With its possibly ambiguous content and powerful narrative technique, the story challenges the listener to determine if the unnamed governess is correctly reporting events or is instead an unreliable neurotic with an overheated imagination.
©2006 Henry James; (P)2008 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
A part-time buffoon and ersatz scholar specializing in BS, pedantry, schmaltz and cultural coprophagia.
My first exposure to Henry James was this tight little psycho-drama of a ghost story. 'Turn of the Screw' is one of those amazing little stories that twists the reader back and forth between the extremes of believing the narrator is legitimate in her fear of actual ghosts or believing she is simply mad. James' story turns on this dilemma. One slight rotation to the right and all bets are off.
For a ghost story, I was far more creeped out by the two 'angelic' children, the vacant setting, and the remote English country house. Anyway, while not blown away by the story, I still found it compelling, creepy and rich in its ambiguity.
The mystery is not a mystery to the modern reader -- only to the protagonist (who is not easy to like -- I simply didn't care what happened to her). The ending is too predictable -- and unsatisfying.
The classic "gothic horror" tone is entertaining, I guess (that's why I gave it three stars), but you should read it more as a short story (it IS short). And do not expect Simon Vance to be the reader -- he is out of the story completely in less than 15 minutes.
It had a captivating tension that unfolded both slowly and rapidly. It had an ambiguity that created mystery. The ambiguity remained unresolved, creating ultimate dissatisfaction. But the dissatisfaction lasts in a way that is paradoxically satisfying. The (non) resolution left me annoyed, and as if I was supposed to have viewed the story another way all along.I suspect the reaction to it in the early 21st century may be quite different to when it was first written.
old English voices and modulating with different charactes.
I don't think this question makes sense.
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