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text 2019-08-12 00:54
Halloween Bingo Pre-Party: Bring on the Horror - Tell Us Your Favorite Horror Reads, and How Scary Are They?
Revival - Stephen King
The Turn of the Screw - Henry James
Bag of Bones - Stephen King
It - Stephen King
The Woman in Black - Susan Hill,John Lawrence
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow - Washington Irving
Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark - Alvin Schwartz,Stephen Gammell
The Girl Next Door - Jack Ketchum
The Haunting of Hill House - Shirley Jackson,Laura Miller
The Murder of Roger Ackroyd - Agatha Christie

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text 2019-08-06 16:57
Halloween Bingo 2019 PreParty -- Question for 08/06 (Day 6): Favorite Seasonal Covers -- Horror / Gothic / Classics
The Moonstone - Wilkie Collins,Sandra Kemp
The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins,Matthew Sweet
Wuthering Heights - Lucasta Miller,Pauline Nestor,Emily Brontë
Rebecca - Daphne du Maurier,Sally Beauman
The Turn of the Screw - Henry James
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow - Washington Irving
The French Lieutenant's Woman: A Screenplay - Harold Pinter,John Fowles
To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
Quartet in Autumn - Barbara Pym
Autumnal Tints - Henry David Thoreau, Henry Thoreau

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text 2019-08-03 15:26
Halloween Bingo 2019 PreParty -- Question for 08/03 (Day 3): Favorite Ghostly Tales?
A Christmas Carol and Other Christmas Writings - Charles Dickens,Michael Slater
The Signalman: A Ghost Story - Charles Dickens,Simon Bradley
The Turn of the Screw - Henry James
Voices from the Other World: Ancient Egyptian Tales - Naguib Mahfouz,Raymond Stock
Beloved - Toni Morrison
The Little Ghost - Otfried Preußler,Anthea Bell,F.J. Tripp
Violin - Anne Rice
Der Schimmelreiter - Theodor Storm
The Ghost Stories of Edith Wharton - Edith Wharton,Laszlo Kubinyi
The Canterville Ghost - Oscar Wilde,Inga Moore

As I said in my first pre-party post, I'm not much of a horror reader, and the ghost stories I like almost all either feature a ghost who is the author's messenger for some larger point, or they're chiefly characters who have had such an impact on another character's life, or on a given place, that their "ghostly" presence is in effect like a lasting shadow of their living presence.  Or, of course, we're really just talking fairy tale -- or satire / parody.

 

It goes without saying that this definition includes Dickens's A Christmas Carol, The Chimes and The Signalman; as well as the likes of:

 

* Aladdin from 1001 Nights (the genie is at least a kind of ghost, right?)

* A.S. Byatt: The Djinn in the Nightingale's Eye

* Wilkie Collins: Mrs. Zant and the Ghost

* Henry James: The Turn of the Screw

* Naguib Mahfouz: Voices from the Other World: Ancient Egyptian Tales 

* Toni Morrison: Beloved

* Terry Pratchett: Wyrd Sisters

* Otfried Preußler: The Little Ghost (a wonderful children's story about not fearing "the other")

* Anne Rice: Violin (the last book by her that I read before she turned BBA)

* Theodor Storm: Der Schimmelreiter (The Dykemaster)

* The ghost stories of Edith Wharton (wonderfully atmospheric)

... and of course ...

* Oscar Wilde: The Canterville Ghost

 

 

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review 2019-04-11 14:59
Possibly more challenging than enjoyable a read
The Turn of the Screw - Henry James

Henry James' "The Turn of the Screw" follows a popular convention in classic horror that the story is presented to us with a wrap around narration. At a party people are encouraged to tell each other creepy tales and this one is told to them (and us) by the recipient of correspondence from the governess who is tasked to take care of the children at the centre of this tale. He reads her letters to his audience.

 

In the novella James uses syntax and grammar to show the growing terror, fear and unreliability of the governess and she becomes either more aware of (or if it's her imagination) more afraid of the ghosts of previous domestic servants and their relationships with the children in her care. It makes us question commonly held assumptions such as beauty = goodness as she learns more about the characters of the exquisite young children.

 

The kids are manipulative, their legal guardian is lazy and uncaring, there may be ghosts in the old house, the children may have been molested by the two servants when they were alive and employed there, certainly the servants behaved in ways not considered fitting of people of their rank or station. The governess gradually loses her grip on reality and the children seem increasingly devilish.

 

What actually happens? There are plenty of theories and the story is open to interpretation.

Is it frightening? Not by modern horror standards but it's slightly creepy.

Is it confusing? Hell yes.

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text 2019-03-20 14:02
Reading progress update: I've read 150 out of 224 pages.
The Great Captains - Henry Treece,James Cawthorn,Michael Moorcock

as usual, many plots and betrayals being discussed back in Caerwent, while Artos the Bear has been off dealing with Gomer the Fox and the rest of the Picts. but some of the plotters, especially Aurelius Caninus, keep their counter-betrayals and final gambits to themselves. meanwhile, it seems Lady Gwenhwyfar has quietly arrived. She may not like what's been going on...

 

should finish this tonight. Yardie next, and then either Gone in Seconds, or The Girl on the Train.

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