Dragonsbane j375 Stars I ve had THE LITTLE STRANGER on my wish list for years so I decided to use an Audible credit and listen to it in October The audio was narrated by Simon Vance and I enjoyed his performance very much I love his voice first heard him when I listened to BRING UP THE BODIES which was wonderful THE LITTLE STRANGER is a slow burn atmospheric novel of suspense I thought it was beautifully written uite absorbing and downright creepy at times It was a story that I looked forward toumping back into That said I also thought it was a bit too long and drawn out and the ending doesn t wrap up with a tidy bow Set in the late 1940s this book centers around an English physician s relationship with a down on its luck aristocratic family and their crumbling ancestral home called Hundreds Hall Odd things are happening in the house and family members suspect the cause is a malicious supernatural presence but the doctor is not easily convinced Like I mentioned befor The one thing I ve learned from reading my first two Sarah Waters novels
Tipping the Velvet and The Paying Guests is the value of patience She the Velvet and The Paying Guests is the value of patience She things slowly building character and the environment with deliberate care and copious detail Plot is secondary and it can take awhile for the endgame to come into focus With The Little Stranger however my patience nearly ran out The Little Stranger is a bit of a departure for Waters in that she plays things straight Sexually I mean Her historical fiction based on what I ve read and what I have on my shelf is usually told through a gaylesbian viewpoint Not here In this novel the main characterfirst person narrator is Dr Faraday who on Account Of Being A Man of being a man most certainly not a lesbian He is also not very interesting The Little Stranger is Waters entry into pure genre territory Specifically this is an old fashioned "ghost story featuring that most reliable of settings the splendid old haunted house I love it when "story featuring that most reliable of settings the splendid old haunted house I love it when authors work within genre trappings And since autumn is approaching I decided to get a Lonestar Sanctuary jump on my seasonal reading The house in uestion here is Hundreds Hall a Georgian style mansion located in rural Warwickshire England Hundreds Hall has been the seat of the Ayres family for over two hundred years When the novel opens the Hundreds is in decline We are in the late 1940s in Great Britain s post World War II post Empire transition to the mean The house and the society it represents is crumbling Most of the servants have left Faraday s mother naturally once worked there Old estates are being carved up by developers so that the peasants can have their own hovels There is even the specter of gasp socialized medicine on the horizon I don t think I m exaggerating when I say that the offstage presence of Clement Attlee looms far terrifying in the characters minds than any paranormal activity in the Hundreds Only three Ayres are left in Hundreds Hall the siblings Roderick and Caroline and their mother Mrs Ayres Mrs Ayres is the fading matriarch an avatar of the old days now reduced to reusing postage stamps and rereading letters from her late husband she is also still in mourning for a dead daughter Roderick was in the RAF during the war and has returned badly injured and perhaps psychologically unsound Caroline is the eccentric spinster to be a pure Waters creation Her hair was a pale English brown and might with proper treatment have been handsome but I had never seen it tidy andust now it fell drily to her shoulders as if. After her award winning trilogy of victorian novels sarah waters turned to the 1940s and wrote the night watch a tender and tragic novel set against the backdrop of wartime britain shortlisted for both the orange and the man booker it went straight to number one in the bestseller chart in a dusty po. She had washed it with kitchen soap and then forgotten to comb it Added to that she had the worst dress sense of any woman I ever knew She was wearing boyish flat sandals and a badly fitting pale summer dress not at all flattering to her wide hips and large bosom Her eyes were hazel highly set her face was long with an angular aw her profile flattish Only her mouth I thought was good surprisingly large well shaped and mobileEach of these characters is extremely well drawn carefully described and fully realized The house as well is given its proper due as a major player in the drama It is wonderfully described with the kind of painstaking care that du Maurier gave "TO MANDERLEY THE STORY IS SET "Manderley The story is set motion when Dr Faraday is summoned to Hundreds Hall due to the illness of Betty one of the few remaining servants It turns out that Betty isn t really sick rather she s creeped out by something in the house Dr Faraday makes a good impression on the family and soon he is returning on a regular basis to provide treatment for Roderick s injuries It is never uite clear whether Faraday is being drawn by the house by some supernatural force or whether he is simply a bourgeois scrambler trying to up ump a class or two during a period of social upheaval Waters approaches her story from an obliue angle She is working with the fundamentals of a haunted house tale but instead of tackling it head on she is content to nibble at the edges The novel takes on a
Certain Rhythm There Will rhythm There will a mysterious or unexplained event at the house That event will be given an explanation and forgotten Then there will be a bunch of other side plots and digressions until something else happens With that the cycle begins again Instead of creating tension this structuring releases it like a leaky steam valve The Little Stranger fails to generate any chills It is a novel filled with atmosphere unfortunately for a horror story none of them is dread Part of the problem is that Waters is clearly interested in her sideshows than in the central mystery of the haunting of Hundreds Hall This is too bad because the chief sideshow is a tepid awkward romance yes this romance deserves air uotes between Caroline and Dr Faraday Caroline is indifferent and in a different Waters novel would be gay Dr Faraday is closer to asexual Unsurprisingly this supplies all the erotic tension of a beer league slow pitch softball game I can t be sure but I feel like The Little Stranger is an attempt by Waters not to be pigeonholed She achieved great success with her excessive gay Victoriana settings Here she seems to be providing a corrective A book that is subdued and sedate without a giant dildo anywhere in sight The Haunting of Hill House has to be an inspiration for any haunted house story I was looking forward to Waters being able to play with the psychosexual undercurrents that simmered beneath the surface of Shirley Jackson s novel I must say I was surprised and I guess a bit disappointed that the undercurrents of this novel were financial distress Another issue is that Waters seems to get stuck between styles This is Gothic horror material that Waters conveys in a realist style I think this approach can work Indeed I think you can create a certain amount of tension by grounding the Gothic elements in the real Waters though is far comfortable in the real building her setting defining her characters When it comes time for the Gothic elements to intrude she doesn t seem to entirely commit to them I als. St war summer in rural warwickshire a doctor is called to a patient at hundreds hall home to the ayres family for over two centuries the georgian house once grand and handsome is now in decline its masonry crumbling its gardens choked with weeds the clock in its stable yard permanently fixed at twen.
Download ´ PDF, DOC, TXT or eBook ¼ Sarah WatersO disagree with Waters decision to utilize a first person narrator for this type of story I m against first person narrators in general I have my reasons but in a book like this it extinguishes any possibility of fright There are three major set "pieces
INVOLVING THE HAUNTS OF HUNDREDS HALLthe haunts of hundreds hall "involving the haunts of Hundreds Hall Dr since he does not live at the house is not present for two of them Thus when it comes time to relate what happened Faraday must deliver the narrative secondhand after it has already happened and happened to others There is always a layer between the reader and the story here there is a second unnecessary layer It s the difference between me reading The Little Stranger and me having a buddy explain the book to me after he s read it There is something to be said for subtlety I appreciated how early on Waters is content to be deliberate Things are a little spooky but mostly not It s a nice tease As things unfold however you get the sensation that the tease might be all there is Waters is not overly concerned with unraveling the mysterious presence if one exists at all in the Hundreds She is far intent on exploring the Ayres existential crisis No ghost or goblin can terrorize the Ayres family so well as the National Health Service or the rise of the professional class The novel s big conclusion which should have been macabre or something it should have been something is instead presented in such a plodding fashion that it s almost like Waters is pulling a prank view spoilerThere is an incident in the Hundreds that is revealed through wait for it a coroner s inuest That s right After 450 pages of build up the climax is a bloody coroner s inuest hide spoiler This review is going to be like one of those fridge poetry thingymabobs because I m tired and coherency isn t a top priority of mine right nowHere are some words and phrases that came to my mind after finishing this book in no particular orderAtmospheric Subtle DON T LOOK THROUGH THE KEYHOLE Observations are almost clinical at points Man I need to read of Sarah Waters books Passionate Perfectly paced Holy twisteroo Batman WHAT DOES THAT MEAN Don t go upstairs and investigate you fruit loop Grow a pair Doctor Something bad is going to happen to that dog isn t it Sinister SERIOUSLY UIT WITH THE KEYHOLE Astonishing I wonder if the Tipping the Velvet adaptation is still available on Iplayer What the eff Um OK I m sure my door wasn t open a second ago The TV adaptation of this that is inevitably going to be shown at Christmas on the BBC is going to be as terrifyingcracked outwhat the hell is going on esue as Whistle and I ll Come To You Yeah thanks for ruining Christmas for me John Hurt Always listen to the raving crazy when it comes to ghosts andor the apocalypse they have never been wrong Remarkable Deleterearrange as you pleaseI only have one gripeview spoilerI was expecting lesbian ghosts Sigh Looks like I m going to have to write that book hide spoiler Any reader of Fingersmith will know how Sarah Waters drags the old tricks of ancient fiction out of retirement and makes them dance for us sigh i tried to read this slowly and still finished it in two days i suck but i can t help it she writes so well and her stories are so damn compelling the pages virtually turn themselves but sorry ladies no lesbians this time i never thought i would see the day what else is sarah waters for if not lesbian love evidently dickensian ghost stories in postwar settings ooooorrrr iiiiisss iiiittttcome to my blog. Ty to nine but are the ayreses haunted by something sinister than a dying way of life little does dr faraday know how closely and how terrifyingly their story is about to become entwined with his prepare yourself from this wonderful writer who continues to astonish us now comes a chilling ghost stor. .