John Harwood Ghost Writer

ISBN 13: 9780099460824

Ghost Writer

Valutazione media 3,37
( su 4.302 valutazioni fornite da Goodreads )
 
9780099460824: Ghost Writer

Viola Hatherley was a writer of ghost stories in the 1890s whose work lies forgotten until her great-grandson, as a young boy in Mawson, Australia, learns how to open the secret drawer in his mother's room. There he finds a manuscript, and from the moment his mother catches him in the act, Gerard Freeman's life is irrevocably changed. What is the invisible, ever-present threat from which his mother strives so obsessively to protect him? And why should stories written a century ago entwine themselves ever more closely around events in his own life? Gerard's quest to unveil the mystery that shrouds his family, and his life, will lead him from Mawson to London, to a long-abandoned house and the terror of a ghost story come alive.

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Review:

The Cornish prayer: "From ghoulies and ghosties and long-leggety beasties and things that go bump in the night, Good Lord, deliver us!" is an appropriate invocation when reading The Ghost Writer, John Harwood’s debut novel. It is a rousing good ghost story, with many twists and turns, rather like taking apart a Russian matryoshka nesting doll.

Gerard Freeman, at age ten, sneaks into his mother's room and unlocks a secret drawer, only to find a picture of a woman he has never seen before, but one that he will find again and again. His mother discovers him and gives him the beating of his life. Why this excessive reaction? She is a worried, paranoid, thin, and fretful type with an "anxious, haunted look." By tale's end, we know why.

Phyllis Freeman, Gerard's mother, was happiest when speaking fondly of Staplefield, her childhood home, where there were things they "didn’t have in Mawson [Australia], chaffinches and mayflies and foxgloves and hawthorn, coopers and farriers and old Mr. Bartholomew who delivered fresh milk and eggs to their house with his horse and cart." It's the sort of childhood idyll that the timid and lonely Gerard believes in and longs for. He strikes up a correspondence with an English "penfriend," Alice Jessel, when he is 13 and a half, living in a desolate place with a frantic mother and a silent father. She is his age, her parents were killed in an accident and she has been crippled by it. She now lives in an institution, whose grounds she describes as much the way Staplefield looked. They go through young adulthood together, in letters only, thousands of miles apart, eventuallydeclaring their love for one another.

Interwoven with the narrative of Alice and Gerard's letters are real ghost stories, the creation of Gerard's great-grandmother, Viola. At first, they seem to be scary Victorian tales of the supernatural. Then, we see that they have a spooky way of mirroring, or preceding, events in real life, off the page. Gerard comes upon them, one by one, in mysterious ways, but clearly something, or someone, is leading him. The stories seem to implicate his mother in some nefarious goings-on, but the truth is far worse than Gerard imagines.

Any more would be telling too much. Turn on all the lights in the house when you settle down with this one, and plan to spend a long time reading because you will be lost in the story immediately. --Valerie Ryan

From the Inside Flap:

A tantalizing tale of family secrets hidden in spine-tingling ghost stories -- that have started to come true

Growing up in a small Australian town, Gerard Freeman loves to hear his mother talk about her idyllic childhood in an English country manor. But she swears that she will never return to England, and refuses to tell him what happened to her family, though she is clearly terrified of some invisible yet ever-present threat. One hot afternoon, he waits until she is napping, then creeps into her bedroom to break open the drawer that’s always locked, the one that he hopes holds all her secrets. . . .

Twenty years later, Gerard has not left home – he works as a librarian – but he lives for just two things: his English penfriend Alice, for whom he yearns with all his heart, and the ghost story he found in his mother’s drawer all those years ago. Written by his great-grandmother Viola, it hints at the terrible crime that haunted his mother, and, finally, destroyed her. And as Viola’s chilling tales lead him to London, Gerard realizes that the stories might hold the key to finding Alice as well as unveiling his family's mystery – or are they leading him directly to the untimely death they seem to foretell?

Harwood’s deliciously clever debut never loosens its grip on us as it moves from Gerard's present-day detective work to the macabre world of Viola's supernatural stories, from Australia to London, from the safety of books to the terror of a ghost story come alive. Astonishingly assured, compulsively readable, The Ghost Writer shows us just how dangerous family skeletons – and stories -- can be.

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John Harwood
Editore: Vintage (2005)
ISBN 10: 0099460823 ISBN 13: 9780099460824
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Descrizione libro Vintage, 2005. Condizione libro: New. Ships from the UK. BRAND NEW. Codice libro della libreria GRP70633045

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Descrizione libro Vintage Publishing, United Kingdom, 2005. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Viola Hatherley was a writer of ghost stories in the 1890s whose work lies forgotten until her great-grandson, as a young boy in Mawson, Australia, learns how to open the secret drawer in his mother s room. There he finds a manuscript, and from the moment his mother catches him in the act, Gerard Freeman s life is irrevocably changed. What is the invisible, ever-present threat from which his mother strives so obsessively to protect him? And why should stories written a century ago entwine themselves ever more closely around events in his own life? Gerard s quest to unveil the mystery that shrouds his family, and his life, will lead him from Mawson to London, to a long-abandoned house and the terror of a ghost story come alive. Codice libro della libreria AAZ9780099460824

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Descrizione libro Vintage Publishing, United Kingdom, 2005. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Viola Hatherley was a writer of ghost stories in the 1890s whose work lies forgotten until her great-grandson, as a young boy in Mawson, Australia, learns how to open the secret drawer in his mother s room. There he finds a manuscript, and from the moment his mother catches him in the act, Gerard Freeman s life is irrevocably changed. What is the invisible, ever-present threat from which his mother strives so obsessively to protect him? And why should stories written a century ago entwine themselves ever more closely around events in his own life? Gerard s quest to unveil the mystery that shrouds his family, and his life, will lead him from Mawson to London, to a long-abandoned house and the terror of a ghost story come alive. Codice libro della libreria AB99780099460824

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Descrizione libro Condizione libro: New. Depending on your location, this item may ship from the US or UK. Codice libro della libreria 97800994608240000000

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Descrizione libro Vintage, 2005. Condizione libro: New. 2005. (2nd). Paperback. Viola Hatherley was a writer of ghost stories in the 1890s whose work lies forgotten until her great-grandson, as a young boy in Mawson, Australia, learns how to open the secret drawer in his mother's room. There he finds a manuscript, and from the moment his mother catches him in the act, Gerard Freeman's life is irrevocably changed. Num Pages: 384 pages. BIC Classification: FA. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 197 x 131 x 23. Weight in Grams: 272. . . . . . . Codice libro della libreria V9780099460824

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Descrizione libro Vintage. Condizione libro: New. 2005. (2nd). Paperback. Viola Hatherley was a writer of ghost stories in the 1890s whose work lies forgotten until her great-grandson, as a young boy in Mawson, Australia, learns how to open the secret drawer in his mother's room. There he finds a manuscript, and from the moment his mother catches him in the act, Gerard Freeman's life is irrevocably changed. Num Pages: 384 pages. BIC Classification: FA. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 197 x 131 x 23. Weight in Grams: 272. . . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. Codice libro della libreria V9780099460824

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Descrizione libro Vintage Publishing. Paperback. Condizione libro: new. BRAND NEW, The Ghost Writer, John Harwood, Viola Hatherley was a writer of ghost stories in the 1890s whose work lies forgotten until her great-grandson, as a young boy in Mawson, Australia, learns how to open the secret drawer in his mother's room. There he finds a manuscript, and from the moment his mother catches him in the act, Gerard Freeman's life is irrevocably changed. What is the invisible, ever-present threat from which his mother strives so obsessively to protect him? And why should stories written a century ago entwine themselves ever more closely around events in his own life? Gerard's quest to unveil the mystery that shrouds his family, and his life, will lead him from Mawson to London, to a long-abandoned house and the terror of a ghost story come alive. Codice libro della libreria B9780099460824

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Descrizione libro Random House 2005-04-07, London, 2005. paperback. Condizione libro: New. Codice libro della libreria 9780099460824

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Descrizione libro Condizione libro: New. Bookseller Inventory # ST0099460823. Codice libro della libreria ST0099460823

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Descrizione libro Paperback. Condizione libro: New. Not Signed; Viola Hatherley was a writer of ghost stories in the 1890s whose work lies forgotten until her great-grandson, as a young boy in Mawson, Australia, learns how to open the secret drawer in his mother's room. There he finds a manuscript, and from the moment his mother catches him in the act, Gerard Fr. book. Codice libro della libreria ria9780099460824_rkm

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