1786, Jerusalem College, Cambridge. The ghost of Sylvia Whichcote is rumoured to be haunting Jerusalem, since disturbed fellow-commoner, Frank Oldershaw, claims to have seen the dead woman prowling the grounds.
Desperate to salvage her son’s reputation, Lady Anne Oldershaw employs John Holdsworth, author of The Anatomy of Ghosts a stinging account of why ghosts are mere delusion to investigate. But his arrival in Cambridge disrupts an uneasy status quo as he glimpses a world of privilege and abuse.
And when Holdsworth finds himself haunted not only by the ghost of his dead wife, Maria, but also Elinor, the very-much-alive Master’s wife his fate is sealed.
©2010 Lydmouth Ltd (P)2010 BBC Audiobooks Ltd
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"Good book, brilliantly read."
I'm a great fan of Andrew Taylor and although his writing varies from book to book i've never been disappointed and this book proves no exception. Taylor is exceptional at bringing to life the period he is is writing about whether it be 1950's/60's or as in this case the late 18th Century. The story is further enhanced by the excellent narration of John Telfer. I wouldn't hesitate to recomend this book, in fact i'm going to buy it in paperback for my sisters birthday.
"An excellent listen"
This is vintage Andrew Taylor, with well-drawn characters and a satisfying plot. I felt totally engrossed by the 18th century background (the sights, sounds, smells and topography of London and Cambridge). Taylor's meticulous historical research is evident on every page, and yet he never allows his learning to create a barrier between the 21st century reader and his absorbing story.
"The Anatomy of Ghosts"
I expected better from this book. Although the story is quite good it's predictable and there are a number of historical inaccuracies. The attempt at romance is sadly lacking. The characters stand out well but it certainly didn't leave me wanting to listen to it again.
"Bit of a pot boiler."
I found this novel interesting but flawed. The prose is better than average, and I'm sure the depiction of the historical era and events is based on some research, but the plot was a bit silly. I just couldn't believe the main plot; it seemed far too over the top. I'm sure there is some grounding in an historical event, but in the book, it seemed too much. I also got a bit irriated by the obsession with the 'carnal act' that the main characters had, it was unsublte and made me laugh at times, which was, I suspect, not the author's intention.
The main character is interesting, and his story line was the only thing of real depth and intelligence. I listened till the end, but will immediately delete the book from my ipod, rather than keep it to listen again at some point. so, in my opinion, worth a listen, if you are looking for a different type of detective novel, but with a silly plot that spoils a good idea. I read a lot of detective fiction, and the standard varies hugely, this is better than average, but yet again, women (some of them very young indeed, in fact not adults at all!) get some very bad treatment in this book. If Audible were to start an age suitability rating scheme, I would expect this book to have a 14+ rating, at the very least. If there was less gratuitous description and more subltly, then it would have been better. If you want a modern take on the Jane Austen era then the zombie version of Pride and Perjudice is far better!
"Ghosts are a mere delusion?"
A highly entertaining and atmospheric whodunit not without humour. This book for me had it all, scandal, betrayal, murder, a love story beautifully crafted giving an insight into the privelleged lifestyles of rich young men set against the poverty of the lower classes. This was all brought together by the brilliant narration of John Telfer. You will not be disappointed as the plot unravels. One of the best books I have listened to in a long time.
The combination of Andrew Taylor's brilliant writing and characterization, combined with John Telfer's sublime reading made this an absolute joy. I'm always glad of a book with whose characters I can fully engage, and I certainly could with this.
This was one of those books that I could not bear to hit the stop key on!
"Atmospheric and fascinating"
I became lost in another world whilst I was listening to this. I thoroughly enjoyed the landscape of the story with its Rembrandt-esque colours and richly drawn characters. It is dark, but not without humour, and John Telfer's excellent narration does justice to this gripping story. It is slow-paced, leisurely almost, in keeping with the period; you can almost hear the clop of hooves on wet cobblestones. More than a ghost story it is a peek at the lives of those cloistered in a place of learning in the late 18th century, their superstitions, ambitions and machinations. Absorbing.
"Enjoyable, but not his best"
I have read or listened to a couple of other Andrew Taylor novels. The characters here are believable and the historical setting is interesting.
I enjoyed the story but felt that it came to a rather hasty conclusion.
The narration is excellent.
"I enjoyed this book"
I really did enjoy this book, the characters were strong enough for me to like or dislike them as appropriate - and I 'cared' what happened to them.
The story line was very interesting, and held my attention - making me 'worry' about the ill intent of the malefactors.
This is my first 'Andrew Taylor' read - and I will look for others by this author.
"Mourning and melancholia"
Superbly crafted writing with a convincing sense of period. It had none of the careless linguistic anachronisms you get in some historical fiction.
Great Expectations. As in Dickens' classic, the hero's destiny lies in the hands of two rather enigmatic female characters, while he is surrounded by vividly depicted rogues and eccentrics.
I loved the ending. The spectral presence vanishing in the light of dawn.
Haunted by the future.
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