Kelly's Reviews > The Turn of the Screw

The Turn of the Screw by Henry James
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Jun 02, 2007

really liked it
bookshelves: fiction, victorian, 19th-century
Recommended for: brit lit fans, people who like psychological readings of texts
Read in November, 2007

Creepy. Twisty-turny. Ghosts. Weird kids. Unreliable, possibly insane narrator. Henry James, is there no genre that you will not poke your head into?

No, really. It's interesting though. On the surface, this story is perfect to curl up by the fire with on a cold winter's night. Which is exactly how the book is framed, by the way. As a story told in front of a fireside on a cold winter's night. It's short, it reads quickly, and is open to pretty much whatever you want to make of it. James lets you decide what's truth and what's imaginary, what's good and what's evil. His governess main character doesn't know herself, and we read first person from her mind. It's a fascinating way to make the whole story about the way it is told, and illustrate the flaws of it at the same time (the first person narrative, that is) to put it in first person and make her crazy (which I believe she is, but you make your own judgments about that).

On the other hand? This tale (I don't even want to call it a book, it's too short and doesn't feel like one to me) begs for a group of graduate psych students to tear it apart for all the possible medical symptoms, or a bunch of english majors to fight about. I feel like my experience of it was inadequate on some level because I didn't get to talk about it and hash out all the details.

Yay to my friend for giving this to me!
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03/23/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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Cecily Love the idea of the psych students analysing it!


Wicked Incognito Now Yes. I was an English major and it is fun parsing the details with other students and debating their relevance.


message 3: by Jan (new) - rated it 2 stars

Jan I agree with you. I think she is the one who is crazy.


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