Long Lankin
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Long Lankin

3.71 of 5 stars 3.71  ·  rating details  ·  1,163 ratings  ·  304 reviews
Beware of Long Lankin, that lives in the moss. . . .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 to go back to London. But what they don't know is that their aunt's life was devastated the last t...more
Hardcover, 464 pages
Published April 7th 2011 by Bodley Head (first published January 6th 2011)
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Community Reviews

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karen

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...more
Giselle
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...more
Jo
"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...more
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
...more
Bonnie
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...more
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...more
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...more
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...more
Carolyn (Book Chick City)
7/10 on the blog

"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 Barr...more
Allie
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
Rebekah
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...more
TheBookSmugglers
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...more
Kelly
4.5

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....more
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.



WHAT I LIKED



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 reconstr...more
Carole Holland
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...more
Valentina
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...more
ɐıʌɐʇɔo
Um...Wow...

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...more
Ellen
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
Tanja
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...more
Elameno
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...more
Vivienne
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...more
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...more
Shannon
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...more
Erin Stuhlsatz
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...more
Beverly
Aug 18, 2012 Beverly rated it 2 of 5 stars Recommends it for: 14-16 year olds
Recommended to Beverly by: indie next list/indiebound.org
Long Lankin is classified as a YA novel. I don't know why, unless it is because the protagonist is an adolescent. The story, although excellent, will be too demanding for many YA readers. Long Lankin is written in the style of a classic folk tale. It has all of the best folk tale elements - a creepy setting, a long ago witch trial gone wrong, a curse, ghosts wandering the cemetery, an evil presence stalking the characters, and a harsh, cold elderly relative hiding a long held family secret. The...more
Carly
Jan 29, 2013 Carly rated it 5 of 5 stars Recommends it for: The long the short and the tall - and the horses they rode in on.
Jan 28th ...

Finished! And glad to be so ... the last few pages of this book had me scrabbling for purchase in my dreams. I dreamed of that house twice this week.

Even though I was relieved when it came to an end, I was thoroughly engrossed in the story.

Creepy, but a goodie.

Jan 13th ...

Still at it - we rode out to Milton yesterday, and as usual, I read while Jeff drove. Milton, Ontario being 'still country' provides one who does think of these things, with plenty of scenes to cause the reader to...more
Alexandra
First off, this book is HUGE. The print is typical YA book print size, and had this book been written for adults, it would have been a lot smaller, thus shrinking the size of this book by at least half. But it kind of made me feel accomplished, not having read a book this thick in awhile :P
At first, I wasn't sure if I'd like this one and worried that it'd take me forever to finish because I'd be bored out of my mind. It took me a bit to get used to the speaking style of Cora, Roger, Pete and Mim...more
Alex Baugh
It is August 1958. Cora Swift, 12, and her sister Mimi, 4, have just arrived at Bryers Guerdon from London to live with their Auntie Ida Eastfield at Guerdon Hall, a ramshackle estate that has been in their family for centuries. Their mother is gone again, and their dad had no where else to send them until she returns home. Where her mum is is a mystery to Cora.

But Auntie Ida doesn't want them living with her and immediately gives them a list of things they must never, ever do, odd things like...more
Heather
A bit disappointing.

I'm the most easily scared person there is, I don't do laundry in my basement after dark, can't watch zombie movies, and sometimes make my housemate check for monsters before I go to bed. Yes, seriously.
This book did not frighten me in the least. Vaguely spooky? Yeah, I'll give it that. I think the scariest part of the book is the old poem that inspired it, and the idea that something truly scary was going to happen. It just never did.


I picked the book up while I was check...more
Awake at Midnight
Reviewed for: Awake at Midnight

I found it tough to get rolling with this book. The largest hurdle I had was the first-person, present tense narration that switches arbitrarily between characters. I was not sure who I was supposed to identify with and the tense was awkward. Luckily the present tense eases up as the story gets deeper.

This is definitely a book for adults, not teens, despite the children protagonists. Thick with atmosphere, but with many pages of long dialogue describing the backgro...more
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LOVED this book! 2 4 Jan 02, 2014 11:59AM  
A Literary Tea with Lindsey Barraclough 3 18 Dec 04, 2013 03:36AM  
Read by Theme: Long Lankin 1 18 Aug 14, 2012 06:06PM  
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“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
“The wind sounds like people crying.” 2 likes
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