The Ghost Writer

The Ghost Writer

Book - 2004 | 1st U.S. ed.
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A tantalizing tale of suspense and family secrets that weaves Victorian ghost stories into the present - where they start to come true

Timid, solitary librarian Gerard Freeman lives for just two things: his elusive pen pal Alice and a story he found hidden in his mother's drawer years ago. Written by his great-grandmother Viola, it hints at his mother's role in a sinister crime. And as he discovers more of Viola's chilling tales, he realizes that they might hold the key to finding Alice and unveiling his family's mystery - or will they bring him the untimely death they seem to foretell?

Harwood's astonishing, assured debut shows us just how dangerous family skeletons - and stories -- can be.

Publisher: Orlando : Harcourt, c2004.
Edition: 1st U.S. ed.
ISBN: 9780151010745
0151010749
Branch Call Number: FIC HARWOOD
Characteristics: 369 p. ; 24 cm.

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StratfordLibrary Mar 23, 2018

Blind Date with a Book 2018 Comment: "It started out sounding really good but the "book within books" and back and forth made it too difficult to follow the story."

b
Brontina66
Feb 11, 2018

Harwood's "The Ghost Writer" is one of the most compelling books I have ever read. The story, told in first person by the protagonist Gerald, is a very complex one and includes a decades-long pen-friendship, an elusive pen friend, a murder, a love triangle, a writer whose stories pop up at unexpected moments but are all little gems, and a classic old English house. However, the strongest presences here seem to be uncontrollable sexual passion and a just as uncontrollable desire for revenge. The two sisters around whom the story truly revolves are led by envy, jealousy and desire for the other's lover in one case, and by a thirst for revenge that hurts an innocent descendant, in the other case. I enjoyed the book and was literally unable to put it down, reading well into the night because I simply HAD to know what happened next. However, I also have to say that the last chapters were a bit confused and confusing. A lot is left to the reader's imagination and I had the impression that the writer, at that point, just wanted to be done with the book - which is a shame, because the book is truly astonishing and I strongly recommend it. But be ready: once in its grip, it will not be easy to free yourself!

t
tacomalibrarian
Oct 15, 2016

Intricate, intense and an old fashioned scary read. I loved it!

sjmitra Jun 27, 2011

Too many characters, too many stories within the story. I lost interest in the protagonist and his fate.

r
redwallflower
Mar 29, 2010

It's interesting how each of the ghost stories within the book have elements that relate to the main story. However, I feel like the ending kind of fell apart.

k
kalio
May 22, 2009

Another young, lost boy (the almost-orphaned child with only books for company is a real staple of the haunted books-about-books genre) stumbles across a bunch of stories that he was never meant to read. This time it?s Gerald, a fatherless boy in Australia whose mother is supremely secretive about her past life. All Gerald has are his British pen pal Alice and the ghost stories that his Victorian grandmother wrote?stories that seem to have a tendency to come true and invade Gerald?s real life and history. As Gerald searches for the story of his mother?s life and the truth about mysterious Alice, the line between fantasy and fiction becomes distressingly and disturbingly blurred. A true blue old-fashioned ghost story that spans continents and centuries, The Ghost Writer is guaranteed to keep you up at night, in the best and most addictive way possible.

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