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Audrey's Door Mass Market Paperback – September 29, 2009


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Harper; Original edition (September 29, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061624217
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061624216
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.1 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (69 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #815,129 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Langan's lackluster third horror novel follows emotionally stunted, mentally ill Audrey Lucas as she moves into the Breviary, which seems the perfect Manhattan home for an up-and-coming architect. Rent is cheap; the building's Chaotic Naturalism architecture is rare and intriguing; and it lets Audrey get away from her troubled first romance. After learning that the apartment's last occupant drowned her four children before committing suicide, Audrey still opts to stay, but as apparitions and the building's other residents urge her to build a door, her sanity begins to slip. What follows is a slow, uninteresting story full of dead-end digressions, with nothing to keep a reader engaged. Langan (The Missing) knows how to write strong prose, but the story lacks punch and likely won't even appeal to fans of haunted houses. (Oct.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

“Sarah Langan is one of the bright new hopes of horror — and intelligent, literary, ambitious author capable of scaring the ever-loving crap out of her readers.” (Romantic Times BOOKclub)

“Langan’s idiosyncratic blending of supernatural horror and character-driven, psychological insight proves captivating and pleasurably bone-chilling.” (Booklist)

“Believable characters, deft writing, and an intriguing take on the haunted–house tale.” (Romantic Times BOOKclub)

“A genuine creepfest that recalls, in the best way possible, the early work of Stephen King….Langan has the control of a pro….this solid sophomore effort proves that the uncanny ability of The Keeper to burrow into readers’ heads and stay there was no fluke.” (Publishers Weekly (starred review))

“...[I]nnovative, sharp, and absolutely chilling...” (Brian Keene, Bram Stoker Award winning author of Ghoul and Dead Sea)

“[THE MISSING is] as engrossing as a dagger poised at one’s throat.” (J.C. Patterson)

“[THE KEEPER] will scare the heck out of you.” (4 stars! --Lindsay Hunter, OK! MAGAZINE)

“[A] distinct and juicy flavor all its own. THE KEEPER begins what should be a very fruitful career.” (Peter Straub, New York Times bestselling author of IN THE NIGHT ROOM)

“...The new author on the block is definitely a keeper...” (-Edward Bryant, Locus)

“A beautiful, suspenseful novel... that sets out to do exactly what it should: scare the reader with a combination of well-crafted prose and page-turning velocity.” (Baltimore Sun)

“A dark and bracingly bleak tale of supernatural terror. Its brooding atmosphere comes as much from the social and psychological as from the ghostly, and best of all, from the quality of the prose.” (Ramsey Campbell, author of SECRET STORY)

“Akin to the more ambitious work of Stephen King...this effective debut promises great things to come.” (Publishers Weekly)

“A subtle, bleak tone and well-drawn characters elevate this one above the pack.” (--Rue Morgue)

“Deft and disturbing, THE KEEPER twists expectations into surreal surprises. Sarah Langan’s tale of haunted lives and landscapes is hypnotic reading - an assured and impressive debut.” (Douglas E. Winter)

“Assured...Langan’s characters come brilliantly to life...this is horror on a big scale, akin to the more ambitious work of Stephen King...this effective debut promises great things to come.” (Publishers Weekly)

“Echoes of Stephen King resound throughout Ms Langan’s rich depiction of a mill town...the first fruits of a most promising career.” (Washington Times)

“It’s the only horror story I’ve read recently that finds adequate metaphors for the self-destructive properties of anger.” (New York Times Book Review)

“THE KEEPER is a brilliant debut, heralding the arrival of a major talent. This disturbing, spooky novel is written by someone who knows about dread, and imagery, and fear, and who knows that a good ghoststory needs soul.” (Tim Lebbon, author of DUSK and BERSERK)

“Sarah Langan’s debut novel THE KEEPER kept me up, late into the night. Do I bear her a grudge? Of course not! I’m hoping for a whole shelf of novels by Langan, and many other sleepless nights.” (Kelly Link, author of MAGIC FOR BEGINNERS)

...Combines a witches brew of toxic styles, mixing in bits of Stephen King, Lovecraft, Poe, and Peter Straub, then pours out a thoroughly nasty concoction all her own. (Madison County Herald)

More About the Author

Sarah grew on Long Island and went to college in Maine. She studied both fiction writing and environmental toxicology and now lives in Brooklyn with her husband, daughter, and floppy eared rabbit. It's a busy household and sadly, the plants are often fatally thirsty.

Customer Reviews

Having not read the other books, I can not compare, but would likely not start with this one.
Ginahmk
Really a very good book, Hard to put down, with well realized sympathetic characters,deft plotting and a very satisfying climax.
Phyllis T. Smith
I had a really hard time putting this book down to sleep and ended up reading it all in one day.
K. Sozaeva

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Julie H. Rose on September 11, 2009
Format: Mass Market Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Sarah Langan is receiving much praise from fellow writers, judging from all the blurbs. That's fine; her writing is good.

I enjoyed "Audrey's Door" but not because it was a good horror story. If I were to judge it on that criteria alone, I would give it less than 3 stars. I never felt in the grips of anything approaching terror or even apprehension.

Though this book is supposed to be about the haunting of an apartment building with an interesting past and architecture, the real haunting is that of the story's characters; Audrey's and her mother's OCD, her boyfriend's family issues, and her boss who has a dying child. The "horrors" of the building and it's past and present occupants felt like side issues. While the scenes of horror unfolded, I read, unmoved, and even somewhat confused.

This criticism aside, in spite of a book that seems confused about what genre it is (or an author who hasn't grown enough to pull this thing off), Langan touches upon some meaty issues: mental illness, family attachments, growing up "different", coming to terms with one's past, and even "making friends". I rooted for Audrey to be strong, make friends, do well at work, and let herself commit to love. If all of this sounds like the stuff of a young adult book or "chick-lit", you'd be right on target. Not really my cup of tea, but good enough to keep me interested for Langan does a fine job with her character development.

But, if you're looking for a gripping tale of horror, this is not it.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By January on September 10, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book didn't know what it wanted to be. Was it a horror novel? A novel about a nervous breakdown? What? It was long and boring with absolutely no suspense. You knew from page 2 what was going to happen. The long diatribe about Earth's ecology added absoultely nothing to the story except pages.

No surprises; just a lot of words.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Z. Fu on January 20, 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Audrey was a survivor. She survived her father's abandonment, mother's deteriorating psychological state and her own drug dependency. She came out of the other end with enough scars to last a lifetime: obsessive compulsive disorder, an inability to form healthy relationships with friends and co-workers, and frequent dreams/hallucinations/visions. She moved to NYC to complete her study of architecture, then started working her way up on the proverbial corporate ladder. Her visions intensified after moving to a supposedly bargain apartment in upper west side building with an ill history, Breviary. What follows is a story of a woman walking a fine line between total mental breakdown and bizarre supernatural encounters.

Sarah Langan took great care at molding characters, especially the neurotic protagonist and her perverse neighbors. She described Audrey's memories of her past, OCD and social inadequacy in great details. For a while, I even forgot that I was reading horror fiction. I simply wanted to find out more about the characters. Audrey's return trip to see her comatose mother in the second act is my favorite portion of the novel. That is not to say that Langan skimmed on mystery, suspense and chills. On the contrary, the story is full of dread and forebodings. It features many memorable skin crawling scenes. In one such scene, Audrey was making a business presentation to company's owners and senior management. She then "saw" the mysterious visitor from her last night's nightmare standing with his back facing her and persistently scratching the back wall.

Audrey's Door is both great horror and character study until the end. The climax is a big let down. The world of the supernatural is the book's Achilles heel.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer VINE VOICE on August 25, 2009
Format: Mass Market Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Audrey's Door is an absolutely first rate novel of suspense and horror. It is so thrilling to discover a new favorite! I've always enjoyed writers like King and Straub, and thought that someone as good just wouldn't come along in my lifetime. This author may prove to be worthy of joining the list of excellent horror writers. Not since I first read Shirley Jackson's The Haunting of Hill House have I succumbed so totally to the mood of this genre.

The storyline? A young woman with a sad past and bright future finds a surprisingly low cost rental in Manhattan -- a beautiful building (and she is an architect) with an interesting history, a huge apartment with cathedral ceilings, stained glass windows, 50-foot hall way, and all for just $999 a month! What a steal! But wait! It seems that terrible things may have happened in that apartment rather recently, and in the building throughout its history. I guess that is a typical opening to many books of this genre -- but, trust me, in the hands of this artist, there are some interesting twists and turns in the story, and all the characters are drawn beautifully -- really filled in so that each one is a fully realized person in the story.

I loved the main characters, with all their flaws -- Audrey, with her obsessive compulsive disorder and shame about her personal history, her wonderful boyfriend of India Indian heritage, her crazy mother, her boss... all of these are just great characters.

I hope this book gets all the attention it deserves! I plan to take a weekend in the near future and read all of this author's books!
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