Maureen Ann's Reviews > The Night Strangers

The Night Strangers by Chris Bohjalian
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's review
Aug 31, 2011

really liked it
Read in August, 2011

I have read Chris Bohjalian's other books and enjoyed them, but this book was an entirely unexpected experience for me. It is marketed as a ghost story, and to be sure that is what it is, but it is so much more. I would probably never have purchased this book but I was fortunate enough to win it as a Goodreads giveaway, and I am so glad I did. I would definitely recommend it. I received a free uncorrected galley copy of this book. This in no way influenced my review of the book.

Bohjalian's writing does take some getting used to, because he writes to the reader, which is somewhat unusual outside of a technical manual. You know you are reading a story, not participating in the events. In the case of a ghost story, I am exceptionally grateful for that. This book is inspired by the heroic water landing of a passenger jet by Sully Sullenberger in January 2009. In this story, the pilot did not have the same fortune of landing the airplane safely and 39 people were killed. After retiring and moving to the White Mountains of New Hampshire with his family, Chip Linton (the aforementioned pilot) finds a hidden door in his basement, secured by exactly 39 bolts. There are several other strange coincidences in the book, and the entire book is haunting.

I am not a fan of being scared, which is why I stayed up until 4:30am finishing this book. I did not want to leave it incomplete because the dreams would have disturbed me otherwise. There is an adjustment period to Bohjalian's writing style, but it eventually fades into the background because the language is so beautiful and the story so compelling that it draws you in. I would enthusiastically recommend this book to someone looking for a good ghost story, especially around Halloween, or fans of Bohjalian's previous work.
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