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An Enemy at Green Knowe [Paperback]

L.M. Boston , Peter Boston
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
RRP: 5.99
Price: 5.23 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

1 Dec 2003
The inhabitants of Green Knowe become involved with black magic when a modern-day witch attempts to find books of witchcraft supposedly hidden in the old house by a mad alchemist.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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An Enemy at Green Knowe + The Stones of Green Knowe + A Stranger at Green Knowe
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Product details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Oldknow Books (1 Dec 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0952323354
  • ISBN-13: 978-0952323358
  • Product Dimensions: 19.2 x 12.8 x 1.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 63,882 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

From the Publisher

The ancient Manor House at Hemingford Grey, on which all of the Green Knowe books are based, is open to the public by appointment.

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First Sentence
Tolly and his chinese friend Ping, just back from a camping holiday, were emptying out of their haversacks the pebbles that they could not bear to leave behind. Read the first page
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Other Side of the Coin... 5 May 2008
By MrHyde
I've loved all Lucy Boston's books since childhood, but somehow, this one has remained with me. It's especially interesting as, in many ways, it represents a kind of antithesis of 'The Children of Green Knowe'. That was a story of love and friendship linking scattered lives over the years, with a tiny element of malevolence. Here, a darker story shows the house under siege by a truly disturbing opponent. The characters that we've come to know so well must fight for their survival against forces which genuinely disturbed me as an eight year old reader.

If the other books have a dream like quality, this incredible novel shows us the nightmare. Be warned, there's a clutching *thing* that will haunt the imagination of an adult readers, when children might not spot the horrific implications...
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0 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another great read 13 Jan 2010
REad them all The children of Green Knowe - the stones of Green Knowe very pleasnt reading
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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  10 reviews
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best 3 Aug 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Like Tove Jansson's Moomin books & Arthur Ransome's Swallows & Amazons series, L.M. Boston's Green Knowe books remain underappreciated by American readers. Even so, these three series are arguably of vastly superior quality to the ubiquitous Harry Potter, Narnia, and Roald Dahl books. An Enemy at Green Knowe is the 5th in this series of 6 which do not need to be read sequentially. Tolly, the protagonist of the first 2 books is now united w/ Ping, the hero of books 3 & 4. Those familiar w/ the series will know that the "shadow protagonist" is Mrs. Oldknow, Tolly's great-grandmother & owner of the manse Green Knowe & its magical environs.
Green Knowe is a place whose past haunts its present. Mrs. Oldknow relates to the 2 boys an incident out of Green Knowe's past, when the mysterious Dr. Vogel took up residence at Green Knowe as the family tutor in the year 1630. Dr. Vogel became caught up in some nefarious activity, and as the boys soon learn, the evil force that was unleashed by Dr. Vogel still lurks in the present day. They must confront this challenge to Green Knowe and its proprietor in a series of hair-raising events -- although written for children, this book is not for the faint of heart.
The Green Knowe books differ from one another quite a bit, but in my estimation this one ranks w/ Children of Green Knowe as the best. While that one was delightful for its innocence, this one is notable for the way in which it gives the reader chills.
Boston's prose is graceful & intelligent & is recommended for the literate grade schooler. These books are the logical starting point for a reader to progress to the works of Susan Cooper, Alan Garner, and Robert Holdstock.
No mention of the Green Knowe books would be complete w/o mention of the marvelous illustrations by Peter Boston. Unfortunately, the Odyssey Classic reprints chose hideously garish covers, although to their credit they preserved Peter Boston's interior illustrations. Still, their choice of covers probably explains why these books are now out of print.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "What's Thought Cannot be Unthought" 18 Feb 2004
By R. M. Fisher - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The fifth book in Lucy Boston's "Green Knowe" series finally brings together our two main protagonists: the house's blood relative Tolly and the Chinese refugee Ping, both of whom have featured in the previous books, but never together. Unfortunatly we do not see their meeting, but instead join the story half-way through the summer, by which time the two are already best friends.
As always, the mysterious Green Knowe is filled with ancient and semi-magical artefacts (all of which are actually real relics that belong in the author's home on which she based the books) and Grandmother Oldknow tells the children stories concerning the past inhabitants of the house. Now for the first time, she tells them a story that holds a more sinister edge to it. In the 17th century a young boy had a tutor that was said to dabble in alchemical practices, and have a number of magical books with which he created his spells. An author with astonishing vision for her time, Boston highlights the unfairness of such a man being thought of as noble and intelligent for following such a practice, whilst harmless women were often prosecuted for dabbling in herblore. Grandmother Oldknow tells the children that Doctor Vogel eventually burnt all his equipment with the help of the local minister (whose testimony was found in "The River of Green Knowe", but only now translated), but it is rumoured that one book of dark spells may have escaped the flames.
In typical Green Knowe fashion, in which the past regularly surges up to greet the present, it is not just a coincidence that directly after this storytelling a new neighbour comes to call: Melanie Powers, whose interest in the house and in the legend of Dr Vogel hints at her true intentions. She is after the missing book, and begins a systematic assault on Green Knowe as its first truly evil antagonist, whereas up until now the worst the children have faced is meddling adults. Like the Twelve Plagues of Eygpt, Ms Powers sends nasties crawling into the Green Knowe: maggots, snakes and bird-snatching cats.
But of course, Tolly and Ping have their own spells and allies, and with this comes wonderful reappearences from previous characters, including the spirit of the gorilla Hanno and the ghostly past-resident Susan. Even the starlings, who have been pests in previous books, prove their worth. It is stirring stuff to see the children fight passionatly for the home they love and attempt to reach the book before Powers does. I only wish Boston had taken the opportunity to include more characters: what about Ida and Oskar? Toby, Alexander and Linnet? Boggis and Feste the horse?
It is the first Green Knowe book to instigate a good against evil theme, and for that reason is sure to be a favourite among most readers since all the other books make more meandering and whimsical reading. In fact, one should be warned that this installment can get a little scary at times, and even gruesome, as in the case of Powers hanging dead birds on a clothesline or the sight of a horned ritual stick, which was described so evocatively that it sent shivers down my spine: "they recognized it at once as absolutely evil." I should also warn New-Agers and modern day "witches" that Ms Powers is a witch in the medieval description of the word - with black magic and links to Satan.
A great addition to the "Green Knowe" books, though often mistaken for the final installment. This is false, as there are six books in the series, and the last title is "The Stones of Green Knowe", an essential part of the collection. Boston claims that she wrote these books for her own amusement, and that has never been more apparent than in "An Enemy at Green Knowe" since many questions are left unanswered concerning the background of Mr Powers and the real intentions of Dr Vogel, yet despite that, this book is one of my favourites.
And as always, Peter Boston's illustrations are excellent, and I love Brett Helquist's new covers; let's face it, these books were in need of a face-lift.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Still Magical 9 Sep 2002
By Michael J Anthony - Published on Amazon.com
I remember reading these books on my summer vacations to my grandparents...I was bored and the local town librarian recommended them to me. Many years later, looks for books on mysterious houses for a nephew, I remembered and re-discovered them. My favorite is An Enemy At Green Knowe. The story is full of twists and turns and quite frightening events, with the excitement lasting just long enough to tantalize the reader. You feel the house itself is a living breathing character, as is true of the entire series. This is the kind of book an adult needs to put in the hands of the student -- as is true with A Wrinkle In Time -- and sit back while the child becomes wrapped in the world of Green Knowe. A superior children's book!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magical thrills and chills 26 Sep 2003
By Chrijeff - Published on Amazon.com
After "The Children of Green Knowe," this is my favorite of the five central books of the sequence. It includes all the elements that make the series immortal: the mysterious old Norman manor house with its lush garden and bordering river, the wise and wonderful Mrs. Oldknow who often seems to have more than one foot in any time but her own, her young great-grandson Tolly (now probably about 12) to provide the spark, tales of the mysterious past of the house, and magic--some of it not very nice. Kids who enjoy identifying with the juvenile protagonists of R. L. Stine's horror tales may be well served by being introduced to Tolly and his friend Ping, the Chinese refugee boy, and following along as they slowly become aware of the character and lack of scruples of "Dr. Melanie Powers," the sinister lodger at The Firs, who wants to acquire a gramarie (book of spells) said to have belonged to a tutor employed at the house in the 17th century. While Mrs. Oldknow quickly comes to agree that Dr. Powers is both powerful and evil, it's left up to the boys to beat off her nastier efforts and, ultimately, find a means of defeating her utterly. (Ping has an excellent heroic role when he summons the shade of the slain gorilla Hanno.) Mrs. Oldknow's lodger, the scholarly Mr. Pope, also has his moment of glory when, reciting an ancient Hebrew spell for his tape recorder, he unknowingly halts a spell that threatens to literally ruin the manor. Even the time-travelling blind girl Susan makes an appearance, though I wonder that Tolly's first ghost-friends, Toby and his sibs, are conspicuously absent, this being as much their house as Tolly's--perhaps more: they've been there longer! The one question that itches at me is what has become of Tolly's stepmother: her husband, his father, is mentioned and even arrives at the end of the book, but she isn't and doesn't.
Children like to be deliciously frightened, and this book is a superior title to frighten them with--though not one you'll want them reading alone in their rooms late at night! A superior entry into the series.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderfully scary in the best possible way 13 Feb 2006
By Genevieve Jacobs - Published on Amazon.com
This beautifully written, lyrical book is genuinely scary in a way that puts much modern children's literature well and truly in the shade. Grandmother Oldknowe is protected by all the good things of the earth - stone and water, and all the deep things of nature - in her struggle with the horrible Melanie Powers. Aided by Tolly and Ping, it's a battle for the soul with moments that will make adults draw their breath sharply.

Not a book for those who are easily scared, nor for those with strong prejudices against the supernatural - but for the bravehearted reader, an truly thrilling ride awaits.
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