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Thirteen Chairs

3.39  ·  Rating details ·  1,617 ratings  ·  319 reviews
In an abandoned house, the ghosts gather. They argue, they laugh, and they tell their stories. Some tell their own stories, some tell stories they have heard elsewhere. Some of them are true, some are not. But each tale draws you closer.

One by one, the storytellers depart, until suddenly it's just you and the narrator, alone in the dark...
Hardcover, North American, 256 pages
Published July 28th 2015 by David Fickling Books (first published September 5th 2013)
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Popular Answered Questions
Lesley This reads like a homework question...if you have read the book you should be able to answer the question.
Miss Bookiverse It has a frame narrative in which people come together and tell each other different stories. Those stories could be read and understood separately. T…moreIt has a frame narrative in which people come together and tell each other different stories. Those stories could be read and understood separately. The frame narrative is a little story in itself as well.(less)

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 ·  1,617 ratings  ·  319 reviews


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jv poore
Inside of a dilapidated, abandoned home— that is most assuredly haunted, per the neighborhood children—one room appears to be in use. A long table is set with flickering candles, casting strange rays on the oddly assembled group gathered around.

Jack had heard the wicked rumors; but standing outside and seeing a soft light within, his curiosity has passed piqued. Compelled, he enters the house and follows the glow. He is welcomed to the table, where there is, uncannily, one empty chair.

Each pers
...more
Isaak Bonilla
Apr 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Overall a really good book, kept me interested the whole time. By the last 100 pages I could hardly put it down, I found myself entranced by the creepy yet somehow beautiful stories embedded in the book.
Kimberly
Jul 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
THIRTEEN CHAIRS, by Dave Shelton, is one of my favorite types of story collections: a number of individual tales that are all part of a larger "wrap-around" story. This encompasses them each into it so that they seem more as part of a novel, rather than separate inclusions. The main concept is of a boy named Jack, and how he comes to be standing before a door in an old building that shows a sliver of candlelight beneath it . . .

"And Jack is a curious boy."

Inside he finds twelve people of va
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destiny ♡⚔♡ [howling libraries]
"And I found that there were others like me, others who persisted in this half-life. Others who had failed properly to depart."

When Jack enters the old, dark house, he isn't sure what he'll find in these mysterious rooms, this long hallway with a sliver of candlelight beneath just one cold door. Jack is more curious than sensible, though, and allows himself into the meeting of twelve, each surrounding a table, each facing a candle. Each will tell a story, and in time, Jack must tell a tale of hi
...more
Liviania
Aug 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
THIRTEEN CHAIRS starts with Jack, a young boy who has entered an (apparently) abandoned house to find a room filled with thirteen chairs, thirteen candles, and twelve people. So he sits down, and then they each start to tell stories.

Each of them tells a ghost story. Some, like "Let Me Sleep," are more traditional stories. Others are set in the here and now, with taxis and cell phones. I rather liked that touch, as it is harder to find ghost stories set in the present. The tension builds nicely t
...more
Peter
Jul 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
I received this book from the publisher, for an honest review. Jack is told about an abandon house, were ghosts meet once a year. Jack goes out of his way to checkout this house out, that is supposedly haunted. He sees nothing for months but does not give up on his quest. One night Jack enters the house and the room is filled with all types of ghosts. There are thirteen chairs in this room.
Twelve for the ghosts and one for Jack. Each ghost will tell their story. Some of them are true and some of
...more
Emily_E1
Jan 30, 2018 rated it liked it
Even though this book was supposed to be ghost stories, I wasn't scared at all. I have heard most of the stories before (at least similar ones), and none of them seemed very appealing to me. Although, I do think the writing was very nice. Each story was very descriptive, and I enjoyed how the author uses powerful words to tell the story. Overall, I would give this book three stars.
Elle (ellexamines)
Thirteen Chairs is marketed as a collection of Halloween ghost stories. I'm not sure it is, though. This book is full of creative stories, rather than scary ones. While this didn't scare me as much as I would've liked, there were some interesting, suspenseful ghost stories in here.

Possibly the best part of this story was how every story blended together. The framing device used here isn't just a final touch; it's a clever bind-up. The ending was perfect.

In general, this was good, just not great
...more
Bridgit Morgan
Oct 24, 2015 rated it liked it
*3.5 out of 5 stars*

Such a unique collection of ghost stories! It takes quite a bit to scare me, and this book simply didn't. I do, however, recommend it for Halloween, or when you're in the mood for a ghost story or two.
Laura Guilbault
Oct 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: 11+
Normally I'm not a fan of these sort of short stories in one novel, or ghosts, but I have to say I quite enjoyed this read. There were some pictures, too, but I have to say they weren't the best; some of them were too simple.
The ending, although I felt like it should've been an "Oou!!" moment, when the reader is delighted with a good twist in the end, I didn't really feel this way; I predicted it actually the page before, when there was the tinniest bit of foreshadowing that I caught.

I will say
...more
Forever Young Adult
Graded By: Brian
Cover Story: I Am, I Cried...
The Best: Razor, The Patchwork Sailor
The Worst: The Wrong Side of the Road
The Weird: The Girl in the Red Coat, Unputdownable
Bonus Factors: So What's Really Going on Here?
Break Glass In Case Of: A Need for Goosebumps

Read the full book report here.
...more
Adele Broadbent
Jack has heard about the strange house in town – even that it might be haunted. So when he finds 12 people sitting in a room, each with a flickering candle in front of them and ready to tell a scary story, he makes sure he is close to the door. Just in case. But the stories he hears draw him in – until he has to tell one of his own….

On the Carnegie/CILIP Medal Longlist 2016.
This is a great collection of scary stories, wrapped up in a story of its own. Clever!
Katherine
Jan 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya, mid-grade, fiction
This collection of 13 stories within a story is eerie and intensely unputdownable. I flew through the pages (I can't honestly explain precisely why) and couldn't step away from these spooky tales until the book was finished. The stories are not terrifying, just creepy enough to raise the hairs on the back of your neck, but parents of young readers may need to take a look themselves before letting their child read it.
Katie Clark
Jul 26, 2017 rated it liked it
Thirteen Chairs was an unexpected thrill. What I loved best about it was that the author pulled off thirteen distinct voices seamlessly! It reminded me of the play Ghost Stories in its structure and it was lovely to read something so different!
Luna
Oct 16, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: uk-authors
With the night’s drawing in it seemed like the perfect time to pick up Thirteen Chairs.

This book is a collection of short ghost stories, each told by a different narrator. The book begins with a young boy finding a room full of ‘people’, each with a candle. Once they finish their tale the candle is extinguished and the shadows swallow that storyteller. As the evening progresses the boy becomes more enraptured by the tales while worrying about that story he should tell, because just like the othe
...more
Haley Lewis
Dec 28, 2016 rated it liked it
I must say that I was really excited to get this book from the library. Even though it didn't have the best rating, I was intrigued by the description.

I started reading it and was a little disappointed by how quickly it dived into the story. I thought it rushed everything. There never is revealed a point to the ghosts stories? I was a little spooked by some of the stories, but most of them seemed way too far fetched.

I found myself wanting to read more of the stories in hopes they would get bet
...more
Ericka annamarie
Sep 14, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: horror
I enjoyed this book. Its a short little thing but its well written and while it may not be as scary as other horror books I have read it still gives you a nice shiver. It reminds me of growing up reading the tells to give shivers books or all hollows eves. All in all Its a great read if you want a quick scare.
Dorie
Oct 15, 2015 rated it did not like it
Shelves: dnf
Terrible.
Just a bunch of ghost stories, the quality of which are similar to the ones my friends and I told each other in 5th grade. It's possible the book had a point at the end, and the ghost stories got better - by the end of the book they may have been GENIUS! But I stopped reading. Life's too short.
Katie
I wish this hadn't had the frame story because I didn't get it out and found it distracting. But then, without it, I probably wouldn't have kept reading because I just wanted to figure it out . . .

The writing didn't click with me and I didn't find the stories very scary or memorable.
Elsie
Feb 17, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found this book in the library and actually loved it. I've never read Anything like this before and would love to see some more of Dave sheltons books.
Kristina
May 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: all-time-favs
This deliciously creepy little book has a wonderful premise that proceeds to deliver lots of chills! I read it in one sitting and would highly recommend spending some time being scared. A+!
Teresa Grabs
Oct 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
There is rumor of a house that has a room where ghosts gather to tell ghost stories. Jack is curious about this house and, one night, sees a light shining from under a closed door. Inside the room, sit a group of storytellers. In this anthology, Shelton allows us to sit in the ghostly meeting and listen as they share their stories.

Let Me Sleep (as told by Mr. Blackmore) is a great short tale of a robber, a victim, an accident, and retribution. The dead will have the final word. Rating: ♥♥♥♥

The W
...more
Becky Higgins
Jun 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Fans of ghosts, short stories, The Twilight Zone, Black Mirror or Ray Bradbury rejoice, Thirteen Chairs is the book for you. Thirteen intricate and separate ghostly stories told within the style of The Illustrated Man. My only complaint is a wish for a little more detail and information on each of the characters presented. While the book overall deserves a fantastic rating, I did find some of the characters a little lacking, understandably the focus was on their stories rather than them so its n ...more
Kira Simion
Jul 06, 2018 marked it as to-read
Woah. This blurb sounds SO good. Ghost stories by ghosts! WHAT THE HECK I LOVE THE WORDS IN THE BLURB. So terrifyingly intriguing. The kind of story where you turn a flashlight on, get under the covers, extra careful to keep your feet in the sheets, and that little voice arguing just one more page and daring your imagination in the middle of the night.
Hilary
DNF @ 62%
If you know me, it's rare I dnf a book.

It's a collection of ghost stories and since it's for children it's not that scary for me. I can see the author trying to make the stories more interesting by changing up the narrative style a bit but the writing is too bleak for my taste.
Hilda
Mar 05, 2018 marked it as dnf
Not gonna lie, I bought it because of the cover and I had some scholastic points to use.

Ugh! I was so bored and just didn’t care. I wasn’t scared at all if anything the story felt very sterile to me. Like it was trying too hard to be something it wasn’t. I don’t know. I just wasn’t feeling it.
Bonnie Thrasher
Mar 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Jack is drawn to an abandoned house he has heard rumors about his whole life. It is a curiosity that he finally decides to explore. As he approaches the upstairs bedroom, he hears voices. Timidly he opens the door, and sees 12 people holding candles, sitting in a circle. The leader tells him to join them. Jack sits in the thirteenth chair, and the storytelling ritual begins. Each person tells a horror story. Jack gets more and more anxious as he realizes he is expected to participate. This book ...more
Carol
Oct 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
I liked it! I don't normally read ghost stories (because they keep me awake at night thinking of creative ways that I'm gonna die) but this one didn't do that. (keep me awake I mean.) It was really good, I liked the ending, though I kinda saw it coming. I really enjoyed it though! It was a light read which was good. verrry good.
Matilda Chapman
Like most anthologies, there were some stories I liked more than others but overall Thirteen Chairs provided lots of chills and was a simple yet masterful horror book.

The only downfall was that this read like a middle grade novel but dealt with a lot of adult issues, so that had me a bit confused.
Kalilah
Jul 11, 2014 rated it really liked it
I really liked this book!

It's basically a collection of eerie stories told within a story.
They're all short and punchy, and each one is told with a unique voice: some sombre and business-like; some darkly humorous and others just plain funny. What I especially appreciated was that they didn't all follow the same routine. You know, often "collections" written by one author can be a bit repetitive. But every story in 'Thirteen Chairs' has bags of individuality.

I might just stress that these are n
...more
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Spoiler - the ending 1 8 Jan 23, 2017 05:34AM  

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