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The Seance por John Harwood
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The Seance (original 2008; edição 2008)

por John Harwood (Autor)

MembrosCríticasPopularidadeAvaliação médiaMenções
7934120,505 (3.57)46
A haunting tale of apparitions, a cursed manor house, and two generations of women determined to discover the truth, by the author of The Ghost Writer Sell the Hall unseen; burn it to the ground and plow the earth with salt, if you will; but never live there . . ." Constance Langton grows up in a household marked by death, her father distant, her mother in perpetual mourning for Constance's sister, the child she lost.Desperate to coax her mother back to health, Constance takes her to a séance: perhaps she will find comfort from beyond the grave. But the meeting has tragic consequences. Constance is left alone, her only legacy a mysterious bequest that will blight her life. So begins The Séance, John Harwood's brilliant second novel, a gripping, dark mystery set in late-Victorian England. It is a world of apparitions, of disappearances and unnatural phenomena, of betrayal and blackmail and black-hearted villains--and murder. For Constance's bequest comes in two parts: a house and a mystery. Years before, a family disappeared atWraxford Hall, a decaying mansion in the English countryside with a sinister reputation.Now the Hall belongs to Constance. And she must descend into the darkness at the heart of theWraxford Mystery to find the truth, even at the cost of her life.… (mais)
Membro:cookierooks
Título:The Seance
Autores:John Harwood (Autor)
Informação:Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (2008), Edition: First Edition, 304 pages
Colecções:A sua biblioteca
Avaliação:
Etiquetas:to-read

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The Seance por John Harwood (2008)

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Mostrando 1-5 de 41 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
This is an excellent novel, and a wonderful audiobook. Not that much in the way of supernatural things happening, but instead it’s more of a mystery novel. But I enjoyed nearly all of it. Until I got to the very end, and it became just a little maudlin, which I’m forgiving because the rest was good. The plot line was easy to guess which way it would go in some parts, and that was fine also.

The narrators are Fiona Hardingham, Simon Vance, and Katherine Kellgren. Hardingham got way too excited in the actiony parts of the novel and got a little shouty during these scenes, which took away from my excitement of the audiobook. Vance is of course amazing, and I love his voice. Kellgren was very good also, and not as upper crust an English accent as Hardingham, which was more enjoyable to me.
All in all, I love this author, and I enjoy his novels very much. This book is a great way to spend a rainy day with some tea, curled in your favorite reading spot.
3.5 stars, and recommended to lovers of the Victorian era, twisty turny mysteries, multiple narrators, easy-ish plotlines, and rainy day novels. ( )
  stephanie_M | Apr 30, 2020 |
4.5 Star

Wraxford Hall, a decaying mansion in the English countryside, has a sinister reputation. Once, a family disappeared there. And now Constance Langton has inherited this dark place as well as the mysteries surrounding it. Having grown up in a house marked by the death of her sister, Constance is no stranger to mystery, secrets, and the dark magic around us. Her father was distant. Her mother was in perpetual mourning for her lost child. In a desperate attempt to coax her mother back to health, Constance took her to a seance hoping she would find supernatural comfort.


When I picked this book up I don't know what I thought I would really get out of it but I mean it ws good enough I tore through another of the authors books right away [b:The Asylum|15814529|The Asylum|John Harwood|https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1348098664l/15814529._SY75_.jpg|21540965]

This mystery takes us on a journey through family secrets and deception. The Seance has all the making of a classic Gothic Horror novel. When I started the book I thought the pacing was a little slow but then it quickly after building the character story up you jump right into the fast and at times gripping tale. I would easily put this in the vein of work with [a:Diane Setterfield|22665|Diane Setterfield|https://images.gr-assets.com/authors/1533836832p2/22665.jpg] and [a:Alice Hoffman|3502|Alice Hoffman|https://images.gr-assets.com/authors/1477318484p2/3502.jpg] but to be sure that John Harwood is also very much writing something completely their own ((also think Bronte Sisters and Blackfield)).
( )
  basilsbooks | Dec 30, 2019 |
Another atmospheric Victorian Gothic. 4 1/2 stars. ( )
  KateSavage | Mar 29, 2019 |
“Absurd, absurd, said the voice of reason: it is clairvoyance, I said to myself, only—what did Dr. Wraxford say?—a lesion of the brain, and will heal itself in time. But the phrase went spinning from one fearful thought to the next—a lesion of the brain, a lesion of the brain—until it became the sound of train wheels clattering through a dream in which I was compelled to return again and again to London.”

—The Séance by John Harwood

Even a well-written, meticulously constructed novel can suffer from too much atmosphere. This work has been compared to the foggy mysteries penned by Wilkie Collins and M.R. James, and it does wear the patina of those authors. Yet, somehow, when you scratch beneath the tarnish you are met only with bronze, the most basic of alloys—no jaw-dropping, eye-popping wonderment. I did enjoy the multiple narratives delivered in epistolary form (polylogic epistolary novel form, for the prudes in the room). I’m a big fan of experimenting with narrative—reliable or otherwise. However, once the mist clears after much discussion and constant reevaluation to figure out just where the hell you are, it’s exactly as you thought it was and you’re left scratching the head at the digressions that proffered so little payout. I wouldn’t mind reading this author’s first novel, “The Ghost Writer”—just as acclaimed and compared to some of my favorite writers. But I’m not rushing toward it. There’s simply too much damn fog.

Here's another good bit, though:

“I could not disagree, for Edward’s theology went no further than ‘If, when I die, I discover there is an afterlife, I shall be pleasantly surprised—at least, I trust the surprise will be a pleasant one—if not, it will be mere oblivion. Carpe diem for me, I’m afraid’” ( )
  ToddSherman | Aug 24, 2017 |
I couldn't put this one down. It's an excellent gothic thriller, with the feel of a much older book. Zipped through it in about 24 hours. It has lots of twists and turns, multiple narrators, some of whom are more reliable than others, and a wonderful mystery. I am certainly going to look for more from this very talented author! ( )
  glade1 | Jan 29, 2017 |
Mostrando 1-5 de 41 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
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John Harwoodautor principaltodas as ediçõescalculated
Thorpe, DavidNarradorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
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To manifest a spirit, take twenty yards of fine silk veiling, at least two yards wide and very gauzy. Wash carefully, and rinse seven times. Prepare a solution of one jar Balmain's Luminous Paint; half a pint of Demar Varnish, one pint odourless benzine and fifty drops lavender oil. Work throughly through the fabric while it is still damp, and then allow to dry for three days. Then wash it with naphtha soap until all the odour is gone and the fabric is perfectly soft and pliable. In a darkened room, the fabric will appear as a soft, luminous vapour.

Revelations of a Spirit Medium (1891)
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For Robin
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If my sister Alma had lived, I should never have begun the séances.
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A haunting tale of apparitions, a cursed manor house, and two generations of women determined to discover the truth, by the author of The Ghost Writer Sell the Hall unseen; burn it to the ground and plow the earth with salt, if you will; but never live there . . ." Constance Langton grows up in a household marked by death, her father distant, her mother in perpetual mourning for Constance's sister, the child she lost.Desperate to coax her mother back to health, Constance takes her to a séance: perhaps she will find comfort from beyond the grave. But the meeting has tragic consequences. Constance is left alone, her only legacy a mysterious bequest that will blight her life. So begins The Séance, John Harwood's brilliant second novel, a gripping, dark mystery set in late-Victorian England. It is a world of apparitions, of disappearances and unnatural phenomena, of betrayal and blackmail and black-hearted villains--and murder. For Constance's bequest comes in two parts: a house and a mystery. Years before, a family disappeared atWraxford Hall, a decaying mansion in the English countryside with a sinister reputation.Now the Hall belongs to Constance. And she must descend into the darkness at the heart of theWraxford Mystery to find the truth, even at the cost of her life.

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