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

by Susan Hill

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,3071732,751 (3.73)477
  1. 50
    The Turn of the Screw, and In the Cage by Henry James (bookworm12)
  2. 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)
  3. 10
    The Man in the Picture by Susan Hill (jm501)
  4. 00
    The Memory Game by Nicci French (cometahalley)
  5. 00
    Waltz into Darkness by Cornell Woolrich (cometahalley)
  6. 00
    The Small Hand by Susan Hill (jm501)
  7. 00
    The Ghost Writer by John Harwood (madamlibbytellsall)
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» See also 477 mentions

English (170)  Dutch (2)  Swedish (1)  All (173)
Showing 1-5 of 170 (next | show all)
This is an odd book. It is illustrated thoughout my copy with pen and ink drawings which reminds me of things I read as a child, or perhaps an old New Yorker or maybe even a touch of Madeline. This is written in a very old fashioned style as if it was 100 years old rather than 30. I was so thoroughly underwhelmed with the start of the novel that I was ready to throw it on the heap after about 25 pages. But ... I went and looked at some reviews and found other readers remarked on the blase beginning so I read on and it became a much better story. This book seems to have fans, and then there are a few who are underwhelmed. This is supposed to be a modern classic ghost story - and since I read close to none of that sort of story, at least as an adult, I can't give it a fair comparison. It reminded me a little of 'The Haunting of Hill House' by Shirley Jackson.

Our main character Arthur Kipps tells us a story of something he experienced as a young man. For him it is supposedly true, but I think he may have just been telling us a tale. I would advise prospective readers to persevere past the beginning because it does get much better and does manage to slowly build with a rather surprising and dramatic ending. ( )
  RBeffa | Oct 21, 2017 |
If you like a good ghost story, this one has all the usual elements---a young man sent to a remote village with an assignment; a local populace that warns him mysteriously against the place he must go to complete this assignment; a healthy dose of skepticism gradually replaced by a healthy dose of the daylights scared out of said young man; strange noises and visitations in the night; a vision no one else sees (or admits to seeing); a retreat from the scene of the haunting; a partial explanation; and, finally, an ending with a barb in its tail. All told from the perspective of that young man, now grown old, looking back on it all many years hence. A little Shirley Jackson, a little Edgar Allan Poe, a little Daphne DuMaurier...
Reviewed in 2014 ( )
1 vote laytonwoman3rd | Oct 20, 2017 |
The Woman in Black - Hill
Audio performance by Paul Ansdell (an excellent performance)
3.5 stars

It’s a ghost story. To be fair, it’s a well written ghost story. It has a suitably spooky setting in the mists and marshes of an isolated English moor. It takes place in the early 20th century, but that isn’t made terribly clear; it could easily have been the same story set any time in the 19th century.

Maybe, this just isn’t my genre. I was glad this was a short story, because even at only 138 pages, I was impatient for it to be over. I had a similar response to The Turn of the Screw. The protagonist, Arthur Kipps, seems like such a slow-witted twit. Everyone and everything is telling him that he is not in a safe place. WHY can’t he seem to get the message?
I know, I know, that would ruin the suspense. So,....definitely not my genre. ( )
  msjudy | Oct 15, 2017 |
Arthur Kipps is an up-and-coming London solicitor who is sent to the town of Crythin Gifford - deep in the windswept salt marshes beyond Nine Lives Causeway. He comes 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 cloaked in mystery, however Arthur is unaware of the tragic secrets that lie hidden behind Eel Marsh House's sheltered windows.

The routine business trip Arthur anticipated upon his arrival quickly takes a horrifying turn. He glimpses a wasted young woman, dressed all in black, at the funeral and a creeping sense of dread begins to take hold within him. His sense of dread increases exponentially when he questions the townspeople about the mysterious young woman's identity and is met by walls of silence and deep, abject terror. That people know something of the young woman's purpose but refuse to say anything about it, is obvious and very perplexing to Arthur. As he sorts through Mrs. Drablow's papers, Arthur is continually haunted by a series of mysterious sounds and apparitions - a rocking chair in a deserted nursery, the eerie sound of a pony and trap in trouble, and a child's terrified scream in the fog.

I loved this book! I had actually bought myself an ebook copy of this book from Amazon back in January of 2012, but was searching everywhere for a physical copy of my very own! :) I do enjoy reading ebooks, and I have an Amazon Kindle that I use a lot, however I find that I prefer actually holding a book and turning the pages from time to time. The Woman in Black: A Ghost Story by Susan Hill was rather hard to obtain a copy of, but at the Library Book Sale that mom and I went to on February 2nd, I grabbed this book off the shelf and bought it. My mom read the book first and then I took it to read next.

I give this book an A+! and was pleasantly surprised when a back ordered copy of the movie starring Daniel Radcliffe came in the mail. Now mom and I want to watch the movie whenever we can - I hope that the movie does the book justice. ( )
  rubyandthetwins | Aug 3, 2017 |
Another long-timer in my TBR down! Obviously after reading The Haunting of Hill House, this was the next logical step.

Arthur Kipps, up-and-coming young lawer, is sent to tend to the estate of recently deceased widow Alice Drablow. Upon arriving at the small village of Crythin Gifford, Kipps finds that the locals regarded Mrs. Drablow and her isolated manor, Eel Marsh House, with a wariness bordering on fear. Feeling rather superior to what he regards as uneducated superstition, Kipps resolves to stay overnight at Eel Marsh House, the better to complete his work efficiently. Once at the house, however, and trapped by the tide, Kipps discovers that the residents of Crythin Gifford feared the old woman and her house for good reason.

This was a truly creepy book. I’m very glad we’re into the springtime here; reading this book in the dark of winter would have been terrifying. As it was, I found myself thoroughly creeped out on more than one occasion. Hill does a great job at providing us with an unforgettable and menacing location in Eel Marsh House. The grand, ancient manor, sitting high in a desolate landscape, unreachable and inescapable during the high tide is claustrophobic and vividly unnerving. The Woman in Black herself, with her skeletally thin and bone white face, and unceasing aura of malevolence and hate is a figure out of a nightmare.

Horror fans: this is a must read! There’s an excellent reason The Woman in Black is considered a classic in the genre. Any one looking for a quick, creepy read need look no further. ( )
  irregularreader | Aug 2, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 170 (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 editionscalculated
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 (2)

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.

» see all 12 descriptions

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