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Extended Audio Sample The Little Stranger Audiobook, by Sarah Waters Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (13,039 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Sarah Waters Narrator: Simon Vance Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: April 2009 ISBN: 9781101053027
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One postwar summer in rural Warwickshire, Dr. Faraday is called to a patient at lonely Hundreds Hall. Home to the Ayres family for over two centuries, the Georgian house, once impressive and handsome, is now in decline. Its owners—mother, son, and daughter—are struggling to keep pace with a changing society, as well as with conflicts of their own. But are the Ayreses haunted by something more sinister than a dying way of life? Little does Dr. Faraday know how closely, and how terrifyingly, their story is about to become intimately entwined with his.

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Quotes & Awards

  • Few authors do dread as well as Waters. Her latest novel is a ghost story with elements of both ‘The Fall of the House of Usher’ and Brideshead Revisited. This spooky satisfying read has the added pleasure of effectively detailing postwar village life, with its rationing, social structures, and gossip, all on the edge of Britain’s massive change to a social state. Library Journal     
     
  • Wonderfully evoked…Waters has rendered the old house magnificently in its fading glory, and its in habitants sparkle like chandeliers in the damp, peeling rooms…Sarah Waters is an excellent, evocative writer, and this is an incredibly gripping and readable novel. The New York Times Book Review  (Editor’s Choice)
  • Haunted by the spirits of Henry James and Edgar Allan Poe…Waters is just one turn of the screw away from ‘The Fall of the House of Usher.’ She keeps the lightening flashing in every gloomy chapter, and you can’t help but gasp, ‘It’s alive!’ The Washington Post 
  • Completely absorbing…I wanted to linger in that fictional world, page by page, chapter by chapter. Newsday 
  • A virtuoso writer…If you want a ghost story that creeps up your spine, The Little Stranger delivers. The Seattle Times 
  • “A virtuoso writer…If you want a ghost story that creeps up your spine, The Little Stranger delivers.”

    Seattle Times

  • The #1 book of 2009…Several sleepless nights are guaranteed. Stephen King, Entertainment Weekly 
  • A classic gothic page-turner. USA Today
  • Waters has managed to write a near-perfect gothic novel while at the same time confidently deploying the form into fresher territory. It’s an astonishing performance, right down to the book’s mournful and devastating final sentence. Laura Miller, Salon.com
  • Waters creates an atmosphere of quiet dread that’s unnerving and compelling. Time 
  • With its subtly orchestrated suspense and spot-on portrayal of English class divisions, Waters’s literary ghost story delights. People 
  • A marvelous and truly spooky historical novel. The Boston Globe
  • Rich with historic detail and slow, deliberate building toward the revelation of its secrets, [The Little Stranger] delights even as it leaves you unnerved. The Miami Herald 
  • Like the gloomy English weather, an air of impending doom lingers over every chapter of The Little Stranger…an up-all-night page-turner that provides a cogent dose of social commentary. The Cleveland Plain Dealer 
  • In The Little Stranger, Hundreds Hall serves as a perfect symbol of the postwar erosion of Britain’s class hierarchies, but it also, increasingly, transforms into a scheming, deadly character…Waters, a master at stoking anticipation, withholds the truth about her ghost until the final pages. By then we already strongly suspect its identity, but the confirmation is subtle, surprising, and deeply, deeply chilling. NPR.org
  • A stunning haunted house tale whose ghosts are as horrifying as any in Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House. Publishers Weekly (starred review)
  • “Deliciously creepy…A ghost story as intelligent as it is stylish.”

    Washington Post

  • “Sarah Waters is an excellent, evocative writer, and this is an incredibly gripping and readable novel.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “Few authors do dread as well as Waters…This spooky, satisfying read has the added pleasure of effectively detailing postwar village life, with its rationing, social strictures, and gossip, all on the edge of Britain's massive change to a social state.”

    Library Journal

  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • A New York Times Editor’s Choice
  • One of the 2009 New York Times Book Review 100 Notable Books for Fiction
  • Longlisted for the 2010 Orange Prize for Fiction
  • A 2009 Man Booker Prize Finalist

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Victoria Griffith | 2/19/2014

    " This book was quite slow at the beginning, but I'll give it four stars for the writing and the way it built suspense throughout. I still want to know who Caroline was talking to when she said "You!" in the creepy finale. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ashley | 2/17/2014

    " Sigh. I wanted to like this book so much more than I actually did. Don't get me wrong, she put so much detail into the characters, but the book still left a LOT to be desired. By the description, I thought there was going to be more suspense, well, any suspense. There were only 15 chapters, and it seemed as if the first mention of anything "out of the ordinary" didn't happen until chapter 8 or 9, then stopped, then didn't come back into play until 14 or 15. I felt as if there was almost too much time building up the characters until I was almost bored and wanting something to happen. When something finally did happen, it was minute and fell off just a quickly as it came. I gave the book 3 stars because of the detail, and the fact she did a great job letting us get to know the characters, but I got bored. Not enough detail was put into the "happenings" and I felt the book could have been more "spooky" or suspenseful, especially given the title, description, reviews, etc. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Dana | 2/13/2014

    " I love the imagination in this book and the fact tht it's set in post-war times. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Louise Gibbard | 1/18/2014

    " not overly keen on this. quite an easy read and you keep going because you want to see if the spooky goings on do have a rational explanation or not. I hope its not too much of a spoiler to say loose ends are not tied up, but instead of frustrating me I was actually quite pleased as it allows the reader to draw their own conclusions I suppose. none of the characters are particularly sympathetic, especially Faraday, the narrator, who I guess you are not supposed to like but I often find it difficult to enjoy a story if you don't like the person whose eyes you are seeing it through. also I think more could have been made of the post-war changing class system stuff rather than the supernatural. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gingerkat | 1/11/2014

    " A tad slow in the first third, but wonderfully atmospheric. I like Ms Waters. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ian | 1/8/2014

    " I love Sarah Waters' writing. I was a little disappointed after I finished it as it had been described as a "ghost story" and although I found it a great read I was never once "spooked" or "chilled" by the events in the book. However it has stayed with me and would be worth another read to see if I can answer the questions it raised...... (I'm being deliberately vague as I don't want to give anything away!) "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Sonya | 1/8/2014

    " Um.......did I miss something? Did anything ectually happen? "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sara Lamers | 10/26/2013

    " Very good right up to the disappointing ending. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Terri Hooper | 6/28/2013

    " This book was not scary enough to be a ghost story, nor did it have the satisfying ending of a thriller. It was too long and I didn't care about the characters. If it had a better ending it may have been worth the read, but after dragging on and on it's ending made me just glad it was over. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Sarah Hagen | 1/4/2013

    " I love Sarah waters... But this book sucked. I couldn't get into it and couldn't wait for it to be over.. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Eliza | 12/11/2012

    " I liked this a great deal more than Tipping the Velvet, which I read earlier this year. The characters here were much more fully written. The book as a whole was creepy, but the good psychological kind of creepy, not gratuitously violent. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Denise | 12/2/2012

    " The house is clearly the most admirable character in this novel, but that worked for me. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lisa Bennett | 11/22/2011

    " Very good book. I got into it from the beginning. It dragged a little in places, but there were the right amount of characters to keep me interested, not overdone, and it kept me intrigued. It said at the end, it wasn't the end, so will see if another book comes out continuing the story. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Bethany Myers | 6/23/2011

    " A subtle creepiness that will have you checking over your shoulder long after you finish the novel. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Errin | 6/20/2011

    " Quite disappointing. I felt like I was waiting for something big and climatic to happen with the 'haunting', and it never did. The end got very interesting (particularly with "You!") but left unanswered the questions it arose. Good overall with good characters, but plot/mystery-wise: lacking "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Wendy | 5/18/2011

    " Enjoyed it more that I thought I would!
    "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Courtney | 5/17/2011

    " Well, I got most of the way through the book then put it down. After that I was just never able to pick it up again. It just did not hold my interest enough. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rafa | 5/16/2011

    " Terminé El Ocupante, de Sarah Waters. Si espera una de fantasmas se llevarán un desengaño; es una, bien escrita, obra sobre la decadencia. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sarah | 4/25/2011

    " A little creepy, a little dramatic, but really only so-so to me. I wanted to love this, but I got bogged down by a lot of it. I'd love to see this as a longish movie-- it could be such a visual treat. I'd like to discuss this with a group of people to try to figure out what actually happened. "

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About the Author
Author Sarah Waters

Sarah Waters is the New York Times bestselling author of The Little Stranger, The Night Watch, FingersmithAffinity, and Tipping the Velvet. She has three times been shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, twice been a finalist for the Orange Prize, and was named one of Granta’s best young British novelists, among other distinctions. She lives in London.

About the Narrator

Simon Vance (a.k.a. Robert Whitfield) is an award-winning actor and an AudioFile Golden Voice with fifty-eight Earphones Awards. He has won thirteen prestigious Audie Awards and was Booklist’s very first Voice of Choice in 2008. He has narrated more than eight hundred audiobooks over almost thirty years, beginning when he was a radio newsreader for the BBC in London.