Thursday 7 April 2011

Long Lankin review

Long Lankin
Lindsey Barraclough
April 7th 2011
Random House Children's Books

A chilling, beautiful debut novel inspired by a haunting folk song about murder, witchcraft and revenge. Beware of Long Lankin, that lives in the moss ...When Cora and her little sister Mimi are sent to stay with their elderly aunt in the isolated village of Bryers Guerdon, they receive a less than warm welcome, and are desperate to go back to London. But Auntie Ida's life was devastated the last time two young girls were at Guerdon Hall, and now her nieces' arrival has reawoken an evil that has lain waiting for years. A haunting voice in an empty room ...A strange, scarred man lurking in the graveyard ...A mysterious warning, scrawled on the walls of the abandoned church ...Along with Roger and Peter, two young village boys, Cora must uncover the horrifying truth that has held Bryers Guerdon in its dark grip for centuries - before it is too late for Mimi. Intensely atmospheric and truly compelling, this is a stunning debut.

Long Lankin is not really the kind of book I'd pick up. While I do love it's cover, it hasn't had really any hype, and a lot of people don't even know what it is, which is fair as I think it's only coming out here. My expectations for it weren't particularly high, so was I blown away when what I read was a truly unique, creepy and quite frankly brilliant novel lay within its pages! This book is kind of the reason I love reading books I've heard barely anything about. Because they're usually better than the ones there HAS been a lot of hype about (not to say this is true in all cases, there are a lot of brilliant books out there that I did read solely from the hype, but I'm usually slightly disappointed from hyped up books).

It did take me a while to get used to the writing style of this book. But once I was into it, I was into it. It's a big book (450 pages, plus the actual hardback is larger than usual) and I read it in two days. And while at the beginning I wasn't really seeing the whole paranormal side, I really enjoyed the whole aspect of just it being set in the 1950's. And while it did take me a bit to get used to the constant changing of perspective, it really enhanced the book, for me.

And when the paranormal side did start to creep through (say, about 100 odd pages in) it did begin to get creepy. It wasn't until, like, 300 pages in though was it really, really creepy. And this is coming from someone who doesn't get scared by books. I read about 7 Darren Shan books in a row and I had no nightmares. Long Lankin?  *runs around to make sure all the windows and doors are shut because she doesn't want to get killed!* Okay, so it wasn't QUITE that bad... But it was still pretty creepy. In the best way.

I've never read a book quite like Long Lankin. Really, it has one of the most unique stories I've read in a while, and it really impressed me. It was an intricate plot that really ran deep through the book, and it was really, really interesting. And it managed to keep me hooked  despite the lack of romance (Which is a sign of a good book!) Though it would've been weird if there was a romance because (I think) the characters were, like, ten.

But I did really like the characters! I thought Roger and Pete were such sweet boys, and I love Cora's name! She was rather spunky for a 10-year-old from the 1950's in my opinion (though, that wasn't a lot. But I still really liked her) And Mimi was really cute and Ida was a really great character despite my initial dislike of her.

Long Lankin is an incredibly unique, fascinating book that I feel really deserves to be picked up and read by a lot of people, because, while it might not be everyone's cup of tea, I really enjoyed the originality of it, and that it really stands out to me for this. Definitely one I think you should read (especially if you live in the UK! No excuses ;P) 5 stars!


  1. I've read a couple of positive reviews for this book now and I'm really intrigued. I think a 'must read'. Thanks for this review.

  2. Wow, you were really blown away by this?! I'm sure the reputation of this book will grow and grow. I'd heard Lindsay speak at a librarian's session at LBF and she certainly got the audience talking. It isn't really for me though. I don't do scary books.


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