Customer Reviews


5 Reviews
5 star:
 (1)
4 star:    (0)
3 star:
 (3)
2 star:
 (1)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


5.0 out of 5 stars the witches
I enjoyed this book, but I love all Norah Lofts books. Recommended, and read it in one sitting. Well pleased
Published 7 months ago by Susan Edwards

versus
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Re-issue of an eerie little story
This book was written in 1960 and is set in 1959, so right from the start, think along the lines of 'Rosemary's Baby' rather than 'Stephen King' when it comes to horror explicitness.

An 'old-maid' schoolteacher (all of 44 years old, but this is the sixties, girls), is sent home from her missionary school in Africa because of illness accompanied by a breakdown,...
Published on 26 Sep 2011 by Mitz


Most Helpful First | Newest First

16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Re-issue of an eerie little story, 26 Sep 2011
This review is from: The Witches (Paperback)
This book was written in 1960 and is set in 1959, so right from the start, think along the lines of 'Rosemary's Baby' rather than 'Stephen King' when it comes to horror explicitness.

An 'old-maid' schoolteacher (all of 44 years old, but this is the sixties, girls), is sent home from her missionary school in Africa because of illness accompanied by a breakdown, and after an unhappy time at a horrid comp, lands a job as a headmistress at Walwyk village, a beautiful English community kept in rather feudal manner by a Canon Thorby.

Miss Mayfield soon begins to suspect that some of the villagers are practicing witchcraft and have a young girl, Ethel Rigby, in mind for a mysterious but ominous purpose. What can she do to protect the girl? Who will help her? Can she trust anyone?

When one of her potential allies is killed and the other frightened off, she realises how nasty things can get in lovely, secluded Walwyk, but sets out to save Ethel from a fate worse than death.

This is a subtle, eerie piece of storytelling (Peter Curtis is the pseudonym of Norah Lofts, who wrote the equally elegant, subtle and eerie 'Gad's Hall' and 'The Haunting of Gad's Hall'. This is horror from another time, where the nastiness doesn't splatter in your face or grab you in a headlock (not that there's anything wrong with more upfront horror, I love with a passion SK and all his rabid dogs and undead children), rather, it's like a hand touching you on the ankle and just when you thought you'd imagined it, grasping like a vice.

There's some annoying dialect-writing (all the natives of Walwyk say 'hev' instead of 'have', for instance), but aside from that, Curtis/Lofts hardly puts a foot wrong. It's nice to see such conscientious writing, considering some of the horrible grammar and syntax and even spelling I've seen from modern writers. There's a bit of head-hopping (going from one person's point of view to the other without separation of scene), which some people might find irritating, but it isn't intrusive and doesn't happen often.

When I first read this, horror had already moved on to the era of SK, but this story stayed with me for months. I still have my sadly abused original copy, with Joan Fontaine on the cover, as Miss Mayfield in the Hammer Film. I must say, I hate the new cover. It has nothing of the period ethos of the story; instead the illustrator has come up with that tiresomely ubiquitous 'back view of a girl with long hair in long dress' so beloved of the new girl-friendly fantasy genre.

Anyway - subtle, eerie, well-written, all good, but again, this is from a previous era of horror, and as such is pretty much a period piece, and is not likely to give anyone nightmares these days. If you like your horror resolutely modern, this may not be for you. If you can still read 'The Haunting of Hill House', 'Rosemary's Baby' and 'The Other' without going, 'Is that it?', then you may love 'The Witches'.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars the witches, 17 Feb 2014
By 
Susan Edwards (Scotland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Witches (Kindle Edition)
I enjoyed this book, but I love all Norah Lofts books. Recommended, and read it in one sitting. Well pleased
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3.0 out of 5 stars Need to like norah lofts, 24 Jun 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Witches (Kindle Edition)
I like all norah lofts stories, but for some people it will be very very old fashioned. If you want grit and sex don't both with this one. Very like the Wickerman with all the village in on the witchcraft. Strange ending.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars think it would be better for a teenager, 3 Feb 2012
This review is from: The Witches (Paperback)
I bought this thinking it would be a good old fashioned horror or chiller, it probably would be better for a teenager then an adult though. It was an enjoyable read with all that said
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Do not be fooled by the cover, this is no modern take on witches, 28 Jun 2012
By 
Nurrie (NE Scotland) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Witches (Kindle Edition)
This is set in 1959, written in 1960. It was interesting seeing the past and past views and behaviour, and the story may have been surprising in the past, but thanks to the swinger movement and orge parties and the rise of porn and news of human trafficking (which is far, far worse than this story), this is not as shocking as it could be for the modern person, or at least not to me. I'm sure people of the past may have fainted from this but for me, I just wanted to slap them all in the face.

It also takes a very long time for any plot to evolve and shine through. I was bored at times reading this. Though it was nice to see the main character evolve, to see her go from a queit, timid woman who fit in the 40/50s to the equivalent of a modern woman of that time, though she takes her own sweet time.

Interesting to see the past, but the story is boring.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

The Witches
The Witches by Peter Curtis (Paperback - 10 Mar 2011)
£7.99
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews