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The Canterville Ghost by Oscar Wilde

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  36,748 ratings  ·  2,088 reviews
The Canterville Ghost is a popular 1887 novella by Oscar Wilde, widely adapted for the screen and stage.

“The Canterville Ghost” is a parody featuring a dramatic spirit named Sir Simon and the United States minister (ambassador) to the Court of St. James's, Hiram B. Otis. Mr. Otis travels to England with his family and moves into a haunted country house. Lord Canterville,
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Kindle Edition, 37 pages
Published April 1st 2019 (first published February 23rd 1887)
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3.89  · 
Rating details
 ·  36,748 ratings  ·  2,088 reviews


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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
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Cecily
Oct 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Cecily by: Apatt
This is Oscar Wilde’s first published story, in 1887, a year before The Happy Prince, and five years after he’d travelled in the USA. It features his oft misquoted line:
We have really everything in common with America nowadays, except, of course, language.

It’s a curiosity: funny, but mostly not in a Wildean way; ghostly, but not remotely scary; overdoing some stereotypes (Americans), and underdoing others (what ghosts can feel and do); not quite a children’s story, but not really an adult one;
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Ahmad Sharabiani
The Canterville Ghost, Oscar Wilde
The Canterville Ghost is a novella by Oscar Wilde. It was the first of Wilde's stories to be published, appearing in two parts in The Court and Society Review, 23 February and 2 March 1887. The story is about an American family who move to a castle haunted by the ghost of a dead nobleman, who killed his wife and was starved to death by his wife's brothers. It has been adapted for the stage and screen several times.
تاریخ نخستین خوانش: روز سی و یکم ماه می سال 200
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Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
A Victorian ghost story by Oscar Wilde!
description
4.5 stars. Wilde deftly combines an occasionally grisly haunting, old-fashioned sentiment, a small droplet of romance, and a large helping of dry wit in this 1887 novella about a rather brash American family that buys a haunted mansion in Victorian England. This story makes fun of some British and American stereotypes of the day, but is oddly touching at the same time.

Mr Otis, the American Minister (whatever that means, or meant), moves his family into a m
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Praveen
Jun 23, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a lovely ghost story this was!
This turned out to be the cutest ghost story for me lately.I have read Wilde the novelist, this time his story also made a mark.
When an American minister bought Canterville Chase ( A British Mansion), everyone said it was a foolish decision because the place was haunted and there was no doubt in it. But the American minister believed and said that there was no such thing, as a ghost, and I guess the laws of nature are not going to be suspended for the Britis
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Gary
Dec 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Canterville Ghost is a charming tale, one of Oscar Wilde's best. It is a ghost story, a comedy and a romance all rolled into one, told with the offbeat, rolling wit that only Wilde can tell.

An American family moves into a haunted mansion in England, but it is they who torment the ghost with their irrepressible irreverence, finally driving the phantom to despair. The lovely, charming daughter of the family, strikes up a friendship with the ghost, freeing it, with her prayer and tears.

It is a
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SARA_URIBE16
Oct 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Review in English and in Spanish

Personally I loved this short novel by Oscar Wilde. When I was little I had the opportunity to see an adaptation in cartoons of this work and I loved it, and thanks to reading this story I was able to relive this story again. I like that it is something dark and that the characters are satirical, since this generates a balance within the work. I recommended it for its landscapes, characters and plots. A +

En lo personal me encanto esta novela corta de Oscar Wilde.
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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
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Char
What a cute little story this was! Someone over at Booklikes recommended it to me, and I'm so glad I followed through.

The Canterville Ghost is not scary at all, but it IS funny and as the story goes on, rather pitiful. I found myself laughing at some portions and then all but shedding a tear towards the end.

This is a short story which is available for free, or at least this version is, at Amazon, and you can add the Audio for a nominal fee.
https://www.amazon.com/Canterville-Gh...


Piyangie
What a fun read this was! I'm definitely in love with Oscar Wild works. He combines simple language with wit and humour which is easy to read and which completely holds your attention and leave you in awe once you are done with the reading.

The story is about a ghost who had haunted his family castle and who had terrified all his descendants and their associates who was finally outwitted by an American family. Poor Ghost. He was so humiliated as he says to himself that "no ghost in history had e
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Quirkyreader
Jan 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of my favourite Wilde stories.
Apatt
Oct 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
“But there is no such thing, sir, as a ghost, and I guess the laws of Nature are not going to be suspended for the British aristocracy.”

Says Mr. Hiram B. Otis, the American Minister does not believe in no ghost, but he soon changes his mind when he has his close encounter. Even then, contrary to expectations, he is not particularly bothered. The Canterville Ghost is Oscar Wilde turning the ghost story tradition on its head, I suppose it can be regarded as a parody, but it also works well as a ch
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Jason Koivu
Almost witless. By which I mean this is nearly free of wit.

That's a problem for Oscar Wilde, a writer whose career was based on his rapier wit. But I'm sorry fans, I just don't see it in The Canterville Ghost.

In this story we have your typical set up where Americans come to the UK, buy up a castle, ghost-included, and then proceed to dash away hundreds of years of well-cultivated English tedium. (And I like their tedium, so that was a drag...)

Wilde's commentary on stuffy Brits and cocky America
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Laysee
Oct 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am no fan of ghost stories but I read a charming review of Oscar Wilde’s The Canterville Ghost and decided that I was ready to be spooked in a good way. But I least expected myself to feel sympathy and even affection for the ghost that had haunted Canterville Chase for three centuries.

Against advice and repeated warning, Hiram Otis, an American Minister to the Court of St. James, bought Canterville Chase from a British aristocratic family. Otis, his wife, three sons (including a pair of young,
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Hirdesh
Oct 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
Another book from treasure of Oscar Wilde.
The way of writing was comprehensive and utterly persecuted.
Ghost's different kind of preconception has seen which was awful for him.
Brilliant classic book.

 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books)
Nov 01, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of humorous supernatural fiction
Recommended to Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books) 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.
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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
Kaya
Nov 13, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“He made me see what Life is, and what Death signifies, and why Love is stronger than both.”

Wilde and I hadn't agreed very well until I grew up. Better said, till last year. Today, I can say I'm a big fan of his work and this book is a great example of his talent and wit. It's amazing how many topics can be covered in a short story of only 40 pages. There is humor, morbidity, young love and tragedy.

A family from USA obtained a historic English mansion from the British Lord Canterville. Throug
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Michelle Cano
“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.” <3
Evelyn (devours and digests words)
This was funny, gruesome, macabre and WISTFUL at the same time - all rolled into one little story. Leave it up to Oscar Wilde to write something as genius as this.

If you like ghosts, haunted mansions, and silly pranks. Pick this shortie.
Magdalen
Oct 28, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: oscar-wilde
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.

Another excellent short story by my favourite Oscar Wilde.
Dan
Sep 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this novella. The Canterville Ghost is a witty tale about a ghost who has the tables turned on him by an unimpressed American family. The story cleverly evokes the most empathy for the murderous ghost.

I suspect, but have no proof, that JK Rowling may have read this book before she drew up her ghost characters in Harry Potter. The comedic tones of the human/ghost interactions mixed with twinges of pity and fright are very similar in both stories.

Andrea
May 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, classics
What a strange little tale this is. It starts out perfectly hilarious, full of all the trademark wit and humor of Oscar Wilde, but halfway through turns into a romantic story about redemption.

I absolutely adored the ghost in all his indignation as he realizes that the new owners of his ancestral home are, egad, American philistines who do not appreciate the artistic value of his performances! I don't know what I find more precious, his vow to have his vengeance, or the children who delight in s
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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
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Faye
Read: November 2017
Rating: 5/5 stars, best of 2017

I loved this odd, funny ghost story. A no-nonsense American family move into Canterville Chase; the centuries old home of Sir Simon Canterville - an evil man who murdered his wife and has haunted his descendants, as well as other visitors in the house, to the point of madness. The Americans refuse to put up with any of his antics - demanding he use oil to clean his rusty chains as not to disturb them, using a modern cleaning detergent to scrub hi
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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.
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
Maricarmen Estrada M
Delightful. This story is so original and so much fun. It has irony, sarcasm, and the beautiful prose of Oscar Wilde. The ghost is the oddest and most lovely character. His misfortunes made me laugh out loud. After reading this book I think I won't ever feel frightened about a so called "haunted" place. I thought the ending was also perfect for this story. Highly recommended :D
Jeremy
Jun 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wonderful book. It was funny, scary, and sad all in the same book. Highly recommend!
Stela
Dec 17, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  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
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Amor y letras : El fantasma de Canterville 8 21 Nov 27, 2017 02:38AM  
1001 Children's B...: May 2016: The Canterville Ghost 7 29 May 31, 2016 03:25PM  
Product placement in a Wilde Short Story? 5 97 Jan 24, 2016 03:32PM  
Classics for Begi...: November 2015: The Canterville Ghost by Oscar Wilde 12 54 Nov 25, 2015 12:30PM  

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24,862 followers
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 ...more
“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.” 4996 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.” 801 likes
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