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The Woman in Black: A Ghost Storyby Susan Hill
Out of Print
Of the many classic ghost stories set during the holidays, The Woman in Black ranks among the best. Hill's novel is reminiscent of Dickens, full of eerie atmosphere, and delivers a creepy twist that will have you looking over your shoulder for days. If you love Victorian ghost stories, add this to your collection. Make sure to keep an eye out for Hill's equally brilliant The Man in the Picture.
Atmospheric, dreary, hallucinatory. This is a story told with an English sensibility of calmness set against a backdrop of impending horror. You can see it coming, but logic tells you it can't be real. No blood, no gore, just terrifying imagery and psychological shivers. However, the 2012 movie starring Daniel Radcliffe... not remotely scary or entertaining.
Synopses & Reviews
What real reader does not yearn, somewhere in the recesses of his or her heart, for a really literate, first-class thriller: one that chills the body with foreboding of dark deeds to come, but warms the soul with perceptions and language at once astute and vivid? In other words, a ghost story by Jane Austen.
Austen we cannot, alas, give you, but Susan Hill's remarkable The Woman in Black comes as close as the late twentieth century is likely to provide. Set on the obligatory English moor, on an isolated causeway, the story's hero is Arthur Kipps, an up-and-coming young solicitor who has come north to attend the funeral and settle the estate of Mrs. Alice Drablow of Eel Marsh House. The routine formalities he anticipates give way to a tumble of events and secrets more sinister and terrifying than any nightmare: the rocking chair in the nursery of the deserted Eel Marsh House, the eerie sound of pony and trap, a child's scream in the fog, and, most dreadfully, and for Kipps most tragically, the woman in black.
The Woman in Black is both a brilliant exercise in atmosphere and controlled horror and a delicious spine-tingler — proof positive that that neglected genre, the ghost story, isn't dead after all.
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