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The Realm of the Hungry Ghosts Paperback – 31 Mar 2012


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Product details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: GWM Publications (31 Mar 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0957063601
  • ISBN-13: 978-0957063600
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 2.4 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 667,418 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Gary is a novelist living in the northeast of England. His work, largely literary fiction, focuses on themes that touch us all -- love, death, loss and aspiration -- but always with an eye to finding an unusual angle or viewpoint. Quirky and highly readable, his writing aims to entertain first and foremost. If he can also offer a previously unfamiliar perspective or insight, all the better.

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Review

"A book that refuses to be comfortably straight-jacketed into one genre, The Realm of the Hungry Ghosts takes the reader into a complex supernatural thriller that, at its heart, reveals a satisfying, thoughtful literary novel. Murning is a storyteller from the old school, where language and character are paramount, and the cast of characters take us from past to present, through love, suspicion and finally to resolution. Lyrical and thought-provoking, this is a novel to be savoured."
--Ruth Dugdall - author of The Woman Before Me and The Sacrificial Man.

"A book that refuses to be comfortably straight-jacketed into one genre, The Realm of the Hungry Ghosts takes the reader into a complex supernatural thriller that, at its heart, reveals a satisfying, thoughtful literary novel. Murning is a storyteller from the old school, where language and character are paramount, and the cast of characters take us from past to present, through love, suspicion and finally to resolution. Lyrical and thought-provoking, this is a novel to be savoured." --Ruth Dugdall - author of The Woman Before Me and The Sacrificial Man.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By D. R. Greene on 20 Mar 2012
Format: Paperback
You never know quite what you are going to get in a Gary Murning novel, and in this latest outing he has chosen to unleash the ghosts in a truly chilling, but thoughtfully constructed, piece of horror fiction. Without giving too much of the plot away, the lead character, Sonny Moore, is a struggling author and family man who unwittingly releases an evil apparition from the past. This tortured spirit invades their lives, and Sonny's mind, to the extent that it is at times hard to know what is real to the story and what is happening in his own inner fictional world. The climax and final outcome are undeniably tragic whilst at the same time highly disturbing.

Gary Murning always seems to come up with original and highly enjoyable books. This is no exception -- even though it is not for the faint-hearted at times!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By spygun on 29 April 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a GREAT novel. It is complex, it is subtle but above all - (and this is going to sound VERY weird), the pared-down style reminds me of George Simenon - or should I say, Simenon AFTER he took heed of the advice of his editor and just before he became REALLY great .

"Throw out all the literary stuff," said Colette, his editor and mentor.

Murning HAS written a literary book but , quite unselfconsciously, HAS managed to bin all the literary stuff. He's gentle on the adjectives and adverbs and all the rest of the prinked-up sesquipedalian nonsense . When you read, you can hear and feel Murning's no-nonsense Northern grit. In some passages, you will hear hear Sillitoe and Barstow, in others you can hear Murning the poet. He has delivered a story - a literary story but crafted by someone whose progress has been breathtaking.

You don't need to know where the story is set - you KNOW. You allow yourself to sink and wallow in the complexity of the idea, the relationships and the subtly sketched characters.

If you want to allow yourself to sink into an exceptional piece or work, delivered by a master storyteller - this one is for you.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Nic T on 27 April 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
One of the things I've never liked much about horror are the two-dimensional, wooden characters who are just vehicles for a plot. You know, the blonde bimbo who runs up the stairs instead of out of the house. There's none of this here - the characterisation is just incredible and you're drawn right into the middle of these people's lives!

I don't want to give too much away - but this book is a psychological rollercoaster that I would thoroughly recommend to any reader. Just make sure you read it with the lights on!!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By sadhippyrockchick on 17 April 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I'm not able to wax as lyrical as the other reviewers, and I don't want to spoil the plot, but, if I tell you that I can't even watch old Bela Lugosi films because I'm too nervous and yet I couldn't put this down, it might give you some idea of just what a skillful, talented story teller Gary Murning is. 'Realm' is terrifying, blunt, crude, eminently believable despite its supernatural setting, shocking and utterly brilliant. He doesn't mince his words, or shy away from using strong language if it adds to building the image in your head (and it does), but doesn't set out to shock just for the sake of it. A truly fantastic, incredible piece of literary genius.

I've read his other 2 books too, and they are just as well crafted. If you don't already, you need to start reading Gary Murning. We are witnessing the birth of a legend, of that I am certain.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By ElaineSP on 20 Mar 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
What can I say about The Realm of the Hungry Ghosts, without giving away the plot? Well, I can say that, as with Gary Murning's other books, you engage with the characters immediately, and come to care about them, and what happens to them...and, my goodness, such a lot happens to them! This novel is brilliantly written in Murning's no-nonsense style. He doesn't shy away from controversial subjects, but treats them in a matter of fact, wholly believable, way without sensationalising an act or event. It is also a rather astute description of the human psyche in as much as "Hungry Ghosts" are driven by intense emotional needs, and are always striving for more, never satisfied with or appreciating what they actually have.

At the beginning of the story, we meet Sonny Moore, his wife and daughter along with their friends and neighbours. The rich, and sometimes humorous, dialogue between the characters explains the various relationships beautifully, and as the story gathers pace and intensity, so does your level of anxiety at what might happen next. I really don't want to elaborate on the story, because I want you to experience every laugh, gasp and tear that I did on my first reading. Suffice to say you will not be disappointed - but don't blame me if you have to sleep with the lights on...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Harbottle64 on 4 Sep 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I read The Realm of the Hungry Ghosts some time ago, but thought I'd pop back to just give it a quick review, as it's been on my mind for awhile.

Briefly, it's a great book. For those (like myself) who've been a bit disenchanted with the whole "Haunted House" genre, this is like a breath of fresh air. A superb, chilling plot with excellent characterization, rather than the usual "young family move to an evil house" template with cut 'n' paste characters.

I read the book in only a few sittings and, believe me, this is rare for me. I did make the mistake of reading into the early hours, but I'd advise against this. Such a chilling novel.

The ending is satisfying and moving, rather than the usual cop-out in this genre. I can't recommend it highly enough.

An excellent read.
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