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エアーズ家の没落 Vol. 2
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エアーズ家の没落 Vol. 2

3.5  ·  Rating Details ·  27,996 Ratings  ·  4,190 Reviews
The Little Stranger follows the strange adventures of Dr. Faraday, the son of a maid who has built a life of quiet respectability as a country doctor. One dusty postwar summer in his home of rural Warwickshire, he is called to a patient at Hundreds Hall. Home to the Ayres family for more than two centuries, the Georgian house, once grand and handsome, is now in decline, it ...more
392 pages
Published September 24th 2010 by 東京創元社 (first published January 1st 2009)
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Pk Chance The ending I got was very different.

To see it, you have to accept as plausible the explanation of the entity offered by Faraday's fellow doctor and…more
The ending I got was very different.

To see it, you have to accept as plausible the explanation of the entity offered by Faraday's fellow doctor and friend (whose name escapes me at the moment) of "some 'little stranger' spawned from the troubled unconscious of someone connected with the house itself". That sounds a lot like poltergeists, which (so the stories go) seem to feed off unquiet psyches in a home. Actually, due to the sorts of things it causes to happen, it *is* a poltergeist.

Anyway, if you can accept that, two things happen: the ghost is no delusion. It's real, and it's deadly. Secondly, the question becomes, who is the person with the troubled unconscious? That person is the conduit the ghost is working through.

SPOILER: In the final sentence, you have your answer: it's Dr. Faraday. He fancies himself an objective man of science, but his problems, prejudices and flaws are on full display. He claims to love this family, but the truth he hides even from himself, suggests otherwise. As Kim Wiles said, he "writes the incidents off as delusion." That doesn't mean they are. He's deluded, all right, just not in the way he thinks.

Then you go back and re-examine the story, and a whole lot of things are cast in a whole new light. Pretty horrifying, IMO.(less)
Kate Jones Don't do it. Just please don't. I'm an English Lit A Level student myself and we have been studying this novel for the past year, it is torture trying…moreDon't do it. Just please don't. I'm an English Lit A Level student myself and we have been studying this novel for the past year, it is torture trying to revise. Aside from the disparaging length of the text that is mostly irrelevant filler, the pace is unbearably slow and the overt use of commonplace gothic tropes (although admittedly give you something to write about) make it feel so forced and predictable that you want to gouge your eyes out rather than compare this to some of the great authors like Edgar Allan Poe, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, and Henry James.(less)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Laura
If you are looking for a traditional horror novel, you won't find it in
The Little Stranger. This book is not a variant on The Shining that just happens to be set in post-WWII Britain: it is essentially historical fiction that happens to have a touch of the supernatural about it. And as historical fiction it is excellent. Sarah Waters evokes the atmosphere not only of another time (1947) but, for Americans at least, another place as well because in many ways The Little Stranger is a very "Britis
...more
karen
Apr 27, 2009 karen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
sigh. i tried to read this slowly and still finished it in two days. i suck. but i can't help it - she writes so well, and her stories are so damn compelling; the pages virtually turn themselves. but sorry, ladies, no lesbians this time. i never thought i would see the day. what else is sarah waters for, if not lesbian love?? evidently, dickensian ghost stories in postwar settings... ooooorrrr iiiiisss iiiitttt?
Jo
This review is going to be like one of those fridge poetry thingymabobs because I'm tired and coherency isn't a top priority of mine right now.
Here are some words and phrases that came to my mind after finishing this book, in no particular order.

Atmospheric | Subtle| DON'T LOOK THROUGH THE KEYHOLE! | Observations are almost clinical at points | Man, I need to read more of Sarah Waters' books | Passionate | Perfectly paced | Holy twisteroo, Batman | WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?! | Don't go upstairs and i
...more
Margaret
Apr 09, 2009 Margaret rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Departing from her preferred 19th century context, as she did in her last book The Night Watch, Sarah Waters sets her latest novel in post-World War II Warwickshire and tries her hand at an Old Dark House, Haunted-Or-Is-It story in the Jamesian tradition of subtle, ambiguous psychological chillers (The Turn of the Screw, The Beast In the Jungle. But while James intuitively understood that the atmosphere of such tales depends on sustaining the unsettling mood, and so they’re best realized – and i ...more
Paul Bryant
Aug 18, 2016 Paul Bryant rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels
Any reader of Fingersmith will know how Sarah Waters drags the old tricks of ancient fiction out of retirement and makes them dance for us again. There it was Dickens and Wilkie Collins; here its Henry James and his Turn of the Screw, The Fall of the House of Usher, and any number of novels and movies with huge crumbling stately homes at their centre. Operating where the psychological and the supernatural ooze along together, The Little Stranger unhurriedly creeps the reader into its Gothic murd ...more
Diana
Oct 07, 2009 Diana rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was quite torn about how to rate this book and went between 2 and 3 stars. I love most of Waters' books. I loved Tipping the Velvet and Affinity was a great ghost story, but this book was like her other book Night Watch-long, drawn-out and left me wondering what the point was. Faraday, the main character is not really likeable-but that being said, neither are any of the other characters. The book ends with no real wrapping up of any details-though you are left with this feeling that the author ...more
Matt
The one thing I’ve learned from reading my first two Sarah Waters novels (Tipping the Velvet and The Paying Guests) is the value of patience. She starts things slowly, building character and the environment with deliberate care and copious detail. Plot is secondary, and it can take awhile for the endgame to come into focus. With The Little Stranger, however, my patience nearly ran out.

The Little Stranger is a bit of a departure for Waters in that she plays things straight. Sexually, I mean. Her
...more
Shovelmonkey1
Nov 25, 2011 Shovelmonkey1 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who like horror-lite
Recommended to Shovelmonkey1 by: thrift and a passing acquaintance with this authors other works
Unlike other goodreaders I seem to have come to this book with no great expectations. Sarah Waters is a writer whose books I have acquired in the past purely on the grounds that there are huge herds of them roaming charity shops and second hand book stores (a joy and peril of being a best seller I guess), and therefore they are easy to get hold of for next to no money. Sorry Sarah, I got all your books CHEAP! This one was £1 I think, which is good value when you think that equates to 0.001p per ...more
Arah-Lynda
Jul 23, 2011 Arah-Lynda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: top, i-said

An eerie,engrossing haunted house tale. The plot pulls you in and holds you firmly in it's grip. A deep,disturbing, gothic ghost story of the highest order. Subtle and poignant. I could not put it down!

Katie
Apr 12, 2017 Katie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Video review will be up later today!
Amanda
I was too busy wanting this book to be something that it wasn't, that when I realized my frustration at the narrator was Water's intent and plot strategy, I couldn't get passed my disappointment to fully enjoy what she created.

I have read similar books, which I won't mention here for fear of ruining them with the comparison, but this too may have played into my reading/opinion/frustration at The Little Stranger.

I wouldn't go out of my way to recommend this book, but if you want to read a sligh
...more
William Cuthbertson
One of the more enjoyable aspects of Sarah Waters' slow paced (occasionally excruciatingly so) ghost novel, "The Little Stranger," is how subtle and contemplative its frights are, rather than being necessarily immediate or shocking. The ending is cleverly done – and softly done – so much so that to hint at it might ruin the question Waters finally poses; a frustrating notion since the slower tone and pace of the novel, combined with readers' preexisting expectations for what makes a good "ghost ...more
Tatiana
Sep 28, 2010 Tatiana rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010, booker
As seen on The Readventurer

Looking back at The Little Stranger, I think I quite liked the novel as a whole, especially the ending that wrapped up the tale in a curious and deliciously ambiguous and enigmatic way.

This sort-of-ghost-story is an interesting portrayal of the downfall of an aristocratic family in post-war Britain and a deep exploration of what it means (psychologically) for such a family to witness a slow dilapidation of its once grand estate.

Sarah Waters's writing is elegant and h
...more
Misha
I don't have to enunciate the sheer brilliance that is Sarah Waters. Those who have read her already know it. Those who haven't need to get acquainted with her books which, I believe, are among the greatest literary works. The Little Stranger is my second favourite Sarah Waters novel after Fingersmith. In this book, the author deviates a lot from her previous works. Yet, her ability to awe remains the same.

Now imagine a huge gothic mansion, a possibly haunted mansion.Then imagine something walk
...more
Mariel
Nov 17, 2009 Mariel rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: The proletariat will wear corduroy, not melancholic expressions
Recommended to Mariel by: I could have flirted with her, though
Sarah Waters' The Little Stranger was an uncomfortable book to read. I really, really disliked the narrator, Faraday. I didn't want to be in his headspace at all. The kind of guy that would think a woman should be grateful he looked at her because her ankles were supposedly fat. It's dickiness like that, relentlessly. That was the whole point of this book, his views of what he's owed and placements in life, and taking everything he said at face value would rob the story of its true creepiness. I ...more
Megan Baxter
Dec 30, 2011 Megan Baxter rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A story of ghosts or madness?

If ghosts, ghost or poltergeist?

If the latter, caused by whom?

If madness, whose?

Note: The rest of this review has been withdrawn due to the changes in Goodreads policy and enforcement. You can read why I came to this decision here.

In the meantime, you can read the entire review at Smorgasbook
Sarah (Presto agitato)
Downton Abbey meets The Shining in a house worthy of Daphne du Maurier. A creepy, atmospheric, and puzzling ghost story. Or is it?
Nicola Mcfall
Feb 05, 2010 Nicola Mcfall rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was really great! I chose to read it after seeing it on the TV book club and I am really glad I did. It is one of the best written books I have read in a while and the story is clever and compelling. The characters are well developed and I can see why the TV book club chose this book because it opens up theories and themes that would be great to discuss.

The story is essentially a ghost story set at Hundreds hall following the story of the Ayres family as their home and society crumble
...more
Char
Dec 28, 2011 Char rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: haunted-houses
3.5 stars!

I have to admit it, I was disappointed in this book. Yes, I gave it 3.5 stars, but I was expecting to give it 5. I know some of you out there know what I'm feeling.

I'm not going to get into the plot too much...there's a huge old estate falling into disrepair in post-war England. The estate is as much a character as the people, and I liked it more than some of them. There is the matter of the family that owns the house and the reduction of their status in society. There is the matter of
...more
Paul
Dec 14, 2012 Paul rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ghost-stories
This is classified as a ghost story, but as a ghost story it is very unconvincing and not really very chilling; no Whistle and I'll Come To You menace here. However this is actually a really good novel which captures the zeitgeist of post war Britain in the 1940s and Waters has done her research well. The real themes are class and the decline of the landed gentry, the rise of the welfare state and the NHS.
It is less Edgar Allan Poe more Josephine Tey; it reminded me of The Franchise Affair. The
...more
Jen Knox
May 04, 2010 Jen Knox rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I read other reviews that praised the depth of the characters, but I never felt engaged enough to agree. The premise was good, the details were lovely, but the story itself didn't seem fully realized and I didn't miss the characters when I closed the book. A decent read.
Mark
All I can say is I think Erica Wagner must be a real wuss. On the jacket of this book she is quoted from her review in ' The Times ' as saying ' Waters is determined to scare the pants off her audience....you'll want to sleep with the lights on '....I so didn't. As a ghost story it ranks middling and apart from one or two moments it was fairly anodyne but as a story of loneliness and neediness and the disection of an unfulfilled and disappointed life it was excellent. The two main characters of ...more
Pang
Jun 02, 2010 Pang rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: constant-reader
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jon
May 09, 2009 Jon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I greatly admire Sarah Waters--two of her earlier books, Affinity, and Fingersmith, are favorites of mine not only for their beauty and historical accuracy, but also for the fact that they both had secrets which fooled me completely. Her narrative skill and love of surprise remind me of Daphne DuMaurier, although I think Waters has more significant themes in mind than DuMaurier ever did. This one is just as well written as her earlier books, but it has only a very little surprise. It is a terrib ...more
Blair
I don't know why I didn't write a review of this when I read it, presumably because I didn't have time - I'll have to rectify this at some point, but would have to read the book in full again in order to do it justice. I can say that I thought it was absolutely wonderful - an automatic addition to my all-time favourites list; I'd give it six stars if I could. It seems to have divided opinion amongst other readers, and I'd love to say I understand why, but actually I don't. In my eyes The Little ...more
Lori Rader-Day
The ending of this book is so subtle and so...open to interpretation, that I feel as though I might be getting it wrong. I hope I'm not. There's a sort of _Turning of the Screw_ element to this ghost story (Is there a ghost or isn't there? Whose point of view can you trust?) that might not be pleasing to some readers. The whole novel is a rather slow build. But if you can hang on by finding the characters interesting, you'll be rewarded with a startling sort of gothic tale. My heart was pounding ...more
Aerin
Oct 29, 2015 Aerin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The first half of the 20th Century dealt a death blow to Britain's landed gentry. A long-established way of life that had endured for centuries fell apart under the social and economic upheavals of two World Wars, as well as political transitions that had been percolating for decades - the enfranchisement of the lower classes, increased taxation on the large estates, fewer people willing or constrained to work as servants or tenant farmers. The past century saw well over 1,000 English manor hous ...more
Cynthia
Sep 21, 2009 Cynthia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love ghost stories and this was a luscious one. Set in the 1940’s right after the war a young WREN comes back to the family manor house after her RAF brother gets badly burned and her mother needs help with his care and care of the quickly dilapidating house. They’ve even had to sell some of the vast land to stay solvent. Things for the gentry are changing quickly. They only have two servants left and the youngest one, a girl just into her teens, gets ill they call a doctor who has just arrive ...more
Holly
Aug 25, 2015 Holly rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Even better than Fingersmith.

I read The Little Stranger with some fellow booktubers, and I’m glad that I did because this book gave me a lot of food for thought and also creeped me out a bit! This was like Rebecca meets Brideshead Revisited, meets Turn of the Screw. It was amazing and thought provoking with a lot of commentary on the British class system following WWII. While the narrator might seem trustworthy at first, the reliability of his account become increasingly questionable. If you lik
...more
Angeliki
Dec 13, 2016 Angeliki rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: readathon-2016, 2016
Το καλύτερο βιβλίο της δικής μου αναγνωστικής χρονιάς. Κλειώ σ' ευχαριστώ για το υπέροχο δώρο.
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Manchester Distri...: January 2017 Discussion: The Little Stranger 5 9 Dec 23, 2016 08:37AM  
Mom's Book Banter: Oct 2016 Book Discussion: The Little Stranger 2 8 Oct 26, 2016 02:15AM  
what was it? 20 465 Sep 12, 2016 05:25PM  
Gothic Literature: The Little Stranger Ch 9-11 11 13 Jul 30, 2016 10:27AM  
Gothic Literature: The Little Stranger Ch 5-8 8 22 Jul 27, 2016 01:32PM  
Gothic Literature: The Little Stranger Ch 1-4 28 33 Jul 24, 2016 06:55AM  
Gothic Literature: The Little Stranger Ch 12-15 (end) 29 24 Jul 19, 2016 05:15AM  
  • The Ghost Writer
  • The House of Lost Souls
  • The Small Hand: A Ghost Story
  • The Quickening Maze
  • The Children's Book
  • The White Devil
  • Dark Matter
  • Gillespie and I
  • The Glass Room
  • The Owl Killers
  • The Sister
  • This House is Haunted
  • Florence & Giles
  • The Northern Clemency
  • Rustication
  • The Uninvited
  • Daughters of the House
  • Angelica
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Sarah Waters is a British novelist. She is best known for her first novel, Tipping the Velvet, as well the novels that followed, including Affinity, Fingersmith, and The Night Watch.

Waters attended university, earning degrees in English literature. Before writing novels Waters worked as an academic, earning a doctorate and teaching. Waters went directly from her doctoral thesis to her first novel.
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More about Sarah Waters...

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“And perhaps there is a limit to the grieving that the human heart can do. As when one adds salt to a tumbler of water, there comes a point where simply no more will be absorbed.” 489 likes
“I seem to have been cross, somehow, all the time when I was a girl. I was horrid... You're supposed to grow out of horridness, aren't you? I don't think I ever grew out of mine. Sometimes I think it's still inside me, like something nasty I swallowed that got stuck.” 6 likes
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