Monday, 9 January 2012

The Woman in Black

I don't know if it was because of the hype of the book, or Susan Hill's atmospheric descriptions, but The Woman in Black was giving me goosebumps from the start. Arthur Kripps is spending Christmas Eve with his family, when they begin the tradition of telling ghost stories. When the young members of the gathering try to persuade Arthur to have a go, it provokes a strong reaction in him. What follows is him writing down his own, true ghost story...

At just 160 pages long, this is a surprisngly short book, but refreshing in the way that there is no needless information and every word is relevant to the story. The strong imagery
means that you can see for yourself the creepy scenes that Arthur encounters and as I was reading this on a very windy and rainy night, I was caught up in the chilling atmosphere of the story and sounds from my noisy neighbours were making me jump!

I have not yet seen the long-running stage play so I do not know how this compares to the original tale, but I am looking forward to seeing the new film adaptation, although from the trailers it looks like some narrative strands have been added. I would recommend reading this before visiting the theatre or cinema, so as not to spoil the surprises revealed.

Genuinely chilling and surprisingly tragic and sad, this is a book you will want to re-read
as soon as you have finished and will be thinking about for a long time.

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