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The Night Strangers by Chris Bohjalian

The Night Strangers (2011)

by Chris Bohjalian

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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8399110,738 (3.25)57



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I don't want to waste any more time on this book collecting my thoughts to write a review. It's all been said in other 1 & 2 star reviews. ( )
  janb37 | Feb 13, 2017 |
If you are a fan of "The Skeleton Key", "The Shining", "Rosemary's Baby" and "The Amityville Horror", you will find this book enjoyable... or frustrating. The theme is repetative but as a huge fan of the "hauted house" genre, I don't mind the same scenario being rewritten. Bohjalian is a gifted writer, and I don't find this particularly predictable, even if the themes are ones I've read many times. ( )
  Juliasb | Dec 1, 2016 |
So much of this book was good, probably because it was written by a very good author. But the story turned from a rather delicious haunted house story to a crazy-town-of-witches story, and not even one of the best of those. I was reminded of Thomas Tryon's Harvest Home, which was better. Bohjalian tries to stretch his boundaries; I appreciate that, though. ( )
  jjaylynny | Nov 12, 2016 |
A solid novel, I enjoyed most of it. However the ending wasn't so much surprising as it was disappointing. ( )
  TheBishop34 | May 31, 2016 |
Warning: DO NOT pick up this book to read on an airplane. It prominently features and keeps revisiting a tragic plane crash in incredible detail.

This was one of those books that I couldn't put down. It centers around a family in the midst of tragedy that buys an old Victorian House in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. They are desperate for a fresh start, so it's not until they move in that they notice the strange door in the basement that's has been securely covered using 39 carriage bolts. The father, with PTSD and some features of depression and psychosis, is staying at home to fix up the house and becomes obsessed with knowing what's on the other side of this door.

The town of Bethel seems a bit unusual as well. There's a large group of women that all have names that are flowers or herbs (Sage and Clary, for example) and they all own beautiful greenhouses teeming with exotic and domestic plants. Some say they are witches. The women take special interest in the children of this new family - twin girls - and take them under their wings to teach them their knowledge about the plants that they so carefully cultivate.

This novel's plot is constantly moving forward and I found myself breathless in so many places. The description of the plane crash is so vivid, as are the thoughts and fears of the passengers and pilot aboard. As a new mother, my heart broke for some of the passengers and their stories, and I found myself tearful and hugging my babies a little closer.

This was my first Bohjalian, and if his other novels are anything like this one, it won't be my last. ( )
  neverlistless | Apr 28, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 91 (next | show all)

Bohjalian’s (Secrets of Eden, 2010, etc.) latest effort finds its dark magick in a coven of herbalists, ghosts from an air crash and the troubled history of a derelict Victorian house.

Chip Linton was an experienced pilot for a regional airline, but the aircraft he was flying one sunny August day hit a flock of geese upon takeoff. Chip’s chance to duplicate the heroic flying skills of Sully Sullenberger and the miracle landing on the Hudson River are lost to a rogue wave in the middle of Lake Champlain. Thirty-nine people died during the emergency landing. Until that day, Chip’s life had been the American dream: a profession he loved; a beautiful wife with a successful law practice; adored 10-year-old twin daughters. Now Chip fights posttraumatic stress and has crashed into clinical depression. Emily Linton decides the family needs a new start. She persuades Chip to move to the White Mountains of New Hampshire where she’s found a gingerbread-trimmed house crying for restoration. Emily joins a local law firm. The twins, Hallie and Garnet, try to fit in at school. And Chip goes to work remodeling the house, right down to obsessing over a door in the basement sealed by 39 carriage bolts. Chip, haunted by victims of the crash, wonders if the bolts are macabre symbols for the 39 dead. Like the Lintons, numerous houses around the small town have greenhouses, each owned and lovingly maintained by one of the herbalists. And the herbalists are especially interested in the Lintons’ twin daughters. The narrative develops an aura of malevolence early on, but perhaps too slowly for some horror fans. Many characters, especially all but one of the herbalists, seem one-dimensional. Some plot points are unresolved or take odd turns, perhaps in anticipation of a sequel. Chip’s story is the most compelling. It's presented in the second person and closely parallels the fugue state that sometimes haunts those with depression.

A practical magick horror story with a not-entirely-satisfying resolution.
added by kthomp25 | editKirkus

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Chris Bohjalianprimary authorall editionscalculated
Bramhall, MarkNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Our bodies are gardens, to which our wills are gardeners.

Dead . . . might not be quiet at all.

MARSHA NORMAN, 'night, Mother
For Shaye Areheart and Jane Gelfman
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The door was presumed to have been the entry to a coal chute, a perfectly reasonable assumption since a small hillock of damp coal sat mouldering before it. (Prologue)
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Book description
Chip and Emily Linton have just purchased a rambling Victorian house in New Hampshire and hope to make a happy home there for themselves and their twin daughters. But in a dusty corner of the basement is a door sealed with 39-inch long carriage bolts. Then the haunting begins.
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After he crashes his plane into Lake Champlain, killing most of the passengers, Chip Linton moves into a new home with his wife and twin daughters and soon finds himself being haunted by the dead passengers.

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