Monday, February 27

The Canterville Ghost by Oscar Wilde

In the English countryside, Canterville Chase has been haunted by the ghost Sir. Simon of Canterville, ever since he was punished for the murder of his wife. Sir. Simon has terrified each of the house's residents for years but now he faces a family, the likes of which he has never encountered - Americans.

A short novel about a ghost? Haunting? Not my area. I don't read horror. Wait, it's written by Oscar Wilde? Yes please.

Everything I have read by Oscar Wilde (and I still have a way to go) has been well worth the gander. In this novella, Wilde brings sentiment and hilarity to an otherwise eerie story. Sir. Simon of Canterville is not an innocent character but neither is he depicted as someone who is strictly evil or inhuman. Indeed, despite no longer being alive, he still has the capability to get depressed and catch a cold.

'The Canterville Ghost' is much a comment British and American contrasts as it is of Gothic literature. Wilde has fun with the societal differences but doesn't fail to create a story that is engaging and emotional. I didn't think I would enjoy it as much but I'm glad I did.

I listened to the novella on audio book, narrated by Rupert Degas. Not only did he do an excellent job of bringing the characters to life with his array of accents and theatricality but the sound effects used were some of the best I have come across. In fact, most audio books I listen to do not include sound effects at all. I'm not sure why because they enveloped me in the eerie setting of the story. Sir. Simon's presence was alive in the creaks, shudders and groans.

This is a short read/listen but well worth the time spent. Splendid.

In accordance with the FTC, Quill Café would like to disclose that the reviewer purchased this book. The opinions expressed are hers alone and no monetary compensation was offered to her by the author or publisher. Cover art is copyright of Naxos Audiobooks and is used solely as an aide to the review.

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