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The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters

The Little Stranger (2009)

by Sarah Waters

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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3,9962871,780 (3.6)1 / 786

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English (273)  Dutch (4)  Finnish (3)  Spanish (2)  French (2)  Italian (1)  Swedish (1)  Catalan (1)  All languages (287)
Showing 1-5 of 273 (next | show all)

I was disappointed by this, frankly. The best part of the book is a sensitive study of a landed gentry family under economic pressure immediately after the Second World War (the Labour Government is blamed by some of the characters, though I think not by the author), as told by the local doctor whose mother had briefly worked at the big house as a servant. Strange occurrences blight the health of the Ayres family and the doctor’s romance with the daughter of the house; and in the end I felt the book unsuccessfully tried to straddle the genres of horror fiction and Aga saga without really subverting either (though I also admit that neither horror nor Aga sagas are really my thing). Great characterisation and descriptions, shame about the fundamentals of the plot. ( )
  nwhyte | Sep 1, 2018 |
A great book by an author who evokes a particular era and breathes life into it with a great plot.

It is supernatural, thrilling and offers a great insight into postwar Britain.

It is a social novel underlined with some great themes without disturbed the literary aspects of a great plot and a smooth narrative.

For a detailed review please click on the link below or paste the link onto your browser:

http://onerightword.blogspot.co.uk/2015/12/the-little-stranger-sarah-waters.html ( )
  ashkrishwrites | Aug 29, 2018 |
A country doctor is called out to the local big estate and ends up becoming the family physician to its inhabitants, landed gentry who feel increasingly left behind as modernization occurs around them and they no longer have the cash flow to keep up. Worse yet, as the old house starts crumbling around them, strange and unaccountable things begin happening within its walls.

This book is very well written and incredibly atmospheric. While much of the book reads more like a costume drama, there are parts that do get spine-tingling with its creepiness. For readers who like Gothic horror, this book is a good choice. However, I must admit it feels like a lot of simmering that never quite comes to a boil. The ending was just a little too open-ended and vague for me (arguably even a bit anticlimactic), although spoilers-allowed discussions did give me additional thoughts to ponder. There certainly is a lot to chew over with this book and its characters.

Overall, I was impressed enough to consider reading other books by this author in the future, especially given that I heard from several people that Waters's others titles are better than this one. I am also keen to see the soon-to-be-released movie based on The Little Stranger. ( )
  sweetiegherkin | Aug 23, 2018 |
Boring ( )
  melanieklo | Jul 25, 2018 |
Haven’t been so keen on other Sarah Waters but this one really grabbed me. Classic, spooky, haunted house mystery with a clever twist. ( )
  kate_author | Jun 2, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 273 (next | show all)
While at one turn, the novel looks to be a ghost story, the next it is a psychological drama of the calibre of du Maurier's Rebecca. But it is also a brilliantly observed story, verging on comedy, about Britain on the cusp of the modern age.
In the end, though, however fresh the prose, confident the plotting and astute the social analysis, The Little Stranger has a slightly secondhand feel to it. Waters is clearly at the top of her game, with few to match her ability to bring the past to life in a fully imagined world. I look forward to the book in which she leaves behind past templates, with their limitations, and breaks away to make her own literary history.
I guess the Waters fans I spoke to were right to be anxious. There is plenty of lovely writing here, and the plot wasn't so dissatisfying that it put me off entirely. But it made me wary. Should I be? Or is it her worst work? Or, indeed, am I missing something? Over to you.
The Little Stranger, like all the best works of postmodernist fiction, acknowledges both that making up stories is a mistaken and hopeless way to try to understand the world, and at the same time that it’s the best – perhaps the only – way we have.
The story ends in madness, suicide and a creepy darkness reminiscent of Daphne du Maurier's "Rebecca" -- mixed with jolts of anxiety and social upheaval reminiscent of today's news.

» Add other authors (7 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Waters, Sarahprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
中村有希訳Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bartocci, MaurizioTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bützow, HeleneTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Borges, Ana Luiza DantasTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Defossé, AlainTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dewey, AmandaDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gawlik-Małkowska, MagdalenaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Groen, NicoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ho, AndreaCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kwakkel, RichardTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Leibmann, UteTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Puchalská, Barbora PungeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rooijen, Lucie vanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ropret, AlenkaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Trevillions, MichaelCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vance, SimonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Zulaika, JaimeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
林曉芳Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Сафронова, АлександраTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To my parents, Mary and Ron, and my sister, Deborah.
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I first saw Hundreds Hall when I was ten years old.
I'd regularly heard her referred to locally as 'rather hearty', a 'natural spinster', a 'clever girl' - in other words she was noticeably plain.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Information from the Finnish Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
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Book description
A chilling and vividly rendered ghost story set in postwar Britain, by the bestselling and award-winning author of The Night Watch and Fingersmith.

Sarah Waters's trilogy of Victorian novels Tipping the Velvet, Affinity, and Fingersmith earned her legions of fans around the world, a number of awards, and a reputation as one of today's most gifted historical novelists. With her most recent book, The Night Watch, Waters turned to the 1940s and delivered a tender and intricate novel of relationships that brought her the greatest success she has achieved so far. With The Little Stranger, Waters revisits the fertile setting of Britain in the 1940s — and gives us a sinister tale of a haunted house, brimming with the rich atmosphere and psychological complexity that have become hallmarks of Waters's work.

The Little Stranger follows the strange adventures of Dr. Faraday, the son of a maid who has built a life of quiet respectability as a country doctor. One dusty postwar summer in his home of rural Warwickshire, he is called to a patient at Hundreds Hall. Home to the Ayres family for more than 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 twenty to nine. But are the Ayreses haunted by something more ominous 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.

Abundantly atmospheric and elegantly told, The Little Stranger is Sarah Waters's most thrilling and ambitious novel yet.
Haiku summary
Strange happenings at
Hundreds Hall: poltergeist or
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One dusty postwar summer in his home of rural Warwickshire, Dr. Faraday is called to a patient at lonely Hundreds Hall, the residence of the Ayres family for more than two centuries. Its owners, mother, son and daughter, are struggling to keep pace with a changing society, as well as conflicts of their own. But the Ayreses are haunted by something more sinister than a dying way of life.… (more)

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