The Man in the Picture [NOOK Book]


More information to be announced soon on this forthcoming title from Penguin USA
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The Man in the Picture

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More information to be announced soon on this forthcoming title from Penguin USA
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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

The Barnes & Noble Review
In 1924, M. R. James wrote: "Two ingredients most valuable in the concocting of a ghost story are, to me, the atmosphere and the nicely-managed crescendo." In The Man in the Picture, Susan Hill mixes those ingredients with other elements of classic gothic fiction to deliver a story that will have readers nervously avoiding art galleries. This ghost story, easily read in one nerve-jangling sitting, begins as a man named Oliver visits his old Cambridge professor and learns the deadly secret behind an oil painting of a Venetian carnival scene. As literary tradition dictates, the tale is spun beside a fire "one bitterly cold January night" as the wind "howled round and occasionally a burst of hail rattled against the glass." Like Edgar Allan Poe, Bram Stoker, Sheridan Le Fanu, and the two Jameses (M. R. and Henry), Hill knows how to carefully dole out the tension. The horror here creeps up slowly and reaches a "nicely-managed crescendo" in its final pages. Hill never condescends to parody-her frights are in earnest. The smallest detail like "the faintest smell of fresh oil paint" will prickle the hairs of the reader's scalp. Poe would be proud. --David Abrams
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781590208267
  • Publisher: Overlook
  • Publication date: 9/4/2008
  • Sold by: Penguin Group
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 160
  • Sales rank: 528,536
  • File size: 628 KB

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 5 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 2, 2010

    Good mystery

    This is different kind of mystery than I have read. It is a good fast read & a little spooky.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 5, 2008

    Great Ghost story

    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.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 22, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 19, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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