant build-up/hints, the conclusion of which was rather anticlimactic.

  • Jesse
    2019-07-06 07:38

    Had me guessing nearly to the end!

  • Amy
    2019-06-21 07:44

    I had hoped for more information as to the "why" and "how" with the story because I really liked the main character so much but I feel like something was missing with this.

  • Kelly
    2019-07-04 08:55

    Trop long j'ai décrochée.

  • Sloane
    2019-07-12 09:33

    As this was unfinished when he passed away Tabitha King finished it for him. Not the greatest ever.

  • Kimberly
    2019-07-07 13:41

    such a good book!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Kalyn
    2019-07-15 11:35

    This was just not a good read. Very confusing to follow. I was glad to be done with this book.

  • Lisa H.
    2019-07-01 14:34

    Note: I usually burn through a book within a couple of days. This one took me nearly 3 months, in fits and starts, between other reading. It just wasn't a good fit.-----------------------------Candles Burning was completed by Tabitha King (wife of Stephen King, and a good writer in her own right), from a partial manuscript by Michael McDowell (author of a number of other mystery/Gothic/horror novels, and the screenwriter for Beetlejuice.) In some ways it reminds me of both Pat Conroy's The Prince of Tides and Rebecca Wells' Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, not only because it's set in the South in the 1950s, but also because of the dysfunctional relationships between generations and between the parents of the main character - one of those mismatched marriages, as far as the social standing of their respective families, and even though they treat each other like crap, there's also still a major flame going on between them.The story is told from the viewpoint of Calley, daughter of the aforementioned mismatched parents. Her social-climbing mother, Roberta Ann Carroll, marries the one member of the Dakin family who has prospered, but quickly recognizes that his money does not automatically ensure the cultured living she aspires to. Roberta's own mother, Deirdre, AKA "Mamadee", has inculcated in her a disdain for commonness - in part, we discover, to distance herself from her circus-performer parents. When Calley is seven years old, her father Joe Cane Dakin is kidnapped and murdered horribly, and from there spirals a long series of odd occurrences that are only ever obliquely explained. (While I appreciate not having every subtlety explained to me, it's irritating to have hints dropped [like the suggestions throughout the first half of the book that there's something odd about Calley that is obvious to others] that are not clarified at all. I realize that children take everyday things for granted and that, since the narrative is in her voice, perhaps she wouldn't think to describe what it is about her that causes people to stare, but it doesn't seem to be germane to how the story unfolds to hide it. I hate being teased with promises of resolution, only to get to the end and have only a half-assed explanation.)In the wake of Joe Cane Dakin's murder comes a cascade of disaster: Calley and her (dreadful, greedy, self-absorbed) mother are stripped of her father's money and turned out of their home, and the upbringing of Calley's older brother Ford is appropriated by Mamadee, Calley's vainglorious and calculating grandmother. Calley and Roberta end up in a boarding house on the Gulf of Mexico, where they spend the next 10 years, during which Calley will be used by various ghosts from her past as a conduit to speak to the living... I've just realized there really isn't any way to adequately explain this book. If you don't mind a great deal of ambiguity, it's an interesting read. Don't expect a horror story, though.

  • Shannon Yarbrough
    2019-06-27 08:37

    Candles Burning was Tabitha King's last stint at novel writing, though after you read the book it's obvious that Michael McDowell had more than likely finished most of this novel before he died in 1999. I could easily find the parts that McDowell wrote over the parts that King added.If you have read McDowell's previous work, you know he was a master of painting images in your head using words. He was so good at giving things odd descriptions, or presenting them in such a way that they were hard to forget. As for storytelling, eh, he and Tabitha are about the same. The depth of his stories came from the characters and the mystery, not so much from the plotline. And the same rings true here with Candles Burning.Meet seven-year-old Calley Dakin, a sassy tom girl who hears dead people. She is the thorn in her snobby Mama's side, but when her loving father is taken hostage and killed, Calley and her Mom go on the run and must learn to cope with one another.This book opens with all kinds of bizarre happenings and eccentric characters that read like any other good Southern writer such as Capote, McCullers, or O'Connor. Just the way Calley's father died will have your stomach twisting and turning. Lots of good stuff to keep the pages turning. But then the plot just fizzles out when Calley and her mother go into hiding, aided by distant relatives (more than likely this is the part King wrote). There's no motivation to move forward, and not even a hint of suspense. As a reader, you really give up caring, which is sad compared to the way the book started.That's probably why I stopped reading this book during the first attempt. After several years, I picked it up again and was determined to finish it this time. And I'm glad I did. Notice I am giving it 4 stars. McDowell never pointed out the obvious. He made the reader guess at what was happening and what was important. Things get resolved by the end of the book, but you are still left wondering if you missed out on something even though there was closure. And the same is true here. I was satisfied with the ending, but still had unanswered questions.This is a good read for the McDowell or King fan. Stick with it and your patience will be rewarded. Just know there are much better paranormal thrillers out there, and much better McDowell reads at that.

  • lethe
    2019-07-03 09:41

    This was an odd book. It felt somehow disjointed, incongruous. It started with the discrepancy between the back-cover blurb and the reviews quoted in the front:Calliope "Calley" Dakin is no normal little girl. She hears things that maybe a little girl shouldn't hear — and knows things a little girl should never know.Just seven when her beloved father is tortured, murdered, and dismembered by two women with no discernable motivation, Calley and her mother find themselves caught up in inexplicable events that exile them to Pensacola Beach. There — in a house that's a dead ringer for Calley's late great-grandmother's house — another woman awaits their presence. A woman who understands what Calley is, but has no idea just how strong her bond is with her father — even after death...The reviews on the other hand call this "a shivery fun novel for summer" and a "lightly supernatural confection..., funny and intriguing". Hmmm. A loved one being tortured and murdered is not my idea of fun. Fortunately the crime (which lasts five days!) takes up only two pages in the book.Another possible reason for the disjointed feel is the fact that Michael McDowell died before he could finish the book, and Tabitha King was later asked to complete it, so it's not a real collaboration.It starts off as a conventional thriller, but then supernatural elements begin to creep in, and the story becomes stranger and stranger. In the end, most of it is neatly explained, but not all to my satisfaction. For instance, I still don't know why Calley's daddy had to die such a gruesome death. And what was up with the hair??What I liked best about the book was Calley. She never loses her spirit. In spite of her horrible, horrible mother, who loves nothing better than to put her down, and the other grown-ups, who are generally manipulative and sometimes downright menacing, she stays true to herself and never gives up, never gives in.

  • Susan
    2019-07-11 07:28

    This book is coauthored by Tabitha King (Steven King's wife) and Michael McDowell who left the unfinished manuscript upon his death in 1999. The narrator is a 7 year old girl who has suddenly lost her father to a horrific murder dismemberment when the family was attending a convention in New Orleans. There are multiple character storylines threaded through the book - Callie's Southern Belle mother who steps into the barely acted role of grieving widow that dotes on her son and ignores Callie; Callie's brother Ford who is named after their father's car dealership and the favored child of his grandmother, Mamadee; and Mamadee's intolerance of her daughter's choice to marry into and perpetuate the inferior Dakin white trash bloodline. After the death of her father, Callie's life is turned upside down when her mother flees the Alabama small town rumors and hostility to take refuge in a remote inn in Pensaloca Beach with the sister of a woman who befriended the grieving girl. Callie can "hear" the dead and receives clues to her family's history, the odd characters connected with the inn, and her own future. This book was riveting from the first paragraph and kept me up at night needing to know more with every chapter. The resolution for this story is a real let down, as if the authors grew tired of their own story or the plot became too fractured and complicated to neatly resolve. Maybe I expected too much of the ending and of the authors; however what should have been a satisfactory conclusion to a riveting story left me, in the end, wanting to ask for a rewrite of the final 3 chapters.