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Summary

1786, Jerusalem College, Cambridge. The ghost of Sylvia Whichcote is rumoured to be haunting Jerusalem, since disturbed fellow-commoner, Frank Oldershaw, claims to have seen the dead woman prowling the grounds.

Desperate to salvage her son’s reputation, Lady Anne Oldershaw employs John Holdsworth, author of The Anatomy of Ghosts a stinging account of why ghosts are mere delusion to investigate. But his arrival in Cambridge disrupts an uneasy status quo as he glimpses a world of privilege and abuse.

And when Holdsworth finds himself haunted not only by the ghost of his dead wife, Maria, but also Elinor, the very-much-alive Master’s wife his fate is sealed.

©2010 Lydmouth Ltd (P)2014 Audible, Inc.

What listeners say about The Anatomy of Ghosts

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Good book, brilliantly read.

I'm a great fan of Andrew Taylor and although his writing varies from book to book i've never been disappointed and this book proves no exception. Taylor is exceptional at bringing to life the period he is is writing about whether it be 1950's/60's or as in this case the late 18th Century. The story is further enhanced by the excellent narration of John Telfer. I wouldn't hesitate to recomend this book, in fact i'm going to buy it in paperback for my sisters birthday.

14 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

An excellent listen

This is vintage Andrew Taylor, with well-drawn characters and a satisfying plot. I felt totally engrossed by the 18th century background (the sights, sounds, smells and topography of London and Cambridge). Taylor's meticulous historical research is evident on every page, and yet he never allows his learning to create a barrier between the 21st century reader and his absorbing story.

12 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

the atmosphere was palpable

Any additional comments?

great story- I felt as if I inhabited the world in which the book was written, I could smell the rain and feel the anxiety and feel the darkness and the candlelight. well done great story

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Thoroughly enjoyable

The combination of Andrew Taylor's brilliant writing and characterization, combined with John Telfer's sublime reading made this an absolute joy. I'm always glad of a book with whose characters I can fully engage, and I certainly could with this.

This was one of those books that I could not bear to hit the stop key on!

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Atmospheric and fascinating

I became lost in another world whilst I was listening to this. I thoroughly enjoyed the landscape of the story with its Rembrandt-esque colours and richly drawn characters. It is dark, but not without humour, and John Telfer's excellent narration does justice to this gripping story. It is slow-paced, leisurely almost, in keeping with the period; you can almost hear the clop of hooves on wet cobblestones. More than a ghost story it is a peek at the lives of those cloistered in a place of learning in the late 18th century, their superstitions, ambitions and machinations. Absorbing.

5 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

A good book elevated by the narration

If you could sum up The Anatomy of Ghosts in three words, what would they be?

Good not great

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

There were a number of different plot threads some more interesting than others. Included to a greater or lesser extent there was a murder mystery, a pre-regency romance, academic infighting, upper class excesses, 18th century treatment of lunatics and a ghost story. Unfortunately the multiplicity of plot lines and themes resulted in a slightly unfocussed volume and a rushed ending.

Any additional comments?

Much the best element of the book was the superlative narration by John Telfer. Without this it would have been a very much less enjoyable experience.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Enjoyable, but not his best

I have read or listened to a couple of other Andrew Taylor novels. The characters here are believable and the historical setting is interesting.
I enjoyed the story but felt that it came to a rather hasty conclusion.
The narration is excellent.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

I enjoyed this book

I really did enjoy this book, the characters were strong enough for me to like or dislike them as appropriate - and I 'cared' what happened to them.

The story line was very interesting, and held my attention - making me 'worry' about the ill intent of the malefactors.

This is my first 'Andrew Taylor' read - and I will look for others by this author.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Very well read but mostly naff romance.

Brilliant narrator but more than half some soppy "gosh imagine if he touched my hand" romance drama than a decent who dunnit. Not a great story either really.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Mourning and melancholia

What made the experience of listening to The Anatomy of Ghosts the most enjoyable?

Superbly crafted writing with a convincing sense of period. It had none of the careless linguistic anachronisms you get in some historical fiction.

What other book might you compare The Anatomy of Ghosts to, and why?

Great Expectations. As in Dickens' classic, the hero's destiny lies in the hands of two rather enigmatic female characters, while he is surrounded by vividly depicted rogues and eccentrics.

Which scene did you most enjoy?

I loved the ending. The spectral presence vanishing in the light of dawn.

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

Haunted by the future.

2 people found this helpful