Sunday, 31 August 2008

TITLE: THE TURN OF THE SCREW AUTHOR: Henry James DATE PUBLISHED: 1898 DATE READ: August 2008 NOTES: Ostensibly a ghost story set in late Victorian England but The Turn of the Screw a strange little book that leaves the reader with more questions than answers. A governess is put in charge of two young children who seem to be “good” but perhaps are not nearly as innocent as they seem. She begins to see visions that she is convinced are filled with evil and wanting to capture the children. But it is debatable as to whether she really sees the ghosts or whether she is hysterical. There is also a strange sub-Freudian relationship between the governess and the boy, Miles. Being a reading group choice, this is not the sort of book I would normally choose to read. I can’t say I enjoyed it particularly – I especially didn’t like James’ long sentences! However I can understand how this work has given rise to so much discussion and criticism and to subsequent works such as film and opera.

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