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The Turn of the Screw / The Aspern Papers

de Henry James

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1,5372511,792 (3.71)58
In the 'The Turn of the Screw' a governess is sent to take charge of two orphans. Unsettled by a sense of evil, she thinks that something malevolent is stalking the children. 'The Aspern Papers' tells the tale of a literary historian determined to get his hands on the letters of a great poet.
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Mostrando 1-5 de 25 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
No one seems to do gothic horror and be able to make the hair on the back of my neck stand up as well as Authors from this era; whether they are hinting at insanity or embracing it and giving it coffee, this novella has to rank up there with The Yellow Wallpaper. When the reader first embarks into this tale it would seem the perfect accompaniment to a cold winter night and a cosy fire place, after all it’s short in length and reads fairly quickly if you can come to grips with the style in which it is written, but don’t make any assumptions about this book.

The main character is also the narrator for the tale, and the reader sees the whole sequence of event unfold through her eyes. In the main lead, the reader is introduced to a character who definitely does not know herself and shows no signs of getting to know herself as the tale progresses. As we view the world through her eyes the reader is her companion as she descends into madness; or does she, and this is where one of the many twists enter the tale and have the reader wondering. At times I felt sorry for this character, at others she just grated on me to no end, this I put down to the time period in which the book is set and not the fact the fact that the character was badly written. In fact none of the characters in this novella are badly written, and each brings their own flaws and traits to play as the storyline unfolds.

This book is definitely ‘old school’ horror genre, rather than being in your face gory and ghastly, an atmosphere is created in this novella that is suggestive and lends itself perfectly to being able to scare the stripes off a zebra. Eerie and creepy descriptives are used to full effect in this tale and, although only a mere 120 pages long, I found myself getting up and turning a light on part way through. All the requirements of a truly good ghost story are included in the covers of this novella, and the fact that the readers imagination is able to hold full sway over the way in which they react to the occurrences. I have to say this is one of the better pieces of writing by this Author that I have read, and if it had been a few pages longer it would have received a full 5 thumbs review.

If you are looking for a truly good ghost story to fill your holiday season, but not overtake it completely then I would highly recommend you read this novella.


Originally reviewed on: http://catesbooknuthut.com/2014/12/08/review-the-turn-of-the-screw-henry-james/





This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
( )
  Melline | Aug 13, 2022 |
Henry James is one of those writers that I have heard a lot about. Maybe, I've even read some of his work along the way but really I'm pretty ignorant of his work. In fact, I found myself confounding him with that other famous American writer....Edgar Allan Poe. Anyway, I found this book, with two stories by Henry James, and decided to inform myself.
My verdict: interesting, nice use of words and phrasing, clever development of tension and characters.....not especially scary. Light entertainment yes. But not something that I found either believable or something that I wanted to pursue ....in terms of reading more of Henry James.
Both stories rely on; big, wealthy (unfriendly) houses, absent parents and remoteness. The governess in "Turn of the Screen" is a smart young women.....apparently with limited prospects because of her background. And Miss Tina in "The Aspern Papers" seems a complete victim of her aunt...unable to escape the confines of the house and utterly lost in the real world. And there is an underlying sexism about both stories......plus very much an "upstairs/downstairs world that I find both foreign and nasty.
In "The turn of the screw" papers there is the hint of paederphilia......unstated but very present. This was unsettling in itself. "Turn of the screw" calls upon the gullible and the supernatural in ways that I can imagine titillating but I found lacking.
There are flashes of the life of Peggy Guggenheim.....wealthy, passionate art collector,American, living in Venice ....in the Aspern papers. And I must admit to being somewhat confused about where Henry James was from because of his writing about England and America. So did bit of delving and found he was almost a mid Atlantic person who lived both in America and Europe and maybe never felt totally at home in either place. But he was able to write effortlessly about both. For me, I give the book (and the two stories) 3 stars. I won't be seeking out more works of Henry James. Not unenjoyable but life is too short (for me) to spend more time with this writer. ( )
  booktsunami | Apr 1, 2022 |
Well, you certainly have to concentrate on the prose in this one; be prepared to pay attention.

A classic story with a classic question. Did all this really happen as the governess tells it? Were the children really possessed by the malevolent spirits of their dead servants? Was the governess really a half-crazy repressed old maid victim of Victorian society who in turn victimized her young charges? I prefer the former, but either one is horrifying in its own way.

Although a certain type of woman, from a certain strata of British Victorian society, may have been heavily oppressed by the morals and social expectations of the era, this is largely a myth. The very era itself is named for a woman. The same society also produced women like Christina Rossetti, May Morris, Evelyn de Morgan, Marie Correlli, Elizabeth Gaskell, Beatrix Potter, Ada Lovelace and many others; which clearly could not have happened if conditions were as 'anti-woman' as are popularly attributed.

I have seen three different film adaptations of this book. The first is titled "The Innocents" and the acting is old school melodrama, but the look of the black & white film is perfect; very gothic. Bly House and the entire estate have that lovely, eerie appearance. The last one was titled "The Turn of the Screw", and with an interesting twist, was set in the 1960's. The story remained true to the novel, in spite of the mod costuming. The cinematography was not as atmospheric as the black & white version, much more sunlit, but still visually appealing.

I know that some readers struggle with the prose of Henry James. The story is worth adapting your reading style; it is just a novella. This book will not appeal to fans of gore and bloodshed. ( )
  Equestrienne | Jan 5, 2021 |
Loved this story!!!! And it was a perfect addition to my Halloween reading. This was one of the few older “horror” novels that actually gave me chills. Modern novels in that genre have made it difficult in my opinion to feel frightened by the older, more tame, reads. ( )
  BookishHooker | Dec 16, 2019 |
No one seems to do gothic horror and be able to make the hair on the back of my neck stand up as well as Authors from this era; whether they are hinting at insanity or embracing it and giving it coffee, this novella has to rank up there with The Yellow Wallpaper. When the reader first embarks into this tale it would seem the perfect accompaniment to a cold winter night and a cosy fire place, after all it’s short in length and reads fairly quickly if you can come to grips with the style in which it is written, but don’t make any assumptions about this book.

The main character is also the narrator for the tale, and the reader sees the whole sequence of event unfold through her eyes. In the main lead, the reader is introduced to a character who definitely does not know herself and shows no signs of getting to know herself as the tale progresses. As we view the world through her eyes the reader is her companion as she descends into madness; or does she, and this is where one of the many twists enter the tale and have the reader wondering. At times I felt sorry for this character, at others she just grated on me to no end, this I put down to the time period in which the book is set and not the fact the fact that the character was badly written. In fact none of the characters in this novella are badly written, and each brings their own flaws and traits to play as the storyline unfolds.

This book is definitely ‘old school’ horror genre, rather than being in your face gory and ghastly, an atmosphere is created in this novella that is suggestive and lends itself perfectly to being able to scare the stripes off a zebra. Eerie and creepy descriptives are used to full effect in this tale and, although only a mere 120 pages long, I found myself getting up and turning a light on part way through. All the requirements of a truly good ghost story are included in the covers of this novella, and the fact that the readers imagination is able to hold full sway over the way in which they react to the occurrences. I have to say this is one of the better pieces of writing by this Author that I have read, and if it had been a few pages longer it would have received a full 5 thumbs review.

If you are looking for a truly good ghost story to fill your holiday season, but not overtake it completely then I would highly recommend you read this novella.


Originally reviewed on: http://catesbooknuthut.com/2014/12/08/review-the-turn-of-the-screw-henry-james/





This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
( )
  TheAcorn | Nov 8, 2019 |
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James, HenryAutorautor principaltodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Curtis, AnthonyIntroduçãoautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
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The Turn of the Screw
THE STORY HAD HELD US, round the fire, sufficiently breathless, but except the obvious remark that it was gruesome, as on Christmas Eve in an old house a strange tale should essentially be, I remember no comment uttered till somebody happened to note it as the only case he had met in which such a visitation had fallen on a child.
The Aspern Papers
I had taken Mrs. Prest into my conficence; without her intruce I should have made but little advance, for the fruitful idea in the whole business dropped from her friendly lips.
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In the 'The Turn of the Screw' a governess is sent to take charge of two orphans. Unsettled by a sense of evil, she thinks that something malevolent is stalking the children. 'The Aspern Papers' tells the tale of a literary historian determined to get his hands on the letters of a great poet.

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