- Hardcover: 272 pages
- Publisher: Chatto & Windus (22 Mar. 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0701186712
- ISBN-13: 978-0701186715
- Product Dimensions: 16.2 x 2.7 x 24 cm
- Average Customer Review: 2.9 out of 5 stars See all reviews (114 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 419,784 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Uninvited Guests Hardcover – 22 Mar 2012
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"The Uninvited Guests is at once a shimmering comedy of manners and disturbing commentary on class. It is so well-written, so intricately plotted, that every page delivers some new astonishment. It is a brilliant novel" (Ann Patchett, author of 'State of Wonder')
"Dazzlingly well-written. The style is exuberant and extremely funny. This is a midsummer's night dream of a book, mythic and unforgettable" (Financial Times)
"Cooly playful...the luscious prose is precisely steered" (Helen Dunmore Guardian)
"Jones exhibits the attention to detail for which she has previously been praised, and her descriptions are memorable. The Uninvited Guests is a bizarre and exuberant comedy of manners, combining elements of romance with those of the carnival...it is a great deal of fun, and a welcome alternative to more traditional country-house dramas" (Hannah Rosefield Literary Review)
"What a delicious read! Like something written by a wicked Jane Austen, here is love and error in a ramshackle manor house complete with railway survivors, a birthday party and a pony. I was completely captivated by its madcap nature and then, utterly unprepared for the strange fruit that the story became. Passing like a spring fever, here is a fairy tale that stays with you long after it is gone. I couldn't put it down" (Sarah Blake, author of 'The Postmistress')
The prizewinning and No 1 bestselling author Sadie Jones moves to a gorgeous and bewitching historical setting in a blissful new novel full of spooky surprisesSee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
This is very different from the author’s previous two novels, both of which I have read and enjoyed; these were serious affairs about human relationships. Although The Uninvited Guests covers the same themes, the mood is very different – a sort of nastily humorous version of Sarah Waters’ The Little Stranger. Sadie Jones has an excellent and acute observant eye for the nuances of human behaviour and her powers of description are impressive, with the setting vividly presented and tale well narrated.
I have to admit I had to finish it because I hate not finishing a book, and wanted to give it the benefit of the doubt, to see if it actually got any better. However, it did not. I did not care for any of the characters, and there was definitely no tension whatsoever. I'm just astounded this ever got published. There was no proper plot, and the majority of it was ridiculous and predictable. Very, very disappointing. I wish I hadn't wasted my money!
'didn't carry on after the first few pages as a result - it was so bad, but glad I did as it developed into a quite gripping fantasy I really got into.
Set in England in 1912 the Torrington-Swift family is preparing to celebrate the 20th birthday of middle daughter Emerald. Even though the family is in dire need of funds and obviously living far beyond their means, an over the top celebration has been orchestrated with family and friends invited to the festivities. Plans go awry when a train accident occurs nearby and some of the individuals involved, most of whom were “third-class” travelers, arrive at the estate seeking assistance and disrupting the flavor of Emerald’s special evening. Among the uninvited guests is Charlie Traversham-Beechers, a malevolent character from Charlotte’s rather questionable past who shows up claiming to be a survivor from first class.
An ensuing storm, uncooperative guests and an unusual parlor game add tension and threaten the evening in this tome that takes extreme delight in dissecting the pretension and stagnant social mores prevalent in Edwardian England.
While Sadie Jones writing is descriptive and delves into the minutia of everything from the servants to the preparation of the dinner being served, it is also much in keeping with the behavior of the residents of Sterne and overall tone of the story – stuffy.
The characters are a strange, disparate group, but believable enough within the parameters set by the novel. Certain elements of their pasts and personalities remain unclear, which adds to the surreal feeling of the novel. If anything it's a little overwritten and slow in parts, but you can't argue with the effectiveness of the prose in conjuring up the sinister ambience and an increasing sense of tension.
I felt the ending let the story down a bit, although I won't say more than that to avoid spoiling it. Certainly the central section of the book is the strongest. There are a couple of events that could be considered plot holes but they can be excused in the context of the genre. It can't be described as an enjoyable read, at least not for me, although readers who like ghost stories and similar may like it more.
I would recommend this to readers who enjoy psychological thrillers, suspense novels, surrealism/magical realism, or ghost stories. Whilst I personally didn't love it, that has more to do with my personal taste. The skill of the author in writing this demonstrates her ability and so I would happily read another novel by her.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I wanted to like this book but the writing was quite bad and the plot very dull. A ghost story without much of a ghost...Published 4 months ago by LS
Disappointed! Tedious and contrived, finished it only because I dislike not finishing a book as well as hoped it would become unput down able! It didn't. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Maureen Parnaby
A good read- clever, gripping, and a witty take on a period of our history reflecting the importance given to social class and money .Published 5 months ago by Naomi
I was very excited about this book as i'd previously read The Outcast and Small Wars which I fell in love with. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Sarah Granger
Bought for my book group and I'm sorry but it really wasn't for me. I lost interest after it became clear the 'guests' were ghosts and didn't finish it.Published 9 months ago by Emma14
If I had a list of the worst books I have read that would be very near the top. Never read such a stupid story.Published 10 months ago by Adele