The Night Strangers and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more

The Night Strangers: A Novel Hardcover – Oct 4 2011

See all 8 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition
"Please retry"
"Please retry"
CDN$ 27.03 CDN$ 0.57

Join Amazon Student in Canada

Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought


Product Details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Crown; 1st Edition edition (Oct. 4 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307394999
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307394996
  • Product Dimensions: 3.2 x 16.5 x 24.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 635 g
  • Average Customer Review: 1.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #361,501 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Inside This Book (Learn More)
Browse and search another edition of this book.
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Excerpt
Search inside this book:

Customer Reviews

1.0 out of 5 stars
5 star
4 star
3 star
2 star
1 star
See both customer reviews
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most helpful customer reviews

By Oothoon13 on Jan. 29 2012
Format: Hardcover
[Spoiler alert] Chris Bohjalian is uneven at best. He's trying, with his various genre experiments, to be Stewart O'Nan, but he really doesn't have the writing chops. In this one, he dabbles his toe in the very deep waters of Stephen King, but everything about the formula is wrong. From the moment our mentally unstable pilot confronts the basement door in his new house--with exactly the same number of bolts as the number of people who died in the plane he crashed--we know what's going to come through that door. But why only 3? And the motivation of the ghostly father is haphazard at best.

A kind of a poor-man's version of "The Shining" isn't all Mr. Bohjalian aims at; as well he gives us an ancient New England coven of nature witches and warlocks. But it's not enough that everybody and his brother/sister is part of that coven, or that they have to have the blood of traumatized twins, as our protagonist happens to be the dad of, but in case we still don't get it, everyone of them was given/has taken obscure plant names. The author is virtually pinning a sign to their backs saying, "I'm evil." But though he's established (weakly) multiple conflicts in the protagonist, he decides, of a sudden, to make one of the witches a defector to add person vs person (witch vs witch)to the mix.

Most of the characters are brought in and dropped out without significant character development. Each could be typified with a single line of description: the crazy witchy therapist; the dapper old warlock; the obsessed-with-blood villainess. The protagonist's real therapist is dispatched in an all-too-easy car accident which no one cares enough to investigate. Bohjalian must've flipped a coin to see which twin they would take or whether the ending would turn out badly or well.
Read more ›
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again.
Format: Hardcover
Started out okay. But eventually drifted into weirdness. Usually I like his books so was disappointed that this was so odd. Didn't finish it.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 286 reviews
117 of 122 people found the following review helpful
Started Great, Ended Horribly Sept. 27 2011
By Scott William Foley - Published on
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product
The Night Strangers begins with a bang and draws the reader into a story that cannot be denied. Unfortunately, everything that works in the first half of the book is abandoned to an inferior sub plot and finally ends in one of the most dissatisfying conclusions that I've ever read.

Chip Linton suffers extreme depression after failing to land his passenger plane on a lake. This failed attempt results in thirty-nine people dying. Bohjalian depicts an incredibly captivating and horrifying crash, and he won me over right then and there thanks to his mastery of both tension and pacing.

The Linton family moves to a new state and a new home in northern New Hampshire. A ghost story ensues, one that is smartly written and enticing. Is it the house that is haunted, or is it Chip himself? Will this haunting cost Chip his marriage, life, or perhaps even the lives of his twin daughters? I honestly couldn't wait to see what happened next. Bohjalian captured the tone of a family in distress; he delivered a suffering father; he made me care about the Lintons.

And then, sadly, Bohjalian deserted this family to focus upon a group of herbalist/witches that need the twin girls for their own nefarious intentions. The Night Strangers, at that point, became a boring, genre-driven work that failed to connect to the reader on any emotional level. The author gave far too much attention to these herbalists, their green houses, and he became too preoccupied with getting each and every herb just right. Frankly, I didn't find the herbalist the least bit interesting and their herbs were of absolutely no concern to me.

I wanted my story focusing upon the Lintons back, but Bohjalian refused. In fact, after striving so hard to make us relate to them, to see ourselves in them, to love them, he turned them into nothing more than tools to provide an insipid, heartless ending that proved to be extraordinarily inconsistent with previously established characterization.

The first half of The Night Strangers was an amazing, creepy, disturbing read that I couldn't put down. The last half of The Night Strangers was an utter contradiction of the first, and I've never felt more cheated and disappointed by an ending in all my years of reading.

~Scott William Foley, author of Andropia
76 of 82 people found the following review helpful
Disappointing... Sept. 14 2011
By Tracy L. - Published on
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product
I am a huge Chris Bohjalian fan and have read most of his books. As with any author with multiple works, I have enjoyed some more than others. I truly thing NIGHT STRANGERS is his weakest work to date.

There is a great set-up to this story. A plane has a bird strike right after take-off and the captain, Chip Linton, tries to make an emergency water landing, but unlike the "Miracle on the Hudson", thirty-nine people die. Based on this, Chip, who is traumatized and depressed, moves with his wife Emily and twin daughters Hallie and Garnet to a small northern New Hampshire town to begin a new life in an old Victorian house they have recently purchased. Chip finds an old door in the basement of his new home that is sealed with, coincidentally, thirty-nine bolts. Okay, this sounds like this is going to be great idea for a ghost story, right? Well, not so fast.

Enter the "Herbalists." Now, I'm sure it's difficult for authors to come up with unique and creative ideas for their stories, but this aspect of the book is what truly makes the story weak. These are the lamest "Bad Guys" I have ever read in any book, and how Emily seems to willingly turn her girls over to these people seems like an all too-convenient plot point. Emily is by far the weakest, dumbest character in the story.

All the female herbalists are named after some sort of herb or plant or flower (cute, huh?), and I'm curious as to why Bohjalian decided this couldn't also be true of the male herbalists. Are the women more "sinister" than the men are are? No, not really. The thirty-nine bolts equaling the number of people dying on Chip's flight never ends up being of any importance to the story. Also, there is one scene in this book that I found gratuitous and totally unnecessary Involving Emily and Reseda. I realize that this was supposed to make the reader understand that Reseda has the ability to read minds, but it was totally out of place and never ended up being relevant to the story in any way. It seemed like a cheap ploy to get a little sex in the book.

The best part of the story is Chip's interaction with the "ghosts." This is where the story shines and where I think Bohjalian should have concentrated more of his efforts. I also like how Bohjalian wrote Chip in the second person voice. That worked very well.

Without giving away the ending, I'll just say it was very unsatisfying for me and left some unanswered questions that genuinely do not make sense. This book was ultimately a real disappointment.
101 of 115 people found the following review helpful
"Are You A Good Witch or A Bad Witch? Sept. 11 2011
By Gayla M. Collins - Published on
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product
Several other reviewers gave you plotline, so I will add my two cents tempting you into this psychological novel that terrifies. I usually avoid this genre like wasps at a picnic. I am so easily frightened which gets my PTSD going.(a prominent subject in this read) However, because I have read all books Bohjalian, I went to the edge and hung on, excitedly reading his latest effort. It was so brilliant that I ended up on the cliff, dangling my feet, shivering, shaking but also acknowledging I made it through and it was worth every ounce of fear!

This book involves the occult? Witches covens? Ghosts? Demonic possession? Crazed herbalists? Derangement of the mind? Read for your own conclusions of what is going on in Bethel, N.H. and why half the town is living in terror of greenhouses. "Are you a good gardener or a bad gardener?" *evil grin*

Research into multiple subjects had to be vast. In all of Bohjalian books he roots out the subject matters, demanding of his work plausibility and passion. The prose is simply spellbinding.

Here is the potion I would concoct to describe "The Night Strangers." Pinches of Stephen King's(The Shining) John Updike's (Witches of Eastwick) William Peter Benchy's(The Exorcist)Alfred Hitchcock's (Psycho) get stirred into Bohjalian's rich imagination, creating a recipe of terror no one else could create. It is Chris's savory dish if you enjoy blood in your stew.

I dare you to read it.
43 of 47 people found the following review helpful
VERY disappointing Oct. 24 2011
By Scott Boucher - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I downloaded the free Kindle sample of this book and, even though I thought the pace was a bit slow, I enjoyed the premise and writing enough to purchase the full book. Not only did the pace never really pick up but the characters I initially liked became ridiculous at best and completely implausible at worst. The worst case was Emily. Supposedly an attorney in a high end law firm in downtown Philadelphia but, once she and her family moved to New Hampshire, she becomes a mental and emotional basket case completely incapable of recognizing the fact that a group of creepy locals are trying to manipulate her and her family. The entire story is made up of a series of incidents where Emily the lawyer and her husband, a former airline pilot, are toyed with like a couple of puppets by the locals.


The absolute worst part of the story is the climatic ending that falls with an absolute thud as the evil, manipulative, murderous cult members get away with all their misdeeds and are actually befriended by Emily and her dolt of a husband, Chip.

Do NOT, under and circumstances, waste a single penny on this rubbish. It's a tedious, aggravating story with a maddeningly silly ending. I was actually angry that I wasted so much time reading it. Please learn from my mistake and stay away from this book.
20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
A major disappointment Oct. 21 2011
By B. Tracy - Published on
Format: Hardcover
The premise of the story -- a pilot and a plane crash that kills 39 people, then a move to a new house that has a mysterious door with 39 bolts -- sounds intriguing and I was so excited to read it. The idea of the pilot being haunted by the deaths of these passengers has so many elements it can explore and I couldn't wait to see how the "ghosts" manifested into the overall storyline. However, this part of the story seems to fall to the wayside as Bohjalian shifts to other characters and their fascination with twins and herbs. The only parts of the book I enjoyed were the parts about Chip, which were written in the second person voice. This style works for me, as Tom Robbins has done it masterfully, but others might be bothered by it.

The book could be compelling and create a grander storyline than it actually does, instead going for a campy climax. I was very disappointed, having read all of Bohjalian's books and always finding the endings satisfying. In this case, I was reading as fast as I could just to get it out of my hands.

Product Images from Customers