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Picnic at Hanging Rock

3.73  ·  Rating details ·  6,954 Ratings  ·  646 Reviews
On Valentine's day, 1900 group of young women from an exclusive boarding school are treated to a picnic in the bush. It is a lovely day, and the girls are excited at the chance for a break from their daily routine. But, when four girls go for a walk for a closer look at Hanging Rock, tragedy strikes. Three of the four fail to return and Edith, the one who does, has no reco ...more
Audio CD, Abridged, 0 pages
Published September 30th 2011 by ABC Audio (first published 1967)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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mark monday
ah! and there you are, my perfect little novel! it has been some time since last we've embraced. come, let us reacquaint ourselves.

but what is that you say, and so modestly? what is so perfect about you? my sweet darling, don't be so shy! you are indeed a wondrous creation.

here, let me count the ways...


1. your mystery is timeless. three schoolgirls and one schoolmistress disappear on Valentine's Day afternoon, in 1900, in australia, at the mysterious Hanging Rock. where did they go? did Nature
...more
Nandakishore Varma
Australia is a harsh, unforgiving land where the seasons are inverted from what is usually experienced by the world at large, the flora and fauna belong to an evolutionary niche not seen elsewhere and the original settlers are the descendants of deported convicts. Yet over this, an English-ness has been imposed: the carefully cultivated gardens, the finely turned out ladies and gentlemen, the afternoon teas and the elevenses. This contrast often gives rise to a tension between man and nature whi ...more
Suzanne
Australian classic which I probably wouldn't have picked up other than I was short of an audio cd for the car. The added bonus to these Abc Australia productions, is the pan flute music that is borrowed from the movie version. It is pretty music that adds to the flavour of the time of the year 1900. The narrator was outstanding, Australian actress Jacqueline Mackenzie portrayed the Aussie flavour perfectly, her male voices were entertaining and real.

The story of a group of girls never to be seen
...more
Melki
'Well, young ladies, we are indeed fortunate in the weather for our picnic to Hanging Rock. I have instructed Mademoiselle that as the day is likely to be warm, you may remove your gloves after the drag has passed through Woodend. You will partake of luncheon at the Picnic Grounds near the Rock. Once again let me remind you that the Rock itself is extremely dangerous and you are therefore forbidden to engage in any tomboy foolishness in the matter of exploration, even on the lower slopes. It is ...more
Diane S ☔
Mar 28, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It is the atmosphere, the pervasive sense of dread and the wonderful descriptions that made this book for me, a special read. The school, the headmistress, the students all with hidden undercurrents of eeriness. What happened to those girls? An open ended ending, up to the reader's interpretation. Have never seen the movie but want to see it after reading the book. Wonder how closely adapted the movie is to the book? Very well done and mysterious read.
Dem
Mar 31, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Dem by: Diane S ☔
Picnic at Hanging Rock by Joan Lindsay is a sinister tale that had me at page one.

I really enjoyed this novel and set in Austrailia in 1900.

" It was a cloudless summer day in the year nineteen hundred, Everyone at Appleyard College for Young Ladies agreed it was just right for a picnic at hanging rock. After lunch, a group of threee girls climbed into the blaze of the afternoon sun , pressing on through the scrub into the shadows of hanging Rock. Further, higher, unitl at last they disappeared
...more
Sally Howes
PICNIC AT HANGING ROCK deserves its place as an Australian classic for the simple beauty of its prose and for its unique and extremely intriguing plot, but it must be said that in the end, it is an extremely frustrating story, even for those most skilled at reading between the lines. It has the feel of a very polished yet not quite finished manuscript, and once the chilling and compelling mystery of the disappearance of three boarding school girls and a governess at the Hanging Rock has been set ...more
Lauren (Shakespeare & Whisky)
This book and its author Joan Lindsay are not very well known outside of Australia. But the novel is an absolute gem so everybody; add this to your TBR lists right now.

The story is about a group of girls from a boarding school that go missing at a picnic at Hanging Rock. This novel became an instant classic because it fed into one of the deepest unspoken fears of colonial Australia- the creepy, dangerous and otherworldly nature of the Australian bush. A strong argument could be made that the no
...more
_inbetween_
Jul 09, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Surprisingly superficial. Instead of "a sense of evil" and "inexplicable terror", Lindsay has all her bad characters be ugly (ie. big or fat) and all her pretty characters be good (ie. lovely, beautiful, elegant, slim). Not a mention goes by without Miranda's shining hair, Irma's lovely curls and stunning face or Madame's slim figure. I was hoping for irony, but Lindsay seriously stipulates that Irma's loving nature makes her deride unattractive(ly dressed) people, and it's completely okay that ...more
Oscar
‘Picnic en Hanging Rock’, de la australiana Joan Lindsay, publicada a finales de los sesenta, se ha convertido en una obra de culto. En ella, la escritora nos presenta una peculiar novela de misterio, aunque no se rige estrictamente por los parámetros al uso de dicho género, una novela que atrapa al lector desde su principio. Mediante una inteligente estructura y dosificación de la intriga, la historia nos presenta la extraña desaparición de tres alumnas y una profesora, pertenecientes al presti ...more
Stuart
Aug 25, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It is very rare that you can say a book is "exquisite" but there is really no other words for this little gem by Joan Lindsay. Short and sweet, eerie and elegant all at once, this book is part romance, part comedy of manners, part horror story. Three schoolgirls and their teacher go missing during a picnic and the impact of the mystery reverberates throughout the small rural community they live in, negatively and positively changing the lives of a variety of characters from different social and ...more
Cheyenne Blue
Feb 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: australian
My partner used to live near Hanging Rock. He came to Australia from Ireland as a teenager, and was immediately struck by the beauty and strangeness of the Australian Bush. He fell in love with it then, a love that never went away. He lived in Mt Macedon, a small community very close to Hanging Rock. He got his motorbike licence from the local policeman at Woodend ("Ride around the block and come back and tell me how you went." "Did you fall off? No? Good, then here's your licence.") and he live ...more
Nancy Oakes
Feb 12, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I saw this movie on IFC some time back & was sucked into the screen completely. When I realized there was a book, I bought a copy from a store called Aussie Books so that I could have a nice clean copy. I started this book one night and stayed up through the wee hours of the morning to finish it. It was most excellent! Definitely recommended but with the caution that if you don't like things left hanging, you're not going to enjoy this book. Me, I'm a firm believer that there are (even in th ...more
Cherie
I am sure enough has been said about this book and I do not have any earthshattering coments, except to the last ten pages. Wow! It was a complete surprise.

An ok story, written mostly from little evidence and a lot of imagination a loooong time ago.
I suppose if I were a writer in 1966 (or whenever she started) and was looking for something different to write about, I might pick this strange story to incorporate into a novel, like Joan Lindsay did. She did it her way. The writing is pretty dated
...more
Vanessa
This is the haunting tale of a well known Australian mystery. The author quickly states that this is an interpretation of events and that the facts of this story is largely unknown and the reader is left to make up their own mind. The story begins when a group of private college girls venture out on a school excursion on Valentine's Day 1900. Three girls and one school teacher disappear during a picnic at Hanging Rock in rural Victoria. This follows the aftermath of the event with some real life ...more
Eleanor
This is my second re-read of this book and I admit I loved it even more than the first time. There's just something so magnetic and resonating that I think every subsequent foray into it will further stamp it into my mind that this is an Australian classic.

I feel the circumstances of the story - about a group of boarding girls and their governesses going on a picnic at the Hanging Rock and not all of them returning - is pretty much stamped into the Australian psyche, so I won't elaborate. What
...more
Orient
Apr 10, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: suspense fans
"Picnic at Hanging Rock" is a really mysterious and spooky story. It's presented as based on a true story that happened in 1900, but as I found out in the net, it's completely fiction.

Things are never fully explained and I could only guess the real causes and the real cruel or strange motives. As I finished reading it almost at night-it gave me shivers, because I didn't expect this book to create such a spooky and fearful atmosphere. The biggest horror is the mix of haziness and cruelty of peopl
...more
Rusalka
Dec 04, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Rusalka by: Top Aussie Books Before You Die
When I was a kid, the movie of this book was standard midday movie material for so many years. I had absolutely no interest in this book at all. All I remember about the movie was my parents sometimes switching to it, sometimes me as there was nothing else on besides cricket, and me sticking out about 30 mins and getting thoroughly bored.

Girls in ridiculous dresses prancing around the bush complaining that it was hot and there were flies. Of course there was. It was the end of our ridiculously h
...more
Sean Kennedy
Sep 06, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of my favourite books.

Four girls and one of their governesses climb Hanging Rock on St. Valentine's day. One returns immediately, scared out of her mind and with no memory of why she is in such a state. Another is found later, also with no memory of what happened to her during her time on the Rock. The other two girls and their teacher are never seen again.

One of Australia's most enduring, and fictional despite it being so ingrained our cultural memory it often is mistaken for being real, m
...more
Terri
On Valentine's day 1900, young women from an Australian boarding school go on a picnic at the Hanging Rock. 3 Girls and a teacher disappear mysteriously. A week later, a young man finds one of the girls on a ledge with no memory of the events.

I had originally seen the movie based on this novel a few years ago and really enjoyed it. It was a great mystery with no resolution and a hint that maybe something otherworldy may have occurred.

The author says in the book that it doesn't matter whether it
...more
Rebecca McNutt
Set in Australia in the year 1900, this odd and immersive mystery novel is a true classic that makes the reader question logic and wonder about the unexplained.
Maggie
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lukas (LukeLaneReads)
SO. MUCH. CONFUSION.
Justin Evans
Jun 23, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Just as Wuthering Heights, a work of social satire and horror, is often thought be a love story, so PaHR, often said to be a work of horror, is really a smart, light comedy in the vein of Midsummer Murders. I did not expect that. Obviously the film has had quite an effect, not only on my expectations, but also the expectations and experiences of other readers; from many GR reviews, you wouldn't know that the girls' disappearance is completed by page 47. What follows is a very mid-century British ...more
Melissa Chung
Apr 06, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wow. What a curious read. A solid 4 stars. I took a star off because of the book was hard to understand.

Picnic at Hanging Rock is about several things. 1) It's about a mysterious disappearance of 3 young girls and a governess. 2) It's about some kind of paranormal power (evil) I'm not sure. 3) The butterfly effect comes to mind. One thing happens and a chain reaction occurs afterward.

The book is set at Appleyard College, a school for girls in the year 1900 in Australia. On Valentine's Day most o
...more
Ruby  Tombstone [With A Vengeance]
I had a weird little moment a couple of weeks ago. I was on the ferry from Townsville, heading towards Magnetic Island for the first time. When the boat picked up speed, there was a strange high-pitched whistling of wind through a metal fitting. The whistling and the wind whipping our faces made it impossible for any of the passengers to talk, so we were silent. Looking around at the sparse, rocky piece of coast ahead, distant islands blobbing the horizon, I was suddenly acutely aware of how far ...more
Joseph Fountain
I was fairly excited about reading this – the synopsis from Goodreads intrigued me:

Everyone at Appleyard College for Young Ladies agreed it was just right for a picnic at Hanging Rock. After lunch, a group of three of the girls climbed into the blaze of the afternoon sun, pressing on through the scrub into the shadows of Hanging Rock. Further, higher, till at last they disappeared.

They never returned.

I’m a puzzle solver professionally, so I was ready for a good mystery. Lindsay created some marv
...more
Ignacio Senao f
Aug 19, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition


-Historia: 5. Una historia que la sinopsis e introducción te la resume perfectamente y ya no hay más. Es atractiva, pero es eso y punto (no quiero explicarme mucho por no spoilear) Pero el punto fuerte de esta novela no es esto. La primera parte se desarrolla la trama casi por completo, lo restante es ver como este suceso afecta al entorno.
-Narración: 10. Maravillosa, una lectura muy fluida, con una traducción que posiblemente la haga más grande si cave.
-Ambientación: 10. Creo que Tolkien se que
...more
Allie
Feb 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
If you're like me, the following is a spoiler.

Confession: I thought this was a true story.

Yep. I've lived in Australia for 9 years, and I've heard this story mentioned often. When my Australian husband brought home some very old photos of his relatives at Hanging Rock, this book was brought up. He made a comment about "those poor girls". It wasn't until after I listened to this and then Googled it that I learned it wasn't a true story after all. I told my husband that, and it took some convinc
...more
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What's The Name o...: So... Picnic At Hanging Rock? 14 324 May 13, 2017 08:42PM  
List of Years Lit...: Background and Reading Schedule 9 7 Feb 12, 2017 09:30PM  
picnic at hanging rock 12 57 Dec 17, 2015 02:54PM  
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2015 Reading Chal...: Picnic at Hanging Rock by Joan Lindsay 2 24 Jul 14, 2015 11:06PM  
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Joan Lindsay, Lady Lindsay was an Australian author, best known for her "ambiguous and intriguing" novel Picnic at Hanging Rock.
More about Joan Lindsay...

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“Everything begins and ends at exactly the right time and place.” 32 likes
“Although we are necessarily concerned, in a chronicle of events, with physical action by the light of day, history suggests that the human spirit wanders farthest in the silent hours between midnight and dawn. Those dark fruitful hours, seldom recorded, whose secret flowerings breed peace and war, loves and hates, the crowning or uncrowning of heads.” 7 likes
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