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Customer Review

3.0 out of 5 stars Lost the plot?, 6 July 2014
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This review is from: The Turn of the Screw (Kindle Edition)
I remember trying to read this once before and giving up, so this time I stuck it out until the end. I've got to say, though, I didn't really enjoy the story all that much. It was just too ambiguous for me - I couldn't work out whether the ghosts were real or it was just the case that the governess had lost the plot. (I couldn't blame her if she had - I lost the plot on a number of occasions whilst reading this - I just couldn't tell what was going on). Similarly, the housekeeper's response to the governess, although I felt this became clearer towards the end of the novel, I was still doubting myself and the correctness of my interpretations right to the end. What I did love about this book was the wonderful evocation of Bly, the country house. I also thought there was some wonderful writing in this short novella which made it worth sticking with. I loved the line describing how the occupants of Bly are "...almost as lost as a handful of passengers in a great drifting ship. Well, I was, strangely, at the helm!" (p. 12) Who hasn't felt like that when situations seem to slip from one's control? I wasn't keen on this edition - the excessive use of capitalisation to emphasise words got on my nerves (although that may have been a character trait of the odd governess and may feature in other editions too). Not sure about this one.
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 11 Aug 2014 15:46:51 BDT
Douglas Wood says:
I suspect that what we see as excessive capitalisation and somewhat eccentric punctuation were simply the conventions of their time. Dickens's punctuation looks even stranger to us, just as ours would have looked outlandish to him. In the end these intrinsically arbitrary conventions work because of an unspoken, even unconscious agreement among a community of speakers in a given place at a given time. My apologies if I'm telling you what you already know!

D.L.W.
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