Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Man, this book is dullsville.

In the spirit of Halloween I've been trying to read creepy stuff.
Earlier in the month, I read through about 25 Edgar Allan Poe short stories and was delighted! Now, I'm reading Henry James' "The Turn of the Screw" and I'm waiting for something to happen...but, even though the main character has "seen" several non-threatening and non-spooky ghosts, the story is more about finding out how really EVIL the children in her care are...gah! If I had wanted that, I would've rented "Children of the Corn" from Blockbuster...sheesh. Anyway, apparently Mr. James dictated this story to a transcriptionist, so reading the story is like listening to Mr. James talk. So the story's language is punctuated, so to speak, with a large, meaning a great sum, of interpolary comments and description making following it, not to put it (even if I should feel uncontrollably inclined to), rather difficult.

The only thing that keeps me reading is to find out why Yale professor William Lyon Phelps called it "the most powerful, the most nerve-shattering ghost story I have ever read....This story made my blood chill, my spine curl, and every individual hair to stand on end." Because, so far the only nerve-shattering aspect of the story is its utter lack of spookiness.


(Illustration by Edward Gorey, who disliked Henry James' stuff, and I quote: "I hate (Henry James) more than anybody else in the world except for Picasso." -Edward Gorey - See more at: http://www.edwardgoreyhouse.org/aesop-updike-edward-goreys-book-cover-art#sthash.YRZHuwZA.dpuf)

3 comments:

kat said...

last halloween i tried to read "dracula" and had the same experience.

Candice said...

sounds painful, but atleast you're learning the nuances of women's speech patterns, could come in handy!!

Chester B. said...

Okay, okay...so maybe I was a little dramatic...
There actually were some creepy parts of the book, what with ghosts just showing up when you least expected them to, but, still...