Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “An English Ghost Story” as Want to Read:
An English Ghost Story
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

An English Ghost Story

3.24  ·  Rating details ·  1,232 ratings  ·  188 reviews
A dysfunctional British nuclear family seek a new life away from the big city in the sleepy Somerset countryside. At first their new home, The Hollow, seems to embrace them, creating a rare peace and harmony within the family. But when the house turns on them, it seems to know just how to hurt them the most—threatening to destroy them from the inside out.

A stand-alone
Paperback, 315 pages
Published October 7th 2014 by Titan Books (first published January 1st 2014)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about An English Ghost Story, please sign up.
Recent Questions
This question contains spoilers… (view spoiler)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.24  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,232 ratings  ·  188 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of An English Ghost Story
Jon Recluse
Dec 05, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ghost-stories
Imagine a house that was haunted before there was a house to haunt.....Newman brings his unique vision to this slow burning tale of a family that finds itself in the presence of supernatural forces of unknown intent.
So subtle as to be nearly subliminal, this almost psychological haunting will keep you wondering if the ghosts ate having a negative effect on the family.....the family is having a negative effect on the ghosts, or possibly both, as things spin inexorably from the creepy to the
Jan 17, 2015 rated it liked it
This was my first time reading Newman, the author until now I only knew rom his Anno Dracula series. Vampires and series being not my thing, never read him until I saw this book. Named so generically, it doesn't really set up any expectations and so it didn't disappoint. Did it impress? To an extent. Newman's writing skills are actually quite impressive, his character development is most excellent and so the first third of the book is really good. Then once it delves into the horror zone, it ...more
Nancy Oakes
I will get around to posting about this book shortly, but in the meantime, if anyone would like my copy (in the US), I'm not keeping it and it needs a home. Just be the first to leave a message -- and I'll give it to you and I'll pay postage.
Rebecca McNutt
An English Ghost Story was even better than I'd hoped, shrouded in the paranormal and holding a dark secret within its pages.
Oct 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
This novel indeed has the structure of a fairly classic ghost story. A family comes to live in a haunted house- haunted land, actually. The spirit(s) start quietly, but very quickly ramp up to full scale, capital H Haunting. This family, however, is not your typical English ghost story family. This is a modern day, dysfunctional, can barely get along family. This becomes an important factor later in the story.

The Naremore family is looking for a house in the country, hoping relocation will
Oct 14, 2014 rated it did not like it
Shelves: ghosts, read-in-2014
Not my taste. I'm sorry I read all 300 pages; I should have stopped when I first got annoyed. But the book kept hinting about some great reveal about the family's former trauma...but that never happened. The whimsy fell flat, the characters were annoying assholes, and the ending was unspeakably saccharine.
Jun 12, 2017 rated it did not like it
Not too bad to start but it just got weird and not in a good way. At 60% or so it was so ridiculous that I just scanned the rest, which didn't bode well, so I gave myself permission to call it a day.
Jun 01, 2019 rated it liked it
This was okay. I found the ending a bit muddled and confusing at to what was going on but enjoyed the scene-setting in the first quarter or so, and the writing style is often quite beautiful. There's nothing really scary here, it's more of a family drama with spooky interludes.
Kristen Shaw
Oct 07, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: horror
The slow burn at the beginning is really captivating, moving from whimsical to uncanny at a good pace. I liked that the haunting took unique forms for each of the family members, which isn't exactly an original take but I thought it was done mostly well here. Newman explores gendered tropes in a way that sometimes felt interesting, at other times verged on problematic or cliche. The men (well, one man, one boy) both adopt uber masculine patterns of behaviour - the boy lives an imaginary ...more
Charles Prepolec
Oct 13, 2014 rated it really liked it
Discounting last year’s ANNO DRACULA: JOHNNY ALUCARD (I do so hesitantly, but it was largely an assemblage of previously published novella pieces with new connective tissue pulling the storyline together) it has been roughly 15 long years (LIFE’S LOTTERY 1999) since we’ve had a new novel from Kim Newman. Sure, we’ve had plenty of incredibly fun novellas and short story collections in the ANNO DRACULA and DIOGENES CLUB and MORIARTY vein to keep us occupied, and every one of them a pop-culture ...more
Oct 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
I've been a Kim Newman fan since "Jago" in the early 90s, and its great that he's finally back to writing horror novels after such a long break (I still haven't read "Johnny Alucard," but I'm chomping at the bit to get to it). "An English Ghost Story" didn't disappoint. It's at once a great, almost classic ghost story in the M.R. James mold, but Newman infuses it with enough of his batsh*t weirdo sensibility to make it utterly its own thing. There's a minor rough patch in the middle where the ...more
Book Review & Giveaway: You probably know multi-award-winning author Kim Newman for his bestselling Anno Dracula series. An English Ghost Story is his new stand-alone novel and I was intrigued by it from the moment I saw it in an industry newsletter. Growing up in the Appalachian Mountains, it seemed that listening to and reading ghost stories was an ongoing rite of passage. An English Ghost Story is such a different kind of novel from the Anno Dracula series that I didn’t even realize Mr. ...more
Sam Tindal
I have read half this book and I found the first quarter excellent but I have never finished it as it becomes more tedious and frivolous the more I read.
Jan 15, 2017 rated it liked it
The back of the book describes the Naremores as a dysfunctional family, so I don't think it's a spoiler to say that all four of them (parents and two kids) have issues. Some are apparent to the reader from the outset, others are slower to reveal themselves. Daughter Jordan's is the most specific (though it took me longer than it should have to put a name to it), son Tim's the least (I was never able to tell whether he actually had some kind of problem or had adopted his particular obsession as a ...more
WTF Are You Reading?
This was a book that started out GREAT! The descriptions of 'The Hollow' and its effect on what was a splintered and disintegrating English family, was nothing less than charming. Add to that the back story of the house's past, and BOOM...instant readability.
The problem comes in the of a meandering plot, and snail slow pacing.

By the time you get to the part in the read where charm turns macabre, you are so ready for it that there is no wow.
There is also the issue of the family's seeming
Robert Mingee
Dec 15, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
This book was really more about the journey for me than the destination, because the ending was a little weak, IMO. The pacing was a tale of 2 books, because what started off slowly took off like a shot around 2/3 of the way in.

It is the story of a haunted piece of ground called The Hollow, and a family who moves into the house there. It is obvious right away that it is haunted, but at least at first this is not a bad thing. I won't say more for fear of spoiling it.

The premise was very creative,
Pamela Aidan
Feb 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
A highly inventive supernatural scare that weaves English schoolgirl stories from the early 20th century and their reclusive authoress with a modern dysfunctional family and a mercurial old house with a "history." Newman didn't miss a psychological beat as he built up the family's hopes for a new start and brought to bear the pressure the Hollows (the house) exerts for their individual disintegration. Tells a good scare without gore or excess and includes a little bit of wisdom for families in ...more
Oct 14, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: horror
I often think writing a good Haunted House novel is just about the hardest trick in the world. It's just about impossible to get right. Newman mostly succeeds. Not really a horror novel, though so adjust your expectations towards family drama.
Apr 24, 2015 rated it liked it
I enjoyed the ideas behind this novel-that a land could be haunted for thousands of years, that trees and lamps and long-dead children could manifest power to either help or harm. But there were too many logic holes in this one for more than 3 stars.
Jan 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
This is a very different take on the age old haunted house story. Whimsical is a good word to describe it. Creepy? Yes. Quaint, too. Like, you know how Mary Poppins is pretty and has lovely pink shoes but it also just a little bit scary? That's this book.
Jenni DaVinCat
Oct 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book was certainly not what I was expecting from a title like An English Ghost Story, or based on the synopsis on the back of it. To be fair, almost all of my experience with ghost stories come from American authors and it seems that British authors tend to rely on the psychological factor rather than the visceral factors that we tend to enjoy. It was actually really refreshing to read a book the relied so much more on the psychological fear. I felt anxious and tense during the last half of ...more
Joanne Sheppard
Jun 10, 2019 rated it liked it
Kim Newman is well-known among horror fans as a leading expert on the genre. His own Anno Dracula series, packed with adventure and teeming with horror allusions, references and in-jokes, is tremendous fun.

An English Ghost Story is a different sort of novel, although I think there are still some references that horror fans will notice. It begins with what at first seems to be a typical nuclear family, the Naremores, househunting in the West Country. Mum Kirsty, dad Steven, teenage daughter
Jul 23, 2019 rated it it was ok
2.5 stars. The second book of the Reading Rush completed!

First of all, I wouldn't call this a horror but more like a family drama since there were pretty much no scary or creepy scenes. At least I did not find them, perhaps I am just a tough audience.

The first quarter of the book was intriguing and I was wondering what will happen, however that feeling disappeared after couple of pages. Everyone had its own issues and I just couldn't figure out at some point why is the book called An English
Apr 03, 2015 rated it liked it
The dysfunctional Naremore family wants a fresh new start, so they buy a quaint house called the Hollow in the country. This house used to be owned by a children's author whose books focused on a scrappy little girl, her ghost friends, and their home (a fictionalized version of her own home). The family rapidly realizes that the ghosts are real and the Hollow has a charming sort of magic. Everyone is suddenly getting along. All the problems of the past seem to melt away. Around every corner is ...more
Beverley Lee
DNF - I just didn't gel with this one at all.
Oct 25, 2019 rated it did not like it
I lost interest in the characters 9/10 of the into the book.

Nov 07, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018
Way too weird for me.
Oct 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Great theme and compelling characters- I wonder if it was written (or set) in the 90s though? Several jarring moments with out of date technology took me out of the story
Jayaprakash Satyamurthy
Nicely layered, builds up tremendously, but is resolved too neatly for my liking, like a domesticated Mythago Wood.
Oct 20, 2015 marked it as attempted  ·  review of another edition
(Sampled up to 8%.) Sometimes you just instinctively know you won't like a book from page one. That's how I felt about this, though I did drag myself through the first chapter regardless. The style annoyed me, the details jarred. (There's this scene where a teenage girl character wants to play old-fashioned music in the car and is annoyed when her family prefer to listen to a rap song called, and I am not making this up, 'Poppin' a Cap in Mah Bitch's Skull'. Yeah... okay.) I'm happy to abandon ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Reddening
  • Perfidious Albion
  • Grace Will Lead Us Home: The Charleston Church Massacre and the Hard, Inspiring Journey to Forgiveness
  • Ghoster
  • The Mist in the Mirror
  • Hex Life: Wicked New Tales of Witchery
  • Edge
  • How Rory Thorne Destroyed the Multiverse (The Thorne Chronicles, #1)
  • Naomi's Room
  • Dolly
  • Mixed Magics: Four Tales of Chrestomanci
  • A Girl in Time
  • The Golden Minute
  • When We Were Animals
  • The Night Parade
  • The Witcher Library Edition Volume 1
  • Two Past Midnight: Secret Window, Secret Garden
  • Dangerously Charming (Broken Riders, #1)
See similar books…
Note: This author also writes under the pseudonym of Jack Yeovil.
An expert on horror and sci-fi cinema (his books of film criticism include Nightmare Movies and Millennium Movies), Kim Newman's novels draw promiscuously on the tropes of horror, sci-fi and fantasy. He is complexly and irreverently referential; the Dracula sequence--Anno Dracula, The Bloody Red Baron and Dracula,Cha Cha Cha--not
“defend Miss Haller from the Nazis. In the final chapter, the ghosts saw off the spies and word came through that Miss Haller’s father had been smuggled out of Germany. Gillian” 0 likes
More quotes…