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The Screaming Staircase (Lockwood & Co. #1)

4.17  ·  Rating Details  ·  14,166 Ratings  ·  2,283 Reviews
When the dead come back to haunt the living, Lockwood & Co. step in . . .

For more than fifty years, the country has been affected by a horrifying epidemic of ghosts. A number of Psychic Investigations Agencies have sprung up to destroy the dangerous apparitions.

Lucy Carlyle, a talented young agent, arrives in London hoping for a notable career. Instead she finds hersel
Hardcover, 390 pages
Published September 17th 2013 by Disney-Hyperion (first published August 29th 2013)
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Rosie This is late but I think, like Bartimaeus trilogy, these books can be read by people of all ages.
Sarah Irwin In the version I read there were not any. However at the back there are about three pages of definitions for the types of ghosts and things like that
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Middle Grade Novels of 2013
25th out of 371 books — 732 voters
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UK YA in 2013
51st out of 165 books — 329 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Rick Riordan
Dec 04, 2013 Rick Riordan rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
My YA recommendation of the month -- which is not really fair since I read the ARC and it doesn't come out until September -- is Jonathan Stroud's Lockwood & Co.: The Screaming Staircase. You may be familiar with Stroud's earlier series about the genie Bartimaeus, and like Bartimaeus, Lockwood & Co. offers us an alternate modern England -- a brilliantly rendered world in which "the Problem" has inexplicably caused ghosts to run rampant and disrupt the lives of mortals. In this new realit ...more
Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘ (of badger and SNAKE)

Edit 03/25 : Reread with my teacher glasses... Well now, this is a success :) Let's see what the kids think now!

Why an experiment? To be honest, I wasn't accustomed to discriminating Middle-Grade and Young Adult novels back when I read in French. WHY? This would be because they're similarly advertised (when in hardbacks) - and don't get me started about the New Adult ones which are blended with them : frankly, I applause all the parents who're trying to make some sense of the way books are sold
Faye, la Patata

Man, this book was awesome and impressive. To be honest, although there are a lot of good MG stuff out there, I'm still a bit wary of this demographic because there is a fair amount of books out there in this category that is absolutely juvenile. But The Screaming Staircase screamed unique, it screamed different, it screamed FANTASTIQUE! in big, bold letters. There is so much to love in this book: the endearing, well-polished characters; the enchanting, well-written narration; and the hypnotic,
Cora Tea Party Princess
I mostly requested this because I'd heard good things about it, and boy am I glad I did. This book is awesome!

I think that this is a children's book (middle grade maybe?) but don't let that put you off. This book is ridiculously well written, reading with the flair and complexity of only the best books (ever) and I freaking loved it.

This book is creepy and a little bit scary, set in a terrifying alternate world where ghosts have taken over the night and have the power to kill. When only the youn
Darth J
Oct 14, 2014 Darth J rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Darth J by: Andrea ❤Ninja Bunneh❤
3.75 stars

*Please note that an Amazon seller sent me an uncorrected ARC of this instead of the hardcover I actually ordered so the book I read may be different than the final product.*

Initially I liked the concept of this book: young, psychic ghost-hunting sleuths who use an array of gadgets to solve mysteries in haunted houses. The problem is that the writing is sometimes too dry to keep your attention. Though the dialogue is realistic for the characters, not the overly snarky way adults writer
Oct 09, 2014 Madeline rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I can't believe I almost forgot about Jonathan Stroud. His Bartimaeus trilogy was one of my favorites when I was in middle school/high school, but I never thought I would find another one of his books, because for some reason I believed that he hadn't written anything else after that series. It was pure chance that I learned about this book at all - I can't remember which of my Goodreads friends put this on their to-read list, but someone did, and I happened to be looking at my feed at the exact ...more
Aug 28, 2013 Tiff rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrens, ghosts
I have two confessions...

1) I have NEVER read a Jonathan Stroud book before. I am aware this is a shocking error and shall have to be rectified before I end up in library purgatory.

2) I am a complete scaredy cat and do not read ghost stories.

So, when I received a review copy of Lockwood I was...unsure to say the least, but I thought give it a go - expand your reading horizons, and I am SO glad I did.

Ghosts are real. The Problem is widespread with many reports of Visitors and fatal cases of ghost
I’m sick of historical fiction. I’m sick of contemporary fiction. I’m sick of realism and science fiction. Fantasy I watch with a wary eye. I don’t always feel this way but when I’ve read seven depressing meaningful middle grade books for kids in a row the old noggin screams for something enjoyable for once. And to place into this mental desert a book like The Screaming Staircase ... well, it’s the best possible cure for what ails ye. A pleasure from tip to tail, this is the book you hand the ad ...more
Dec 06, 2013 Werner rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of supernatural fiction
Recommended to Werner by: Fellow Goodreader Cora Linn (in her review)
Because of their line of work, the owners of Hearthside Books in Bluefield, WV are frequently favored by publishers with advance review copies of forthcoming books. Last month, they offered some of these free, for a limited time, to their customers; and this was the one I snapped up, intrigued by a glowing review from another member of the Book Review Exchange group. (She didn't steer me wrong!) The nearly month-long time it took me to read this isn't really indicative; it's a brisk-paced tale w ...more
There are five things I can say that'll make you want to read this book -

1. It's BRILLIANTLY written by (the always awesome) Jonathan Stroud.
2. It's a deliciously eerie spookfest, just in time for Halloween.
3. Main characters don't fall in love with each other.
4. Speaking of - BEST. CHARACTERS. EVER!
5. It has a sequel (Eep!)
Mlpmom (Book Reviewer)
After seeing so many glowing reviews for this and the simple fact that it is all about ghost hunting, there was no way I could pass this up. I almost never resist a good ghost story.

Even though set in modern day London (or at least I think that is the setting since it never gives a year), I couldn't help but love the old world style to it. An almost Sherlock Holmes feel to it if you will.

I loved this from the very first page and while there was a lot of info dumping (to be expected of course) it
Stacey (prettybooks)
I just love ghost stories, don't you? I don't often read horror, but as I said in last year's Books for Halloween post: I’ve never really done ‘scary’. I’m all about creepy, spooky and eerie. And Lockwood & Co: The Screaming Staircase is the perfect horror/mystery/fantasy novel for me. Its ghosts create a tense, eerie atmosphere because they are really quite chilling. But it's not all about the ghosts – The Screaming Staircase has three brilliant teenage characters too: Lucy Carlyle, Anthony ...more
 Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja)

This was a really cool story idea and a fun read. I'm a huge fan of classic horror, particularly really creepy ghost stories. While this is a modern published book, it has a favorably classic vibe. The ghosts in this book are portrayed in the most harmful of ways. They aren't just shades who have forgotten they are dead and harmlessly roam the world of the living. Instead, they have great potential for injuring and even killing humans. As a result of the "Problem", a huge rash of ghost h
Lockwood & Co, voor mij een mix tussen Supernatural, Sherlock en Ghostbusters. De Schreeuwende Wenteltrap is het eerste deel in deze griezelige serie! Lees hier mijn recensie:
Stefan Bachmann
Mar 28, 2016 Stefan Bachmann rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
100 stars. You'll probably guess the final twist the moment it's foreshadowed, but it doesn't matter because getting there is so much fun, and the characters are so well-written, and this WORLD.

The book is set in a subtly alternate England where ghosts and spirits have started causing mayhem and professional agencies have sprung up to combat them with iron and flares and secret knowledge. Lockwood and Co. is a new agency made up of three teenagers (I think? The book is totally MG-readable, thou
Mar 04, 2016 Nanna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4 solid stars!

This was a very enjoyable read. It was hilarious and extremely interesting. I'm not a big reader of "ghost" stories and the supernatural in that sense, idk how this holds up to other ghost stories, but I loved this world.

So the story revolves around a world where Ghost are a common day thing. They haunt places and they're much more dangerous that our common day ghost. There's a curfew for humans to be inside after dark because being around these ghost can be deadly—if they touch
Wilja van Book
Nov 23, 2015 Wilja van Book rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ghostbusters und die ??? meets Sherlock Holmes.
Spannendes, gut geschriebenes Buch mit toller gruseliger atmosphäre und der gewissen Prise Humor.
Madeleine - Tei
Sounds like it might be a book written in a very Bartimaeus style voice... I miss that guy, okay?! Who's gunna blame me? That guy was a chick MAGNET.

I miss him :(


The Screaming Staircase is a young adult novel that works because of the dynamic between the main characters. It is the second novel featuring ghosts and other spirits that I have read in the past week, and it may not be the last that I read for this month, considering that Joseph Delaney's The Ghost Prison is awaiting a pick-up from the library. I mention this trivial detail because it provides the perfect frame as to how it compares to another excellent novel which used spooky themes as part o
4,5 / 5*

Ááááááááááá .. duchové existujooooooou!

Po Kvílejícím schodišti tomu možná i věřím.
Neuvěřitelné, že Jonathan Stroud vytvořil daleko strašidelnější příběh, než nabízí YA pokusy o hororovou atmosféru.


A ty vtípky! Jeeeej.
Lockwooda a spol. musí milovat každý!

"Ta zbroj trochu vypadá, jako když na sobě máte šatičky."
"Urážky v takovéhle chvíli, pane Cubbinsi? Je to moudré?"
"No, když vás ohrožuje zbraní přestárlý šílenec v železné sukni, tak to jste vážně na úplném dně."

Extratěšing na další dí
Jun 13, 2015 Cassandra rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Dieses Buch ist ideal dafür ein paar Stunden die reale Welt auszusperren. Die existenten Dämonen (nervige Exfreunde, motzende Eltern, Prüfungsängste oder alptraumhafte Gedanken) hinter sich lassen und stattdessen lieber mit Lockwood und Co. auf Geisterjagd gehen.

Das Buch kommt ohne Längen daher. Die Story ist rasant, packend und schnell ohne dabei auf Kosten der Charaktere zu gehen. Der Schreibstil ist zwar ‚flott‘, aber nicht so umgangssprachlich oder jugendlich, dass Erwachsene sich nicht ein
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

“My view is: with you and George on my team, nothing can stand in our way.” [...]
“Thank you,” I said. “I hope so too.”
Lockwood laughed. “There’s no ‘hope’ about it. With our combined talents, what can possibly go wrong?”

Lockwood, Lucy and George are a talented team of psychic investigators living in an alternative type of London where the young carry rapiers and hunt ghosts, otherwise known as ‘Visitors’ for a living. With their combined talents nothing should go wrong
Initial thoughts: This was so much fun to read! Child ghost busters fight scary ghosts with all sorts of iron, salt, and explosives. Full review to come...

The Review:
With Halloween coming up at the end of the month, it only feels appropriate to review a scary book – a ghost story. The Screaming Staircase is aimed at children from ages 8 and up however, the kid in all of us should enjoy the book.

The Screaming Staircase is the first book in Jonathan Stroud’s new series Lockwood & Co. I discov
Rachel Hartman
Sep 11, 2014 Rachel Hartman rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It is extremely rare that I will rate a book I haven't read myself, but in this case I feel the five stars are completely deserved, whatever this book's actual contents may be. You see, I have a picky reader at home. He loves non-fiction, but it is super hard to find fiction he will read.

I know, I know. I write fiction. I feel like the shoemaker whose children go barefoot.

In any case, I picked this up (on the excellent advice of Miss Print), and by golly my son could not put it down. I appreciat
Tanja Voosen
Lookwood war ja eine Weile ziemlich häufig auf Blogs vertreten, aber trotzdem subbte das Buch etwas länger bei mir, nachdem ich es gewonnen hatte. Nachdem ich jetzt den ersten Band gelesen habe, würde ich am liebsten sofort mit dem zweiten weitermachen, aber der ist noch nicht in meinem Besitz! :) Lookwood ist das erste Buch von Jonathan Stroud, das ich gelesen habe und meine Erwartungen wurden bei Weitem übertroffen. Zunächst einmal fand ich das ganze Setting so richtig megaaaaa cooool. In der ...more
Nov 10, 2014 Hallie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya, fantasy, audiobook
My computer had a tantrum and I lost what I'd written - don't have the energy to try to recreate it all, either. Bullet-points again it is.

1) LOVED the narrator. Sad she hasn't done any other books, even the second Lockwood book.

2) LOVED the story. It's smart, often funny and occasionally terrifying.

3) LOVED the puzzle about how the world relates to ours - initially I'd assumed it was historical fantasy, probably late Victorian, but it isn't - Lucy's family gives this impression the most, only
Jan 01, 2015 Erik rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Niektoré knihy ma prekvapia, ale že úplne.
A to bol aj tento prípad. A až teraz naozaj ľutujem, že som pred desiatimi rokmi nečítal Amulet zo Samarkandu a všetky ostatné knihy Jonathana Strouda. Lebo v tomto je absolútne úžasný.

Nebudem obkecávať obsah knihy -- vy si ju totiž musíte prečítať, ale PREČO by ste si ju mali prečítať? Tu sú moje 3 dôvody:
Koľkí z vás si povedal, že už sme poriadne starí a o desať-dvanásťročných deckách sa nám čítať nechce? Nuž, Ujo Stroud nám všetkým vytrel zrak,
Rachel Shedden
Apr 19, 2014 Rachel Shedden rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am ashamed. So deeply, deeply ashamed. This book (or should I say, proof copy of this book) came through the post to me sometime last year. It was completely unexpected, a complete surprise and I hadn't given it much thought. I hadn't heard too much about it nor did it instantly appeal to me. Last night I picked it up on a whim, more or less due to the UKYA readathon and all I can say is that I'm very glad I ended up doing so, because it was rather incredible - I adored it.

It wasn't what I was
S.J. Hollis
Straight to the point. I find books as good as Lockwood and Co: The Screaming Staircase very difficult to review. Why? Because I’ve enjoyed them so much I find it tough to be critical. A good review, after all, is all about balance and objectivity. Well, stuff that. I loved this book to the point of obsession. While I was reading it, I didn’t want to do anything else. Sleep, work and toilet breaks became inconveniences, and other people only existed to be told how good this book was and why they ...more
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Felix Felicis RP ...: The Screaming Staircase: Thoughts. 1 10 Oct 11, 2015 08:27PM  
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Jonathan Anthony Stroud is an author of fantasy books, mainly for children and youths.

Stroud grew up in St Albans where he enjoyed reading books, drawing pictures, and writing stories. Between the ages seven and nine he was often ill, so he spent most of his days in the hospital or in his bed at home. To escape boredom he would occupy himself with books and stories. After he completed his studies
More about Jonathan Stroud...

Other Books in the Series

Lockwood & Co. (4 books)
  • The Whispering Skull (Lockwood & Co., #2)
  • The Hollow Boy (Lockwood & Co. #3)
  • The Creeping Shadow (Lockwood & Co., #4)

Share This Book

“When you go out hunting wicked spirits, it's the simple things that matter most. The silvered point of your rapier flashing in the dark; the iron filings scattered on the floor; the sealed canisters of best Greek Fire, ready as a last resort...

But tea bags, brown and fresh and plenty of them, and made (for preference) by Pitkin Brothers of Bond Street, are perhaps the simplest and best of all.

OK, they may not save your life like a sword-tip or an iron circle can, and they haven't the protective power of a sudden wall of fire. But they do provide something just as vital. They help keep you sane.”
"No. I'm being ironic. Or is it sarcastic? I can never remember."
"Irony's cleverer, so you're probably being sarcastic.”
More quotes…