The Little Stranger

Title: The Little Stranger
Author: Sarah Waters
Pub: Riverhead, 2009
Pages: 466
Genre: Gothic, Spooky, Ghost Story, Literary Fiction

I signed up to read The Little Stranger for the readalong over at Estella's Society but then failed to actually complete it in a timely manner because various other obligations and enticements came my way (I'm specifically looking at my ipod and the audio deliciousness of Steven Weber).

Also, I should probably mention that this is my first Sarah Waters.  I have had some of her books on my TBR shelves for a bit but I admit, I've been little weary on reading any.  You see there is such a large Sarah Waters following out there in the interwebs that I was largely afraid that I would not get it and then have to pretend to get it like I was back in my college literature circles where we pretended to have read EVERYTHING EVER CREATED IN LITERATURE.

Why yes.  I can be a wee bit dramatic.

What makes this book perfect and totally atmospheric for a Halloweeny Octoberish read?  There's a haunted house.  Well...at least, we're led to believe that there's a haunted house.  That, or a family that's just good and nuts, which is equally as fantastic.

And let me back step just a bit.  This house isn't JUST a house.  It's an estate.  It's ginormous. It's a legacy and has this ominous dark historical Importance.  Dr. Faraday is our narrator and we see and feel the Hundreds Hall through his eyes (Its name, folks! I'm gonna name MY home too one day). He remembers when his mother used to work for the Ayres when he was a young boy.  And even then he was infatuated with its brilliance.

Events bring Dr. Faraday back to the Hundreds and the Ayres world.  And there's so much going on but not really, which sounds weird but it's true.  Like, the plot sorta meanders which is why it took me so blasted long to finish the book...but it doesn't meander in a way that makes it boring.  Instead, I feel like I'm watching the events unravel...or even better, like, this book should have been made into an Alfred Hitchcock film except you know, that's not possible, since we can't make AF films anymore.  But still...it had that sort of presence.

Also, I adore that Dr. Faraday tries to be a scientific narrator, but actually ends up being quite enveloped in the craziness of the house while still claiming oh that can't happen.

Freakin' brilliant.  I love this book!


  1. It is brilliant, isn't it? Sarah Waters completely nailed the unreliable narrator.

  2. Yay! I love this book too. It is not even the best of the Sarah Waters book. YES THAT IS RIGHT. The best is in front of you! And it's Fingersmith.

  3. I loved it too, so so much! I just want to read everything by her after this.

  4. Hahaha!!! I HATED having to pretend I read (AND understood) everything literature when in grad school. The suck.

    I've heard such up and down things about this one but I've been afraid to read it when everyone says Fingersmith is the best and that's where I started. Think I'm going to just listen to you and Ana and ignore all the rest!

  5. Oh, I am so glad to know that I'm not the only one that didn't keep up with this one for the readalong! I just finished it today for the readathon. So creepy - I could not have read parts of this book alone in my house at night. Because, even though my house is not old, what if it's built on an old burial ground?! Or some one in my family is nuts? Hitchcock is the only one who could have done this one justice - he got that it's what's in our heads that's as scary as anything we can see.


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