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Spooky Reads:

turn-of-the-screw

TURN OF THE SCREW (Henry James)

In the pantheon of Gothic liturature (I’m talking actual Gothic literature, not those YA novels with the vampires and the supernatural teen angst and the sparkles), Henry James’ novella The Turn of the Screw can usually be found in the Top 10 lists of many genre aficionados. If not the Top 5. This is because The Turn of the Screw is not your typical Victorian era ghost story.

Sure, on the surface, this may seem like your standard late-19th Century tale of a haunting of a governess and her two charges; but James didn’t like the standard stereotypes of the ghost story genre, and wrote The Turn of the Screw to…well, screw with the reader’s mind. You’re never really sure if the ghosts were real, or if everything was just the result of a mental breakdown. And that’s never really answered, leaving the reader to continually chew over everything after finishing.

My copy, as you can see in the above picture, is part of an omnibus collection published through Barnes & Noble classics line. After nearly 120 years after it was first published, The Turn of the Screw remains required reading for any dark Gothic fiction enthusiasts, and its many adaptations prove it’s importance isn’t waning any time soon. Also, it’s a good ghost story to be reading this Halloween season…or any season…

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