The Turn of the Screw (Penguin Popular Classics)

121 pages

English language

Published Oct. 30, 1998 by Penguin Books.

ISBN:
978-0-14-062061-0
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4 stars (45 reviews)

A very young woman's first job: governess for two weirdly beautiful, strangely distant, oddly silent children, Miles and Flora, at a forlorn estate...An estate haunted by a beckoning evil. Half-seen figures who glare from dark towers and dusty windows- silent, foul phantoms who, day by day, night by night, come closer, ever closer. With growing horror, the helpless governess realizes the fiendish creatures want the children, seeking to corrupt their bodies, possess their minds, own their souls... But worse-much worse- the governess discovers that Miles and Flora have no terror of the lurking evil. For they want the walking dead as badly as the dead want them.

54 editions

Terrifying, but not in the way you want

1 star

This is a ghost story written in 1898. The scariest thing about it is the prose. It's terrifying! Seriously. Stay away!

The thing is hard to untangle. It's written in an archaic writing style, with an excessively wordy backward sentence structure. If I hadn't been working so hard to understand the sentences, I probably would have been able to pay attention to the story.

It's about a governess who is hired by an absentee uncle to watch over his niece and nephew in a gothic house. No gothic house is complete without a ghost. This guy got a bargain when he bought this place. It has two ghosts!

This story commits one of the major sins that I occasionally see in books and (especially) movies. The governess can see the ghosts. The two kids can see the ghosts. They refuse to speak about it! They spend the whole book dancing …

Classic

4 stars

I can definitely see how it's a classic. Ominous vibes and a lot of ambiguity. Fine writing for its time. The ending also left me wondering.

I still love that Haunting on Bly Manor modernized it and added its own creative flare. If you liked the show, you should read the book. Its fun to find some of the scenes parallel. If you liked the book, you should def watch the show. The show even standalone is absolutely a cinematic work of art for the story telling alone.

reviewed The Turn of the Screw by Henry James

Communication is scary

5 stars

I have John Peters's Speaking into the Air to thank for getting interested in the 19th c American pragmatist camp, so maybe it was inevitable that I'd think the first Henry James I've read was about communication. But I also do think that's the main thing going on in this story. Communication is variously too hard to do, too hard to prevent others from doing, an easy out to be avoided, and/or a mortal danger. Crucially (and again I don't think this is just because I've been writing about the under-coverage of class in Peters's media theory) it's always communication across class difference that causes real terror.

The prose style is, sometimes annoyingly but also compellingly, marked by long strings of short parenthetical phrases; it's often tough to parse, and it aids the impression that the narrator sees words/ideas as chess pieces that all have to be moved in just …

Review of 'The Turn of the Screw (Penguin Popular Classics)' on 'Goodreads'

3 stars

Henry James wrote this novella after the Bishop of Canterbury related to him a story of the supernatural. The plot concerns a young woman who responds to an ad in a London paper seeking a governess for two young children—Flora and Miles—who were orphaned. Upon taking the position, the "governess" as she is known throughout the story, begins witnessing the apparitions of two former caretakers of the estate called Bly. I found the story pretty intriguing, but I probably would not read it again.

Review of 'The Turn of the Screw (Penguin Popular Classics)' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

Not quite Shakespeare. but almost needs a translator.
I listened to the new audiobook narrated by the talented Emma Thompson. 10 stars for her performance

Ahh was she crazy? That is the problem with one person's view.
More info needed.
question is why would an author leave it hang like that.

Review of "Le Tour D'Ecrou / The Turn of the Screw" on 'Goodreads'

2 stars

I found this more of a chore than a pleasure to read, and came close to giving up on it several times. I found the unnecessarily long sentences very hard to follow, and it constantly pulled me out of the story. If not for that I might have enjoyed the story, but as it was I was simply glad to get to the end of it. And what an abrupt end it was! Given the 'framing story' style opening, I was expecting a similar closing, and consequently found the ending very jarring.

I'm not sure whether it helped or hindered that I've seen at least one film adaptation of this book in the past, so was already aware of its plot. I'd have to agree with another reviewer, who thought this was one of those cases where the film (at least the version I recall) was preferable to the book. …

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