The Guardians
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The Guardians

3.51 of 5 stars 3.51  ·  rating details  ·  601 ratings  ·  115 reviews
From acclaimed author Andrew Pyper, a gripping novel of psychological suspense about four men haunted by a secret from childhood.

There's no such thing as an empty house...

Trevor, Randy, Ben and Carl grew up together in the small town of Grimshaw as many boys do — playing hockey and forging friendships that run deep. Twenty-four years later, when Ben commits suicide, the th...more
Published February 1st 2011 by Orion (first published January 1st 2011)
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I had first heard of this book by reading a glowing review for it in a newspaper, perhaps The Globe and Mail.
So I got on to Goodreads and added it to my to-read list.

Where it stayed for about two years. Every time I was deciding what to read next, I would come to this and be cooled by the 3.52 rating. It almost got to the point where I was going to take it off my list altogether.

What a mistake that would have been. I am shocked at the average rating of this book. I had only glazed over reviews,...more
Part of what we share is the knowledge that every small town has a second heart, smaller and darker than the one that pumps the blood of good intentions. We alone know that the picture of home cooking and oak trees and harmlessness is false. This is the secret that binds us. Along with the friends who share its weight.
~The Guardians
What is not to love about this book? It is a coming of age story about friendship. It is a story of ghosts and secrets. It is a tale of damaged men who discover th...more
Another fantastic book from Pyper. Probably the best haunted house story I have ever read. He is such an amazing writer that the words just come to life and suck you right into the story. Plot and charecterization are terrific as always and the ending is truly scary and satisfying. If you like ghosts and haunted houses in a well-written setting, this one's for you.
Janette Fleming
I have loved Andrew Pyper darkly, seductive novels, all of them are very different on the surface but underneath they all have similar characteristics, human anxieties and secrets and misgivings.

'The Guardians' has shades of Stephen King's IT and The Body in this coming of age 'supernatural' thriller but there is nothing wrong with that and Pyper doesn't put a foot wrong!
The local haunted house has become part of urban mythology and the Thurman House in the Guardians represents that old abandone...more
Jennifer Rayment
The Good Stuff

* Extremely suspenseful and delightfully creepy at times
* It's got a Haunted House and I LOVE haunted house stories!!!!!
* Set in small town Ontario -- so it is very familiar to me -- even been to Grimshaw
* Canadian and not depressing - who would have thought
* Lots of twists and turns and surprises that you don't see coming
* Very wise commentary on youth and loss of innocense
* Did I mention Ghosts and Haunted Houses - what's not to love
* Will definitely be looking for other...more
Sandi Altner
Aug 27, 2011 Sandi Altner rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Haunted house fans
The Guardians by Andrew Pyper is one of those books I found myself stealing time to read and I must admit that I haven’t read a “thriller” in twenty years or more. I even pulled the book out after dark, which I had promised myself I was not going to do. It’s a nightmare thing with me. Creepy images stay with me. I don’t like practical jokes that are designed to scare people, and I have never watched a horror film since someone took me on a date to see The Omen about a million years ago.

My inter...more
I didn't love the book, but I didn't hate it either. I loved Pyper's prose and enjoyed reading the story, I just don't know that I loved the whole story. Maybe it's just that I didn't buy the personification of the house - you know, no matter what else is going on, a house doesn't have a gaze, or feelings, or wants and needs. Funny that it wasn't the ghost that I didn't buy, but there it is.

I also thought that there were some loose ends (view spoiler)...more
Sue Smith

I still get the heebee jeebies when I think of this book ....... and I really do want to stop thinking about this book. I just give thanks that I'm not living alone so I don't have to worry about needlessly scaring the sh*t out of myself everytime I turn around. Although, it won't make me turn off the lights. And I'm first in bed so I don't have to walk through the dark. (It's all about strategies people!)

This was a really great -classic- haunted house horror story. Small town, ab...more
Trevor, Ben, Randy and Carl have been friends for a very long time. Having grown up together in the apply named town Grimshaw they have had many great experience together as part of the Guargians ice hockey team and the usual antics of teenage boys. There innocence though will be shattered by the happenings in the eery Thurman house wich has been abandoned for many years and is believed to be haunted. Located directly across the road from Bens house the boys would occasionally see unusual and in...more
The Guardians at times had five star potential and at times it fell flat. The last third of the book was predictable and I felt that the story reached a peak and just stretched out to the conclusion. There were a lot of things I liked about the book. It did give me the creeps. It was also a decent coming of age story about a group of friends and what they wanted to be and how they ended up being based on their choices. The author portrayed the friends in a way you would see in books about soldie...more
Steven Buechler
" I spoke to a therapist about it. Once. She was nice - seemed nice, though this may have been only performance, an obligation included i her lawyer-like hourly fee and was ready to see me "all the through what's coming." But I couldn't go back. I just sat... back in her pleasant, fern-filled room and caught a whiff of the coconut exfoliant she'd used that morning to scrub at the liver spots on her arms and knew I would never return. She was the sort of woman in the sort of office giving off the...more
So this is what it's like to have the bejeezes spooked out of you. Yikes! Last I saw them, they were racing west on Jasper Ave. Didn't even look back. Are bejeezes replaceable? Hmmm...

Just finished Andrew Pyper's 'The Guardians' a spectacularly well-written haunted house story. Dark, mysterious and spooky I couldn't turn the pages fast enough. And just when I thought I had it figured out, I hadn't. As always, Pyper's writing is terrific. I've been a fan since 'Lost Girls' and he just keeps getti...more
Dona Matthews
This book has been widely and well-reviewed. Dennis Lehane, one of my favourite writers of thrillers, wrote, 'Moves like a bullet. Outstanding in every way.' While I agree with this observation, I found a lot more substance in The Guardians than that comment suggests. It is a story of friendship, loyalty, heartbreak, moral confusion, love, illness, and death, and altho it does move like a bullet, it also moves along at a slow enough pace that the characters come alive, and that I care about what...more
Una casa disabitata dall’aspetto inquietante. Omicidi irrisolti e il misterioso suicidio di uno dei Guardians, un gruppo di tipici adolescenti americani legati dalla passione per l’hockey. Nonostante l’argomento sia tipicamente “americano” e tenti di richiamare le atmosfere del grande maestro dell’horror Stephen King, la lettura è abbastanza piacevole. La voce narrante di Trevor, uno dei ragazzi diventato ormai un adulto affetto dal Parkinson, trascina il lettore in un alternanza di passato e pr...more
Ellen Keim
This was good but not great. Somehow it just missed being scary even though it had all the elements: a haunted house, missing persons, murder, secrets and suspense. One of the story's weaknesses is one I've noticed in other books by this author: he can't seem to make up his mind about whether or not the threats are of supernatural nature, or just things that bad people do. I wish he'd settle on one or the other--his books would be the stronger for it.

I did like the main character, Trevor, and hi...more
I'm not a big horror/crime fan but I am an Andrew Pyper fan. He writes very well. He often slips effortlessly into a sort of 'stream of consciousness' mode that works quite well in this book. It touches on lots of themes like friendship and moving on but also the way the past is always with us.
No doubt Andrew is a big step above most of the writers of this genre.
Marco Bucci
A fun story, with poignant insight on the adults that children become (mostly in the context of what doesn't change). Loved that. This is the third Pyper book in a row that I've read this month, and also my least favourite of the three. Mostly, I came away feeling that I didn't know the protagonist(s) quite as well as I did in THE DEMONOLOGIST and THE KILLING CIRCLE. In the three Pyper books read so far, this story may have been told better if written in third person, rather than first -- as tha...more
Andrew Pyper’s been on my literary radar for a few years now – ever since I read his first novel, Lost Girls. (This was well before I blogged, or even knew what blogging was, so I have no review. I do remember that I thought it was smart, well-written and creepy.) A couple years ago I read Pyper’s novel. The Trade Mission, a book I had some trouble with. Not because of the writing, more because I felt like I was in way over my head. The Guardians was a much easier read, well, perhaps not easier,...more
The Guardians are the local high school hockey team, the team that brought together Trevor, Randy Carl and Ben first as friends, and then as conspirators. Growing up in the small community of Grimshaw, everyone knew about the “Thurman house”. Probably, no one as well as these four boys when the witnessed a terrifying event that left each of them scarred in their own way. Twenty-four years later they reunite to pay last respects to Ben, who has committed suicide. Each returns with his own “ghost”...more
In The Guardians, four friends have kept a terrible secret for many years. When one of them dies and the others are drawn back home to attend his funeral, history starts to repeat itself as the secret threatens to become exposed. Through a series of memory journal entries by Trevor, one of the four, the reader learns what happened to all those years ago that shaped the lives of the four friends and irrevocably haunted them.

I loved this book. I don't read that many ghost stories or haunted house...more
I recently read Andrew Pyper's novel The Killing Circle and I have to admit that I was not a huge fan but I decided to give this author another try and I am so glad that I did! I thought The Guardians was much better written (the plot was more intriguing, the characters better developed, the narration easier to follow, etc.). As well, this novel is more deeply rooted in the paranormal although it still is an intriguing "whodunit" mystery. Even though you hear about books and movies being so scar...more
In its dual structure of the present-day narration of Trevor and the past brought to life through his recorded "memory diary," The Guardians addresses the theme of masculinity, of what it is to 'be a man.' Much of the boyhood trauma which occurs (and no spoilers here, I assure you) requires the boys to take definitive steps toward a maturity they are arguably unprepared to take. In the present, we see said masculinity present in the mid-life crises of the men: Trevor, unable to commit and facing...more
I enjoyed THE GUARDIANS on multiple levels.

First, the novel is set in small-town Ontario, and is about three forty-something men, all ex-players of the hometown hockey team "The Guardians" who come together after the death of a dear friend they haven't seen in years. Having grown up in a small town in Northern Ontario (and one in which hockey was central - three NHL players were born out of Levack, Ontario when I was growing up, one of whom I played alongside in my youth) I recognize how perfect...more
I took this out the library on a sort of whim, but was unimpressed - to begin with. To me it seemed more like a rehash of Stephen King's IT that anything else. And it is. Just a little, i mean there are some key elements which are similar. A group of friends, returning to their hometown to fight something they fought before.
It's actually not that much like IT. But it is a good horror story - it's got a lot of creepiness and there's some interesting background to the haunted house. The way Pyper...more
Having just finished a rather epic and quite cerebral non-fiction book, I was really in the mood for something I could just tear through in a day, and this more than fit the bill. I'm always a sucker for a good haunted house story (come on, there's nothing like the classics!) and this one was a real treat.

In places it did remind me of Stephen King's 'It' - friends confronting something terrible in childhood, returning as adults to confront it once again, one of them committing suicide, all takin...more
Aug 21, 2014 Becca rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Thriller seekers
Recommended to Becca by: No one.
I found this book pretty hard to get into at first, but I'm so glad I continued to read it when I did! The book is brilliant and definitely one of my favourites, it has a brilliant plot and it's very unpredictable, definitely recommended to anyone that loves a good thriller!

The friendship between the 4 of them is shown so clearly and easily by Pyper and gives you a greater understanding of all of the characters.

I give this a good rating, definitely worth a read.
Thomas Grant Bruso

Andrew Pyper makes writing fiction look easy.

After discovering this wonderful new writer of scary suspense novels early this year, I cannot stop thinking about his creepy work of fiction. When I began reading Pyper's mind-blowing THE KILLING CIRCLE, I had difficulty putting it down.

And now, those same feelings have resurfaced with THE GUARDIANS, a horrifyingly creepy tale of a haunted house and four men who have come back to it to seek the dark truth about their unspeakable past. A crime was com...more
It's been a long time since I found a book scary, but this one did it. I read it a lot on the subway and kept noticing that I was making these horrible grimacing faces.

The Guardians is a ghost story and a mystery rolled into one, and it manages to be pretty satisfying on both accounts, which I think is a tremendous accomplishment for a book. It's also about being a man, growing up, coming home and the things we run away from. The writing was excellent and really captured a lot of the nuanced fe...more
Michelle Feist
Another great book by Andrew Pyper! This one was a creepy thriller set in a small Ontario town where literal and figurative ghosts from the past come back to haunt a group of friends who converge on their hometown for the funeral of their good friend. I was riveted from the first page and was not disappointed. Now I need to get "The Killing Circle".
It was a fun read, and as other reviewers have stated, the pacing was quite well done. The plot came together nicely at the end, though as to weather the haunting was over was never cleared up. A good read, nonetheless, and sufficiently creepy at that.
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My new novel, THE DEMONOLOGIST, was an Amazon and Globe and Mail Best Book of the Year, a #1 bestseller in Canada, and won the International Thriller Writers Award for Best Hardcover Novel. It's about a professor of English specializing in Milton's Paradise Lost who comes to believe his daughter (a presumed suicide) has been taken by a demon. The film rights have been sold to ImageMovers (Robert Z...more
More about Andrew Pyper...
The Demonologist The Killing Circle Lost Girls The Wildfire Season The Trade Mission

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