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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Terrifying ghost story
Unlike some of the other reviewers here I still think this is the creepiest book I've ever read, and all the more terrifying for the fact that James never articulates what's going on - he simply leaves your imagination to float free and conjure up all your worse nightmares. Yes, he's never an easy read (though this is far more accessible than Wings of the Dove, The Golden...
Published on 27 Jun. 2008 by Roman Clodia

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed
Like many, I have always avoided this as I was afraid of its ending. When the book arrived I was so surprised at its slimness - a novella in fact - and a lot has been read into the story by many where things do not appear. It didn't move me but it may another reader.
Published 9 months ago by Emmabemma


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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Terrifying ghost story, 27 Jun. 2008
By 
Roman Clodia (London) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Turn of the Screw (Dover Thrift Editions) (Paperback)
Unlike some of the other reviewers here I still think this is the creepiest book I've ever read, and all the more terrifying for the fact that James never articulates what's going on - he simply leaves your imagination to float free and conjure up all your worse nightmares. Yes, he's never an easy read (though this is far more accessible than Wings of the Dove, The Golden Bowl etc) but I think his very stately, mannered sentences and diction actually add to the horror of the story. Don't read this if you're expecting Stephen King or The Exorcist - James expects his readers to make the effort to read properly. Someone called this (possibly James himself?)'the most poisonous little tale I could imagine' and I think that's a perfect description - when I re-read it, it was on the tube with bright lights and lots of people around as I couldn't face reading it at home alone!
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars critical debate,, 10 Dec. 2008
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This review is from: The Turn of the Screw (Dover Thrift Editions) (Paperback)
* Henry James's The Turn of the Screw has inspired a divided critical debate, the likes of which the literary world has rarely seen. When the short novel was first published in 1898, it was published in three different versions, as a serial in Collier's Weekly and in book form with another tale, in both American and English editions. James later revised the story and published it in 1908 in the twelfth volume of the New York Edition of The Novels and Tales of Henry James. It is the 1908 version that the author preferred and to which most modern critics refer. However, no matter what version readers encounter, they may find themselves falling into one of two camps supported by critics to this day. Either the story is an excellent example of the type of ghost story that was popular at the end of the nineteenth century or it is a psychoanalytic study of the hallucinations of a madwoman.
* As a ghost story, then the tale details the classic struggle between good and evil and dealings with the supernatural. If one takes it as a psychoanalytic study, then the story emphasizes sexual repression and the sources of insanity. In either case, The Turn of the Screw has delighted readers for more than a century and continues to serve as one of the many examples of James's literary artistry, among such other notable works as The American, The Ambassadors, and The Portrait of a Lady.
* Adaptations:
1. The Innocents, 1961, Deborah Kerr
2. The Nightcomers [1972] director Michael Winner: When their parents die in an accident, Flora and Miles are cared for by Miss Jessel (Beacham) the governess and Mrs Grose (Hird) the housekeeper. But it is really Quint (Brando), the Irish servant, who really runs the house and particularly Miss Jessel who submits herself totally to him. The children see Quint as a fascinating source of knowledge and believe everything he says is true, however skewed his vision on life may be. It is this influence on Flora and Miles that leads to Quint's ultimate demise...
3. Benjamin Britten's interpretation of the 1898 Henry James tale performed at Fulbeck Hall in Lincolnshire. Richard Hickox conducts.
4. A Jealous Ghost ~A.N. Wilson
5. * 1959, with Ingrid Bergman
6. * 1974, with Lynn Redgrave
7. * 1982, with Helen Donath
8. * The Haunting of Helen Walker (1985, Valerie Bertinelli)
9. * Otra vuelta de tuerca (1985)
10. * 1990, with Amy Irving
11. * 1990, with Helen Field
12. * 1992, with Patsy Kensit
13. * Presence of Mind [1990] starring: SADIE FROST, HARVEY KIETEL, LAUREN BACALL: Henry James' classic tale of terror "Turn of the Screw" receives its most stunning screen adaptation to date in this 19th Century period thriller. Upon the death of her incestuous father, a young woman is called on to serve as a Governess for two children, Miles and Flora. Their Uncle, the master, became the guardian of the youngsters after the loss of their parents. Seduced by the charm of their Uncle, she accepts his one condition: to take sole responsibility for them and never trouble him. Although happy with the location and nature of her job, the Governess soon encounters problems with the two children and the estate housekeeper. When she stumbles upon a secret room, the Governess discovers dark secrets and begins to understand the reason behind the children's eerie behaviour.
14. * 1999, with Jodhi May
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Psychological breakdown or a real event or both, 1 Oct. 2009
By 
This review is from: The Turn of the Screw (Dover Thrift Editions) (Paperback)
No one should ever miss reading this short story, it is an experience that will bring tingles of spookiness and outright fright. Unlike those spook stories that push those buttons in us that rather like a bit of a fright, a bit of a thrill, this ghost story touches those places in our psyches that prefer to remain dormant. It is a book that digs right into our primal fears in the most economical and surprising way. We are not prepared by what we experience through fear and suspense (although the opening does titilate our palette with the prospect of possessed children) but are dropped right into a frightening scenario after having been some while in a nursery with children going about their everyday routine with their new governess. Even to this day after so many critiques and analyses it is not possible to conclude about this story. We are left in a state of shock whether we regard the governess as out of her tree or whether we go the other route of belief in the supernatural. To date there has never been anything like this story.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Turn of the screw, 30 Jan. 2012
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This review is from: The Turn of the Screw (Dover Thrift Editions) (Paperback)
There were two reason behind choosing this book, firstly this is one of the books my daughter is studying at AS level and the second I decided to select for our monthly book club.

I was very pleased to have read this novella, found it difficult at first as I am an accomplished skimmer of most books, however this was not possible as the sheer density of language and without intense concentration it would be easy to lose track of events or miss something quite important. The ending left a number of questions to be answered which is good for open discussion along with the Governesses state of mind.

Very much worth reading, however not a beach holiday book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A classic, 9 July 2012
This review is from: The Turn of the Screw (Dover Thrift Editions) (Paperback)
This is a really good thought-provoking mystery. The ending brings more questions than answers, as one must ask themselves whether it was a ghost story or a tale of madness. A true classic.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Eerie psychological horror from a literary giant, 11 Jan. 2009
By 
Mark Slattery (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Turn of the Screw (Dover Thrift Editions) (Paperback)
This is a novella or short novel about a nanny (or Governess) who takes charge of two orphans in a large country house. Then she starts seeing apparitions of previous servants whom she perceives threaten the children's existence...but...do the children see them too?

What is the truth? Are there ghosts? If so, who sees them? Who is deceiving who? This tale is a literary mystery horror. It challenges you to find the answer, and as a consequence, some have differed in what they have discovered. The central tale is very satisyingly told. It grips.

There are one or two small imperfections however. The ending is illogical as the tale is being told at the start by somebody to a cluster of friends. James appears to have forgotten all about this. The connections of the people in the tale to hand down the manuscript - which would fill in gaps in the tale - is simply omitted.

James' style is ponderous and prolix, but once the tale starts this gives way to beautiful prose, and even when it is dense, it has a rhythm that the reader can pick up and adjust to. I re-read the first chapter before going further and it made life much easier.

The bottom line here is that it is a truly horrifying tale and you naturally put yourself in the nanny's shoes. My scalp turned cold every time a spectre appeared.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Ghost Story, 20 Feb. 2009
By 
I. M. Knight (Huddersfield, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Turn of the Screw (Dover Thrift Editions) (Paperback)
As others have already done so I won't reiterate the plot. I found this more of a psychoanalytical read than a ghost story. The writing is beautifully written, if a little overly indulgent and elaborate for my taste. Not being a writer myself, though, I'm not in a position to criticise. Still, once you get used to the prose, which may take a few chapters, it becomes a gripping tale. If you're looking for an eerie story you could also try Edgar Allan Poe or HP Lovecraft.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed, 31 May 2014
By 
Emmabemma (Southampton, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Turn of the Screw (Dover Thrift Editions) (Paperback)
Like many, I have always avoided this as I was afraid of its ending. When the book arrived I was so surprised at its slimness - a novella in fact - and a lot has been read into the story by many where things do not appear. It didn't move me but it may another reader.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 18 Feb. 2015
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This review is from: The Turn of the Screw (Dover Thrift Editions) (Paperback)
Easy to open widely for annotations (if you're using it for school)
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 8 Dec. 2014
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This review is from: The Turn of the Screw (Dover Thrift Editions) (Paperback)
good inexpensive edition of story. very satisfied with purchase.
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The Turn of the Screw (Dover Thrift Editions)
The Turn of the Screw (Dover Thrift Editions) by Henry James (Paperback - 2 Jan. 2000)
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