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
A unique twist on the classic genre.
This is a great story. Interesting characters and great twist at the end.
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.
The story within a story (and within a story)
Simon Vance does an excellent job in this narration and in all others I have heard from him.
Toward the end, yes
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.)
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.
Inside the house.
Yes and he's wonderful as usual.
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.
'The Killer Next Door'!
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
NO! See above.
"A complex and frightening little chiller"
Because it does what horror should do. It is scary, chilling and effortlessly gothic.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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