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The Little Girl Who Lived Down the Lane (Play) Paperback – October 1, 1997


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 72 pages
  • Publisher: Dramatists Play Service, Inc. (October 1, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0822215713
  • ISBN-13: 978-0822215714
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #502,829 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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The narrative shifts between several characters.
Invictus_Nth
Great eerie, suspenseful, mystery book that kept me on the edge of my seat.
Jesse
I read this book after having seen the movie and I loved it!
Heather Cuoio

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Chadwick H. Saxelid on August 1, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Although the film adaptation is fine (Jodie Foster was perfect for the part) it does not come close to the haunting power of this chilling novel. Thirteen year old Rynn lives at the end of the lane with her recluse father, or does she? Mrs. Hallet, her landlord, is getting suspicious of Rynn and her lifestyle just as her child molesting son (who is far older and creepier in the novel than in the film) is begins harrassing the little girl as well. Complicating matters further is Rynn's growing attraction to the equally curious Sheriff's son Mario.
Laird Koenig masterfully weaves these plot threads togehter into an icy spider web that Rynn may or may not get herself free of. Watching it all come together (and apart) creates one of the truly great cult classic novels of the seventies. Required reading for psychological thriller fans and those with a taste for gothic imagery. Highly recommended.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Eric Geilker on August 15, 1997
Format: Hardcover
Yes, Jodie Foster starred in the 1976 movie. But the book by Laird Koenig is really worth a look.
Rynn, 13-year-old daughter of an english poet, is instructed by her departing father to SURVIVE. That shouldn't be hard on a civilized New England island very like Nantucket, especially if you have a three-year lease paid in full and a semi-inexhaustable supply of cash in a safe deposit box...should it?
Frank Hallet, a filthy rich blue-blooded pedophile doesn't help Rynn's chances. Neither do a couple of bodies under a trap door in the parlor.
But believe me, you will cheer for the witty Rynn as you turn each page of this efficiently crafted little page-turner.
The writing is spot-on, and the ending is so wonderfully surprising and subtle as to invoke thoughts of Henry James and The Turn of the Screw.
Read it by the fire, in one sitting, preferably on a rainy October evening. I bought my copy (a fine, well-preserved, pretty little black hardback) for 25 cents at a book sale. Even if Amazon can't match that deal, the book is pure enjoyment.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Jane Rhynn on May 29, 2006
Format: Unknown Binding
I saw the movie when I was 15 on some cable channel back in the 90s and saw who I wanted to be in the character of Rynn (the "rhynn" in my email addy is in honor of her). Because of the movie, I found the book and also discovered Emily Dickinson. The movie, one of my favorites, is outdone by the book (which I've read several times).

The book and movie were originally done in the 70s, but I think this is not a problem at all. I still loved it. This should also appeal to the "ghosts" (people who try to stay invisible to society) and "moles" (fake being part of it) of any age and gender out there, who refuse to let their spirits be broken and owned by the impersonal and unedifying forces of the vapid masses and malicious control freaks that haunt our world. This is also a book where the heroine (and later accomplice) overcome adversity by cleverness (and admittedly some ruthlessness, but their enemies are just as ruthless) rather than by dramatic fights, which is refreshing in and of itself, IMO. It combines mystery and suspense and romance, spiced with many creepy secrets.

I recently had a dream where I saw a modern remake of the movie and nearly woke up in my excitement. I've since started rereading the book and I still love it. This is one of my all-time favorites, and I read it again every October.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By "rynnfrink" on January 27, 2000
Format: Hardcover
The movie The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane is my absolute favorite ever, and the book is, of course, certainly worth reading. Here is a tale of murder, secrecy, and survival. Intertwined between all this is a touching love story between 13-year-old Rynn and 16-year-old Mario. One might question the age difference between the two, but upon reading the book (or seeing the movie, which I also highly recommend), we see that Rynn is far surpassed the usual maturity level of a person her age.
Rynn lives in a small, secluded house at the end of a lane in a small New England island town with her English poet father, Leslie Jacobs, or so she says. The only problem is no one ever sees him.
Survive. That's what her father told her. Don't play their game. And Rynn won't, not even when she is badgered my Mrs. Hallet, the real estate lady that rents the house to Leslie and Rynn and who insists on knowing where Leslie is at all times, no matter what it takes; or her son, Frank Hallet, who is notorious in their town for taking an unhealthy liking to girls much younger than he.
Rynn's only friend in the world is Mario Podesta, an amateur magician who is crippled. Only Mario knows Rynn's terrible secret, and he soon becomes her co-conspirator.
I won't give any spoilers, but I will say that this book is absolutely amazing. It is unfortunate that it is out of print at this time. If you can get ahold of a copy, however, read it. You will not regret it.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By D. Recio, SJ on January 21, 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Koenig's novel, written in the mid 70's, still manages to create a menacing atmosphere with its omninous beginning: "She stood at the window on this last night of October and looked out on the world shivering on the edge of winter." I sat down to read this book after having read it years earlier and found myself drawn in by this quiet but frightening story. Koenig's storytelling capacity propels the novel forward, introducing the female protagonist who gives herself a birthday party, coincidentally on Halloween. As the rest of the novel unfolds, it is easy to find oneself sympathetic to the adolescent, Rynn Jacobs, who must fend off xenophobic villagers who threaten her carefully assumed solitude. Koenig's narrative style is easy to read but also remains with one after the book closes largely because the descriptions are precise enough that one is not overwhelmed by them but instead, drawn in by the simple language which is a convenient disguise for a clever, albeit horrific story. I plan to re-read this book again, perhaps on Halloween, or in the midwinter, after reading Christie's novella, "Three Blind Mice", and the first few chapters of PD James' Shroud for a Nightingale. Instructors who teach writing might find the first few chapters of this novel helpful (as an example) for setting "the scene".
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