Okay, so after a bit of a hiatus in my blogging activity, it’s [relatively] safe to say that I’m back after being sick, making the most of my last few days of freedom, and getting ready for university (which I start on Monday! *squeal of excitement* ).
But, while I was going to review a couple of things…I’ve forgotten what exactly I was going to review. I do remember one thing I was going to review though, and that is Susan Hill‘s gothic ghost story, The Woman in Black. The past few weeks in Australia have been far from sunny, although it was supposedly ‘summer’. Heh. Figures. This means that it has been perfect weather for hot chocolates and ghost stories! I haven’t read The Turn of the Screw or the similarly-named Woman in White, so I thought this might be a nice introduction into the gothic ghost story: the book is a slim 200 pages, and the movie stars Daniel Radcliffe, so there was always the option of watching that afterwards, and besides, it looked like the perfect read while the weather was gloomy. (I thought the weather woul be temporarily gloomy. It seems that we have temporarily become England with our dismal weather over the past several weeks. *sigh* Don’t get me wrong, I love the rain, and I want to go to England in a few years, but Australia isn’t designed for so much rain…flooded roads being the least of my problems.)
I digress. The review. Right. Okay…so the book was…longwinded. And that’s putting it politely. I understand how Hill was trying to emulate the great authors of Gothicism, but it just made it boring and amateurish. The greatest part of the novel was the end, when the ‘twist’, if you can call it that, finally appears and the story is OVER. I think that the movie will do a much better job of this story (I’m yet to see it) because of the duration and more visually compelling elements that are inherent in well-made films. Plus music! Music would have done a much better job to set the atmosphere than Hill’s wordy descriptions. I did hear that this was made into a play, and I think that was what the novel should have been in the first place.
I rate it ★★★☆☆ purely because the novel was such a drag to read to get to the juicy parts of the story. I actually have more faith in the film, which is rare to have after reading a novel, but it’s the unfortunate truth. I’m hesitant to read more of Hill’s work, for fear of encountering more cumbersome descriptions in a lame attempt to set the mood. Leave it to the masters that HAVE ALREADY WRITTEN THIS STORY. Overworked and overdone, this was like chewy toffee, at times sweet, and other times bitter. I’ve finally swallowed the toffee, although it did take a few teeth out in the meantime.