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With an Introduction and Notes by Martin Scofield, University of Kent at Canterbury. Henry James was arguably the greatest practitioner of what has been called the psychological ghost story. His stories explore the region which lies between the supernatural or straightforwardly marvellous and the darker areas of the human psyche. This edition includes all ten of his ghost With an Introduction and Notes by Martin Scofield, University of Kent at Canterbury. Henry James was arguably the greatest practitioner of what has been called the psychological ghost story. His stories explore the region which lies between the supernatural or straightforwardly marvellous and the darker areas of the human psyche. This edition includes all ten of his ghost stories, and as such is the fullest collection currently available. The stories range widely in tone and type. They include 'The Jolly Corner', a compelling story of psychological doubling; 'Owen Wingrave', which is also a subtle parable of military tradition; 'The Friends of the Friends', a strange story of uncanny love; and 'The Private Life', which finds a shrewd, high comedy in its ghostly theme. The volume also includes James's great novella The Turn of the Screw , perhaps the most ambiguous and disturbing ghost story ever written.


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With an Introduction and Notes by Martin Scofield, University of Kent at Canterbury. Henry James was arguably the greatest practitioner of what has been called the psychological ghost story. His stories explore the region which lies between the supernatural or straightforwardly marvellous and the darker areas of the human psyche. This edition includes all ten of his ghost With an Introduction and Notes by Martin Scofield, University of Kent at Canterbury. Henry James was arguably the greatest practitioner of what has been called the psychological ghost story. His stories explore the region which lies between the supernatural or straightforwardly marvellous and the darker areas of the human psyche. This edition includes all ten of his ghost stories, and as such is the fullest collection currently available. The stories range widely in tone and type. They include 'The Jolly Corner', a compelling story of psychological doubling; 'Owen Wingrave', which is also a subtle parable of military tradition; 'The Friends of the Friends', a strange story of uncanny love; and 'The Private Life', which finds a shrewd, high comedy in its ghostly theme. The volume also includes James's great novella The Turn of the Screw , perhaps the most ambiguous and disturbing ghost story ever written.

30 review for Ghost Stories

  1. 4 out of 5

    Bill Kerwin

    This collection containing all of Henry James' supernatural fiction is not only a book of chilling ghost tales, but also a book of psychologically complex short stories, written by a master stylist. The first two pieces are exceptions, mere apprentice works (after beginning well, “The Romance of Old Clothes” ends melodramatically, and the wordy and unfocused “The Ghostly Rental” lacks both compelling incidents and interesting themes), but seven of the remaining eight stories are excellent, and f This collection containing all of Henry James' supernatural fiction is not only a book of chilling ghost tales, but also a book of psychologically complex short stories, written by a master stylist. The first two pieces are exceptions, mere apprentice works (after beginning well, “The Romance of Old Clothes” ends melodramatically, and the wordy and unfocused “The Ghostly Rental” lacks both compelling incidents and interesting themes), but seven of the remaining eight stories are excellent, and five of those seven (“Owen Wingrave,” “The Friends of Friends," “The Turn of the Screw,” “The Real Right Thing,” and “The Jolly Corner”) are masterpieces of the form. I believe James' ghostly fictions improved as his style developed and matured. His later prose--charged with psychological nuance and attenuated suggestion--is so subtle in the way it conjures wraiths of meaning that one is often unsure whether it is the narrator, the author, or indeed the reader himself who has summoned any particular hint of significance; sometimes the meaning itself seems no more than a will o' the wisp, a vaporous adumbration, a mere exhalation of style. Reading his long, often baffling sentences can be especially infuriating for the reader of James' lengthy later novels--particularly for the reader who anticipates something akin to realism and psychological precision--but in a ghostly novella or a long scary short story, this later style may be just the thing. Searching for meaning in the old master's subtle prose can be like searching for ghosts in a fog: when the fog parts suddenly, and the spectre reveals itself, the effect--as in “The Jolly Corner”--can be both chilling and unique. Enough has been said about the “The Turn of the Screw” and “The Jolly Corner,” so I won't weary you with my commentary, but I would like to say something about three other stories in the collection. “Owen Wingrave,” the most conventional of the five, uses its gothic cliches—including the procession of censorious family portraits lining the walls of the Wingrave's ancestral home--to show what a great burden generations of military tradition must be for the soul of a young man who—despite his personal courage—is a confirmed pacifist. The ending of this memorable work is poignant and tragic. “The Real Right Thing” takes for its theme not only authors and their biographers, but the ethics involved in the biographical process; it may be read as a supernatural corollary to “The Aspern Papers,” one of James' finest novellas. My absolute favorite of James ghost stories, however—and I'm including “The Turn of the Screw” and “The Jolly Corner,” both of which I love—is “The Friends of Friends.” It takes its inspiration from the common experience of having two friends who have so much in common you're certain they would like each other, but who—despite your best efforts—never are able to meet. From this simple idea, James builds an absorbing narrative of friendship, love, betrayal and lost opportunities. If you read nothing else here, read “The Friends of Friends.”

  2. 5 out of 5

    Texbritreader

    No collection that includes the novella, The Turn of the Screw, could rate less than five stars in my estimation but that is hardly the only reason to read this group of ghost stories. Having read James's most famous supernatural work before but being unfamiliar with the other pieces included here, I began reading optimistically but with no real preconceived ideas about how or where these tales would take me. Written when James was twenty-five and at the beginning of his long career; the first st No collection that includes the novella, The Turn of the Screw, could rate less than five stars in my estimation but that is hardly the only reason to read this group of ghost stories. Having read James's most famous supernatural work before but being unfamiliar with the other pieces included here, I began reading optimistically but with no real preconceived ideas about how or where these tales would take me. Written when James was twenty-five and at the beginning of his long career; the first story, The Romance of Certain Old Clothes, is a tale of Old New England and definitely bears minor witness to Nathaniel Hawthorn's influence on James but remains fairly conventional and not terribly satisfying. Written a decade later, The Ghostly Rental, offers a sprightly narrative with a neat twist and begs the question of what it really means to be haunted. But the best stories follow these: Sir Edmund Orme, Owen Wingrave, The Friends of the Friends, The Real Right Thing, and The Third Person are ghost stories that offer realistic situations and people that could easily appear in other James stories but here they face unusual happenings and various encounters of otherworldly variety. As in The Turn of the Screw, James leads the reader to ponder the meaning of these visitations and to consider the implications such experiences might have but they are hardly all of a piece, one of the spirits is decidedly malevolent, others render judgement or attempt to influence events, one is a temptress and another manifests to comical effect. Perhaps the most interesting of the stories are the two supernatural ones that involve not true ghosts but tales of doubles: The Private Life and The Jolly Corner. In the first story, set during a holiday in the Alps, two companions discover something strange about the great author and the famous society painter in their group; while in the other an expatriate American returning to his childhood home in New York (clearly modeled on James himself) comes face to face with what might have literally been his fate. These stories toy artfully with the expression of identity, the act of creation, the power of choice and the duality of human nature. James captures the anxiety of the two friends in The Private Life perfectly as they grapple with the perplexing possibilities they encounter. And in The Jolly Corner he turns the mounting tension of walking through a dark, empty house into terror as the protagonist realizes his own fears. But the star of this book is, as it must be, the incomparable, The Turn of the Screw. The story opens with a poor but genteel young woman who accepts the post of governess to two young orphans now in the care of their disinterested uncle. Instantly impressed and somewhat smitten by her wealthy employer, she accepts almost sole responsibility for the youngsters and residence at the man's isolated country home. This begins a series of events that will lead the young woman from growing fear to righteous battle and culminate in tragedy. But the meaning of these happenings is always in question. This brilliant work suggests more than one interpretation, in what I believe is a deliberate effect on the part of the author. Are the wicked servants really ghosts now? Are the children really possessed? Is the governess valiantly battling evil for the lives of her charges or is the repressed woman going mad? You be the judge but for my own part I believe it is the question itself which is the most compelling feature of this story.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Simon

    Although I've marked this as 'read', I've only actually read "The romance of certain old clothes" and "The turn of the Screw". The second story being the main reason I wanted this collection. While I know it can be purchased on its own, I thought I may as well get a book that contains all his ghost stories. While I quite liked both stories, I don't feel this is an author I can read too much of at once. I will likely revisit from time to time and read the other stories eventually. Also I'm not qui Although I've marked this as 'read', I've only actually read "The romance of certain old clothes" and "The turn of the Screw". The second story being the main reason I wanted this collection. While I know it can be purchased on its own, I thought I may as well get a book that contains all his ghost stories. While I quite liked both stories, I don't feel this is an author I can read too much of at once. I will likely revisit from time to time and read the other stories eventually. Also I'm not quite in the mood for such florid prose right now but that doesn't normally put me off.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jim Smith

    Amusingly my copy's cover was emblazoned with an outrageously lurid spooky skeleton monster that could not be less representative of the author's style of ghostly fiction. The Turn of the Screw is as good as everybody says it is, though not necessarily for the reasons everybody says it is, but there are other gems here also. 'Owen Wingrave', 'The Friends of the Friends', 'The Real Right Thing' and 'The Jolly Corner' are most assuredly brilliant. Amusingly my copy's cover was emblazoned with an outrageously lurid spooky skeleton monster that could not be less representative of the author's style of ghostly fiction. The Turn of the Screw is as good as everybody says it is, though not necessarily for the reasons everybody says it is, but there are other gems here also. 'Owen Wingrave', 'The Friends of the Friends', 'The Real Right Thing' and 'The Jolly Corner' are most assuredly brilliant.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Sahel

    I have always said that Turn of the Screw is my favorite Ghost story by Henry James. But there is a short story at the end of this book called The Jolly Corner. At first I thought Oh My God, another totally abstract story that only plays with words nonsensically and you won't understand who goes where or which door opens, but then...just give it some time! This story will grab you itself and hold you and keep you! Furthermore, there are some unforgettable scenes painted in the lines <3 I have always said that Turn of the Screw is my favorite Ghost story by Henry James. But there is a short story at the end of this book called The Jolly Corner. At first I thought Oh My God, another totally abstract story that only plays with words nonsensically and you won't understand who goes where or which door opens, but then...just give it some time! This story will grab you itself and hold you and keep you! Furthermore, there are some unforgettable scenes painted in the lines <3

  6. 4 out of 5

    Cymru Roberts

    I dont think anyone would claim that this is HJ's finest work. I was surprised that he even wrote ghost stories; after reading POAL I didn't think he would ever dare to include such dramatic effect--it seemed beneath him! Maybe it's just beneath his greatest art. It wasn't that these stories sucked, they just seemed a bit half baked. There are some great ideas that seem like they could go on to be novels in their own right, but alas, James seems to have, like the hero of "The Real Right Thing", I dont think anyone would claim that this is HJ's finest work. I was surprised that he even wrote ghost stories; after reading POAL I didn't think he would ever dare to include such dramatic effect--it seemed beneath him! Maybe it's just beneath his greatest art. It wasn't that these stories sucked, they just seemed a bit half baked. There are some great ideas that seem like they could go on to be novels in their own right, but alas, James seems to have, like the hero of "The Real Right Thing", said 'I give up.'

  7. 5 out of 5

    Manuel Alfonseca

    I have not used this edition, but have read all the stories contained in the book separately, in e-book format. The oldest one (The romance of certain old clothes, 1868) is the one I liked less, as the reader can foresee what is going to happen from the beginning to the end. I prefer ghost stories to have some element of surprise, which in this case is fully absent. In my opinion, the best stories in this set of ten were the following: - The ghostly rental, an atypical ghost story with a final sur I have not used this edition, but have read all the stories contained in the book separately, in e-book format. The oldest one (The romance of certain old clothes, 1868) is the one I liked less, as the reader can foresee what is going to happen from the beginning to the end. I prefer ghost stories to have some element of surprise, which in this case is fully absent. In my opinion, the best stories in this set of ten were the following: - The ghostly rental, an atypical ghost story with a final surprise. - The private life, which only with difficulty can be considered a ghost story. - The way it came (or The friends of the friends), where the reader is left with the doubt on whether it was a ghost story after all. - The turn of the screw, one of the most horrid ghost stories I have ever read, which I have read three times, and still makes me ponder. - The third person, about two spinsters who inherit a house, together with its ghost...

  8. 4 out of 5

    Mark Ludmon

    A collection of Henry James’s nine short stories that feature supernatural goings-on plus his classic novella Turn of the Screw. Written in his densely intricate style, the short stories use the ghostly elements to explore society, morality and the psychologies of his haunted characters rather than just to provide a few scares. But, while the atmosphere may sometimes be slow building and the supernatural deferred, they often have a frisson of fear, especially where the action takes place in gloo A collection of Henry James’s nine short stories that feature supernatural goings-on plus his classic novella Turn of the Screw. Written in his densely intricate style, the short stories use the ghostly elements to explore society, morality and the psychologies of his haunted characters rather than just to provide a few scares. But, while the atmosphere may sometimes be slow building and the supernatural deferred, they often have a frisson of fear, especially where the action takes place in gloomy haunted houses.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Elena

    Ghost stories by Henry James are a true marvel. There are no creepy haunted houses, no bloody or headless apparitions, and yet his ghosts are more frightening than ever: they appear in daylight and most of them are born inside the characters themselves. For example Sir Edmund Orme, where the apparition is mainly the manifestation of Mrs. Marden's guilt, but at the same time he appears to protect the protagonist's feelings. Or The Jolly Corner, where the main character faces an apparition (view s Ghost stories by Henry James are a true marvel. There are no creepy haunted houses, no bloody or headless apparitions, and yet his ghosts are more frightening than ever: they appear in daylight and most of them are born inside the characters themselves. For example Sir Edmund Orme, where the apparition is mainly the manifestation of Mrs. Marden's guilt, but at the same time he appears to protect the protagonist's feelings. Or The Jolly Corner, where the main character faces an apparition (view spoiler)[who is nothing more than another version of himself, of what he could have been. (hide spoiler)] James's first stories, of course, are more traditional and less exciting, even though they still present some interesting innovations. For example The Ghostly Rental: it has the traditional haunted house, but in the end (view spoiler)[we find out there was never a ghost in the first place, and the one who was haunted becomes the one who torments. (hide spoiler)] The best story is of course The Turn of the Screw, but I also found very interesting The Friends of the Friends for its similarities with James's horror masterpiece: in both stories the readers can decide if they are faced with an unreliable narrator, and whether the ghosts' evilness is real or just a manifestation of the narrator's absurd jealousy (The Friends of the Friends) and insane mind (The Turn of the Screw). I can only agree with Virginia Woolf: "that courtly, worldly, sentimental old gentleman can still make us afraid of the dark".

  10. 5 out of 5

    The rockabilly werewolf from Mars

    It's hard to see why Henry remains so popular in the horror genre. His stories are not especially frightening, and his writing style is irritating, to put it lightly. Compare this to the brilliant stories of M. R. James, which remain terrifying to this day. I would go as far as saying that many of his stories should be expelled from the horror canon (The Friends Of The Friends and The Romance Of Certain Old Clothes come to mind here). I will admit that one story (The Jolly Corner), has an intere It's hard to see why Henry remains so popular in the horror genre. His stories are not especially frightening, and his writing style is irritating, to put it lightly. Compare this to the brilliant stories of M. R. James, which remain terrifying to this day. I would go as far as saying that many of his stories should be expelled from the horror canon (The Friends Of The Friends and The Romance Of Certain Old Clothes come to mind here). I will admit that one story (The Jolly Corner), has an interesting premise, but unfortunately, the awkward writing removes any atmosphere and causes the story to sink into a mire of semicolons. I can't say why I find James's stories so hard to read, because I have no trouble reading similar ghost story writers (Wharton, Onions, De La Mare, etc.), but for some reason I am enervated by trying to read his work. The reader would be better served by the stories of the other horror writer with the same surname, namely M. R. James. Perhaps Henry should have focused on telling an interesting story rather than trying to win the world record for most punctuation marks in a single sentence.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Kolya Matteo

    I only read "The Turn of the Screw." It was strangely hard to follow - much more so than Sherlock Holmes stories, which I just read and were written at the same time. Perhaps this is because it was written in a conversational, "chatty" style, but the norms of conversation have changed enough that it's hard to reconstruct the meaning. Also, the worst "evil" that the bad guys apparently get up to is talking trash and stealing letters. Ho-hum. James says that leaving the evil up to the imagination I only read "The Turn of the Screw." It was strangely hard to follow - much more so than Sherlock Holmes stories, which I just read and were written at the same time. Perhaps this is because it was written in a conversational, "chatty" style, but the norms of conversation have changed enough that it's hard to reconstruct the meaning. Also, the worst "evil" that the bad guys apparently get up to is talking trash and stealing letters. Ho-hum. James says that leaving the evil up to the imagination allows it to far exceed whatever he could come up with, but I mean how bad could it have been out in the country where nobody died, left, or called the cops? Kinky sex? Doing drugs? Blaspheming? All pretty tame. James may think that any concrete details will only let down the built-up expectation of evil, but this is really just a failure of imagination on his part. Iain M. Banks is capable of writing acts so heinously evil that they induce memory repression, night terrors, clawing out your eyes, etc.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Nancy Ellis

    These stories, of course, are beautifully written from a literary viewpoint. I can imagine why they were shocking in their time, although nowadays we are conditioned to expect something really scary and shocking in a ghost story. I enjoyed the psychological aspect of some of the stories; others I found just plain boring. The Turn of the Screw, probably the most famous, is interesting in the buildup, but I found the resolution disappointing. (Forgive the sarcasm, but my impression of the governes These stories, of course, are beautifully written from a literary viewpoint. I can imagine why they were shocking in their time, although nowadays we are conditioned to expect something really scary and shocking in a ghost story. I enjoyed the psychological aspect of some of the stories; others I found just plain boring. The Turn of the Screw, probably the most famous, is interesting in the buildup, but I found the resolution disappointing. (Forgive the sarcasm, but my impression of the governess was that she makes an excellent case study for the theory of the dangers of sexual repression in Victorian women...) All in all, though, I'm happy to have finally read these classic stories.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Hana

    Check Kindle freebies for “Owen Wingrave,” “The Friends of Friends” “The Real Right Thing,” and “The Jolly Corner” See Bill Kerwin's overview: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show... Check Kindle freebies for “Owen Wingrave,” “The Friends of Friends” “The Real Right Thing,” and “The Jolly Corner” See Bill Kerwin's overview: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

  14. 5 out of 5

    Stephen Hayes

    Nearly 50 years ago someone found a copy of The Turn of the Screw in an old house where I was staying. I recognised the author as someone quite famous, and recalled that some of his books had been set for English literature classes at the university I attended. So I read it. After a couple of chapters it seemed familiar, and I realised that the plot was the same as that of a film I had seen about ten years previously, called The Innocents. I was rather put off by the turbid (and turgid) style, b Nearly 50 years ago someone found a copy of The Turn of the Screw in an old house where I was staying. I recognised the author as someone quite famous, and recalled that some of his books had been set for English literature classes at the university I attended. So I read it. After a couple of chapters it seemed familiar, and I realised that the plot was the same as that of a film I had seen about ten years previously, called The Innocents. I was rather put off by the turbid (and turgid) style, but the story was interesting enough. When I saw this volume of collected ghost stories by Henry James, I thought it might be interesting, and it was long enough since I had read The Turn of the Screw to want to read that one again. But having reached the end, I'm pretty sure I don't want to read any more of Henry James. The last story in the volume, "The Jolly Corner" was excruciatingly boring, and could probably have been told better if cut down to two or three pages. It was lengthened by the need to read every sentence two or three times to find out what the author was saying. When I was about 9 or 10 years old a school teacher used to read ghost stories to us, and part of the attraction, at that age, was how scary they were. They were set in unusual places and described unusual circumstances, and that in itself set the scene for unusual and scary happenings. Now I've become old and jaded, and it takes a lot to scare me. Instead I look for a meaning beyond the surface. A ghost story needs to be more than just scary, it needs some kind of symbolic meaning, which Henry James doesn't really provide. It was one of those instances where the film was better than the book. The film told the story directly, rather than inundating it with a lorry-load of subordinate clauses.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca

    Collection of well written intellectual ghost stories I saw 2 versions of Turn of the screw, the Netflix and BBC version and wanted to read the rest of his writings of Henry James. They are terrifying but based on real events. I could only read one story a day because the short stories are thought provoking and longer with you.Henry James is writing from 1875- 1911. Most of stories are set in New York and England but Henry James is American. The stories are worth reading if you like Poe, King, Ri Collection of well written intellectual ghost stories I saw 2 versions of Turn of the screw, the Netflix and BBC version and wanted to read the rest of his writings of Henry James. They are terrifying but based on real events. I could only read one story a day because the short stories are thought provoking and longer with you.Henry James is writing from 1875- 1911. Most of stories are set in New York and England but Henry James is American. The stories are worth reading if you like Poe, King, Rice and Shirley Jackson. Ghost stories that stay with you. There are a few introductions that help you understand the context and should be read. Turn of the screw is the most famous story but his other stories give a feeling of the excellent work and school be taught in a history of horror.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Jay Rothermel

    Whether today we consider "De Grey'' a tyro potboiler or an example of higher commercial melodrama, it suffers by comparison with "The Romance of Certain Old Clothes." Yet for the lover of strange and uncanny stories, "De Grey'' has a place and an unmistakable flavor. In writing it, James must have felt close to the kind of aesthetic impulses that motivated Hawthorne to work on a tale like "The Ancestral Footstep." The De Grey family, on the surface innocuous to the point of boredom, turns out to Whether today we consider "De Grey'' a tyro potboiler or an example of higher commercial melodrama, it suffers by comparison with "The Romance of Certain Old Clothes." Yet for the lover of strange and uncanny stories, "De Grey'' has a place and an unmistakable flavor. In writing it, James must have felt close to the kind of aesthetic impulses that motivated Hawthorne to work on a tale like "The Ancestral Footstep." The De Grey family, on the surface innocuous to the point of boredom, turns out to harbor a historical and still living curse. Full review http://jayrothermel.blogspot.com/2021...

  17. 4 out of 5

    Greg Fletcher

    Not your typical cut em' slash em ghost stories with a boo here and a boo there. The ghosts in these stories are much more subtle. They all seem to have a message to get across rather than scaring someone. This is not to say that the characters they present themselves to aren't shocked....because they are definitely second-guessing their sanity. I enjoyed the book, but then I've enjoyed everything I've read by Henry James. Not your typical cut em' slash em ghost stories with a boo here and a boo there. The ghosts in these stories are much more subtle. They all seem to have a message to get across rather than scaring someone. This is not to say that the characters they present themselves to aren't shocked....because they are definitely second-guessing their sanity. I enjoyed the book, but then I've enjoyed everything I've read by Henry James.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Sara

    This collection of ghost stories, including the oft-adapted The Turn of the Screw, is a wonderful sampling of this mode of James's writing. While none of the stories would be what modern audiences consider frightening, they convey fascinating glimpses into how the supernatural was perceived at the time - one story even includes an early literary example of the doppelganger. Perhaps somewhat surprisingly, the stories often have a good deal of dry humor, as well. 4/5 This collection of ghost stories, including the oft-adapted The Turn of the Screw, is a wonderful sampling of this mode of James's writing. While none of the stories would be what modern audiences consider frightening, they convey fascinating glimpses into how the supernatural was perceived at the time - one story even includes an early literary example of the doppelganger. Perhaps somewhat surprisingly, the stories often have a good deal of dry humor, as well. 4/5

  19. 5 out of 5

    Kim

    Loved TURN OF THE SCREW. Rest were okay.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Beth Konarski

    This was pretty slow reading, but a spooky little read to settle in with on early nights.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Eleanor

    I thought I liked Henry James, but I was so irritated with these stories by the end. People with a bunch of time and money on their hands.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Tom De Ville

    Henry James' prose style makes me want to chew my own face off. Henry James' prose style makes me want to chew my own face off.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Maryam

    I’m reading this book right now and I have some Qs. Since English is my second language . I would be grateful if someone could help me. 🙏

  24. 5 out of 5

    David Miller

    If this review were solely for The Turn of the Screw, I would definitely be giving it more stars: it is by far one of the best executed, creepiest stories of its kind that I have ever read. Most of the stories in this collection are similarly clever, well-executed, and even a little scary, but few can match Screw in quality scares. And then there are a few that seem like missed opportunities, failing to make any kind of impression amongst the better tales. I enjoyed The Ghostly Rental, in partic If this review were solely for The Turn of the Screw, I would definitely be giving it more stars: it is by far one of the best executed, creepiest stories of its kind that I have ever read. Most of the stories in this collection are similarly clever, well-executed, and even a little scary, but few can match Screw in quality scares. And then there are a few that seem like missed opportunities, failing to make any kind of impression amongst the better tales. I enjoyed The Ghostly Rental, in particular, for its interesting twist on the haunted house concept. I was concerned after reading the included forewords by James, finding his style to be dense and uninteresting. The flow of his actual stories, however, is generally much more gripping. At his best, James conveys the disorientation of occult encounters, and the paralyzing fear of facing the unknown, with remarkable feeling. This is not an important factor in my review, but I found some mildly amusing typos on the spine and back cover of the book. The book also includes a section of notes explaining certain archaic terms and cultural references, but I found it to be less comprehensive and helpful than similar sections in other books of this type. So perhaps it's not the most high-end of productions; it's still worth a read for fans of ghost stories.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Ed

    A satisfying group of short stories recounting the circumstances surrounding mysterious happenings (sudden deaths, feelings of another presence, apparitions). Written very much in a classical style the author creates atmosphere with his descriptions of old houses, unusual events and the feelings of the protagonists. Some of the writing is very dense with long sentences. I did find it difficult to sometimes to follow their meaning. Nevertheless the stories captured the imagination. I could relate A satisfying group of short stories recounting the circumstances surrounding mysterious happenings (sudden deaths, feelings of another presence, apparitions). Written very much in a classical style the author creates atmosphere with his descriptions of old houses, unusual events and the feelings of the protagonists. Some of the writing is very dense with long sentences. I did find it difficult to sometimes to follow their meaning. Nevertheless the stories captured the imagination. I could relate to some of the scenes described particularly when walking recently in an area of Wales with large country houses of yesteryear.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Miki

    Quite intriguing and thrilling collection of James' Ghost Stories, including the most famous one, The Turn of the Screw. You need to get used to his style, it thus takes more concentration than for contemporary ghost stories, and they are so subtle and just vaguely suggestive that you can't miss any details. But they entertain and thrill and keep the suspense masterfully. Strongly suggested to avoid reading the introduction until you finished reading the stories, both to avoid spoilers and to fu Quite intriguing and thrilling collection of James' Ghost Stories, including the most famous one, The Turn of the Screw. You need to get used to his style, it thus takes more concentration than for contemporary ghost stories, and they are so subtle and just vaguely suggestive that you can't miss any details. But they entertain and thrill and keep the suspense masterfully. Strongly suggested to avoid reading the introduction until you finished reading the stories, both to avoid spoilers and to fully understand what it is about.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Data

    Some of these stories I had read before, but I thought I would read all the 'ghost stories' together at one time. Perhaps not the best choice I have ever made; I struggled to get through many of the stories. Some of these stories I had read before, but I thought I would read all the 'ghost stories' together at one time. Perhaps not the best choice I have ever made; I struggled to get through many of the stories.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Becky Crecelius

    Subtle and spooky, the tension in James' stories builds slowly. This is not for an impatient reader; he uses a classical writing style, and the syntax can feel cumbersome at times. My favorite story was "A Ghostly Rental". Subtle and spooky, the tension in James' stories builds slowly. This is not for an impatient reader; he uses a classical writing style, and the syntax can feel cumbersome at times. My favorite story was "A Ghostly Rental".

  29. 4 out of 5

    Nhia

    am re-reading this primarily for 'the turn of the screw'...it is every bit as unsettling as i remembered it to be...perfect for chilly dark nights! am re-reading this primarily for 'the turn of the screw'...it is every bit as unsettling as i remembered it to be...perfect for chilly dark nights!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Marta Acosta

    I've read a few of Henry's ghost stories. What I really enjoyed was comparing his early work, some of it sublimely hokey, to his later writing. I've read a few of Henry's ghost stories. What I really enjoyed was comparing his early work, some of it sublimely hokey, to his later writing.

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