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The Woman in Black Paperback – 1 Jan 2012

4.4 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 200 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage Books (1 Jan. 2012)
  • ISBN-10: 0099562979
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099562979
  • ASIN: B0092FNGD2
  • Product Dimensions: 19.4 x 13 x 1.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 42,222 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Will be dispatched from UK. Brand new copy.


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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
After having watched the films and seen the sequel I decided it was time to get the T-shirt as it were and find out what all the fuss was about.

So for those who don't know the young London lawyer Arthur Kipps is despatched to deal with the effects of a lonely widow in her lonely mansion, Eel Marsh House - and the rigours of this job will be familiar enough to anyone who has ever has to chase the paperwork of a serial paper hoarder. But as he continues to visit the old house, he soon realises that the spirits are not friendly.....

The house decor is actually described as being quite commonplace - without the need for any kind of screen or stage, Susan Hill, or rather, Kipps makes it quite clear the real horror of Eel Marsh House lay in the memories of destructive and traumatic emotions that are locked into the haunted perpetual loop of loss and the desire for revenge. The horror for Kipps and maybe for the reader is deceptively cumulative, as the ghostly happenings continue to take place for the hapless Kipps. Things seem to be ok again, he starts to get full of himself again - then things aren't OK again, though sometimes Kipp's persistence and bravado could also be read as arrogance. It certainly seems a little ingenuous of him to ask why the woman in black might feel vindictive towards him, after he intrudes on every corner of her haunts.......

The Woman in Black is a true gothic, apparently inspired most by the American horror story The Turning of the Screw. It is never quite clear in the latter whether or not the ghostly happenings were to do with the narrator's own, deep dark emotional disturbance.

There is certainly a lability about the narrator in this tale too, however much he claims to be hard-headed and rational. He is weather-sensitive.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book was fairly absorbing and easy to read. It was quite short which was a bonus. I read it because my son is studying it for GCSE English and I thought that I could help him with his revision. I quite enjoyed it but I wouldn't say it was great literature - I'm quite surprised it is a set text really as many of the classics are better written but I guess that the trend to "modern" novels for GCSE courses means using a book like this which is written in a classic style. I'd prefer a Thomas Hardy or James Fenimore Cooper novel any day!
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Format: Paperback
The Woman In Black is a fairly short story, which I think a lot of the best ghost stories are. To me, they need to be read in one sitting, at night with the curtains drawn and – ideally – with the rain lashing against the windows. It’s also a simple story – a young man travelling to a remote part of England to deal with the estate of a recently decayed spinster. Once he arrives he finds the locals skittish and unwilling to help him in his mission or talk to him about the mysterious woman in black he keeps seeing. As he begins to realise she isn’t what she seems and things start to go bump in the night, the tension builds and his mind starts to crack. It’s cleverly done and well written and, even though I had read it before and knew the ending, I still found it enjoyable to read and scary and spooky.

I like Susan Hill’s way of writing and how she had reflected the style of the time in which it is set (the late 1800s) in that it is written as a memoir in the first person and quite formal. It fitted the story well and drew me in. It also makes the story feel quite timeless, which I guess it is given it has remained as popular as it has on page and stage (it is apparently the second longest running in the West End after The Mousetrap). A recommended read.
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Format: Paperback
Susan Hill’s excellent gothic novella, The Woman in Black (1983), is set in a time when cars and horse-drawn carriages co-existed. A solicitor, Arthur Kipps, is tasked with visiting creepy Eel Marsh House to tie up a deceased client’s affairs. Alone, with only a stiff upper lip, things begin to go more than bump in the night.

Hill uses some nice novella principles here, especially the framing story. There is a loose comparison with Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca (1938), but Hill’s novella is tighter, focusing on a single story; also Henry James’s novella Turn of the Screw (1898) comes to mind; and published three years after, although quite different in breadth, Stephen King’s superb IT (1986) has the same skill at making a reader whistle in the dark. Success for any horror story is to frighten, and Hill builds tension brick by brick in a plausible way that never makes the reader call out exasperated at the protagonist’s actions.

I loved this book! A real winter’s evening, by the fireside, English gothic tale, which had me sleeping with the lights on many nights after I finished it.
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Format: Paperback
This was a good read to pass the time with and I liked the pace of the story and the length was just about right. Enjoyed the solitary descriptions and the juxtoposition of isolation/main characters, this meant that the book was never boring, it wasn't really scary but more the better for it. I have not seen the film but I nearly always find the book better than the film versions. Recommended.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I seem to remember the book cost 1p (+ P.& P.), but it was in perfect condition and arrived very speedily. Although I had seen the play years ago, I found it a darned good read!
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