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The Harrowing (A Ghost Story) by [Sokoloff, Alexandra]
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The Harrowing (A Ghost Story) Kindle Edition

4.1 out of 5 stars 128 customer reviews

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Length: 320 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

At the start of screenwriter Sokoloff's first novel, a teen terror flick in prose, generic Baird College is emptying out for Thanksgiving break, but a few stalwart students have decided to stay on campus to avoid going home to their dysfunctional families. One night, under the influence of booze and drugs, they whip out a ouija board and inadvertently summon what they believe is the spirit of a student who died there decades before. In truth, it's something nastier, and the quintet spend the rest of the story desperately trying to send back to the void an evil entity that won't go gently. The characters, who include the mousy good girl and the nerd whose scholarly skepticism grows increasingly grating with each repeat expression, develop little personality outside of their carefully crafted types. The pyrotechnic climax, in which the kids prove unusually adept at occult subterfuge, stretches credibility but provides a suitably cinematic finale. (Sept.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From School Library Journal

Grade 10 Up–Robin, an outcast college student, has problems connecting with others because of her dark past. When she stays at school over the Thanksgiving holiday, she believes that she is alone in the gothic castle of a dormitory. However, four other students are also there. The first evening, they find themselves in a lounge together, and, after drinking and smoking pot, they discover a Ouija board. When Robin and another girl use it, they connect with a spirit who calls himself Zachary, a student who died in a fire in the dorm years before. But the five students have actually contacted something far more sinister and dangerous than a ghost. Soon the question becomes whether any of them will survive the encounter. The book reads like the script of a low-budget horror movie, and the characters never rise above stereotypes. Additionally, the story is undermined by the rushed ending. Skip this derivative work in favor of more original titles.–Tasha Saecker, Menasha Public Library, WI
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Product Details

  • File Size: 617 KB
  • Print Length: 320 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Murderati Ink (December 9, 2011)
  • Publication Date: December 9, 2011
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B006K5RVXI
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #49,221 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I've seen THE HARROWING compared to teen horror films, but I'm almost two millennia away from being a young adult and have never seen a teen horror/slasher movie. I avoided them like the plague even when I was reviewing a movie weekly for our daily newspaper.

But I do like ghost stories and once I started reading the book, I couldn't put it down. I thought the characterizations of the five college students was great. The build-up is superb as the five bored students, staying at Baird College for the Thanksgiving break, find an ouija board and strange things begin to happen.

It someone playing tricks or have these students actually contacted someone from "beyond," specifically a young man who died years before in a fire at the school?

The tension mounts as the "odd" group of students begin to form alliances and try to figure out what is happening to them. Did they "release" a tortured soul trying to affect some kind of closure, or has a more malevolent force been unleashed?

I found myself really caring about these young people and being pulled into their struggle. The information on the Kabbalah

and other Jewish folklore is fascinating.

The plot moves at a great pace and I certainly can see this as a movie, which isn't surprising since the author, Ms. Sokoloff, is a long-time screenwriter.

I bought a few copies, after reading the ARC, for some lucky people on my Christmas list. Highly recommended
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Format: Hardcover
Delicious....this book was something I desperately needed...a good light fiction read that also was interesting, scary and troubling at the same time. Oh...what's that, Baird college students leave en masse for Thanksgiving and we are left with five lone students, one creepy gothic dorm and a dark and story night...who doesn't smell supernatural thrills???!! The Harrowing is somewhat typical in it's depiction of college students (jock, loner musician, nerd, slut, invisible chick) and reminiscent of a teen horror flick made into a book, but still, I really enjoyed the flawed characters, the Freudian psychology, and the overall tense, heavy feel of the book. It was sad and depressing, desperate and hopeful all at the same time and best of all...it races along, no dead spots, no lulls...it's a nonstop front to back spine tingling tale that weaves it's way from the present day, back to the 1920's and then back to creation and the kabala.I recommend it for ghost story and horror freaks like me...though it does purport to be a ghost story, it's really not, kinda, sorta, but not totally...read it and you'll see what I mean! It even managed to creep me out, reading it home alone, foolishly enough, during thunder storm...at night...I'll leave my rating at...simply delicious, you'll want to curl up with this on a chilly night with a blanket and a good cup of tea!!
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
It's not often I feel the need to openly review books, but I'm shocked at the praise, nominations and positive reviews being lavished on this book. I made sure to finish it in case I was just getting a silly impression from the beginning, in case something suddenly caught on at some point that was original and interesting.

No such luck. The characters are blatant stereotypes--the "jock," the "slut," the "nerd," the "bad boy/rocker," and our homely heroine Robin who is depressed.

The back of the book proudly proclaims that Sokoloff built the "psychological undercurrents" from her experience dealing with "emotionally disturbed and incarcerated teenagers." I kept waiting for an "undercurrent" behind the blatant pop-psychology and complete lack of understanding applied to all of these characters, and it never came. I had to wonder if she ever really listened to these teenagers, or asked them anything. I've known my fair share of "emotionally disturbed teenagers"--and they don't act like this.

Robin is a stereotypically depressed teen/college student, but doesn't act much like a real one (I've known my fair share). Martin, the "nerd," is written like someone trying to sound smart, rather than the smug, self-assured legitimate intelligence that comes from the type of character Sokoloff seems to be trying to write. It's clunky, awkward and feels like it was carefully but ignorantly constructed.

The plotting, while I applaud the interesting and unusual inclusion of Kabbalistic mythology (I even learned a few things), is standard at best, which offends me far more in horror than something unusual that misfires.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
My title says it all--this certainly is not a great book, and is not terribly original, but it was well written, well-paced, and engaging enough to keep my attention, so I enjoyed reading it and felt like it was worth the $3 I paid for the kindle version.

I described this to a friend as The Breakfast Club meets The Haunting of Hill House, and it's something like that: a group of teens, some angst-ridden, and a haunted dorm. True, the teens were pretty much types: the depressed girl, the jock, the slut, the musician, the nerd. But they were still well developed enough as characters that I became interested in them and concerned for them.

The plot is pretty basic, though the writer does a good job of bringing in a lot of interesting horror story elements: ghosts (or not?), Ouija boards, possession, etc, and the book is wonderfully atmospheric. Often, in a book like this which is not a new tale, what I'm interested in is the way the writer plays with tradition--adding her own touches to something done before. I liked the way she played with weather (dark and stormy nights, but she made her descriptions much more original) and with the elements of haunting and possession. And the book is well paced. Honestly, I wasn't going to buy it after reading some of the reviews, but I read the sample chapter and found I wanted to know what happened to the characters, so I got it, and I meant to take this book to read on a trip, but found I'd compulsively consumed it all before I ever left! So the writer gets good marks for pacing and plotting that makes you want to continue reading, even if it's not new ground.

There was a lot of willing suspension of disbelief for me in this novel, though.
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