The Little Stranger was a disturbing book, really well written, as a book like this needs to be if it's to be believable. It was creepy, and possibly a ghost story, although that's certainly open to interpretation.
The book is loaded with psychological suspense. There's very little action on the physical plane (no faces popping out of the wall, car chases, etc.) Just a group of psychologically vulnerable people profoundly affected by something they can't see or truly classify. Is it a ghost? A possession of some kind? Or are they being pushed towards madness and a spiraling decline by malevolent but corporeal forces? Or could it be a form of hysteria or delusion taking hold in a group of people unable to cope with a changing world? The reader isn't sure what the characters really hear and see, and what they just imagine once the paranoia has taken hold.
I found the book hard to pigeonhole - whether to put it in the mystery/suspense category, or the paranormal one. I do know that after I finished it, I went around the house and closed all the windows I had open to the night air.
Eerie book. Brings to mind Shirley Jacksons "The Haunting of Hell House". Madness,obsession, strange unexplained goings on. While reading this book, you catch an undercurrent of something not quite right, something evil. A very good read for a stormy night, if you don't want to sleep.
Eh this is the first book by her that I have read and it took me over a month to finish. To me it moved too slow and although I did understand the ending I still didn't like it. There was a great build up but no boom. I don't think I will read any of her other novels.
I have read all but one of Sarah Waters books and this by far was the worst of the lot. I did not like the ending and the book was overall blah!
Delightfully creepy and gothic. It's been weeks since I finished this and I still find myself wondering if the "haunting" was just a case of mental illness or actual paranormal activity. I couldn't tear myself away from this book. This novel has been compared to the writings of Shirley Jackson, and I agree. If you enjoyed Jackson's "We Have Always Lived in a Castle" or "The Haunting of Hill House" you will enjoy this book.
A five star book by any other author, this read was marred by a predictable storyline. Perhaps Sarah Waters has spoiled us with Fingersmith and The Night Watch, both written in a lush style that envelops the reader, and yet filled with twists and turns throughout the storyline. I kept waiting for something unexpected. A c+ effort from Ms. Waters. This is good for other authors. I expect better from you.
I liked this book overall but it took a long time to really get into the story...about 80 to 100 pages. It didn't start out as a ghost story at all and took a long time to build its characters. The ending did make me think....what really did happen??? You have to make your own conclusion. It will keep you thinking about it.
This was an AMAZING book.
Simply, those who did not like the ending...did not understand it.
This is a first rate ghost story! Don't be fooled! Waters has done it again!!
I enjoyed this book from the beginning because of Simon Vances voice, a narrator I have been enthralled by on several books. I became captivated by the story because of Sarah Waters nuanced take on a gothic-style ghost story. In fact, if I did not know from the beginning this was a ghost story, this tale would have been a historical fiction in my mental categorization for nearly all of the book.
This book kept me riveted during my commute and on days when I didnt commute, I often thought of reasons to run a few errands just so I would have time and opportunity for this book. I truly enjoyed the slow buildup of the mystery; were all the unfortunate and abnormal incidents at Hundreds Hall due to some paranormal force or aberrant human behavior? This book kept me guessing to nearly the end. I also liked how there was some ambivalency to the ending, leaving it up to the reader to decide one way or the other. In short, this book made me think, and we all know I like a good think.
Like James' 'The Turn of the Screw,' of which it is highly reminiscent, this story had me creeped out in broad daylight. Excellent writing, 'unputdownable.' I immediately went out and bought another of Waters' novels.
An excellent Gothic style thriller, evocative of a time long ago and the issues with class system in England. The house is an almost fully developed character inciting lust, envy and desire in all except those who live there. I highly recommend The Little Stranger.
This is the second Waters novel I've read, and I don't think I am jumping the gun by adding her to my "favorite authors" list. I am looking forward to reading her other works very much.
I'd give this book an extra star if I could. Seriously, I have not one complaint or criticism - this is just a gorgeously crafted novel. It may very well be the finest 'ghost' story ever written.
Waters' The Little Stranger is far longer than necessary and too slow to get started and build up to climax. It is not the page-turner or suspenseful must-read the reviews promise. While the author's writing is excellent, it can't carry a slow story and I don't recommend the book. Tipping the Velvet and Fingersmith, while far different subject matters are infinitely better reads.
This story is a ghost story surrounded by a victorian romance. Has some strong psychological/paranormal influence, but for the most part it just didn't grab me like I would have liked. I wish there had been some "wow" twist at the end, but it just kind of melted away to the last sentence.
I just couldn't get into this book. I read the first five chapters and stopped. It was supposed to be a "page turner" but I really lost interest.
Although I enjoyed the writing style, and I never thought about abandoning the read, I can't quite give it a higher recommendation. It's too long, and as I read through pages of details that could have been eliminated (sort of like most of Stephen King's books), I grew less interested in it. Afterwards I am not quite sure there is a satisfying "twist" in there, either. If you are looking for a more straight-forward tale of the supernatural you'll find one in Dorothy MacArdle's The Uninvited.
Okay, but didn't really go anywhere. I was disappointed.
I had already read this book. I ordered it because I wanted it to put on my "to keep" bookshelf!