The Irish author’s highly entertaining ghost story tips its hat to Dickens.
John Boyne is one of Ireland’s most popular writers. The author of 10 novels, translated into 45 languages, he shot to international fame with The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas , which won several prizes and became a successful film.
Like many of his books, The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas is a historical novel. This House Is Haunted may fall into this category, although it is not easy to categorise. Is it for adults or for young people? Is it a parody or a straightforward ghost story? Or simply a work written in homage to Charles Dickens?
The novel is narrated by Eliza Caine, a young schoolteacher and staunch admirer of Dickens. Set in 1867, it opens with a public reading by the great writer, attended by Eliza and her beloved father. Dickens reads a ghost story that terrifies some sensitive members of the audience –