Sometimes, I get ambitious and think, self, let’s prove intellectual superiority by reading A CLASSIC, because you know, classics are hard. But then my brain got pwned by The Turn Of The Screw by Henry James. Last year, I read a retelling of The Turn Of The Screw – Tighter by Adele Griffin and really liked it and was all, sure I will love this shit, in relation to the source material. Plus, The Turn Of The Screw was number one on my goodreads TBR and I want to reduce it down to the ground. Turns out, I was NOT meant to fall in love with Henry James.
What I think happened in the plot:
In the beginning of The Turn Of The Screw, this stuffy dude is trying to date some chick. And then he hangs out with his friends and begins to read a ghost story from these letters and the womenfolk leave cuz of the ghosts. So, the ghost story opens with this governess who is unnamed going to Bly. She becomes BFF with Mrs. Gorse, the cook. The governess starts off thinking the children she cares for – Flora and Miles- are perfect angels. But really, they are creepy as hell. There are no parental figures that live at Bly. Then, the governess starts to see a ghost of a red haired man without a hat – he’s Irish I think, so obviously boorish and evil. Also, she see the ghost of Miss Jessel, the previous governess who is a hussy and evil too. Then the governess is all, ghosts, y’all! And Mrs. Gorse is like what ghosts? I don’t see. Then Miles dies in her arms and I’m like that’s it? That’s the big build up?
I’d like to think my brain isn’t mush from reading nothing but YA and genre fiction (because there are MANY MANY MANY intelligent people who read nothing but YA and genre fiction), but I totally did not get The Turn Of The Screw by Henry James. I mean, one comment I got on here once seems to imply that I’m not smart enough to read challenging books because I read mostly YA and genre fic, (hey condescending asshole, what up), but maybe it’s just that The Turn Of The Screw really isn’t all that great. It’s a whole lot of build up for nothing.It doesn’t have the payoff that I thought The Woman In White did. I mean, I see how people could debate whether the governess is cray cray or not, but meh, The Turn Of The Screw is NOT a me-book and I’m smart enough to realize that. Also the whole time, I was like if this was a Dumas book, there would be some swashbuckling going down, or if this was Wilkie Collins, there would be some crazy shit, because BOOM that’s WHAT I LIKE in books I read, not saying that is what other people like or should like.
Anyways, you guys ever read a book that completely went over your head? Let me know below!
Disclosure: Purchased copy fo’ free on my Kindle.