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The Hunting Ground [Paperback]

Cliff McNish
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)

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Paperback, 5 May 2011 --  

Book Description

5 May 2011

When Elliott and his brother, Ben, move into the old and crumbling Glebe House they don't expect to find themselves sharing it with ghosts.

But soon sinister events are unfolding. An old diary reveals glimpses of the mansion's past - and of a terrible tragedy. A mysterious woman talks to the dead. And evil lurks in the East Wing - a hideous labyrinth of passageways devised by a truly twisted mind.

Can Elliott and his family escape the clutches of Glebe House? Or will they be trapped in the maze of corridors, forever hunted by the dead?

Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Orion Childrens (5 May 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1842559931
  • ISBN-13: 978-1842559932
  • Product Dimensions: 13.9 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 812,680 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


The more you read, the more the author inflicts a dark and chilling sinister world that will leave you chilled to the bone (MR RIPLEY'S ENCHANTED BOOKS)

"Beautifully written and truly chilling ghost story set in a creepy mansion and featuring lost children, fearsome hunters and echoing nursery rhymes. Late tweens and teens who like a shiver will love this book.... mostly I liked the creepiness and the tension, which ratchets up and up until its almost unbearable" (5 stars) (THE BOOKBAG)

Fast-paced, thoroughly gripping with as many twists and turns and dead-ends as the dreadful East Wing itself... read it on a warm summer afternoon when you have plenty of company! (CORNFLOWER BOOKS)

What at first glance appearsd to be a run-of-the-mill ghost story soon turns into a really creepy scare-fest. The use of a diary to give a back-story to the horrible goings-on is a stroke of genius and notches the fear factor way up high. (FLIPSIDE)

McNish is one of our most talented thriller writers, with an ability to make your spine crawl and your heart pound with his stylish pared down prose. (Amanda Craig THE TIMES)

A superb ghost story for early teens: Cliff McNish is expert in ratcheting up the horror... (ARMADILLO)

A truly haunting story that stirs the hairs on the back of your neck. Fast paced and thrilling, the reader is hurtled along as the terrible events at Glebe House unfold... faint hearts beware! (CAROUSEL)

This story chilled me to the bone... (BFK BOOKS)

Book Description

Can Elliott escape the terrifying ghost of Glebe House, or will he be trapped in the mansion, forever hunted by the dead? A truly chilling ghost tale from a master storyteller.

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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
4.0 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I don't know about this being a childrens' book!! I am a 'mature' adult, and have to say that I found it to be very creepy indeed!! It's a page-turner that had me enthralled right up until the last word! It is extremely well-written, well plotted, and what I call a good, old-fashioned ghost story. I do love a book with twists and turns, and this book has plenty! I read it in a day, as I was unable to put it down once I started it! The tension builds up until it is almost unbearable, and the sense of fore-boding is electric. I am SO impressed with this book, and with the writer's ability to rack up the feeling of dread, that is intense! In a nutshell, 2 brothers and their father move into an empty house as the father has the job of renovating it. The house has a dark history, going back through the centuries, and the boys soon find themselves drawn in. They find a diary from the 1960's, written by a previous resident named Theo, who lived there with his parents, and little sister Eve. As the diary unfolds itself, the house begins to breathe with a dread-filled atmosphere, and the horror slowly reveals its depths. I'm not going to say any more, this is a book that demands to be read. All I will say is that I thoroughly enjoyed it, and whole-heartedly recommend it for anyone who enjoys a scary tale like me!!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
By David Spanswick VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Like skateboarding and stand up comedy writing a ghost story looks deceptively easy until you try it yourself.

Cliff McNish has been writing exceptional stories for young adults ~ a notoriously difficult age group to cater for ~ since the days of The Doomspell, when I first read him through the extraordinary "Silver" series of science fiction stories and on to his recent ghost stories, of which "Breathe" was one of genre's fiction greatest books of that year, in my opinion and the one in which he seemed to get right into the psyche of the ghosts and their haunting.

With this new book "The Hunting Ground" McNish's ghosts appear to be of a very different order, vengeful spirits vampirically pursuing the living, especially children to draw their life and energy as a feeding fest; as nourishment. The ogre, Cullayn, is as frightening a creation as ever was in the annals of ghost fiction; he is a hunter whose only apparent motivation is to kill, after hunting, his prey of helpless children.

This is a disquieting read, an unsettling one, as it is unpredictable. McNish uses an ancient device to seduce the reader; that of the story within the story ~ a fragmented diary of previous lost souls who had had to fight for their lives. It recalls both Wilkie Collins and Poe as well as that master of the cliffhanger, Chares Dickens so he is in excellent company.

I read the book in the sunshine on Brighton beach and yet was often chilled and driven to look over my shoulder. The story is a worthwhile challenge and should satisfy any ghoulish teenager looking for a good story, though probably not to be read at bedtime as your dreams may well be filled with haunted mirrors, paintings that look back at you and the paranoia of being pursued through the labyrinth of the East Wing of Glebe House
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Starts well and ends well 13 May 2011
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is a young teenage ghost novel that I think would suit an age range of around 12-14. The book starts off well and delves straight into a creepy scene with no slow build up. Tension is created right from the beginning and I actually found the start of the book quite unnerving. What can be more scary than small Victorian ghost girls that drag their dolls behind them, leaning over you in the middle of the night? Still gives me chills thinking about it...

The end of the book is also quite dramatic with the baddie getting his comeuppance. However, I have only given the book three stars as the middle portion of the book let it down considerably in my opinion. I found that this part of the plot went around in circles and did not progress as quickly as I would have liked. I think that the author was trying to create a slow building tension, but because the start of the book delved straight into the action, the slow part jarred with the rest of the book and actually seemed boring rather than creating atmosphere.

I also would have liked a fuller flushed out back story about Cullayn, as we are introduced to him and have to accept what he is doing without knowing what drove him to hunting. As he is the most interesting character I feel it would have benefited the plot to further explain his motives etc.

The part of the book that did make me want to keep reading was the diary of Theo. I liked the personal relationship this created with the reader, and the diary is what created empathy for the characters.

Overall not the worst ghost book I've read, but not the best either. It sits in the middle of the scale, and I would have rated it higher if I had just read the beginning and the end.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Quite creepy for a kids book?! 11 Jun 2011
By Nikki-ann VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I haven't read a ghost story in a while, so I thought a young adult book wouldn't be too scary of a re-introduction to ghost stories. However, The Hunting Ground is quite creepy for a kids book! I guess that's why it says "Not for younger readers" on the back of the book!

I found the book to start very well, with tension building immediately. I certainly felt a little wary when I put the book down and turned off the light... If anything had made a sound shortly after I'd put the book down, I'd have jumped out of my skin! However, I thought the story faltered a little in the middle and I began to lose a little interest. Thankfully, the pace quickened again in the final third of the book and I found myself racing through it.

Only one thing really bugged me about the book and that was the diary sections. They find pages of a diary belonging to Theo (a boy who once lived at Glebe House) and the diary entries are dotted about the book as and when they are found. Theo's diary started off being written like a diary would be, but then the writing started to read more like a story would. It was almost as it the story was actually shifting to the first person perspective, rather than reading a diary entry.

All in all, The Hunting Ground is an enjoyable (if slightly scary!) book and is definitely one to give a go.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Not as I expected, teenage read not classed as a horror the authors books are very similar
Published 19 days ago by belinda
4.0 out of 5 stars Daisy
Really good but scary really enjoyed it recommend it to teens.everyone would enjoy it adults or younger people well done cliff mcnish it is SO good!!
Published 7 months ago by Whitbourn
5.0 out of 5 stars breathtaking
This book sends shivers down your spine, makes your heart beat as loud as a drum and plays with your mind. This book is a really good read. it will be dog-eared and not put down. Read more
Published 17 months ago by maimai
4.0 out of 5 stars I'm most certainly reading more
I'm not a fan of ghost stories but I couldn't resist this and I'm so glad I didn't. The Hunting Ground is creepy and disturbing for all the right reasons. Read more
Published 23 months ago by lunaslittlelibrary
5.0 out of 5 stars Sinister
My 11-year old daughter suggested I read this book as she had enjoyed it. I've now finished it and can say I was amazed that she was able to have a comfortable night's sleep after... Read more
Published on 12 Jun 2012 by susie
4.0 out of 5 stars Creepy + chilling
I read this in a day, because I started it on the way to work, continued on the way home and snuck away to finish it before dinner so that I would be able to comfortably go to bed. Read more
Published on 3 April 2012 by Mrs. B. S. Kemp
4.0 out of 5 stars Dark and atmospheric
Cliff McNIsh knows how to scare the pants off you! This book is full to the brim of hair raising, spine tingling, ghostly moments that will leave you constantly looking over your... Read more
Published on 23 Jan 2012 by Serendipity Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars The Hunting Ground
Cliff McNish sets the tone for this ghost story from the very beginning with an extremely creepy, mysterious and sinister opening chapter. Read more
Published on 10 Jan 2012 by Loveliterature
4.0 out of 5 stars Chilling and involving
The Hunting Ground tells the story of Elliot and Ben, who have moved into your typical spooky old house while their dad renovates it. Read more
Published on 3 July 2011 by Fiona Millar
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderfully spooky ghost story
The Hunting Ground is a fantastic ghost story which I thoroughly enjoyed despite not being part of it's target audience. Read more
Published on 8 Jun 2011 by TheLibrarian
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