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Customer reviews

3.1 out of 5 stars
The Haunted House (Hesperus Classics)
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on 13 February 2013
Great book, strange ending i thought, just me probably. Good read though. I would recommend for a rainy afternoon and a nice introduction to Dickens for my daughter to listed to.
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on 17 September 2014
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VINE VOICEon 9 January 2013
The premise of this book is excellent. A friend curious about haunted houses finds and rents a renowned building and persuades a group of friends to stay there for a week or so and only regale each other of spectrals and spirits encounters at the end of the period.

Its a collaborative novella with Dickens setting the scene in the opening chapter on how they come together and then different authors each write a chapter on a characters experiences follwoed by a short warp up by Dickens.

The main problem is the start is great and set up perfectly to fan your interest of the house and how they coped in silence. However the individual writers only give tenuous links to the house and the opening chapter; not many even have any supernatural elements.

It feels like the authors wrote it as as parlor game where they only saw the preceding chapter but the first writer, to mix metaphors, completely miss hears the first Chinese Whisper sending them all in the wrong direction. It would have been better to set the novella as a collection of unrelated unfortunate short stores or to have collaborated much more.

The books consist of 8 chapters , three by Dickens(he also write a character account), one each from Hesba Stretton, George Augustus Sala, Adelaide Anne Procter, Wilkie Collins and Elizebeth Gaskell. Gaskell's is the best individual story following a loving family with a wayward son.

I like Dickens but leave this one until you've read everything else he's produced.
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VINE VOICEon 17 December 2002
If, as Peter Ackroyd tells us in the introduction, Charles Dickens' Christmas tales were eagerly awaited by the middle of his career, then the Christmas of 1862 must have been a fairly miserable and disappointing time in many households.
On the face of it a fine idea, 'The Haunted House' is a collaberative effort of six authors - lead by Dickens, the premise being that the six spend a week in a (very) haunted house and at the end of the tenure each tells the tale of the ghost in their bedroom.
However, the execution is less good than the promise. Dickens' writing shines out from the assembled as being a far better writer than any of the others, and of the five other writers only two - Wilkie Collins and Elizabeth Gaskell - keep literary reputations to this day. It is not hard to see why. Hesba Setton, Adeliade Proctor and George Sala are inferior writers whose limitations are shown up by their company, and their contributions are at best forgettable. Gaskell and Collins produce workmanlike performances and only Dickens' framing story and entry are worth the price of admission - and even these are inferior Dickens.
As a book this is worth buying for completists, or as a fine example of a victorian literary curio. It is not, however, first class writing from the cover author, and nor is it in whole a good read on it's own merits.
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on 20 November 2013
Started off fine, needed to focus on the latter day language though. Lost me completely from the Shaving Mirror on. Weird and couldn't make any sense of it at all.
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