Tag: Chilling

Henry James – The Turn of the Screw and Other Stories | Review

Title: The Turn of the Screw and Other Stories

Author: Henry James

Type: Fiction

Page Count/Review Word Count: 208

Rating: 9/10

 

Henry James - The Turn of the Screw

Henry James – The Turn of the Screw

 

The Turn of the Screw is James’ most notorious piece of work for a reason – it’s chilling, sinister and suspenseful, and everything you want from a piece of writing. The only possible criticism I can think of would be that it’s too short, because you could go on reading James’ work forever – that said, the author knows best and perhaps if it was in a longer form, the suspense would be lost.

James’ other work is just as delightful as The Turn of the Screw, but I’m not sold on the ‘other stories’ aspect of the title – it seems to over-promise and under-deliver, because there are only two other short stories included in my copy (‘The Pupil‘ and ‘The Third Person‘). Still, it makes for a pleasant enough read, and one that I’d highly recommend.

But The Turn of the Screw itself was always going to be the highlight here, and it’s that that will make you want to keep on reading more and more of Henry James’ writing. I promise, you’re not going to regret it.

 

Henry James

Henry James

 

Click here to buy The Turn of the Screw and Other Stories.


Stephen King – Pet Sematary | Review

Title: Pet Sematary

Author: Stephen King

Type: Fiction

Page Count/Review Word Count: 368

Rating: 8/10

 

Stephen King - Pet Sematary

Stephen King – Pet Sematary

 

In many ways, Pet Sematary is typical of Stephen King – it’s chilling, haunting and, in some ways, it feels almost like it’s been written following a formula. That’s not necessarily a bad thing though, and at the very least it guarantees a certain level of quality – this was written back in 1983, when King was at the height of his publishing powers, and it shows. Like the Pet Sematary itself, it has a certain power to keep you going back for more, even when you’re scared out of your wits.

The characterisation in the novel is pretty good, although I did feel more empathy for some of the supporting characters than the main family themselves – that said, everyone in this novel seems to have some sort of secret, and so they’re all interesting in their own different ways. I also enjoyed the Ramones references that were scattered throughout the novel, which makes me wonder whether the song was written about the novel or whether the novel was written about the song. Turns out that the Ramones song was written for the film adaptation.

Unfortunately, I felt that the novel was let down a little by the predictable ending, which seemed almost cliché – perhaps that’s because King is such a master of the craft that he creates clichés, rather than using them. The novel was written and released before I was born, and so it could easily have been imitated enough times since then that I’m more familiar with the homages to the novel than with the novel itself.

Overall though, I felt that it was a cracking read, the sort of book that you can power through in a couple of days even though it’s hundreds of pages long – you get hooked in and you can’t get out, and once you reach the point of no return when Church, the family cat, is killed, there’s no turning back. For most reviews, that might seem like a spoiler, but there’s so much going on in Pet Sematary that the death of a cat is nothing. So yeah, look forward to that.

 

Stephen King

Stephen King

 

Click here to buy Pet Sematary.