Tuesday, August 4, 2015

The Woman In Black

So far my renewed resolution to read again has been a huge success.  I started The Woman In Black on Saturday and finished on Sunday.  It felt good to just sit back and plow through a book again, even though it wasn't extremely long.

I really super enjoyed the book itself as well, not just the act of reading. I think it plays a very convincing gothic horror story - I had to go back and check wikipedia to verify that yes, it was written in 1983.  I've seen some reviews on Goodreads (which I love, by the way - if you read a lot, you should check it out) that say this book is predictable, and I wouldn't disagree.  It takes a lot to surprise me in a book (see The Thirteenth Tale and Gone Girl).  But I don't think the predictability is a bad thing in this case.  As I said, it is very much written in the style of an old timey ghost story, and I think most of the time those are pretty predictable.  So in that way I think it was very authentic.

The only think that bothered me was that there wasn't really ever a specific time frame mentioned for the setting.  I started off picturing it as Victorian or perhaps earlier (because it was doing such a good job of capturing that olden times feel), but then the narrator was suddenly talking about cars and it totally threw off my immersion.  I got over it pretty quickly though, so it didn't really ruin my enjoyment of the book.  Perhaps the author intended it that way, to contrast the old fashioned theme of the story with a slightly more modern-day setting?  I decided to settle on somewhere around the  1930s, just for my own piece of mind.

Another thing I liked was that the story opened on a Christmas celebration.  I don't think we see nearly enough Christmas ghost story telling in books or in real life.  Also, it made me very much look forward to Christmas, as if I wasn't excited enough already!

All in all, I would definitely recommend this book to you if you like creepy stories or gothic novels.  And if you like both, you're in for a treat.

September's book is Far From The Madding Crowd - a classic which I, somehow, have neglected to read.

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