• A House by the Sea

  • Winthrop House, Book 1
  • By: Ambrose Ibsen
  • Narrated by: James Foster
  • Length: 6 hrs and 53 mins
  • 4.1 out of 5 stars (455 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Something has always lived in Winthrop House.

After his book becomes a best seller, novelist Jack Ripley moves into a house on the edge of Cutler Harbor with his wife and two daughters. Nearly a century old, Winthrop House is newly-restored and boasts a gorgeous oceanfront view.

But everything is not what it seems.

Though picturesque, Jack learns that the house has been shunned for decades by the locals, owing to a number of mysterious disappearances and inexplicable deaths on the grounds.

The Ripleys begin to grapple with the property's vile reputation, learning more about its sordid history and experiencing strange things within its walls. What was once a dream home quickly becomes a nightmare for the family as they encounter the terrifying presence that has existed there since times immemorial.

A House By The Sea is a full-length novel of supernatural horror and suspense by Ambrose Ibsen.

©2016 Ambrose Ibsen (P)2016 Ambrose Ibsen

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What listeners say about A House by the Sea

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Pretty creepy

I like books that are scary enough to make me uncomfortable but that are not gruesome. This book is creepy enough but not gross in any way, sometimes the characters do things and make decisions that seem unadvisable,( like leaving their daughters alone in parts of the house even after they know its haunted)...however the book did not drag out too long, the characters were mostly likable, the narrator was not at all annoying. Overall I would give this 3.5 stars as a good book. If book 2 becomes available on audible I will listen.

17 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

The Haunting Of Winthrop House.

Jack and Darcy RIpley had moved from Sacramento, .Ca to Cleveland, Ohio to Cutler Maine, with their two daughters, Amy, fourteen and Abegaile, six. Today the Realtor was running low on houses and he slowed them a house, Winthrop House on Winthrop Road, by the sea that had been recently restored. He told them it was besutiful, but had a not too pleasing past. The people in town considered it haunted because of strange happenings reported by past occupants and reports of disappearances. Jack and Darcy didn't believe in ghost stories so he bought it, they moved in and began a new life by the sea. Jack had written a few books that hit the #1 on the list, Darcy had always wanted a Colonial house by the sea and now her dream was coming true. It was after lunch, Jack suggested they go check out the town and have dinner. In town everyone shunned away when they found out where the lived. Later that evening they stopped in at the towns only Itilian restaurant for dinner. After asking if they were just visiting? Darcy said no we Bought a house on Winthroup Road the waitress and restaurant customers stared and shuned them too. Hearing this a old man named Benjamin, a retired Lawyer, came over and introduced himself with a apology for the disturbance. Jack offered him a seat and asked if he had any knowledge as to the reception his family was receiving when their house was mentioned? Ben began his story. He said his Father told him their was something strange phenenom surrounding the land his house was built on. Both the Native Americans and Colonist wounln't bury their dead there. He said it was built before the Great Depression, but the mysteriousness began much eairler. Ben said during the constructing of the house the contractor discovered a large cavity while digging the foundation. They just filled it in, fortified it and built the house over it. He said after the market crashed in 1929, it was deserted and only occupied by drifters and hobos who seemed to vanish, never seen again. Other people seemed to die there under strange circumstance, but had terrified looks on their faces. The last ones to occupy the house in 1963 were Franklin and Roberta Standbar. They had a little girl vanish without a trace in 1963. Roberta moved into town, but Frank stayed there. Did Jack and Darcy find her dream house, start a new life, live happy ever after or was this their worst nightmare? This is a great horror keep you wanting to keep this audio book running. It is like a TV series that you have to watch more episodes because if you stop it keeps you hanging. It is not suitable for under teens. It will keep you up all night checking the closets, rooms and under the beds of the youngsters. Well written and narriated. Enjoy!

13 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Ghosts by the Sea!

Any additional comments?

I always love a good ghost book and this one takes the cake! Ambrose has this kind of supernatural horror nailed to the floor - he never disappoints. A great mix of mystery, spooks, fueled characters and a solid dose of generally fantastic writing. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a ghost story!

I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher.

9 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Original and Terrifying!

If you could sum up A House by the Sea in three words, what would they be?

Original, Terrifying and Unpredictable.

Who was your favorite character and why?

The Psychic. She's trying to help the family and the husband was being a predictable ass about it, even though in some ways he believed it as much as the others

What does James Foster bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

It's a million times more spooky listening to this man whisper the story right in your ear. He did a fantastic job.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

Believe in the Impossible

Any additional comments?

I'm a haunted house addict, but my one complaint of the genre is too many ghosts stories are predicable and not always scary. This book took me by surprise and the ending gave me chills! I'd like to see a sequel to this. Amazing book, money well spent.

6 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Creepy!!!

Gosh, what a creepy ass book!! I started listening to this when I was home alone one night, but had to stop until the next morning. My boys were gone with their dad to visit his father, and there's me thinking it was a good idea to start a ghost book at night!! Ya, that didn't last long, I stopped listening and picked up a book instead.

This follows the story of Jack and his family. Jack wrote a bestselling novel and with some of his fortune, he decided to buy a house that was a real good deal. He couldn't figure out why this seemingly amazing house was so cheap. Well after he moves in, he hears the story of Winthrop House and the mysterious disappearances and inexplicable deaths on the grounds. Soon after the family start hearing things, seeing doors open for no reason and other strange occurrences. Jack does all he can to rationalise these things but somethings are too hard to explain, and when Jack finally decides to take a stand, it may be too late.

This was a run of the mill, hauntingly good, ghost story, but with a twist ;) I loved finding out, along with the family, about the house and it's previous freaky occupants! A story about a haunted house is spooky enough, but add in a weird demonic ghost and it makes for good reading! Also, that ending... Will there be a book 2??

In all, this was a quick, spooky and entertaining read. I definitely couldn't read it at night though, as I'm a scaredy cat ;)

James Foster is a phenomenal narrator. He has so many tones, voices and cadences that really bring a book to life. He knows how to tell a good story and must have been a bard in a former life!! Lol.

I received a free copy of this but voluntarily reviewed it. This in no way affected nor influenced my thoughts.

6 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Paint by numbers weak

The mom is Worried, the dad is a dismissive skeptical person who thinks this house will be a new start for our family. The locals are hostile and suspicious, yet, despite what you would think with a very small town, are NOT gossipy enough that the entire town knows about it by the time they move in? Come on!
When I met the Jackal Man in a dream sequence, an underwhelming monster if ever I've seen one, that's when I really gave up.

3 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Started out slow but was good

This was a run of the mill, hauntingly good, ghost story, but with a twist I love finding out, along with the family, about the house and it's previous freaky occupants! A story about a haunted house is spooky enough, but add in a weird demonic ghost and it makes for good listen

James Foster is a phenomenal narrator. He has so many tones, voices and cadences that really bring a book to life. He knows how to tell a good story


I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Good scares

Enjoyed this book immensely. Looking forward to book #2. Good narration. Really recommend if you're looking for a spooky read!

3 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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Bad Amityville Imposter

Would you try another book from Ambrose Ibsen and/or James Foster?

Nope

What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

What 16 year old now a days says "Neato" when answering to their parents or anyone else for that matter. If you're going to make your characters do and say things that are outdated then put the story in that era.

Any additional comments?

This author stole from Amityville Horror, The Shining, and the cartoon Thundercats. The house is trying to possess the dad, there is an invasion of crickets, and there is a jackelman haunting the place.

One minute the dad is telling the realtor not to say anything about the scary background on the house cause his kids are impressionable then, not but a few days later, they are in a restaurant and he invites an old townie to sit down and tell the entire family the whole sordid details behind the house. And of course the dad poo poos the story as embellishment. Even though they all have experienced weird things happening in the house. This book is awful. Getting my credit back.

3 people found this helpful

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A House by the sea

A writer buys his wifes dream house by the sea.They laughed at the stories that it was haunted and grabbed the good deal.Sometimes you should listen to the locals!James foster was the perfect narrator.I was given this book free by the author,narrator or publisher.

3 people found this helpful

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  • anna
  • 12-19-18

toxic masculinity glorified

This book Is a non stop abuse from the main male character to all the females in his family, the dialogues are so misogynistic they are cringing. The women of course are all groomed to remain passive recipients of the constant humiliation they receive, waving it away with a smile- wife and her friend are just supposed to sit there and be insulted with every sentence as part of the humour. I suppose it's to be expected by an author whose books are 99% 'men hunting a woman demon and the only way to solve the problem is to shoot her', but this book is the worst yet because the woman-hating has moved from general plot idea to constant verbal abuse and viciously established male dominance in every day relationships.

2 people found this helpful

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  • CSK
  • 09-05-20

Excellent

Really good horror story, it kept me listening hour after hour. It was so atmospheric that I only listened to it in the day , Jeffrey Archer kept me company after dark 😀

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Davey Blie
  • 02-21-19

Great twist on a haunted house

I enjoy this story. It was an updated and interested version of a haunted house story and had many chilling scenes which kept me up. I look forward to the second part.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Emma
  • 10-09-20

Just bad

Normally I like Ambrose Ibsen but this was just bad for some reason the protagonist was just unforgivably stupid and he was just so horrible to everyone else that the only excuse I can think of was that the author was going through a bad break up and hated all women everywhere. He also seemed to have lost his own voice and was attempting a Stephen king knock of right down to the Maine setting. Don’t bother there are so many other novels worth your credit. The narration was good except for the odd random Nicholas cage impressions which while unprompted where impressive.

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  • Cardboard world
  • 03-29-20

not meaty eneough

l was hoping there was some thing going on underneath the house that the town wanted kept quite. some kind of a list goings on. Money laundering or something

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  • Victoria Schwimley
  • 08-09-18

OMG I have to read book 2!

I was completely entranced with in this story. This is a fabulous ghost story, and to think it's not finished. Jack's children are in danger after he moves them into a haunted house. Jack, the non-believer, won't listen to the warnings people are giving him about the house being haunted, even after strange things start to happen. His wife and children want to leave, but it is the house he has always dreamed of, and there's a reason the asking price was so cheap; the money he paid was only a down-payment. The real cost of buying the house is his children. Will Jack open his eyes in time to save them? Listen to the story to find out. Fabulous narrator too.

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