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The Hypnotist

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  208 ratings  ·  42 reviews
In the dead of night, Pip is plucked from an orphanage and hired as a farm hand. But Pip is black. The farmer and his wife are white. And this is 1960s America, where race defines you.

Jack Morrow has left his native Ireland dreaming of a new life in the American Deep South. He has certain skills that he mostly keeps hidden. Skills in hypnotism and mind control...

Pip and
Paperback, 304 pages
Published October 6th 2016 by Penguin Random House
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Average rating 3.97  · 
Rating details
 ·  208 ratings  ·  42 reviews

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Eleanor (bookishcourtier)

* Looking back, I'm changing my rating to two stars, because this book realy was not exceptional, and there were a load of things that annoyed me about it.

I do think that this was an interesting idea. But I could kind of tell it was a debut novel? It felt like there was more to give, more to come, and that's okay, because first novels aren't always perfect. I feel like this was maybe not as powerful as it could have been. And I found it hard to separate the
Katy Noyes
Dec 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Quite a combination of elements. They work though.

A very different book, The Cure for Dreaming, combined female emancipation and hypnotism in a story of women's rights in the early 20th century.

Here we are placed in the 1960s, in a time and place where Jim Crow rules, where the KKK work discreetly with violence to instil fear.

An orphaned black boy, Pip (named after his schoolteacher mother's favourite Dickens novel) is taken from the orphanage to a Southern white-owned farm to work as
Mar 03, 2018 rated it liked it

This book is very different from most of the others, and I cant believe it myself but I am almost pitying Erwin, for his mental instability. However that does not mean in any way I pity him, I pity his family, I pity his victims.
And I feel like this book is pitiful. Jack, or Doctor Jack Morrow to use his full moniker, starts off being very funny, and very enjoyable to listen to. I didn't like the second person narration at the start, because it's different, his personality was very innocent,
Pat Walsh
Sep 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I was given an ARC of The Hypnotist to review and I thought this was one of the best books I've read in a long time. Can't recommend it highly enough.
Adele Broadbent
Oct 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
When Pip is bought and paid for at an orphanage, he is worried for his future. But the worn, skinny old man called Mr Zachary who 'adopts' him seems kind enough on the long drive back to his farm, as he explains what he wants Pip to do. Since Pip was the only boy who could read at the orphanage, he was the perfect candidate to read to Zacharys bed-ridden wife Lillybelle.

Pip is shocked when he meets her but they soon build a positive relationship as he covers her every need and reads from his
Book Box Club
Apr 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: featured-books
Set in the Deep South of the American 1960s, a black orphan boy, a mute Native American servant girl and an Irish Neurology professor are an unlikely squad. In a society overwhelmed by prejudice, they must employ all of their courage, cunning and wit to free themselves from their oppressors.

This book is amazing! Here at Book Box Club we loved it so much we featured it in our Freedom Squad themed October box and we were thrilled to get the chance to chat to Laurence in our members only online
Sue Bursztynski
Nov 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A powerful book. If I'd had time to read it in one session I would have done so. It was interesting to read that the author's family, Jews from Persia who fled the country as refugees from racist policies in the 17th century, came from the town of Shushan(Susa) where the story of Esther, the heroine who saved her people from the racist vizier Haman, is set.

Anyway, this and his father's experiences as a member of British Intelligence during and just after WWII, inspired this novel. The author
Maja Diana
I am not able to give this book a rating, as I didn't finish it.
However, from the parts I did read I can tell you:

- It is well written. Fx. I sometimes struggle when writers decide to write out drawls and accents, but in this book it was just alright.

- The Main Characters are all really interesting. Every one from the Caucasian Irish Neurology Professor, to the Black Orphan teenager, and the Mute Native American girl. Together, they all have interesting back stories, and I really liked all
Dee Power
Aug 06, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I think this probably could have been a good story, but it's so badly written. It's disjointed and sloppy. It even changes tense for a chapter. The lessons it seeks to teach are very heavy-handed, and all it does is cheapen the writing.

Still, my biggest problem is Jack. Not only is he annoying as hell, but the book beats you over the head with his Irishness, but it's clear that very little research was done on Ireland. If you can't accurately write an Irish protagonist, don't do it.
Nov 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016
This book was amazing!
It is beautifully written. The Southern accent made it even more authentic. I loved how Laurence described every character so it felt like you knew them as well. As for the story, well, it is so wonderful and sad at the same time. If you're a fan of To Kill a Mocking Bird, The Help or anything similar to these great stories, then I would recommend The Hypnotist as well.
You learn so much when reading this book. I couldn't put it down and if I had to, I couldn't stop
Apr 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
I have not read another book quite like this one. A pacey historical fiction set in 1960s America with racial tensions and the KKK. Erwin, the son, is an ex-soldier who fought in Vietnam. He has serious mental health issues and his family tread on eggshells when he is home. Hannah the kitchen maid lives in fear of Erwin, she is traumatised and selectively mute. Pip, named after Great Expectations and is a Black orphan. Mr Zachery bought Pip as a slave to look after and read to his wife ...more
Benenden School Library
Feb 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
There is so much to write about this book! It was gripping, sad, happy, terrifying and interesting, all at once.

Part of the story is told around a young, black boy, in a time in America when the Klu Klux Klan dominated parts of the country.

It tells us how he is plucked from his orphanage and taken to a farm in the middle of nowhere, where he meets Jack, a young professor with extraordinary gifts; Hannah, a brave young farm girl that Pip grows to love as he watches her around the farm;
Oct 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: book-box-club
I quite wrongly put this book off for ages, convinced it wasnt really for me. And in parts, it isnt - I struggled with the way it was written for example, especially translating the spoken bits. But the setting and the time were fine (and I typically dont love more historical reads). And the story is lovely. I loved Pip and Hannah and Lilybelle. Its a little short and in places simplistic (I think you can tell he came from writing for a younger audience), but I think that actually works for the ...more
Jean Kirby
Mar 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
I didn't really like the cover of this book and it put me off reading it at first, but if you read the first two pages, you will want to find out what happens. Anholt is a good writer and draws you in and keeps the story moving along. You hear from three viewpoints, a young black boy, a young N. American Indian girl, and the hypnotist himself.
The story is set in the USA around the time of Martin Luther King's great speech and the Ku Klux Klan. I really enjoyed it and couldn't stop reading.

May 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
I only knew Laurence Anholt as a picture book writer/illustrator, so I wasn't sure what to expect from his first young adult novel. I loved it - read it mostly in one sitting in the hammock. Many stories explore racism and the KKK in the American south, but this one has a twist in the form of an slightly odd but charming Irish hypnotist who lives next door to the young black and Native American protagonists. The alternating first person and third person perspectives worked well. Recommended.
Aug 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"The ancient rule of conflict is that it is easier to kill if the enemy can be reduced to
crude group; a lower level of humanity."

Although set in 1963, this book could not be more relevant to the ever conflicted America. Race is a serious issue and I feel like it is addressed very well for a young adult book.

This book has very sad moments but the end is uplifting and hopeful.
Mar 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
I was unsure going into this one if I would like it, but I was pleasantly surprised and often found myself wanting to pick it back up- I kept finding myself thinking about it and being drawn back in, even when I had put it down.

The heavy presence of the KKK within the book did not always make it an easy read, but I think the subject matter was handled very well.
Bernie Steadman
Jul 23, 2018 rated it liked it
Anholt is an accomplished storyteller, but there is something missing from the tale - jeopardy. Great premise, and the characterisation was effective, but did I ever believe that any of the characters was in danger? Not really. I still enjoyed the book, though.
Sharron Brown
Jun 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Interesting story, that I enjoyed. Makes some really important points about society today by weaving historical elements throughout the book.
Well worth a read ...
Feb 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Set in the early 1960s - a fascinating period for racial equality, especially in this book set in the southern states of the US. A hard hitting read.
Sep 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Such great characters and a really strong sense of place and time. I wonder what he'll write next.
Louise Gladwin
Apr 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
I loved this book -gripping and good story line and believable characters.
Connor Newton
Mar 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
My favourite book out of everyone that I have read.
Oct 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is a great book so far since i am still reading it but it is extremely interesting and most parts of it grab my attention.
Mar 13, 2018 rated it liked it
Carnegie Long List

I think it will make the short list (which probably means it won't!). It made me a little uneasy...
Oct 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nbhs, read-2017
Scarily still relevant. #3wordbookreview

This would make a great companion novel to To Kill a Mockingbird. Made me very uncomfortable in parts, but a suspenseful novel well told.
Sabine Edwards
Nov 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
What a great read. Challenging and enjoyable. In places quite violent but also very tenderly handled big topics. Highly recommend.
Feb 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
Amongst the many things I liked about this book, the one thing I adored was the fact that it opened me up to a new genre Historic Fiction is not a genre I usually consider, however I'm glad I opened myself up to it. The word "Historic" reminds me of when I was back in school where I had to read chapters upon chapters about things that didn't interest me, and I expected lengthy pages about things that occurred in the era, and would disinterest me. But I got quite the opposite from this book! With ...more
Oct 25, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2017
For the Hypnotist, I fall somewhere between "disappointment" and "it was okay". The book started out really strong; I thought the characters were very diverse and interesting, the hypnotic gift the professor had was fascinating and played out well through the story, and the villain {or villains} in the story were convincing in their malice. That being said, I was drawn into the book easily and stayed tied up with the characters....until somewhere closer towards the end.

I read the reviews for
Maia Moore
Oct 21, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Original review posted here

* I have been given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review *

I had no idea what this was really about going into it, and I struggled at first because I just didnt know where it was going. About 100 or so pages in things started kicking off and I was suddenly really invested in the characters and their story.

The story is told in dual narrative, from Pip, a young black boy working for a white couple and their racist, radical son, and Jack, an Irish professor
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In a career spanning three decades, Laurence Anholt has produced over 200 children's books, which are published in more than 30 languages. Titles like the self-illustrated Anholt's Artists series have sold many millions of copies around the world. Laurence has also collaborated on numerous picture books with his wife, the artist, Catherine Anholt.

Laurence's first YA / Crossover novel THE HYPNOTIST

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