Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

The Time of the Ghost Hardcover – 1 Sep 2002

4.5 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

See all formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price
New from Used from
Kindle Edition
"Please retry"
Hardcover, 1 Sep 2002
£13.04

Four for £10 on Sticker & Activity Books
Add four selected titles to your basket and checkout to receive your discount. Shop now
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
click to open popover

Special Offers and Product Promotions

Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.



On 13 September see an exclusive performance of Matilda The Musical to celebrate Roald Dahl's 100th anniversary with Amazon Tickets
Experience an introduction from the Resident Director, a Q&A session with the cast, and a special memento -- buy tickets

Product details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Greenwillow Books (Sept. 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060298871
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060298876
  • Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 15.9 x 2.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 7,425,153 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

‘The complex plot, which twists and turns to the surprising climax, is absorbing, but equally interesting and frequently amusing are the family dynamics and the character sketches of the four fascinatingly eccentric sisters.’
Horn Book

‘Gripping… Profoundly satisfying.’
Publishers Weekly

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Back Cover

'I'm all right. I'm Here. I'm me. If I wasn't, I wouldn't even be frightened. I wouldn't know. But something has happened to me. I can't see myself at all, no even a smear of shadow on the road. There's been an accident.
STOP THAT'

The ghost turns up one summer day, alone in a world she once knew, among people who were once her family. She knows she is one of four sisters, but which one? She can be sure of only one thing – that there's been an accident.

As she struggles to find her identity, she becomes aware of a malevolent force stirring around her. Something terrible is about to happen. One of the sisters will die – unless the ghost can use the future to reshape the past. But how can she warn them when they don't even know she exists?

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

See all Product Description

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Diana Wynne Jones's characters are always down-to-earth, real people - warts and all - in slightly skewed worlds. This story is a portrait of four girls neglected by their parents, seen through the eyes of a ghost who thinks she is one of them, but is not sure which! The characters of the sisters are explored in a sensitive yet realistic - and humorous! way. As the story unfolds we discover more about the circumstances leading to the ghost's existence, and it builds to an unexpected and satisfying denouement. Wonderfully written.
Comment 24 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
I don't want to spoil the plot of this book, because the first chapter is so atmospheric and Jones hides the problem of her heroine so cleverly. In fact, the first part of the book is very atmospheric and very clever; it's only in the second part that things start to unravel, because you have a POV twist which doesn't quite work, and at the end of the story you're left scratching your head wondering what happened. Of course, those who liked it will go back and read again.
Unlike 'Fire and Hemlock', the mythology in 'The Time of the Ghost' is not so strong - actually, I wish she'd expanded upon this, as it only appears in the second part of the story. It would have perhaps added a deeper layer to the story, which ends up being rather like the film 'The Craft' (although this book was written before that).
Oh, and if you don't believe that four girls could be this neglected by their own parents, Diane Wynne Jones based the girls' situation on her *own childhood* with her younger sister, and actually left out some incidents because she thought that people wouldn't believe them! (Like the youngest sister, she did her hair in knots and waited to see how long it would take for her mother to notice - apparently, it took her mother two weeks.)
It's not her best, but it's still a brilliant read!
Comment 12 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
I'm a fan of Diana Wynne Jones and this book is one of her strongest and strangest. She writes for several different age groups (all her books are entertaining for adults): this one is probably for teens and up, because it is among her more complex and emotionally demanding works. My favourite Diana Wynne Jones books have a trick of picking themselves up and shaking themselves so that matters turn out to be wholly different from how you first thought they were. Hexwood, Archer's Goon, and Fire and Hemlock, as well as The Time of the Ghost, all do this supremely well. There is a tremendous pleasure in tracing such bravura plotting and in the imaginative detective work needed to work out the rules of each fictional world, but a particular view of character and moral development also emerges: DWJ's characters find out startling things about themselves and about each other, suddenly perceiving new viewpoints and sometimes changing as suddenly. The Time of the Ghost juxtaposes members of a disfunctional family with their older selves, showing how immensely they have changed but also showing how bad early choices - choices about personal relationships as much as about the supernatural side of things - have continued to hurt them. The book offers a wonderfully complicated plot and a powerful, dark atmosphere but also emotional truth. Highly recommended.
Comment 11 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have only been a fan of Diana Wynne Jones for a year or two, and so I'm not as much of an expert on her as some other reviewers on this site. However, I have noticed some recurring tropes in her fiction, including the notion of absent or incompetent parents, which is a theme brought out particularly vividly in this novel. The parents here are hideously neglectful and Jones conveys the potential for damage that such behaviour can cause very effectively.

The four sisters, as children, are in many ways awful and unattractive - the gap-toothed, goblin-like Fenella, the large and loud Cart, the neurotic Imogen and Selina who seems to be embracing the dark arts. Their behaviour is both ignored and controlled, in that they are allowed extraordinary freedom to do as they please due to their parents' lack of interest, but at the same time they are constrained by the circumstances of their living in a boarding-school environment, and being expected to behave in a way that fits with their parents' vague ideas about propriety. Their father's reference to them as 'bitches' and his inability to tell them apart, and their mother's failure to notice that one of them is missing, or to care that her youngest daughter appears to be wearing a sack and has tied her hair in knots, is both astounding and horrifying, but also has the ring of truth.

These children appear incredibly vulnerable and Jones constructs a wonderful atmosphere of impending danger in the first part of the story - when Imogen is almost killed by being suspended from the rafters on a rope, or when Sally creeps out of her friend's homely farm in the middle of the night, or when Fenella and Cart have to virtually steal food from the unpleasant school cooks, these events all feel like part of the gradually building tension.
Read more ›
Comment One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
If you like a good mystery, or you just like to solve puzzles, then this may be the book for you. The main character, the ghost, can't figure who s/he is. All the possible people are revealed in trips back in time. Can you figure it out before the ghost does? I truly enjoyed this book. And, neither I nor my daughter could guess who was the ghost. It had to warn the children! But, about what? Great thriller.
Comment 8 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews



Feedback