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Thoughts on The Turn of the Screw by Henry James

January 25, 2011
Cover of "The Turn of the Screw (Second E...

Cover via Amazon

“I quite agree—in regard to Griffin’s ghost, or whatever it was—that its appearing first to the little boy, at so tender an age, adds a particular touch. But it’s not the first occurrence of its charming kind that I know to have involved a child. If the child gives the effect another turn of the screw, what do you say to TWO children—?”

“We say, of course,” somebody exclaimed, “that they give two turns! Also that we want to hear about them.”

The Turn of the Screw by Henry James is a classic story of the paranormal. This novella is filled with suspense and vivid imagery and written in a way that draws you into the world woven around the manor at Bly.  The governess and the two children she looks after are central to this story.  James’ writing style is an easy one to follow and he was adept at conveying the emotions of the governess.  Often, there is a sense of urgency about her.  The governess was the only well developed character in the book, but you feel a true connection to her and follow her emotions and suspicions intently.

Stories that involve the paranormal and children always seem to be the most chilling to the blood.  James’ used children to enhance the fearful and suspenseful aspects of this story.   I don’t want to say much on the story as in doing so gives away much of the surprises that are within, so I will stop here.

The emotions, imagery, and style were all easy to follow when reading this book.  The Turn of the Screw is a classic horror story that I would highly recommend reading.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. January 26, 2011 8:33 am

    I should put this one on my to-read shelf. I did enjoy The Portrait of a Lady by Henry James.

    • January 26, 2011 9:08 am

      It’s a good one, especially if you like a little bit of a scary story. Henry James really does write remarkably well.

  2. January 27, 2011 1:50 pm

    It’s been on my TBR list for quite a while. I have never read anything by James…

    • January 27, 2011 1:57 pm

      This is the first thing I had read by Henry James and it was a great and fairly short read.

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