Read Rochester Knockings: A Novel of the Fox Sisters by Hubert Haddad Jennifer Grotz Online


The Fox sisters grew up just outside of Rochester, NY, in a house that had a reputation for being haunted, due in large part to a series of strange "rappings" or "knockings" that plagued its inhabitants. Fed up by whatever was responsible for the knockings, the youngest of the sisters (who was twelve at the time) challenged the ghost and ended up communicating with the spiThe Fox sisters grew up just outside of Rochester, NY, in a house that had a reputation for being haunted, due in large part to a series of strange "rappings" or "knockings" that plagued its inhabitants. Fed up by whatever was responsible for the knockings, the youngest of the sisters (who was twelve at the time) challenged the ghost and ended up communicating with the spirit of Charles Haynes, who had been murdered in the house and buried in the cellar.Thanks to the enthusiasm of one Isaac Post, the Fox sisters became instantly famous for talking to the dead, launching the Spiritualist Movement in the US. After taking Rochester by storm, the sisters moved to New York where they were the most famous mediums of the time, giving séances for hundreds of people.Then, it all fell apart, and the sisters were exposed as frauds. Nevertheless, even today the Fox sisters are considered to be the founders of Spiritualism, one of the most popular religious movements of the past couple centuries (consider the success of Long Island Medium and the hundreds of thousands who visit Lily Dale every year).Rich in historical detail, Rochester Knockings novelizes the rise and fall of these most infamous of mediums....

Title : Rochester Knockings: A Novel of the Fox Sisters
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781940953205
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 307 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Rochester Knockings: A Novel of the Fox Sisters Reviews

  • Meghan
    2019-05-10 11:06

    I received a copy of this novel through a Goodreads Giveaway. Thanks, Goodreads!I wanted to love this book. I'm fascinated by mediums and spiritualism, especially the American roots of the movement. I enjoyed a the fictional take on the Fox sisters and the time period. Despite my interesr in the topic, I had a tough time getting into the book. The rhythm of the language was often clunky; I was over aware of the wording, which pulled me out of the story. There were moments, however, where I was fully engrossed--when the sisters first experience phenomena, for example, and Kate's time with Mr. Livermore. I just wish the whole book read like those few moments.

  • Emily
    2019-05-01 15:40

    HALLELUJAH! I FINALLY FINISHED THIS BOOK! Wow. Rochester Knockings was pretty terrible. I was excited to read it, because I was a history major in college and I live in (and love) Rochester. I knew of the Fox sisters and thought a neat work of fiction about them would be quite enjoyable. Sadly, it wasn't. I'm not sure if the original text was bad, or if something is very much lost in translation, but this little novel was exceedingly difficult to read. The language is clunky. It's verbose. Some of it is written from a childlike perspective that doesn't seem to add much to things. I think the novel also struggles with being a novel. It wants to stick to the truth, and has so little plot it almost feels like it's nonfiction. You could have done so much more with this, Haddad, if you just let it be fiction! Instead, we're stuck drudging through the lives of the three Fox sisters.It's cool to see Rochester in the 1800s; I never knew what a bleak ending the Fox sisters had. Those are about the only two positives I have to take away from this reading experience. Don't bother with this one, folks.

  • Orion
    2019-05-24 13:44

    This book left me infuriated and annoyed. The storyline, which is based on a true story, could have led to a captivating book. The Fox sisters' story is set between the end of the Civil War and some major technical and scientific advances. This left people doubting and concerned about their future, and the Fox sisters fed their childlike games with those fears, that soon exceeded the private sphere. They became famous and their elder sister took advantage of it to enrich herself. After this acme, Fox sisters declined to finally die poor and alone.I like biographical novels and thought I would be immersed in this story. How wrong was I ! The pseudo lyrical style was annoying and weighed down the story. The author also used a pseudo childlike style during more of half of the book but it only made the text weirder. There alse was a bizarre chapter about how the pastor's daughter encounters a sect. It lasted just a few pages and was mad and ridiculous.To conclude I did not like this book, even though I finished it, hoping for an improvement in the style or something. Only the topic was well chosen.

  • Ferris
    2019-05-25 12:50

    I read this book for two reasons. First, I read and love all Open Letter publications to date. Secondly,I plan on attending a release party for this book in a couple of days and received a complimentary copy prior to the event which will include a reading by the translator and other activities with the spiritualist theme. Yikes! Imagine my surprise when I encountered this poorly written novel. The story is based on fact, the Fox sisters from Rochester and their being the impetus for the Spiritualist Movement. I do not know whether the problem is with the author's writing or the translation. However, the choppy, awkward narrative was very difficult to read. I am disappointed in this, the first publication which elicits only frustration.

  • Claire Chat de bibliothèques
    2019-05-12 09:46

    Un très beau style, mais une histoire étrange à laquelle je n'ai pas accrochée. Déçue, je n'ai pas compris où l'auteur voulait en venir.http://chroniquesdunchatdebibliothequ...

  • Lisa
    2019-05-21 14:49

    This book was exactly what I needed right now. It won't be for everyone. There is no plot. Things just happen. Few characters exhibit self-determination, and the ones who do are incidental to the main story. But the writing is beautiful, even in translation. (There were a couple of times when I read a sentence and had absolutely no idea what the author was saying, but these didn't impair my understanding of the events unfolding.) The details were lovingly researched and used to portray a fairly diverse population, though there were no indigenous or POC points-of-view presented. The author incorporated contemporary lyrics throughout, which reinforced my sense of the story as primarily musical, not narrative.

  • Tonymess
    2019-05-02 09:50

    Spiritualism, another subject I know nothing about. Like most I know of those people who claim to be able to contact spirits, but the huge following it achieved in the 1800’s, the role that the Fox sisters played in the movement and the sensation that the women caused by running public shows where they “communicated” with spirits was something I knew nothing about. Step up Algerian writer Hubert Haddad, who writes in French, to give me a learning of the spiritualism movement.Our fictional account of the Fox sisters opens with vivid descriptions of the 1800’s in the United States;We arrived in the village without knowing any of its dramas. But children are quick to reveal everything to you. Lilly told me of the unfortunate Joe-Charlie Joe, the son of a former slave of a Mansfield ranch, who was hung form a great oak in Grand Meadow for taking a walk in the valley with the beautiful Emily. Before committing their crime, the lynchers would have obtained her vow that he had kissed her. If every stolen kiss of the young warranted the rope, there’d be none of us left to marry. It’s true, not everyone is black. The beautiful Emily Mansfield was full of remorse. Because of her, a black man hardly twenty years old went to heaven with a kiss for his last rite of Viaticum.The date March 31,1848 is often set as the beginning of the spiritualist movement, as on that date, Kate and Margaret Fox reported that they had made contact with a spirit, the spirit making loud rapping noises, witnessed by onlookers. Early on in the novel the young sisters, Maggie and Kate, move with their mother and father to Rochester, into a house that creaks and moans and is rumoured to be haunted.For my full review go to

  • Ann
    2019-05-04 12:57

    Rich in historical detail, Rochester Knockings novelizes the rise and fall of the Fox sisters. When the youngest Fox sister talks to the spirit of Charles Haynes who was murdered in their family home, the girls become famous as spiritualists. They move to NYC and are eventually exposed as frauds but many people believe in them. They were considered the founders of modern spiritualism.

  • Bernard Pauwels
    2019-05-03 16:45

    Boeiende materie maar iets te veel literatuur waardoor de spankracht uit het verhaal gehaald wordt. Het onderwerp (ontdekking en opkomst van het spiritisme) vraagt niet om poëtische sfeerscheppingen en beschrijvingen waar de auteur zich nogal aan bezondigt.

  • Eileen
    2019-05-19 08:55

    The prose can be strangely awkward (which may just be the translation) but overall I found this fictionalization of the lives of the Fox Sisters quite engrossing. The Eastman Theatre wasn't built until 1920, though.

  • Mary Jane
    2019-05-08 16:55

    The translation of this book was so confusing that i had to stop reading it. I was sorry about this as it's set in Rochester, the translator is a UR professor and the press is based at the UR, but it really needed another serious round of checking, editing, translating.

  • Agnieszka Kalus
    2019-04-25 13:46

    Dobry temat, ale wykonanie bardzo średnie.

  • Gin Jenny (Reading the End)
    2019-05-21 10:05

    Not enough ghosts!

  • Beth
    2019-05-20 12:58

    Rating:3.5 stars