on 21 August 1999
A trusted friend sent me a copy of this new edition of The Other House, insisting that I'd enjoy it. It looked intriguing. I felt obligated to at least give it a try. I still trust the friend! I can't believe this is what is known as a Classic. I thought they were all very boring. I couldn't wait to get back to this plot and I'd never have thought it was written in the uptight Victorian era. It's more like a movie special of the week or one of the top ten best selling novels. Read it then recommend it and impress your friends with your literary depth.
on 9 November 2002
In the introduction to this little, if not un-known, Henry James novel, the editor reveals his belief that this book has been unfairly ignored. According to him, it has been excluded from the James pantheon of great novels because it is too violent - it actually features a really dreadful crime that seems almost impossible to understand. A far cry from the niceties of some Henry James, where which antique to buy is the big dilemma. The only problem with this book is that James wrote it just at the end of the period of five years he spent NOT writing novels. He had decided to concentrate on works for the stage, and it was only after spending half a decade trying to have a hit and failing, that he returned to novels. In fact the years after his return to books were actually ones which produced great masterpieces, but I can't agree that this is one of them. It seems too redolent of the Victorian stage melodrama and for once I found myself wishing there was more of the "normally difficult to fully appreciate" meandering accounts of people's consciousnesses at work.. This is a really enjoyable, slightly souped-up book and really interesting both to readers who liked Lady Audley and Henry James completists!