Thursday, August 15, 2019

Book Report: "The Turn of the Screw"

The Turn of the ScrewThe Turn of the Screw by Henry James
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Taking a stab at slow-burn horror, Henry James delivers a chilling payoff in "The Turn of the Screw."

Told from the perspective of a governess terrorized by ghosts as she cares for sweet but unruly children, the book is a chilling dive into psychological horror. The actions of the demonic spirits can't compete with the devastation the mind can wreak on itself.

After a sluggish buildup, the story really hits its stride, delivering a resonant and haunting conclusion.

Emma Thompson's narration in the Audible edition is a masterstroke, speeding up her pace and raising her sense of urgency during the more frantic moments and slowing down into somber tones during buildups.

While most of the book is a slog, it's worth struggling through the slower moments to get to the masterstroke ending. "The Turn of the Screw" is short enough to maintain its sense of urgency even when it stalls.

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