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The Harrowing

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3.69  ·  Rating details ·  2,007 ratings  ·  298 reviews
SCREAM meets THE EXORCIST is this chilling and completely gripping debut from a new and exciting voice in the world of horror
Paperback, 280 pages
Published September 1st 2009 by Piatkus Books (first published August 22nd 2006)
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Average rating 3.69  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,007 ratings  ·  298 reviews


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Trin
Jan 27, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, american-lit
A simple ghost story stretched rather too long and with a bit too much emo for my tastes. Robin is a college student with angst—do you hear me? ANGST—who stays in her dorm over Thanksgiving instead of going home to her crazy (and ANGST-causing!) mom. She meets four other outcast-types, and then they all accidentally raise an evil spirit. As one does.

The first few séance-y scenes are the best in the book; Robin’s emo, which makes the first section drag, is finally sidelined, and there
...more
Trudi
Aug 12, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Not harrowing enough.
Emily
Nov 25, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
"It was all some dark, unfathomable mass, a vortex of chaos and confusion."

The Harrowing didn't really work for me. First, the synopsis makes it sound like the book is about the horrors that occur while students are stuck at school for Thanksgiving break. I was expecting something ominous and atmospheric like The Blackcoat's Daughter, but nope. This was only a portion of the book, so the synopsis was misleading.

The book is set at a dark and gothic-sounding university, and I feel lik
...more
Mindi
Nov 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I bought this book a while back pretty much because the blurb on the inside flap sounded interesting. I brought it home and it instantly hit the top of my "Books that Must be Read Now" pile, and was soon lost as I added more and more books. I moved recently and had to take stock of my library, and that's when I found this little gem of a ghost story hiding in one of my moving boxes.

This book doesn't disappoint. In the beginning I was pulled in almost immediately, and when the action
...more
 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books)
The Harrowing was a pretty good book to read around Halloween. It was nicely scary, and the story idea was quite interesting. Ms. Sokoloff integrated Jewish creation lore into this story. I thought that it gave this story an individuality for a ghost story/supernatural horror story. This was a major strength of this novel.

I also really liked Robin, the main character. She starts this story at a complete low, but shows courage, ingenuity, and strength of character that is crucial for the ordeal
...more
Char
I read this with my horror group at Shelfari. I picked up this book during a free promotion by the author.
This is a story set at a Midwestern college campus. A handful of students are staying on campus over the Thanksgiving holiday. Of course, this is when things start to happen.
One of the students finds a Ouija board and together the group makes contact with a former student at the college, Zachary. From there, things go from bad to worse.
I don't want to spoil any part of the
...more
Kimberly
Now this was one fantastic book. It was made into a movie as well. I knew beforehand that this was the case but I have a rule that I read the book first, movie second. Of course when I do this, I constantly criticize the movie every time saying out loud, "That didn't happen, hey, that wasn't like that in the book." LOL.

I watched the trailer on YouTube but haven't seen the movie as of yet. I look forward to it though.
If your looking for a good spooky tale that you can about read in one sit
...more
Kasia
Jun 19, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
As much as I wanted to adore this novel from beginning to end I have to say that it was a mixed bag of nuts. The first half was brilliant, well not literary genius but tantalizing and gripping, I was at the book's mercy as it kept tugging at me, begging to be read some more. The second half took a nose dive into the juvenile corner that it never managed to climb out of, overall I liked it but the ending fizzled out, if the author kept the momentum and originality going and actually made it scary ...more
Jeannie Sloan
Jul 10, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, ghost-current
This is a scary book.I read it in one sitting on a rainy day and boy was I spooked.The atmosphere outside may have had something to do with it but even if it was sunny I think that this book would have scared me quite a bit.
I think that my Goodreads friends will do themselves a favor by reading this book(especially Danielle and Grace).
There were interesting characters and the plot moved right along so that I didn't need to skip any pages which I tend to do with most books because the
...more
Camille Vargas
Sep 30, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Does evil come from without or within us?"
This question resonates throughout this book by Award-winning screenwriter Alexandra Sokoloff.
While everyone else at Baird College rush out for their long Thanksgiving holiday, five students opted to stay for secret reasons.
They stumbled upon each other in the deserted "manor hall" and made an unlikely bond. For laughs, they played with an Ouija board and was able to call on a presence who introduced himself as "Zachary".
It was a
...more
Bookaholics
Jan 30, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Harrowing by Alexandra Sokoloff
Mass Market Paperback - October 30, 2007
4 Stars

Robin Stone is a troubled young woman. Her means of escape from her unbalanced mother was by running away to college paid with guilt money from her absentee father.
Still, she remains unhappy and depressed in the academic arena and feels like a shadow nobody will miss if she's gone. When Thanksgiving comes, she stays in the echoing Mendenhall dormitories rather than going home to her mother for the long holiday
...more
Rick
Nov 26, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A competent, yet less-than-enthralling horror novel.
Claire
Sep 20, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This one fell a little short for me. Not particularly likeable characters with any depth and the haunting stuff wasn’t done in a particularly scary way.
Zombieslayer/Alienhunter {and so on}
Robin Stone, a freshman at Baird college, won't be going home for Thanksgiving weekend to her drunken mother.
Patrick O'Conner, football star, won't be going home to his institutionalized mother and psycho jock-building father.
Cain Jackson, musician (and orphan) has no one to go home to.
Lisa Marlowe isn't missed.
Martin Seltzer can't return to his 'faithful' father.
So, on a dark and stormy night, they all congregate in the lounge of their dorm, Mendenhall, and bond over beer,
...more
Carolyn  Storer
Sep 13, 2009 rated it really liked it
The Harrowing is marketed as 'Scream meets The Exorcist' and I'd say that is a fair description. This is the debut novel of an author who's also a screenwriter, and it shows. This book reads like a movie; it's scary, jumpy, spine-chilling and keeps you on the edge of your seat. It's well written and yet has a nice easy flow to the prose without being too simplistic. The imagery is vivid and the atmosphere is tense.

Robin, the main character, starts out as a very paranoid, self-pitying
...more
Carrie Hinkel-Gill
One of the things that I've noticed about many good books is that the first chapter gets overlooked in the revision process in favor of getting the rest nearly perfect.

That was the case here with this book. The beginning felt clunky. I honestly felt that the book should have started on page 7 with the following sentence: "In the two months she'd been at Baird, she made zero friends."

It wasn't until this point that I was actually drawn into the story. All the stuff before that felt, unnecessary
...more
Elizabeth
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Stephen
Ever since Shirley Jackson's The Haunting of Hill House scared the living hell out of me at age 11 (even if I didn't completely understand it all at the time), I've enjoyed stories that involve supernatural nasties. I love gloomy old houses, spooky woods, creaking noises at night, and all those things that hint at the existence of unseen entities lurking at the edge of the real world. Something about ghosties and ghoulies can still hit a few vital nerves that the most awful of real-world horrors do n ...more
Kathleen Valentine
This is quite a nice little ghost/monster story! Five "discarded" college students, with nowhere to go for Thanksgiving, stay at school in an old dormitory where they discover a dilapidated Ouiji board. They decide to see what it has to say and - well - you can guess the rest. There are no great surprises but it is well-written and nicely paced with wonderful atmosphere and some very interesting characters. I thought it was a bit like "The Breakfast Club" meets Ghost Story but it also reminded me in ...more
Annie
Jul 18, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"The Harrowing is a basic haunting tale, but Sokoloff’s dreamed up an origin tale that draws from a source I haven’t really seen utilized before. I was impressed with her fresh take on a familiar template, and pleased that she managed to scare me."

http://superfastreader.com/the-harrow...
Amy
Jun 09, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent ghost story!
Darline
It wasn’t scary. I was entertained enough to keep reading.
Gokce ~Muslin Myst~
I gotta admit I didn't expect so much from this book, so it took me a while to actually read it until now. The plot remainded me so much of a teen slasher movie plot, you know, the ones where young people come together, for a ghost seance in an gothic looking school during Thanksgiving holiday as in this one, and one by one they get murdered, after unleashing an evil spirit that is. These movies usually go with a line as lame as, 'what started as an innocent game has become a race against evil.. ...more
Zeke Gonzalez
Jun 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Harrowing is a classically inspired ghost story full of the horror tropes a reader accustomed to the genre would expect. I love a good college campus horror story, and Alexandra Sokoloff does a nice job of infusing the story with an interesting, if somewhat unoriginal, mystery which builds into interesting mythology. The Harrowing also goes to show why the classic horror tropes are classic: despite knowing more or less what to expect, the writing is good enough that the story still feels eer ...more
Kendra
Sep 25, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not as good as The Unseen, but Alexandra Sokoloff knows how to tell a good scary story.
Elizabeth Nesbit-comer
This book reads like a very bad B horror movie, and not the campy funny ones. More like the ones that make you wonder why anyone would make a movie with a five dollar budget and actors who couldn't find work in a porno. The characters were flat and often hard to tell apart. I don't believe in the whole I wanted to die and therefore evil entered the world and strangely enough Evil wanted to play a stupid Hasbro board game. They of course make it a 1920 version of Ouiji, but still the same thing. ...more
Kate
Feb 17, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: age-ya, 2014, horror
Robin is spending the Thanksgiving holiday alone at her dorm, and she's plenty happy to be alone (even if it's a bit creepy)... but she isn't alone. Neither are the four others at the dorm, not after they pull out a Ouija board and call up a spirit. The spirit claims to be the ghost of a student named Zachary, but Martin thinks otherwise. He's convinced they are accessing Jung's collective unconscious, and he wants to keep it going as an experiment, despite the creepy stuff happening now...
...more
Dianne
May 23, 2012 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle-have
Free TODAY 5/23/12

Baird College's Mendenhall echoes with the footsteps of the last home-bound students heading off for Thanksgiving break, and Robin Stone swears she can feel the creepy, hundred-year-old residence hall breathe a sigh of relief for its long-awaited solitude. Or perhaps it's only gathering itself for the coming weekend.

As a massive storm dumps rain on the isolated campus, four other lonely students reveal themselves: Patrick, a handsome jock; Lisa, a manipulativ
...more
Kristen
Jul 14, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: summer-2009
"The Harrowing" by Alexandra Sokoloff is about a group of five misfit college students who come together one Thanksgiving weekend when they each decide, separately, to stay on campus rather than to go home for the holiday. The story really takes off when one of the five, Lisa, finds a Ouija board and suggests they try to contact spirits. While I found that I felt the need to finish the book, it wasn't because I couldn't wait to find out what happened, but because I felt like I had already put to ...more
Lisa
This was an excellent read - but be warned, I wouldn't advise reading this at night. Or on your own... Unless you like scaring yourself to pieces.

The uneasy atmosphere of the story creeps up on you slowly and subtly and it's one hell of a ride from start to finish. With sympathetic characters, a fascinating creation myth, and one incredibly scary adversary, there's lots to enjoy.

Yes, there are the gothic story tropes: the Ouija board, the misfit students, a deserted dorm
...more
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I'm the Thriller Award-winning and Bram Stoker and Anthony Award-nominated author of the bestselling Huntress/FBI Thrillers: Huntress Moon, Blood Moon, Cold Moon. Bitter Moon, Hunger Moon, the supernatural thrillers The Harrowing, The Price, Book of Shadows, The Unseen, The Space Between. The New York Times Book Review has called me "a daughter of Mary Shelley" and my novels "some of the most original and freshly unnerving work i ...more
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