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The Woman in Black: A Ghost Story by Susan…

The Woman in Black: A Ghost Story (original 1983; edition 2002)

by Susan Hill

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3,2272223,439 (3.7)567
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.
Title:The Woman in Black: A Ghost Story
Authors:Susan Hill
Info:David R Godine (2002), Edition: Fourth softcover printing, Paperback, 144 pages
Collections:Your library

Work Information

The Woman in Black by Susan Hill (1983)

  1. 71
    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)
  2. 50
    The Turn of the Screw, and In the Cage by Henry James (bookworm12)
  3. 20
    The Small Hand by Susan Hill (jm501)
  4. 10
    The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters (sturlington)
  5. 21
    The Man in the Picture by Susan Hill (jm501)
  6. 00
    Dolly by Susan Hill (KayCliff)
    KayCliff: The endings of the two stories are so similar.
  7. 00
    Waltz into Darkness by Cornell Woolrich (cometahalley)
  8. 00
    The Ghost Writer by John Harwood (madamlibbytellsall)
  9. 00
    The Memory Game by Nicci French (cometahalley)

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» See also 567 mentions

English (216)  Swedish (2)  Dutch (2)  Spanish (1)  All languages (221)
Showing 1-5 of 216 (next | show all)
Weather or not you believe in ghosts, the afterlife or the supernatural this is a unique and creepy story to read.
I am giving this book only 3 stars because for me this book was a frustratingly slow paced, bleak & depressing book to read with a horror ending. I also like the film adaptation, but it also has a very bleak/depressing, creepy, sad vibe about it.
Why was the information about the woman in black only mentioned towards the end of the book?
I didn't find the book scary, and it was frustrating that whenever the main character Arthur Kipps did see the woman in black nothing in particular happened.
This book for me was very disappointing to read.
I did like this story, but it disappointed me because whenever the woman in black was seen she didn't do anything other than just stand and stare at the main character Arthur, even time she appeared not much happened.
If the explanation about why she was still around or the fact the that town and townspeople were cursed was explained a bit sooner in the book, (nearer to the beginning of the book rather than near to the end of the book) then the rest of book would have made more sense.
I find the chronological order a bit annoying.
It would make sense that if a town was cursed then there would be sightings or a terrifying ghost but the author took to long to get to the point or explain this.
I prefer the film to the book, because at least the time frame in which all the creepy encounters with the woman in black are disturbing, I was hoping that this book was going to be at least creepy or disturbing but it was disappointing and didn't scare me, although vengeful evil spirits/ghosts that want revenge and would curse you, kill your children is quite disturbing, I did like this book but it could have been a lot better. ( )
  EvilCreature | Sep 22, 2022 |
A bit of a fun ghost story, complete with a house right out of Poe. "I looked up ahead and saw, as if rising out of the water itself, a tall, gaunt house of gray stone with a slate roof, that now gleamed steelily in the light."

Our narrator first confronts the woman in black in a graveyard. How appropriate is that? The story is Gothic in flavor, reminiscent of The Turn of the Screw, and crammed with cliches that work perfectly. I was surprised by the ending, which doesn't happen all that often. I liked that Hill built into the story right away and kept it quick and clean. Nothing there that wasn't needed. Well done.
( )
  mattorsara | Aug 11, 2022 |
An excellently creepy ghost story with all the proper elements, and the dog comes through unscathed! ( )
  IVLeafClover | Jun 21, 2022 |
I may be alone in this, but I felt like I was reading a Dickens novel if he had decided to write a ghost story. During Arthur's travels and especially while he was at the inn I was reminded of the Pickwick Papers. The vibe matched completely. But the slow burning frightening feeling and isolated atmosphere was all Susan Hill. This was a great supernatural mystery. ( )
  Halestormer78 | May 15, 2022 |
Styled as a nineteenth-century ghost story, Susan Hill's The Woman in Black is a slow-burning enjoyable ghost story that ramps up towards the end and retains momentum through to the very last page. In so many ways, it feels like a book which was written a hundred years ago rather than only a few decades ago, and the trip back in time is an interesting one. This did read fairly slowly for me through the first two thirds, but I think much of that had to do with the fact that I'd seen the movie previously, and as each chapter got started, I remembered just enough to keep me from being all that surprised or compelled by the plot on the page. As a result, I enjoyed the read as a sort of novelty in style, and I'd certainly read more of Hill's work, but I'd probably only recommend this work to readers who haven't seen the movie at all recently. ( )
  whitewavedarling | Apr 28, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 216 (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
Hill, Susanprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Klingberg, OlaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lawrence, JohnIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For Pat and Charles Gardner
First words
It was nine-thirty on Christmas Eve.
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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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.

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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)
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