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The Turn of the Screw by Henry James
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The Turn of the Screw (1898)

by Henry James

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
4,1771301,199 (3.46)587
  1. 61
    The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman (SandSing7)
  2. 30
    The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson (Nickelini)
    Nickelini: Both have an unreliable narrator, which results in an ambiguous story.
  3. 30
    The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters (alalba)
  4. 10
    Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë (hazzabamboo)
  5. 00
    Carmilla: a Vampyre Tale by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu (Hollerama)
  6. 00
    The Other by Thomas Tryon (sturlington)
  7. 00
    In a Glass Darkly by Sheridan Le Fanu (Hollerama)
  8. 00
    The House Next Door by Anne Rivers Siddons (sturlington)
  9. 11
    Old People and The Things That Pass by Louis Couperus (pingdjip)
    pingdjip: A Dutch classic. Like The Turn of the Screw it's about restraining, silencing, suppressing a truth that nevertheless manifests itself in subtle ways. But unlike The Turn of the Screw it's actually a very good read.
  10. 00
    The Magus by John Fowles (WSB7)
    WSB7: Appearances also arise, and many more turns of the screw.
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» See also 587 mentions

English (116)  Dutch (2)  French (2)  Italian (2)  Swedish (2)  Spanish (2)  Vietnamese (1)  Catalan (1)  Danish (1)  All languages (129)
Showing 1-5 of 116 (next | show all)
Haunting and haunted and ambiguous. Don't read this for a pat ending. ( )
  Kelley.Logan | Jan 16, 2015 |
It was better than I thought it'd be. ( )
  Annannean | Jan 6, 2015 |
The very uncertainty embedded throughout makes this a dark psychological story. Illusion, reality, light, shadow, innocence and evil, all subtly inter-played. An enigmatic ending adds to the ambiguity.

Despite all these interesting qualities, James' narrative can be tough going, his overuse of commas and lengthy sentences among some of the obstacles the reader must get through. I intend to re-read it in the future, in order to appreciate the subtle nuances layered over and within this unorthodox ghost tale. ( )
  BBcummings | Dec 24, 2014 |
Here are the young reactions of my 16 year old self, a voracious reader who dwelled happily in fictional realms invented by such novelists as James Fenimore Cooper, Herman Melville, Edgar Allen Poe, Alexander Dumas, Charles Dickens, HG Wells, and Somerset Maugham. Said individual found Mr James' Turn of the Screw to be pompous, convoluted, confusing, stodgy, and deadly dull, and the ambiguity that leads modern readers to wax passionately about it was to me a source of impatience and irritation.

Since then, critical analyses have led me to consider the possibility that Turning of the Screw is a renowned classic, and that the confusion the book engendered in me was a reflection of my impatience with turgid prose, along with other youthful inadequacies. Indeed, I understand that a century's worth of erudite critics firmly agree that the story is a masterpiece, even if they happen to disagree on such points as whether the governess was sane or insane, whether she was a perpetrator or a victim, whether supernatural events were imaginary or actually happening, whether there was or was not some unspeakable evil lurking somewhere and if so what it was, where it came from, and why, and whether the story is best interpreted via Freudian ideology, pedophilic obsession, post-colonial class consciousness or postmodernist feminism. Perhaps one key to writing lasting fiction is to present a verbal Rorschach test on which successive generations of readers can project fears, ideologies, and prejudices from one decade to the next. After all, even though Mr. James called it a simple ghost story, the writer's intent apparently no longer matters to our interpretative analyses, since who's to say he had any idea what he was doing.

I'll try Mr. James' small masterpiece again one of these years. I'm sure that this time around I'll agree with the professional literary critics. All of them. :-) ( )
3 vote danielx | Dec 21, 2014 |
Iniziarlo a leggere nel tardo pomeriggio invernale, in casa di penombra e tranquillità, ma isolata e con angoli bui e discosta dalla civiltà. Terminarlo dopo due ore, a buio fatto, nel silenzio, inquieti, perchè abbiamo letto di bambini e pazzia, di fantasmi e paure, senza rumore di catene nè ragnatele, ma solo di pomeriggi grigi e umidi, di visi alla finestra che guardano dentro *senza alitare* sul vetro, di un sole plumbeo che non accenna a schiarire. Sapere che due bambini bellissimi ed educati in realtà sanno molto di piu' di quanto non dimostrino, e di fatto lo dicono, ma nascosto tra le righe di un comportamento educato ed insolente contemporaneamente. Immaginare cosa si prova a percorrere lunghi corridoi illuminati dal chiarore di un candelabro portato a mano in una casa molto, molto grande.

Ecco, tutto questo a me fa paura. ( )
  bobparr | Dec 14, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 116 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (90 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Henry Jamesprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Benjamin, VanessaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Buckley, RamónTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cialente, FaustaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fyhr, MattiasPrefacesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hazenberg, AnneliesTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Klingberg, OlaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lydis, MarietteIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Van Doren, CarlIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vance, SimonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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The story had held us, round the fire, sufficiently breathless, but except the obvious remark that it ws gruesome, as, on Christmas Eve in an old house, a strange tale should essentially be, I remember no comment uttered till somebody happened to say that it was the only case he had met in which such a visitation had fallen on a child.
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She was a magnificent monument to the blessing of a want of imagination...
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
A very young woman's first job: governess for two weirdly beautiful, strangely distant, oddly silent children, Miles and Flora, at a forlorn estate ...
    PHANTOMS OF SHADOW AND MADNESS

Half-seen figures who glare from dark towers and dusty windows - silent, foul phantoms who, day by day, night by night, come closer, ever closer. With growing horror, the helpless governess realizes the fiendish creatures want the children. Seeking to corrupt their bodies, possess their minds, own their souls.

But worse - much worse - the governess discovers that Miles and Flora have no terror of the lurking evil.
For they want the talking dead as badly as the dead want them.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0486266842, Paperback)

The story starts conventionally enough with friends sharing ghost stories 'round the fire on Christmas Eve. One of the guests tells about a governess at a country house plagued by supernatural visitors. But in the hands of Henry James, the master of nuance, this little tale of terror is an exquisite gem of sexual and psychological ambiguity. Only the young governess can see the ghosts; only she suspects that the previous governess and her lover are controlling the two orphaned children (a girl and a boy) for some evil purpose. The household staff don't know what she's talking about, the children are evasive when questioned, and the master of the house (the children's uncle) is absent. Why does the young girl claim not to see a perfectly visible woman standing on the far side of the lake? Are the children being deceptive, or is the governess being paranoid? By leaving the questions unanswered, The Turn of Screw generates spine-tingling anxiety in its mesmerized readers.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:28:13 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

One of literature's most gripping ghost stories depicts the sinister transformation of 2 innocent children into flagrant liars and hypocrites. Elegantly told tale of unspoken horror and psychological terror creates what few stories in literature have been able to do ? a complete feeling of dread and uncertainty.… (more)

» see all 27 descriptions

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Audible.com

16 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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Coffeetown Press

An edition of this book was published by Coffeetown Press.

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Urban Romantics

2 editions of this book were published by Urban Romantics.

Editions: 1909175811, 190917582X

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