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Dolly: A Ghost Story (The Susan Hill Collection) Paperback – 26 Sep 2013

3.4 out of 5 stars 158 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Profile Books Ltd (26 Sept. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1846685753
  • ISBN-13: 978-1846685750
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 0.9 x 17.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (158 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 223,703 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

Susan Hill is the grande dame of English supernatural fiction (Financial Times)

No one chills the heart like Susan Hill (Daily Telegraph)

Part of the fear she conjures up is a sense that this could happen to anyone (Scotsman)

An assuredly chilling ghost story, Dolly doesn't leave its questions unanswered. Damage is assumed, noted, but not forgiven, and as the story develops evil is passed through the generations like a stain (Guardian)

Book Description

From the greatest living writer of ghost stories, here is a perfect chiller: a story of two damaged children filled with unease, the supernatural and horror.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
No spoilers, but for me the first half of this book was deliciously creepy. Then, when it came to the crux of the action, I felt like Hill wasn't sure what she wanted to do. I was really disappointed with how randomly it was all wrapped up, and some of the devices used to bring about the conclusion made very little sense, I thought. The first half is a match for Woman in Black, but the book as a whole didn't do it for me.
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Format: Hardcover
A wonderfully creepy story, which has arrived just in time for Halloween, Susan Hill's latest novella 'Dolly' is set in the damp and desolate landscape of the English Fens. Orphan Edward Caley, a small, anxious and polite young boy is sent to spend part of the summer holidays with his elderly spinster Aunt Kestrel, in her large, decaying home, Iyot House. Arriving shortly after Edward is his cousin, Leonora, a striking red-haired, spoilt and wilful young girl, who is determined to get her own way regardless of the consequences. Thrown together in desolate surroundings, Edward enters into a uneasy alliance with his cousin, but when Leonora's birthday wish for a beautiful Indian doll is not fulfilled, the rage she unleashes is so fierce and shocking, that it has an unsettling effect on poor Edward for years afterwards. Many years later when Leonora and Edward are the only surviving members of their family, they both return to Iyot Lock for the reading of a will, and it is only now that the frightening consequences of Leonora's act of fury really begin to haunt them...

Very atmospheric, with some wonderful descriptions of landscape and setting, this competently crafted story makes for an absorbing, creepy and unsettling read. One to be read and enjoyed on a chilly evening in front of the fire, while the shivers run up and down your spine.

4 Stars.

Note: This is a very slim novel containing 153 pages - so easily readable in one sitting.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I always enjoy Susan Hill's ghost stories. `Dolly' her latest novella does not in any way disappoint. When it arrived last Friday my intention was to save it to read over the Christmas period, but I had to read it!
The story is very spooky and gripping, a good old fashioned ghost story which I read in about two hours.
The writing is beautifully crafted and taut. It is narrated in the first person by Edward who tells of a childhood encounter with his spoilt and spiteful cousin Leonora. What happens to the two cousins while they stay with their aunt has terrible consequences on both their adult lives. I particularly liked the descriptions of the eerie but beautiful fenland countryside. I could almost feel the wind rattling the house and the storm as the children sleep in their remote rooms up in the attic. This will appeal to anyone who wants a spooky tale for the short winter evenings
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Format: Hardcover
This story doesn't really amount to much and is not really that involving. The characterisation is poor and the double denouements are rather silly - she's done "Oh dear, harm's come to children!" more effectively elsewhere and perhaps because of this, its use here seems rather crass. I liked the descriptions of the Fens but, again, they're better in The Woman in Black and this comparison is inevitable because, blimey fancy that, she takes us to an isolated crumbling graveyard and an isolated house with dodgy electrics.
This isn't the first time that Hill's cobbled something together for Christmas but this one seems particularly undercooked.
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By Hamstead VINE VOICE on 31 Oct. 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I always enjoy Susan Hill's ghost and supernatural stories. They remind me so much of the late Victorian and early 20th century heyday of these kind of tales which are one of my reading loves. The author has such a talent for mimicking that literary style - it's where she is at her best as a writer in my opinion. Dolly certainly delivered on the atmosphere beloved of the genre - remote, misty atmosphere, cold house full of attics and cupboards, forbidding housekeeper, things that go rustle in the night, and a come uppance ending. But...I did think there were a lot of loose ends plus themes and nuances that could have been explored in more detail and would have added so much more richness to the reading experience. It felt at the end as if the author was working to a deadline, counting every word and thinking 'phew, that's done and dusted, now on to the next thing.' Really it's a long short story rather than a novella. I wanted to know more and experience more and although I did enjoy the tale, I feel a little bit short-changed in more ways than one.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
An atmospheric gothic type tale written in true Susan Hill style. An orphaned boy, quiet and anxious Edward is sent to his aunt's creepy house for the summer in the bleak flat Fens. He is introduced to spoilt Leonora, a cousin of a similar age who has been sent there begrudgingly from overseas for company for him. Leonora and Edward are two very contrasting characters and after one of Leonora's particularly nasty tantrums, strange things start to happen.

The scene setting as always with Susan Hill's books was beautifully done and I read the first half with anticipation of what was to come, but as it continued I really didn't find it particularly scary or chilling and I thought the ending seemed rushed and convenient. I enjoy Susan Hill's style of writing but the second half of this book disappointed me.
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