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The Dead Of Winter

3.68  ·  Rating Details ·  798 Ratings  ·  142 Reviews
Michael Vyner recalls a terrible story, one that happened to him. One that would be unbelievable if it weren't true! Michael's parents are dead and he imagines that he will stay with the kindly lawyer, executor of his parents' will . . . Until he is invited to spend Christmas with his guardian in a large and desolate country house. His arrival on the first night suggests s ...more
Kindle Edition, 225 pages
Published January 12th 2012 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens (first published October 1st 2010)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Melki
Dec 11, 2014 Melki rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
'It has escaped, you know,' he said matter-of-factly. 'It used to be simply noises. The noises were dreadful enough. But now sometimes I think I see it in the shadows.'

A young orphan finds his life forever changed when he is sent to spend Christmas at the haunted estate owned by a man whose life was saved by the boy's father.

There's an old-fashioned feel to this story and as such, it may seem rather tame for the horror genre, but there ARE some genuinely creepy moments. It's also a bit predicta
...more
Meli
Aug 30, 2016 Meli rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
No está mal. Muy clásico dentro del género, el autor hizo un buen trabajo con la átmosfera gótica.
Tal vez es algo pretencioso y posea más descripciones de las necesarías (incluso en una novela de este estilo), pero es entretenido.
Michael
Review from Badelynge.
Imagine if Le Fanu had tried to write for a YA market and he might have produced something like The Dead of Winter. I'm sure Chris Priestley would cite him as one of his primary influences, along with others like Elizabeth Gaskell. Her 'The Old Nurse's Story' springs to mind quite strongly. The book, more a novella, is artfully written, perfectly invoking the Victorian setting that uses as much Gothic imagery and motifs as it can possibly pack into the page count. Michael V
...more
Jubilation Lee
I always feel bad when I read a book and am left thinking, “Wow, that wasn’t nearly as terrible as I expected!” But that’s how I was with The Dead of Winter. It’s all gothic and Victorian (Is it Victorian? I feel like I use that term incorrectly sometimes. When was Poe?) and surprisingly creepy, albeit in a not-particularly-tense kind of way.

Our poor hero, Michael, is cast adrift after his mother’s death. With no other living relatives, he is appointed a guardian he has never met before – the MY
...more
Drishti
Jul 09, 2016 Drishti rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: wobble
If spending a lifetime watching horror movies has taught me anything, it's that no horror movie can be made without using the worst possible cliches. Just realized that this is true for some books too. And lemme tell you why:

Let's Investigate!

It's 2:00 A.M. and suddenly there's some creepy noise. So instead of hiding himself under a blanket (like any sane person would), the main character trudges out to investigate. Who cares if there's a maniacal ghost out there?

Creepy Mansion

Of course
...more
Blair
Thanks to Amazon failing to present things clearly enough (grrr), I had no idea this was supposed to be a book for kids until I'd spotted it in my recommendations, added it to my wishlist and duly purchased it when it was reduced to 99p in the Kindle sale. Still, it sounded like a decent little ghost story and the opening chapter seemed fairly well-written (and not especially childish), so why not?

Suffice to say, I was very pleasantly surprised by this little book! The narrator, Michael Vyner, b
...more
daisychainbooks
Nov 14, 2010 daisychainbooks rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Dead of Winter is the type of old school gothic horror that I just love. I should point out that as a big fan of Edgar Allen Poe I like my horror to be chilling, suspenseful and just a little twisted, rather than gratuitously violent or gory. This one, reminiscent of Poe's work in it's themes, ticked all the right boxes for me. It’s the perfect spooky read just in time for Halloween. Priestly presents us with a host of characters who are slightly unhinged and untrustworthy and a creepy house ...more
Martin Belcher
Jan 14, 2012 Martin Belcher rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2012
I didn't realise before starting The Dead of Winter that this book is Young Adult title so it was a tiny bit simplistic in places and a bit of a guilty read but that aside, I did enjoy it as an easy read classic ghost story with a twist at the end.

The story concerns a young boy, called Michael who already has lost his father and now looses his Mother, his only family he is on his own and at the mercy of family friends The Bentleys. He is approached by Mr Jerwood a lawyer acting on Behalf of Sir
...more
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
From the minute I started reading this book I was sucked into the wintry Victorian landscape of the bogland around Hawton Mere by Priestley's writing style, which reminded me of Jane Austen or one of the early gothic romances. Michael's mother has died, leaving him an orphan, so he must spend Christmas with the man, Sir Stephen, whom his father died trying to save in battle. Michael, who has a presentiment right from the beginning that something is amiss, sees a woman in white crying for help, b ...more
Angie
Feb 14, 2012 Angie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Dead of Winter is horrorlicious. It's a scary book that actually scared me. Priestley does a great job of giving his novel a classic Gothic feel. A few times I had to remind myself that this book wasn't written in the 19th century. The prose is classic and well-written. I loved it.

The horror:

The Dead of Winter is full of frightening scenes and these moments wouldn't have worked without Priestley's truly creepy descriptions. The book played out as a movie in my head and left me terrified. I c
...more
Ms. Yingling
Priestly, Chris. The Dead of Winter.
In Victorian London, Michael's mother dies, leaving him an orphan, since his father was killed in a war. Luckily, he died saving Sir Stephen Clarendon, and this gentleman is now going to take Michael in. Michael ventures out to the windswept moors where Sir Stephen lives with his sister Charlotte and a variety of caretakers, and will stay until it is time for him to go to boarding school. All is not well at Hawton Mere-- Sir Stephen is haggard and haunted, and
...more
Krista (CubicleBlindness Reviews)
I could not help but think of The Woman in Black the whole time reading this and finding comparisons. Mostly because The Woman in Black recently came out on film and because there are a lot of similarities. But this book was written for a younger crowed, more 12-15 years of age.

Characters: I liked all of the characters in this novel. I thought that Michael was very brave and that the lawyer was above and beyond nice by taking him into his home. Michael is not afraid to ask questions and as most
...more
TheBookSmugglers
Originally Reviewed on The Book Smugglers

Young Michael Vyner has had a rough lot in life - his father died heroically in the first world war saving the life of a fellow soldier, leaving Michael and his mother pressed to make ends meet. After his mother dies of illness, Michael is orphaned and left adrift in the world when he learns that Sir Stephen Clarendon - the same soldier his father died rescuing in the war - has become Michael's legal guardian. Whisked away from his home, Michael is sent t
...more
Amy Lignor
Jan 22, 2012 Amy Lignor rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Angels and statues that have been colored green by time surround Michael when the reader is introduced to this young man who has lost his mother. Standing at the funeral, Michael has no idea what he’s going to do next. What he doesn’t expect is a man to come out of the mist to let Michael know that he has now become the ward of a stranger by the name of Sir Stephen Clarendon.

Sir Stephen has been sending money ever since Michael’s father sacrificed himself so that Stephen could live and Michael
...more
Darin
Oct 06, 2015 Darin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is a chilling story about ghosts and murder in a creepy house. I am not lying when I say I felt the same fear that Micheal felt during this book. Dead of winter by Chris Priestley is my top favorite horror/murder mystery book and I do recommend reading this story. The characters in this book seem very real and almost like real people. In summary, ghosts, murder, intrigue, fear, grief (Drop the mic)
Peter
May 23, 2014 Peter rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Michael has lost both of his parents. His father died in the war saving the life of Sir Stephen Clarendon. Michael is approached by Mr. Jerwood, a lawyer acting on behalf of Sir Stephen. Sir Stephen is now Michael guardian. Sir Stephen invites Michael to Hawton Mere for Christmas. Sir Stephen and his sister Charlotte live in this big manor. Michael makes the journey with Mr. Jerwood. He and Michael would become good friends. Once Michael arrives a Hawton Mere, strange things begin to happen. Mic ...more
Richard Farley
Mar 06, 2013 Richard Farley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The book's story is set within Victorian times. The main character Michael sadly is coping with the death of his Mother and is taken under the guardianship of his dead Fathers friend. The story develops around the mansion to which he is sent and the mysterious events and history of it, with a great twist at the end. I read this book after another in the series, aftering enjoying the authors style of writing. I was not dissapointed and enjoyed this great Ghost story. I look forward to the next bo ...more
Mary Orchard
This is a story about a little boy named Michael whose mother passes away and he is invited to live with a wealthy gentleman who was saved by the boy's father in circumstances that cost his father's life. Bitter and discouraged, Michael grudgingly moves to the old mansion where Sir Stephen lives. At his arrival, Michael observes paranormal activity happening, and few believe him. He becomes engaged in the history of the old mansion and discovers the secrets of the past. A ghost from its past hau ...more
Katrinka
Nov 16, 2014 Katrinka is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
Katrinka Chavez -herring
11/16/14
periord 1




Young Michael Vyner has had a rough lot in life – his father died
heroically in the first world war saving the life of a fellow soldier, leaving Michael and his mother pressed to make ends meet. After his mother dies of illness, Michael is orphaned and left adrift in the world when he learns that Sir Stephen Clarendon the same soldier his father died rescuing in the war has become Michael’s legal guardian. Whisked away from his home, Michael is sent to s
...more
Bill
Oct 16, 2014 Bill rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a nicely written story with paranormal aspects, but portrayed in such a way as to be almost believable, particularly as the narrative is described in the ‘first person’ of Michael Vyner, so it is easy to forget the author is Chris Priestley.

While I wouldn’t normally be interested in reading a book with ghostly aspects, I was captivated by the story, which flows well to an interesting finish, so I had to keep reading until the end.
Anthony Burt
This was an enjoyable, freaky little book written in the old Gothic Victorian style. Very much like the Lady in Black, it has a small and spooky story at its heart: the death of Lady Clarendon at a haunted house in the middle of nowhere on marshlands.

The narrator is an incredibly observant and perceptive young boy (possibly too much so as his over-use of explanatory language can get a bit much at times) who has recently lost his mother and heads off to stay with his very disturbed uncle, Sir Ste
...more
Kat O'B
"It will take every ounce of willpower I possess to tell this tale. But tell it I must." So says Micheal, the narrator of this gothic tale of psychological horror. Death of his mom, sent off to a creepy, old mansion in the frigid marshes in the care of a guardian who is seemingly insane, footsteps in the hallway...screaming in the night... you get the picture. Nicely written; setting well-drawn. One of the reviews I read before actually reading the book calls this short novel a, "nod to Poe's Fa ...more
Sara
Bookmarked Book. The kids were so-so about it. Some straight up didn't like it, others said it was okay, a couple said they really liked it. I did not. I really don't have any great criticisms - it's not like the writing was horrendous or the premise utterly ridiculous - I just didn't like it. It was a quick and easy read, and there were a few parts that creeped me out, but...no. For all that I love YA, this just felt too juvenile. Discussion in Bookmarked was fun as everyone told their own ghos ...more
Dewi
Ini adalah kisah Michael Vyner, si anak yatim piatu yang diangkat menjadi anak wali seorang bangsawan bernama Sir Stephen. Dia harus pindah ke Hawton Mere yang sunyi dan terpencil. Hal-hal aneh di Hawton Mere yang ia dengar dan lihat nampaknya tidak dialami oleh penghuni lain, kecuali Sir Stephen. Akankah kisah ini berakhir bahagia bagi Michael?

“Intelligence is a somewhat over-rated virtue. Real intelligence is valuable, of course – but so often people are actually talking about a cleverness, an
...more
Hannah
11/14/2014
I'm currently on page 38 and this book is amazing!! I begins a Michael writes down everything, calling up his past. The real story begins in a graveyard. His father had died in war, protecting a man. His mother had died from illness and he is expected to stay with a strange man that he has never met before. He has to stay with the man that his father had protected with his own life. On the ride, in a carriage, late fall/near winter, Michael claims to have seen a girl in the snow. Him,
...more
Lisa Martin
Apr 23, 2012 Lisa Martin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Brilliant. A good old fashioned ghost story. It absolutely scared the living daylights out of me.
Luciana
Jul 21, 2016 Luciana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Impecable, genial la ambientación gótica y victoriana. La atmósfera opresiva acompaña a toda la historia, con niebla en el pantano que rodea a la mansión, paneles de madera oscura, velas titilantes, sombras y toda clase de ruidos. Está muy buena la forma en la que se va conociendo la historia de la familia y del protagonista. La única salvedad es que no me parece muy consistente uno de los elementos sobrenaturales. Se dan indicios que apuntan a una dirección pero después la explicación para eso ...more
James
Feb 24, 2016 James rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The dead of winter takes place in England. It is about a boy name Micheal whos mother died and his father died in a war. There is this man named Sir Stephen who is taking care of him at his mansion.( Hawton Mere). He is doing this because his father saved him in the war. The characters believe believable because they talk a lot. The main character (Micheal) has long black hair and has pale skin (in my mind). Micheal is curious and always asks questions. I like the book because it was scary with ...more
Minna
I'd say this is a middle grade book, although our library's copy was in young adult, and certainly due to the scare factor/death count I suppose it could go either way. I'd say it's at least a MATURE middle grade book, if that makes any sense.

I wasn't expecting this to be particularly scary, considering the reading level and length (it's pretty short), despite the ominous cover. I was surprised by just how spooked I got reading it late at night. It's exactly the sort of horror that does me in (f
...more
Samantha
Jan 25, 2015 Samantha rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
#3.5
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The Dead of Winter - Mustafa F. 1 1 May 25, 2016 03:02PM  
do you have suggestions for "contemporary" GOTHIC ghosts stories? 1 6 Jul 07, 2012 01:49PM  
  • The Haunting of Tabitha Grey
  • Saving Daisy
  • Tyme's End
  • The Thornthwaite Inheritance
  • Wolf Blood
  • Angel Dust
  • Scarlett Dedd
  • Long Lankin (Long Lankin, #1)
  • Stones for My Father
  • Name and Number
  • The Long Weekend
  • Sun Horse, Moon Horse
  • The Seeing
  • X Marks the Spot (The X-Files: Middle Grade, #1)
  • This is Not Forgiveness
  • The Glass Demon
  • Mortlock
  • White Crow
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His father was in the army and so he moved around a lot as a child and lived in Wales. He was an avid reader of American comics as a child, and when he was eight or nine, and living in Gibraltar, he won a prize in a newspaper story-writing competition. He decided then “that my ambition was to write and illustrate my own book”.
He spent his teens in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, before moving to Manchester,
...more
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