It is not until he glimpses a young woman with a wasted face, dressed all in black, at the funeral, that a sense of profound unease begins to creep over him and take hold, a feeling deepened by the reluctance of the locals to talk about the woman in black or what happens whenever she is seen.
And Kipps has to stay on in the lonely house, sorting out Mrs. Drablow's papers, when the mist begins to enshroud both it and its surrounding graveyard and the high tide cuts it off from the world beyond.
©Susan Hill; (P)2005 Long Barn Books
This book is a great one to hear for those who like a ghost story with an actual ghost, rather than mere suggestions of ghosts. Paul Ansdell's narration was excellent, I thought, as well. He was great at making different accents for various characters, and for expressing the panic and fear felt by the protagonist. There are two reasons why I did not give this 5 stars: One is b/c I like to be driven to fear when reading a supernatural story, and while The Woman in Black was engrossing and full of supernatural occurrences, it didn't make me shudder or wonder about shadows in the corner of my room at night. The 2nd reason is b/c I was disappointed with the ending, which I will not spoil for anyone reading this who has not yet listened to the story.
Surrounded by family on a snowy Christmas Eve, the fireplace ablaze, the tree bedecked and aglow....what secret memories could possibly cause the senior Arthur Kipps to tremble with terror when family members turn out the lights and begin telling harmless ghost stories around the tree? Woman in Black is an engrossing classic ghost story--no bells no whistles--with a lush style of writing that lays out an almost palpable atmosphere. Paul Ansdell perfectly captures the spirit (so to speak) of this post-Victorian placed tale with his narration. Very enjoyable, easy listen--and (at least at the time of this posting) a nice little price for the entertainment value.
I loved listening to this book. I was caught up in the story right away and could feel the horror and fear the character in the story felt by the way the narrator read and related the events of the story. I got everything I expected from reading a "Ghost Story." I would recommend this book to anyone who appreciates a good ghost story.
I loved how the story moved along and took you with it. It made me want to hear more.
Toward the end it did. I can't say that I was on the edge of my seat the whole time. However I was there enough to want more.
He did a great job reading it as well as giving each character their own voice. I love the accent, it just fit.
The last time he see's the woman in black and what happens. It was horrible and sad.
I found this book on a recommendation. I am so glad I followed up on it. I hope the rest of her stories are as wonderful as this one was. It is a must read if you like the horror and suspence genres.
Rating scale: 5=Loved it, 4=Liked it, 3=Ok, 2=Disappointed, 1=Hated it. I look for well developed characters, compelling stories.
This is the perfect ghost story - enough detail to bring you into the scene, but not overwritten to make it tedious. Told in the first person, you experience the mystery along with the main character. (I just loved the brave little dog, Spider). Wonderfully read by Paul Ansdell. The story moves right along and is the perfect length - a great way to get through a 4 hour road trip.
OK so I'll be honest. The movie intrigued me. My kids made fun of me because I would watch the trailer over and over again but I wouldn't go watch the movie. I'm not much of a movie person - the trailer was creepy enough for me. But I made the decision that I would read the book, then see the movie. I really loved this book. I loved the narration which was very soothing and SUCH a wonderful contrast for the eeriness of the content. I think that was my favorite part! Now I can't wait for the movie to come out on DVD. I am planning SUCH an evening for my family...
The Woman in Black is so darkly enchanting. I had seen trailers for the movie which provoked me to give the book a try. The story alone is profound, moving, and horrifying... but narrator, Paul Ansdell, read with such emotion and feeling that served to better the listener's understanding of Arthur Kipps' horror. I found myself delightfully nervous for Kipps as I listened. I would definitely and already have recommend this to everyone.
A first rate story by Susan Hill. I know I shall be searching for other books narrated by Ansdell.
A classic tale of haunting, almost Poe-ish, and a pure pleasure. I've enjoyed everything Susan Hill has written, and this novella was no exception. A wonderfully-told tale, lots of things that go bump in the night -- or even during the daytime, with plenty of shrieks and groans, but -- interestingly enough -- no undue blood or gore. Just a good old fashioned ghost story, The narrator was perfect -- just enough of an accent to make it exotic and sound as though it was a tale from long ago. Highly recommended.
I haven't read the print version but saw a mini play of The Woman in Black. The audio version brings more depth to the characters.
No change at all. Was good.
The voice, the tones which gave you a visual of the story.
The audio version had more to it then the mini play. The play didn't go into the life of the characters. More just a gloss over.
Professor of American and World History at a community college. Enjoys hard science fiction, space fantasy and space opera, fantasy, and historical narratives. Heck, I'll read anything once!
While I enjoyed Paul Ansdell's reading, I kept confusing him in my mind with the actor Michael York. I will admit, this distracted me somewhat from the otherwise solid performance. As to the story, while it's a sold old-school Gothic tale, it's too slow for my tastes.
I enjoyed this book, but not as much as I expected to. The level of psychological horror was there, but it could have been both darker and more pervasive. That, and the main character's tendency to faint at moments of extreme stress didn't help.
Overall, I guess the fact that one critical element of the climax of the book is telegraphed throughout the whole of the book was sufficiently distracting. The climax simply isn't climactic ... not when we, the reader, know exactly what's coming and are just waiting for it.
Still, it was worth a listen.
A champion performance by Paul Ansdell reading The Woman in Black. Susan Hill is as brilliant as ever, the suspense is unbearable. I personally prefer her Simon Serailler novels, but this is beautifully crafted stuff nevertheless.
This is really a good book and i recommend this book to everyone and good to listen to it .
"Quaint but definitely not scary..."
I was really looking forward to getting chills listening to this book because of all the good reviews. Maybe all the gore and horror in films, TV and books I've read over the years has meant that I'm immune to old fashioned ghost stories. I hate to say it, but I thought it was slow moving and dull.
"Worth a listen"
Good story, well read. Not quite upto the audiobook of Dark Matter by Michelle Paver, but will appeal in a similar way.
"Bit boring and"
Sorry, bit dragged out and had the sense that the reader would start crying or just die at any moment !!
"Old fashioned and harmless"
'The woman in black' is a lovely, rather old fashioned haunted house story that it well written and very well read. However, even though I am quite a sensitive soul, I didn't find this story in the least spooky. Maybe this needs to be listened to in the dark at nighttime, but if you are looking for something terrifying, this is not it. Having said that, it is still an enjoyable listen and a nice, atmopheric story.
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