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Publisher's Summary

Academy Award, Golden Globe, and Emmy winner Emma Thompson lends her immense talent and experienced voice to Henry James' Gothic ghost tale, The Turn of the Screw.
When a governess is hired to care for two children at a British country estate, she begins to sense an otherworldly presence around the grounds. Are they really ghosts she's seeing? Or is something far more sinister at work?
Having performed in films based on some of the greatest works in literature - including Sense and Sensibility, Howards End, Much Ado About Nothing, and Henry V - Thompson is no stranger to the classics, and she lends a graceful eloquence to this moody, macabre story. Joined by listener favorite Richard Armitage, who performs the prologue, Thompson reinvigorates this psychological thriller of life, death, evil, and the unknown.
Public Domain (P)2016 Audible, Inc.
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Critic Reviews

"[Narrator] Emma Thompson gives the performance we expect from an Oscar winner. Most listeners don't think of Henry James as a passionate writer, but passion is there, and Thompson brings it out - and adds some of her own.... Thompson's reading will teach new listeners how to read the text - and perhaps James in general - and to understand why he's considered a genius." (AudioFile)
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Customer Reviews

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By Gillian on 03-16-16

Great, but Mightn't be the Best on Audible

I really, really love "The Turn of the Screw," so this is my third version from Audible, and it's hard to judge as is, as opposed to judging in comparison to the other two that I have.
Let's take as is:
Emma Thompson is fabulous, really brings her acting chops to play, and what can you say? The woman is a powerhouse!
But, and this is where you'll have to judge for yourself, she reads as an older woman. I realize that the story is of an older woman looking back, so I understand why this might be appropriate for the book, but the character at the time is a very, very young woman. She is at a loss, wondering, at times she's near out of her mind, so that is why I prefer the Penelope Rawlins version. Because, even though Ms. Thompson delivers a masterful narrative, the dialogue, the interactions sometimes ring false with her more mature tones, with her poise. The character lacks poise at that age, so it's quite odd to hear such control.
Further, one of the joys of the story is that you never quite know what's real--it's up to the reader to decide for him or herself what is doing the haunting: Evil? or the governess as the conduit, the interpreter of what she "sees." If you lean one way or the other, the end is such that, chances are, you'll still wind up leaning that way. It's every man for himself and I know of two no such people who wind up in entire agreement about what exactly is determining the story here. And that's a delight! It makes for wonderful discussions afterward.
But Ms. Thompson's delivery kind of makes it seem as though there actually is only one way of seeing the whole story, which takes a lot of the fun out of it. The dedication of the governess to seeing one end comes off as rather harsh, strident, monstrous even--it doesn't leave much room for questioning. ...bummer...
Still, gotta love it! A governess overly beguiled and bewitched. Ghosts. Perhaps. Young souls hanging in the balance. How could the stakes be higher?
Great listen, beautiful language, compelling plot, mesmerizing characters.
And if you've gotten the kindle version, come back and choose the Audible versions you'd like!

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148 of 165 people found this review helpful


By Erika on 07-19-17

A lot of work

I listen to audio books for fun and the outdated language in this classic dashed the fun out of it. I had to decipher the meanings of the words and strings of sentences. It reminded me of lit class in college.

Overall the story is a decent thriller. A nanny is hired to care for a couple children. The boy Miles is creepy from the beginning. As the story moves along he gets creepier and the nanny notices various 'otherworldly' occurrences. Throughout the story they get worse and she learns history about the family. I won't give away anything.

Other than the language, the wordings tends to be very flowery which maybe something common for the times the book was written. Overall it was okay, not my favorite and one I probably won't listen to again but I'm also glad I listened to it. It's something I should probably do more.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

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By bookylady on 03-23-16

A Classic Ghost Story But I'm Still None The Wiser

[{ "answer" : "", "type" : "Overall", "question" : "If you could sum up The Turn of the Screw in three words, what would they be?", "id" : 234, "typeString" : "overall" }, { "answer" : "", "type" : "Story", "question" : "Would you be willing to try another book from Henry James? Why or why not?", "id" : 200, "typeString" : "story" }, { "answer" : "", "type" : "Performance", "question" : "What three words best describe Emma Thompson and Richard Armitage - introduction ’s voice?", "id" : 219, "typeString" : "performance" }, { "answer" : "", "type" : "Genre", "question" : "Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?", "id" : 246, "typeString" : "genre" }, { "answer" : "I have been confused by The Turn of The Screw for Years. Having read and seen several TV/film versions of this classic, gothic tale of ghosts and evil spirits I have never been able to decide whether the main protagonist (the governess) was insane, a hysteric or a young woman who was completely up against it ,trying to cope with two vulnerable children in a position of overarching responsibility that was foisted on her by an absent and irresponsible employer. So I decided to try listening to the story to see if I could pick up any clues that would help me come to a conclusion.
The story started really well with an authoratative performance from Richard Armitage in the prologue. But the bulk of the story, narrated very ably by Emma Thompson, just didn't 'do it' for me. I don't know why. I think Emma Thompson was perhaps miscast. The voice was a bit too mature and measured I think. The chilling fear and sense of dread and horror that Henry James sought to express in the narrative just didn't come across.
I'm still none the wiser about the outcome or whether the governess imagined it all. But perhaps that was James' intention? Leave them confused and wanting more? Who knows but perhaps someone could explain it all to me!", "type" : "Misc", "question" : "Any additional comments?", "id" : -1, "typeString" : "misc" } ]

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6 of 6 people found this review helpful


By Peter Boyce on 08-09-16

Not a ghost story

[{ "answer" : "This book is an excellent way of experiencing the inner life of a person with severe mental problems", "type" : "Overall", "question" : "What did you like most about The Turn of the Screw?", "id" : 233, "typeString" : "overall" }, { "answer" : "The present governess- the sole source of the hallucinations. She is delicate, unsure of herself, anxious and constantly alert for warped interpretations of the behaviour and words of others, in particular, the two children; left in charge with no help available. A sure setting for trouble.", "type" : "Story", "question" : "Who was your favorite character and why?", "id" : 196, "typeString" : "story" }, { "answer" : "Brilliant. Emma's voice suggests the complexity of the tortured mind. The American pronunciation of enquiry jarred somewhat.", "type" : "Performance", "question" : "What does Emma Thompson and Richard Armitage - introduction bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?", "id" : 206, "typeString" : "performance" }, { "answer" : "All is well with the governess left in charge....until the ghosts start to appear.", "type" : "Genre", "question" : "If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?", "id" : 251, "typeString" : "genre" }, { "answer" : "The title, 'Turn of the Screw,' epitomises the gradual increase in pressure that this lady experiences. Dramatizations turn this tale into a ghost story. It really is a page from a book on psychiatry fleshed out. 'For example' 'what to look for' the book is saying. Henry James had a brother William James, the famous psychologist and philosopher. Surely, they would have discussed the incidents that are described to make sure that they were true to life. The whole book is seen through the eyes of the governess. Only she sees Peter Quint and Miss Jessell. In her position alone with children, this governess is dangerous.", "type" : "Misc", "question" : "Any additional comments?", "id" : -1, "typeString" : "misc" } ]

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4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

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By LC on 07-17-17

Emma Thompson is perfection!

This was my first read/ listen of The Turn of the Screw and Emma Thompson's narration really made the story come to life.

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