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The Woman in Black: A Ghost Story by Susan…
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The Woman in Black: A Ghost Story (original 1983; edition 2012)

by Susan Hill

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,0701553,205 (3.76)455
Member:Meredy
Title:The Woman in Black: A Ghost Story
Authors:Susan Hill
Info:Vintage (2012), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 176 pages
Collections:Read but never owned, SJPL
Rating:***1/2
Tags:fiction, suspense

Work details

The Woman in Black: A Ghost Story by Susan Hill (1983)

  1. 61
    The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson (kraaivrouw, Jannes)
    Jannes: No sure if it is a coincidence, but the two perhaps best ghost stories ever written are both by women, in a genre otherwise mostly dominated by men. Both are superb explorations of death, loss, fear, and all those other elementsthat make up the good supernatural tales.… (more)
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» See also 455 mentions

English (152)  Dutch (2)  Swedish (1)  All languages (155)
Showing 1-5 of 152 (next | show all)
I was at first unconvinced by the novel's status as a ghost story, a belief compounded by its slow, dragging, almost-coquettish build-up of ~spooky~ atmosphere - with a dash of irony injected by the protagonist's annoyance at the villagers' reluctance to come right out and say what the deal is -, until I was nearing the end of the book, a pot hit the metal sink in the kitchen, and the loud CLANG scared the living daylights out of me, had me literally jump in my chair, only then did I realise how engrossed I was in the dark, suffocating marshes of Eelmarsh House. An unsuspecting novella with bits of truly startling events, with potential to raise goosebumps. ( )
1 vote kitzyl | Jun 18, 2016 |
Review: The Woman In Black by Susan Hill.

The book was great for a ghost story. I wouldn’t link it with horror because it’s one of those stories that could be read or told at a nice cozy outdoor fire with a bunch of friends to make things spooky. I wish I was a kid again and I would use this story at a slumber party or when camping. Sometimes even when adults get together at a camp fire (with a drink or two) and the right person as a descriptive narrator it could be a fun spooky activity. I even caught myself as I read using a ghostly tone to the words…. For a short story it had plenty to tell…

The story was about Arthur Kipps, an attorney from London being sent by his Law Firm to a seaside town called, Crythin Griffin. He went there to represent the closure of a former client, Mrs. Drablow who just past away. Arthur Kipps attends the funeral and notices an elderly woman standing in the background but when he inquires about her no one offers any information and even pretends they didn’t here him. So, he just figures he’ll find out when he goes to Mrs. Drablow residence at the Eel Marsh house to go through any papers that Mrs. Drablow had left behind in an attempt to find a benefactor, as she had no living children. Arthur isn’t worried too much and decides to spend the night at the house so that he can quickly finish his work and get back to London.

In the meantime he is getting nowhere with the town authorities or the people in getting some background on Mrs. Drablow. He sensed they feared anything to do with her and just gave him directions and a driver that would travel him out past the causeway to the house. When Kipps is taken to the house by horse and coach and left there till the man comes back the following day he discovers the Eel Marsh house is separated from the town by a narrow causeway and when the tide is in, anyone who occupies the house is totally isolated from the rest of the world and the safety and reassurance depends on what happens while he is there. While there, the woman in black appears a few times more terrifying than the last time he had saw her. He felt the malevolence and sense of danger increasing with her every visit. Kipps anxiety increases at seeing her, the whinnying pony he could not see but heard, the crying child over and over that was not there but he heard on more then one occasion, and the thought of being stranded in this marsh environment miles away from town was taking a toll on him…..

Susan Hill was great at building intense scenario’s, creating a gothic atmosphere, plenty of suspense while never really giving away to the reader any predictable eerie surprises or answers to some question the reader may have. Like I said, this is a ghost story so; the reader gets to fill in the answers to the spooky stuff that occurs. She allows the reader to think about the stormy rain, walking through the dense fog, the appearance of the woman in black, who could that child be who keeps crying, the ruins of a church out back, and falling in the marsh in places of quicksand and not knowing how to get out….

Arthur Kipps also thought, “how can I get out of this place, am I going to make it to safety, but once again he starts to hear the child crying, and a horse and coach coming through the mist but falling off the causeway and tumbling and being sucked into the quicksand of the marsh….and the woman in black peering down on him through the third floor window of the house….


( )
1 vote Juan-banjo | May 31, 2016 |
Written in a style that is perfect for rainy afternoons and quite hours of dark, the ghost story is good- it uses the readers imagination to fill in the gaps...and really, what is scarier than the things only we can dream up? A very well written story that is perfectly creepy, atmospheric, and suspenseful without being obvious. It has earned its 4 stars. ( )
1 vote Carol420 | May 31, 2016 |
I was very excited for this book. I had heard great things and the movie looked really creepy ( I have not watched it yet as I wanted to finish the book first). Unfortunately I was disappointed. It wasn't bad just not as good as I was expecting. It was very slow paced for such a short book and therefore, it took me a while to get through it. Overall it was a decent read. I would have liked a bit more of the paranormal experiences, but it could have been worse. ( )
1 vote LenaR0307 | May 30, 2016 |
Head over to my blog, Opinions of a Bookaholic, to read the in-depth review for this book! http://opinionsofabookaholic.blogspot.com/2013/03/the-woman-in-black-susan-hill.... ( )
  M_Sawtelle | Apr 6, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 152 (next | show all)
I love this style of writing... very detailed and descriptive. Although some of our students have said that they had a hard time getting through the first few chapters, I was immediately captivated.
 

» Add other authors (8 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Susan Hillprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Klingberg, OlaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lawrence, JohnIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Dedication
For Pat and Charles Gardner
First words
It was nine-thirty on Christmas Eve.
Quotations
But gradually I discovered for myself the truth of the axiom that a man cannot remain indefinitely in a state of active terror. Either the emotion will increase until, at the prompting of more and more dreadful events and apprehensions, he is so overcome by it that he runs away or goes mad; or he will become by slow degrees less agitated and more in possession of himself.
A man may be accused of cowardice for fleeing away from all manner of physical dangers but when things supernatural, insubstantial and inexplicable threaten not only his safety and well-being but his sanity, his innermost soul, then retreat is not a sign of weakness but the most prudent course.
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Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
Arthur Kipps in an up-and-coming London solicitor who is sent to Crythin Gifford-a faraway town in the windswept salt marshes beyond Nine Lives Causeway-to attend the funeral and settle the affairs of a client. Mrs. Alice Drablow of Eel Marsh House. Mrs. Drablow's house stands at the end of the causeway, wreathed in fog and mystyery, but Kipps is unaware of the tragic secrets that lie hidden behind its sheltered windows. The routine business trip he anticipated quickly takes a horrifying turn when he finds himself haunted by a series of mysterious sounds and images-a rocking chair in a deserted nursery, the eerie sound of a pony and trap, a child's scream in the fog, and, most terrifying of all, a ghostly woman dressed in black. (96780307950215)
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0307745317, Paperback)

A classic ghost story: the chilling tale of a menacing specter haunting a small English town. Arthur Kipps is an up-and-coming London solicitor who is sent to Crythin Gifford--a faraway town in the windswept salt marshes beyond Nine Lives Causeway--to attend the funeral and settle the affairs of a client, Mrs. Alice Drablow of Eel Marsh House. Mrs. Drablow's house stands at the end of the causeway, wreathed in fog and mystery, but Kipps is unaware of the tragic secrets that lie hidden behind its sheltered windows. The routine business trip he anticipated quickly takes a horrifying turn when he finds himself haunted by a series of mysterious sounds and images--a rocking chair in a deserted nursery, the eerie sound of a pony and trap, a child's scream in the fog, and, most terrifying of all, a ghostly woman dressed all in black.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:24:59 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

Arthur Kipps, a young solicitor, travels to the north of England to settle the estate of Alice Drablow, but unexpectedly encounters a series of sinster events.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 15 descriptions

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