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Dolly: A Ghost Story

Dolly: A Ghost Story [Kindle Edition]

Susan Hill
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (106 customer reviews)

Print List Price: 7.99
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Product Description


'An assuredly chilling ghost story' -- Guardian

'Possesses a timeless austerity ... the very simplicity of Hill's unveiling of her story in Dolly imposes an awful inevitability on the action ... suitably wintry atmospheric storytelling' Spectator

'The mistress of the modern ghost story' Independent

'Perfectly creepy ... a real chiller' --Saga

'Susan Hill is the queen of the traditional ghost story and this one has a beautifully crafted creepiness ... Superb and scary' --The Times

Book Description

Susan Hill, author of Woman in Black, is the greatest living writer of ghost stories, and here is a perfect chiller: a story of two damaged children filled with unease, the supernatural and horror.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1155 KB
  • Print Length: 160 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1846685745
  • Publisher: Profile Books (5 Oct 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S. r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B009M5SW9A
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (106 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #11,214 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Susan Hill is a prize-winning novelist, having been awarded the Whitbread, Somerset Maugham and John Llewelyn Rhys awards, as well as having been shortlisted for the Booker Prize. She wrote Mrs de Winter, the bestselling sequel to Rebecca, and the ghost story The Woman in Black, which was adapted for the stage and became a great success in the West End. Her books include a collection of exquisite short stories, The Boy Who Taught the Beekeeper to Read, and the highly successful crime novel series about the detective Simon Serrailler. Susan Hill lives in Gloucestershire, where she runs her own small publishing firm, Long Barn Books.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
54 of 56 people found the following review helpful
A wonderfully creepy story, which has arrived just in time for Halloween, Susan Hill's latest novella 'Dolly' is set in the damp and desolate landscape of the English Fens. Orphan Edward Caley, a small, anxious and polite young boy is sent to spend part of the summer holidays with his elderly spinster Aunt Kestrel, in her large, decaying home, Iyot House. Arriving shortly after Edward is his cousin, Leonora, a striking red-haired, spoilt and wilful young girl, who is determined to get her own way regardless of the consequences. Thrown together in desolate surroundings, Edward enters into a uneasy alliance with his cousin, but when Leonora's birthday wish for a beautiful Indian doll is not fulfilled, the rage she unleashes is so fierce and shocking, that it has an unsettling effect on poor Edward for years afterwards. Many years later when Leonora and Edward are the only surviving members of their family, they both return to Iyot Lock for the reading of a will, and it is only now that the frightening consequences of Leonora's act of fury really begin to haunt them...

Very atmospheric, with some wonderful descriptions of landscape and setting, this competently crafted story makes for an absorbing, creepy and unsettling read. One to be read and enjoyed on a chilly evening in front of the fire, while the shivers run up and down your spine.

4 Stars.

Note: This is a very slim novel containing 153 pages - so easily readable in one sitting.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Started brilliantly, ending was a washout. 25 Dec 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
No spoilers, but for me the first half of this book was deliciously creepy. Then, when it came to the crux of the action, I felt like Hill wasn't sure what she wanted to do. I was really disappointed with how randomly it was all wrapped up, and some of the devices used to bring about the conclusion made very little sense, I thought. The first half is a match for Woman in Black, but the book as a whole didn't do it for me.
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28 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars spooky and atmsphetic tale 8 Oct 2012
By sarah J
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I always enjoy Susan Hill's ghost stories. `Dolly' her latest novella does not in any way disappoint. When it arrived last Friday my intention was to save it to read over the Christmas period, but I had to read it!
The story is very spooky and gripping, a good old fashioned ghost story which I read in about two hours.
The writing is beautifully crafted and taut. It is narrated in the first person by Edward who tells of a childhood encounter with his spoilt and spiteful cousin Leonora. What happens to the two cousins while they stay with their aunt has terrible consequences on both their adult lives. I particularly liked the descriptions of the eerie but beautiful fenland countryside. I could almost feel the wind rattling the house and the storm as the children sleep in their remote rooms up in the attic. This will appeal to anyone who wants a spooky tale for the short winter evenings
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Insubstantial, recycled and rather cynical 11 Jan 2013
By Emil 22
This story doesn't really amount to much and is not really that involving. The characterisation is poor and the double denouements are rather silly - she's done "Oh dear, harm's come to children!" more effectively elsewhere and perhaps because of this, its use here seems rather crass. I liked the descriptions of the Fens but, again, they're better in The Woman in Black and this comparison is inevitable because, blimey fancy that, she takes us to an isolated crumbling graveyard and an isolated house with dodgy electrics.
This isn't the first time that Hill's cobbled something together for Christmas but this one seems particularly undercooked.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not scared! 12 Oct 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I have read several of Susan Hill's novels and enjoyed them more than this one. Although well written and with beautiful imagery of the Fens making for a good atmospheric setting this story simply did not scare me. The Small Hand and The Woman in Black lingered long in my memory because of the spine chilling horror and suspense both stories delivered in spades. Dolly lacked this entirely and unfortunately the ending becomes predicable from about three quarters of the way through the story.
Not something I would read again.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Mixed Feelings 1 Nov 2012
By Rossi
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
An atmospheric gothic type tale written in true Susan Hill style. An orphaned boy, quiet and anxious Edward is sent to his aunt's creepy house for the summer in the bleak flat Fens. He is introduced to spoilt Leonora, a cousin of a similar age who has been sent there begrudgingly from overseas for company for him. Leonora and Edward are two very contrasting characters and after one of Leonora's particularly nasty tantrums, strange things start to happen.

The scene setting as always with Susan Hill's books was beautifully done and I read the first half with anticipation of what was to come, but as it continued I really didn't find it particularly scary or chilling and I thought the ending seemed rushed and convenient. I enjoy Susan Hill's style of writing but the second half of this book disappointed me.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent ghost story. 16 Mar 2014
By David H J Ashdown TOP 500 REVIEWER
A short story by the excellent author Susan Hill. It tell of cousins Edward and Leonora who spend the summer holidays with their aunt in a creepy mansion when they're both about eight years old. Edward is a nice well behaved boy but Leonora is a vindictive spoiled brat. Much late when their aunt has died they return to the house for the reading of her will. The story raises many questions about actions and effects and would be a good book to discuss at a reading circle.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Dolly - A ghost Story
This was bought as a Christmas present for my daughter who loves Susan Hill novels and was read soon after Christmas.
Published 9 days ago by hulwen
5.0 out of 5 stars Spooky and beautiful
Loved this book, it was pretty creepy..there was one moment in the book that gave me shivers...scary. Read more
Published 16 days ago by Aneeqa
4.0 out of 5 stars Classic atmospheric horror
I have loved reading Susan Hill's other books and was happy to go back to a paperback just this once to read Dolly and I'm glad I did. Read more
Published 17 days ago by Dr. Babus Ahmed
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
It was okay but not one of Susan Hill's best. Nothing much to the plot and a disappointing ending. Unlike Woman in Black, which I have read several times, I wouldn't read again.
Published 21 days ago by Mrs. Hilary Hilton
4.0 out of 5 stars ghosts
Susan Hill is a favourite, this is a new line for me as I am not really into the supernatural. A short book, written as by a man which I did not expect. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Christine Davies
2.0 out of 5 stars Did anyone else notice the big mistake?
Just read this book, having previously enjoyed Susan Hill's writing. Like other readers, I was disappointed. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Outrageous Grace
3.0 out of 5 stars Odd
The beginning of the book was odd but good. But the ending was a bit confusing, didn't understand about the dolls.
Published 2 months ago by Emily
4.0 out of 5 stars Stylish and spooky
This is another great short spooky story from Susan Hill, in the style of MR James or Algernon Blackwood. Thoroughly enjoyable
Published 2 months ago by shoeey
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth reading (especially on a winter's evening)
I read Hill's brilliantly chilling The Woman in Black a few years ago before going to see the excellent stage adaptation so was delighted to find this book in my Christmas... Read more
Published 3 months ago by What Cathy Read
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
Susan Hill is such a good writer I can only assume this is a rare lapse. I suppose if you're first attempt at a Victorian ghost story is a classic ("The Woman in Black") then you... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Susan Duncan
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