Customer Reviews


25 Reviews
5 star:
 (5)
4 star:
 (6)
3 star:
 (5)
2 star:
 (3)
1 star:
 (6)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable myth and legend
Thought the book well written and fun. A piece of popular history on the culture of the ghost story. Some of the reviews on here seems to have missed the point or have another agenda... that there are NO ghosts and you shouldn't/are not allowed to believe in them anyway! Well enough of all that, keep this book at hand (bathroom a great place) and dip in for the pure...
Published on 24 Sep 2011 by J. Wafer

versus
17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A classy toilet book
This is about a hundred accounts of hauntings together in one volume, which the overly-cynical might say took Peter a fortnight and about six trips to the British Library to compile. Nonetheless, one of Ackroyd's strengths has always been as a researcher, so some of the stories herein are recently-unearthed and fascinating, whilst others are incredibly over-familiar or...
Published on 8 Nov 2010 by Sarcosuchus


Most Helpful First | Newest First

5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating read, 16 Oct 2012
By 
Paolo Sammut - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
I found this book to be a riveting and fascinating read

I am not sure that I understand all the reviews which are simply saying that ghosts do not exist. Looking at the depth of research here it is clear that Peter Ackroyd has done his research and garnered a myriad of great accounts. I am fairly sure that he has done a lot more research that the average sceptic.

I have been researching ghosts for 15 years now and can say with absolutely certainly that people have experiences. I think that is really the only "fact" that we have regarding this strange subject. The question remains however as to what is the cause of these strange experiences and I think that there is a range of possibilities ranging from "bugs" in the human brain through to the more conventional theories such as spirits of the dead or timeslips. Some possibilities could even be mistaken identity or even fraud, that is true, however the sheer number of accounts throughout history shows that there is a mystery here. I don't think that anyone can really say for sure what the explanation is however it could well be something else we have not thought about yet or even possibly a combination of several factors.

In this book, Peter has collected and categorised a range of different types of spectral encounter and retold them clearly and succinctly as only he can.

Recommended for your spooky reading.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Cannot be read, just dipped into, 14 Mar 2011
By 
Mr. R. J. Roberts (U.K.) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The English Ghost: Spectres Through Time (Hardcover)
I should like to warn prospective readers that the accounts that make up this volume are generally so short as to make it impossible to read the book smoothly. One jerks from one very short story to another. I take it that Mr Ackroyd has reproduced the ghost stories, verbatim, from the original sources; they are generally poorly told and, except in a few cases, not very unsettling and/or scary (and I am, as a rule, easily scared!).
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


23 of 32 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars dissapointed, 13 Oct 2010
This review is from: The English Ghost: Spectres Through Time (Hardcover)
I pre ordered this book ,as I am such a fan of Peter Akroyd.
Thrilled when the postman knocked,started to read and... what a disapointment
As a keen reader of ghosts and legends and particularly of catherine Crowe.I was expecting more than a reprint of mainly 'night side of nature' and various other ghost books.I suppose I wanted Peter Akroyds take on the ghost genre in much the same way as his brilliant book 'Albion'.Looking at the various stories of famous hauntings and having his thought provoking input .But alas it was not to be.If you are not familiar with the ghost genre and Catherine Crowe then you might find it interesting,but I could have put this book together in a few hours from my copies of Peter Akroyds source materials,but I doubt if it would have been published.Feel sad that such a great author seems to have merely rehashed and cobbled together another 'ghost book'.It just seemed lazy on his part.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


25 of 35 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The demise of a once great author, 26 Oct 2010
This review is from: The English Ghost: Spectres Through Time (Hardcover)
How sad it is to witness the demise of a once great author and scholar. What has happened to Ackroyd? Yes, there was always copious evidence of his reworking of other people's ideas in his past works; but he added to them through his talent, depth and erudition.
The English Ghost,however, is nothing but a series of anecdotes that are neither subjected to critical scrutiny nor redeemed by any commentary or skilled writing. What a shame that Ackroyd has given his readership such an artless tome. I do hope that he recovers his creativity soon.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Unexiting short stories, 6 Nov 2011
In this book you can find many short stories about ghosts in England (that's what the title suggests :-)). I appreciate them to be so short as it makes them ideal to read now and then.

Most of the stories have the following content: "I saw a ghost and then it disappeared." End of story. That is what ghosts do. Appearing and disappearing. I became rather bored after ca. 30 similar reports. Haven't finished it yet, but I am quite sure this book will vanish and disappear too, and may reappear in the next trash bin.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


10 of 16 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars HACKROYD not ACKROYD, 7 Jan 2011
This review is from: The English Ghost: Spectres Through Time (Hardcover)
It is unlikely that this book would have found a publisher if Peter Ackroyd were not its author, or rather its compiler, since what he has produced is little more than a very undistinguished anthology.

A twelve page introduction is moderately interesting and gives some hope of better things to come, but all that follows is a selection of hauntings arranged into rather arbitrary categories. A large proportion of the book consists of very long quotations rather than original material and many of the stories - Borley Rectory, the Phantom Drummer, the ghost in the Jewel House at the Tower of London - will be well-known to any reader with only a passing interest in ghosts. There are other less familiar stories but, famous or obscure, most of them are let down by the lack of any effort to engage the reader or to comment on the material.

The poor quality of this compilation is even more apparent if the reader also has access to Christina Hole's similarly titled 'Haunted England', published by Batsford in 1940. This also has chapters devoted to different types of haunting, but the book is immeasurably superior in style and content to Mr Ackroyd's, whilst the quotations it contains are always apposite and of reasonable length.

As is to be expected, accounts of hauntings in the past were frequently reported by clergymen. For some puzzling reason Mr Ackroyd cannot decide how to describe these gentlemen. In his book 'The Reverend', used adjectivally as a title, is never shortened to 'The Rev.' in the conventional way; the Reverend Ernest Merryweather is introduced on p. 139; he becomes 'the Reverend Merryweather' on p. 140, and on p. 141 he is transformed into 'the reverend' (lower-case and used as a noun - 'while the reverend was examining...'). Similar solecisms, un-English and plain wrong, haunt Mr Ackroyd's text whenever clergymen are mentioned; these are the only unexplained apparitions in this book that are likely to make the sensitive reader shudder.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


6 of 11 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The English Ghost: Spectres Through Time, 4 Dec 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Having read a tempting extract in the Telegraph Book Review section - which had been written by Peter Ackroyd, I decided to purchase the book. It was not what I had been expecting. There was little to be found of Ackroyd himself apart from the occasional introduction here and there. This is basically what we used to call a 'scissors and paste' job; all written by people describing unexplained events which they had encountered.
Ranging from Tudor times - not easy reading -to the last century they have been chosen, I suspect, because the articles were safely out of copyright. Many were only one page in length. This made for a very bitty read, and the descriptions of such similar experiences became decidedly repetitive. This is the first time I have come across a book of ghost stories that was actually incredibly boring. Ackroyd can do better than this.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Annoying, 25 Nov 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
A waste of paper and ink. Could have read the same accounts on some website. Chapters too short. Very repetitive stories. I was expecting some detailed psycho/socio/anthropological analysis of the events, instead it was an ectoplasmatic shopping list. Ackroyd disapponted me. I felt let down. If this was meant to raise money to pay bills, well, he could have asked his friends to chip in and help him! or at least come out with a pocket-size issue such as The Little Book of Ghost Stories for something like 50p. Stay away from it. It would make you feel terribly embarassed with yourselves for having even glanced at it.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ghosts are real, 12 Jan 2012
This review is from: The English Ghost: Spectres Through Time (Hardcover)
My family lived in a haunted house in Esher, England.

The Ghost was a Gypsy lady, who had died after her caravan caught fire, when our garden had been a paddock used by Gypsys as a camp site and she thought that our, then baby, daughter, was her own daughter who had also perished in the fire. We usee a well known Medium. Esher is well known for hauntings apparently.

Our sacond Ghost was a Nurse I had known forty years ago. She appeared next to me in our current home, smiling back at me.

Spirits, or Ghosts are our Souls and inhabit our bodies. Nurses who comfort the dying until death, often report the Spirit departing the body just before it expires.

There is more to our existence than many understand, hence local Bishops always appoint a Priest to deal with Poltergeists and troublesome Spirits.

Many Spirits are of people who do not realise that they have died because their death was sudden and unexpected.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Dreary rubbish, 19 Mar 2011
By 
MR N G SIMON "Nick Simon" (Macclesfield, Cheshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The English Ghost: Spectres Through Time (Hardcover)
I am not a connoisseur of "true" ghost stories, I wondered if Peter Ackroyd was doing something clever by presenting his own work as a collection of contemporary accounts. It seems this is not the case, it really is a pretty random bag of credulous nonsense.
Peter, there are writers out there pouring their hearts and minds into their work with only a small chance of getting published. You've insulted them, as well as your readers, with this book.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

The English Ghost: Spectres Through Time
The English Ghost: Spectres Through Time by Peter Ackroyd (Hardcover - 7 Oct 2010)
12.99
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews