Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Turn of the Screw and the Aspern Papers” as Want to Read:
The Turn of the Screw and the Aspern Papers
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

The Turn of the Screw and the Aspern Papers

3.79 of 5 stars 3.79  ·  rating details  ·  4,692 ratings  ·  212 reviews
With layers of meanings and comprehensively drawn characters, once again Henry James captures the attention of the readers. Unique themes that cover past, present, supernatural phenomenon and uncanny affairs are artistically amalgamated. Riveting
ebook, 0 pages
Published January 1st 2006 by ReadHowYouWant (first published 1898)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Turn of the Screw and the Aspern Papers, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Turn of the Screw and the Aspern Papers

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Sketchbook
James is always about thwarted desire and/or sexual repression,
like the man's own life. In "Screw" the sublimated sexuality of the governess turns her into a mental case; she destroys 2 children with her fantasies of corruption. Are the kiddies innocent? I dont think so, but they are sweet. The (deceiving) framework is a ghost story. This fools Dum Reader.

In "Aspern" a naive-repressed editor tries to coax
a crusty dowager and her cock-hungry niece to part with some
historic papers, but the ladies
...more
X
The Turn of the Screw was quite good, but difficult to read due to the gothic language. The subtle mystery and non-so-subtle supernatural elements were gripping, but the ending left me, at least, still wondering about a few unresolved things.

I had no idea what to expect from The Aspern Papers, but I found it easier to follow than The Turn of the Screw and even enjoyed its lovely Venetian setting and the narrator's attempt to outwit the old lady who possessed the papers in question. I'm not sure
...more
David
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Rlotz
For the second time, I have had the misfortune of choosing to reading Henry James alongside another difficult author. The first time it was Proust; this time, Joyce. So, instead of getting the desired relief from literary headache, I get an extension of it. But, of course, the fault is mine, not Henry’s.

When reading Henry James’s work, I am reminded of a remark Stephen King made about Stanley Kubrick: that “he thinks too much and feels too little.” One gets the impression that, as Henry wrote, h
...more
Christopher H.
This review is associated with The Aspern Papers--

The Aspern Papers is a brilliant novella written by Henry James and serialized in the Atlantic in 1888. In short, The Aspern Papers is the story of an academic researcher, the novella's narrator, on the trail of bundles of personal letters and writings of a long-dead American poet, 'Jeffrey Aspern'. Apparently, these letters and papers are in the possession of a very old woman, Miss Juliana Bordereau, who lives with her middle-aged niece in an ol
...more
Sam
Ok, I didn't actually read the Aspern Papers, just The Turn of the Screw. It was recommended by a member of our book club.

Firstly, I found it hard going. It often took me two attempts at reading a sentence to understand it clearly. I can't quite put my finger on the problem, it was clearly written in English, but the sentence structure (which was probably perfectly correct) was (in some parts) almost unintelligible.

The story itself is almost as confusing. I actually had to 'Google' it afterwards
...more
Melissa Jackson
One of my favorite short stories, it's absolutely beautiful how creepy this book is. I need to reread it again!

(Even if I can't stare at the cover of this edition for too long without being convinced the children are standing behind me, just waiting. I gave this specific copy to my friend Liz one year for her birthday and upon opening it and being thrilled to finally own it, she shrieked and threw it away from her immediately. Seriously, this cover is horrifying up close.)

The Aspern Papers are
...more
Susan McNally
I re-read this recently and what a glorious creepy tale.. those children little Miles and Flora. Many writers have tried to copy James's skill at leading the reader to the point where they realise the children are involved... in something quite horrible. A short story really but a great read.
Oria
There is something about the classics that just wouldn’t go away. Not that I want it to, I have to add. Every now and then I feel the need for the convoluted language, the turned phrases, the intricately constructed sentences that make my head spin and my mind feel like I’ve just been mentally tortured. And yet, it is a sweet torture, and one I find comfort in from time to time.

The only other book by Henry James I’ve read was "The Portrait of a Lady" and while I wasn’t exactly swept away by it,
...more
Michael
Although the book is very dense, it starts to clear up after a chapter or two and it becomes rather easy to read Jame's writing. Actually, his writing is pretty clear and interesting once you get used to it. I don't honestly believe it was as creepy as some people say, although there certainly are one or two spots that are very scary. Overall, a very big buildup to a great ending. I thought the ending wouldn't be very dramatic or intense, but it certainly is. Throughout the story you are left qu ...more
Heather
I REALLY don't enjoy how Henry James writes. His language style is laborious and completely grammatically incorrect, so it's hard to get through. I didn't really like the story that much because it was too ambiguous. My husband told me about the theories behind this book - that the governess was crazy and none of this ever happened, that she was obsessed with sex, that she might have killed the boy. I say that I don't really know that the story delves all that deep. I feel like by leaving out so ...more
J
OK! First, let me point out tht I didn't read The Aspern Papers. No idea what that's about. This review is for The Turn of the Screw.

This is a great book if you want to explore the concept of unreliable narrators. Apparently there's nothing in James' correspondence or notes to indicate that he wrote it as anything but a ghost story, but let's face it, the text itself makes it really difficult to figure out what happens in this book. Is there a haunting, or is the governess insane? Is there actua
...more
Jill
I read somewhere that the Internet has so warped/conditioned our brain to so-called "multi-tasking" that the brain is no longer able to engage in deep reading without the utmost difficulty. This was the experience I had reading Henry James for the first time. The Aspern Papers and The Turn of the Screw had intriguing enough plots and characters, but it was just immensely challenging, somehow, to make it through the text. It wasn't about the length of the sentences - which, truth be told, were no ...more
Czarny Pies
Nov 20, 2014 Czarny Pies rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Die hard Henry James Fans
Recommended to Czarny by: My elder sister lent me her copy. I got to see the Benjamin Britten opera as part of my annual subscription to the Canadian Opera.
These are two rather unpleasant tales that showcase the enormous if at times misapplied talent of Henry James.

The Turn of the Screw is an utterly horrid Victorian gothic tale of horror. I thorough detested it despite the fact that it insipired Benjamin Britten to compose a delightful chamber opera of the same name.

The Aspern Papers is a about an unethical editor who wants to gain possession of the papers of a very famous deceased poet. He ingratiates himself with the writer's former mistress wh
...more
Maureen
I came for The Turn of the Screw, and stayed for The Aspern Papers. The first is the more famous, and enormously influential - but I enjoyed the second more. This was partly because the prose is less dense and difficult to read, and partly because, unlike with The Turn of the Screw, I wasn't already familiar with the plot. So, to help you readers enjoy it also, I will say no more on the matter.
Rich Law
I was fairly reluctant to read this. Up to now, my only experience of Henry ‘Horlicks’ James had been attempting to read “In the Cage”, a very short novella that, with it’s long, rambling circumlocutory sentences, stretching out indefinitely – yes, much like this one you’re reading right now – and tedious plot, put me to sleep. Twice.

This book had the opposite effect, but not necessarily because of its content: I am talking about that cover. Penguin’s latest edition of creepy covers (see Charlie-&-the-Chocolate-Factory-gate)
...more
Helen
All I got from this book is the answer to the following questions:

1. Which author used so many commas, colons, semi and full, hyphens and exclamation marks, that his over-long sentences became impossible to comprehend?

2. Which fictional character would you most like to push down a long flight of stairs?

All I need now is for someone to ask.....
pierlapo  quimby
Erano anni che volevo leggere Giro di vite e ora che l'ho fatto sono alquanto deluso. Sono di fronte, forse, ad uno di quei casi in cui la lettura critica rende l'opera, nel tempo, migliore di quello che è?
Invece il Carteggio Aspern è un vero gioiello, dalla prima all'ultima parola.
Hadrian
Two short stories by Henry James. Not bad, all things considered, but his writing style is notoriously dense, and may dissuade a lot of potential readers. His endings were pretty shocking, though, and actually building up suspense despite his flowery style is a worthy achievement.
Nina
I had forgotten how creepy Henry James can be! I actually enjoyed the Aspern Papers more than the Turn of the Screw, and I had actually never read the latter. The Turn is a ghost story with that sweet innocence of stories of those sorts written in the last 1800's or early 1900's. The nanny in that story was a bit overexpressive and the writing a little affected, but that's pretty characteristic of the end of the Victorian era. However, the Aspern Papers was a little creepier with emotions that w ...more
Sam
Despite Henry James' reputation (or maybe because of it) I was strangely disappoint by both of these stories. I found the Aspern Papers a little tedious and I found the narrator annoying and obsessive and couldn't connect with him at all. James has written the story very well and it is vivid in its descriptions with the feel of dereliction and ancient glamour that reminded me of Great Expectations but the lack of compassion the narrator had in his quest spoilt it for me.

I had high expectations f
...more
Hurricanekerrie
Is the governess really seeing ghosts and the children are possessed by evil? Or is the governess crazy and the children innocent?

In The Turn of the Screw, Henry James magnificently weaves palpable tension from the moment the (unnamed) governess tells her story while in the House of Bly. We are given accounts of what happened from the governess' point of view, but incidentally, we don't really get to know any of the characters really well. Each of them have some uncertain backstory and so it goe
...more
Kelly
This was a book I was required to read for a class both this semester and last semester. Alas, it seems the universe had caught on that I hadn't finished it last semester and wasn't going to let me get by without reading it. However, I still went to class for the discussions on this book and that has inevitably impacted my opinion upon it. How much I cannot say but I in advance to reading it I knew the events that took place in the book and people's opinions on them.

However, I would also like t
...more
David Lee
I did not find The Turn of the Screw to be a particularly great book. It feels almost incomplete, no doubt due to its ambiguity. Its ambiguity works in many situations--for example, withholding character history creates an appropriately mysterious and spooky atmosphere and spawns discussion. But in other situations, it just seems unnecessary--for example, some characters are simply introduced but not explored to a degree at which we can even begin to speculate about them. This latter ambiguity a ...more
Aditya Raikar
Henry James' novel Turn of the Screw encompasses several key aspects of a successful ghost story: an unpredictable plot, a thrilling conclusion and vividly sinister characters. Yet despite these facets, perhaps the best part of Turn of the Screw lies in its ambiguity. Throughout the pages lie an obscurity from the protagonists (the governess) mental instability to whether there is in fact a paranormal presence or not. These uncertainties raise a very important question for the reader, does one b ...more
Jonathan Lee
Turn of the Screw is a fascinating novel, made intentionally ambiguous to allow us to interpret its events in a variety of ways. However, it's needlessly complicated and hard to follow at times. Even though this book should be a goldmine for literary analysis, I often found myself misunderstanding the point of a particularly cumbersome sentence, clouding my ability to interpret what happened. If it's that hard to understand the literal meaning, it's just going to be even harder to find the hidde ...more
Bailey Wood
When beginning the novel The Turn of the Screw, the only thought that ran through my mind was the immense difficulty of Henry James’ sentence structures. After reading one 10-line sentence, I would be forced to skim back fervidly just in an attempt to trace the governess’ initial thought. Throughout the early stages of the novel, the purpose of James’ scavenger-hunt sentences remained unclear. But when the story began to develop into the telling, obscure and unforgettable ghost story that it is, ...more
Matt Koh
The Turn of the Screw is the quintessence of the Gothic tradiction for its unreal, mysterious athmosphere and its horrifying, macabre scenes. Henry James portrays the story in a very ambiguous way, which enables various interpretations from the reader; thus, rather than being a very difficult read, it is more of a compelling adventure that daring reader take. This unfamiliar, complicated writing style that James undertake allows him to go beyond the average Gothic stories: the terror he arouses ...more
Aman Gill
The Turn of the Screw offers a compelling, albeit cryptic, read. Throughout the book, Henry James uses extensive parenthetical sentences that tax the reader's patience in the midst of a ghostly and sinister plot. As a result, the reader is forced to reread as much as a page to remember the idea being conveyed. These sentences, however, develop into more concise sentences toward the end chapters (as noted by Oliver Kim): a tactic that is meant to heighten the suspense and pace of the plot in the ...more
Maya Kale
Henry James takes a turn on horror stories in his novel The Turn of the Screw. The novel is extremely ambiguous in what is actually happening throughout the story. At one minute we know what the governess is talking about and believe her completely, yet in another we think she is completely dishonest. Henry James' use of parenthetical sentences only adds to the confusion and ambiguity of the novel: we read the beginning of a sentence and understand it, but eventually by the time we get to the pe ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Gothic Literature: October BOTM: The Turn of the Screw 26 30 Oct 21, 2013 07:47AM  
Akins Hollis Engl...: ssr 1 3 Sep 09, 2011 07:47AM  
  • Gothic Tales
  • The Ghost Stories of Edith Wharton
  • Zofloya
  • The Thing on the Doorstep and Other Weird Stories
  • Portrait of a Novel: Henry James and the Making of an American Masterpiece
  • In a Glass Darkly
  • Count Magnus and Other Ghost Stories
  • The Italian
  • Melmoth the Wanderer
  • Ancient Sorceries and Other Weird Stories
  • Aurora Floyd
  • Ghost and Horror Stories
  • The Eustace Diamonds (Palliser, #3)
  • Selected Tales and Sketches
  • Billy Budd and Other Stories
  • A Modern Instance
159
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
More about Henry James...
The Portrait of a Lady The Turn of the Screw Daisy Miller The Wings of the Dove Washington Square

Share This Book