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The Orphan Choir: A Novel Kindle Edition
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|Length: 286 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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About the Author
- Publication date : January 28, 2014
- File size : 807 KB
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 286 pages
- Publisher : Picador (January 28, 2014)
- ASIN : B00DXJDPU2
- Language: : English
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,344,483 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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But this book has about as much in common with Susan Hill's brilliant novel as Count Duckula has with Christopher Lee's Dracula.
A ghost story has to be scary. But when the first person narrator doesn't even realise there is anything supernatural going on for at least a good three quarters of the book - and therefore shows no fear - the book hits a major problem. My patience wore out long before the first inkling of anything that could be considered a ghostly visitation. I only stuck with the book to the end because I couldn't quite believe one could be written where the writer forgot to put one in.
In fact, if you were to count the number of pages dedicated to the supernatural, you'd be forgiven for thinking it was just a subplot anyway. The real story seems to be a neurotic and extremely irritating mother pining for her son at boarding school and overthinking her war with her neighbour.
The book strikes me as a very short story that has been padded out beyond breaking point to reach the necessary word count for a novella. And it is really, really broken.
The first person viewpoint really handicaps the book because the lead character is just so goddamn unlikeable. And I say that having only read America Psycho for the first time last year. At least Patrick Bateman was entertainingly insane. Her annoyingly repetitive and ridiculous obsessions become wearing very quickly and even the final outcome seems primarily to be motivated out of her selfishness. She doesn't change. There is no lesson learned. And the first person viewpoint puts you right inside her head, which makes this an extremely frustrating read.
"...I never have cared about facts when they don't feel true," she says at one point, reinforcing Louise's complete lack of any critical thinking ability. Sadly, this slows the book down terribly because the reader understands what's really going on many chapters before Louise is finally and begrudgingly forced to accept reality.
So if you want to spend a few hours in the company of a neurotic and irritating helicopter mother who will spend pages documenting the noises of her neighbour in excruciating detail and scant paragraphs to anything paranormal (because she doesn't realise that's what they are) you'll love this.
Maybe the sticker on the cover should read 'If you were too scared by The Woman in Black, you'll love this.'
The Orphan Choir is a departure for this writer. You will not find Zailer and Waterhouse here, and you had better note that this title is out under the Hammer Horror Imprint.
Louise is having a noise war with her neighbour over his loud music. Her husband would rather keep the peace and Louise's main ally seems to be a rather odd woman from a government/council department that deals with noise complaints. Louise however has a greater problem, her seven year old son is at a prestigious choir school, and Louise is distraught at his absence. Her husband can only see the future benefits for their son, while Louise is sinking deeper into a depression over her son's absence. She persuades her husband to buy a second house in a gated enclave that is supposed to ensure peace and quiet for the residents, but even within this hushed world Louise keeps hearing unearthly choral music.
The Orphan Choir is a fairly short, novella length, read. If you are missing Hannah's psychological thrillers and need a fix this is probably not the answer. Still it was interesting to see the author working in a different genre. I enjoyed it, though not to the degree that I normally enjoy this author's work.
Her husband Stuart is nonchalant. He is not even pretending to be supportive. In fact, the noise doesn’t really bother him. He can sleep through anything.
So begins the saga of the noise nuisance that will drive Louise to take drastic steps. But more will transpire before that happens. Louise will call the police, who will refer her to environmental health. A report will be made. And steps will be taken. Or so she believes.
Meanwhile, as time passes, something changes. The music is now that of choir boys singing, and it appears at odd times. And there is no way to prove the sounds are even occurring, as nobody else hears them.
The Orphan Choir: A Novel is a disturbing story of what happens when one woman desperately misses her seven-year-old son, Joseph, who is a boarder at Saviour College, run by a Dr. Freeman. The story is a mix of madness, despair, and ghostly warnings. Even as I kept imagining one scenario, another would appear. I thought I would discover that the husband and Dr. Freeman were playing cruel tricks on Louise. But I was wrong.
What does Louise do to try to escape the noise pollution next door? How will her new second home at Swallowfield give her the peace she desires? Why does she suddenly realize that the noise is not the issue, but that more is going on, and that there will be no peace to be found anywhere? A surreal set of events unfold, and finally, at the very end, we realize what has transpired. 4 stars.
Top reviews from other countries
This is a a good story. The main character is a little hard to like though, which makes it hard to really get into the book. It's mainly an 'is she going mad/ is there something supernatural going on' book. The supernatural elements of the story do not really appear until rather late in the book, which was slightly frustrating. The ending was very good, maybe a little rushed but good. I would recommend if you like mystery stories but do not expect a full on ghost story