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This House is Haunted by John Boyne
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This House is Haunted (original 2013; edition 2013)

by John Boyne

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5795025,369 (3.48)45
Member:allyflower15
Title:This House is Haunted
Authors:John Boyne
Info:Other Press (2013), Edition: 0, Paperback, 304 pages
Collections:Wishlist
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This House is Haunted by John Boyne (2013)

Recently added byrena75, ishamaeli, private library
  1. 20
    Florence and Giles by John Harding (HollyMS)
    HollyMS: Both are historical gothic mysteries that are heavily influenced by Henry Jame's The Turn of the Screw.
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English (46)  Dutch (1)  Italian (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (49)
Showing 1-5 of 46 (next | show all)
I LOVED THIS BOOK! This is the haunted house book I wanted when I read Turn of the Screw, but didn't get. If you are a fan of Henry James, you'll love this. If you read James was left a little disappointed, this may be the book you actually wanted.
  tntbeckyford | Feb 16, 2019 |
Meant to mimic the classic 19th century ghost story, this is written on that style. The book opens with an appearance by Dickens and the tone is set. A young woman’s father dies leaving her without any family. She takes a job as a governess in a house that is haunted. She slowly learns the tragic past of the family that lives there. A bit predictable, but good narration on the audiobook. ( )
  redwritinghood38 | Nov 6, 2018 |
3.5ish ( )
  ThatOneLibrarian | Aug 18, 2018 |
''Where are you?''
''But answer came there none.''


Eliza Caine may have found the answer to her question at some point, but unfortunately, I never found mine as to why I was expecting so much from this ‘’ghost’’ story...A story that tried too hard to include many Gothic tropes, to appear scary and intellectual at the same time, but eventually fell flat on all levels, in my opinion. But for the sympathetic protagonist, the intriguing children and some scarce glimpses of a remotely creepy atmosphere, I would have rated it with 1 sad little star…

Eliza wants to start a new life away from London after the death of her father. She abandons her occupation as a teacher for small girls (as we were told so many times because we readers are practically stupid and we forget too easily…) and replies to a dubious advert for the position of the governess in an old estate. When she reaches her destination, she realises that there are certain strange forces at work and the previous women’s work ended under peculiar (to put it mildly) circumstances.

The basis of the story, while not original by any means, is very interesting and has a lot of potential. When one is an avid lover of ghost stories, two things happen. One, we can’t keep away from every single read about the subject and two, there is very little that can impress us and truly catch our attention. I expected and I wanted an old-fashioned ghost story with an English foreboding estate, a troubled governess and secrets of the past haunting everyone, but not in a childish, naive manner of writing. Because, in my opinion, that is what I found here. A kind of writing that was flat, uninspiring, pretentious and predictable. Although the first 30% of the book was somewhat satisfying, the rest went downhill all too quickly. There was not a single thing that made me feel scared, although Boyne tried too hard to force it out. Excuse me, but this wouldn’t scare a child. So I treated it as a mystery rather than a ghost story and I still found it severely lacking. Boyne’s notion of ‘’scary’’ is Eliza being thrown around on walls, floors and grounds like a sack of potatoes with numerous parts of asphyxiation thrown for good measure. Overdone, unrealistic, ridiculous. There have been ghost stories I could actually believe in. Stories that made me shiver, stories that gave me nightmare. This one made me roll my eyes in frustration and I was lucky they weren’t stuck on the back of my head…

The characters are better constructed. The children are a good combination of creepy and intriguing and I really liked Eliza. I found her to be a reliable narrator and I admired her deep sense of duty and commitment to the children. Her musings concerning her work as a teacher touched me deeply, perhaps because I recognised many of her thoughts and feelings. Now, did I find her naive? No. Some of us put our priorities on children, come ghosts or vampires or bad parents, and we stick to them. This is what she did, this is why she didn’t run away and I don’t think this was unrealistic.I mean, really. We have a wrestling battle between spirits and humans and some consider her decision unbelievable...I know this will sound absurd to many in our current, artificial world where being ‘’comfortable’’ is all that matters, but anyway..Sorry for the rant, let us continue.

The end was somewhat satisfying and by ‘’end’’, I actually mean the last page, because the last chapters were eerily bad, almost laughable. I don’t know, many reviewers seemed to like it, so I’m clearly in the minority, but I cannot lie. For me, Boyne tried to combine The Turn of the Screw, Jane Eyre and The Woman In Black in a big ghost-tale feast. Even Rebecca, if I take the resolution into consideration. But he is not Henry James, or Charlotte Bronte. He is not Daphne Du Maurier or Susan Hill. Although he pretended to be a contemporary Dickens, he failed miserably in my books. So, pushing all the anachronisms and improbabilities aside, this was mediocre at best and one of the biggest disappointments of my current reading year. I don’t doubt that he can write (I’m not qualified to judge…) but I won’t seek any of his books anytime soon…

My reviews can also be found on https://theopinionatedreaderblog.wordpress.co ( )
  AmaliaGavea | Jul 15, 2018 |
In the wake of her father’s death, needing a change, Eliza Caine arrives at Gaudlin Hall to be the governess for two children—only nothing is as she thought. She quickly becomes swept up in a story full of mystery, secrets, and a menacing presence. With eerie atmosphere and haunting circumstances, this novel from John Boyne is an enjoyable, ghostly read. ( )
  hes7 | Apr 25, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 46 (next | show all)
BLOODY DISGUSTING bloody-disgusting.com
[BEST & WORST '13] Top 10 Horror Novels of the Year!

6. (Tie) The Darkling, by R.B. Chesterton (April 1; Pegasus)
This House is Haunted, John Boyne (October 8; Other Press)

These slow-burn ghost stories are equally good, and they have too much in common not to share a spot on this list. Both are deeply rooted in the gothic tradition, and if you like one, you’re virtually guaranteed to dig the hell out of the other. R.B. Chesterton is the alias for Carolyn Haines, the author of a cheeky series of novels about a female P.I., while John Boyne wrote The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, which Miramax made into a heart-crushing movie. But strange minds think alike. The authors did some sort of Vulcan mind meld for their respective ghost stories, resulting in a killer double-feature custom-made for fans of movies like The Others and The Orphanage.
 
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Book description
Written in Dickensian prose, This House is Haunted is a striking homage to the classic nineteenth-century ghost story. In Norfolk, England, in 1867, Eliza Caine responds to an ad for a governess position at Gaudlin Hall. When she arrives, shaken by an unsettling disturbance that occurred during her travels, she is greeted by the two children now in her care, Isabella and Eustace. There is no adult present to represent her mysterious employer, and the children offer no explanation. Later that night in her room, another terrifying experience further reinforces the sense that something is very wrong.

From the moment Eliza rises the following morning, her every step seems dogged by a malign presence that lives within Gaudlin's walls. Eliza realizes that if she and the children are to survive its violent attentions, she must first uncover the hall's long-buried secrets and confront the demons of its past.

Clever, captivating, and witty, This House is Haunted is pure entertainment, with a catch.

Haiku summary
A ghost resides at
Gaudlin Hall, and it's after
The new governess.
(passion4reading)

No descriptions found.

(see all 2 descriptions)

1867. Eliza Caine arrives in Norfolk to take up her position as governess at Gaudlin Hall on a dark and chilling night. As she makes her way across the station platform, a pair of invisible hands push her from behind into the path of an approaching train. She is only saved by the vigilance of a passing doctor. When she finally arrives, shaken, at the hall she is greeted by the two children in her care, Isabella and Eustace. There are no parents, no adults at all, and no one to represent her mysterious employer. The children offer no explanation. Later that night in her room, a second terrifying experience further reinforces the sense that something is very wrong. From the moment she rises the following morning, her every step seems dogged by a malign presence which lives within Gaudlin's walls. Eliza realizes that if she and the children are to survive its violent attentions, she must first uncover the hall's long-buried secrets and confront the demons of its past.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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