“The Little Stranger” Book Review

Just finished reading “The Little Stranger” by Sarah Waters. I should probably start by saying that I absolutely loved The Night Watch by the same author. So all of the things I loved about the “The Night Watch” are also present here in this book.

This is a story of a Doctor in Gloucestershire who starts to work with a family who live in an old manor house and how they start to become closer and then strange things start to happen.

I’ve not read a lot of books about the time in which the book is set. It’s post World War Two and rationing is still in effect and one of the lead characters was involved in the war. It’s the little touches I like about how did you maintain an estate in those days? How did a bachelor doctor live and work and what were their thoughts about the soon to be established National Health Service?

Ms. Waters answered these questions and you are quite quickly drawn into the world of this book and of it’s characters and that is the main appeal of the book for me.

I won’t talk too much about the ghost story aspect of it but it was also done very well and rang true.

Here are some other links to reviews of this book.

Guardian Review 

Independent Review

Books that I’ve read recently.

How’s it going?

Here’s a list of some of the books I’ve read recently and some little capsule reviews.

    Norwegian Wood By Haruki Murakami

This is a great book. I love Murakami because his characters are so interesting. They go through their daily lives and something happens and they integrate into their lives and then continue. It’s a very sad book because so much happens to the characters but also very life affirming.

    Slow Man By J.m. Coetzee

I really liked “Disgrace” by the same author and I liked this one too. It’s strange because I don’t know if I quite understand what was happening in the latter two thirds of the book but I know I liked that it happened. It was paced very well.

    The Interpretation of Murder by Jed Rubenfeld

I picked this one up because I was interested in the central idea. Sigmund Freud makes his first and only visit to New York and is involved in resolving a murder and an attack on another heiress. The involvement of Freud was secondary to the main character Stratham Younger but it was a good read. I didn’t anticipate the ending and so it’s worth a read for that alone.

    The Testament of Gideon Mack by James Robertson

Another book purchased on the back of the concept. A Presbyterian minister in Scotland meets the devil. It wasn’t what I expected and was less about the devil and more about the man Gideon Mack. It was bookended by an a prologue and an epilogue that presented this as a real story and in many ways it was. I would have liked to have met Gideon Mack and discussed his story.

    Winter in Madrid by C.J. Sansom

This book is set in Madrid in 1940 after the Spanish Civil War. I have to admit that it’s a time in history that I’m not that familiar with it. I do want to know more about it though. It was an interesting portrait of a different time and an Englishman who is placed into this world as a reluctant spy.

    The Rediscovery of Man by Cordwainer Smith

This collection of Short Stories was lent to me by my friend Brian and it was a delight. I read a lot of sci-fi when I was a teenager and this book reminded a lot of those times. The world that he created was very different from the worlds like Dune created by Frank Herbert and PhazeProton created by Piers Antony. Some of the stories were very long and exceeded my bus journey times while some others were short. I liked the idea that in a world where men had very long lifespans they had forgotten a lot of the trials and tribulations that make us human in the first place.

I also discovered that the song “Starlight” By Muse fits the story “The Lady who sailed The Soul ” very well.