Liked It3 of 3 members found this review helpful
“From RA for All: http://raforall.blogspot.com/2010/02/what-im-reading-little-stranger.html
Didn’t Like It1 of 1 members found this review helpful
“This is about the most boring book I have ever tried to read. Nothing happens for a couple of hundred pages.... Dull. Dull. Dull.”see full review » see other reviews »
“This was a really well written, but extremely depressing story.
Dr Faraday returns to his childhood village as the local GP, just after the war. He is called out to a grand house that his mother used to be employed at. The house and family have fallen into a state of decline.
The Doctor becomes a close friend of the family and numerous troubles befall the family, all seemingly linked to the decaying house or something within it.
The characters are quite likable and you can't help feeling sympathy for them as things begin to go badly for them. It is slightly creepy, not overwhelmingly so but enough to keep it interesting.”
“Wonderful! Gothic ghost story set in (where else) England! I really enjoyed it. ”Sharon V wrote this review Thursday, November 14, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“It was ok...read it for book club. Kinda slow and boring. A little creepy as this old mansion was maybe haunted? ”Lori S wrote this review Tuesday, November 12, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“This is about the most boring book I have ever tried to read. Nothing happens for a couple of hundred pages.... Dull. Dull. Dull.”Dennis T wrote this review Wednesday, August 21, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“At its onset, this book reminded me of The Secret Garden. The large house is in decline, the gardens are overgrown with thistle, and the master of the house, Roderick, has a limp from a war wound. The narrator, Dr. Faraday, becomes a regular at the house and treats Roderick’s leg with electric current. The start of the book establishes the setting and characters with barely a hint of a ghost story beyond the dilapidated house and a fourteen year old maid who feels unsettled working there.
When the Ayres’ home, Hundreds Hall, is cleaned up for a social gathering for drinks with the new neighbors from London the story takes a turn. Roderick doesn’t appear at the party for mysterious health reasons. The old dog, Gyp, is spooked and bites the face of the new neighbor’s young daughter, Gillian. She drank at the party and attempted to smoke. Did she provoke the dog or did something else? Luckily, Dr. Faraday is there to stitch and mend her face.
From this point on the characters and Hundreds Hall begin a very subtle and gradual downward spiral. The story highlights post war struggles, how the Ayres family is trapped between the “old” ways and finding a way to financial keep their home. Land is sold and subdivisions pop up. The modern world encroaches upon them, and yet they reluctantly cling to their home, a “lovely monster . . . that needs to be fed all the time with money and hard work.”
The theme of holding on too long . . . to a house, to the grief over the loss of a child, the past and a previous way of life permeates the book. It was a slow (setting, atmosphere) and satisfying read. If you like Victorian ghost stories where the author pays close attention to detail, then you might want to give this book a try.”
“I'm not a big mystery reader but decided to read this on the recommendation of my librarian. It was interesting enough to make me read it but so slow that it never really picked up. There was no big pay-off or reveal so I was ultimately disappointed. Gothic. England. A wealthy family whose circmstances have been seriusly redced. A village doctor who gets embroiled with the family. Mysterious goings on...”Candelaria S wrote this review Saturday, May 4, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Do not go into "The Little Stranger" thinking you will get a straightforward story about frightening apparitions and disembodied voices, the kinds of in-your-face scares that most people look for in this type of story.. This is, much like Shirley Jackson's "The Haunting of Hill House" before it, a tale of psychological terror, one that picks away slowly and agonizingly at the sanity of its characters. Waters will pick at your imagination, stealing it well into the wee hours that you'll be reading.”Carol wrote this review Friday, March 22, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“a bit different from others - really frighteneing - possibly because there are many attempts by some characters to explain happenings rationally - as there would be. Too worried to read it at night but unable to put it down!”sue c wrote this review Thursday, January 31, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
I read this because it was recommended for those who love Downton Abbey (I do!) and ghost stories (ooh! me! me!). In the end, it was a long walk down a hallway to nowhere.
Imagine watching a horror movie and the main character is walking slowly down a dark corridor toward a mysterious door at the end. What's behind the door? The scary music starts up and you're on the edge of your seat with anticipation. Now imagine the character continues to walk toward that door for over an hour. After a while you don't give a damn what's behind the door and nothing could possibly be shocking enough to excuse the length of that slow build up. That's this book in a nutshell.
Plus the "what's behind the door" question wasn't really answered to my satisfaction. Some reviewers have said that they enjoyed the ambiguity of the book, and I can understand that. For me, though, the book lacked a "big reveal" or at least a payoff for the excruciatingly slow and lengthy build up.