by Henry James
4th book finished for the R.I.P. Autumn Challenge
My Rating: 2.5/5
I'm wondering if it's blasphemous to say that I was rather disappointed with both of these tales. For The Turn of the Screw, the ambiguity doesn't bother me, as I generally dislike endings with everything tied up neatly. However, I never felt or understood the supposed horror, or evilness, of the situation which means that it didn't do much for me as a ghost story. I enjoyed The Aspern Papers a bit more but again I wasn't overly impressed. To give them the benefit of the doubt, I can perhaps blame it on "wrong book at the wrong time" syndrome as I really struggled with his prose. I found myself often rereading sentences, even paragraphs, to attempt to grasp just what he was saying. The only other work by James that I've read is Washington Square, which I quite enjoyed. But since reading Colm Toibin's The Master, about the life of Henry James, I've wanted to read more. I will try again; I already have The Portrait of a Lady and Daisy Miller here, but I'll make sure to be in the right mood next time.
For much more eloquent comments on The Turn of the Screw, see recent posts by Danielle, and The Literate Kitten, also here and here.