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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Still haunting after all these years.
One of the most seductive of all ghost stories, Turn of the Screw is not a tale for young people inured to Halloween I and II or Tales from the Crypt. It is a sophisticated and subtle literary exercise in which the author creates a dense, suggestive, and highly ambiguous story, its suspense and horror generated primarily by what the author does NOT say and does not...
Published on 4 Jan. 2006 by Mary Whipple

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2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars
Only read if you have to
Published 1 month ago by K. Bates


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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Still haunting after all these years., 4 Jan. 2006
By 
Mary Whipple (New England) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Turn of the Screw & The Aspern Papers: AND The Aspern Papers (Wordsworth Classics) (Paperback)
One of the most seductive of all ghost stories, Turn of the Screw is not a tale for young people inured to Halloween I and II or Tales from the Crypt. It is a sophisticated and subtle literary exercise in which the author creates a dense, suggestive, and highly ambiguous story, its suspense and horror generated primarily by what the author does NOT say and does not describe. Compelled to fill in the blanks from his/her own store of personal fears, the reader ultimately conjures up a more horrifying set of images and circumstances than anything an author could impose from without.
Written in 1898, this is superficially the tale of a governess who accepts the job of teaching two beautiful, young children whose uncle-guardian wants nothing to do with them. On a symbolic level, however, it is a study of the mores and prejudices of the times and, ultimately, of the nature of Evil. The governess fears that ghosts of the former governess Miss Jessel and her lover, valet Peter Quint, have corrupted the souls of little Flora and Miles and have won them to the side of Evil. The children deny any knowledge of ghosts, and, in fact, only the governess actually sees them. Were it not for the fact that the housekeeper, Mrs. Grose, can identify them from the governess's descriptions, one might be tempted to think that the governess is hallucinating.
Though the governess is certainly neurotic and repressed, this novel was published ten years before Freud, suggesting that the story should be taken at face value, as a suspenseful but enigmatic Victorian version of a Faustian struggle for the souls of these children. The ending, which comes as a shock to the reader, is a sign that such struggles should never be underestimated. As is always the case with James, the formal syntax, complex sentence structure, and elaborately constructed narrative are a pleasure to read for anyone who loves language, formality, and intricate psychological labyrinths. Mary Whipple
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5.0 out of 5 stars Screws and Papers, 24 Sept. 2013
This review is from: The Turn of the Screw & The Aspern Papers: AND The Aspern Papers (Wordsworth Classics) (Paperback)
Henry James was, we are told, a lifelong celibate and, probably because of that, these brilliant stories are obsessed with sex but don't, of course, have any actual sex in them, which inevitably would have posed the author problems. The Aspern Papers is related from the viewpoint of a literary collector (HJ loved his collectors, such as Gilbert Osmond in The Portrait of a Lady), conspicuously unattached to a partner, who wants the precious papers of his poet idol from a pair of old dears living like hermits in a crumbling Venetian palazzo. In his efforts to get his hands on the spoils (and his "heart beats faster" and "pulses race" when he thinks of this consummation) he manages inadvertently to cause the younger of the women to fall in love with him and propose marriage in a roundabout way. Not in the plan, Dan, and HJ expresses his squeamish horror well. On to the Screw and again the bulk of the tale is told from a first-person stance, this time a neurotic governess, another character untroubled by an actual adult relationship but certainly harrowed by the lack of one. A critical industry has grown up around whether the "ghosts" here are real or not, with various camps churning out conveyor belts of waffle to try to convince us, and themselves, that they are right. But it doesn't matter as the phantoms are real enough to the narrator and hence to us. This is a genuinely spooky tale and a warning not to employ a vicar's daughter to look after your children. Two stories; two gems. Henry James - you devil!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Goods for OCR as literature, 19 May 2014
By 
J. Mcquaid (London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Turn of the Screw & The Aspern Papers: AND The Aspern Papers (Wordsworth Classics) (Paperback)
Good resource as you have other stories which were written before ttos and you can see how James style changed over the years
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Turn of the Screw & The Aspern Papers (Wordsworth Classics):, 9 Dec. 2013
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This review is from: The Turn of the Screw & The Aspern Papers: AND The Aspern Papers (Wordsworth Classics) (Paperback)
Two extremely readable tales, Turn Of The Screw is highly recommended to anyone who enjoys an atmospheric storyline, and Aspern Papers an interesting tale which would make a good melodrama if adapted for the big screen.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant., 1 April 2015
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This review is from: The Turn of the Screw & The Aspern Papers: AND The Aspern Papers (Wordsworth Classics) (Paperback)
Ordered the book on the evening time and came the next day by evening time. Brilliant.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 23 Nov. 2014
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This review is from: The Turn of the Screw & The Aspern Papers: AND The Aspern Papers (Wordsworth Classics) (Paperback)
A superb story; created long, lively discussion at my book group.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 18 July 2014
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Excellent value. Good academic notes. Prompt delivery.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars, 11 April 2015
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Only read if you have to
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 30 Nov. 2014
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good!
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0 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars As good as new, 9 Oct. 2012
By 
J. E. Pottinger (Middlesbrough UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Turn of the Screw & The Aspern Papers: AND The Aspern Papers (Wordsworth Classics) (Paperback)
This came just as we wanted it. The reading is made very easy. It seems to be the only way to buy.
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