[Reading] ➯ The Woman in Black ➷ Susan Hill – Transportjobsite.co.uk

[Reading] ➯ The Woman in Black ➷ Susan Hill – Transportjobsite.co.uk chapter 1 The Woman in Black, meaning The Woman in Black, genre The Woman in Black, book cover The Woman in Black, flies The Woman in Black, The Woman in Black b4f564208f3d4 What Real Reader Does Not Yearn, Somewhere In The Recesses Of His Or Her Heart, For A Really Literate, First Class Thriller One That Chills The Body, But Warms The Soul With Plot, Perception, And Language At Once Astute And Vivid In Other Words, A Ghost Story Written By Jane Austen Alas, We Cannot Give You Austen, But Susan Hill S Remarkable Woman In Black Comes As Close As Our Era Can Provide Set On The Obligatory English Moor, On An Isolated Causeway, The Story Has As Its Hero Arthur Kipps, An Up And Coming Young Solicitor Who Has Come North From London To Attend The Funeral And Settle The Affairs Of Mrs Alice Drablow Of Eel Marsh House The Routine Formalities He Anticipates Give Way To A Tumble Of Events And Secrets Sinister And Terrifying Than Any Nightmare The Rocking Chair In The Deserted Nursery, The Eerie Sound Of A Pony And Trap, A Child S Scream In The Fog, And Most Dreadfully And For Kipps Most Tragically The Woman In Black The Woman In Black Is Both A Brilliant Exercise In Atmosphere And Controlled Horror And A Delicious Spine Tingler Proof Positive That This Neglected Genre, The Ghost Story, Isn T Dead After All


10 thoughts on “The Woman in Black

  1. says:

    A man may be accused of cowardice for fleeing away from all manner of physical dangers but when things supernatural, insubstantial and inexplicable threaten not only his safety and well being but his sanity, his innermost soul, then retreat is not a sign of weakness but the most prudent course The young solicitor sent to Crythin Gifford to sort out the affairs of a recently deceased Mrs Alice Drablow is a man by the name of Arthur Kipps.The people of Crythin Gifford are like the people of most small towns, suspicious of strangers and unwilling to help or provide information to outsiders Kipps attends the funeral of Mrs Drablow and has his first encounter with a woman the locals call The Woman in Black She was dressed in the deepest black, in the style of full mourning that had rather gone out of fashion A bonnet style hat covered her head and shaded her face, but although I did not stare, even the swift glance I took of the woman showed me enough to recognize that she was suffering from some terrible wasting disease, for not only was she extremely pale, even than a contrast with the blackness of her garments could account for, but the skin and, it seemed, only the thinnest layer of flesh was tautly stretched and strained across the bones, so that it gleamed with a curious, blue white sheen, and her eyes seemed sunken back into her head Not the typical mourner to show up to most funerals, although I have a few great aunts that, especially when seen in partial shadows, give me the willies Kipps is curious, but he has a job to do out at Eel Marsh House to sort through a lifetime of accumulated Drablow paperwork, so he shrugs off the apparition and focuses back on his task Eel Marsh House, once the tide comes in, is cut off from the rest of civilization, so Kipps has a choice to either stop early enough to leave before the tide comes in or decide to stay the night in the house He tries it both ways, but decides that by staying over he will have time to finish the job efficiently He is a junior associate, after all, and still trying to impress his bosses He hears noises, unexplainable noises that raise the hair on the back of his neck Whatever was about, whoever I had seen, and heard rocking, and who had passed me by just now, whoever had opened the locked door was not real No But what was real At that moment I began to doubt my own reality I really liked the fact that Kipps reaches the conclusion that Eel Marsh House is haunted by a ghost He doesn t try to convince himself that he is imagining things or that it has to be something other than a ghost He asks questions of the residents of the town, but receives few answers He finds some letters at the house, among the disorder of invoices and scraps of correspondence These letters start to fill in the gaps He soon realizes who the ghost is and why she is still here The Woman in Black, as it turns out, wants to share her pain The implications of this will haunt Arthur Kipps for the rest of his life I loved Susan Hill s writing style While reading this book I felt some nostalgia for those Victorian ghost story writers such as Wilkie Collins and Sheridan Le Fanu The interesting part of the book is that, even though it is of modest length, the actual plot takes a while to develop While waiting to get to the juicy details, Hill shares some beautiful descriptions of scenery and lays the groundwork for the story We are also introduced to a much older Kipps, seemingly irrationally irritated by the extortions of his family to tell them a scary story He has only one scary story, but it isn t a fabrication of a writer s wild imagination, but a real event where tragedy begets tragedy Stephen Mallatratt adapted the novel to the play which became the second longest running play in West End history A movie adaptation starring Daniel Radcliffe came out in 2012 There are reasonably significant changes to the plot in the movie version, but I still enjoyed the experience It was my first time watching Radcliffe in a grown up role, and it turned out to be a good choice of script for him If you wish to see of my most recent book and movie reviews, visit also have a Facebook blogger page at


  2. says:

    A disappointment I kept hearing about how this was a real honest to god, old fashioned ghost story steeped in the tradition of James and James Henry and Montague Rhodes that delivered a frisson of genuine terror and some very fine writing as well Alas I didn t find any of this to be true.For starters, I didn t believe the narrator He is a man in his forties self described as unimaginative who years before suffered a scarring supernatural experience, yet he sounds for all the world like a timid watered down version of a young Bronte heroine or should I just say du Maurier heroine , sensitive to nature and hell bent on describing everything that comes along way, relevant or not The book is a pastiche of 19th century stylistic cliches, starting with a half hearted Pickwickian Christmas, moving quickly to a Bleak House inspired description of fog, and soon settling into page upon page of lengthy sentences resembling those of middle period Henry James, yet which unlike those of the master contain no fine distinctions of intellect or sensibility to justify their continual qualifying clauses The story itself, although not remarkable, could have been interesting The first sight of the spectre in the graveyard is chilling, and the subsequent scenes where the hero wanders alone in the fog, hearing horrors rather than seeing them, are undoubtedly effective But there is only enough material here for a 4,000 6,000 word short story, and this is a 40,000 word novella It is short as horror books go, but far too long for what it has to say.


  3. says:

    I said in another review that I m near impossible to scare because my parents were relaxed with horror movie censorship when I was a young kid I was oversaturated with horror from a young age and tend to find it laughable than spine tingling.However, this book may be the only exception I have found so far In recent years I have flat out avoided horror stories because they do nothing for me I can stomach Stephen King but only because his books tend to be about than the basic horror element For me to find this book, a book that is entirely a horror story, to be so enjoyable and so frightening is quite incredible.I don t need to tell you what it s about, you can read that in countless descriptions, but I do need to say just how much this scared me and had me sleeping with the light on all night and jumping up at every single creak and sigh The image of the woman stood in the marshes with her face wasting away is so vividly described that it was all I could picture for days, I kept looking over my shoulder when I was by myself expecting to see her stood there in her long black cloak This lady does very little and is still probably the most frightening character I ve ever come across in a novel I would not recommend you read this while alone in the house especially if it can scare someone so immune to horror like me.


  4. says:

    A chilling, traditional ghost story, with a strong Victorian feel a lone lawyer goes to a spooky house on the marshes, plagued by stories of madness and death No great surprises, but shocking none the less It is skilfully written, so that most of the scary stuff happens in your head, rather than being explicit on the page NARRATOR Arthur Kipps, the main character and the narrator is very pragmatic and always tries to dismiss his fears and find a rational explanation, which serves to make his story believable and thus alarming All the way through, his greatest need is to uncover the truth, however unpalatable it may be However, it s not what he sees or hears that really scares him, but what he FEELS, and the power of the Woman in Black s emotion His feelings towards her change from concern through fear to anger However, despite his pragmatism, right at the beginning Kipps does have a strong conviction that a particular house is part of his destiny which implies some openness to the supernatural , and when he first arrives at the town he says he felt like a spectre at some cheerful feast.WEATHER IMAGERYThe weather mist, rain, wind and sun is a major character in the book sometimes it parallels the situation and mood of the characters mists and disappearances and sometimes it is in total contrast sun at a funeral It could be clich d, but, perhaps because it doesn t always match the plot, it has dramatic weight.BIRDSOne feature I didn t notice on first reading was the birds Kipps himself is a bit of a birdwatcher, and different birds make fleeting appearances a menacing snake necked bird , the woman in black looking like a carrion bird, a nice happy robin later on.PROBLEMS WITH TIMEThe first chapter jumps around in a confusing way, which doesn t really matter plot wise, but is disconcerting The bigger mystery is when it is set Everything about it feels Victorian foggy London, pony and trap, steam trains , but she mentions telephones, electric lights even in a remote house on the marshes , cars, cycling as a not particularly wealthy boy, a grave stone from years back is inscribed 190 , and Kipps makes reference to Dickens and the treatment of Victorian servants 60 years earlier Each time I ve read this book, I ve been puzzled and irritated by this, though it s still a very good book.If you like it, The Turn of the Screw is in a similar vein And don t believe those who say it is like a ghost story written by Jane Austen


  5. says:

    Rating Clarification 2.5 stars.Disappointing and predictable, this Gothic ghost story isn t a patch on the classics of the genre such as Henry James The Turn of the Screw The writing is uneven and the author fails to keep the suspense building often interspersing awkward boring moments between the tense scenes, which unfortunately were all too few Part of the problem with the tension was that it was all so predictable I didn t even feel the need to check the ending like I usually do In other words the suspense wasn t killing me Not that the actual story was at fault as such, it was that the author seemed to give away too much too soon and didn t manage to drip feed bits of the story to the reader in such a way to make it a compelling page turner I was also left with various questions at the end, some silly some not For instance, when was it set The writer appeared to be trying for a classic Victorian tone, but there were mentions of motor cars and electric lights My guess was Edwardian, but I can t be sure Also, I was left wondering how on earth there was electricity at all out at the isolated Eel Marsh House No mention was ever made of a generator, the narrator just flicked switches even though the house was unoccupied when he arrived While these questions and some others which involve spoilers so I won t mention them here may not amount to major plot holes, they did niggle and distract which is never a good thing, especially in this type of book.Despite my disappointment in the book, I still hold out hope for the movie From what I ve seen in the trailers, it looks like the film embraces the full horror of the classic Victorian ghost story which is something the book failed to do The potential was there but it was just never realized by the author.


  6. says:

    A very good ghost story with creepy sounds, a marsh with lots of fog and danger, and a haunting revengeful spirit I was all set to give this book a strong 3 stars until the last chapter s chilling, horrid surprise ending Now I can t wait to see the movie with Daniel Radcliffe This is a GREAT October read


  7. says:

    You know, what I love about British ghost stories are that they are so understated, like everything else in the country They don t come bellowing and and dripping gory entrails they creep upon you, and whisper boo almost apologetically in your ear I think M R James started this trend, and all others seem to be following it.Susan Hill starts her novel, The Woman in Black , showing Arthur Kipps, an elderly lawyer and the first person narrator, having a quiet Christmas Eve with his family However, we are given a hint of the tragedy in Kipps life, when he casually mentions his status as a widower in his early twenties When his stepchildren ask him to narrate a ghost story, the normally sedate lawyer becomes extremely agitated and walks out because the children have touched a raw nerve For there is a very real ghost in Arthur Kipps past.As a young man, Arthur is sent to the market town of Crythin Gifford by his boss to attend the funeral of their client Mrs Alice Drablow and to sort out her papers, as she has no heirs Mrs Drablow lived at Eel Marsh, connected to the mainland by the Nine Lives Causeway and approachable only at low tide both sides of the causeway are bordered by the treacherous marsh Kipps thinks nothing of it until he finds that the locals at Crythin Gifford gives the house a long berth and refuse to discuss anything regarding its owner Things take a turn for the worse when Arthur sights a woman dressed all in black, with a wasted and ravaged face apparently a ghost.Ignoring his misgivings, the young lawyer takes up residence at the house on Eel Marsh, but is unable to complete his work as the haunting grows stronger and scarier Apart from the woman in black, there is a ghostly horse and trap not seen but only heard which keeps on plunging into the marsh, accompanied by a child s wail also, a nursery within the house eerily suspended in time where a rocking chair rocks by itself as the terrors mount, Arthur discovers the tragedy which is the root cause and terrifying consequences of sighting the woman in black He escapes but the horror follows him This is a good, old fashioned ghost story with absolutely no gore and shocks the one that is best narrated around a campfire on a chill December evening Susan Hill does a masterly job with the voice of the narrator, which is very much Victorian hard to believe that the novel was written in 1983 This is absolutely essential, as the horror is very much period and a modern voice would have totally spoilt it.It is not the ghostly visitations itself that scares one in the novel though they are sufficiently creepy but the tone of quiet despair and the starkness of the tragedy This story, like Stephen King s Cujo, doesn t let the reader escape even after the book is put away though the author leavens the horror by starting from a point in the protagonist s future when the tragedy has been put behind However, the ending is sufficiently devastating for it to stay with one for days.An excellent read to start the year


  8. says:

    After finishing and loving The Silent CompanionsI really wanted to another gothic period style ghost story to creep me out and when The Woman In Black came up in in my recommendations feed I was excited about the novel after reading the book s blurb image What I heard next chilled and horrified me.The noise of the pony trap grew fainter and then stopped abruptly and away on the marsh was a curious draining, sucking, churning sound, which went on, together with the shrill neighing and whinnying of a horse in panic and then I heard another cry, a shout a terrified sobbingA short novel that really should have but didn t pack a punch, it had Most of the elements for the type of ghost story I normally am drawn to, the fog shrouded house set on the outskirts of a remote English Village where sightings here and there of a ghostly lady all dressed in black but unfortunately the story lacked athmoshpere and for this reason it failed to be eerie or anyway creepy for me The characters were bland and I felt the book a little predictable and repetitive Having loved The Silent Companions perhaps I was expecting too much from this novel An ok read but not a book that will cause me any nightmares.


  9. says:

    2.5 starsThe story starts with our main protagonist Arthur Kipps narrating his paranormal experience to his close family and friends The start of the book reminded me of The Turn of the Screw as this also starts with a similar narration pattern and both these stories revolve around an isolated house.But that is where the similarity ends.The setting of Eel Marsh House is spooky, it is foggy surrounded by marshes and the accessibility to the house is blocked during high tide.Arthur see s The Woman in Black and then start s experiencing unusual things The paranormal angle of this is interesting but not as creepy even though it involves The Woman in BlackThis was a quick read and the ending took me by surprise view spoiler When Arthur got away from Eel Marsh and Crythin Gifford, I thought he has got away but the Woman in Black took her revenge hide spoiler


  10. says:

    Wonderfully, spooky, tragic story The narrator does a frighteningly good job of conveying the absolute horror that young Arthur Kipp experiences when he travels on behalf of his legal firm to tie up the loose ends of a client who has died Eel House stands deserted and only accessible twice a day with the low tide He has no idea what he is going to find when he plans on staying at the malevolent house under the hateful, evil watch of the deadly woman in black Arthur has no idea that seeing her will haunt him for the rest of his life I loved listening to this probably than I would have liked reading it A chilling ghost story to get into the Halloween spirit.


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