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The Canterville Ghost

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3.89  ·  Rating details ·  40,756 ratings  ·  2,398 reviews
This is Oscar Wilde's tale of the American family moved into a British mansion, Canterville Chase, much to the annoyance of 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...
Hardcover, 126 pages
Published 1997 by Walker Books (first published February 23rd 1887)
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Average rating 3.89  · 
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 ·  40,756 ratings  ·  2,398 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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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
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Cecily
Oct 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
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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Peter
Mar 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror
Great satire about an English ghost being outwitted by some modern Americans (Mr Otis and his family) who bought Canterville Chase. Is there salvation for the ghost in the end? Funny ghost story with many satirical elements (the bloodstain) and fine allusions (e.g. on Fuseli's Nightmare). A real classic with well drawn characters. Recommended for everybody, not only Oscar Wilde fans.
Calista
I finally got around to reading this. I heard about it as a child and never read it. Oscar is charming and his writing is funny and he tells a good story.

There is a horrid ghost in a large Manor home in England. Everyone is terrified of this Canterville Ghost. One day, the Canterville’s sell the home, ghost included to some Americans. The Americans move in and the ghost does not scare them in the least. The blood stain is simply cleaned up day after day. There are two twins who terrify the ghost
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Praveen
Jun 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
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 Brit
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Gary
Dec 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
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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Swaroop Kanti
Jan 04, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A wonderful ghost story!

The Canterville Ghost is a delightful gentle horror story. The story's set in Canterville Chase, which for many centuries has been haunted by the ghost of Sir Simon. An American minister and his family moves in, and it is no longer normal for the "resident" ghost. The story is also about how an act of kindness can help even ghosts find peace.

This one's a fun read.
SARA A. URIBE16
Oct 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
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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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...


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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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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
This is one of my favourite Wilde stories.
Laysee
Oct 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
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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Apatt
Oct 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
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
Apr 02, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, comedy, humor
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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Hirdesh
Oct 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
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.

Alex
Jul 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
4.5*
I feel so sorry for the Canterville ghost. Sir Simon Canterville has haunted Canterville Hall for the past 300 years. He takes pleasure in scaring all the inhabitants and is very creative and pulls off new disguises to increase the severity of the fear he instills on others.

So proud and confident, he walks undaunted until a new rich American family buys the place. The whole family is just unconcerned about his existence and the children find great interest in him, especially the twins who tr
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JimZ
Jun 20, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A comedic ghost story - the hardcover edition I read was published by Picture Book Studio with very nice illustrations by Lisbeth Zwerger. A ghost, who when living, murdered his wife is condemned to haunt the dwelling where the wicked deed was done, Canterville Chase, in England. The new owners/dwellers of the manor, Mr. And Mr. Otis and family, who come from the United States, will have nothing to do with such nonsense of ghost stories initially but later on believe in him. What happens between ...more
 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books)
Nov 01, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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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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 a few years ago. 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 the USA obtained a historic English mansion from the British Lord Canterville. Through the eyes of a mur
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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
Moonkiszt
I do so love Oscar Wilde's words! The Canterville Ghost was a surprise. . . the last work I read of OW's was Dorian Grey, and that was wry, humorous, but I don't remember laughing out loud. The Canterville Ghost was actually funny! Droll and eye-winking filled, chuckle-generating! The ghost's voice says it, but the words are all Wilde's: "We have really everything in common with America now except, of course, language."

I googled about trying to understand why this comes up in a Christmas list, a
...more
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.
Jay Schutt
Oct 05, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
A nice little story about a friendly ghost. Well done.
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 ...more
Magdalen
Oct 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
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.
Andrea
May 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics, favorites
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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Dem
Jan 18, 2013 rated it really liked it

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
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The Spooky Book G...: The Canterville Ghost (June 2, 2020 - June 29, 2020) 1 1 Jun 03, 2020 10:59PM  
Amor y letras : El fantasma de Canterville 8 21 Nov 27, 2017 02:38AM  
1001 Children's B...: May 2016: The Canterville Ghost 7 31 May 31, 2016 03:25PM  
Product placement in a Wilde Short Story? 5 103 Jan 24, 2016 03:32PM  

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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 ...more

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