The Woman in Black

The Woman in Black

Unknown - 2011
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Arthur Kipps, a young solicitor, travels to the north of England to settle the estate of Alice Drablow, but unexpectedly encounters a series of sinster events.
Publisher: New York : Vintage Books, 2011, c1983.
Edition: 1st Vintage Books ed
ISBN: 9780307950215
0307950212
Characteristics: 164 p. ; 21 cm.

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AL_KATI Aug 17, 2017

This had all the vibes of an old Victorian mystery--and it hit all the right notes for me. The "reveal" at the end creeped me out!

r
Ravenya03
Jul 19, 2017

Given how well-known this book seems to be (including a theater and film adaptation) I was surprised by how slight it is - better described as a novella and easily read in one sitting. Pulling together all the familiar elements of a ghost story (creepy specter, isolated house, suspicious townsfolk, endless marshlands) Susan Hill presents a straightforwardly spooky tale.
It's fun for a quick and scary read.

g
gloryb
Jul 20, 2016

Susan Hill's ghost story is a good one up to a point. For me, she falls down in explaining why the child was being driven away in a carriage at a time when it seemed unsafe to be crossing the causeway. And what the driver? Why did just he escape the accident? Was he just doing a job he was hired to do, or did he have other relationships with the characters he was driving away with. Hill is very good at description. Having been to such houses as described in the story, set on an island which can be reached only at low tide by walking, I had no difficulty in imaging the setting. I could feel the cold moist mist rolling in, the tide coming in, the oozing wet sand, and see the isolated house standing in the midst of it all. I am interested in viewing the DVD to see how this story, with little dialogue but reems of the narrator's thoughts, emotions, and insights, are developed for the movie screen.

s
scifiandscary
Jan 12, 2016

Well, to be honest, I have to wonder if maybe I ruined the book by watching the movie beforehand. Not that the movie was fantastic, mind you, but I think I just kept unconsciously comparing the two in mind. While the book definitely was better than the movie, it was hard to focus as fully on the book as I could have, I believe. Reading some of the many reviews for the Woman in Black I feel like I’m missing something, but… regardless, my review follows as such:

This was a solid piece of work, but nothing amazing. It was not memorable, the prose was not fantastic, but it was a pleasant way to spend a few hours. Arthur Kipps is a drab fellow, but I did admire his determination. There were scenes that were undoubtedly creepy (especially at the end), but nothing was particularly memorable.

The ending surprised me, since the movie re-orders certain events, and I had thought that perhaps the movie had just invented a rather large piece of the story, but no.. suddenly in the last chapter, that piece materializes. As stated, the movie plays it differently, but both have their advantages. I can’t say one is better than the other in terms of ending.

I doubt I will ever re-read this book, but I will say the book was better than the movie. (Though, honestly, if you’re reading book reviews online, you’re surely not surprised by that assessment!)

l
lukasevansherman
Oct 18, 2015

Don't be fooled by the cover, this isn't a Harry Potter book! English author Susan Hill continues the Victorian Gothic tradition with subtle and creepy results. The title is a play on the Wilkie Collins novel "The Woman is White" and astute readers will recognize one of the chapter titles, "Whistle and I'll Come to You," as a reference to a spooky M.R. James ghost story. Made into a film with Harry Potter.

lizzietish81 Sep 01, 2015

I read this room mostly in a brightly lit room full of people and I will still shaken and creeped out.

k
kristikaye
Dec 26, 2014

I liked it. Short. Some grammatical errors. Hard to put down, since the entire book is leading up to something.

h
huy1993
Nov 09, 2014

Using vivid and powerful descriptions, Susan Hill creates a sinister house and a horrifying ghost that consistently push Arthur Kipps to his limit. Moreover, the environment and the illustrations are so haunting; they pull the readers inside the cursed house.

u
uncommonreader
Dec 22, 2013

Written in the style of Wilkie Collins, "Woman in White", this is a ghost story. The setting is perhaps inspired by Holy Island in Northumbria, which is accessible only at low tide. It is well done for what it is.

u
utopianuniverse
Jun 27, 2013

Loved this book. It's a great creepy, scary book to read. Her descriptions of the places, sounds, smells, everything were spot on. I felt as if I was standing right there experiencing them. A great read.

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kristikaye
Dec 26, 2014

kristikaye thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 11 and 99

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huy1993
Nov 09, 2014

huy1993 thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

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Indigo_Horse_39
Apr 16, 2012

Indigo_Horse_39 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 10 and 50

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npcathro
Mar 11, 2012

npcathro thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

marysike Mar 05, 2012

marysike thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 12 and 30

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Adalau87
Jan 10, 2012

Adalau87 thinks this title is suitable for 24 years and over

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