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The Little Stranger


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About the Author

Sarah Waters, who was born in Wales, has been described as 'one of the best storytellers alive today' (Matt Thorne, Independent), and there can be no doubt that readers and critics alike have been gripped by her extraordinary imagination. Sarah Waters' first novel, Tipping the Velvet, won a Betty Trask Award, and was shortlisted for the Mail on Sunday/John Llewellyn Rhys Prize. Her next novel, Affinity, won the Somerset Maugham Award and the Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year Award while Fingersmith and The Night Watch were both shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and the Orange Prize. The former also won the CWA Ellis Peters Dagger Award for Historical Crime Fiction and the South Bank Show Award for Literature. The Little Stranger was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize in 2009 and The Paying Guests was shortlisted for the Baileys Prize in 2015. Tipping the Velvet, Affinity, Fingersmith and The Night Watch have all been adapted for television, The Little Stranger was adapted as a film by Lenny Abrahamson, and Fingersmith inspired Park Chan-wook's film, The Handmaiden. Sarah Waters has been named Author of the Year five times: by the British Book Awards, The Booksellers' Association, Waterstone's Booksellers, Glamour Magazine Awards and the Stonewall Awards. In 2019 she was awarded an OBE for services to literature.


Sarah Waters' masterly novel is gripping, confident, unnerving and supremely entertaining * Hilary Mantel *
The #1 book of the year... several sleepless nights are guaranteed * Stephen King *
Gripping... As well as being a supernatural tale, it is a meditation on the nature of the British and class, and how things are rarely what they seem. Chilling * Kate Mosse *
Waters has determined to scare the pants off her righly devoted audience. She succeeds unequivocally. You'll want to sleep with the light on -- Erica Wagner * The Times *
The knowledge that something nasty is around the corner lends the narrative a compelling sense of unease. The richness of Waters' writing ensures that the air of thickening dread is very thick indeed . . . Waters is a brave writer. The Little Stranger is an engrossing, hugely enjoyable read with set pieces guaranteed to make anyone with a pulse gibber in fright -- John Preston * Sunday Telegraph *
By now readers must be confident of her mastery of storytelling . . . While at one turn, the novel looks to be a ghost story, the next it is a psychological drama . . . But it is also a brilliantly observed story, verging on the comedy, about Britain on the cusp of modern age... The writing is subtle and poised -- Joy lo Dico * Independent on Sunday *
The Little Stranger is a proper muscle-flexing story - I was in awe and just did not want it to end -- Julie Myerson * Observer, Books of the Year *
Displaying her remarkable flair for period evocation, Waters recreates backwater Britain just after the Second World War with atmospheric immediacy . . . Acute and absorbing -- Peter Kemp * Sunday Times *
Waters is often described as a brilliant storyteller, and so she is. But she is also an artist compelled to experiment . . . Waters gives herself a sort of handicap with the dull doctor's narration. This indirectness, which in cruder hands might have led to yawning insurrection in the reader, becomes essential to the novel's unsettling power -- Claudia Fitzherbert * Daily Telegraph *
A creepy, sensual 1940s noir with all of Waters' trademark depth and intelligence. And the best, most ambivalent male narrator (written by a woman) since The Secret History -- Liz Hoggard * Evening Standard, Books of the Year *
The horrors are brilliantly orchestrated, and rise effortlessly in scale and explicitness... Waters knows what she is about, and the novel's interests are only partly in the supernatural... The fascination of The Little Stranger lies in its unnerving evocation of place and time. It is a beautiful and expert divertissement -- Philip Hensher * Spectator *
Truly frightening . . . As I lay in bed after finishing reading it, running the various elements through my mind, a fox screamed outside my window and I nearly had a heart attack -- Suzi Feay * Literary Review *
A spine-tingler . . . Waters skilfully ratchets up the suspense as events at Hundreds grow ever more highly charged - even downright chilling -- Amber Pearson * Daily Mail *
This is more than a detective and/or ghost story. It is also a study of post-war Britain . . . Social document; intriguing detective yarn; chilling ghost story, romance or thriller, The Little Stranger is a marvellous read on so very many levels -- Christine Dwyer Hickey * Irish Times *
The Little Stranger is Sarah Waters' best book yet. For me it even beats Fingersmith, which is not easy... It builds in a slow, understated way... Best of all is the ending, quietly revelatory and chilling * C.J. Sansom *
A classic gothic page-turner * USA Today *
Wonderfully evoked... Waters has rendered the old house magnificently in its fading glory, and its in habitants sparkle like chandeliers in the damp, peeling rooms... Sarah Waters is an excellent, evocative writer, and this is an incredibly gripping and readable novel * New York Times Book Review *
Haunted by the spirits of Henry James and Edgar Allan Poe... Waters keeps the lightening flashing in every gloomy chapter * Washington Post *
Completely absorbing... I wanted to linger in that fictional world, page by page, chapter by chapter * Newsday *
A virtuoso writer... If you want a ghost story that creeps up your spine, The Little Stranger delivers * Seattle Times *
Waters creates an atmosphere of quiet dread that's unnerving and compelling * Time *
With its subtly orchestrated suspense and spot-on portrayal of English class divisions, Waters's literary ghost story delights * People *
A marvelous and truly spooky historical novel * Boston Globe *
Rich with historic detail and slow, deliberate building toward the revelation of its secrets, The Little Stranger delights even as it leaves you unnerved * Miami Herald *
Like the gloomy English weather, an air of impending doom lingers over every chapter of The Little Stranger... an up-all-night page-turner that provides a cogent dose of social commentary * Cleveland Plain Dealer *
A stunning haunted house tale whose ghosts are as horrifying as any in Shirley Jackson's The Haunting of Hill House * Publishers Weekly (starred review) *
Few authors do dread as well as Waters... This spooky satisfying read has the added pleasure of effectively detailing postwar village life, with its rationing, social structures, and gossip, all on the edge of Britain's massive change to a social state * Library Journal *

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