We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access.
 >   > 
The Ghost Writer | [John Harwood]

The Ghost Writer

In this tantalizing tale of Victorian ghost stories and family secrets, timid, solitary librarian Gerard Freeman lives for just two things: his elusive pen pal Alice and a story he found hidden in his mother's drawer years ago. Written by his great-grandmother Viola, it hints at his mother's role in a sinister crime. As he discovers more of Viola's chilling tales, he realizes that they might hold the key to finding Alice and unveiling his family's mystery - or will they bring about his untimely death, as they seem to foretell?
Regular Price:$23.07
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Your Likes make Audible better!

'Likes' are shared on Facebook and Audible.com. We use your 'likes' to improve Audible.com for all our listeners.

You can turn off Audible.com sharing from your Account Details page.

OK

Publisher's Summary

In this tantalizing tale of Victorian ghost stories and family secrets, timid, solitary librarian Gerard Freeman lives for just two things: his elusive pen pal Alice and a story he found hidden in his mother's drawer years ago.

Written by his great-grandmother Viola, it hints at his mother's role in a sinister crime. As he discovers more of Viola's chilling tales, he realizes that they might hold the key to finding Alice and unveiling his family's mystery - or will they bring about his untimely death, as they seem to foretell?

Harwood's astonishing, assured debut shows us just how dangerous family skeletons - and stories - can be.

©2013 John Harwood; ©2013 Blackstone Audiobooks

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (46 )
5 star
 (15)
4 star
 (18)
3 star
 (7)
2 star
 (4)
1 star
 (2)
Overall
3.7 (45 )
5 star
 (12)
4 star
 (17)
3 star
 (9)
2 star
 (5)
1 star
 (2)
Story
4.4 (44 )
5 star
 (29)
4 star
 (8)
3 star
 (5)
2 star
 (1)
1 star
 (1)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Die Falknerin 09-12-14 Member Since 2008

    Painter, musician, bibliophile...

    HELPFUL VOTES
    408
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    613
    136
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    32
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A modern master of the Gothic"

    In 2004, I took "The Ghost Writer" on a long, dreaded flight. By the time the plane landed, I knew I would be reading everything Harwood published for the rest of my life.

    Listening to Simon Vance's performance was such a treat. It's like when you listen to a piece of music and love it on an emotional level, then listen again to find the deeper structure and beauty. "The Ghost Writer" is all the more impressive ten years after.

    Harwood plays fair and respects his reader. All the clues are there but he expects you to pay attention and think things through. His foreshadowing is subtle and well-timed. There is no dumping of information or meaningless backstory, and every scene contributes to the advancement of the plot. His writing is masterful, and as a poet, some of his imagery is arresting, but his prose never calls attention to itself. Add to that compelling characters and layers of intriguing mysteries waiting to be solved, and you've got a writer worth reading every time.

    In a world of overwritten, self-conscious twaddle we are told is "literature," modern masters like Harwood shine all the more brightly. He provides everything I read fiction for and I hope he will continue to write novels for many years to come.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rebecca Livaudais New Orleans, LA 04-01-14
    Rebecca Livaudais New Orleans, LA 04-01-14 Listener Since 2010

    Beckyliv

    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    56
    8
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Had me guessing until the very end"
    What did you love best about The Ghost Writer?

    A unique twist on the classic genre.


    Any additional comments?

    This is a great story. Interesting characters and great twist at the end.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alicia K. Russell 02-16-14 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    43
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    70
    6
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    5
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Spellbinding... left something to be be desired."

    There was so much about this novel that I absolutely loved. I spent most of the novel awestruck at the well entangled composition. Like many other reviews, the last chapter left me feeling incomplete. I read and reread it and finally drew my own conclusions. The ending didn't by any means ruin the rest of this spellbinding novel. I would still highly recommend it.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Diane Louisville, KY, United States 10-20-14
    Diane Louisville, KY, United States 10-20-14 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    500
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    202
    105
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    88
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Ghostly Cornucopia"

    If you're looking for a good ghost story for the Halloween season, this one is a good bet. Allusions to creepy literary spinsters—Henry James's Miss Jessel and Dickens's Miss Havisham—create the atmosphere for this gothic suspense novel.

    The protagonist grows up in Australia with a mother who refuses to speak about the details of her childhood in England. As he grows older, he becomes increasingly curious about his mother's reasons for leaving England and her reluctance to talk about her past. He returns to England and begins to piece together what might have happened, discovering short ghost stories written by his great-grandmother, Viola. These wonderfully spooky tales, filled with supernatural occurrences and séances, are interwoven into the main narrative and offer tantalizing clues about the family's history.

    The narrative can get a bit confusing at times, as we jump between Viola's stories and the protagonist's life, something that probably is a bit more of a challenge in the audio format. One must pay close attention to keep the characters straight or be prepared to rewind in order to keep track of the story--I had to rewind several times but actually welcomed the chance to do so because I really didn't want the book to end. The ending makes perfect sense but you really have to think about it. Happy hauntings!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Holly Mcconnell 01-24-14

    holly

    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    17
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "It's not that hard, people."
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Ghost Writer to be better than the print version?

    I rarely write reviews but wanted to weak up fr this beautifully written and actually suspenseful book regarding the ending. Anyone who simply pays attention, lets the book happen and doesn't have expectations of their own will understand the ending. Honesty, anyone who just pays attention will. I almost didn't buy this book because of the reviews and amI glad I chose to ignore them.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Ghost Writer?

    Inside the house.


    Have you listened to any of Simon Vance’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Yes and he's wonderful as usual.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes!


    4 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    twoseagreeneyes 07-13-14 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    7
    7
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Good read with puzzling ending"
    What made the experience of listening to The Ghost Writer the most enjoyable?

    The story within a story (and within a story)


    Have you listened to any of Simon Vance’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Simon Vance does an excellent job in this narration and in all others I have heard from him.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Toward the end, yes


    Any additional comments?

    Living a very solitary life with his overly anxious mother, Gerard Freeman’s only reason for getting up each day is his pen friend Alice. They share everything from the mundane to the mysteries and secrets that surround Gerard’s mothers past.

    Gerard finds his great-grandmother Viola’s ghostly manuscripts and they take him down a shadowy path leading to a dreadfully real crime. Gerard’s passionate struggle to uncover the truth puts him in mortal danger and may just cost him his chance to be with Alice.

    When I first began The Ghost Writer, I found it interesting, but I wasn’t awestruck, I just kept waiting for “something to happen”; for a while I thought it never would, but slowly that changed and I was drawn into the intricate account of Gerard Freeman’s life. One thing that really impressed me was the author’s ability to tell a story within a story, in fact at one point a story within a story within a story. To keep the reader engrossed in a tale and then bring them back to be just as engrossed in the overall tale takes an admirable skill, in my opinion. With that being said, the ending of the book left me puzzled and confused. That part is frustrating.

    Simon Vance narrates and does a superb job. I have always enjoyed his narration and some of the accents he does makes me forget that it is he alone narrating. The characters come so much to life it also makes me wonder what his real voice is like and where he originates from.

    I give this one 4 stars (Which means a very good book. I enjoyed it, perhaps even had a hard time "putting it down". I would recommend this book to others.)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-6 of 6 results
Sort by:
  • barjil
    BEMBRIDGE, United Kingdom
    7/7/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Disappointing"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    I was so looking forward to this book, having loved 'The Asylum'. But I found 'The Ghost Writer' almost impossible to finish with its extraordinary mixture of gothic fantasy and supposedly real life. I plodded on till the end because I felt that the whole thing must eventually come together and I suppose in a way it did, but I was left feeling it had been a total waste of time. I certainly wouldn't recommend it to anyone.


    What will your next listen be?

    'The Killer Next Door'!


    What does Simon Vance bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

    Simon Vance is an excellent reader but I think that even his skill couldn't save the book; maybe it worked better on the page


    Do you think The Ghost Writer needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    NO! See above.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • M.D Odell
    London, UK
    7/7/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A complex and frightening little chiller"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Because it does what horror should do. It is scary, chilling and effortlessly gothic.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The narrator probably. A relatable narrator who manages to tell a great ghost story while still having great character is something even M.R James struggled with on occasion.


    What about Simon Vance’s performance did you like?

    His accent is a touch odd at first, but then as the book goes on you realise just how versatile a performer he is, bringing chills and a unique perspective on each character.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The ending, and the way each of the ghost stories played out. But a good horror book is measured by how well it pulls off it's big 'twist'. You may think you see this one coming, but you don't. You REALLY don't.


    Any additional comments?

    It's a great slide of modern gothic with ingeniously intertwined stories. The epilogue is perhaps more abrupt than I would like, but this is a skilfully written and frightening novel.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-2 of 2 results

    There are no listener reviews for this title yet.

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank You

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.