Friday, October 10, 2008

Turn of the Screw by Henry James

Lately I’ve read a string of books that have taken me out of my comfort zone. First it was science fiction (Out of the Silent Planet), then it was a play on the hopelessness of self-seeking relationships (Death Of A Salesman), and now it’s a horror novel, The Turn of the Screw

This is a book I knew I should read, but kept avoiding because stories about ghosts and demons don’t interest me. The movie based on this book gave me the creeps as a kid. Certainly the book was destined to do the same thing. So I finally "read" it through Librivox because it was highly recommended by the blogger at Free Listen (now defunct). I don’t know if it was the superb writing or the amazing narration done by Nikolle Doolin (or both) but I could not stop listening once I started. Nikolle Doolin read so well that she convinced me she was the book’s narrator and that this was indeed her story. Kudos to her for a fantastic job.

Turn of the Screw is about two parentless children and the governess hired by their uncle to take care of them. As the story unfolds we, along with the narrator, begin to wonder if these angelic siblings might just be too good to be true. Their visits with ghostly figures and the governess’ designs to protect them make up the bulk of the story. Creepy? Yes! Well done? Absolutely!


B said...

I saw a movie version as well and didn't care for it, but you've gotten me interested in the book. I think I'll give it a try. Thanks for the recommendation!

Anonymous said...

I read this last year through definitely creepy, but so well written and intriguing.

Noël De Vries said...

Hmm, I think this one's going on my resolution list for 09. I've been wanting to try James, seeing as my little brother is named H.J. (though after two grandfathers, not the author :)

Rachel said...

I liked reading this book, but the ending bugged me (much like "Great Expectations"). I don't like it when authors leave the ending deliberately vague. What did you think of the ending? Do you think she was crazy, or the kids were posessed?