This terse and startling novel is the story of a struggle for possession—and of its devastating consequences. Three women seek to secure the affections of one man, while he, in turn, tries to satisfy them all. But in the middle of this contest of wills stands his unwitting and vulnerable young daughter. The conclusion of The Other House makes it one of the most disturbing...more
This Henry James is one of the oddest novels I’ve ever read. The six main characters, three women and three men, all well-educated, well-spoken members of the English upper class, sip their tea, converse in the most highly polished civilized manor, but how civilized are they, really? On one level, this is a novel of manners, the six characters interacting as if they were members of a string sextet playing in a minor key, say Tchaikovsky’s string sextet in D minor; on another level, J ...more
He wrote this after his plays were widely panned, but he must've learned something about play-writing, as I can easily see this being turned into a play or a movie; the plotting and dialogue are especially fine. ...more
Rose, this novel's central chara ...more
On the surface The Other House explores the social environment that impels a young woman to murder a four-year old child. The woman is not of a lower class, but is rather love-stricken over her best friend's husband. Before her best friend dies aft ...more
So here's the thing: I stick with Henry because, at the end of the day, he has a compelling story to tell, and his characters are beautifully flawed. They are real. You see yourself in their twisted motivations and reasoning. Think everyone in "Wings of the Dove," think Madame Merle in "Portrait..."
Yeah. Not here. It reads like a high-minded pulp novel. Is this is a joke? Was Henry James commissioned by Clickhole? God, wh ...more
A tricky book to rate, and more thoughts coming soon... likely lengthy thoughts.
Despite how this novel is considered a "minor" James, I think it's a pivotal one, one that shows his shift from failing at writing for the stage, to the more dense circumlocutions of his "major" work that would soon follow.
If this were written by any other author, this would be a solid 5 stars, hands down. But James—my dear, dear James—is not in fine form here: consider this novel a practice drill, an expe ...more
L’antefatto: una promessa, strappata in punto di morte da una gi ...more
Do jilted lovers have such relentless good will toward one another? And can you really blame indulgent, rich men for provoking questionable loyalties? If you're Henry James you can just about pull it off and leave even the modern reader breathless with the million little connections that eventually converge into t ...more
I wondered why I had never heard of this particular James story and I got my answer. I wouldn't particularly recommend this one.