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The Canterville Ghost

3.9 of 5 stars 3.90  ·  rating details  ·  16,536 ratings  ·  723 reviews
This is Oscar Wilde's tale of the American family moved into a British mansion, Canterville Chase, much to the annoyance its tired ghost. The family -- which refuses to believe in him -- is in Wilde's way a commentary on the British nobility of the day -- and on the Americans, too. The tale, like many of Wilde's, is rich with allusion, but ends as sentimental romance. . ....more
Paperback, 108 pages
Published July 1st 2006 by Alan Rodgers Books (first published 1887)
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Stephen
The original Wilde Thing does it again...

Seriously...how does one not love on Oscar Wilde when he's throwing down the snarky...in this case, and in proper British fashion, against cocky, adolescent-cultured Americans and their starched-lip, tradition-trapped English cousins?

A bounty of clever from start to finish, Wilde's tale is charming, engaging and pitch-perfect.

For a story less than 30 pages long, Wilde accomplishes so much, using scalpel-like precision in both his language and his plotti...more
Killer Rabbit
I bet C.S. Lewis read this as a child.
While reading this fun tale, I couldn't help thinking that it might have provided C.S. Lewis with inspiration for The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. It isn't at all difficult to imagine the kind hearted Virginia as a Lucy prototype, and the naughty Canterville ghost as a precursor to Mr. Tumnus.

Since this was written by Oscar Wilde, it is chock full of snark. I found it interesting that the blurb mentions that this story is a commentary on the British no...more
Paquita Maria Sanchez
Americans are brash, tacky, shallow, pompous, and they really, really like to talk about products and shop for products and use products. Odd theme for a scary tale, right? Well, it so happens that it fits quite nicely in the ghost story format. And this is not the only time this has happened.

You may not realize it, but I assure you that you already know the general plot and tone of this story: Biiiiiig city Americans (New Yorkers, in fact) move into a somewhat worn-down but charming estate in t...more
 Danielle The Book Huntress (Angels Weep For Goodreads)
Oct 18, 2010 Danielle The Book Huntress (Angels Weep For Goodreads) rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of humorous supernatural fiction
Recommended to Danielle The Book Huntress (Angels Weep For Goodreads) by: Colleen McGlashen
Now that was a good ghost story. It was refreshing. I loved the humor, but there was also pathos. I kind of liked the old crusty Canterville ghost, even though he was kind of evil. I loved how the Otis children turned the tables on him. And how Virginia felt sad for Sir Simon, and helped him to get closure.

This is the second story I've read by Oscar Wilde, and I must say, I am very impressed with his writing. His work has a depth, but an airy lightness to it, and a hard to define beauty to it....more
Cherise
For 300 years Sir Simon has successfully haunted and spooked everyone and anyone residing in his ancestral home, Canterville Chase, then the Otis family from America comes along and suddenly scaring isn’t coming so easily for Simon anymore.

I was in love with this story in the 7th grade and I had read and reread it a zillion times during junior high and high school. I had recently purchased a copy of the book as it has been many, many years since I have visited Canterville Chase. Last night was s...more
Cheryl
THE CANTERVILLE GHOST was Oscar Wilde's first published story in 1887. Wilde cleverly places an American family with commercial and practical notions in an English Country House anchored with Gothic lore and traditions. He turns the macabre into humor by turning the tables on the haunting of Canterville Chase.

Mr. and Mrs. Otis have bought the centuries old home from Lord Canterville himself. He felt it his duty to mention the fact that the house was haunted. Mr. Otis replies, "My Lord, I will ta...more
Linda
In Canterville Chase there is a misunderstood, unsuccessful ghost, who used to be very successful, until an American family, Otis, moved in. The Americans are portrayed in a peculiar manner. They have a fancy for materialim and American super products, and know nothing about the English etiquette. Wilde emphasized differences in culture by creating special characters and then pitting the "unsophisticated tastes" of the patriotic Americans - patriotic as their children are named Washington and Vi...more
Milica Chotra
This short story about a haunted old mansion in the English countryside is not your typical ghost tale. The reason I picked it as one of my Halloween stories is the mention it gets in Shirley Jackson's The Haunting of Hill House: (view spoiler)...more
Lady  ~☆ Alice Rowhedge
I give this book 5 stars because it is so funny! I didn't expect it to be so amusing. What a great sense of humor Oscar Wilde has. I will have to look for some more books by him. This book wasn't dry and he didn't require a thousand pages to tell the story......also good.
Yani
Adoro este cuento de Wilde (sí, a él también). El toque ácido de humor que sabe agregarle a las historias menos oscuras son geniales, como en La importancia de ser Ernesto , porque no pierden su función crítica.

No sé si contar de qué se trata porque a los clásicos como estos el argumento los precede pero, si de casualidad el posible lector de esta pequeña y nada objetiva reseña no lo sabe, allá voy. Una familia de norteamericanos se muda a un castillo en Inglaterra en donde habita un fantasma q...more
Dem

The Canterville Ghost by Oscar Wilde was published in 1887.

I really found this story a wonderful and entertaining read which contrasts American and British people and culture. The story is told from the viewpoint of Sir Simon, the ghost. This is a really short story and I found it humorous and yet enjoyed the stereotypical characters that represent both England and the United States. Wilde takes an American family, places them in a British setting, then, through a series of mishaps, pits one cul...more
Jim
Normally, I find this kind of classic hard to read. This less so than most & there was a good deal of humor to it. It's obviously a classic & has been made into a bunch of movies, most worth watching.
Yousra
قديما، وقبل إمكانية الحصول على دِش لمشاهدة القنوات الفضائية، وحينما كان الانترنت يعني تصفح البريد الإليكتروني وبرامج محادثة قليلة جدا وكان أغلبها يدعى غرف محادثة لا يمكن فيها بحال التحدث لنفس الشخص مرتين متتاليتين وربما انقطع اتصالك بالموقع اكثر من مرة، في ذلك الوقت حيث البساطة لمن عاصروا تلك الفترة وحيث التعقيد لأطفال اليوم وحيث يعد ما أقول دربا من الخيال بالنسبة لهم، كانت تسليتي أنا وأخي تكمن في أشرطة الفيديو .... فيشتري لنا والدي شرائط الكارتون من أمثال "ليدي ...ليدي" و"شهلة" و"سالي" و"كابتن...more
Son of Sam Quixote
I feel that I have to start this review almost apologetically by stating that I truly admire Oscar Wilde the person and utterly adore most of his work. Dorian Gray is a bona fide masterpiece, Earnest is immortal, and De Profundis is remarkably moving. I’ve read his stories since I was a child (I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve read The Happy Prince) and he is one of the few classic writers whose work hasn’t aged a bit since he died. His books read as freshly today as they ever did because,...more
Stela
Nov 04, 2013 Stela rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone with a sense of humour
When a three-century-old ghost meets some witty American kids – you have “Home Alone” all over again. When England meets America – you feel like re-reading “Le bourgeois gentillhomme”. In a word, when gothic meets savvy – eerie becomes comedy.
And this brilliant short story is just this: a tender polemic about cultural differences (English haunted-house mythology versus American down-to-earth vision of life) and a gentle parody of some celebrated Romantic themes and motives: the haunted spirit, t...more
Prashant
This was something! A ghost story which makes you laugh is definitely worth a five-star treatment.

Here Oscar Wilde gives you a ghost who is used to people running scared of him. When family of an American minister moved in the Canteville house the ghost is ready to scare the hell out of them. But things just didn't pan out the way he would have liked them to be.

The Minister, his wife, 3 sons(a pair of twins) and a sweet girl have not believed in ghosts their whole life and they are not going to...more
Sue
I really should read more of Oscar Wilde. This really delightful novella, which takes place at the estimable Canterville Chase, recounts the tale of what happens when a practical-minded American family buys a ghost-infested British estate. While gently satirizing both American and British customs (perhaps the Americans a bit more), Wilde provides a very sweet, yes sweet, ghost story, with humor, attempts at minor horror, and shows of love and devotion.

Highly recommended.
Algernon
a delightful little novella about a very British ghost having to deal with a no-nonsense, practical American family.

When Mr. Hiram B. Otis buys an English manor, he is warned by the previous owner that, together with the furniture and the extensive grounds, he has acquired the family ghost that has been haunting the place since the 16th century.

What follows is a very funny duel between the ancient spirit, forever boasting of previous horrible feats and macabre costumes, and the casual reaction o...more
El
Why, yes, Mr. Wilde - you did just charm the pants off of me, thank you for asking!

This little story is about the Otis family, Americans who move from the bustle of New York to live at Canterville Chase, an old country house in England. They're warned from the beginning that the house is haunted, but you know those New York types, all hard and skeptical and full of vim and vinegar. The family encounters the ghost pretty early on, and quite hilariously try different ways of dealing with him, almo...more
Rinda Elwakil
من إصدارات دار الهلال، من الرعب القوطي الساخر.
Gothic-Mock.
ارتبطت قصص الرعب القوطي بزنازين العصور الوسطي و قلاعها و ممراتها و ، و سراديبها و سلالها المتعرجة و براريها الموحشة، بكل ما هو جامح و دموي و همجي وغالبا ما تشمل عنصراً خارقاً للطبيعة..

القصة تدعي شبح قصر كانترفيل، فمن الواضح أن هناك قصراً..و أن هناك شبحاً أرّق مالكيه علي مر العصور و أصاب بعضهم بالخبال و بعضهم بالرعب و ساهم في إبعاد العديد من خُدّام القصر بمجرد وصولهم للقصر..إلي أن تأتي أسرة أمريكية تقرر ابتياع القصر و شبحه متجاهلين تماما
...more
Hana
What happens to those who have done terrible things in life? Are there pathways back to peace even after death? Can those who are living still help those who have died? Do we dare turn to Oscar Wilde for answers?

Well, not seriously, but I got more out of The Canterville Ghost than just laughs--though there were plenty of those.

The Canterville Ghost of this novella haunts because he himself has a haunted past--and because he's kind of stuck in one place. Can science change things? Can the pranks...more
David Ceballos Correa
Una entretenida comedia satírica de cuentos de horror y del establishment norteamericano e inglés. En resumen, es la polirepetida historia de la casa embrujada y de su fantasmal regente, quien ostenta la para nada despreciable suma de trescientos años de horror y espanto, en desmedro de la aterrorizada familia Canterville. No obstante, los tiempos cambian o, más bien, la percepción que se tiene de los tiempos da unas cuantas volteretas cada cierto tanto para caer de pies o de cabeza sobre los pa...more
Michael
Review from Badelynge
No tour through the literary landscape of The Ghost Story would be complete without Oscar Wilde's clever little tale The Canterville Ghost. He turns the whole concept on its head with the ancient titular ghost, who has spent several centuries not paying for the sins of his life by blithely terrifying the old house's residents and visitors to death and insanity, being driven to his own wits end by the American family who bring their own blithe modernity to bear in dealing wit...more
بسام عبد العزيز
لم أتخيل كم هى قصيرة جدا تلك القصة.. لكن وعلى قصرها الشديد فكانت رائعة بالفعل..

بدأت القصة و لدي توقعات ان تكون "مجرد قصة رعب اخري".. لكن وجدت شيء عكس ما أتصور تماما!!

لا أريد ان أحرق أحداث القصة.. فهى قصيرة على أي حال.. لكنني سأقول ان بها كم لا بأس به من السخرية اللاذعةالتي جعلتني أبتسم مرارا و تكرارا طوال أحداث الرواية..

أوسكار وايلد ينتقد نمط الحياة الأمريكية الإستهلاكي المادي.. و كذلك يسخر أيضا من عادات المجتمع الإنجليزي البالية.. فهو لا يتوقف عن النقد طوال صفحات القصة القصيرة تلك..

أمنحها أرب...more
María
Can anyone tell me why this book is so famous? Pfff... :P
Sharon
I should have guessed that any story as clever as "The Canterville Ghost" had to come from Oscar Wilde ... but I had no idea that the play with which I was so familiar was an adaptation. (I should probably turn in my "I <3 Oscar Wilde" club membership for this gap in my education.)

The premise is that an American family buys a house that is known to be haunted and, with the exception of the kindhearted teenaged daughter Virginia, proceeds to make the ghost's existence a misery. Sir Simon de Ca...more
Carly
Primer libro de este autor que me animo a leer, y me ha gustado muchísimo. Me encanta la manera en la que hace sus críticas, con humor. Quiero leer pronto El Retrato de Dorian Gray.
Marts  (Thinker)
This was a wonderful ghost tale by Wilde its tells of Sir Simon, The Canterville Ghost, who has haunted Canterville Chase for 300 years. Well the Otis family from America end up purchasing the house and Sir
Simon realises that he just can't seem to 'scare' them like he has done to all the former occupants. After more or less giving up and just accepting his doom, he is finally 'befriended' by the daughter Virginia. A series of events occur, and he is eventually and maybe I should say finally lai...more
Maria João Fernandes
"A morte deve ser tão linda. Deitar-se na terra macia e castanha com as ervas a acenar por cima das nossas cabeças e a ouvir o silêncio. Nem ontem, nem amanhã. Esquecer o tempo, esquecer a morte, estar em paz. Você pode ajudar-me. Pode abrir-me os portais da Morte da casa, pois o Amor está em si e o Amor é mais forte que a Morte."

Ao ler este conto apercebi-me que, inconscientemente, tenho deixado de fora do meu caminho da leitura os livros sobre fantasmas. Mas nenhum melhor que o Fantasma dos Ca...more
Book'd
Jan 09, 2013 Book'd rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Just read it. A little over 100 pages and is sure worth your time.
Recommended to Book'd by: Other Wilde Books!
Amazing! I read the audio-book while working on one of my daily reports. And it is a fairly enjoyable quick light read with just 3 discs of half hour each to finish.

A story none other than Wilde could write with a slight pinch of humor and subtle touch of emotions.

I liked the Ghost of Mr. Canterville. And Little Virginia is just so adorable.
Well, did she really ask a ghost if he was hungry?

The Review is still to follow!
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  • The Happy Prince
  • The Jolly Corner
  • The Oxford Book of Victorian Ghost Stories
  • Cuentos Por Telefono
  • The Willows
  • The House by the Churchyard
  • Krysař
  • The Pied Piper of Hamelin
  • Cuentos de la selva
  • Ghost Stories of an Antiquary
  • Kytice
  • Вечера на хуторе близ Диканьки. Повести
  • Tales Of Unease
  • The Collected Ghost Stories of E.F. Benson
  • Romeo, Julie a tma
  • Rimas y leyendas
  • The Haunted Hotel
  • Phantasmagoria and Other Poems
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Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde was an Irish playwright, poet and author of numerous short stories and one novel. Known for his biting wit, and a plentitude of aphorisms, he became one of the most successful playwrights of the late Victorian era in London, and one of the greatest celebrities of his day. Several of his plays continue to be widely performed, especially The Importance of Being E...more
More about Oscar Wilde...
The Picture of Dorian Gray The Importance of Being Earnest The Importance of Being Earnest and Other Plays   An Ideal Husband The Happy Prince

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“Death must be so beautiful. To lie in the soft brown earth, with the grasses waving above one's head, and listen to silence. To have no yesterday, and no tomorrow. To forget time, to forgive life, to be at peace.” 3855 likes
“Yes, death. Death must be so beautiful. To lie in the soft brown earth, with the grasses waving above one's head, and listen to silence. To have no yesterday, and no to-morrow. To forget time, to forget life, to be at peace. You can help me. You can open for me the portals of death's house, for love is always with you, and love is stronger than death is.” 686 likes
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