The Woman In Black: Book & Film

The Author Susan Hill –

‘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 more 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.’From Goodreads

I read this book in August 2011, not sure why. I don;t know if it was a much read but I remember it was one that stuck with me for a bit after. Here’s my mini review of it on Goodreads giving it five star

‘I didn’t think much of this book at first. but it kept me gripped and then wham! the ending was amazing. has me a bit spooked now.’

I have been told that the theatre version of this book is really good and has my friend spooked so much the sheer mention of it makes her shiver. I think it’s coming to Leeds or has been and I’m not sure I ‘d be the right person to go to it, as I jump at anything.

Finally I opened it and sat and watched it and did nothing else

I got given this for Christmas or my Birthday, I can’t remember. It’s one of a set of DVD’s that still have the cellophane on. After sorting through everything this morning and doing a bit of tidying up, I decided for once I would sit and watch a film and concentrate on that and that alone. To scared to watch on my own in the evening I thought I’d watch it this afternoon. Best bit is as the telly is going on the blink it kept making funny noises at crucial bits, as if The Woman in Black was trying to reach through! *hides under blanket*.

This story, although not rating much of the book by the sounds of it is a classic ghost story. In a time of superstition being ripe this is a classic story of curses and vengeance.  As usual with me and books I had to do a bit of research on the net to check if what others thought and to see if the story for the film was different to the book and it was. I always prefer to read the book before the film if I can as I set the characters and what they look like, and the film just fills it in. Whether knowing the background to the story first is a good idea when watching films I don’t know, but I do love this film, Actually I think it’s better.  It is not often that I prefer a film to a book and yes it takes a while to shake ‘Harry Potter’ off the Lovely Daniel Radcliffe but he does a fantastic job and you’re sat there going ‘no! don’t open the door!’ But he does and then all hell breaks loose.

Apparently there is to be a follow-up to the book and the film but not by the same author Wonder if this spoils the original story or creates another spooky story. Will it be as chilling as the first?

If you’re into ghost stories another good one is Awakenings set at Lyme Park (You know the place where Colin Firth comes out of the pond??? well he doesn’t but you know what I mean) and not to be confused with The Robin Williams film (which I love) based on the book by Oliver Sacks another book on my to read list for this year (I have had a copy for years and just not got round to it)

Thank you for reading


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