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Paperback The Little Stranger Book

ISBN: 1594484465

ISBN13: 9781594484469

The Little Stranger

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Book Overview

Soon to be a major motion picture--releasing August 31 in the US--the nationally bestselling and chillingly rendered ghost story--"several sleepless nights are guaranteed" (Stephen King, Entertainment... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

7 ratings

Good condition!

Looks great can’t wait to read it!

very slow

the book is very slow to get going and the details of each thing are a bit much. to be honest i didn't finish reading the book

Compelling psychological novel of class and change

Half way through this book, about midnight last night, I found myself amazed by the author's skill in keeping me compulsively reading EVEN THOUGH NOTHING WAS HAPPENING. This is smart and polished writing. The Little Stranger is incredibly evocative, well researched, insightful - a great psychological study and sociological analysis in the skin of a ghost story. Publishers these days aim to please book groups with questions for discussion at the end - the last book I read was Sarah's Key, a pleasant, unchallenging read that hardly needed a key for discussion. I'm not sure what there would be to discuss there; it's that straightforward. Not so for The Little Stranger. This book cries out for a readers' key, beginning with: Is this a ghost story? Is it a book about politics? Psychology? Is the narrator reliable? Who is `the little stranger'? Is that a good title for the book? Why `stranger'? Did Caroline figure out the truth, in the book in her father's library? How is the party a turning point? Is the last line of the book key? Is it possible that our subconscious can do evil - or good - in the world? Subconscious implies that we're not aware of it, that it's not `on purpose,' right? Are we responsible for our unconsciousness? What makes a book scary? There are two paranormal explanations for what is happening at the house. Which is scarier? Were there sympathetic aspects to the disappearing class system with its strict class divisions? Were the Ayres sympathetic characters? What aspects of class division are still with us? Why did Waters begin her book with Faraday's visit to Hundreds Hall as a boy? Was what he did as a boy a foreshadowing?

Satisfying and thought provoking thriller! Would make a great movie!

I was prompted to read this book after seeing a review in my local paper and I am so glad I did. The author does a brilliant job of setting this story up although I wondered almost half way through the book if it were really a "ghost story". This psychological thriller really grabs you in the middle of the story and I confess that I couldn't put it down afterwards. Once I finished the book everything from the beginning to the end of the story suddenly made perfect sense-even though at the end you are left to ponder what really happened at Hundreds Hall and who and "what" was really responsible. This is one of the most intelligently written and satisfying books I have ever read. When I finished this a few days ago-around 1am- I confess I was a little spooked and had to talk myself into going down to my basement to finish a chore. I am still thinking about this book--I want to read it again-- Sarah Waters is a gifted author!

A Super Haunted House Story

This is a story told by a poor boy who made good, sort of. As a boy Dr. Faraday's mother took him out to the Great Georgian house where she worked. Faraday was blown away by how the better half lived. The house was a mansion called The Hundreds. Faraday has grown up, he's become a doctor and is called out to the Hundreds to treat an ailing maid. The girl is fourteen and she was faking her illness. The doctor doesn't tell and we get the impression this doctor/narrator is a good guy who wouldn't betray a confidence. We are to learn differently as the story progresses. While out at the house he meets the elderly matriarch Mrs. Ayres and her children Roddy and Caroline. Roddy has been injured in the Great War and Dr. Faraday offers to treat him for free. And free is the important word here, because the family Ayres have lost their money and the house is crumbling down around them. It's all they can do to keep up appearances. During a house party Caroline's docile dog Gyp virtually tears the face off a young house guest and has to be put to sleep to avoid a lawsuit. Roddy starts seeing and hearing things, confides to Dr. Faraday. Faraday promises to keep Roddy's secret, then promptly tells and has him committed and strangely Roddy would rather be locked away than stay in that house. That alone should have been a clue to the other residents. And there you have the beginning of this haunting tale, a story I couldn't let out of my grip till I finished. Sarah Waters has turned out the kind of haunted house story that I used to love to read when I was little. It's like she took a delicious little kid's ghost story and turned it into one for grownups. This is a creepy tale in a lot of ways, good ways. I felt sorry for the people affected and I loved the ending. If you're not afraid of things that go bump in the night, read this book and you will be.

Atmospheric Gothic tale

"The Little Stranger" marks a departure for novelist Sarah Waters, who has also written works like "Affinity" and "Tipping the Velvet" which had lesbian themes in them. "The Little Stranger" does not have such themes, instead it is a well-constructed, beautifully-written Gothic tale that focuses on a crumbling great house in the English countryside. It is post WW II in Britain, and the war has wrought a lot of changes in society - many aristocratic and rich families have seen a decline in their fortunes, and one such family is the Ayers' family - Mrs Ayres is a dignified middle-aged woman who despite her rather impoverished circumstances still holds on to an old way of life, her 27-year-old daughter Caroline is an unattractive spinster who is content to traipse about the countryside in plain clothes with her well-loved dog Gyp, and her 24-year-old brother Roderick is a battle-scarred war vet who reluctantly finds himself taking over Hundreds Hall, the family estate. Quite by accident, our narrator, Dr Faraday finds himself getting acquainted with the family when he is called in to treat the family's maid, 14-year-old Betty, who is prone to fanciful thoughts and dreams up phantom ailments. Dr Faraday finds himself drawn to the Ayres' not only because his mother was once a nursery maid at Hundreds, but also because he has not outgrown his childhood fascination with the crumbling manor. When Roderick begins to exhibit strange behavior, and starts rambling about poltergeist-like activity in the house, Dr Faraday's initial cynicism is put to the test by the unfolding of more peculiar and malevolent events at the house. This is not a traditional horror story, but more of a psychological thriller that takes its time unfolding [about a hundred pages into the book in fact], and the suspense builds up slowly yet surely, rewarding patient readers with a complex novel that is populated with well-delineated characters. It would be doing this book disservice if it were to be labelled as purely a tale of the supernatural, for it is much more than that - the book also explores class distinctions as the Ayres' represent an upper class family fallen on hard times, yet still cling on to the old way of life, keeping a maid for appearance's sake, and refusing to let go of the house, even as it drains the last ounces of their financial resources and physical strength. "The Little Stranger" is also about the dynamics of human relationships - of the complex ties between parent and children [Roderick laments that he has been a constant source of disappointment to his mother], the bonds between siblings, and of human yearnings [for social acceptance, affection etc]. This is not a wisp of a novel but a hefty read, yet I found myself compelled to finish it within two days. I'd rate this as my favorite of Sarah Waters' work because I happen to love highly atmospheric novels and "The Little Stranger" exceeds my expectations on that account. I'd also recommend works like

Great storytelling, suspenseful story

This is the third book I've read by Sarah Waters and the most gripping of the three. It is also the most mainstream, which hopefully will make it appealing to a broader audience as she is such a good author, she deserves to have her books read. This book is so tense I had a tough time putting it down. This particular book is a ghost story taking place shortly after World War II. The main character is a doctor named Faraday who tells the story from his point of view. He develops a friendship with the members of a family that were considered above his class when he was growing up. His mother worked for them as a nanny and did not paint a good picture of employment there. He knows them differently though, since he has more of a friendship with them than his mother did. He is ambivalent about them, sometimes seeing them as likable, sometimes as mean-spirited. The story of his relationship with them is intertwined with another story about the strange and horrible events that occur at the house during a period of time. I'm not much for ghost stories, and this book is good because the "ghostly" events are all explainable in more rational ways so it is all very believable. Ms. Waters does a great job of creating very realistic characters. I couldn't find a lot of sympathy for any of them, but I don't believe Ms. Waters intended for us to like them. The doctor can't seem to find his place in life and struggles with his role with a fading aristocracy that his family use to serve. The Ayres family is clinging to a more glorious past, on the other hand, and can't accept that they are no longer looked up to by the locals. Ms. Waters develops the story in a way that pulls the reader along, wanting them to know just a little more, just a little more, creating great tension as the book progresses. This book is really a great read!

The Little Stranger Mentions in Our Blog

The Little Stranger in August Book-to-Screen Releases You'll Want to See AND Read!
August Book-to-Screen Releases You'll Want to See AND Read!
Published by Beth Clark • August 01, 2018

The six book adaptations being released on the big screen this month are crazy rich with humor, suspense, intrigue, characters you feel like you know (or want to!), and things that make your heart happy. Naturally, you'll want to read the books if you haven't before! (Or re-read them if you have, but it's been a while.)

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