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Long Lankin Hardcover


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Hardcover: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Candlewick; First Edition edition (July 10, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0763658081
  • ISBN-13: 978-0763658083
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 5.9 x 1.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #493,354 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

This atmospheric, pulse-pounding debut makes the most of its rural, post–World War II setting, a time and place where folklore uneasily informs reality. Barraclough controls her narrative with authority, shifting voices and tenses to provide both perspective and the occasional welcome respite from tension. . .A good, old-fashioned literary horror tale for sophisticated readers.
—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

This debut horror story set in Britain during the late 1940s starts slowly but weaves a chilling spell that will immerse readers in this world and hold them through to the breathless conclusion. . . .A spine-tingling selection.
—School Library Journal

About the Author

Lindsey Barraclough was born in Essex, England, and has worked as a music teacher. Long Lankin is her first novel. She lives in London.

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Customer Reviews

I highly recommend it for adults and younger readers, alike.
JFG
I think it's fine when characters' points of view are expressed in different ways on purpose, but it seemed to me like this wasn't done on purpose.
Funaek
It is very easy to be on edge the entire time you are reading this book.
Amazon Customer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Miss Bonnie on January 19, 2012
Format: Hardcover
'Everything was all right until they came.'

The Storyline

When Cora and her little sister Mimi are sent to live with their Great-Aunt Ida, it is clear from the start that they are neither wanted nor welcome in her house. For the time being the children must stay with her but she immediately sends word to their father that he must come get them, and he must come get them now. Cora, intrigued by the mysteries of the house despite their Aunt Ida's constant demands to 'not do this' and 'not do that', begins searching the house and the closely residing and equally mysterious church. Cora gleans information from various papers found in the house, from the local neighbors, and from strange carvings like the words 'Cave Bestiam' which is found in several locations. Cora finds out more than she bargained for: that her and her family are intertwined in the mystery, that no one is safe, and that there really is something very real to fear.

The Writing

I found the writing to be quite gripping and reminded me at times of Susan Hill's writing in The Woman in Black. I've read several books that write using multiple different points of view and they're not always done as well as could be. I believe it takes a talented author in order to make a multi-point-of-view story not seem too terribly overwhelming; this is definitely one of them. The main focus is on Cora and Roger but you occasionally get an unsettling view of Cora's Aunt Ida and the occasional glimpse into past events.

Okay, so, I'll admit it. I refused to read this alone. I also required a lot of sunlight. And yes, I'm a big weenie. It wasn't exactly creepy the entire time though. It was a bit like riding a wave, honestly.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By J. Turney LaRowe on January 31, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Long Lankin disturbed me in the same way that Mrs. Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children did. It's about children, for goodness sake, and it's DARK. Ever so dark.

Cora and Mimi have no clue what they're in for when they are sent to stay with Aunt Ida. She clearly doesn't want them there, and it has little to do with being old and set in her ways. There's a long history of disappearances and death in her family, all of children.The village boys Cora befriends have no clue, either. There's a long-standing warning to stay away from the parish church building, with no explanation. This of course, doesn't stop anyone from exploring, though the church is little-used and frightening.I really like these characters. Cora is brave and thinks quickly. The boys personalities complement hers very well. Mimi is nearly a side character, despite the action revolving quite a bit around her. And Aunt Ida, the classic tragic character. All of them share in the telling of the story, changing narrators as needed. Thankfully, it's well done and the story doesn't lag or have missing blocks because of it.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By JFG on May 17, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. Barraclough's beautiful writing and deep understanding of the way children think makes this a pleasurable (and spooky!) read all the way through. Set in England after WWII, there are lots of historical tidbits and good vocabulary words for the growing reader. I highly recommend it for adults and younger readers, alike.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on October 18, 2012
Format: Hardcover
From the very first page, Long Lankin has such a bleak tone that you know you're in for an eerie read. At the onset, Cora and Mimi are in a bad situation. Being shipped off to an unsuspecting elderly relative by their distracted father and then dropped off to make their way up the long road to their destination by the uncouth man their father entrusted their safety to doesn't speak well for the happiness quotient. When they lay eyes on their great aunt's house for the first time, you just know that things are about to get worse. The stage is set for a spooky read. Just how spooky remains to be seen, but rest assured that you are in for a frightening story.

Long Lankin is told from the perspective of three characters: Cora, the outspoken older sister to Mimi; Roger, one of the Bryers Guerdon neighborhood boys who becomes Cora's friend; and Mrs. Eastfield, Cora and Mimi's troubled, reclusive great aunt. Each character has their own distinctive speech pattern and personality, insuring that as many details as possible are covered from multiple perspectives. I really came to enjoy each character over time, though I was very much put off by Mrs. Eastfield, at first. Once you learn more about her, however, you come to realize that she is a woman in torment from her past, all thanks to the story's antagonist: Long Lankin. Oh, my. Long Lankin (aka Cain Lankin) has to be the most frightening monsters I have read about in a long time and reminded me very much of Rawhead and Bloody-Bones, a figure from Yorkshire folklore that is absolutely horrifying. I made the mistake of finishing the novel at night and let me tell you, I was very jumpy as I read about the main conflict with Long Lankin. Don't say I didn't warn you.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Teen Reads on September 12, 2012
Format: Hardcover
It's 1958, and Cora and her four-year-old sister, Mimi, are being dumped on relatives yet again. But with their mom gone, their dad has no choice. So he arranges a ride for his daughters to travel a few hours outside of London to stay with their Great Aunt Ida. Cora isn't thrilled to be there. The house is huge, cluttered and falling apart; the windows are all nailed shut; and there is a giant portrait of a man that creeps the sisters out. And it's quite obvious that Ida doesn't want them there either, especially Cora, who seems unable to follow the strict rules. But none of them have any choice; they are stuck with each other.

For Ida, having her two young nieces in her home is like reliving a nightmare. Years earlier, two sisters had stayed in her house with tragic results. Attempts to contact the girls' father fail, so she must deal with the inevitable consequences. She warns them to stay away from the old church, orders Cora to always keep a sharp eye on Mimi, and punishes Cora for disobeying. But nothing seems to help; the past seems determined to repeat itself.

Cora and Mimi manage to find a bit of a bright side when they make friends with Roger and his brothers, who live down the road. The new friends explore the countryside and have a blast. They even slip down to the old church where they've been forbidden to go. But there's something not quite right about the place, and they spot some strange figures lurking about. It peaks their curiosity and fears, so Cora and Roger begin to dig around for some answers. They stumble upon deeply buried secrets that spell out danger and death. Ida may not be glad to see them, but someone else is --- an evil creature by the name of Long Lankin, who's been stealing away little children for generations.
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