This House Is Haunted

  • by John Boyne
  • Narrated by Alison Larkin
  • 8 hrs and 52 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Written in Dickensian prose, This House Is Haunted is a striking homage to the classic 19-century ghost story. Set in Norfolk in 1867, Eliza Caine responds to an ad for a governess position at Gaudlin Hall.
When she arrives at the hall, 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.

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What the Critics Say

"A perfect, shivery gothic tale." (Booklist)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Well Read - Not Very Scary, Had Promise

Any additional comments?

Alison Larkin is a delight. She was perfect and the main reason I kept going. The story begins quite deliciously. The sightings and hints of ghosts have great promise, but we never hear of these initial ghostly appearances again. The actual haunting seemed heavily influenced by special efffects in Hollywood movies, which was a shame. It was easy to figure out who the ghosts were and this took away from the chilling effect. I also think the main character's stoic, resigned, not very scared acceptance of her situation was over played. The children were creepy. However, as I said at the beginning of this review, Ms. Larkin was delightful and perfect so,I kept listening. She makes the credit well worth it.

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- Dorothy

This Book Is Dreadful

Friends have been telling me I need to read John Boyne for years, so I looked forward to the experience. Having finished "This House Is Haunted," I could scarcely be more disappointed.

The first three chapters could be cut as they only introduce irrelevant backstory. Removing overwritten passages of description and scenes in which nothing happens to advance the story would bring it down to the size of a novella. Even then, the plot is so contrived and predictable that it would not be worth reading.

The most aggravating things about this book are the modern attitudes, speech patterns, and social customs that permeate every chapter of the book. These "intrusions" continuously break the attempt to create a fictional dream of the past and are as jarring as a sneezing fit during a chamber concert.

Also, I found it hard to believe the author had spent any time with real children, even precocious or eccentric children, of any century.

Alison Larkin is a charming narrator, but even she could not bring life to these wooden characters.
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- Die Falknerin "Painter, musician, bibliophile..."

Book Details

  • Release Date: 10-21-2013
  • Publisher: Tantor Audio