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Man in the Picture
     

Man in the Picture

3.8 5
by Susan Hill
 

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By the renowned storyteller Susan Hill—whose first ghost story, The Woman in Black, has run for eighteen years as a play in London's West End—here is a new take on a form that is fully classical and, in Hill's able hands, newly vital. The Man in the Picture is a haunting tale of loss, love, and the very basest fear of our beings.
An extraordinary ghost

Overview

By the renowned storyteller Susan Hill—whose first ghost story, The Woman in Black, has run for eighteen years as a play in London's West End—here is a new take on a form that is fully classical and, in Hill's able hands, newly vital. The Man in the Picture is a haunting tale of loss, love, and the very basest fear of our beings.
An extraordinary ghost story from a modern master. In the apartment of Oliver's old professor at Cambridge, there is a painting on the wall, a mysterious depiction of masked revelers at the Venice carnival. On this cold winter's night, the old professor has decided to reveal the painting's eerie secret. The dark art of the Venetian scene, instead of imitating life, has the power to entrap it. To stare into the painting is to play dangerously with the unseen demons it hides, and become the victim of its macabre beauty.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Hill (The Woman in Black) crafts an old-school spooker in this atmospheric tale of a sinister painting imbued with the vengeful spirit of a former owner. The painting, owned by retired Cambridge don Theo Parmitter, catches the eye of a visiting former student who's intrigued by its depiction of an 18th-century Venetian carnival scene and a figure in the foreground who looks anachronistically modern. The student's questions extract from Theo the strange story of how he won it at auction and the even stranger tale of the bidder he beat: the elderly Lady Hawdon, who claims that the man in the picture is her husband, imprisoned in the painting through the designs of a jilted lover who gave it to them as a wedding present. Hill manipulates the gothic darkness of her story with great dexterity and subtlety, faltering only at its awkwardly executed finish. Regardless, her tale is a commendable exercise in the tradition of the antiquarian ghost story. (Sept.)

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The Independent
A master class in the art of dread . . . This is scariness at its most convivial.
The Times
The story unfolds at a thriller's pace, and the setting is reassuringly contemporary . . . In the capable hands of Hill, the Gothic novel, that venerable but undeniably pensionable genre, finds a new lease of life.
The Spectator
Susan Hill knows exactly how to please. This small, smart, elegantly printed little notepad of a book is a delicious Victorian ghost story, nostalgically and expertly comforting.
Library Journal

In her new novella, British writer Hill (The Various Haunts of Men) delivers another captivating, classically Victorian gothic tale of horror. Similar in structure and ambiance to her highly successful The Woman in Black, written 25 years ago and staged as a play for 18 years in London's West End, this story is good but falls short of its predecessor's spookiness. The plot revolves around a highly regarded Cambridge professor and the mysterious painting of masked Venetian carnival goers hanging in his apartment. The painting has a macabre secret that cryptically draws in viewers, almost as if it were having a supernatural effect. Reminiscent of Henry James's The Turn of the Screw, Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray, and Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca, Hill's quick, refreshing, old-fashioned ghost story is just in time for Halloween. Recommended for general fiction collections.
—Carolann Curry

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781590200919
Publisher:
The Overlook Press
Publication date:
09/04/2008
Pages:
160
Sales rank:
324,562
Product dimensions:
7.14(w) x 4.38(h) x 0.68(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Related Subjects

Meet the Author

Susan Hill’s novels and short stories have won the Whitbread, Somerset Maugham, and John Llewellyn Rhys awards, and the Yorkshire Post Book of the Year, and been shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize. She is the author of fifty-six books. The play adapted from her famous ghost story, The Woman in Black, has been running in the West End since 1989; it is also a major feature film starring Daniel Radcliffe. Her crime novels featuring DCS Simon Serrailler are currently being adapted for TV.

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Man in the Picture 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
LibraryLadyAmy More than 1 year ago
This is different kind of mystery than I have read. It is a good fast read & a little spooky.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Simple a great ghost story. Easy to read brings you from the past to the present with out you even realizing it. The setting is devine and the characters are perfect. It has been a long time since I read a ghost story that wasn't really a horror story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago