Erika's Reviews > The Turn of the Screw and The Aspern Papers

The Turn of the Screw and The Aspern Papers by Henry James
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's review
Jul 27, 2011

really liked it
Read in July, 2011

I don't understand why people find Henry James so difficult to read. Turn of the Screw and the Aspern Papers were the first works I have read by him, and they completely justified the praise he had been bestowed. He is one of the few authors whose exact choice of words and careful attention to detail makes his characters seem so real and so entirely believable that once you get to know them, their lives-- interior and exterior-- become self-sustaining for the rest of the novel. It's kind of like accelerating and then putting a car on cruise control on a particularly scenic highway.

That said, there is not much I feel I can add to the piles of critical attention that this work has already received. Indeed, I think I was probably more intrigued by Aspern Papers than Turn of the Screw because of the massive hype surrounding the latter. Also, James had it right: little kids are really really creepy.

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