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Item - The Mystery of Chimney Rock

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(Third printing)
(Third printing)
(Third printing)
(Early printing)
(Eighth printing)
(Book fair edition)
(Eleventh printing (Australian))
(Fifteenth printing)
(Eighteenth printing)
(Retitled edition, no cover price)
(Retitled edition, with banner)
(Twenty-fifth printing)
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Combined Summary

Series: Choose Your Own Adventure (1979-1998) — no. 5
Alternate Title: The Curse of the Haunted Mansion (reissue)
Contained In: Choose Your Own Adventure Box Set (1-6) (Collection)
Choose Your Own Adventure Box Set 1 (1-5) (Collection)
Translated Into: Bhūt baserā (Urdu)
A casa mal-assombrada (Portuguese)
Kara Şato'nun esrarı (Turkish)
La Malédiction de la tour (French)
El misteri de Chimney Rock (Catalan)
El misterio de Chimney Rock (Spanish)
El misterio de la casa de piedra (Spanish)
Il mistero di Chimney Rock (Italian)
Rahasia rumah terkutuk (Indonesian)
Rahasia rumah terkutuk (Indonesian)
Sumpahan vila berhantu (Malay)
Tayna zabroshennogo zamka [Тайна заброшенного замка] (Russian)
Yuurei yashiki no tanken [ゆうれい屋敷の探検] (Japanese)
Authors: Granger, Paul (pseudonym used by Hedin, Don) (First printing; Hardcover edition; Book fair edition; Early printing; Fifteenth printing; Eleventh printing (Australian); Third printing; Eighth printing; Eighteenth printing)
Packard, Edward
Illustrators: Devaud, Jacques (Retitled edition, no cover price - cover; Retitled edition, with banner - cover; Twenty-fifth printing - cover)
Granger, Paul (pseudonym used by Hedin, Don) (Retitled edition, no cover price - interior; Retitled edition, with banner - interior; Twenty-fifth printing - interior)
Dates: January, 1980 (First printing)
April, 1980 (Third printing)
April, 1981 (Eighth printing)
November, 1981 (Eleventh printing (Australian))
November, 1982 (Fifteenth printing)
June, 1988 (Hardcover edition)
ISBNs: 0553128183 / 9780553128185 (Third printing)
0553140019 / 9780553140019 (Early printing, Eighth printing)
0553163744 / 9780553163742 (Book fair edition)
0553209612 / 9780553209617 (Eleventh printing (Australian))
0553231847 / 9780553231847 (Fifteenth printing, Eighteenth printing)
0553274198 / 9780553274196 (Retitled edition, no cover price, Retitled edition, with banner, Twenty-fifth printing)
0942545036 / 9780942545036 (Hardcover edition)
Publisher: Hardcover edition: Grey Castle Press -- United States
Length: 121 pages
Number of Endings: 36 (First printing, Eighth printing, Book fair edition, Eleventh printing (Australian), Fifteenth printing, Eighteenth printing, Retitled edition, no cover price, Retitled edition, with banner, Twenty-fifth printing, Hardcover edition)
36 (erroneously listed as 40 on this edition) (Third printing, Early printing)
Cover Price: US$3.25 (Twenty-fifth printing)
User Summary: While visiting your cousins Michael and Jane in Connecticut, you end up exploring a supposedly cursed house which is said to be occupied only by the cat of a dead woman.
amesgames's Thoughts:

This CYOA is badly written and squarely aimed at seven year olds. The titular mystery isn't intriguing, the plot architecture is sloppy, and path determination is far too random, even for a CYOA. There are good books in the original CYOA series, but Chimney Rock isn't one of them.

More reviews by amesgames

Aussiesmurf's Thoughts:

This book scared the living daylights out of me as a child, which I suppose was the idea.

The book was notable for having its own crazy dream-logic - although most of the events fall down when subjected to serious scrutiny, when you're 'in the story' they seem perfectly horrible and possible. Particularly creepy were the huge black cat and the eternal punishment for breaking the old lady's china. Give this one to your ten-year-old if you want her to have nightmares!

More reviews by Aussiesmurf

DavidSky's Thoughts:

I thought this was a slightly below average CYOA book, with some very similar, repetitive endings, and an underdeveloped plot that's somewhat claustrophobic. There were some neat, creepy endings, but most of the endings were negative and there were no truly happy endings that felt satisfying. Choices seemed arbitrary, although sometimes this made things unpredictable and creepy in a good way. A few choices led to pages right next to each other, ruining any surprise element. You can see my map for this book here.

More reviews by DavidSky

Demian's Thoughts:

This is a good horrific adventure; it's very strange at times and has a slightly creepy atmosphere (which, of course, is desirable).

More reviews by Demian

Enigmatic Synergy's Thoughts:

This was a nice, little book. Somewhat suspenseful and genuinely creepy at times, this book provided an entertaining read. I think that less endings and more in-depth threads would have made the story a little better at times, but nonetheless I enjoyed this one for its atmospheric moments.

More reviews by Enigmatic Synergy

Fireguard's Thoughts:

While turned off by how creepy the book was when I was younger, now I see this as one of the better early CYOA books. For a book aimed at children ten and under it's pretty scary, and the number of unfavorable endings shows just how powerful the evil of Chimney Rock is. Give it a look.

More reviews by Fireguard

Guillermo's Thoughts:

The Mystery of Chimney Rock by Edward Packard is probably the first horror gamebook ever published. I have to join in the chorus of praise for it - the book manages to build up a horror atmosphere quite well. Chimney Rock essentially laid the foundations for later gamebooks in the horror genre. I'm not sure what one of the previous reviewers means by saying that there are no particularly happy endings - the book has many endings where you manage to escape with your life (which is the basic goal of a book like this) as well as one or two where you can both escape *and* become rich. What exactly is unhappy about that?

While Chimney Rock is a classic, it is also far from perfect. Its flaws can mostly be attributed to the author being inexperienced in writing at the time. Since the plot is very barebones, the different branching paths repeat the same plot details over and over. This makes repeated play a bit tiresome. The book also has many continuity errors. In spite of these flaws, it is a great read. Recommended.

More reviews by Guillermo

hadlee73's Thoughts:

The Mystery of Chimney Rock is based around an age-old premise used in several books and films, especially those designed for children's cautionary tales. You take on the role of a young person who is staying with cousins who is dared to enter an old mansion named Chimney Rock, which the local townsfolk all say is cursed. You either have the option of accepting the dare or letting your friend Jane do it, and from there things spiral very quickly.

This book is actually quite interesting as not only is it genuinely creepy in parts, but there are also some topics portrayed that some writers of childrens books might steer away from these days; e.g. feeding drugged food to children, kidnapping, murder, mind control, witchcraft (okay maybe that one is still used a lot in children's books!) and even frightening a person to death. All of these potential occurences (depending on the choices of the reader) revolve around the curse in the mansion and what it actually entails (which you can find out for yourself if you read it).

This is one of the books written by Edward Packard when he was still involved in writing Choose Your Own Adventure stories and, as a result, is again one of the better tales told in the series. Sadly this also means the book is unlikely to ever get a re-release by ChooseCo, though the book often pops up in different places second-hand. So this is another great interactive tale by Edward Packard, one of the true pioneers of the genre, and well worth the time of any reader who is entertained by such things. It is still entirely suitable for children (in my opinion, though I grew up with the uncensored Grimm's fairy tales!) and I still found it an entertaining read as an adult.

More reviews by hadlee73

KenJenningsJeopardy74's Thoughts:

In my mind, this book is sheer Brilliance! The story captured my mind like no other, pulling me into its grip and making me feel like I was in real danger. I still vividly recall the sense of foreboding at very specific times in the book, a sense which Edward Packard worked almost to perfection. This, to me, is the top entry in the series.

More reviews by KenJenningsJeopardy74

noonxnoon's Thoughts:

I enjoyed this book. There was quite a bit more depth to it then I had expected.

While I thought the owner/cat thing was a bit cheesy, for the target audience, it is quite sellable.

There were some odd loose ends about finding various others turned into a mouse... and how the various 'evil' powers seemed to be there some times and not others.

There are a variety of ways to get out... and it is a challenge to go in and find out about the house and then to exit the house without dying and winning the big prize.

While there are several endings that you escape but isn't the 'big win,' I still found these enjoyable and more realistic.

While in the house, or about to go into the house, I could imagine being a little kid and what would I do in that situation... and once you are trapped inside that house, you only want to get out ASAP!

Overall, I found this enjoyable to read and very easy to put oneself in that situation about running off after breaking something, or sneaking in and getting caught by various people inside, etc.

Certainly one of the best in the CYOA series.

More reviews by noonxnoon

Waluigi Freak 99's Thoughts:

Maybe it's just because a haunted house can usually be relied upon for a decent story, but I liked this book. There is an originally creepy backstory behind the house that takes a few reads to figure out, the atmosphere stays spooky and mysterious, and the writing, for the most part, is above average. The only points that could possibly go against this book is that the story gets a bit choppy when plot paths mesh together, and the backstory could have been developed a bit more. But, you should be able to overlook these slight problems enough for a memorable experience. On a different note, this book contains Gilliam Prem, who also appears in Who Killed Harlowe Thrombey?

More reviews by Waluigi Freak 99

yunakitty's Thoughts:

Very spooky little book. I still remember being haunted by the not-really ending where you get "The End" and then at the bottom of the page you have the choice to look back at the house. Of course I chose it, and it's a scream running across a page, then another "The End." Very effective at terrifying an eight year old! I've reread this book a few times. Love it. There are a lot of different paths, and some of them do meet back up and cross each other. There's a touch of the supernatural, but it's done well. I'll never forget Melissa the cat. Creepy! A definite must read.

More reviews by yunakitty

Special Thanks:Thanks to Ken G. for the book fair edition and reissue cover scans; thanks to B. Banzai for the trivia stripe reissue cover scan.
Users Who Own This Item: aline, Andys80s, Ardennes, Arkadia, Auric (14th printing; 17th printing), auximenes, BatHombre, benji2, bigcobra, bobthefunny, bookwormjeff, breity (16340-X Bantam [Special Book Fair Edition]), BuraddoRun, Chanticrow, ChrisD, Crazyscotsman, CSquared, Cyan, c_wickham, Darth Rabbitt, datastorm, dave2002a, dblizzard72, Demian (fifteenth printing), drereichdude (original), Eamonn McCusker, Ed (original version), EegahInc, Egghead Nurse, exaquint (1st book club, 2nd, 4th troll, 5th, 9th), firefoxpdm, fraze, fushek, Game Master, Gamebook, Garrick Muttley, Gartax, gergsnickle, girtablilu, Grifter, Gurvo, hadlee73, hoops4ever, horrorbusiness, Icedlake, jcruelty, jdreller, jeff3333, Jennifer, jeremydouglass, jharvey79, Jordashebasics, JoshW, katzcollection, KenJenningsJeopardy74, killagarilla, kinderstef, KJB, kleme (Print & PDF), knginatl (orig. 36 & 40 endings, "book fair", “book club”, HB '87 Grey Castle, '89 reissue w/sweepstakes, '89 reissue w/o sweepstakes), Lambchop ( ), LReyomeXX (Great adventure. I have been to every ending more then once!), Lullyph, MacbthPSW, Madeye, marcfonline, marnaudo, MasterChief, mattender, mcd (white spine), Mikeysbookz, mlvoss, nelsondesign, NEMO (14th. Printing and 20th), nicolau (Spanish ed. Timun Mas in Catalan), Nomad, noonxnoon, nordik (Chimney Rock), novelist1982, ntar (original cover), Oberonbombadil (Original US 14th), odo_ital, outspaced, Pessimeister (17th printing), plowboy, Pseudo_Intellectual, qazplm (original), Radical347, rolipo26 (V1 (7th, 9th - 1,50, 13th printing - 1,75), Reissue (21st - 2,50 - Trivia, 21st - 2,50 - Trivia - Boxset (1-5), 25th printing - 3,25)), RonaldFrobnitz, Ronie1976, rtaylor352, Ryuran333, Saltshaker2112, Seizure, SeventhSon, SherlockHolmes, skeleton, spragmatic, Stockton, stonemason, strawberry_brite, SuperAM2, ThaRid, TheHud, theyodaman (CYOA 14th printing), ThisIslandEarth, toadhjo, toxtethogradyworlds, turquoise, twar, Von Scotty, waktool (US 3rd; AU 11th; US 14th; US 15th; US 16th; US 21st [Reissue]; US 24th [Reissue]), Waluigi Freak 99, Yalius, yunakitty, zat
Users Who Want This Item: Aldrin23, barryattles, damieng, exaquint (1.50 40 endings, 1.75 book fair, 1.95, 21st 2.50 reissue w/banner, no price reissue w/o banner), Ffghtermedic, gbherrick, janh, Mr ?, NEMO (Retitled ), Nym90, stevesterling, stock, The Mystery Squad fan, ZacharyParker
Users with Extra Copies: Cyan
Demian - 18th printing; tape-peeling-related damage to front cover
exaquint - text spine book club
kinderstef - x 2
Lambchop - Very battered copy in poor shape. no back cover.
Von Scotty

Known Editions

First printing
Third printing
Early printing
Eighth printing
Book fair edition
Eleventh printing (Australian)
Fifteenth printing
Eighteenth printing
Retitled edition, no cover price
Retitled edition, with banner
Twenty-fifth printing
Hardcover edition

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