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Download The Turn of the Screw Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Turn of the Screw Audiobook, by Henry James Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.79 out of 53.79 out of 53.79 out of 53.79 out of 53.79 out of 5 3.79 (33 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Henry James Narrator: Vanessa Benjamin Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: October 2008 ISBN: 9781455194261
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One of the world’s most famous intellectual ghost stories, The Turn of the Screw is a haunting tale of suspected supernatural possession. A governess at a country house claims that Miles and Flora, two orphaned children in her care, are being controlled by spirits for some evil purpose. No one else can see the ghosts, and the children themselves are silent. Are they being dominated by spectral forces, or are they hiding something? Is the governess simply paranoid, or is something else going on? With its ambiguous content and powerful narrative technique, the story challenges the listener to determine whether the unnamed governess is a reliable witness or a neurotic with an overheated imagination.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Both narrators are skilled and capable, and render James’ complex prose as clearly as it would be on the page, if not more so. Benjamin conveys the classic question of the governess’ reliability by making her voice pleasant and reasonable yet increasingly self-justifying and high-strung…through her narration the eerie, claustrophobic effect of James’ tale is heightened—just what a good audiobook should do.”

    AudioFile

  • “In rich and mellow tones, Vance dramatically introduces this classic ghost tale…Benjamin’s reading of the story, in a sweet British accent, is a calming contrast…but when appropriate, Benjamin’s tones alter the mood dramatically…Benjamin’s accent and emotional undercurrents are just right. This excellent production highlights James’ gorgeous prose and skill at creating and sustaining a mood of growing unease and horror.”

    Booklist

  • “More than a horrific ghost story, The Turn of the Screw is an enigmatic and disturbing psychological novel that probes the source of terror in neuroses and moral degradation…The Turn of the Screw will continue to fascinate and to intrigue because James’ ‘cold artistic calculation’ has so filled it with suggestiveness and intentional ambiguity that it may be read at different levels and with new revelations at each successive reading.”

    Masterpieces of World Literature

  • “The reader’s mind is forced to hold to two levels of awareness: the story as told, and the story to be deduced.”

    Leon Edel, literary critic and Pulitzer Prize–winning biographer of Henry James

  • “This enigmatic, chilling, classic ghost story is especially well told in semivoiced narrations. Simon Vance presents the introductory material…Suiting her presentation well to James’ elaborate prose style, actress Vanessa Benjamin then relates [the governess’] experiences.”

    SoundCommentary.com

  • “A most wonderful, lurid, poisonous little tale.”

    Oscar Wilde

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Hawkgrrrl | 2/11/2014

    " I like a creepy story. This had all the right elements, but the suspense was a little too drawn out, and the payout not quite what I hoped. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Emylie | 2/2/2014

    " I have to admit I'm not quite sure what was going on here...slightly frustrated with the ending. (and creepy children freak me out) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Meghan Fogg | 12/31/2013

    " I really liked it, not really sure I know why for all the confusion and meta-text. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Blue Harvest Creative | 12/26/2013

    " I have been wanting to read this for a long time. I have seen two movie adaptations, the best being "The Innocents" and I was expecting a great an haunting read. However, this book though short, took me forever to read. It just was ok. It was not as good as I had hoped. That said I am glad I did read it but I was hoping for a better read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Melissa Garrison | 12/22/2013

    " I loved this book, it is the book that the movie "The Others" is based on. Keeps you turning the pages and only tells you what you need to know to keep your imagination working. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jeannie Nguyen | 12/19/2013

    " pretty good! liked the thrill and excitement and loved the movie "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jim Parker | 12/12/2013

    " I'm not sure how to rate this book or even if I understood it. Chloe Parks made me read this as the price for letting me read Lord of the Flies. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Clarissa | 12/9/2013

    " If you liked Charlotte Perkins Gilmans' "The Yellow Wallpaper," you'll like this. I sure did! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Misty | 11/5/2013

    " A very interesting read. The ending seemed rather sudden and unexpected. I enjoyed the blurring between reality and imagination--that it was never certain whether ghosts were really appearing or not. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Nick Smith | 7/28/2013

    " A terrific story in the vein of the gothic, with interesting turns. A fascinating read with acuity of the senses and a whirlwind of fear. A real ghost story, put in place by James, in the mind of a man used to writing much different novels. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Will | 7/16/2013

    " My Halloween read for the year. Creepy ghost story that kept me guessing the whole way. James' style is difficult, IMO. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Matt | 3/8/2013

    " This story is just too damn vague. You're never quite sure what is going on and, in a ghost story, that can be a good thing, but when the resolution fails to clear things up, you just feel frustrated. The actions of the children just make no sense to me. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Snufkin | 2/19/2013

    " This is a haunting, brilliantly written tale! Kept half in suspense throughout, our minds fill in the blanks in this ghost story. Do go see Britten's opera! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sabine | 12/31/2012

    " Interesting book. I read it looking for the pragmatic tendencies from the author for my Pragmatism class, but would have probably liked the story better had I just been able to read it for fun. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kirsteen | 11/3/2012

    " Good overall story but it's very wordy for a book where little happens; however, that can probably be a reflection of the fact the book was written near the end of the Victorian era. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Fawn Johnson | 11/1/2012

    " Henry James...Loooong sentences. My editor would never let me get away with such things "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kate Bendelow | 1/10/2012

    " Not a quick read because of the text, but a good, haunting story. One that stays with you and keeps you thinking long after its back on the book shelf. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Marla Sommer | 1/2/2012

    " Classic ghost story of a governess coming to take charge of 2 children, Miles and Flora in the English countryside. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Heather G | 12/9/2011

    " Used to drive my Novels classes crazy with this one...hmmm! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Brenton | 7/5/2011

    " Classic scary story, will literally send chills down your spine. Great ending that leaves plenty of room for discussion. Good blend of intriguing story and classic literature. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Karensi | 5/22/2011

    " This book scared me to death. Made the mistake of reading it at night, on my own on Halloween. Slept with the light on for a week after that. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kate | 5/20/2011

    " Thought I had better read this after finishing "Florence and Giles" "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Crystal | 5/18/2011

    " Very interesting story. This is another story in which the reader is allowed to conjecture as to what really happened. The story is vague enough to allow the reader to come up with many conclusions, creating another "turn of the screw". "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Anna | 5/14/2011

    " If you love mystery and slightly chilling fiction - this is it. One of those books that I couldn't put down, but had me hiding underneath the covers! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Charles | 5/10/2011

    " I'm working my way through the classics and found this book one of the best. It really plays with one's mind as we never know the truth of the events as they occur. James is a great writer; if only I could write as well! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 esterb | 5/8/2011

    " This clas­sic ghost story is a delight to read. With­out “spe­cial effects” and unbe­liev­able telling James has writ­ten an intrigu­ing hor­rific plot that sucks you in and doesn’t let go until the last sen­tence. And what a last sen­tence it is: total shock! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sara | 5/2/2011

    " One of my favorite ghost stories (or are they really 'ghosts'?) The whole novella is filled with psychological ambiguity - are the angelic children really evil or is the caring governess insane? "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Ashley | 4/30/2011

    " This was so dumb. I'm glad I wasn't around during this time period because ghost stories were too boring and wordy. By the time it got to the climax I was totally over it. Just lame and confusing. I'm gonna go eat some cheesecake now and forget what this was about. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Barry | 4/28/2011

    " James has a somewhat convoluted way with a sentence, but once I got with the rhythm, it was enjoyable. I've seen just about every big and little screen adaptation of the story, so it was about time I read the book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Steff | 4/28/2011

    " This novella is very good and very creepy, and it only gets more so the more times you read it. The creepiest part comes when you ask yourself whom you can trust... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mimifoote | 4/26/2011

    " Strange book - sudden and suspensful ending. I liked it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Donna | 4/22/2011

    " I'm not sure I understand the ending... All of that for him just to die???? "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Misty | 4/18/2011

    " A very interesting read. The ending seemed rather sudden and unexpected. I enjoyed the blurring between reality and imagination--that it was never certain whether ghosts were really appearing or not. "

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About the Author
Author Henry James

Henry James (1843–1916), American novelist, short-story writer, and man of letters, was born in Washington Place, New York, to a family of distinguished philosophers and theologians. He attended schools in New York, Boston, and throughout Europe, where he later settled. A major figure in the history of the novel, he is celebrated as a master craftsman who brought his great art and impeccable technique to bear in the development of abiding moral themes.

About the Narrator

Vanessa Benjamin (a.k.a. Roe Kendall) is a native of the British Isles. Some twenty-five years ago she moved to the United States with her family and set down roots in Maryland. She graduated from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, London, receiving their silver medal as well as the Sir Emile Littler and Caryl Brahms awards. Benjamin has performed on stage in the Washington, DC, area for several years and at many venues and has performed at the Kennedy Center as Mrs. Schubert in the long-running show Shear Madness. An accomplished actress and narrator, she has recorded over two hundred books. Her work as a freelance voice-over artist and narrator has led her in many interesting directions, from technical government materials to eighteenth-century romance novels to hotel advertising, but narrating books is what she really enjoys. “I really love playing all the parts when I narrate a book. It’s an adventure, a challenge, and above all I feel that I learn something new with each book I read. I do a lot of reading for the Library of Congress’ Blind and Physically Handicapped program, and it is so rewarding for me especially when I get a letter from a patron; it’s a great service for the listener.”