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Long Lankin (Long Lankin, #1)

3.72  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,127 Ratings  ·  436 Reviews
In an exquisitely chilling debut novel, four children unravel the mystery of a family curse - and a ghostly creature known in folklore as Long Lankin.

When Cora and her younger sister, Mimi, are sent to stay with their elderly aunt in the isolated village of Byers Guerdon, they receive a less-than-warm welcome. Auntie Ida is eccentric and rigid, and the girls are desperate
Hardcover, 455 pages
Published July 10th 2012 by Candlewick Press (first published January 6th 2011)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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this book is an anomaly.

most books with multiple POV's, where the perspective changes as much as three times per page, will be fast-paced. the benefits of this style, for a writer, are that you can keep the reader interested and frustrated all at once. you want to keep them guessing, you want to make them scream, "no, get back to that character, i want to know what is happening!" and it fragments the narrative so you can show a ton of things happening at once, and usually, the result is a book
Jul 16, 2012 Giselle rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc, own, gothic
Long Lankin is a tale that is quite slow paced, but in such a way that makes you fall addicted to the story. Its depictions of the creepy atmosphere, blood-curling ghostly creatures, and fascinating history leave you absolutely glued to its pages, not to mention chilled to the bone!

Set in the 1950's, Long Lankin brings us to a time where WW2 was just over and poverty was very much a reality. Electricity was scarce, so were methods of communication. With this setting, we've got just a dash of di
"I look over at the bed. I should lie down for a nap, get rid of this thick headache, but I hear things when I'm half asleep and they give me goose pimples. You're supposed to be able to die from fright from a nightmare, but I don't think these things are nightmares. I think they're real."

Initial Final Page Thoughts.
Um… yeah, just going to make sure my window is closed properly. And double glazed. And bolted… twice. But I can’t help feeling a tad underwhelmed but I’m blaming my immune system… Le
Jessie  (Ageless Pages Reviews)
Read This Review & More Like It On My Blog!

Though the blurb used most for this truly spine-chilling tale is the one above, all the publishers and author really need to do in order to freak their audience out and interest them at the same time is is use the poem in the prologue:

"Said my lord to my lady, as he mounted his horse,
Beware of Long Lankin that lives in the moss.
Said my lord to my lady, as he rode away
Beware of Long Lankin, that lives in the hay.
Let the doors be all bolted and
Date Posted: 1/4/2012
Expected Publication Date: July 10, 2012
Long Lankin was kindly provided to me by Netgalley for Candlewick Press.

Interested in more of my reviews? Visit my blog!

'Everything was all right until they came.'

The Storyline

When Cora and her little sister Mimi are sent to live with their Great-Aunt Ida, it is clear from the start that they are neither wanted nor welcome in her house. For the time being the children must stay with her but she immediately sends word to their father th
Cassi aka Snow White Haggard
3.5/5 stars
I have somewhat mixed feelings about Long Lankin. The mystery was good and the characters were complex. But somehow I didn't really connect with the book. Partially because I was in a hurry (I hate myself for that but I feel in the name of honesty I need to admit it) but also because the pace of the book. For me it just moved too slow. I wanted action! Fear! Monsters! Instead, it's a slow building story about a monster that has hunted generations of the Guerdon family. It preys on the
Sammee (I Want to Read That)
Not only was Long Lankin one of those books I wanted to reread as soon as I'd finished it but I also wanted to thrust a copy into the hands of everyone I know and demand they read it. The story is as creepy and atmospheric as the cover suggests and I completely and utterly fell in love with it.

The story begins with Cora and her little sister Mimi arriving in Bryers Guerdon to stay with their Aunt Ada. It soon becomes apparent that their Aunt does not wish for them to stay with her, but not neces
Jul 12, 2012 Kelly rated it really liked it

This book's atmospheric writing only makes the creep factor in the end that much more powerful. For a long time, I was taken with the setting itself and thought it wouldn't deliver on the fear factor (because at 300 pages I was still unsure exactly what would be the scary part since I knew what was coming) but oh, those last 100 pages pulled it out. My heart definitely raced a bit.

Cora and her sister Mimi are sent to live with their great Aunt Ida while their dad takes care of some business.
Apr 04, 2016 Elke rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I remember how I just had to have this book when it was published, so I purchased and shelved it immediately. But somehow I never got around to actually reading it until now - I guess it's accusing glare finally worked on me...

The story is quite fascinating: while it starts very slow and gets even slower throughout the story,it never failed to hold my attention nor was it boring to me. Of course, sometimes I thought 'hurry up', because I wanted to know what would happen next. But somehow this pa
Kirsty (overflowing library)
Long Lankin was a uniquely creepy read and one of the most original YA novels I have ever read. It is a stunning debut novel.

Long Lankin is a story about two sisters who are sent to their Great Aunt's to live. At first it seems like a story which is quite sad a bit of a comment on th social situation the children have found themselves to be in, in the 1950s but as the story develops it becomes so much more. It is told in first person and the person narrating chops and changes through the story b
Rhiannon Frater
It was so refreshing to read this novel. I had a few let downs in the book department of late, and this one really knocked it out of the park. It's a novel of slowly building, creeping horror that climaxes dramatically in a breathtaking sequence of events that had me flipping pages as fast as I could read.


The World Building

Yes, the book takes place in "our" world, or one very much like it, but it also takes place inBritainof the 1950's. The descriptions of village life, the reconst
Carolyn (Book Chick City)
3.5 Stars

"Long Lankin" is a really good debut novel from new author Lindsey Barraclough and is based on an old traditional poem that's actually quite gruesome. However, I'll just give you a snippet...

Let the doors be all bolted and the windows all pinned,
And leave not a hole for a mouse to creep in.

The doors were all bolted and the windows all pinned,
except one little window where Long Lankin crept in.

The novel certainly keeps the atmosphere and creepiness of the poem and the imagery Barraclou
Dec 02, 2012 Allie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Deep in the backwoods of England stands a little old house with a sole inhabitant. In 1953 her two granddaughters are sent to the countryside to live with her, due to family problems back in London. Upon arrival, the girls find the house shut up tight and are promptly told not to open any windows or doors. Though there are few other children around the girls find friends in the boys down the street. Together they explore the abandoned church and graveyard, ignoring the grandmothers warning about ...more
Hmmm . . . Although there were moments of good grisly terror, this debut book by Lyndsey Barraclough didn't quite make the grade for me.

I've long been fascinated with the ballad of Long Lankin, although I prefer the version made popular by the folk/rock group Steeleye Span--slightly different lyrics than the ones this author uses, and to me, more chilling.

Though her plot was essentially good, the author breaks the flow and build of the story by repeating details that only needed one telling to
Originally reviewed on The Book Smugglers

Says mylord to mylady as he mounted his horse,
“Beware of Long Lankin that lives in the moss.”

Says mylord to mylady as he went on his way,
“Beware of Long Lankin that lives in the hay.”

“See the doors are all bolted, see the windows all pinned,
And leave not a crack for a mouse to creep in.”

Oh, the doors were all bolted, oh, the windows were pinned,
But at a small peep in the window Long Lankin crept in.

August, 1958. Cora and her toddler sister Mimi leave the
Jul 03, 2015 Denny rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've read some horror novels with children as main characters over the years. Early Stephen King's I've liked. I became burned out with his after Firestarter. Summer of night by Simmons and Boy's life by Mccammon are very good. The tooth fairy by the late Graham Joyce was great. My list now includes Long Lankin by Lindsey Barraclough which is as good as the others on the list.
Jan 03, 2012 CaroleHeidi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Wow! It's quite some time since I read a book that kept me reading so intensely. I quite literally didn't want to put it down - it was compulsive reading AND it had me so creeped out I didn't dare stop.

Playing on childish fears that you had forgotten about - movements in the shadows, the whisper of voices in the wind, the fear of strange places and old houses with locked doors - and mixing them with the chilling eeriness of witchcraft and folk legends, Long Lankin scares you in a subtle way that
Feb 12, 2012 Valentina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What an interesting read! This was definitely a different story, full of gothic atmosphere and frightening scenes to keep you reading long into the night…and then lying awake because your too scared to turn off the lights.
The story begins ominously, with two sisters who are left by a friend of their dad’s to live with their aunt, Ida. From the very beginning, we think there is something strange about the whole place where they’re sent to live, with a dilapidated, abandoned church nearby that the

I had been waiting a long time to find a horror novel that actually scared me. This was it! I've read several other horrors but none of them actually got to me quite like this one. Chilling, creepy, and at times just plain disturbing, Long Lankin is a truly frightening novel that will give you goosebumps through almost every page. The imagery of "Old Peter", Lankin, and events taking place were just so...creepy. I liked alot of things about this book. I like how there were some things
Oct 08, 2012 Ellen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Long Lankin by Lindsay Barraclough (The Bodley Head-UK 2011/Candlewick) is an excellent first novel initially published in the UK 2011 and marketed as a young adult novel. Although two out of the three points of view are children’s this book should have great appeal to readers of any age. In the late 1940s, two young sisters from London are sent to stay with their great aunt in a small isolated village in rural England. Their aunt is a strange one and strict. The house in which they stay is haun ...more
Dear copy of Long Lankin,
where the hell are you? I put you somewhere safe, so I could read you after all those library books that were due, but then life and uni work go in the way. It's not because I didn't care, I was savouring you, waiting for the right moment, but now you're gone. I looked under B for Barraclough, I looked on all the nonfiction shelves just to make sure you hadn't been misplaced, I even looked under and in that massive pile of papers on my desk. I long to read you Long, I r
3.5 stars. I enjoyed this book a lot--it's a good atmospheric, creepy read. I think it appeals to the same side of me that fell in love with the show Supernatural. To be honest I spent most of my time while reading this book imagining it as a dark and terrifying BBC miniseries, and wishing such a thing existed!

The thing that let me down most about this book was the end--it was so abrupt! I'd really have liked more a denouement so I could have a sense of what happened to all of these characters a
The link to the folk song, covered by Steeleye Span in the mid-70s, was certainly what had me reaching for this from the library shelf, though I've since bought my own copy.

From its opening pages I was drawn into this atmospheric tale. Lindsey Barraclough realises the rural 1950s setting perfectly, evoking a haunting sense of timelessness once away from London into a countryside that embodies the past in its landscape and architecture as well as its lingering ghosts.

This was a story with a cree
Jun 28, 2015 Trisha rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This was just...okay. An interesting tale filled with lore, but I didn't find any of the characters terribly redeeming. I thought the child abuse and the neglect overshadowed many moments because I was still in too much shock to care about the story line. I think my lack of empathy for almost all the adults in the book (and to actually loathe them) kept me from truly enjoying this.

I did this as an audio book and the narrator did a good job.
Read along with the amazing Tsunami!

Amazing storytelling and writing, truly terrifying and engaging, even if a bit slow.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 27, 2015 Penny rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A terrific, scary novel in the long and glorious tradition of story telling for (older) children.
In time-honoured fashion, Cora and Mimi are separated from their parents in the very first chapter; their mother has disappeared and their father can't cope, so the girls are sent to their eccentric (and reluctant) great-aunt in the country.
The very first sentence sets the reader on the right track: "There's too much sky, and the further out of London we go, the more of it there is." The further out
Liz Overberg
Meh. I really wanted to like this one, but it just didn't live up to the expectations I had for. It was way more fun when I was reading it out loud! Once it was only me reading it in my head, it really fell flat for me.

As many other reviewers have said, this book is REALLY slow paced. That's not necessarily a bad thing, however. The story does continuously move forward, but a lot of the subplots really don't matter. The whole bit with the dad could really go. There are way too many minor charact
Feb 06, 2013 Shannon rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya-teen
I originally noticed this book when someone on GR said they had just purchased it. The title is what stood out for me as I used to listen to Steeleye Span and they sang a song adaptation of the poem that this book is based upon.

Not sure what category this book would fall into. I am not sure how many YA would enjoy it. The author does a good job of setting the atmosphere and introducing the long history of Long Lankin. The use of the poem throughout adds to the overall creepiness. I guess my issu
Erin Stuhlsatz
Mar 04, 2015 Erin Stuhlsatz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya, sff
This book was really creepy! The whole time I was reading it, I had to keep myself from doing the "suspension of disbelief" thing because I didn't want to get as freaked out as I knew the book could make me!

Cora and Mimi are two abandoned little girls who are sent to live with Great-Aunt Ida. Little do they know that an evil beast hundreds of years old (who likes to eat little children) will rise again and start hunting Mimi. Everybody in the town has lost a family member to the beast; Ida has l
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LOVED this book! 2 8 Jan 02, 2014 11:59AM  
A Literary Tea with Lindsey Barraclough 3 22 Dec 04, 2013 03:36AM  
Read by Theme: Long Lankin 1 22 Aug 14, 2012 06:06PM  
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Lindsey Barraclough is the author of the acclaimed Long Lankin, a companion book to The Mark of Cain. "The story can be read independently of the first," she says, "although it continues the theme of long-ago horrors — particularly witchcraft and revenge — seeping unsettlingly into the future." Lindsey Barraclough lives in London with her family.
More about Lindsey Barraclough...

Other Books in the Series

Long Lankin, (2 books)
  • The Mark of Cain

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“The wind sounds like people crying.” 4 likes
“Pete and me are pretty sure she's a witch, like old Gussie Jetherell, just down from us-- through she definitely is. She's got lots of cats, and that's a sign.” 3 likes
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