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The Little Stranger

IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, 2011

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Audiobook Downloadable / ISBN-13: 9781405505932

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Now a major motion picture starring Domhnall Gleeson, Ruth Wilson, Will Poulter and Charlotte Rampling, and directed by Lenny Abrahamson.

Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize

‘Sarah Waters’s masterly novel is . . . gripping, confident, unnerving and supremely entertaining’ Hilary Mantel

After her award-winning trilogy of Victorian novels, Sarah Waters turned to the 1940s and wrote THE NIGHT WATCH, a tender and tragic novel set against the backdrop of wartime Britain. Shortlisted for both the Orange and the Man Booker, it went straight to number one in the bestseller chart.

In a dusty post-war summer in rural Warwickshire, a doctor is called to a patient at Hundreds Hall. Home to the Ayres family for over 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 sinister 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.

Prepare yourself. From this wonderful writer who continues to astonish us, now comes a chilling ghost story.


Waters has determined to scare the pants off her righly devoted audience. She succeeds unequivocally. You'll want to sleep with the light on
Erica Wagner, The Times
Displaying her remarkable flair for period evocation, Waters recreates backwater Britain just after the Second World War with atmospheric immediacy . . . Acute and absorbing
Peter Kemp, Sunday Times
A spine-tingler . . . Waters skilfully ratchets up the suspense as events at Hundreds grow ever more highly charged - even downright chilling
Amber Pearson, Daily Mail
The Little Stranger is Sarah Waters' best book yet. For me it even beats Fingersmith, which is not easy... It builds in a slow, understated way... Best of all is the ending, quietly revelatory and chilling
C.J. Sansom
The #1 book of the year... several sleepless nights are guaranteed
Stephen King
The knowledge that something nasty is around the corner lends the narrative a compelling sense of unease. The richness of Waters' writing ensures that the air of thickening dread is very thick indeed . . . Waters is a brave writer. The Little Stranger is an engrossing, hugely enjoyable read with set pieces guaranteed to make anyone with a pulse gibber in fright
John Preston, Sunday Telegraph
Haunted by the spirits of Henry James and Edgar Allan Poe... Waters keeps the lightening flashing in every gloomy chapter
Washington Post
A marvelous and truly spooky historical novel
Boston Globe
Like the gloomy English weather, an air of impending doom lingers over every chapter of The Little Stranger... an up-all-night page-turner that provides a cogent dose of social commentary
Cleveland Plain Dealer
Few authors do dread as well as Waters... This spooky satisfying read has the added pleasure of effectively detailing postwar village life, with its rationing, social structures, and gossip, all on the edge of Britain's massive change to a social state
Library Journal
Waters creates an atmosphere of quiet dread that's unnerving and compelling
Waters is often described as a brilliant storyteller, and so she is. But she is also an artist compelled to experiment . . . Waters gives herself a sort of handicap with the dull doctor's narration. This indirectness, which in cruder hands might have led to yawning insurrection in the reader, becomes essential to the novel's unsettling power
Claudia Fitzherbert, Daily Telegraph
A creepy, sensual 1940s noir with all of Waters' trademark depth and intelligence. And the best, most ambivalent male narrator (written by a woman) since The Secret History
Liz Hoggard, Evening Standard, Books of the Year
A stunning haunted house tale whose ghosts are as horrifying as any in Shirley Jackson's The Haunting of Hill House
Publishers Weekly (starred review)
Sarah Waters' masterly novel is gripping, confident, unnerving and supremely entertaining
Hilary Mantel
Truly frightening . . . As I lay in bed after finishing reading it, running the various elements through my mind, a fox screamed outside my window and I nearly had a heart attack
Suzi Feay, Literary Review
Rich with historic detail and slow, deliberate building toward the revelation of its secrets, The Little Stranger delights even as it leaves you unnerved
Miami Herald
A classic gothic page-turner
USA Today
Gripping... As well as being a supernatural tale, it is a meditation on the nature of the British and class, and how things are rarely what they seem. Chilling
Kate Mosse
The horrors are brilliantly orchestrated, and rise effortlessly in scale and explicitness... Waters knows what she is about, and the novel's interests are only partly in the supernatural... The fascination of The Little Stranger lies in its unnerving evocation of place and time. It is a beautiful and expert divertissement
Philip Hensher, Spectator
The Little Stranger is a proper muscle-flexing story - I was in awe and just did not want it to end
Julie Myerson, Observer, Books of the Year
A virtuoso writer... If you want a ghost story that creeps up your spine, The Little Stranger delivers
Seattle Times
With its subtly orchestrated suspense and spot-on portrayal of English class divisions, Waters's literary ghost story delights
Completely absorbing... I wanted to linger in that fictional world, page by page, chapter by chapter
By now readers must be confident of her mastery of storytelling . . . While at one turn, the novel looks to be a ghost story, the next it is a psychological drama . . . But it is also a brilliantly observed story, verging on the comedy, about Britain on the cusp of modern age... The writing is subtle and poised
Joy lo Dico, Independent on Sunday
This is more than a detective and/or ghost story. It is also a study of post-war Britain . . . Social document; intriguing detective yarn; chilling ghost story, romance or thriller, The Little Stranger is a marvellous read on so very many levels
Christine Dwyer Hickey, Irish Times
Wonderfully evoked... Waters has rendered the old house magnificently in its fading glory, and its in habitants sparkle like chandeliers in the damp, peeling rooms... Sarah Waters is an excellent, evocative writer, and this is an incredibly gripping and readable novel
New York Times Book Review