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The Turn Of The Screw And Other Stories

3.61  ·  Rating Details ·  4,206 Ratings  ·  104 Reviews
Whether viewed as a subtle, self-conscious exploration of the haunted house of Victorian culture, filled with echoes of sexual and social unease, or simply as "the most hopelessly evil story we have ever read," The Turn of the Screw is probably the most famous of ghostly tales and certainly the most eerily equivocal. This new edition includes three rarely reprinted ghost s ...more
Paperback, 266 pages
Published 1992 by Oxford University Press (first published 1898)
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Rosie
Apr 17, 2013 Rosie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I would not, having perused this book at leisure, for an indeterminate period of time, after it was recommended, indeed, after I was encouraged to make it my mission to enjoy it, and found it wanting, read this book again.

If you enjoyed reading that sentence then you will enjoy this book. If not, then don't even bother.

I am not faint-hearted when it comes to reading different types of writing, but seriously, 'The Turn of the Screw' was horrendously hard to follow, with hugely long sentences and
...more
Rowland Bismark
Jun 15, 2010 Rowland Bismark rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Turn of the Screw was originally published as a serialized novel in Collier's Weekly. Robert J. Collier, whose father had founded the magazine, had just become editor. At the time, James was already a well-known author, having already published The Europeans, Daisy Miller, Washington Square, and The Bostonians. Collier was hoping to increase his magazine's circulation and revenue and to improve its reputation by publishing the works of a serious, well-known author like James. James himself h ...more
Onewooga
Sep 02, 2009 Onewooga rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have to say, you need patience to read Henry James. The man is a master of the clause and the prepositional phrase. If you are an English teacher forced to torture your students with diagramming sentences, James is your man. That being said, the stories are really quite subtle and sneakily brilliant. I kept thinking, OK, where is this going, Henry, and then we'd get there and I'd think: WOW. My favorites in this collection do not actually include "The Turn of the Screw," which was my original ...more
Kathrina
I'm kind of amazed that I read this in high school, and I'm wondering what I got out of it back then. I remember putting it on the "I like this one" list, but past that, I don't know. After a re-read, I still put it on that list, but I imagine I've put it there for very different reasons. I've struggled a long time with my relationship with Henry James; I very much appreciate him and admire him, but sometimes I do wish he'd just get to the point. He seems to do this much more gingerly in the thr ...more
Blair
3/5 for the 'other stories', 4/5 for The Turn of the Screw itself, so more of a 3.5/5 overall. The other stories didn't leave much of an impression on me. As far as classic supernatural/ghostly tales go, I think I prefer the more explicit otherworldliness of Edgar Allan Poe's short stories. The Turn of the Screw was suitably atmospheric, although I found it hard to divorce from my previous impressions of the story, especially the souped-up version delivered by the recent BBC TV adaptation. I lik ...more
Jessica
Jan 18, 2016 Jessica rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Libby
I was a little disappointed with The Turn of the Screw. I don't usually find older language difficult to read, but the style he used to tell the story was really wordy and hard to get through. I've wanted to read this story since I was young, so maybe I was expecting too much. However, I did find the telling of the ghosts and their interactions with people incredibly well-written, eerily descriptive, and overall what I was hoping to find in this story. The dialogue was choppy and difficult to fo ...more
Dave Holcomb
Jun 14, 2014 Dave Holcomb rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an interesting collection of James' shorter fiction, brought together only by the fact that some element of the supernatural -- whether real or imagined -- appears in each one.

Two of the stories stood out for me. "Own Wingrave" is a remarkable examination of the idea of bravery and commitment to principles, as its protagonist, considered by all and sundry to be the ideal military man, instead chooses to become an objector, a role that ultimately requires far more courage and strength th
...more
Jim
Jun 28, 2015 Jim rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If for some reason you have never read Henry James before, I urge you to begin by reading his short novels and short stories, of which The Turn of the Screw and Other Stories is a worthy collection.

To those who are not familiar with his work, James seems to be a singularly bland, even bloodless character who seems incapable to any great depths. Far from it! Why I particularly like this collection is that it includes a number of stories in which the author, being cognizant of his reputation, tri
...more
Dana
Oct 20, 2015 Dana rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I hate scary movies but love scary books. My idea of scary is probably pretty tame compared to most peoples but I do enjoy the thrill of feeling a bit scared in my bed at night when I am reading. I will still never forget reading Steven King's "The Shining" while in high school and being terrified while reading it in the middle of the day in my room, needing to turn the light on! I still consider that to be the scariest book I have ever read. Other books I have found scary, though in different w ...more
Mike
Sep 01, 2015 Mike rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: school
Lengthy and dry Victorian era prose. The attempt of an American to be as British as possible. The sentences, as per Victorian tradition, are LONG. The story is uninteresting, and the characters are as well. The themes in the book are generally used for critical analysis by deconstructionists, feminists, psychoanalysts, and marxists. If that tells you anything about this.

A supernatural (if it can really even be called that) tale that is really about class identity; it sucks. I had to read it twi
...more
Jordan McKay
Sep 13, 2015 Jordan McKay rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Is the governess mad, or are the ghosts real?
Read this to not find out and remain unnerved by either conclusion because of James's phenomenal writing and exemplary unreliable narration. Three other stories are included in the Oxford Classics edition, and all are very enjoyable tales. The best of which revolves around a woman marrying a man who she had intended to set up with another woman: jealousy and hysteria ensue.
Cal
I only made it half way through The Turn of the Screw before I gave up in frustration. I found myself rereading almost every sentence because the writing style is so fragmented. The story never finds a rhythm because it is constantly being interjected by awkwardly placed prose that is jammed in the middle of a sentence as if it was thought of after the sentence was started and ot was too late to go back and work it into the story.
Jeffrey Otto
The Turn of the Screw: 4 stars
The Pupil: 3 stars
The Third Person: 2 stars

Admittedly, though, I appreciated the fact that at one point or another in each of these stories, my hair stood on end. I also love the Gothic Revival cover on this book which I picked up at a second-hand bookshop in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
Shari
Jan 16, 2012 Shari rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classic
Aaahhh... James... why is nothing easy with your works? This one leaves more questions than answers. How does the story really end? What is the real mystery here? The ghosts or the children? The governess is a likable character but not necessarily a reliable narrator. Worth reading again just to get some things straight.
Sally
Jul 24, 2011 Sally rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics, nope
This was a real struggle to get through. I found 'The Turn of the Screw' boggling. I could not follow it at all and it bored me to tears. The next two stories were okay but the final was was incomprehensible. Henry James writes beautifully but gets very bogged down in his prose at times. I found this book utterly tedious.
Paul Romanov
I believe "The Turn of the Screw" is a very difficult book to read and the ending left so many questions:
whether the ghosts actually existed or were imagined by the governess ?
I felt entirely confused.
Sonia Crites
Finally finished this up. I almost bailed but decided to stick it out. The stories are ok but I wasn't really invested in any of them. Of them all it was actually the last story that caught my interest.
Halah
I only read The Turn of the Screw in here but oh well, I'm bound to rad them someday.
Thoughts: You freak of a governess.
Ann
Nov 03, 2015 Ann rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a book that I revisit over and again.
Whitaker
Dec 10, 2010 Whitaker rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A really great book shows us how everything is great and worth to die for
Jacques Coulardeau
The first element to clear up is the date of publication. Henry James could not at that time when he wrote this strongly anti-gay, as we would say today, novella using ghosts to create tension ignore Oscar Wilde’s Ghost of Canterville in which Oscar Wilde in 1887 makes fun of Americans who believe in ghosts so much that they can shoot peas with peashooters at them, up to the final peace agreement the Americans negotiate with that ghost. Henry James takes quite a serious approach towards the two ...more
Charlotte Jones
The Turn of the Screw

To be honest, I thought it would be a quick read but I soon found the writing style to be overly wordy and overall very slow to get through. At some points, sentences would go on for almost a page and it just seemed unnecessary and on many occasions I had to reread passages to understand their full meaning.

I really didn’t like the themes of paedophilia and just the general creepiness of all of the relationships between the adults and children as it was uncomfortable to read
...more
Lindsey Sparks
Nov 23, 2016 Lindsey Sparks rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned-and-read
Henry James has a reputation for being a master at short fiction for a reason. Five of the six stories in this collection were a delight.

An International Affair – my favorite of the bunch. It’s a surprisingly funny story about an American woman obsessed with the British, who meets a Lord and visits England. I particularly liked the scenes where she wants to sightsee and go to places like the Tower of London and Hampton Court and everyone’s like why do that when you can socialize??? The descripti
...more
Heather
Jul 10, 2016 Heather rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 3-stars
There are two Henry James’ in this book. The one that writes the prologue is amazing and had me hooked – the writing was atmospheric, intriguing, and just beautiful to read. Then Henry James 2.0 appears in the first chapter, writing from the perspective of a governess. Henry James 2.0 is a real drag.

He’s sort of ok early on, but in his attempt to write how he thought a governess would, I feel like he overwrote and it made it a bit difficult to follow what was happening at times; the sentences we
...more
Kevin
Oct 22, 2013 Kevin rated it it was ok
Shelves: horror
frankly, i read only The Turn of the Screw. sifting through the stilted Victorian prose was less than fun and i openly skoffed at many of the idiomatic phrasings and vocabulary, finding them to be too massively wordy. however, there were long stretches that i simply did not understand as well. they seemed to contradict themselves. just when i thought the governess was making a positive statement another person would deny it or, worse, agree with it and then the governess would promptly deny it. ...more
Liz
Jul 29, 2016 Liz rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fbc-16
This edition contains four stories: "Sir Edmund Orme," "Owen Wingrave," "The Friends of the Friends," and "The Turn of the Screw." The title story dominates the collection and is by far the best. As a general rule, I don't enjoy paranormal stories, but I knew what I was getting into here (unlike, say, The Luminaries) and I appreciated James's subtlety. The first two stories underwhelmed me, though the ending of "Owen Wingrave" almost made up for the long dull lead-in; "The Friends of the Friends ...more
Mary Soderstrom
Looking for something spooky to read at Drawn and Quarterly's Haunted Bookstore evening October 30, I began reading Henry James's various weird tales.

James is such an aristocratic writer with such a convoluted style that ghost stories are not what immediately spring to mind when his name is mentioned. But the darker side of life comes through in several of his tales.

Specifically there's The Turn of the Screw, set in a properly Gothic English estate whereThe Jolly Corner is a novella I read whe
...more
Diana
Aug 25, 2007 Diana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those in need of a good ghost story; fans of Impressionism/Early Modernism
This novella is brilliant, and, due to its brevity (approximately 100 pages), a quick and easy read. James's story, centered around a young governess working in an isolated English estate who begins to see visions of malevolent ghosts, scared me more than I would like to admit. Alright I confess, I became so frightened reading it alone in my bedroom during the wee hours of the morn, that I was compelled to rush to Steve's room for a comforting cuddle (despite a fleeting paranoid thought that, in ...more
Harsh Kumar
Jun 21, 2015 Harsh Kumar rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Henry James no doubt an amazing writer. The Turn of the screw was wicked. A disturbing story one could say. It leaves you with a lot of questions in your mind. As I have stated in another review of mine that the Oxford edition of such classic stories brings along with it a lot of utter crap. Waste of pages , long introductions , Notes and so on.
The book has in it four stories which are as follows
Sir Edmund Orme - 3 stars
Owen Wingrave - 3 stars
The Friends of the Friends - 3 stars
And lastly the
...more
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Henry James, OM, son of theologian Henry James Sr., brother of the philosopher and psychologist William James and diarist Alice James, was an American-born author, one of the founders and leaders of a school of realism in fiction. He spent much of his life in England and became a British subject shortly before his death. He is primarily known for a series of major novels in which he portrayed the ...more
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