The Turn of the Screw

By Henry James
Read by Vanessa Benjamin
Introduction read by Simon Vance

4.75 Hours 10/23/2008 unabridged
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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 ambiguous content and powerful narrative technique, the story challenges the listener to determine whether the unnamed governess is a reliable witness or a neurotic with an overheated imagination.

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Summary

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 ambiguous content and powerful narrative technique, the story challenges the listener to determine whether the unnamed governess is a reliable witness or a neurotic with an overheated imagination.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“Both narrators are skilled and capable, and render James’ complex prose as clearly as it would be on the page, if not more so. Benjamin conveys the classic question of the governess’ reliability by making her voice pleasant and reasonable yet increasingly self-justifying and high-strung…through her narration the eerie, claustrophobic effect of James’ tale is heightened—just what a good audiobook should do.” AudioFile
“In rich and mellow tones, Vance dramatically introduces this classic ghost tale…Benjamin’s reading of the story, in a sweet British accent, is a calming contrast…but when appropriate, Benjamin’s tones alter the mood dramatically…Benjamin’s accent and emotional undercurrents are just right. This excellent production highlights James’ gorgeous prose and skill at creating and sustaining a mood of growing unease and horror.” Booklist
“More than a horrific ghost story, The Turn of the Screw is an enigmatic and disturbing psychological novel that probes the source of terror in neuroses and moral degradation…The Turn of the Screw will continue to fascinate and to intrigue because James’ ‘cold artistic calculation’ has so filled it with suggestiveness and intentional ambiguity that it may be read at different levels and with new revelations at each successive reading.” Masterpieces of World Literature
“The reader’s mind is forced to hold to two levels of awareness: the story as told, and the story to be deduced.” Leon Edel, literary critic and Pulitzer Prize–winning biographer of Henry James
“This enigmatic, chilling, classic ghost story is especially well told in semivoiced narrations. Simon Vance presents the introductory material…Suiting her presentation well to James’ elaborate prose style, actress Vanessa Benjamin then relates [the governess’] experiences.” SoundCommentary.com
“A most wonderful, lurid, poisonous little tale.” Oscar Wilde

Reviews

Reviews

Author

Author Bio: Henry James

Henry James (1843–1916), American novelist, short-story writer, and man of letters, was born in Washington Place, New York, to a family of distinguished philosophers and theologians. He attended schools in New York, Boston, and throughout Europe, where he later settled. A major figure in the history of the novel, he is celebrated as a master craftsman who brought his great art and impeccable technique to bear in the development of abiding moral themes.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download, Digital Rental, CD, MP3 CD
Category: Fiction/Classics
Runtime: 4.75
Audience: Adult
Language: English