Friday, April 1, 2011

The Turn of the Screw - by Henry James

Here is on of the reasons why I do this blog.  I decided to download Henry James’ The Turn of the Screw. (UK edition) (Deutsch edition)  Searching Amazon for this title, the first page showed 12 versions and none were free.  On page four, after innumerable “turns,” I finally found the free copy I knew had to be out there.  (It has a linked table of contents, by the way.)

It is just not as easy as it should be to download the free classic works.  Before I got to the 44th title, which is the free title linked above, I passed up a perfectly good version published by the trustworthy mobi for .89, innumerable copies under $5.00, books that were NOT even this title and a copy inexplicably offered for $44.99!  I guess if you sell just one copy at this outrageous price, it was worth the trouble to convert it to the Kindle format and upload it.

The book starts with a story telling session, as this novella is a story narrated by a house guest:
'I can see Douglas there before the fire, to which he had got up to present his back, looking down at his interlocutor with his hands in his pockets. "Nobody but me, till now, has ever heard [this story]. It's quite too horrible." This, naturally, was declared by several voices to give the thing the utmost price, and our friend, with quiet art, prepared his triumph by turning his eyes over the rest of us and going on: "It's beyond everything. Nothing at all that I know touches it."

"For sheer terror?" I remember asking.

He seemed to say it was not so simple as that; to be really at a loss how to qualify it. He passed his hand over his eyes, made a little wincing grimace. "For dreadful--dreadfulness!"

"Oh, how delicious!" cried one of the women.

He took no notice of her; he looked at me, but as if, instead of me, he saw what he spoke of. "For general uncanny ugliness and horror and pain." '
The Turn of the Screw is a truly creepy story.  Some of the pre-copyright books surprise us by just how up-to-date they seem.  This story of mysterious evil just seems to get more puzzling and disturbing and I’m sure it will be giving chills in 2111.

This blog is a guide to the best free and inexpensive classic literature for the US & UK Kindle. If you enjoy my suggestions, please tell your friends who read to give my blog a try. 
Join me on Twitter, FaceBook, or Pinterest.


For a nominal fee of 99 cents/pence, you can subscribe to this blog and have it automatically download on your Kindle. This gives you the convenience of being able to download the books directly to your Kindle, instead of downloading them to your computer and then transferring them to your Kindle. It also helps support my blog.

UK readers may go to this Amazon link to subscribe.  (Slightly more than half my readers are from the UK)

US readers may go to this Amazon link

Thank to all my readers, whether you subscribe on your Kindle or whether you read it online.  I love to get good reviews!  Who wouldn't?  Should you care to leave a review, follow these links for UK readers or US readers.
I'm reading: The Turn of the Screw - by Henry JamesTweet this!


  1. I had to read this in H.S. and can't remember it at all. Perhaps I didn't but just recall it was an assignment?

  2. It can be read on a couple of levels. It would be interesting to hear what you make of it on a re-reading.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.