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Printer's Devil Court

3.19  ·  Rating details ·  1,755 ratings  ·  266 reviews
Ideally spooky Halloween reading...

A chilling ghost story by the author of The Woman in Black.

One murky November evening after a satisfying meal in their Fleet Street lodgings, a conversation between four medical students takes a curious turn and Hugh is initiated into a dark secret. In the cellar of their narrow lodgings in Printer's Devil Court and a little used mortuary
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Kindle Edition, 113 pages
Published September 25th 2014 by Profile Books (first published October 14th 2013)
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Average rating 3.19  · 
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 ·  1,755 ratings  ·  266 reviews


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Paul
Dec 29, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ghost-stories
I like to read a good ghost story at Christmas. Unfortunately this wasn’t really it. It is a novella, almost a short story and easily readable in one sitting.
It revolves around four medical students who share digs. The story is written my one of them and is found by his family after he dies many years later. Two of the group are interested in experimentation with the end of life and bringing back the dead. They have the truly daft idea of capturing the last breath, which they think has potency,
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Sam Quixote
Oct 20, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
In 1983, Susan Hill wrote a decent ghost story called The Woman in Black that was turned into a brilliant West End production. Since then she’s been coasting on her reputation as a horror writer, churning out extremely dull ghost novellas every now and then that nonetheless sell quite well due to the Woman in Black’s success. So it goes with Printer’s Devil Court, which is the worst thing by Hill that I’ve read to date.

Set in some time that could be the Victorian or Edwardian era, Hugh Meredith
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Blair
Part of the Kindle Single series, Printer's Devil Court is a brand new short story from Susan Hill. In the tradition of her well-known historical ghost stories, the most famous of which is The Woman in Black, it's a spooky, atmospheric tale set predominantly in early-twentieth-century London. Against a backdrop of impenetrable fogs and bleak winter storms, a young trainee doctor becomes unwittingly involved in a devilish scheme devised by two of his acquaintances, which will come to haunt him fo ...more
Lily
First of all, what a beautiful, beautiful cover. I mean, look at it. It’s gorgeous. It’s textured, too, which makes it all the more lovely.

However, the story within wasn’t nearly so lovely to read. In fact, it was dull. Extremely dull. And the science didn’t really make sense – granted, it’s more of a ghost story than a piece of science fiction, but you’d expect the science to add up, wouldn’t you?

The characters are unexciting and not nearly fleshed-out enough. I found that I didn’t really care
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Leah
Jun 17, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: audiobook, horror, 2015
A young medical student has taken rooms in Printer's Devil Court in London, sharing them with three other medical men. One evening, the four men have a discussion as to whether the story of Lazarus could possibly have been true – is it scientifically possible to bring someone back from the dead? Two of the men hint that they have been carrying out experiments on the subject and ask Meredith and the fourth man if they would like to join in. The fourth man considers the whole idea to be blasphemou ...more
Andrew
Aug 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So here we are with the last (that I am aware of) of Susan Hills "ghosts stories" and I must admit this one though no great shocker did catch me out hence the high review.

So another short ghost story in the classic - British fireside story - if it was in another season I would almost be tempted to call it a Christmas Ghost story. This one is typically atmospheric and perfectly illustrated, instilling a perfect sense of time and place.

The story - and here it gets tricky without giving away spoil
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Jack
May 22, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
Printer's Devil Court was an unfortunate disappointment, which has become characteristic of Hill's books as of late when I read them.

The story involves four medical students whom share lodgings with one another. Hugh our main character, James the intelligent among the lot who exists for a mere few pages since he relinquishes interest in the pact put forth by the other two students, Walter and Rafe. Foregrounding their initial conversation is the four talking about the tale of Lazarus, which se
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Cathleen
Nov 01, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ghost-stories
I was looking for something spooky, atmospheric, and ghostly for Halloween reading. Susan Hill has carved out a niche writing supernatural tales, as well as a fine police procedural series, so I gave this a try. The most appealing parts of this were her descriptions of murky London, but the plot was slight. The story needed more suspense to create the creepiness I hoped the story would have.
Andrew
Overwhelmed with a feeling of "meh". I am not going to read any more Susan Hill ghost stories as none seem to capture the chills of The Woman in Black.

description
Review Taken from The Pewter Wolf

A mysterious little manuscript has appeared on the stepson of the late Dr Hugh Meredith. In it, he writes about a chilling events that happened years ago when he was training as a junior doctor near London's Fleet Street. Living with two other medics, they ask for his help with their research...
This just confirms
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Cameron Trost
This is the first Susan Hill story I have read, and I must say I was disappointed. The tale starts off well with Victorian doctors conducting experiments in the hope of successfully resurrecting a cadaver. The premise, although not original, promises a gripping ghost story in the Victorian Gothic tradition. Unfortunately, it doesn't deliver on that promise. Any ghost story worth penning needs a chilling twist, the kind that raises the hairs on the back of your neck, but the climax to this story ...more
James
Oct 23, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not quite up there with: 'Woman in Black', 'Dolly' or 'Small Hand' - but nevertheless a good creepy ghost story of a read. ...more
Megan
Jun 03, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The story was just very average and very, very dull. It follows four medical students, two of who have an interest in resurrecting the dead. It mainly just felt like a really poor attempt at a Frankenstein-esque story.

For a short story it takes a really long time to get going, and never really hits a peak. The main body of the story happens too quickly, with little detail, none of it enticing.

I enjoyed the writing style but other than that the story lacked intrigued and for a supposed 'horror' s
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Amybibliophile
The cover gives you the impression it's going to be a 'chilling' story... I'd say more atmospheric? That alone gets full marks from me & the fact there are other short stories all matching means I need to get them all!
True, it is a ghost story and it definitely got my attention with its Frankenstein-esque story-line, but I am a big Susan Hill Fan. I fell in love with her writing after I read her most well known novel The Woman In Black & The Mist In The Mirror. I think after I read those then th
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Shona
Aug 09, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An enjoyable little book, it followed a similar plot structure to The Woman in Black but I enjoyed that title so it didn't bother me.

I enjoyed Hill's unique take on resurrection, the book touched on similar themes to those explored in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein - there's always something to be said for 'playing God'.

All in all, I liked Printer's Devil Court. Susan Hill really can do no wrong.
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Eleanor Grace
This was a decently spooky easily consumable ghost story, though I sincerely doubt it would have been as chilling if I hadn't listened to it on audio; Steven Pacey's ghost voice really creeped me out and I don't think it would have been as effective just being read. I think audio definitely helped my enjoyment of this story, so I think if I pick up any more Susan Hill I may do the same.

In terms of the actual story, it's nothing I haven't seen before really. There was nothing groundbreaking or di
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Emma Harrison
This is a beautiful book to look at. It's a smaller size than normal, hardback and with beautiful textured artwork. The publishers have done all that they can to entice the reader into picking up this book. Sadly, the beauty of the book stops at the cover.

Four Doctors live together in shared quarters. James and Walter decide that they want to try and achieve the impossible by bringing someone back to life. An act that is witnessed by Hugh. Oddly for an author who is so good at writing ghost sto
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Brendan
May 08, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is my first Susan Hill novella and must admit I like these old fashioned horror settings. I think this works much better as a period horror instead of a horror period book, I know you are probably wondering what is the difference between the two. The book is more period with a dash of supernatural (horror), I found that the novel balanced nicely. Like most horror films, this book has clearly divided the audiences which is okay, you either find yourself on one side of the fence or the other. ...more
Damaskcat
Oct 29, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dr Hugh Meredith – country doctor in the West Country – leaves his step-son a manuscript which reveals some very shady goings on from when he was doing his medical training. What he witnessed during a macabre experiment carried out by his fellow medical students haunted him for the rest of his life.

His story is likely to haunt the reader as well. This is an atmospheric and unsettling short story from a master of the macabre and ghostly and will delight anyone who enjoys understated ghost stories
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Angie Rhodes
Jan 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
Once again Susan Hill manages to chill the bones, and keep the reader holding their breath.
Three medical students. who are also close friends and share rooms, make an unholy pact.
One of them has the bright idea to bring back life,! Rafe states that Jesus brought back Lazarus's daughter, so where is the harm?
What follows. haunts Hugh for years,, and now it is time fro him to fcae his demons, in Printer's Devil Court
It did remind me of the classic book Frankenstien by Mary Shelley , ( not as
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Melissa  Williams
What a shame, I've read several of Susan Hills books and have always been a fan-but this novel is far from her best. It started with promise but came to a dismally predictable and dull end. Thoroughly disappointed. ...more
Luke
May 28, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2021
Doctors, eh?

They're always up to no good. I mean, trying to save lives and learn about the body and bring people back to life. Where do they get off?

Well, at the last one, if Susan Hill's story here is to be believed. Because it would seem that fucking with the line between life and death is not an endeavour that Ends Well. Especially if you're a medical student with some overly inquisitive – and rather full of themselves – roomies.

People seem to either love or hate this story, with nothing i
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Clare
Listened to in audio format.

I have read all Susan Hill's Simon Serrailer series so I know the quality of her work. Printers Devils Court is only 1.5 hours long but it has taken me 3 days to listen and I very nearly gave up listening.

This book is definitely a slow burner and the story did not start for me until part 3. For me the story really began years later when Hugh returned to London to visit his stepson.

Printer Devils Court was a decent novella, maybe if the story was longer we could of fin
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Oliver Clarke
I have slightly mixed feelings about this spooky novella from Susan Hill. It’s a tale of young doctors meddling with nature while conducting experiments intended to bring the dead back to life, and whilst it’s nicely written and very atmospheric, it just isn’t that scary.
I read it is hardback and the book itself is lovely, packed with illustrations that add to the experience of reading what is supposed to be an early twentieth century memoir. It’s a quick and entertaining read but fails the to
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Pamela
Ghost story set in the early 1900s. This is a novella length story and uses many of the tropes of Gothic fiction - the discovered document, the gifted doctor whose curiosity tips over into madness, a foggy churchyard and a beautiful woman. It's well written with some nice descriptions, and like many of the genre it feels familiar and even cliched, but it's only when you begin to really think about what's happened that the chills arrive.

Pleasant read for a winter's night.
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Rao Javed
Jan 03, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ficion-books
Creepy little book I'd say. The narration and the deception was truly breathtaking. This was my first Susan Hill book I'd love to read more of her work soon.

The concept was somewhat clichéd but I liked it somehow and also the story line was nearly predictable. Nevertheless, the way it was expounding was unique so a good 3 starts for this creepy little book.
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Peter
Jul 27, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
This little book with its beautiful textured cover was a pleasing read. Ms Hill as almost, but not quite captured the classic victorian ghost story. The crazy science needed for the procedure on the bodies was dead on.

A pleasing read.
James Powell
Just didn't do it for me. Didn't grab my attention sadly. May revisit one day though and give it another shot. ...more
Sean Daniels
The ending is chilly, but perhaps many readers might feel it is not chilly enough to justify the sense of being rushed towards it.
This mostly feels like it is a novella that should have committed to being a more complex novel, or a more compact short story.
Jennifer
Mar 19, 2021 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The premise looks interesting but the novella ended up reading like an excerpt rather than a coherent short story.

tw: death, illnesses, and doctors
Chris
Nov 04, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ghost, supernatural
Hugh Meredith is a junior doctor in the first decade or so of the twentieth century, lodging near Fleet Street in London and training nearby at the fictitious medical school of St Luke’s. He is drawn into a mysterious enterprise set up by fellow students Walter Powell and Rafe McAllister, namely bringing a dead person back to life. The results of witnessing the experiment come literally to haunt him in this novella by Susan Hill. The question I asked myself is, does this short story (a little ov ...more
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Susan Hill was born in Scarborough, North Yorkshire in 1942. Her hometown was later referred to in her novel A Change for the Better (1969) and some short stories especially "Cockles and Mussels".

She attended Scarborough Convent School, where she became interested in theatre and literature. Her family left Scarborough in 1958 and moved to Coventry where her father worked in car and aircraft factor
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