When the man of the house disappears, it can't be because of a ghost - or can it? Leave it to Wharton to create the extraordinary out of the ordinary as she laces intrigue with doubt over fear and common sense.
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I love this wonderfully atmospheric ghost story by Edith Wharton. It's a good thing I was familiar with it before listening to this production, because the clumsy abridgment would make for a good deal of confusion to a listener new to the story. As far as I can tell, the abridgment (amputation, really) consists in the heavy-handed chopping out of an entire section of the story which, although perhaps not dramatically critical, provides the building of tension and necessary transition. There is no effort to help the reader understand how the protagonist goes from the beginnings of anxiety one afternoon to being in the middle of a publicized mystery a week later.
In case you still want to check out this great short story (Wharton is so good, she manages to survive this mutilation without too much ill effect), it won't spoil anything for me to tell you that during the omitted week there is increasing official involvement and publicity about the story's central enigma, together with some revelations about one of the main character's history. These revelations are explored later, so you don't really miss too much there, but the story may be a bit harder to follow
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