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The Hunting Ground Paperback – 5 May 2011

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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Orion Children's Books (5 May 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1842559931
  • ISBN-13: 978-1842559932
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 2 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,039,222 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

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

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By laineyf TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 1 Jun. 2011
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 on 12 May 2011
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 By Kirsty VINE VOICE on 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 By Lovely Treez TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 6 May 2011
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I do enjoy a good ghost story especially those with a subtle build up which don't rely on blood and gore to terrorise the reader - think The Woman in Black by Susan Hill, the ghost stories of M R James and, more recently, Dark Matter by Michelle Paver. I don't think there are enough good ghostly books out there for young teens as the focus has been on vampires and is now turning to zombies so this is a neglected zone which Cliff McNish is exploring. This is my first foray into the world of McNish although I have the Doomspell Trilogy lurking on my shelves and after thoroughly enjoying The Hunting Ground, I will be reading it very soon.

The two main characters are male, Elliot, 14 and Ben, 12 but this is not a Boy's Own adventure and is suitable for both boys and girls and indeed readers of a certain age, like myself... They find themselves spending the summer months at Glebe House, an ancient, crumbling mansion with a mysterious, labyrinthine East Wing which is inhabited by ghostly creatures whose intentions, good or bad, are unclear at the opening of the novel. I won't spoil the plot but there is an evil being incarcerated in the enigmatic East Wing and somehow it exerts a sinister influence on Ben, gradually drawing him into the centre of its web and thus simultaneously attracting Elliot and his Dad who try to rescue him, not realising the power exerted by this malevolent creature who relishes the hunt, the thrill of chasing and capturing its innocent victims.

This is an action-packed novel with plenty of pace to keep young readers glued to the page. McNish has created a brilliant villain in the shape of the red-bearded, merciless Cullayn and the tension is gradually cranked up with lots of shocks and twists and turns which keep the readers on their toes.
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