Read Otra vuelta de tuerca by Henry James Online


Otra vuelta de tuerca está considerada la historia de fantasmas por antonomasia y un hito insoslayable en la historia de la literatura universal.Henry James consigue trazar una imponente novela de suspense en la que lo natural y lo fantasmagórico se confunden en el misterio. Protagonizada por una joven institutriz al cuidado de dos niños en una mansión victoriana, a lo larOtra vuelta de tuerca está considerada la historia de fantasmas por antonomasia y un hito insoslayable en la historia de la literatura universal.Henry James consigue trazar una imponente novela de suspense en la que lo natural y lo fantasmagórico se confunden en el misterio. Protagonizada por una joven institutriz al cuidado de dos niños en una mansión victoriana, a lo largo de la narración intervienen presencias y personajes tal vez sobrenaturales. La anterior institutriz y el sirviente murieron en extrañas circunstancias. ¿Cuál es el secreto que se oculta entre los muros de la mansión?Este crescendo de intriga, sostenido y desasosegante, se abre con el prefacio que el propio Henry James le dedicó en la edición estadounidense de sus obras, publicadas en veinticuatro volúmenes entre 1907 y 1909. Cierran la novela un epílogo a cargo de David Bromwich, que proporciona nuevas claves de lectura, y una cronología jamesiana.«La historia está escrita. Está encerrada con llave en un cajón, de donde no ha salido hace años.»...

Title : Otra vuelta de tuerca
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9786073117340
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 203 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Otra vuelta de tuerca Reviews

  • Paquita Maria Sanchez
    2019-02-05 00:55


  • Traveller
    2019-02-15 23:12

    Now you see me, you don’t.. What the... Meaning, understanding and certainty all become elusive chimera in this ambiguous game of hide-and-seek that Henry James plays with us. Have you ever been in one of those weird situations where you wondered if you were losing your mind, doubting whether what you were seeing was real? And... what it was that you were seeing? This is one of those "what the heck??" novels that you often find in the modernist genre. Not originally classed as a modernist novel, by now it is viewed as one by many modern critics because of the ambiguity and ‘layers’ that James managed to capture.It is just as slippery and ambiguous and as "what on earth is happening here?" as the most obfuscating of the modernist novels; - one tends to struggle with trying to figure out what is going on like with Virginia Woolf’s The Waves , William Faulkner’s The Sound and the Fury, Thomas Pynchon’s Gravity's Rainbow. Henry James might not be playing around as much as ‘true’ modernists do with narrative voice although he built three layers into his narrative viewpoint, and the story is certainly a metatext.Like most modernists, he does play around to some extent with temporality, but only to a small extent, and only slightly with structure. However, it is the play with meaning, the : “what the heck actuallyhappened here?” that lends so much ambiguity and scope for interpretation that makes this novella shine.Part of what points to our narration being unreliable, is the fact that the novella is a nested metatext (being a story someone is telling about a story that someone else told him about a story that someone else told him).The fun is that it reads like a Gothic novel, and for all intents and purposes, would be a Gothic novel, were it not for the subtleties in meaning and content & context leaping out at the reader; especially the modern, sophisticated reader who doesn’t actually believe in, you know, ghosts.However, the story isn't really creepy in the way that conventional ghost stories are.Well it is, sort of.But it's also like when you walk into your house at night and the lights are dimmed and there's this hat-and-coat stand at the end of the passage, and in the shadows, it looks like there's a person there, watching... and waiting... and you wonder: “IS THAT...????! Or no, is that just my imagination playing tricks on me?! "Yet, you take our time, all the time eyeing that shadowy figure,...and you quickly walk to the light switch, and flick it on.(Though the governess’s shadowman had no hat… - therefore, not a gentleman.)Have you ever had a dream in which you vaguely become aware of the presence of someone you feel you know? You seem to know him well from some other dreamscape, and yet you cannot place your finger on who he is, yet his presence seems so sinister. If someone were to ask you who the shadowy man at the edge of your vision was, you might reply: “Why, Nobody!” ...and yet you fear him, but don't know why. You know the reason is sittingjust at the tip of your consciousness, but it’s all cast in shadow, and yet, it makes you feel so terribly uneasy.You may even wonder, in such a dream, if that shadowy image could somehow be you yourself, but the thought of that, -the very idea, makes your hair stand on end; gives you a leaden pith of dread that sinks into your stomach and grips your insides with discomfort.Dream analysts would say that that strangely familiar figure is a projection of the part of your own self that you find unacceptable. This other 'self' can even appear threatening because often our aggressive impulses have to be suppressed as much as, or even more than, our sexual impulses. If that 'self' came loose from under our control, it could be a dangerous thing, and therefore, we fear it, albeit on a subconscious level.Have you ever had a dream like that? This novella was reminiscent of such a dream; made me feel like I was reading about such a dream.Some people read this as a ghost story, some as a horror story, and some as a psychological thriller or study....there are depths, depths! The more I go over it the more I see in it, and the more I see in it the more I fear. I don't know what I don't see, that I don't fear!' I must mention that I got most of the detail about the different types of analyses from the Beidler critical edition of The Turn of the Screw that is full of background material: cultural context, history, critical essays and interpretations of the text.There are Marxist interpretations of this story, Jungian interpretations, Freudian ones, Reader-response analyses, Post-modern, Modern, New Criticism, New Historicism views of the story, you name it. Oh, and of course, there are those among some of the abovementioned, who take a gay view as well. There is no real evidence for or against the direction(s) James's orientation leaned, though I have read some excerpts of his letters to young men that would incline me to agree that there's a strong possibility that he was gay.Among the 'gay' proponents, are those who say that the governess is a subconscious projection by James of himself and his repressed urges. (Whatever other conclusions one might come to, you have to admit that the governess is one tight little ball of repressed urges. ) I see her as being under a lot of pressure from various origins. One of the pressures she has, is an urge to gain more power. If you think about it, the governess is actually a nobody. One of the younger children of an obscure country preacher, and a female to boot... not much going for her, beyond some homeschooling (privately bred) is there? ...and now she is suddenly 'at the helm' of an entire household, and quite a wealthy one at that. ...but her charming, seductive employer wants no contact with her. She is "at the helm" all on her ownsome. Quite a situation for an inexperienced young country girl to find herself in.Wayne C. Booth, a well-known lit crit has said:In English alone I have counted, before I got too bored to go on, more than five hundred titles of books and articles about [The Turn of the Screw], and since it has been translated and discussed in dozens of other languages the total must yield more than a lifetime's possible yeah... there's been a lot of gabble about this little story, and the interesting part is that hardly anyone seems able to agree on what the story actually says. James has been very subtle and clever. Even in his preface, and in his responses to readers of the story, he did not give the game away. Indeed, he says in his preface, that the reader's"own imagination, his own sympathy and horror will supply him quite sufficiently with all the particulars. " Ha, and so it has proved to be.Start of SPOILER section:Here are some of the variations on interpretations of how the screw really turns:(view spoiler)[1) A "straight" Ghost story reading. In this version, the ghosts are real ghosts, and everything the governess says is reliable and true.2) A variety of 'ironic' readings. According to the most cynical versions, the governess is cruel and egocentric; she either made the whole thing up to get attention, or used a fiction of seeing ghosts to try and gain the status of a heroine and to make the master of Bly (whom she is in love with) take notice of her.Other readings are cynical of actual ghosts, but sympathetic towards the governess in interpreting the ghosts as illusions seen by the governess. Some feel that these illusions are the product of a diseased mind, or of a madwoman, some feel that they are the products of her hysteria, brought on by her sexual longing for the master of Bly. Some of the ironic readings are mixed. Some people say that the whole thing was a prank by the children, or the servants, or even an attempt by Mrs. Grose to drive the governess mad, so that Mrs. Grose could have her position back as head of the Bly household.In any case, this was my first take on the story, before I had read all the hundreds of interpretations out there:My impression of the children's uncle, the governesses' charming, extravagant, seductive employer was; - what a douchebag. The typical tycoon who extricates himself from his interpersonal responsibilities with cash. Set the poor little orphans up in a nice comfortable mansion with a string of servants, and he doesn't have to know that they exist.(I quite enjoyed the Marxist critique of the story, and of course, no Marxist would have any charitable feelings towards our dashing rich aristocrat who so blithely consigns people to nothingness, banishing them from his sphere of consciousness, like ants. )At first I was entirely sympathetic towards the governess. With her first sighting of Quint, although I thought the whole set-up of how she spotted him was eerie and strange, I initially suspected that Quint might be a ghost, though one isn't entirely sure - this is how subtle James is. I thought he might possibly be a person lurking around the place in a sinister way. The thing that caught me there, was that she was walking around thinking and daydreaming about her employer and wishing he would appear - and lo! A man did appear. However, like the governess says - not quite the man she had wanted to appear.Those who argue in favor of actual ghosts, say that the fact that Mrs Grose could identify him, proves that he was really the ghost of Quint. However, she has only the governess' word to go on, and recall the governess's initial vagueness about how he looked. When first asked to describe him, she says that he looks like "nobody". That rather shook me in a weird way. It was my first indication that all might not be quite right with the governess's mind. The second sighting at the dining room really impressed me. Wow. One of the best and weirdest pieces of fiction I had read in a long, long time. There's so much in that little scene. First, the way she sees him suddenly through the window, looking in. Even if he were a 'real' person, coming suddenly upon a stranger looking in on your privacy like that must give anybody quite a turn. Note, that she then realizes that he is not looking for her. She sounds almost a bit disappointed about that... but... how does she know that? How does she 'know' who he is looking for? Then the next part is so well done. I read governess's problem as being one of ego and narcissism. Like we've said, nobody ever takes any notice of her; even the children don't take much notice of her; they merely seem to humor her while they’re actually living in their own little world. But the children had adored Quint and Jessel, as we have heard by now.So what does she do? Just like a jealous stepmother, she goes out and puts herself in her predecessor's place. She literally replaces her predecessor's image and position with her own, by going around to where he had stood, and she literally says in the story: " It was confusedly present to me that I ought to place myself where he had stood. I did so; I applied my face to the pane and looked, as he had looked, into the room. As if, at this moment, to show me exactly what his range had been, Mrs. Grose, as I had done for himself just before, came in from the hall. This dreamscape-like scenario lends itself to some very interesting Freudian and Jungian interpretations indeed. In the Freudian view, (ok, there are a few, actually) Quint and Jessel's relationship forms an inversion of the governess and her employer's relationship. Jessel (and this is also part of the Marxist interpretation) had taken a step down when she fell in love with a mere servant, whereas the governess's ambition goes upward, towards her employer.This 'replacement' theme features very strongly in the story; note the schoolroom scene where Jessel 'replaces' the governess by sitting in her chair at her desk. I quote:"..she had looked at me long enough to appear to say that her right to sit at my table was as good as mine to sit at hers. While these instants lasted, indeed, I had the extraordinary chill of feeling that it was I who was the intruder.To me the scary part is the implication that both Quint and Jessel are projections by the governess of repressed aspects of her own psyche.But the scariest interpretation is reading the governess as a psychotic paranoid schizophrenic. If one reads the story as if this was a given, it’s very, very creepy, with the governesses’ psychosis gradually growing to such huge proportions that even the long-suffering Mrs Grose takes fright and removes little Flora as quickly as she can. There are some people who feel that the governess murdered Miles on purpose, but my personal reading was more sympathetic towards her. I thought that she had perhaps only smothered Miles in her zealous embrace. Note that she does say:” I caught him, yes, I held him—it may be imagined with what a passion;”So.. she wasn’t just giving him a friendly light quick little hug there. She was squeeezingthe poor tyke. I had more of a feeling that she was a person whose mind was slowly coming apart. I felt she was a person who clung to the children as being her only justification for being ‘someone’ in the world; they gave her life meaning, and it is via being their governess that she is ‘at the helm’ of the household at Bly. I felt her worst fault was a histrionic narcissistic type of problem.Note her panic at Miles’s requests to be returned to school; how she fences with him. She seems terrified of him leaving Bly, of him escaping from her grasp, because surely then her status, part of her whole reason for being, would be diminished.I also found that the governess kept seeming to read Mrs Grose's reaction incorrectly. Did Mrs Grose really want to kiss her? And all along, didn't the poor Mrs Grose simply comply with whatever ridiculous claims the governess came up with, just so that she wouldn't anger this madwoman, and/or wouldn't run the risk of losing her position at Bly? After all, the governess was put in charge of the household, and therefore she might have the power to fire Mrs Grose, or at least have her fired. It's only at the end, after Flora couldn't take the governess' excesses anymore, that Mrs Grose managed to scrape together enough guts to stand up to the governess in trying to protect poor Flora.There are those who see a lot of pederasty in the story; between Quint and Miles, and some people even between Jessel and Flora. I must admit that I originally also thought that there was at least more than friendship between Quint and Miles, because that would fit in nicely with the reason why Miles was expelled. It would then make sense that he probably said to "those that he liked" either that he likes them or loves them, or even that he would like to, to put in Victorian language, 'try out a bit of buggery' with them.James had put Miles's reaction so beautifully: "He looked in vague pain all round the top of the room and drew his breath, two or three times over, as if with difficulty. He might have been standing at the bottom of the sea and raising his eyes to some faint green twilight. "Well— I said things." Later on I was not so sure anymore.As for pederasty between the governess and the children, some have suggested that she felt a pederastic passion for Miles, and I must admit that the lines: "We continued silent while the maid was with us—as silent, it whimsically occurred to me, as some young couple who, on their wedding journey, at the inn, feel shy in the presence of the waiter. He turned round only when the waiter had left us. "Well— so we're alone!"do seem rather suggestive of this. Though I feel one can't be certain...The fireside narrator from the intro to the story, Douglas, was, I think, a poor fool who was taken in by the governess and believed her stories.That's more or less how I saw the thing fitting together, but of course, there are a many other interpretations.In the Marxist interpretation, class differences are explored. The children are scorned by their upper class peers, because they dared to lower themselves by mixing with the servants, as represented especially by Quint. The governess sees Quint as ‘a horror’ because he is of the lower classes, and Jessel as an evil woman because she lowered herself by falling in love with a servant.In the Freudian interpretation, you can of course expect it to be all about sex and repressed, subconscious desires. I must admit that James either consciously or subconsciously used some sexual imagery – Quint is associated with the tower, (obviously phallic) and Jessel is spotted by the lake, the latter of which is often see as a symbol for the womb. Also, while Jessell appears to the governess at the lake, Flora is engaged in sticking a phallic piece of wood into a hole in another piece of wood. Heh.(hide spoiler)][END of spoiler section]Suffice it to say here, that the particular brilliance of his story is for me, that whatever interpretation you make, the story can work for you on that level, and arguments against a particular view can always be refuted by calling foul as an unreliable narrator on any of the three narrator levels. (The governess who wrote the story, Douglas, or Douglas's friend who is telling us the story).In fact, you can even call upon the fourth narrator, Henry James himself, as having written a story that unconsciously brought out some of his subconscious issues and desires.Of course James could have consciously written this as a Freudian allegory, but I doubt it, since this novel was published in 1898 and Freud's the Ego and The Id was only published in 1923. However, it may well be that James was influenced by his brother William's interpretations of psychological phenomena. However you look at it, James knitted the seams of this story so finely, he weaved his web so delicately, that there is no way to tell any which way for certain.What do YOU think?["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>

  • Jeffrey Keeten
    2019-01-26 23:12

    “No, no—there are depths, depths! The more I go over it, the more I see in it, and the more I see in it, the more I fear. I don’t know what I don’t see—what I don’t fear!”Screen shot from the 1961 version of The Innocents based on the James short story.A governess is hired to look after the nephew and niece of a man who has inherited the responsibility for the children after the death of their parents. He is very explicit in his instructions to the governess that he is not to be bothered with excessive communications. The governess is young and pretty and wants to impress her new employer by doing exactly what he wishes. She wants to be seen as competent, and in a sense this need to please proves to be a vulnerability that, as she tries to shield and protect, she actually puts everyone at more risk. Risk of what you might ask? That becomes the unknown element of the story. The reader doesn’t really know what to be afraid of. What nature of evil are we dealing with? The children are ethereally beautiful. The governess is compromised immediately by preconceived notions, that we all have to a certain extent, that beauty equates to goodness. ”I was dazzled by their loveliness.” When the boy Miles is kicked out of his exclusive school for unrevealed reasons, the governess cannot fathom what he could have possibly done to deserve this level of embarrassing punishment. It was inconceivable to her that he was capable of anything remotely improper. As the governess begins to try to understand her young charges, she also begins to discover that there are swirling questions about what has happened to other people who have been associated with the children in the past. She cross examines the housekeeper and more carefully the children, ferreting out bits and pieces of information that leave a murky picture in her mind. The reluctance which everyone shows in speaking about the past makes the governess more and more suspicious that something potentially perplexing lies in the truth. She starts to see dead people. ”I was ready to know the very worst that was to be known. What I had then had an ugly glimpse of was that my eyes might be sealed just while theirs were most opened.”Her first thought was to protect the innocence of the children, but maybe what she should have been more worried about was protecting her own innocence. It becomes a game of ignoring these phantoms in the hopes that the children would not become aware of the existence of these ghosts, of Quint, the butler, and Miss Jessel, the ex-governess. Both of these people were obsessed with the children when they were alive. The question becomes what do they want with the children now? Of course, without confirmation of the existence of these supernatural events from other people, one does naturally tend to start questioning one’s own sanity. Henry James weaves in these awkward interactions between the governess and Miles. There are moments when the young lad seems to be attempting to seduce his governess. He calls her ‘my dear,’ which sounds innocent enough, but when coupled with innuendos, the words take on a more unseemly connotation. The governess is not totally immune to the charm of the handsome boy. “Of course I was under the spell, and the wonderful part is that, even at the time, I perfectly knew I was. But I gave myself up to it; it was an antidote to any pain, and I had more pains than one.” Scholars have debated whether the governess was actually seeing the phantom manifestations or not. There is certainly a desperation to how she attempts to protect the children, fully determined to keep the situation under control without having to contact her employer. We watch her naivety crumble as she is battered by the strange and distant attitudes of the children and the extraordinary circumstances of the spine-chilling past intruding on the present. I was firmly on the side of believing the governess was losing a firm grasp on her sanity, but then James throws a wrinkle into my firm resolve when Miles makes this statement to the governess that they should not miss his sister and the housekeeper (after they have fled the circumstances):”I suppose we shouldn’t. Of course we have the others.”Or is Miles just playing her. This is a short story, but it is a short story by Henry James. He has some of the same convoluted, difficult sentences that show up in his novels. They may bewilder on a first read, but after another go they start to make more sense. I’ve read enough James to find those complicated sentences, when they appear like Gordian Knots, more amusing than frustrating. This tale left me jangled and apprehensive as if an apparition were still strumming their fingers along the length of my sciatic nerve. If you read it on the most basic level as a ghost story, you will certainly find it unsatisfying. As I started to understand the deeper psychological implications of the interplay between characters, I started to realize that this is a tragedy with elements of horror that left lasting traumatic issues for those that survived. If you wish to see more of my most recent book and movie reviews, visit http://www.jeffreykeeten.comI also have a Facebook blogger page at:

  • Alex
    2019-02-21 01:50

    Turn of the Screw is a pretty cool story. It's about a governess who either heroically attempts to protect her two charges from malevolent ghosts or goes dangerously bonkers. James leaves it ambiguous and I love that kind of story. Ambiguity works for me. Four stars for the plot. Kindof an abrupt ending though.On the other hand there's his writing style. I was at this party once and the topic was what would you do if the world was ending and the answer was generally that we would have all the sex. James writes like the world is ending and he's decided to have all the punctuation. Check this entirely typical sentence out:I waited, but nothing came; then, in the first place - and there is something more dire in this, I feel, than in anything I have to relate - I was determined by a sense that, within a minute, all sounds from her had previously dropped; and, in the second, by the circumstance that, also within the minute, she had, in her play, turned her back to the water.I don't even know what that sentence means. I haven't seen punctuation wasted like that since Fanny Hill. James has used so much punctuation that there was nothing but periods left to use in this review. Fuck you Henry James.

  • Helen Ροζουλί Εωσφόρος Vernus Portitor Arcanus Ταμετούρο Αμούν Arnum
    2019-02-12 00:09

    Σύμφωνα με την εποχή που γράφτηκε,το βιβλίο ειναι αδιαμφισβήτητα μια ιστορία τρόμου,φαντασίας και ψυχολογικής έντασης. Η αλήθεια ειναι πως ο συγγραφέας εξ αρχής ακροβατεί ανάμεσα σε πραγματικά ή φανταστικά γεγονότα και καταστάσεις που αφήνει την εξήγηση τους στη διακριτική ευχέρεια του αναγνώστη. Επομένως μέσα σε όλη την ομιχλωδη και την αδιευκρίνιστη εξέλιξη της πλοκής το βιβλίο τούτο ή το λατρεύεις ή το μισείς. Δεν αφήνει περιθώρια μέσης λύσης. Το δικό μου συμπέρασμα δεν έχει να κάνει με φαντάσματα,σκοτεινές παρουσίες και παρόμοιες δυσιδαιμονίες που προκαλούν θανάτους ή δαιμονικές επιρροές από τον κόσμο των νεκρών στον κόσμο των ζωντανών. Θεωρώ πως ολα ειναι συνυφασμένα με την ανθρώπινη ψυχική και πνευματική υγεία καθώς και με την άγνοια των ανθρώπων σχετικά με την εξήγηση κάποιων φαινομένων που τα θεωρούν μυστήρια ανεξήγητα και παραφυσικά. Το κακό υπάρχει και επιβάλλει την παρουσία του και τις τραγικές συνέπειες του όταν το δεχόμαστε ως ανεξήγητο ,το φοβόμαστε,το παραδεχόμαστε και τελικά μας κυριεύει ολοκληρωτικά και μας μεταφέρει στην παραφροσύνη. Το καλό -εννοώ ότι εξηγείται τεκμηριωμένα και λογικά- από την άλλη προϋποθέτει υγεία πνευματική, νοημοσύνη, λογική και ψύχραιμη αντιμετώπιση με συνοχή σκέψης για οτιδήποτε μπορεί να εξηγηθεί. Τυχαίο ειναι αυτό που ακόμα δεν μάθαμε την αιτία που προήλθε. Για κάθε αποτέλεσμα υπάρχει κάτι που το προκάλεσε.Στο βιβλίο αυτό ολα τα κακά και ανεξήγητα τα προκάλεσε η διαταραχή και τα ψυχαναγκαστικά σύνδρομα της νταντάς των χαρισματικών παιδιών σε συνδυασμό με την αποστασιοποίηση και την αδιαφορία των υπολοίπων του περιβάλλοντος. Έτσι φτάνουμε με μαθηματική ακρίβεια στο αναμενόμενο ΣΤΡΙΨΙΜΟ ΤΗΣ ΒΙΔΑΣ και σε ότι μπορεί να επιφέρει...Καλή ανάγνωση!Πολλούς ασπασμούς!

  • Orsodimondo
    2019-02-06 03:10

    I HAVE YOU, BUT HE HAS LOST YOU FOR EVER!Questo libro m'ha messo i brividi, m'ha costretto a leggere solo in presenza del sole per tenermi lontano da buio e tenebre. Il film tratto dal breve romanzo di H.James, del 1961: The Innocents, regia di Jack Clayton, sceneggiatura di Truman Capote, con Deborah Kerr nel ruolo di Miss Giddens, nel magico gotico terrificante splendore del CinemaScope in b&wI bambini sono o non sono corrotti? Sono vittime, complici o addirittura carnefici? Gli spettri sono reali o allucinazioni? Sono proiezioni dell’immaginazione turbata dell’istitutrice? È lei, figlia di un pastore, così rigida da inventarsi tutto, o i fantasmi imperversano davvero? Li vede solo lei o anche i bambini? Lo zio dei bambini, così disinteressato e distante, è forse dio che si disinteressa del mondo? Come muore il piccolo Miles? È forse la stessa istitutrice a soffocarlo in un abbraccio mortale?Miles e il fantasma di Peter QuintIo credo che gli spettri esistono, sono reali: la descrizione che l’istitutrice fa di Quint è chiaramente un ritratto dal vero, non il tratteggio di un sogno, di un’immaginazione. E credo che i bambini vedano gli spettri, anche se il lettore non li vede mai mentre li vedono. Il male è l’Indicibile. L’istitutrice sembra più uscita da un romanzo della Austen o di Emily Brontë che da uno studio di Freud.Ma anche se tutte queste domande rimanessero senza risposta precisa, che importerebbe? Si tratta comunque di una splendida storia d'amore.Degli effetti dell'amore, intesi anche come possibili danni.O, è una storia di possessione.E l'amore, non è forse anche possessione?Henry James è sommo scrittore che io amo molto. In questo racconto, con il suo gioco di scatole cinesi, sembra allontanare l’orrore e la tenebra: invece, con reticenze, e trasparenze, con omissioni, e cautele, accresce la tensione fino al diapason.I grandi prendono un genere, ci s’immergono, giocano con le sue regole e convenzioni, ne fanno quello che vogliono, ne fanno altro, e vanno oltre. Quanto è parente questo racconto al Carteggio Aspern!Qui, come sempre in HJ, raffinati intricati intrecciati quadri seconda apparizione dello spettro di Peter QuintMagnifico, davvero eccezionale anche il film del 1961 in un magico bianco e nero. Jack Clayton doveva essere particolarmente ispirato, non si è mai ripetuto a questi livelli. Titolo originale "The Innocents", chiaramente riferito ai bambini - tradotto in italiota con un banalissimo "Suspense".Sono seguiti altri adattamenti, ma il primo rimane di gran lunga il migliore.Inizia con quandro nero e una filastrocca cantata dai bambini che fa venire la pelle d'oca e si capisce dove Morricone si sia ispirato per le colonne sonore dei primi film di Dario Argento.Prosegue in stile espressionista, peraltro immediatamente abbandonato, con il dettaglio, sempre in campo nero, delle mani di Ms Giddens giunte in preghiera a invocare l'aiuto divino per le vite e le anime degli 'innocenti'. In questo caso, parafrasando, si potrebbe dire che la morte corre lungo il lago, più che il fiume.E quanto possono essere innocenti dei bambini che cantano in continuazione con abbandono e rapimento una lullaby che dice:We Lay My Love And I Beneath The Weeping Willow.But Now Alone I Lie And Weep Beside The Tree.Il pomeriggio del 10 gennaio 1895 Henry James fu invitato dall’arcivescovo di Canterbury a prendere una tazza di tè. Seduti davanti al camino insieme ai due figli dell’arcivescovo, parlarono di apparizioni e terrori notturni, di come stessero sparendo le vecchie care storie di fantasmi. L’arcivescovo raccontò che molti anni prima una signora gli aveva raccontato una storia che aveva appreso da un narratore sconosciuto, quell’anonimo senza volto che sta sempre all’origine di ogni storia: dei bambini erano stati abbandonati alla cura dei loro servi in una vecchia casa di campagna – i servi perversi e depravati li avevano corrotti, e quando morirono, le loro apparizioni tornarono a ossessionare la casa e i bambini. Una storia imperfetta e senza pretese, l’ombra di un’ombra, che James annotò nei suoi Taccuini. Due anni più tardi una rivista gli chiese una storia per il numero natalizio e in solo tre mesi, dal settembre al dicembre 1987, James scrisse quello che sarebbe probabilmente diventato il più famoso racconto moderno. IO TI HO, MENTRE LUI TI HA PERDUTO PER SEMPRE!

  • Jibran
    2019-01-25 03:55 imagination had, in a flash, turned real. He did stand there!I could not decide whether I was more intrigued by the Gothic thriller or the intricate jalebi of the prose, a truly - truly - labyrinthine prose, which James employs with great effect for the purpose of dissimulation. (Folks would later dub it 'unreliable narration.') You can trust James to phrase the most simplest of ideas and situations in the most imaginative of ways without making a fool of you; but if you still insist on clarity, go ahead and tell us whether the governess really did see the ghost or was it all a figment of her overexcited imagination. In any case, this is one of the finest examples of a story where the style of writing itself suggests ideas to the reader without stating anything in concrete terms. I (re)read it in one sitting, with racing heart and damp underarms, and, probably my blood pressure also shot up, if only metaphorically. No, it wasn't the horror. Horror films don't scare me, let alone the writing. It was, I realised early on, the pressure of the prose bearing down on my soul, its gravity many times greater than that of the earth, until I could not tear myself away till I had finished the job, panting; like when you're planted on the belt of a treadmill inclined upwards, you are making the effort without going anywhere and can't rest your legs until the segment has run its course and your muscles are fully exercised.This novella is like a literary treadmill.June '16.

  • Anne
    2019-02-17 00:50

    Redonkulous! Where's my SPOOKY?!I mean, I thought I'd get a few good jump scares out of a book with possessed children in it. You know what didn't happen, not even once, while I was listening to this book?THIS:I'm not sure why my teenage self thought The Turn of the Screw was worth 4 stars, but my older-than-teenage self certainly doesn't.On the surface, it seems like this should be a winner for me in the classic department - short, scary...short. But it was kinda crap. So the gist is that this governess is seeing the spirits of these two people. One was the ex-governess, and the other was the rascally friend of her boss. And for some unexplained reason, they've COME FOR THE CHILDREN!The kids won't admit to seeing these spirits, but the governess knows they've been in contact with the children, because...?*shrugs*Suspicious stuff? I. Don't. Know.All I do know is that the kids never actually did anything even slightly creepy.Anyway, she enlists the help of the feeble-minded housekeeper, and together they try to, um, pretend everything is ok or something?What the what?!That's not a good plan! That's not a plan at all!And the entire book was filled to the brim with stuff like this. By the end of it I was actively rooting for the ghosts to whisk the kids away just so it would be over.Ugh. Either ghost stories have changed a whole helluva lot, or this wasn't a ghost story. I mean, it sounded like this governess was just mostly a delusional nutter. She fell in love with the kids' uncle after meeting him once for God's sake! And what was so great about him? That he expressly didn't want her to inform him if there was something wrong with his dead sibling's children?Meeeeh. Deal with it on your own. Wacka, wacka, wacka! What a douche pickle! Who could resist falling for that? Couple that with the fact that her dingy sidekick never sees the ghosts, and I think this chick is more than likely some kind of a loon.*frowns*If you're looking for a scary story this October, keep on moving past this one. I think your time would be better spent stealing sorting through your children's Halloween candy than reading this clunky turd.Non-Crunchy Pantsless October Buddy ReadBecause kids are creepy little bastards...

  • Sean Gibson
    2019-01-30 23:53

    There is a presumption that a book, if written concurrent with a certain time period during which a ruler of notable longevity reigned and originating from an area of the world long known, during that time period in particular, for an effusiveness of style in excess of that which may be, at a minimum, absolutely required to convey a particular message or idea, may, on occasion, if not predominantly and generally, tend toward a style that, when compared and contrasted with styles of later writers in other, more distant geographies, or even stylists who espouse minimalism within the bounds of the same geographic region, might be best described, at least insofar as it can be generally encapsulated with a description of any sufficient brevity, as, to varying degrees, ponderous, overwrought, and, in the main, at least with respect to the general population, and in particular those of the Twitter generation, overly wordy.If you enjoyed the preceding 152-word sentence, you will likely enjoy The Turn of the Screw. If you didn’t make it past the first 140 characters, you’ll want to avoid it, unless your appetite for unintentional double-entendres surpasses your dislike of egregiously prolix prose, as the narrator’s aptitude for inadvertently making it sound as though she is engaged in particularly inappropriate, Afternoon Delight-style undertakings with her young male charge is prodigious and nigh-Funkeian.

  • Lizzy
    2019-02-21 05:16

    "It was as if, while I took in—what I did take in—all the rest of the scene had been stricken with death. I can hear again, as I write, the intense hush in which the sounds of evening dropped. The rooks stopped cawing in the golden sky, and the friendly hour lost, for the minute, all its voice. But there was no other change in nature, unless indeed it were a change that I saw with a stranger sharpness."Oh, I was not scared (maybe just a little?) the last two days reading the The Turn of the Screw, but I was intrigued, and, I have to confess, confused by Henry James beautiful but mazelike prose. How he likes to dissimulate, and you can trust him to phrase his ideas and situations in a most imaginative way. He plays with the reader. So don’t go looking for clarity, if you do that (as I may have done, or tried to until I realized it was in vain!) you will be lost. But if you insist on clarity, just try to decide whether the governess really did see the ghosts or if it was all a figment of her overexerted imagination. In any case, this is one of the finest examples of a story where the style of writing itself suggests ideas to the reader without stating anything in concrete terms. And that is why I enjoyed this elusive and ambiguous guessing game (and how I suffered to get to this point!).The narrative revolves on itself continuously via half-formed questions and elusive answers. But suddenly James presents us a real masterful writing, and despite its constant ambiguity, makes us go on:"It was as if, while I took in all the rest of the scene had been stricken with death. I can hear again, as I write, the intense hush in which the sounds of evening dropped. The rooks stopped cawing in the golden sky, and the friendly hour lost, for the minute, all its voice. But there was no other change in nature, unless indeed it were a change that I saw with a stranger sharpness. The gold was still in the sky, the clearness in the air, and who looked at me over the battlements was as definite as a picture in a frame. That was how I thought, with extraordinary quickness, of each person that he might have been and that he was not."Simply brilliant, how could I not go on despite my confusion? Nevertheless, there are so many things left unsaid, so may half-sentences, as we see in one of the dialogues between the governess and Mrs. Grouse:“Then you do know what she died of?” I asked.“No—I know nothing. I wanted not to know; I was glad enough I didn’t; and I thanked heaven she was well out of this!”“Yet you had, then, your idea—”“Of her real reason for leaving? Oh, yes—as to that. She couldn’t have stayed. Fancy it here—for a governess! And afterward I imagined—and I still imagine. And what I imagine is dreadful.”It is extraordinary, and unsettling I have to repeat, not to know what the truth is. For I discovered soon that there was no truth, so I had to go looking for my own if I could find it! James deceives the reader into believing The Turn of the Screw is a Gothic novel, but its meaning and subtleties, content and context leaps at the reader, especially the sophisticated reader who doesn’t believe in a simple vision.Where the ghosts real? For me this was never true, it is a simplistic explanation, and we can read so much more in James’s prose. If there were no ghosts, was then the governess insane? The poor governess that fell in love in just one meeting with the master, that continually rambles about what is happening, or what she imagines is going on around her. She was living in a strange man’s house, she could not mix with the lower servants, and besides her charges, the only person she can talk with is the housekeeper (who has nothing to tell her). She was totally alone and troubled. You could say she was suffering from female sexual hysteria. However, I’ll not get into this discussion. Better to read what James says:"Oh, yes, we may sit here and look at them, and they may show off to us there to their fill; but even while they pretend to be lost in their fairytale they’re steeped in their vision of the dead restored. He’s not reading to her,” I declared; “they’re talking of THEM— they’re talking horrors! I go on, I know, as if I were crazy; and it’s a wonder I’m not."Is that true, or is she deluding herself?The governess seemed to adore the children. ”The attraction of my small charges was a constant joy”, although other times her own feelings are not so peaceful:"Adorable they must in truth have been, I now reflect, that I didn’t in these days hate them! Would exasperation, however, if relief had longer been postponed, finally have betrayed me? It little matters, for relief arrived. I call it relief, though it was only the relief that a snap brings to a strain or the burst of a thunderstorm to a day of suffocation. It was at least change, and it came with a rush."Is there some kind of sexual relationship between the governess and Miles?That there is an a sense of sexuality in the air in The Turn of the Screw, of that I have no doubt. If could be a latent desire. But there seems to be a possibility. He was not a small child, "Turned out for Sunday by his uncle’s tailor, Miles’s whole title to independence, the rights of his sex and situation, were so stamped upon him that if he had suddenly struck for freedom.” There is more, as James reminds us:"I went in with my light and found him, in bed, very wide awake at his ease. “Well, what are YOU up to?” he asked with a grace of sociability in which it occurred to me that Mrs. Grouse, had she been present, might have looked in vain for proof that anything was ‘out’.I stood over him with my candle. “How did you know I was there?”“Why, of course, I heard you. Did you fancy you made no noise? You’re like a troop of cavalry!” he beautifully laughed.“Then you weren’t asleep?”“Not much! I lie awake and think.” I had put my candle, designedly, a short way off, and then, as he held his friendly old hand to me, had sat down on the edge of his bed. “What is it,” I asked, “that you think of?”“What in the world, my dear, but YOU?” But later on we discover how she is troubled with Miles:“Dear little Miles, dear little Miles, if you knew how I want to help you! It’s only that, it’s nothing but that, and I’d rather die than give you pain or do you wrong—I’d rather die than hurt a hair of you. Dear little Miles” —oh, I brought it out even if I should go too far.”The story seems indeed to turn around an axis of elusive sexuality. What did Quint and Miss Jessel do with, or to the children when they were in charge? Does this have any link with the relationship between the governess and Miles? There are allusions, but James leaves all open for the reader to decide.Let’s not argue if one way or another, for all these interpretations, can be justified. There is no absolute truth. And that’s the beauty. As a matter of fact, I changed my point of view a few times during my reading. First, of course, I trusted the governess, then I thought she was unreliable and possibly mad, and then I was stricken by a possibility of a relationship with Miles. If there was danger in Bly, why did she not send Miles away with Mrs. Grouse and Flora? Why did she keep him alone with her in the house? So we readers are very nicely lead in a merry chase as we try to understand what James wanted to communicate. Probably that was just what he wanted, not a complete and easy understanding.Perhaps when all is said and done the moral of the story of The Turn of the Screw is for each of us to decide. Ultimately, it is the play with meaning, the constant questioning regarding what is happening, the overall ambiguity and freedom of interpretation that transforms the readers into participants, that makes this novella brilliant.In the end, truth is forgotten, and logic seemed to have evaporated; only the persistent and obsessive turn of the screw remains to remind us that all is not as it seems. Feelings that continues with me long after the final sentence.______I dedicate this review to my dear friend Vessey, with whom I read this book. Her fantastic reviews helped me when I first started writing mine!_____

  • Henry Avila
    2019-01-26 04:59

    What is real , something you see but no one else does, things stare back at you then vanish into the nothingness of oblivion, images that cannot be solid ...ARE YOU GOING INSANE ? Such is the plot of the famous Henry James novella ...The Turn of the Screw, more a study of psychological turmoil than pure terror, yet it has it too. A young unnamed woman takes a job as governess to two small children in an old house called Bly, in rural England, set in the 1800's, she needs the money desperately , a boy Miles 10, and his sister Flora 8 both handsome , intelligent, very mature for their age, they seem quite normal. The siblings guardian a remote uncle living in the city (London) doesn't want to be communications just take care of his burden and leave him in peace, not a loving person. The housekeeper, a friendly old lady Mrs. Grove, the governess and her become fast friends. Nevertheless there's a darkness brewing, unsaid but felt, the young lady starts to feel uncomfortable from the very beginning, too many mysteries keeps the atmosphere tick with suspense and what happened to the previous governess? Slowly she begins to discover the truth, a corrosive element bringing death to this estate. A man or maybe not , she sees but that is impossible strangers are here, yet the governess starts asking questions too many to be answered properly. The late valet of the uncle's had an unfortunate accident, Peter Quint a rascal romantically involved with the previous governess also dead, Miss Jessel, the ghosts of the estate, their ghoulish mists cause havoc. How much do the children know or are they behind the apparitions, the present governess feels the stress and pain of the hopeless situation. The phantoms keep appearing and shockingly disappearing, no relief in sight. The pond and Flora, make for a frightening episode for everyone there, will she be saved...A fine mystery that will seem old-fashioned to some modern readers, yet it does have interesting characters trying to survive unknown factors and clear the air of the horror. If you have read the author books before, you'll enjoy it better. Henry James maybe long winded and you are not too sure what's he "talking about "periodically , still the talent is obvious. The adventurous will be happy at finding this writer, I did.

  • Candi
    2019-02-21 02:55

    2.5 stars rounded up. A young governess is hired to care for the young niece and nephew of an unmarried man who acts as guardian of the two following the death of their parents. One condition must be upheld, however – the governess is not for any reason or by any means to contact her new employer. This seemed to me a daunting task and one which I am not certain would appeal to me in the least. The young governess, however, is charmed by the gentleman and agrees to his request. Her story, detailed in the form of a journal, is told years later and we as readers are privy to the psychological turmoil of this young woman. The question becomes whether her distress is based on reality or if her imagination has run wild due to loss of sanity. Each reader will arrive at a different conclusion to this story. I have been eager to bury myself in this novella for some years now. When I discovered that a group read of this was planned, I took the opportunity to dust off my copy and dive in. It started off as well as I had hoped. I was intrigued; the stage for a satisfying gothic tale was set. After her arrival, the young governess receives a letter indicating that one of her new charges, Miles, is being sent home from boarding school. No reason for the expulsion is provided. Upon meeting Miles and his younger sister, Flora, our protagonist decides there is nothing these two beautiful and angelic creatures could do wrong. She shoulders her responsibility with determination and devotion. Then one day, as she walks upon the grounds, the governess encounters an unwelcome and menacing visitor standing in the tower of the estate house at Bly. "It was as if, while I took in – what I did take in – all the rest of the scene had been stricken with death. I can hear again, as I write, the intense hush in which the sounds of evening dropped. The rooks stopped cawing in the golden sky, and the friendly hour lost, for the minute, all its voice. But there was no other change in nature, unless indeed it were a change that I saw with a stranger sharpness. The gold was still in the sky, the clearness in the air, and the man who looked at me over the battlements was as definite as a picture in a frame. That’s how I thought, with extraordinary quickness, of each person that he might have been and that he was not… Was there a ‘secret’ at Bly – a mystery of Udolpho or an insane, an unmentionable relative kept in unsuspected confinement?"One sighting is followed by another and our young governess notes that there exist not one but two beings seemingly haunting the grounds of Bly. She becomes convinced that these phantoms are those of her predecessor, the former governess Miss Jessel, and that of Quint, the now deceased valet of her current employer. Can anyone else see these visions? She envelops the housekeeper, Mrs. Grose, in her drama. She persists to determine if the children can see these sinister beings as well. She eventually comes to absolutely believe that the phantoms are there to do harm in some way to the children and that it is her duty to protect them at all costs, yet keeping in mind her promise to never burden her employer with any difficulties. She will ask herself whether the children are the innocent little persons she originally thought them to be. Tension naturally escalates and the governess comes to question even her own sanity. And while she does, the reader will do the same. However, details provided in the narrative as well as our own beliefs will sway us to credit either one theory or the other – a true haunting or a case of perhaps hysteria on the part of the governess. For me personally, the intention of the author was straightforward. But that is only my opinion. Other readers will conclude exactly the opposite. Some readers will say that it was deliberately left ambiguous.Now you may be wondering why I rewarded only 2.5 stars for this highly regarded, classic ghost story. For me the writing was too convoluted. I personally love a superb turn of phrase and the classics don’t turn me off. But here I felt tangled up in the wordiness, the dialogue was inaccessible to me. I felt distanced from the characters to a degree that left me feeling too much like a passive bystander. I wanted to be drawn into the melodrama; I wanted to feel that shiver down my spine. I don’t need or want gruesomeness in my ghost stories, but I do crave a sense of dread as to what will happen next. With this book, the dread was underwhelming. It was like watching an old movie on an old television where the fuzz and static take over the screen; I am not fully captivated as a result. But you may be. If you have ever considered reading this highly acclaimed literary work, then grab a copy. You may love it as others have surely done. It’s a slim piece and won’t require a big investment of time. What I loved and appreciated most about this novel was the discussion which followed. I have read a number of opinions, a variety of theories, and each one has been invigorating and enriching. I will read this again… someday.

  • Paul Bryant
    2019-02-03 03:16

    Paranormal Activity 6 : The Turn of the Screw01:25 17th AUGUST 1895 : THE GOVERNESS’ BEDROOM04:55 23RD AUGUST 1895 : FROM THE WINDOW OF THE MAIN STAIRCASEAnyway, great story, but I must mention three STYLISTIC ISSUES which may perhaps GRATE on the less patient reader. 1) In The Turn of the Screw, as in a lot of HJ’s stuff, people like to finish each other’s sentences :“But aren’t they all – ““Sent home? Yes.” P33“Did she see anything in the boy –““That wasn’t right? She never told me.” P 36“He couldn’t prevent –““Your learning the truth? I dare say!” p63“Surely you don’t accuse him-““Of carrying on an intercourse that he conceals from me?” – p64“That was the great reason – ““Why those fiends took him in so long?” p77“You leave him –““So long with Quint? Yes.” P972) And people very often answer questions with questions and avoid giving a straight answer :“Do you fear for them?“Don’t you?” – p47“And you forgave him that?”“Wouldn’t you?” p 63“Well, do you like it?”“Do you?” – p114“Is that what you did at school?”“At school?” – p 1183) And being Henry James means that you sandbag your readers with sentences of remarkable opacity when they least expect it :He never wrote to them – that may have been selfish, but it was part of the flattery of his trust of myself; for the way in which a man pays his highest tribute to a woman is apt to be but by the more festal celebration of one of the sacred laws of his comfort.P82(I was okay until “be but by”)It sufficiently stuck out, that by tacit little tricks in which even more than myself he carried out the care for my dignity, I had had to appeal to him to let me off straining to meet him on the ground of his true capacity.P 111I mean, what - uh - huh -Anyhow, whatever, this is a P Bryant Must Read. footnote :for Screw fans, here's my follow-up review of all the lovely theories about it:

  • Seemita
    2019-02-01 01:05

    I often embrace the notion of writing being superior than plot to the extent of salvaging a lackluster body of the latter, very close to my heart. And it is stories like these that realign my reading meter in that direction.Henry James’ story has no flaws per se; instead, has a pollen bearing promise to turn into a full feather. A series of apparition that haunts the governess of a house, driving her to cast her net of suspicion across all the residents, primarily the children, makes for a premise worth pursuing towards an exciting journey. But its blooming is excruciatingly contricted amid the very many winding, endless sentences, almost binding the book like a curse. I am not troubled by such literary joints, especially when they coalesce to elevate the meaning to the surface, if not make it clear to the reader. But I found myself, repeatedly in the midst of verbose blah-blahs that did nothing to advance the story; worse, stalled the little progress it had already done in first few pages. I found my concentration wavering many times despite assuring the book a tranquil, conducive atmosphere and as a result, would have perhaps seen it nose-dive towards a me-too affair had it not been the climax which retrieved the verve to some extent. There were patches which were brilliant and like sparks, contained my reading experience from not being a total black-out. I call it a revolution because I now see how, with the word he spoke, the curtain rose on the last act of my dreadful drama and the catastrophe was precipitated. "Look here, my dear, you know," he charmingly said, "when in the world, please, am I going back to school?"Transcribed here the speech sounds harmless enough, particularly as uttered in the sweet, high, casual pipe with which, at all interlocutors, but above all at his eternal governess, he threw off intonations as if he were tossing roses.Characters are drawn with a stable, neutral hand implying I could make the solid outlines of the characters swaying and levitating but wasn’t compelled to stop them and ask them more of what was not visible on the surface. They won my attention but not my involvement. It was my first James and I am on the fence right now. Perhaps another ticket to his land is due when the writing may draw no comparison with Marcel Proust and the plot, with Conjuring 2.

  • James
    2019-01-22 01:08

    5 stars to Henry James's The Turn of the Screw. Perhaps America's greatest writer from our Realistic period, James's ghost story sets itself above all the rest -- and he has a lot to choose from. Consider this story a nanny's mind game - but who is in control?I studied James in my college years, even dedicating an entire semester to several of his works as one of my independent studies in my English major. Something about the way James told stories spoke to me, and I felt a connection to him as a person and as a writer. Many of his works annoyed me (The Golden Bowl, ugh!) but I still appreciated them. With Turn of the Screw, it was a master class in so many ways.The plot is still open to interpetation: who is telling the truth? who is alive? who is actually sane?All the same, the story is quite simple but oh so complex. It's a study of intense psychology where the reader has to determine who is playing this game and who is merely a pawn.If you like a bit of paranormal, and you are comfortable with a variety of impulse interpretations, you can learn a lot about how to draw in an audience from this book and James himself.It's more of a long short story, or a short novella, probably readable in one sitting over a few hours. It's a good escape from today's literature with a balance between flowery writing and direct plot and character development. Take a chance. You will definitely have strong opinions.About MeFor those new to me or my reviews... here's the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at, where you'll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I've visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

  •  Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books)
    2019-02-17 03:08

    Reading this story was a lot like standing in line opening weekend for a blockbuster you waited a year to see, and being underwhelmed. I was disappointed. I've heard about this story as being one of the best ghost stories ever written. I was so excited to read it. So excited was I, I had to download it to my Kindle to read right away, even though I have this story in one of my paperback collections. I love psychological horror, but I don't think a good psychological horror novel should leave the reader feeling as detached as I did with this story. I also felt that Mr. James spent so much time in writing a stylistically appealing story, using just the right turn of phrase to pretty up his narrative, that the story got lost in translation. I was surprised to realize that I had gotten to the end. I was like, "What?" After all the slow going, and slow build that never got anywhere, it was "wham!" Sigh! Not sure what to think of this one. I will be honest and say I had trouble with this story. I had to work really hard to read it and not skim the words to move ahead. I really resist that when I'm reading. There is no point in reading a story if you don't understand the intent behind it. I like to read every word and take things in. On the downside, I like a pay off to my reading, especially if it's not a particularly easy story to read. But, this story was hard to decipher for hidden intent.I saw some gems in it: the menace of two children who seemed like angels, but had a decidedly unangelic side. The governess who started to doubt her own reason and sanity, but was dead on in her understanding of what was going on. The apparitions that should have inspired dread in me, but somehow didn't. I spent time waiting to feel unease. It never got there.Please don't misunderstand me. I love subtle horror. I prefer it. But the impact of the horror, the feel of the gothic has to be there. It has to be planted in one's mind so that the power of the threat, or its aftermath, is felt. I never felt the true impact with this story. On the positive side, I felt that the psychological results of the 'demon children' on caregivers was translated pretty well. You could see the confusion and the distress that these beautiful, seemingly perfect children was having on the governess and the cook. It was interesting to see the governess have discussions with a child, that seemed incongruously adult. Discussions with an intellectual equal who will go for the jugular, so one has to be prepared for the worst. I felt that. At times, Miles did exude a menace that I wanted to feel. I felt the governess's anxiety at being in a situation that was beyond her control. Not sure that she was doing the right thing. And fearing for the safety of herself, those around her, and the children in her charge. But it was in a detached fashion. The power of horror is in bringing to light fears that we personally can identify with on some level, the more personal and visceral the better. If that barrier stays between the reader and the circumstance, then horror loses its ability to affect us.I have to say that I will read my volume Ghost Stories by this author, and hope for the best. But, I won't be attempting any of his non-gothic works. Although he is a beautiful writer, there is not enough to engage on an emotional level, which is very important to me in my pleasure reading. My recommendation: If you are a person who is absolutely committed to a thorough immersion into gothic fiction/classic horror reading, you should read this. However, depending on your tastes in writing styles, if you are like myself in that you don't go for pretty writing with less substance, I wouldn't expect much from it. Although I wouldn't say I am the most sophisticated reader, I am sophisticated enough to realize that much enjoyment can be found in 19th century literature, but this story didn't deliver that for me.

  • Michael
    2019-01-23 22:08

    Without giving anything away, what I love about this story is the creepy atmosphere and the ambiguity, right up to the ambiguity of the ending, where James doesn't quite resolve the competing images that he's placed in the reader's mind--images of what exactly has happened to the children and who exactly the governess is (mad? murderous? a witness to supernatural possession?).

  • Evgeny
    2019-02-17 04:15

    The plot of this classic Gothic book is well-known, so I will hit only the high points. A governess is hired by an English gentleman to take care of his orphaned nephew and niece. The only big condition for her work: she will never ever bother the guy with the problems with the kids. I could never figure out whether it was his eccentricity, or he just did not care about the kids much. The governess' first impression of the place was very favorable and the kids were adorable. Add to this good salary and you have practically a dream job. Some short time later it turned out that something is rotten in the state of Denmark - to use a quote from another literature classic. An idealistic tale turns out to be horror and adorable kids become monsters (and not little monsters either). I would like to start the discussion of the book with writing style. Some people call the style used here beautiful. Some people call it influential. Some people call it classic. I call it painful. It is overly verbose with huge paragraphs at times consisting of a single sentence. The main reason I was able to finish the book was its length: it is short. I am sure it is the case for its many readers. By the middle of the book I was ready to go on a killing spree if I read one more time about how adorable the kids were: it was repeated countless times on each page. I thought about using this technique in my review, but unlike the author I took pity of my readers. If you take away the verbosity the remaining part is so short it can qualify for a status of a short story. What saves it is the main heroine. For all her verbosity, romanticism, and naiveté she is a strong woman of her time. Do not believe me? Sure, she did not kill dozens of people standing between her and her goal - something modern "strong" women excel at - and she never tried lifting heavy weighs. What she does: she is not afraid to go along at night to the place haunted by ghosts armed only with a candle. She keeps fighting for the kids even when everything turns against her. The final rating is 2.5 stars. I do not regret reading the book, but I will not do it again for anything less than 6-digit amount of money.

  • Catriona (LittleBookOwl)
    2019-02-01 04:51

    2.5 stars.Interesting, this one...

  • Carol
    2019-01-21 22:54

    2.5 Stars. GEESH.......Glad it's over! Great set-up to draw in the reader with the anticipated narration of an eerie old manuscript, but Whew! What a verbose read!I usually love, love, love old creepy gothic horror stories, but this one (to me) was not scary or eerie or even very atmospheric. Now, there were a couple of "sightings" in a window, one in particular that made me think......oh we go, but my hopes were soon short lived.Besides a couple of suspicious deaths and the strange ending, I was disappointed. Yep, "A queer business and a queer story" of a governess hired to take care of two beautiful children, ages 8 and 10, in a house that is supposedly poisoned and filled with evil.Cannot recommend my first Henry James novel.

  • Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
    2019-02-16 03:07

    Me at 50%:And 75%. And 90%.I was actually really excited to read this classic Henry James novella, a gothic ghost story published in 1898. A young woman is hired to be the governess for two young orphans by their uncle, whose good looks and charm impress the governess. She wants to impress him in turn with her capability, especially when his main command to her is that she never, NEVER, bother him with any problems or concerns.She's packed off to the uncle's country estate to meet young Flora and Miles, who are delightful, beautiful children. The housekeeper becomes her friend and confidante. There are just a few odd things: strange noises in the house -- footsteps, a child's cry -- and Miles has been expelled from his boarding school for mysterious, unnamed reasons. But really everything is just fine. Until she starts seeing a mysterious man and woman appear and disappear, and becomes convinced that they are the ghosts of the prior governess and another employee. And she's certain that the children see these ghosts but won't admit it. Also she's quite sure that these ghosts are out to get the children. How is she so sure of all these things? Who knows? She just is. And the question is: is she really seeing supernatural manifestations, or is she slowly becoming more and more delusional? or both? And are the children innocent or evil? James includes hints but doesn't ever answer these questions.It sounds like a fascinating psychological examination, with a narrator who is both unnamed and unreliable. So it surprised me a little when I literally could barely keep my eyes open while I was reading it.The story is told in a roundabout, murky way, which helps create a sense of confusion. You also have to continually plow through sentences like this one:They had never, I think, wanted to do so many things for their poor protectress; I mean--though they got their lessons better and better, which was naturally what would please her most--in the way of diverting, entertaining, surprising her; reading her passages, telling her stories, acting her charades, pouncing out at her, in disguises, as animals and historical characters, and above all astonishing her by the "pieces" they had secretly got by heart and could interminably recite.I think Henry James must have had some sort of allergy to periods. How did he even stay awake while he was writing convoluted sentences like this?I persevered to the end (not so hard to do when it's only 100 pages), but this story just never grew on me. The whole thing was an odd and unsatisfying reading experience, which perhaps Henry James would say was his intent. Too bad it was also so very boring.But if you ever have insomnia, I've got the book for you. Buddy read with the Non-Crunchy Pantsless group. (Dan, you owe us!)

  • Robin
    2019-01-23 04:47

    Delectable ambiguityIs the young, nameless governess in charge of two creepily perfect children losing her mind? Or are there ghosts on the premises, appearing to and influencing the kiddies, and scaring her half to death? This is the see-saw you'll ride when you read this, and there's no right answer. Though, there are plenty of academics and otherwise who have argued both sides.If you think you're going to read this book, and "figure it out", forget about it. It was written with artful cleverness, presenting the reader with a picture that is eternally blurry, the meaning of which will always be debated. And that is a good thing. It forces the reader to engage, to analyse, to justify their position. And depending on your mood, or what details happen to stand out to you, your conviction may fluctuate.I ploughed through Henry James' gothic novella. Aside from some slightly confusing dialogue and some awkward comma use, this book reads elegantly, and builds a swamp full of dread with every page. A mysterious employer who wants nothing to do with his oddly angelic niece and nephew? A child who can hear someone tip toeing outside his closed door in the middle of the night? Apparitions of dead people? It's definitely a ghost story. Well, unless she was a raving lunatic...

  • Diane
    2019-01-22 02:07

    Ooh, what a fantastic ghost story! I've been meaning to read more Henry James, and this was such a fun gothic thriller that I'm even more impressed with his range of works.The story is that a governess goes to an English country house to take charge of two orphaned children, Miles and Flora. The governess is told she must manage everything herself and not disturb the children's uncle, who is their guardian. Soon the governess is alarmed when she sees an unknown man and woman around the estate, and the housekeeper informs her that the couple used to work there, but both died. The governess suspects that the children know more about these "ghosts" than they will admit to her, and fears for their safety. This is a fun, fast novella and I was so captivated that I finished it in one session. I listened to this on Audible after reading a rave review of Emma Thompson's performance, which was as marvelous as promised. Richard Armitage narrated the opening, and he was also excellent. This story whetted my appetite for more gothic stories. Highly recommended.

  • Fernando
    2019-02-18 22:05

    -¿No la ve usted como la vemos nosotras? ¿Es que no la está viendo ahora..., ahora mismo? ¡Es tan grande como una hoguera! ¡Limítese a mirar, buena mujer! ¡Mire!"Otra vuelta de tuerca" sigue siendo para mí LA novela de fantasmas por antonomasia, como dice la contratapa de mi edición del libro. Y creo que más allá de otras que dentro del género gótico marcaron el inicio de estos relatos, como Los misterios de Udolfo (nombrada en esta novela ) y El castillo de Otranto, este el libro de Henry James el que instala definitivamente el concepto de lo fantasmal, lo ominoso y lo opresivo en una novela tradicional.Seguramente hay muchos ejemplos más en este vasto universo de la literatura, pero es que cuando un lector tiene ganas de incursionar en estos relatos es muy probable que el primer título que se la venga a la cabeza el título de este libro, escritoo por este gran novelista, famoso por haber dividido su narrativa entre Inglaterra y los Estados Unidos.Este es uno de sus éxitos más rotundos, conjuntamente con otras obras como "Retrato de una dama", "Las bostonianas", "Los papeles de Aspern" y "Los embajadores". Su obra es vasta e inolvidable y aún hoy se sigue leyendo en todo el mundo.Esta novela instala otra cuestión crucial en la narrativa y que se refiere a los distintos puntos de vista de los personajes, puesto que cada uno tiene una visión propia de lo que ve o cree ver.En primer lugar tenemos al personaje principal, la institutriz sin nombre (nunca sabemos cómo se llama) que llega a una enorme mansión de Bly para cuidar y educar a dos supuestamente encantadores niños, llamados Miles y Flora. Conocerá allí al ama de llaves, la señora Grose, un personaje no tan secundario que tendrá que mucho que ver a lo largo de lo que sucede a partir de los primeros "encuentros" de la institutriz con presencias extrañas.La novela ha tenido múltiples interpretaciones y todas recaen siempre en la institutriz, ya que con el correr de los capítulos, el lector comienza a hacerse ciertas preguntas: ¿son los fantasmas de la anterior institutriz, los que vuelven a la mansión para "quedarse" con los niños y aterrorizarla a ella? Al leer la novela, conocemos la historia de la señorita Jessel, que fue joven y hermosa como ella y que murió en circunstancias extrañas y también del criado, el señor Quint, supuestamente violento, cruel y promiscuo que es hallado muerto tiempo atrás y al parecer ambos no descansan en paz.¿La institutriz sufre de alucinaciones? ¿está mentalmente desequilibrada? ¿ se está volviendo loca? ¿es paranoica? Todas estas preguntas comienzan a instalarse en nuestra cabeza, pero las respuestas chocan entre sí puesto que todas adquieren una probabilidad muy certera. Uno de los pasajes más significativos que se relacionan a estas preguntas se da cuando la institutriz y Flora se encuentran a orillas del lago del mar de Azov y creo que es la mejor escena de esta novela.Allí está ella y Flora y la señorita Jessel. ¿Está la señorita Jessel? La institutriz la está viendo y recíprocamente Jessel la mira con una mirada demoníaca y realmente fantasmal, pero Flora... ¿la ve? ¿o la ve y le dice a la institutriz que no?Así están planteados los encuentros con los fantasmas que al inicio son entre la institutriz y ellos a través de ventanales en el caso del señor Quint y en las escaleras y en las habitaciones cuando sucede con la señorita Jessel, hasta que comienzan a participar los niños de ellos y también la señora Grose. Todo parece tan claro para la institutriz, pero tan confuso para el lector y este es el juego al que nos lleva Henry James con tanta maestría y genialidad. Es que nunca sabremos si los niños saben y no quieren decirlo o la mente de la institutriz va camino a una colapso mental inevitable. Así están planteadas las cosas ya desde el tercer capítulo y terminará las historias con algunos puntos no cerrados, pero manteniéndonos a nosotros los lectores realmente expectantes de lo que pueda suceder."Otra vuelta de tuerca" hace alusión a términos como terror, miedo, alucinación, sugestión, fantasmas, ambigüedad, muerte y a géneros literarios como el gótico, el terror clásico, el misterio, el terror psicológico o el thriller. Esta tan bien relatada por Henry James que hasta él mismo sintió un poco de miedo cuando le entregó las galeradas al editor diciendo "Al terminar estaba tan asustado que me daba miedo ir a la cama."Puedo imaginar lo que causó en 1891 y más allá de que el terror de hoy, a partir de genios como Stephen King pueda considerarse muy superior al terror relatado por Henry James, esta novela nunca perdió su vigencia. Leí este libro por primera vez y me fascinó. Lo leí una segunda vez cuando estudié Letras y me volvió a hechizar. Y aún hoy sigo intentando darle otra vuelta de tuerca...

  • Perry
    2019-01-22 23:04

    A Ghost Story or An Intense Psychological StudyBlue & Black vs. Gold & WhiteThis ghost story/novella, written by Henry James and published in 1898, has generated considerable debate among writers, readers and critics over the hundred plus years since, on whether it's a ghost story (e.g., Truman Capote) or a character study (e.g., Edmund Wilson). Your interpretation largely turns on whether you believe the unnamed female governess is mad. If so, you see this as a character study of a woman whose visions of ghosts are mere illusions of a woman suffering a bout of insanity from suppressed hostilities. If not, you believe she's seen ghosts of the former governess and valet, who were discharged for an illicit love affair and are attempting to contact, and actually communicating with, both the ten-year-old boy and eight-year-old girl in her charge, and thus it's a ghostly tale possibly involving evil child molesters. You can literally see almost paragraph by paragraph, chapter by chapter, how James was intentionally vague or ambiguous in writing this novella, or as a critic for the New Yorker (Brad Leithauser) accurately commented, the book is "a modest monument to the bold pursuit of ambiguity," "rigorously committed to the lack of commitment." I like to view this as a ghost story, ambiguous in its rendering as are the existence of spirits from the netherworld, and growing in intensity as James turns the screw on the governess and the reader. If you haven't read it, I highly recommend it, if nothing else to see which side you come down on in what nearly seems like the literary equivalent of the internet buzz from a few years back: is the dress is blue and black or gold and white?*

  • Werner
    2019-01-24 22:05

    Note, Oct. 21, 2016: Following my third reading of this novella, I've just completely updated my review, not in any way to change the interpretation, but rather to focus more strictly on discussion of the text itself, rather than underlying critical assumptions about it. (Those will be more properly addressed in a separate review of A Casebook on Henry James's The Turn of The Screw, which I hope will follow later this month.) I was hesitant to significantly rewrite the review once 32 people had officially liked it (and I'm very appreciative of each "like!"); but I think the improvement will be worthwhile, and I trust I won't write anything that would make anyone "unlike" the review!Though first published in 1898, internal chronological notes establish that the main action of this story takes place in Essex, in southeastern England, around 1850 or possibly earlier. The premise of this tale, taken straightforwardly, is well-enough known not to constitute a spoiler: an unnamed 20-year-old governess, who narrates the main body of the story, comes to the isolated manor of Bly to care for two orphaned children, 10-year-old Miles and his younger sister Flora, engaged by their uncle the absentee Master of Bly, with the stipulation that she not bother him with any communication at all. Gradually, she discovers that the ghosts of two malevolent deceased servants (the Master's valet, Peter Quint, and her predecessor, Miss Jessel), whom only she can see, are manifesting their presence, and that they have a continuing unwholesome interest in the children --which may be reciprocated. Like many ghost stories in the classic tradition, this one presents a note of formal ambiguity around the manifestations, to preserve their aura of mystery. To a greater degree than most, though, since around 1924 this work has been subjected, by both critics and ordinary readers, to revisionist reinterpretation as a purely psychological story of an insane governess who hallucinates all of the ghostly phenomena. By classifying this as supernatural fiction, of course, I've already made my interpretive stance (which is based on having read the book three times--once as a college student in the early 70s, more recently after becoming aware of the revisionist theory, to see whether I'd missed anything the first time, and lastly this month, as part of a common read in one of my groups) clear; I view this as a straightforward story of a ghostly haunting, and the governess as a trustworthy narrator.On the part of ordinary contemporary readers who take the revisionist view, especially those not very familiar with James' other work, there are two basic points of evidence for the governess' unreliability: she intuits and infers a great many things, from conversations and facial expressions, etc., that aren't directly stated; and by her own admission, she has something of what we would today call a crush on the Master, though she's met him only twice. In the estimation of many average readers in 2016, the sanity of anybody who does the former is suspect, and they find it impossible to picture a psychologically normal 20-year-old woman reacting in the latter way to any man, even an attractive one. In their view, this telegraphs that there's something seriously wrong with her, as surely as if she was walking around wearing a sandwich sign saying "I'm crazy." But in James' work as a whole, the former pattern is actually the norm for his characters; they accurately infer and intuit all kinds of things from just this sort of evidence. It's simply a characteristic of his literary style. And the governess isn't a sophisticated modern 20-year-old who grew up watching HBO and reading Cosmopolitan. She's a sheltered Victorian girl from a country parsonage, being exposed to close conversation with an attractive guy for the first time, in a culture in which she doesn't expect to "date" and in which her views of the opposite sex are colored by Romantic novels (rather than by feminist theory and whatever porn flicks she's seen). In that context, her (temporary) reaction isn't crazy; it's perfectly natural for a healthy young woman.There are, on the other hand, a number of textual indications of the governess' reliability. Douglas, the reader of her story-within-a story, who knew her well for decades, has a high opinion of her character and capabilities, and James takes pains to establish this at the outset. The housekeeper can recognize and name Quint from the governess' description of the figure she saw, though the governess never heard of Quint and never saw him in life. (It's stated later that this was true of her description of Miss Jessel as well.) The governess' frequent second-guessing of her own perceptions and questioning of her own sanity is actually powerful evidence for it; genuinely crazy people typically don't have the slightest doubt of themselves. Miles and Flora's preternatural "goodness" and total silence about their lives before the governess' arrival is certainly abnormal, and inexplicable on the revisionist view, as are a number of other incidents (view spoiler)[At the climax, Miles, not the governess, names Quint and Miss Jessel, though he knows nothing about the incident with Flora the previous day. And Miles' death is understandable only as caused by Quint, or his emotional reaction to the deliverance from Quint; the idea that the governess "suffocated" him by having her arms around him will not hold water on examination (and a physician, even in 1850, could also tell if a child had been suffocated), and it's totally unrealistic to imagine her behavior here inducing a heart attack in a healthy young teen. (hide spoiler)] Moreover, this is not James' only venture into the ghost story; such tales were a favorite medium of expression for him (see The Ghostly Tales Of Henry James); and his other works in the genre certainly appear to be sraightforwardly supernatural. And while his discussion of this story in the preface to the 1908 edition of The Aspern Papers doesn't explicitly say, "the ghostly sightings are not hallucinations!" (since nobody up to that time had suggested that they were!), it clearly implies and presupposes that he intends readers to take the tale literally.A possible sub-text of hidden, or at least subtle, meaning of a different sort may exist in the story, however: James may use the format of a ghost story to explore the subject (which, if explicitly treated, would have been taboo in Victorian literature) of child sexual abuse. The reason for Quint's and Miss Jessel's interest in the two children, both in life and after death, and the nature of their corrupting influence, is never explicitly stated; but the very reticence here invites surmise. We are told, though, that Miles spent a LOT of time alone with Quint, as did Flora with Miss Jessel, and (view spoiler)[we learn later that Miles was caught in lying when he denied that some of these occasions happened (hide spoiler)]. I suspect this would be a red flag for most modern social workers. Quint apparently had an evil reputation (for "secret disorders, vices more than suspected") that his loose morals with female servants wouldn't wholly account for, in that day of double standards; villagers might wink at that --but not at bisexual pedophilia. (view spoiler)[And this view makes sense of the otherwise curious revelation, late in the book, that the little boy got in trouble at school for things he said that were "too bad" to write in a letter --not, as the governess initially supposes, to boys he disliked, but to those he "liked." (hide spoiler)] Interestingly, I held that impression before I ever read Roger Clarke's Ghosts: A Natural History: 500 Years of Searching for Proof, but he seems to have independently come to a similar idea; Miss Jessel, he says in his discussion of this story "...formed some kind of unholy sexual alliance with Quint, which seems to have extended to the children.... these are predatory, paedophile ghosts." (p.61).James' prose style can be dry and convoluted (even by 19th- century standards); but it's less so here than in much of his other work. The story also has a very real emotional force, enhanced by the fact that its menace is directed against children, which adds, in James' own words, the titular "turn of the screw" to the horror. Atmospheric, brooding and well- paced, this is far and away the best of the author's ghostly tales --and one of the best I've read from any writer!

  • Chrissie
    2019-01-31 22:53

    Finally, a mystery that I really like. A creepy Gothic mystery. The question is if the governess is crazy. Are the apparitions only in her head? I will not tell you what else she does. Or does she? You are meant to think. You are not reading this to be given definitive answers. We each draw our own conclusion. I like the ambiguity. I like that readers can discuss this from all different angles. I like this novella because it grabs your attention right from the start, and then it never lets you go. It is short. It is intense. It is confusing in parts, but the confusion pushes you on, increases the suspense and when you think about the confusion, that there is confusion does make sense.This is a novella to be experienced. How? I can wholeheartedly recommend grabbing the audiobook narrated by Richard Armitage and Emma Thompson. Armitage narrates the preface, which is short but an essential part of the tale. He performs the part of the story's unnamed narrator as he tells us how his friend Douglas acquired the manuscript written by the governess. Then Emma Thompson reads the governess' tale, which is written in the form of a first-person narrative. All in all, a very effective presentation.And who is Douglas? Am I the only one thinking about that?

  • Char
    2019-02-13 23:14

    Narrated by Emma Thompson, I enjoyed re-reading this classic, gothic novella for the third time. I know many readers are not impressed by this book, but I enjoyed it, (again). I know it's rather verbose, especially considering the length of the book, but I found more than a few of the sentences to be outright chilling. I've always loved psychological horror and ambiguous stories, so this one hits most of the marks for me. My original rating of the book, at 4 stars, stands.

  • Miriam
    2019-02-09 03:52

    Time to admit it: I am never finishing this book. Short as it is, it is a big chore. It's too bad, because the story itself is interesting to me, as is the ambiguity about whether supernatural things are really happening. Likewise, James' prose style, while very much not to my personal taste, is certainly not bad. As a combination, however, plot and style are terrible. The lengthy, convoluted sentences and slowness of narration completely sap any sense of fear, urgency, or even unease from the situation.This was a buddy-read with the Non-Crunchy folks, but my verdict is: Crunchy. Very crunchy.

  • Roberto
    2019-01-30 03:48

    Un capolavoro deve per forza anche piacere?Genere: horror, forse ghost story. Alla fine direi: "indefinito".Atmosfera: gotica, fuori dal comune e con un forte senso di "isolamento".Tecnica narrativa: perfetta. Ricco di frasi dette e non terminate, di parole lasciate in sospeso, di domande senza risposta. Ogni singolo dettaglio è ragionato e curato con estrema attenzione.Stile narrativo: piacevole, anche se abbastanza contorto; forse il linguaggio risente un po' del tempo trascorso.Trama: i personaggi agiscono in una costante atmosfera di ambiguità, tra il sospetto che ogni cosa accada solo nella mente della protagonista, che i pericoli siano reali e minacciosi o che appaiano veramente fantasmi, che però non parlano mai.Valore letterario: sicuramente un capolavoro. Un capolavoro di ambiguità, dove regna il non detto, pieno zeppo di punti ciechi. Un seducente e intricato gioco psicologico. Sì, ma mi è piaciuto? No. Ma questa è un'altra storia, no?