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Hazel

Printer's Devil Court by Susan Hill

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Susan Hill continues her series of little ghost/horror stories with Printer's Devil Court. This outing is about body snatching, bringing the dead to life - the stuff of Burke and Hare and for more cinematic consumers, Flatliners. 3 medical students make a pact to bring a body back to life however rather than re-animating a corpse they fuse a dead man with a recently passed yonger body.

 

Usually I am a fan of Susan Hill - I love her previous scary books, notably The Woman in White which has taken on a life of its own, and her straight family dramas - but this book is devoid of life, much like a reanimated corpse or the body parts scavanged to do so. It truly was a chore to read and for a tiny book of 106 pages, this is quite disappointing. I feel that it may have been a better read at one sitting but I won't know now. Ironically, I think it was too cold, too clinical and we were held at a distance from the events by the framing technique used. It just didn't work for me.

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Usually I am a fan of Susan Hill - I love her previous scary books, notably The Woman in White which has taken on a life of its own, and her straight family dramas - but this book is devoid of life, much like a reanimated corpse or the body parts scavanged to do so. It truly was a chore to read and for a tiny book of 106 pages, this is quite disappointing. I feel that it may have been a better read at one sitting but I won't know now. Ironically, I think it was too cold, too clinical and we were held at a distance from the events by the framing technique used. It just didn't work for me.

 

Did you mean the Woman in Black?

 

I liked this very much. I thought it had a tremendous sense of place, and was really quite spooky.  I would say it isn't as good as Dolly or The Woman IN Black though. I haven't read any of her other books. Is there a good one to start with?

 

Here is my review from my blog (I read it for Halloween):

 

As it is that creepy time of year, when well known supermarkets add to the obesity epidemic by selling two for one offers on sweets, I thought I would take the opportunity to review a ghost story.

This is the new book from Susan Hill. It is a rather lovely small hardback. Out of interest I Googled Printer's Devil and found this wikipedia page. Interesting stuff.

The story begins when a manuscript of the late Dr Hugh Meredith is sent to his step son from his executors. In it Dr Meredith tells how he was involved with medical experiments in his youth which have impacted his whole life. 

Dr Meredith lodged with three other young doctors, in Printer's Devil Court. Rafe, a rather sinister character reveals to his colleagues that he has worked out how to bring people back from the dead. Doesn't bode well does it? One of the four makes a hasty, and if I may say so, well judged exit at this point, but Hugh is intrigued and agrees to witness the experiment. He is taken down to a disused morgue in the hospital and sees what his flatmates have been up to in their spare time. 

As with all of Susan Hill's ghost stories, there is a fantastic sense of place, in this case, the dark backstreets of London, unchanged since Dickensian times, and an obsolete basement in a hospital. I found this story particularly effective in giving me the heebie jeebies, especially as the reason for the experiments undertaken is revealed early, and the reader can see that it can only end badly one way or another.

I read this in a single sitting one evening, and was very glad that the Delightful Mr F was around to stop my imagination running completely riot after I finished it. I am not a lover of being scared, I dislike horror films intensely, but a good ghost story, well that's a different matter. I think it is probably because I can stop reading if I want to (and had to for The Woman In Black).  Dolly was another of Hill's book which gave me the creeps for weeks, but then I was never a fan of dolls as a child, seeing them rather as some people see clowns, sinister beings out to get small children for minor mischief. Give me a teddy bear any day.

Getting back to the book, this is a fantastic ghost story, just right for a dark autumnal evening. Leave the lights on though.

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Did you mean the Woman in Black?

 

I liked this very much. I thought it had a tremendous sense of place, and was really quite spooky.  I would say it isn't as good as Dolly or The Woman IN Black though. I haven't read any of her other books. Is there a good one to start with?

 

 

Of course. Wilike Collins did the White!

 

She has a lots of good ones, my faves are:

 

Strange Meeting - fantastic WW1 novel.

I'm the King of the Castle - an excellent childhood bullying novel.

A Kind Man - a lovely family drama story.

 

She also writes a series of crime novels, I think they are up to book 8, about a detective called Simon Serraillier, but I have only read a couple of them and they weren't really my thing.

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Of course. Wilike Collins did the White!

There are a lot of literary women wandering around fiction dressed in both black and white!

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On 11/01/2015 at 19:46, Hazel said:

Susan Hill continues her series of little ghost/horror stories with Printer's Devil Court. This outing is about body snatching, bringing the dead to life - the stuff of Burke and Hare and for more cinematic consumers, Flatliners. 3 medical students make a pact to bring a body back to life however rather than re-animating a corpse they fuse a dead man with a recently passed yonger body.

 

Usually I am a fan of Susan Hill - I love her previous scary books, notably The Woman in White which has taken on a life of its own, and her straight family dramas - but this book is devoid of life, much like a reanimated corpse or the body parts scavanged to do so. It truly was a chore to read and for a tiny book of 106 pages, this is quite disappointing. I feel that it may have been a better read at one sitting but I won't know now. Ironically, I think it was too cold, too clinical and we were held at a distance from the events by the framing technique used. It just didn't work for me.

Where can I get this book?

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1 hour ago, lunababymoonchild said:

 

It's available via the Amazon link on the BGO home page

 

1 hour ago, brown.anderson said:

 

Thanks

 

 

 

I don't think Amazon sends to Bahawalpur.

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