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The Evil Guest

3.08  ·  Rating Details  ·  207 Ratings  ·  21 Reviews
The foremost teller of scary stories in his day and a profound influence on both the novelists and filmmakers of the 20th century, Anglo-Irish author JOSEPH THOMAS SHERIDAN LE FANU (18141873) has, sadly, fallen out of scholarly and popular favor, and unfairly so. To this day, contemporary readers who happen across his works praise his talent for weaving a tense literary at ...more
Paperback, 140 pages
Published December 26th 2008 by Tark Classic Fiction (first published 1895)
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Estelle
Oct 15, 2015 Estelle rated it really liked it
A dark tale of murder, secrets, manipulation and tragic fate with some intriguing and mysterious characters.
I randomly picked this audiobook on LibriVox thinking I'd play it in the background and listen with a distracted ear, but instead I quickly found myself completely captivated by the mystery. I ended up dropping what I was doing and listened to the whole thing in one sitting. :)

This was surprisingly good, it had tension and a few gruesome moments. I particularly enjoyed the elegant, gothic
...more
Christian
Better to stick with Le Fanu's short stories, I think. This is beyond purple prose—D.H. Lawrence was over-the-top for my tastes, and this novel is even more labyrinthine. Grammatically, Le Fanu allows himself a brace of liberties that challenge even the diligent reader. Asides, parentheticals, supplementary insertions and incidentals all conspire to befuddle and occlude casual comprehension. It is not enough to describe an action: Le Fanu must also pack in the condition of the actor's hair, the ...more
Kacey
Apr 14, 2015 Kacey rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Following up on the heels of Carmilla, this was not nearly as good. It's still interesting and I'm always a fan of books that take on the more psychological side of horror, but I fear its weaknesses were enough to downgrade a star.

Honestly, I think the biggest problem is that this piece is presented as one long narrative. Carmilla was broken up into chapters, and even if the action in one chapter bled into the start of the next, it still had that break. Kind of like allowing the reader to breath
...more
Marts  (Thinker)
Through labeled as a gothic read this definitely isn't, however it is a classic murder mystery which takes a bit long to get back to the plot's focus at times. All in all its a pretty ok classic read through...
Lotzastitches
Somewhat difficult to follow at times but was an ok read. Short.

Best descriptive quote which takes you back to the title of the book....

"Had Ithuriel touched with his spear the beautiful young woman, thus for a moment, as it seemed, lost in a trance of gratitude and love, would that angelic form have stood the test unscathed? A spectator, marking the scene, might have observed a strange gleam in her eyes--a strange expression in her face--an influence for a moment not angelic, like a shadow of s
...more
Artemis Kouvaka
mansions, french governesses, visitors and death. oh yeah, this is a le fanu book
BJ Haun
Jan 29, 2016 BJ Haun rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This is the second book I have read that was written by this author, the other being the vampire-tale Carmilla, which I enjoyed. Sadly, this book much less interesting. What starts out looking like a somewhat interesting period-piece murder mystery turns into a slow, plodding story of a miserable man and his family. It just wasn't any fun to read, and I wouldn't really recommend it.
Susan
Aug 19, 2012 Susan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: z-2012
This started off with a lot of promise of being a dark and deeply gothic murder mystery. Secrets were hinted at and there were tantalising glimpses at what had occurred in the Marston household. Disappointingly, the ending was neither mysterious nor particularly dark and far less exciting or satisfying than the possibilities I had entertained while reading.
Crystal
Slow to start, but I expected that based on the author's era. The story does pick up eventually, but it never quite makes it to a racing finish. For my first exposure to Le Fanu, I was disappointed in the story, but I will try another of his works. Perhaps I simply chose poorly for my first book.
Christina
The ending of thie book left me with more questions than the mystery through out the book. It wasn't worth the read. Stick to other gothic novels. Try The Scarlet Pimpernel. Much more entertaining and fewer questions left.
Peter Steele
This just didn't seem to hold up through the years I had a hard time holding my interest with it.

I'll try "Carmilla". That may work better
Judy
Jan 17, 2011 Judy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another free Kindle book; I read it while in Tucson and will write a review after I enter all the books I read while there.
Jennifer
I didn't think it was as good as Carmilla, and it was largely interesting to me as a historical document.
Carla Remy
Readable, gothic, funny overuse of adjectives (in the gothic fashion). But a pretty pointless, transparent plot.
Jp
Just okay. At times rather engrossing, but then falling short. Think Uncle Silas is a better bet.
Suzanne
A good story, but convoluted and hard to follow. Carmilla is much better.
Ryan Mcintire


Disappointingly vapid psuedo-gothic tale with a flimsy premise.
Laura
Another great gothic mystery written by Sheridan Le Fanu.
Cissy
Mar 04, 2011 Cissy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Oh, brother. Well, it was free on my Kindle.
Tabitha Ormiston-Smith
Wonderful gothic stuff.
P. Candice Goddard
P. Candice Goddard rated it really liked it
Feb 05, 2016
Joe Dickerson
Joe Dickerson rated it it was amazing
Feb 01, 2016
Mark Metcalf
Mark Metcalf rated it liked it
Jan 30, 2016
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Jan 28, 2016
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Joseph Thomas Sheridan Le Fanu was an Irish writer of Gothic tales and mystery novels. He was the premier ghost story writer of the nineteenth century and had a seminal influence on the development of this genre in the Victorian era.
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