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Publisher's Summary

One of the world's most famous intellectual ghost stories, The Turn of the Screw is a haunting tale of suspected supernatural possession. A governess at a country house claims that Miles and Flora, two orphaned children in her care, are being controlled by spirits for some evil purpose. No one else can see the ghosts, and the children themselves are silent. Are they being dominated by spectral forces, or are they hiding something? Is the governess simply paranoid, or is something else going on?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.
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Customer Reviews

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By Darwin8u on 03-12-13

Compelling, creepy and rich in its ambiguity

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.

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24 of 26 people found this review helpful


By Sarah R. Jacobs on 09-25-15

I didn't think I liked Henry James

But I do. I was just too young to "get" Henry James before. Vanessa Benjamin is perfect for this book.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

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By jimthistle on 03-03-11

A little impenetrable

Much preferred the film - unusual for me. I usually prefer the book (or audiobook). In this case, the speed of the narration is such that it's very hard to understand. With printed text, it's possible to go back to the start of the (full page) sentence and give it another shot.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful


By Sean Inglis on 12-31-13

Great performance, interminable prose

First the good points; the production is clean and easy on the ear, perfect for attempts to scare yourself on a late night and in the dark.

But that's where it ended for me. With few exceptions, I was just irritated, mostly by the constantly elliptical nature of the prose and dialogue.

I'm not someone who shies away from complex language or plotting; I don't demand instant satisfaction out of a story, or things to be tidied away neatly, but the baroque sentence construction just had me sighing internally and wishing they'd get on with it.

Perhaps a work that's best suited to the printed page, at least as far as I'm concerned, but as an audiobook I derived very little enjoyment.

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