Audiobook Review

The Turn of the Screw

By
Henry James
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Performance
Overall
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Excellent, Unforgettable, Best of the nest

Very good, thoroughly enjoyed, 

Good, Solid, Enjoyed many aspects

STAR RATINGS GUIDE

Emma Thompson Slays In This Chilling Classic

THE BIRDICT

💛 Yes, it’s from the nineteenth century and yes some of the prose is dense, but this is a bona fide creepfest. One of the gothic variety. Think isolated mansion, ghostly sightings, beatific children (a la Nightmare on Elm Street, The Omen) and oooodles of ambiguity.

💚 Told from the perspective of a governess sent to look after two orphaned children, it descends into flashes of spirits seen or not seen, feelings of being watched and general ominousness. And doubt. Because I was never sure of what was real and what wasn’t.

💜 In my humble view, there is nothing scarier than angelic kids. Well, except for the same kids singing nursery rhymes. A lot of this story centres on just how cherubic the children are. It’s a battle for their souls.

❤️️ I watched Netflix's The Haunting of Bly Manor without realising it was based on this. If anything shows just how timeless this horror classic is, it’s that.

💙 This and the more modern The Haunting of Hill House are similar in many ways and both were made into fantastic mini-series. Highly recommend both.

SQUAWKING THE TALK

🎧 EMMA THOMPSON. That’s who performed this audiobook. Dame Emma brilliant-in-everything-she’s-ever-done Thompson. And this was no exception. She is powerful as the governess, portraying her as ever more anxious and desperate. Her reading helped me in parsing some of the more labyrinthine sections through context.

🎧 Thompson is utterly chilling as the children. I’m unsure about her hyperbolic portrayal of the housekeeper Mrs Growse. It very much leaned into the But there are so many interpretations of this classic tale that this happens not to coincide with mine.

BIRDS OF A FEATHER: SIMILAR AUDIOBOOKS

No spoilers for this one. Maybe next time!
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The Turn of the Screw

THE BLURB

When a governess is hired to care for two children at a British country estate, she begins to sense an otherworldly presence around the grounds. Are they really ghosts she's seeing? Or is something far more sinister at work?