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The Small Hand Kindle Edition

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Length: 188 pages
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Editorial Reviews

Review

Masterfully done ... subtle, elegant The Times On chilling form Vogue Short and crisply told ... The tension is built up gradually until it is taut and physical Independent Beautifully evoked ... what's most impressive is what hangs between the spare lines of Hill's precise prose ... this is a wonderful piece of storytelling that does what a good story ought to do: it keeps you guessing, pulls you in -- Jeremy Dyson Guardian Superior chills from the author of The Woman in Black Woman & Home A distinguished modern exponent of the genre ... The entire narrative unrolls like a carpet ... This beautifully written novel may be short, but not one word is wasted ... The sinister child, the rotting mansion, the monastery and the old books are of course familiar gothic props; but Susan Hill uses them to lend depth, as an expert cook uses familiar ingredients to enrich a new recipe, and draws out new flavours from them in the process ... highly recommended for a chilly autumn evening by the fire. And, as a bonus, the book has an exceptionally attractive cover Spectator She builds suspense through easy, elegant prose ... If the proof of a good ghost story is a bad dream, this one worked for me Intelligent Life On top form Good Housekeeping Every bit the treat one would expect ... as ever, not a word is wasted. As seductive as it is disquieting, atmospheric and brilliantly suspenseful The Lady Part of the fear she conjures up, then, is a sense that this could happen to anyone ... Hill's superbly crafted tale doesn't belong to a confessional age, but it does belong to an age where we are all striving for our own identity. Where we all, secretly, long for a ghost to reach out and grip us, make us real -- Lesley MacDowell Scotsman Precise and stylish Big Issue Classic Mail on Sunday It's hugely enjoyable and a perfect read for a couple of hours by the fireside on a dark winter's evening, and would make an ideal Christmas stocking filler Daily Mail Great ghostly reading leading up to Halloween Woman's Day Australia A beautiful volume housing a chilling take on the good old-fashioned ghost story Red Restrained, spare, elegant prose with all the necessary accoutrements ... most definitely suited to reading beside a roaring fire while fingering the thick cream pages of this well-produced hardback -- Sophia Martelli Observer Susan Hill is the grande dame of English supernatural fiction ... The Small Hand is another brilliant exercise in the uncanny ... Hill is a mistress of economy and timing, and although The Small Hand is only the length of a novella, it has the heft of a novel. Each phrase comes balanced on a raft of implication ... an elegant entertainment for a winter's night -- Suzi Feay Financial Times Hill writes with an understated style that gives the story plenty of conviction and although it is set in the present day, a dusty, timeless pall lies over it -- Charlotte Heathcote Sunday Express Gripping from the first page Waterstone's Books Quarterly Wonderfully old fashioned ... Hill is a master of the art of suspense, subtly increasing the creepiness until it is at fever pitch. Eerie and compelling from start to finish Attitude No one chills the heart like Susan Hill Daily Telegraph Hill knows how to give readers a good fright Instyle Magazine, Australia A chilling and beguiling small treasure of a story Herald on Sunday, NZ This supernatural chiller is gripping and unnerving, the sort of book you devour in one sitting The Age, Australia A chilling meditation on how long-buried secrets can rise to haunt us, this story won't leave you in a hurry Who Weekly Magazine, Australia There is a thrilling building terror in this elegant but restrained ghost story Herald Sun, Australia A twisting psychological drama where disaster looms at every turn Daily Telegraph, Sydney Splendidly unsettling Daily Express As one might expect from an author with such a fine track record in the art of chilling the spine, Hill is adept at conjuring a feeling of unease from the smallest details of place and circumstance ... For Hill, as for her great predecessors, M. R. James and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the uncanny is never very far beneath the surface and the darkest place of all is the human mind. Giving a troubling, contemporary resonance to the traditional ghost story form, The Small Hand is as good as anything the author has written The Times A classic ghost story with the same combination of charm and chill which characterised The Woman in Black Independent on Sunday

About the Author

Susan Hill is the winner of numerous literary prizes including the Somerset Maugham award. Her literary memoir, Howards End Is On The Landing [9781846682667] and the ghost story The Man In The Picture [9781846681349] are both published by Profile. Her bestselling novel The Woman in Black is currently being filmed for theatrical release.

Product Details

  • File Size: 853 KB
  • Print Length: 188 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1846682363
  • Publisher: Profile Books (September 2, 2010)
  • Publication Date: September 2, 2010
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0041KLCWK
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #225,402 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Ralph Blumenau on July 10, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
Many, many years ago I read Susan Hill's The Woman in Black (1983), and remember what a good ghost story that was; and she has now returned to this genre. The ingredients are traditional: the central character is a dealer in antique books; he comes across a derelict house, set in an overgrown garden. Entering the grounds, he feels a child's hand in his own, but there is noone there. In due course he learns that "something happened there, but it was all hushed up." The memory of the experience never quite leaves him. Some weeks later he begins to experience panic attacks, for no reason that he can explain. And then he feels the hand again, fiercely trying to pull him to some disaster... It's a good read, and the ending, despite the clues in the book, is somewhat unexpected; but this is not as good a book as Susan Hill's earlier ones: the various atmospheric devices were too formulaic, too familiar for me to experience any frisson.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Michael Night on January 10, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Not one of the best ghost stories, by a long shot. (I have always had an issue with vengeful spirits of innocent children.) However, Hill does know how to convey feelings of dread and anxiety exceedingly well. It is worth a read.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By JAK on December 27, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
At present, if there is a better ghost story writer than Susan Hill ,I don't know who it is.No this isn't as good as the WOMAN IN BLACK.However, it is a quick satisfying read.Hill doesn't insist in "naturalizing" or debunking her ghosts. They are ghosts- period- not products of delusion , confusion or insanity.They aren't altogether comprehensible and they are scary because they are dead peoples spirits. Also they aren't friendly or well intentioned .When you meet them, fun and romance do not ensue. This one centers on a child spirit out for revenge.It's not terrifying but it's creepy and unsettling.It took me about three hours to read and I found it hard to put down.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By G. Delany Dean on May 11, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Not nearly as good as Susan Hill's other books; this one reads like something she wrote quickly and did not put much effort into. More superficial than her other books; characters not well-developed.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Katie on August 16, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Loved the story, nice plot line with twists and surprises. Creepy and fun. I am a sucker for gothic horror, so this was a perfect fit.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Kim on September 27, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The story isn't so much scary as it is haunting and eerie. It was a great read that will linger in your head when you finish. I highly recommend it.
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Format: Paperback
This exceptional and bestselling ghost story is by the author of The Woman in Black and The man in the picture. It is about Adam Snow, a blameless antiquarian bookseller who has a series of supernatural experiences; when a small hand grasps his, sometimes passively and sometimes with malevolent intent. Wherever he goes and wherever he travels he is almost certain to encounter the ghostly phenomenon. Included are some really wonderful and atmospheric descriptions, including those of the monastery of saint Mathieu, that is really beautiful and well-written. The main character and narrator tells of his experiences with `the small hand' in such a compelling and believable way as to really pull you into the story and into the peculiarity of it all. I certainly thought that the rather peculiar and original storyline was very interesting and it made a change to read something a little different to your average, stereotypical horror story.

After one particular night Adam Snow finds himself journeying through the downs on his commute back to the hustle and bustle of London, only to then discover himself truly lost. Eventually he comes upon a house that has a sign up saying `garden closed' and then decides being a rather conspicuous house, to go in and ask for directions. However all is not as it seems when he comes upon the derelict house, for when he then turns around to return to the car a presence is lurking within the shadows and a small hand clutches hold of him.

This story certainly takes the imagination on quite a journey as this `small hand' is something not visible and yet to the protagonist is something very real and definitely present.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Sam Quixote TOP 1000 REVIEWER on October 10, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition
A book hunter out in the countryside to visit one of his rich clients, gets lost and winds up at an old house he finds empty. While exploring inside, he feels the touch of a young child's hand in his own but turning to look, sees no-one there. As he looks into the house's history though he finds out it has more to do with his life than he previously thought.

A good start no? Especially this coming from the writer of "The Woman in Black", a flawed but still quite good ghost story. Unfortunately it quickly devolves to a hackneyed story with no real scares or even events of note and ends in a ridiculously overwraught way.

First off, the main character. He's a book hunter. This means he seeks out rare books for wealthy clients. One such client asks him to go to a monastery in mainland Europe where a first folio of Shakespeare's work exists. He goes out there, chit chats to some monks, and we get a lot of descriptive passages about moonlight monasteries. Then he's off to the Bodleian in Oxford where we get more passages about the old architecture of Oxford, more descriptions of old books, and more chit chatting. Scared yet? Me either. And quite bored too.

Then there's the "ghost". There's no Scooby-Doo type reveal where we find out it's not real, this is Susan Hill - the ghost is real. But it's never as scary as Hill would like to think. A ghostly hand clasping a real hand - is this scary to anyone? It feels like an echo of the scene in "Woman in Black" where the main character is stood in the dark at the top of the stairs and feels the ghost move past him. It was creepy in that instance but here just feels - well, not scary. Not scary and actually very tedious as this is the extent of the scares in this book.
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