Author: Hill, Susan
Title: The Man in the Picture: A Ghost Story
Publication Date: 2008
Number of Pages: 160 p.
Geographical Setting: Cambridge, England and Venice, Italy
Time Period: Unspecified, but likely in the 1900s
Plot Summary: This fast-paced, old-fashioned ghost story begins with the narrator, Oliver, visiting his old tutor, Theo Parmitter, at Cambridge on a cold winter night. While the two friends have had many conversations over the years, Theo chooses this night to tell Oliver the tale of his acquisition of an 18th century painting of Venetian revelers. While his story starts as a regular trip to an art auction, it soon becomes evident that the painting is more than meets the eye. As Theo tells Oliver the story of Lady Hawdon and the full history of love, revenge, and death behind the painting, the present starts to mirror the past in dangerous and mysterious ways. Can Theo and Oliver escape the curse of the painting before it’s too late? The novel alternates between the points of view of Oliver, Theo, Lady Hawdon, and Oliver’s fiancée, Anne. Susan Hill uses concise chapters and descriptions to create an atmospheric, eerie, chilling, and suspenseful story of a painting that may be more real and powerful than anyone can imagine.
Subject Headings: Spirits; Carnival; Auctions; Wedding Presents; Portraits; Revenge; Universities and Colleges—England— Cambridge; Cambridge, England; Venice, Italy; Suspense Stories; Horror Stories; Ghost Stories;
Appeal: fast-paced, atmospheric, chilling, creepy, dangerous, darker, disturbing, foreboding, haunting, menacing, mysterious, nightmare, suspenseful, familiar intelligent characters, quirky and dangerous secondary characters, cinematic, layered, plot twists, tragic, atmospheric gothic setting, classic language, concise, dramatic, polished, restrained, vivid
3 Terms that Best Describe This Book: mysterious, atmospheric, haunting
Similar Authors and Works:
3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors
Lore of the Ghost: The Origins of the Most Famous Ghost Stories Throughout the World by Brian Haughton and illustrated by Daniele Serra is a thought-provoking and vivid book about the history of ghost stories and an analysis of people’s fascination with the supernatural. Like The Man in the Picture: A Ghost Story by Susan Hill, this haunting book focuses on the subject of spirits and old-fashioned gothic ghost stories.
Haunted England: Royal Spirits, Castle Ghosts, Phantom Coaches, and Wailing Ghouls by Terence Whitaker is an eerie book about various hauntings throughout England’s history. Like The Man in the Picture: A Ghost Story by Susan Hill, this creepy book highlights the subjects of spirits and ghost stories in the same setting of England.
Vanished Smile: The Mysterious Theft of Mona Lisa by R. A. Scotti is a fascinating book about the disappearance and return of one of the most famous portraits of all time. Like The Man in the Picture: A Ghost Story by Susan Hill, this book tells a mysterious and suspenseful story about a portrait
3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors
Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier is a classic horror story about a woman, Mrs. Maxim de Winter, moving into the eerie home of her new husband, where the housekeeper, Mrs. Danvers, constantly reminds the new Mrs. Maxim de Winter of how inferior she is to the deceased first wife, Rebecca. Like The Man in the Picture: A Ghost Story by Susan Hill, this well-written book with plot twists focuses on an atmospheric and haunting story in England about disturbed women as secondary characters who cannot cope with past events and attempt to destroy other women’s lives as a result.
The Uninvited by John Farris is a suspenseful ghost story about a woman, Barry Brennan, who finds a man one day who may or may not be real as she mourns the death of her boyfriend. Like The Man in the Picture: A Ghost Story by Susan Hill, this book tells a fast-paced disturbing ghost story about art, characters who cannot forget tragic relationships, and how fantasy can become reality.
The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde is a gothic horror story about a handsome man who never ages while a portrait of him reflects his moral decline. Like The Man in the Picture: A Ghost Story by Susan Hill, this book is a horror story with plot twists focused on a haunted portrait with special powers that takes place in England and contains characters who gradually give in to evil activities.
Tags: atmospheric, atmospheric gothic setting, chilling, cinematic, classic language, concise, Creepy, dangerous, darker, disturbing, dramatic, familiar intelligent characters, fast paced, foreboding, Haunting, layered, menacing, mysterious, nightmare, plot twists, polished, quirky and dangerous secondary characters, restrained, suspenseful, tragic, vivid