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The Turn of the Screw Audiobook

The Turn of the Screw

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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.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.8 (29 )
5 star
 (10)
4 star
 (6)
3 star
 (10)
2 star
 (3)
1 star
 (0)
Overall
3.5 (19 )
5 star
 (6)
4 star
 (4)
3 star
 (5)
2 star
 (2)
1 star
 (2)
Story
4.1 (19 )
5 star
 (8)
4 star
 (7)
3 star
 (2)
2 star
 (2)
1 star
 (0)
Performance
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  •  
    Jamie Houghton-Le-Spring, United Kingdom 03/03/2011
    Jamie Houghton-Le-Spring, United Kingdom 03/03/2011 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    10
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    10
    5
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    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "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.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sean Inglis Matlock,UK 31/12/2013
    Sean Inglis Matlock,UK 31/12/2013

    Radiophile and Teleophobe

    HELPFUL VOTES
    27
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    16
    15
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Peter Beulah, United Kingdom 22/01/2010
    Peter Beulah, United Kingdom 22/01/2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    303
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    241
    74
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    100
    0
    Overall
    "Good"

    I wanted to read this book because I had seen so many TV and film adaptations that I wanted to know for myself what James was saying with regards to whether the governess was indeed having a ghostly encounter or if it was all in her mind. Much as I enjoyed this book, I am unfortunately none-the-wiser, and resorting to Wiki, can see that I am not the only one, with the 'reality' of the ghosts vs. the state of governess' mind a point of great contention. An interesting listen which I am glad I bought.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
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  • Darwin8u
    Mesa, AZ, United States
    12/03/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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.

    24 of 26 people found this review helpful
  • Sarah R. Jacobs
    25/09/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Michael
    Chatswood, Australia
    03/01/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Strange, ambiguous - a dissatisfaction that lasts"
    What did you like best about The Turn of the Screw? What did you like least?

    It had a captivating tension that unfolded both slowly and rapidly. It had an ambiguity that created mystery. The ambiguity remained unresolved, creating ultimate dissatisfaction. But the dissatisfaction lasts in a way that is paradoxically satisfying. The (non) resolution left me annoyed, and as if I was supposed to have viewed the story another way all along.I suspect the reaction to it in the early 21st century may be quite different to when it was first written.


    Would you recommend The Turn of the Screw to your friends? Why or why not?

    Probably yes


    What about Simon Vance and Vanessa Benjamin ’s performance did you like?

    old English voices and modulating with different charactes.


    Do you think The Turn of the Screw needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    I don't think this question makes sense.


    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Russell Bernard
    Salt Lake City, Utah United States
    06/11/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Who done it, Murder or love?"

    I love the mystery of this story and i go back and forth on the ending depending on my mood. This is a great astory that is written so well that you get to decide the ending.
    Narrration is not to be missed.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Sher from Provo
    Utah
    16/12/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Ghost Story"

    I haven't decided if the governess is telling the truth or trying to hide something about herself. Or maybe she is delusional.

    5 of 11 people found this review helpful
  • cristina
    Somerville, MA, United States
    16/12/10
    Overall
    "Ultimately disappointing"

    The mystery is not a mystery to the modern reader -- only to the protagonist (who is not easy to like -- I simply didn't care what happened to her). The ending is too predictable -- and unsatisfying.

    The classic "gothic horror" tone is entertaining, I guess (that's why I gave it three stars), but you should read it more as a short story (it IS short). And do not expect Simon Vance to be the reader -- he is out of the story completely in less than 15 minutes.

    4 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • Clarissa
    Blytheville, AR, USA
    17/09/09
    Overall
    "Good Classic"

    Narrator was good...great value.

    3 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Janna Wong Healy
    Los Angeles, CA
    08/06/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "NOT ENGAGING ENOUGH FOR ME"

    I liked the setup, environment and even the ghosts but the language is so difficult that much of the story and characters are obscured. The main character is never really developed and neither are the children. The notion of the ghosts doesn't pay off (to me) and so I was never really engaged in the story. I suppose my sensibilities have changed with the times but the story of a governess who takes care of two children in a big country home that is haunted by the ghosts of the old governess and butler just didn't captivate me. It would seem that this setup is ripe for tension and terror but the language keeps the listener at such a distance that the emotions didn't ever heat up for me.

    In what could've been a terrific and haunting story with many layers and dimensions, instead, I found this to be a disappointment.

    On the other hand, the narrators were both excellent.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful

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