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Publisher's Summary

From the New York Times best-selling author of Bird Box and Malorie comes a haunting tale of love and mystery, as the date of a lifetime becomes a maddening exploration of the depths of the heart.

"Malerman expertly conjures a fairy tale nostalgia of first love, and we follow along, all too willingly, ignoring the warning signs even as the fear takes hold.” (Lit Reactor)

The story begins: Young lovers, anxious to connect, agree to a first date, thinking outside of the box. At 17 years old, James and Amelia can feel the rest of their lives beginning. They have got this summer and this summer alone to experience the extraordinary. But they didn’t expect to find it in a house at the bottom of a lake. The house is cold and dark, but it’s also their own. 

Caution be damned, until being carefree becomes dangerous. For the teens must decide: Swim deeper into the house - all the while falling deeper in love? 

Whatever they do, they will never be able to turn their backs on what they discovered together. And what they learned: Just because a house is empty doesn’t mean nobody’s home. 

©2020 Josh Malerman (P)2020 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

“An intimate dive into eerie, ethereal...waters.” (Dread Central)

“Never has something so scary been so much fun.” (Dark Moon Digest)

What listeners say about A House at the Bottom of a Lake

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Mediocre

I thought it was a little boring although the author was creative with the way he brought life into the house. I just thought the climax of the story was going to be better. I do enjoy several books from this author but this one was not one of my top.

2 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Not good at all...

The mindless, idiot protagonists are so frustratingly stupid with their lack of any type of awareness or basic survival instinct. it's really distracting. Decision after decision they react like no realistic teenager ever would, and it made me begin rooting for the damn house.
The premise and set up was interesting, but I can't stand when a plot must get driven along by character stupidity, and this story has that-- over and over again.
I loved everything about Bird Box... but THIS one? Let's just say not my fave...

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars

Great read, great experience...

So I just read this book. One sitting, straight through. It's marketed as a horror novel but it really isn't. For one thing, it's not really a novel. It's more of a long novella. I also wouldn't classify it as horror. It does have some horror elements but they're very much on the back-burner of this story. That said, I love this book. In fact, this might be my favorite I've read so far this year. It's a story of two inexperienced (and very awkward) seventeen-year-olds who decide to go canoeing for their first date. James, the male protagonist, knows of a secret lake beyond the publicly recognized lake that would be very private for the two of them to get to know each other. Once there, they find a third, smaller lake (which James' uncle describes is more like a swamp--"ugly") and at the bottom of said lake is a very large, two-story house...and it is fully furnished. As they swim deeper into the lake, deeper into the house, and deeper in love, the house reveals the truth of young love. The whole story is a metaphor, really, and it's done beautifully. I would give it 5/5 stars but I can't. The story runs literally just a couple pages too long that hinders the story in my opinion so I have to knock it down to 4/5...maybe 4.5 out of 5.

2 people found this helpful

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just don't read it

is just.. I hated it.. no real story.. I love the author but not this book

1 person found this helpful

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Best book from Josh

This has been the best book from Mr. Malerman. I have now read all books and this is by far the best one. I hope a movie will be considered.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars

quick interesting read

This book was more mysterious than super scary. However, the way it is written, I actually enjoyed reading this book. It's not super complicated, instead it was easy to understand. I never read something like this, but I liked the author's writing style. Every chapters makes you want to read more and more. The ending left me in shock and utmost curiosity. I wish it has a part 2 or something, but overall would recommend anyone to read it because it short and enjoyable. Lastly, the narrators were really good.

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Great story. light atmospheric horror

great coming of age story. really well written. great intrigue and atmospheric horror. overall light on horror elements- they really take a back seat for 90% of the story but the rest of the story is really good too so its ok.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Writing is great but payoff maybe a little murky

I first learned of this cause I saw a film is being adapted and I loved the premise. The writing is top notch but the payoff of the story might be too "mysterious twilight zone" than I would like.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Had me hooked right up until the last minutes

This book was well crafted overall. A solid build up in story. Character development was weak though and I never felt like I knew the two main characters any better than I knew the uncle who appeared three times at most. But the mystery had me wondering where this was going. Ten minutes or so from the end we find out some answers, or something close to a resolution. And then it keeps going, trying too hard to tie it together, to come up with answers or a direction of where it was going. And then that ending…. What the heck was that?! Those last minutes were pointlessly drawn out and added nothing of value, left me feeling let down right when I thought there was going to be some big reveal. Terrible ending that just leaves you wondering if the whole listen was even worth it. Good narrators overall, the James character stronger than the Amelia one who sounded too breathy and piney at times.