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The Turn of the Screw and Other Stories

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3.59  ·  Rating details ·  4,972 ratings  ·  216 reviews
A young, inexperienced governess is charged with the care of Miles and Flora, two small children abandoned by their uncle at his grand country house. She sees the figure of an unknown man on the tower and his face at the window. It is Peter Quint, the master's dissolute valet, and he has come for little Miles. But Peter Quint is dead.

Like the other tales collected here - '
...more
Paperback, 336 pages
Published April 17th 2008 by Oxford University Press (first published 1898)
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Average rating 3.59  · 
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 ·  4,972 ratings  ·  216 reviews


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Rosie
Apr 17, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I would not, having perused this book at leisure, for an indeterminate period of time, after it was recommended, indeed, after I was encouraged to make it my mission to enjoy it, and found it wanting, read this book again.

If you enjoyed reading that sentence then you will enjoy this book. If not, then don't even bother.

I am not faint-hearted when it comes to reading different types of writing, but seriously, 'The Turn of the Screw' was horrendously hard to follow, with hugely long sentences and
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Sarah
Oct 24, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own
I'll be honest - I found this a really hard, slow slog to read. James's prose is very convoluted by modern standards, with long compound sentences and archaic usage (the book was first published in 1898). I'm giving it three stars, rather than two, because of the significant influence it has been on subsequent "ghost story" literature, including favourites of mine such as The Woman in Black by Susan Hill and more recently The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware. James does maintain a palpable tension t ...more
Rowland Pasaribu
Jun 15, 2010 rated it really liked it
The Turn of the Screw was originally published as a serialized novel in Collier's Weekly. Robert J. Collier, whose father had founded the magazine, had just become editor. At the time, James was already a well-known author, having already published The Europeans, Daisy Miller, Washington Square, and The Bostonians. Collier was hoping to increase his magazine's circulation and revenue and to improve its reputation by publishing the works of a serious, well-known author like James. James himself h ...more
Cal
Feb 17, 2014 marked it as unfinished  ·  review of another edition
I only made it half way through The Turn of the Screw before I gave up in frustration. I found myself rereading almost every sentence because the writing style is so fragmented. The story never finds a rhythm because it is constantly being interjected by awkwardly placed prose that is jammed in the middle of a sentence as if it was thought of after the sentence was started and ot was too late to go back and work it into the story.
Campbell
I found this interminable, though I admire the skill with which he walked the tightrope of ambiguity between mental illness and supernatural manifestation.
Onewooga
Sep 02, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have to say, you need patience to read Henry James. The man is a master of the clause and the prepositional phrase. If you are an English teacher forced to torture your students with diagramming sentences, James is your man. That being said, the stories are really quite subtle and sneakily brilliant. I kept thinking, OK, where is this going, Henry, and then we'd get there and I'd think: WOW. My favorites in this collection do not actually include "The Turn of the Screw," which was my original ...more
Roman Clodia
Oct 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Malevolence or hysteria?

This short story bears multiple readings: it has terrified me in the past, but can also be seen as a narrative of female hysteria and twisted delusion. James takes the traditional English ghost story and modernises it so that the slippages in the governess's tale *are* the story.

This is ambiguous, malevolent and a masterclass in tension and the macabre - wherever we locate the latter. This probably isn't for readers who want linear and straightforward story-telling but th
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Jessica
Jan 18, 2016 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sana Abdulla
Over the years I tried to read books by Henry James but had to give up, I just managed Washington Square. His books make excellent movies - my heartfelt sympathies to the scriptwriters - as his writing style is difficult and rambling and his characters never call a spade a spade. He embelishes his sentences to the point of making the reader either read over and over, or lose track of the storyline.
This book left me wondering if he was a bad writer or he deliberately wants the reader to guess his
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Kathrina
I'm kind of amazed that I read this in high school, and I'm wondering what I got out of it back then. I remember putting it on the "I like this one" list, but past that, I don't know. After a re-read, I still put it on that list, but I imagine I've put it there for very different reasons. I've struggled a long time with my relationship with Henry James; I very much appreciate him and admire him, but sometimes I do wish he'd just get to the point. He seems to do this much more gingerly in the thr ...more
Blair
3/5 for the 'other stories', 4/5 for The Turn of the Screw itself, so more of a 3.5/5 overall. The other stories didn't leave much of an impression on me. As far as classic supernatural/ghostly tales go, I think I prefer the more explicit otherworldliness of Edgar Allan Poe's short stories. The Turn of the Screw was suitably atmospheric, although I found it hard to divorce from my previous impressions of the story, especially the souped-up version delivered by the recent BBC TV adaptation. I lik ...more
Sam
Dec 28, 2019 rated it liked it
Left expecting more.
Libby
I was a little disappointed with The Turn of the Screw. I don't usually find older language difficult to read, but the style he used to tell the story was really wordy and hard to get through. I've wanted to read this story since I was young, so maybe I was expecting too much. However, I did find the telling of the ghosts and their interactions with people incredibly well-written, eerily descriptive, and overall what I was hoping to find in this story. The dialogue was choppy and difficult to fo ...more
Mike
Sep 01, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: school
Lengthy and dry Victorian era prose. The attempt of an American to be as British as possible. The sentences, as per Victorian tradition, are LONG. The story is uninteresting, and the characters are as well. The themes in the book are generally used for critical analysis by deconstructionists, feminists, psychoanalysts, and marxists. If that tells you anything about this.

A supernatural (if it can really even be called that) tale that is really about class identity; it sucks. I had to read it twi
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Leah
Dec 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018, horror
Ambivalent about the ambiguity...

This collection is made up of four stories – the novella length title story and three shorter ones. The Turn of the Screw is, of course, a classic of the horror genre, but the other three are well worth reading too. The stories are:-

The Turn of the Screw – the classic story of a governess looking after two orphaned young children becomes convinced they are being haunted and corrupted by the ghosts of their previous governess and their former valet. Or is she
...more
Jim Puskas
Nov 28, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: occult, humor
These stories are justifiably famous. Henry James, in his own peculiar way revels in the power of suggestion. In what manner the apparitions in “The Turn of the Screw” present a real menace to the children or their governess is never made clear — or whether they exist at all, apart from within the governess’ troubled mind, their appearance derived out of Mrs. Grose’s account of two departed residents of the estate.
The entire scenario of isolation that has been imposed by the patron’s oppressive
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nimra
Nov 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
it is a story of a young governess, who is the narrator, she has been appointed at Bly manor to look after two children, Miles and Flora, who she describes as 'angelic',and 'perfect', almost to the extent of idealism.
after a few days at her job, she starts to see dead people around the house, but as a reader, we can't be sure if the ghosts really are there, because the kids refuse of seeing any such thing. i really liked how it explored unreliability of sight. it's more of a psychological horror
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Lenore .
Jul 24, 2019 rated it it was ok
well boo
Mario
The Turn of the Screw ★★★ - I loved this story, though the writing style was a bit jarring.
The Romance of Certain Old Clothes ★★★★
The Friends of the Friends ★★★★ - I really, really loved this concept.
The Jolly Corner ★★ - I struggled the most with this one. Maybe I will come back to it one day
Jeremy
Taught The Turn of the Screw in a course at Regent University (Spring 2020).
Andrew Cairns
I know that tastes change with the times, and some books that would have been terrifying and filled with tension won't hit the same as they did back in the day. But I will I have never been so bored. I will never pick up this collection again. Sir Edmund Orme was amazing, I will give if that. I read it in a single sitting. But the rest, oh dear. But even if this book wasn't for me, that doesn't mean it won't be for others. However I did read Postern of Fate in in shorter time. ...more
Jim
Jun 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If for some reason you have never read Henry James before, I urge you to begin by reading his short novels and short stories, of which The Turn of the Screw and Other Stories is a worthy collection.

To those who are not familiar with his work, James seems to be a singularly bland, even bloodless character who seems incapable to any great depths. Far from it! Why I particularly like this collection is that it includes a number of stories in which the author, being cognizant of his reputation, tri
...more
MoriartyandHerBooks
Jun 29, 2017 rated it it was ok
Henry James' writing style was so fragmented it hurt my head sometimes to read. I enjoyed the story "Sir Edmund Orme" and "Friends of the Friends" was ok, but all the stories were unnecessarily far too long. Regarding the famous "Turn of the Screw" it was about 100 pages too long, and again the fragmented way of writing that James had made getting fully engaged in the story difficult. The story he wanted to tell I felt could have been written in a much more cohesive and suspenseful way.

This was
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Meg Pontecorvo
Dec 27, 2019 rated it did not like it
Note: This review is for the edition, not the stories.
If you are reading these stories for the first time, especially “The Turn of the Screw,” beware. Do not buy this edition, despite its low cost! The editor has absolutely no sense of his audience (likely students): he includes spoilers in the end notes, including revealing characters who will die! Rather than make the end notes informational, this editor, T. J. Lustig, can’t refrain from using the notes for commentary, with the result that the
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Lourdes Falconi
Jan 09, 2020 rated it it was ok
This story was difficult to read. It was written more than 100 years ago. The grammar of the period is difficult to understand in modern times. There is not much dialogue, but mostly descriptions in first person by the governess. I had to use the spark notes to understand the chapters. I was expecting a good ghost story.
Hannah Polley
I only recently read Turn of the Screw in another edition so I skipped over this and just tried to read the rest of the stories.

Unfortunately, I found most of them to be quite dull and apart from The Real Thing, I more skimmed them rather than read them.

I would recommend just getting the Turn of the Screw and reading that rather than this book.
Karas Jim
Henry James writes precisely how a river stream flows, a never-ending, mystifying torrent of words and sentences. These ghost stories are beautifully constructed but tend to leave the reader expecting something more.
Corrina Buchan
Like many others I read this book in preparation for the 2nd series of Mike Flanagans horror anthology series The Haunting of Bly Manor, so I could watch out for any Easter eggs. I’m very glad I purchased this edition that had Turn of the Screw as well as James’ other short ghost stories as these were all incorporated into the plot for the TV show.

It was a hard read due to the floral language and complicated sentence structure, I found myself having to re-read constantly.

I felt it lacked enoug
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Aimee
4 stars for the titular story, 3 stars for the others
Joseph
Jun 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
No, "you're" long-winded... ;) ...more
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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

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