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Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Ex-library book. The item shows wear from consistent use, but it remains in good condition and works perfectly. All pages and cover are intact (including the dust cover, if applicable). Spine may show signs of wear. Pages may include limited notes and highlighting.
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Long Lankin Hardcover – July 10, 2012

4.2 out of 5 stars 42 customer reviews
Book 1 of 2 in the Long Lankin, Series

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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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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 890L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Candlewick; First Edition edition (July 10, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0763658081
  • ISBN-13: 978-0763658083
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 1.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #242,780 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
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.

I read the last several chapters under my desk at work because I just couldn't put it down.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
One of the best pieces of horror I've read in years. Set slightly after World War II, this slow burn of a book has immensely likable protagonists, and chills upon chills after the story of Long Lankin comes out. The last half of the book goes quickly, and I stayed up through the night to finish it. Perfect.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is the best dark fiction I have read so far this year.

While I was reading it, I compared it to the Stephen King novel, It, as both books had a very similar theme. I thought that this book was better.

Why? Because it was strictly British with no boomercentric pop culture references; even though these two novels are set in the same time period. Also, we don't delve into the details of the characters lives and learn a lot of personal things that have nothing to do with the story.

The monster is better. I really loved the Beowulf reference during the final battle with Long Lankin.

I am just a sucker for a novel with a moldering old manor house, a Domesday Book family with a curse and an ancient monster out of legend. You just can't get much better than that.

I would recommend this book to anyone who loves a traditional, creepy ghost story.

Pet Lover's Advisory: SPOILER!
A good dog dies a brave death in this story. The death is not a gratuitous manipulation of the reader's emotions, but integral to the story. Not bloody, gory, disgusting, but he does die......so be warned!
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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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