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96 of 100 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A proper, traditional sort of ghost story
A few weeks ago, The Woman in Black was read, in half-hour instalments over the course of a several midnights, on BBC Digital Radio 7. I was hooked and didn't even investigate what I might be missing on the telly. As soon the reading was completed, I bought the book and was surprised to discover how modern it is - first published in 1983. It's like a real, traditional...
Published on 10 Jun 2006 by T. Bobley

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Decidedly Average
Having read some of the other reviews regarding the Woman In Black, I was expecting a fine and scary read. Sadly, I was disappointed. It didn't feel particularly atmospheric and certainly was not at all creepy. To be honest, it felt a little pedestrian. For me, seeing the character of the woman in black early in the book really reduced any element of surprise or...
Published on 20 Nov 2012 by webmeister2009


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96 of 100 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A proper, traditional sort of ghost story, 10 Jun 2006
This review is from: The Woman In Black (Paperback)
A few weeks ago, The Woman in Black was read, in half-hour instalments over the course of a several midnights, on BBC Digital Radio 7. I was hooked and didn't even investigate what I might be missing on the telly. As soon the reading was completed, I bought the book and was surprised to discover how modern it is - first published in 1983. It's like a real, traditional English ghost story - the sort that taps into our deepest fears, challenges our rational beliefs and engages our imagination. It's a story of tragedy, impotent rage, insane hatred and terrible revenge for past injustices wreaked upon innocent by-standers in the present. The haunted landscape, changing from bright sunshine to impenetrable fog, the raging storms, the isolation of the dismal house, the build-up of tension and anxiety and the slow breakdown of disbelief in a darker reality are described so well, that we can easily share in the terror.

Excellent book. Highly recommended.
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131 of 138 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Atmospheric read., 30 Oct 2006
By 
kehs (Hertfordshire, England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
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This review is from: The Woman In Black (Paperback)
The book begins with a family sitting around the fire telling each other ghost tales. The father of the family keeps silent as he listens to the stories that his family is telling each other. He walks out of the room when they ask him to join in and spin a spooky yarn, because he doesn't want to tell the tale that has haunted his dreams ever since he was a young man. The tale he has to tell is far more horrifying, chilling and disturbing than his family could imagine. Even more shocking is that the tale he has to tell is true!

This is a most beautifully told story with wonderful descriptions of the countryside, the haunted house and the marshes that surround it. At times I felt as if I were inside the house - cautiously entering the haunted rooms and creeping around in the dark with only a candle to light the way. It's full of surprises and unexpectedly heartbreaking too. A wonderful atmospheric read that kept me turning the pages faster and faster until all too soon I reached the end.
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158 of 167 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Chilling, 28 Aug 2005
By 
Lilly Penhaligon (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: The Woman In Black (Paperback)
Susan Hill proves that a superbly written ghost story is infinitely more chilling than any gore fest in film. This is by far the best ghost story that I have ever read. Ok, so the subject matter includes all the usual staples of a good horror yarn - mysterious, young, pale women, a strange and isolated delapidated house, a village of people who will not approach the house or its estates for all the money and love in the world, mystery, intrigue and the most frightening part of all - the involvement of spectral children...
Basically this book scared the living daylights out of me and I loved it. My local library had a waiting list the same size as that for Chloe's new Paddington handbag so I bit the bullet and bought my own copy. You will read this book time and time again so buy the book!!! We have two copies in our house - we keep them in teh study even though we each have bookshelves in our rooms... The fact of the matter is, none of us are keen to keep a copy in the same place that we sleep just in case.
If you like being frightened, I would definitely read this book. Also - if you can get to the see the play in london DO SO. Don't be put off it it starts a little slow - you WILL be SCREAMING out loud and you'll come out shaking...
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90 of 96 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WARNING: Beware readers with a nervous disposition., 29 Jun 2004
This review is from: The Woman In Black (Paperback)
I have just finished reading this book for the second time this week, and in different ways, it has left a lasting impression on my mind. I first read it mostly in a day, (this isn't a particuarly long novel), and although it creeped me out in a few places, and was generally a good example of a genre gothic horror tale, the book did not terrify me.
So then, later this week, in the evening, I am in the house alone and bored. I decided to read the woman in black once again, the only difference this time being it was approaching 11 o clock at night, and was on my own...
...Woah! Read at night, this is a totally new experience. I knew already what was to happen, yet being in a silent house alone in the night adds immense tension to this novel. Now, on the second time of reading, I was more tense and frightened than I can really remember. Seems funny now, but when I went to bed that night this book actually gave me pretty horrific nightmares!
I could actually feel my flesh creep, and the presence of the woman and the screaming child really did frighten me to powerful heights. Hill's writing seemed to gain in power and tension, and the atmosphere created was at points unbearably tense.
All in all this is a great read, and for any horror fan I would urge you to read this.
Pregnant woman, those of a depressed or nervous state, or people with weak hearts, approach with extreme caution.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent.. spine tingling and terrifying, 11 July 2006
This review is from: The Woman In Black (Paperback)
I bought this book as it had been recommended to me. It begins rather slowly but as you read it you will see that this is a ploy to ensure that the terror slowly builds with each page you turn.

Arthur Kipps is a young solicitor, sent to deal with the affairs of a deceased client Alice Dreblow. Mrs Dreblow lived in an old isolated house, Eel Marsh House, settling in the middle of marshland. As Arthur becomes accustomed to the odd inhabitants of the nearby village and their strange reaction to Mrs Dreblow a wider and more sinister story unfolds.

Watch out for the scene where Arthur settles down for a night in Eel Marsh house.. terrifying.

If you love ghost stories, especially of the Victorian era, that are well written then do get this book, it is one of the best books I have ever read, and I have read hundreds.

Its only a shame it was not longer, but then the shortness and sharpness is what also makes this book so successful.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Spooky Classic, 2 Feb 2009
The Woman in Black is a classic ghost story, although quite a slim volume, every page provides a spooky, chilling atmosphere. Susan Hill is one of my favourite writers, her words are very descriptive,and her characters easily visualized. The story begins with the main character, happily settled with his family on Christmas Eve, however once the children begin to recount ghost stories, Arthur Kipps is reminded of a ghost story he has spent years trying to forget. He cannot bring himself to tell any of his family about this ghost but decides to write it all down, so begins the story of his visit as a solicitor to Crythin Gifford, to attend Alice Drablow's funeral and Eeel Marsh House.
I first saw the Woman in Black as a TV one off drama, it was very scary, and I have since seen it at the theatre 3 or 4 times. Superb! Curl up by the fire with this classic ghost story!The Woman in Black (Vintage Classics)
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Spine-Chilling, 25 Jan 2008
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This review is from: The Woman In Black (Paperback)
When a solicitor called Arthur Kipps is ordered to receive the funeral papers from the passed away Alice Drablow, a creepy sense of unease begins to take hold. Before he knows it, a woman in black starts to haunt him and the community below the solitary house. In order for Kipps to keep his sanity, he must escape the grasp of the woman in black and protect his life.
This book is a genuine spine-chiller. Every chapter, a creepy sense of a presence or spectre is behind you as you read with anticipation. The fear is suspensful and intense, the creepiness builds up on a very gradual, and very tense rate, and you will be gripped to read further.
A definite must-read novel... Very cleverly written and crafted beautifully into the pages and your mind, with the setting very much being painted into your mind. The setting is very imaginable and very genuine. The fear is weighing on your shoulders, feeling like a ghost is gripping it, and whispering in your ears as your eyes follow the haunting words on the pages.
Read it in the dark - I dare you.....
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Woman in Black, 6 Jan 2005
By A Customer
This review is from: The Woman In Black (Paperback)
I have recently read this book and The Woman in Black is a tale that is full of surprises and suspense. The story concerns a young solicitor who is sent to wind up the affairs of a recently deceased woman. However, the dead woman had led a reclusive life in a remote and mysterious house. This particular soliciter called Kipps discovers he has to wind up her affairs without any help from the locals who will not approach the house because they believe the house is cursed! Years later, and this is where the play actually begins, he recounts his ghostly experiences with the aid of an actor/director, who helps him prepare to tell his story in front of his family and friends in a desperate bid to exorcise the ghosts of the past.
I was so pleased with the book that I saw the play at the fortune theatre in London and it is so much better then the book! I advise people that haven't read the book to see def you will scream for ages!!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Genuinely scary ghost story., 27 Dec 2006
This review is from: The Woman In Black (Paperback)
I compared this book favourably to Susan Hill's The Mist in the Mirror in my review for the latter. Both are wonderfully atmospheric, gripping, expertly written ghost stories, but The Woman in Black has the added advantage of a superb ending, which is both unexpected and horrific.

Notwithstanding a great appreciation for M.R James, H.P. Lovecraft etc, this is the best ghost story I have read. I recommend it to all lovers of the genre.
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39 of 43 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars You won't walk about at home in the dark ever again!, 27 Dec 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: The Woman In Black (Paperback)
I read the book first a few years ago and it truely made the hairs on my arms stand on end. The incident when all the lights in the house at Eel Marsh have gone out and the narrator realises the "woman in black" has just walked past him in the dark, has to be the one of the most spine tingling pieces of literature I have ever read. Even to this day I won't get up in the night without putting a light on !
The TV adaptation was disappointing after the story. I went to see the play in London twice, which was excellent and made me jump even though I knew what was going to happen!
This book is in a league of it's own and a definite read if you love ghost stories and don't mind being scared senseless. You just can't help thinking "why doesn't he get the hell out of that house?"!
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The Woman In Black
The Woman In Black by Susan Hill (Paperback - 6 Aug 1998)
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