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TonyTalbot

TonyTalbot

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Nicholas Nickleby
Charles Dickens, Mark Ford

The Woman in Black: A Ghost Story

The Woman in Black - Susan Hill, John Lawrence A short book, more of a novella actually - it only took me two or three days to read. Because of that, the pacing was quick, and the creation of the atmosphere around the haunted house and the marshes was handled nicely. There was more expectation of terror than any actual terror, but The Woman in Black didn't really do much; she appeared and then vanished, then did it again a few times. Pretty much the worlds most passive ghost.We're told late in the book that whenever she appears, a child dies, which is then shown to be a lie since she appears four or five times and only one child dies.About three quarters of the way through, there's a painfully constructed sentence with at least six commas in, a paragraph in length, which, also, does not flow, that is to say, is constructed clumsily, kind of like, almost, perhaps, this paragraph.It bounced me right out of the book in what should have been a tense scene, and I couldn't settle back into the book after that. I kept looking for more clumsy paragraphs.The ending was rushed into the last five pages, and the deaths of the Stella and Arthur Junior had no emotional impact - not surprising, since they were barely in the book at all.In the end, a nice try at an Edwardian / Victorian gothic ghost story, but clumsy sentence construction and rushed pacing at the end spoiled it for me. I was expecting The Woman in Black to come rushing for me, but she just stood there and watched.