Friday, June 24, 2011

Books read in 2011: No. 32 - The Turn of the Screw

by Henry James

Started: June 24
Finished: June 27

Notes: Having recently read Shirley Jackson's The Haunting of Hill House and loved, I thought I'd look into this earlier ghostly tale by Henry James. This story is supposedly one of the influences upon Jackson's writing, and it's not impossible I read this novella when much younger and have forgotten about it. As is, I'm working on a small project that has ghostly ramifications, so this should help to keep me in the mood. There were multiple versions of this novella over the years, but the one I am reading is from the first American printed version of October 1898, in which The Turn of the Screw appeared in the book The Two Magics along with the tale Covering End. The Turn of the Screw had appeared earlier in the year in the Collier's Weekly periodical.

Mini review: I have to say, I was not a fan of the writing style. And the ending ... it was far too abrupt, in my opinion. And I did not feel so much haunted by this tale, but more as if I was reading the words of someone going mad, which can be an interesting tale, but here it fell mostly flat for me. Ah well, at least I've read one of the "classic" ghost tales and it is behind me. It was not the worst tale I've ever read, but I did not overly enjoy this story.

1 comment:

Charles Gramlich said...

I actually liked this book a lot. It's definitely in the British ghost story tradition, which put out a lot of very good stuff.