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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Strange Tale of a Lonely House
My first experience of The Woman in Black was at the age of 12. It was Christmas Eve, and there was an adaptation of the story on the television that night. My family wanted to watch Legal Eagles on another channel, but I was firm in my resolve - I had to see The Woman in Black. Eventually, I won the argument and we all settled down to watch the chilling tale on a cold...
Published on Aug. 17 2007 by Nolene-Patricia Dougan

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2.0 out of 5 stars Not for me
After the movie released the trailer sparked my interest in the book that started it all. I thought the book would be scary and dark, but what I got was a book that rambled and wasn't scary to say the least. It was definitely a miss for me, though I would try another of the authors books since some of her others have caught my interest as well.
Published on June 11 2012 by A Customer


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Strange Tale of a Lonely House, Aug. 17 2007
This review is from: The Woman in Black (Paperback)
My first experience of The Woman in Black was at the age of 12. It was Christmas Eve, and there was an adaptation of the story on the television that night. My family wanted to watch Legal Eagles on another channel, but I was firm in my resolve - I had to see The Woman in Black. Eventually, I won the argument and we all settled down to watch the chilling tale on a cold Christmas Eve night. I have to admit at 12 years - old, this was a mistake; I was terrified. I had never seen anything quite as frightening before or since.

The Woman in Black is now enjoying a revival as a stage play being performed on the West End. With this knowledge, I recently decided to face my childhood fear and read the book...I was not disappointed.

The book begins on Christmas Eve (as all good ghost stories should!), when a family is gathered around the fire telling each other ghastly tales of spectres and spirits. The patriarch of the family, Arthur Kipps, has remained tight lipped as he listens to the frivolous and gratuitous fables that are pouring out of his family's mouths. When finally pressed to see if he has a story to tell, he reacts angrily, not wanting to tell the tale that has haunted his dreams for decades - for his tale is far more disturbing, far more terrifying and, most shockingly, his story is completely true.

The premise is far from original: Arthur Kipps, a junior solicitor in a London law firm, is asked to attend the funeral of Mrs Drablow. While Kipps attends the funeral at the little, seaside town of Crythin Griffin, he has been asked to go through any papers that Mrs. Drablow has left behind in attempt to find a benefactor, as she has no living children. Kipps travels to the town, grateful for the opportunity, and not knowing what he will find there. And this is where the story begins to stand apart from its often-used classic scenario.

When Kipps reaches the town, he discovers the Ell marsh (Mrs. Drablow's house) is separated from the town by a narrow causeway and when the tide is in, anyone who occupies the house is totally isolated from the rest of the world and the safety and reassurance that the living offer. While there, the woman in black appears to Kipps only a handful of times, but each time more terrifying than the last, with the malevolence and sense of danger increasing with her every visit. Kipps' anxiety at seeing her increases until he is terrified of the harm she may do.

The Woman in Black is a gripping tale that will have its readers on the edge of their seat. If I have one criticism, it is the final appearance of the woman in black and that her sinister intentions seem rushed in the last few pages of the book. Otherwise, the book is paced to perfection, but the ending comes all too quickly as up until this point the book has built tension with every glimpse of this nefarious apparition. In the end, this robs the reader of the uneasy feeling that readers of this sort of novel crave!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good old fashioned spooky tale, March 6 2012
This review is from: The Woman in Black: Movie Tie-in (Paperback)
I watched the movie with Daniel Radcliffe first, and was taken by the intelligence of the suspense. In a day and age of Saw movies which are not much more than "gore porn", it was refreshing to see something that was scary in it's subtleties. Because I enjoyed the film so much, I purchased the book. I would say that both media forms improved upon the other, or perhaps what I could say is... where the book lacked, the movie made up, and reading the book after the movie allowed me to appreciate the better parts of the original written form.

It's a great book... period appropriate language paints a haunting picture in the mind's eye. It really is a good old fashioned spooky tale... I definitely kept my eyes peeled for the woman in black as I went to bed each night ;)
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4.0 out of 5 stars Scary, Oct. 17 2013
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It was my first novel suspence. Its a little scary. I read this book in the day not a night. Everything in the book to be scared,: lonely place, far, without communication and strange character. At the beginning of the book, you already want to know the end. And there is a question that arises throughout the book.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Ghosts, good and gothic,, Jan. 10 2013
Susan Hill's "The Woman in Black" gripped me from the beginning as I could empathise with the young solicitor, Arthur Kripps, who has to travel out to a misty and murky island towards the home of the now deceased owner of Eel Marsh House, a rambling and deliciously atmospheric house in which, alone, he must rifle through papers to settle the estate of the deceased.

His initial experiences suggest of a troubled presence and unquiet souls, the atmosphere brilliantly conjured and as the tension mounts as to what malevolent spirit might harm him for his investigations, so also the sense of jeopardy as engulfing as the swelling mists mounts still more when he has to return to the house.

As the isolated dwelling is on a strip of land surrounded by the sea for much of the day and only accessible at lowest tide, the reader wonders whether, on his return, Kripps may not be so lucky to get back to 'civilisation' at all, before something unspeakable befalls him for probing into matters which other souls may have felt better left untouched.

Gore free, yet in the subtlety of its suggestion, I have to confess that I found it a trifle difficult to avoid the temptation to chew off something as unsavoury as fingernail - perhaps the trifle would have been preferable, particularly with Christmas had been looming?
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5.0 out of 5 stars A very good ghost story that should be read in bright daylight., Dec 6 2012
By 
L. J. Roberts (Oakland, CA, USA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Woman in Black (Paperback)
First Sentence: It was nine-thirty on Christmas Eve.

It’s a simple-enough assignment. Solicitor Arthur Kipps is sent to attend the funeral and settle the affairs of Mrs. Alice Drablow of Eel Marsh House. Instead, nothing is simple or what it appears. The house is isolated at the end of a causeway and accessible only when the tide permits. The townspeople are secretive and frightened, the longer Arthur stays at the house, the more ominous become. Then he sees the ghostly lady in black.

This is definitely a thing-that-go-bump-in-the-night book and so wonderfully British. I knew it was a ghost story when I started. Boy, is it ever.

It starts easily enough. Kipps is an interesting character who, it appears, suffers from the then unrecognized SAD (seasonal affective disorder), so going to Eel Marsh House isn’t exactly the best environment for him. Then slowly, “things” start happening.

In the best tradition of classic horror writers, Hill draws you into the story until, as with the marsh, you can’t escape. You’re not certain you should continue reading into the night, but you can’t put it down either. Some, I see, have complained about the ending, which I agree is a bit abrupt, but it is also very effective.

“The Woman is Black” is an very good ghost story that should be read in bright daylight. Otherwise, I don’t guarantee a good night’s sleep.

THE WOMAN IN BLACK (Suspense-Arthur Kipps-England-Victorian) – VG+
Hill, Susan – Standalone
Vintage Books, ©1983
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Woman in Black, Nov. 29 2012
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This review is from: The Woman in Black (Paperback)
After seeing the adapted movie I was curious to read Shirley Hills book. Enjoyed it immensely, her prose and style were a fast read.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Not for me, June 11 2012
This review is from: The Woman in Black (Paperback)
After the movie released the trailer sparked my interest in the book that started it all. I thought the book would be scary and dark, but what I got was a book that rambled and wasn't scary to say the least. It was definitely a miss for me, though I would try another of the authors books since some of her others have caught my interest as well.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Short and interesting story., Jan. 15 2010
This review is from: The Woman in Black (Paperback)
This novel keeps you guessing. Mysterious and just a little bit scarey. It's very short which is ideal for this type of story.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Generally skillful, July 13 2004
By 
M. A Michaud "michael_michaud" (Dulles, VA United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Woman In Black (Hardcover)
This short novel is a skillful modern imitation of an early 20th century English ghost story. The setting and language are convincing; the atmosphere of the isolated mansion is made suitably creepy without resorting to Hollywood-style exaggeration. On the other hand, the early parts of the story move slowly, and the young male narrator seems very naive. The illustrations, while competently done, lack the dark, threatening quality that one would expect. The cover art, though intriguing, does not seem connected to the story.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Nightmares WILL follow, May 21 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Woman in Black (Paperback)
This is singly THE best supernautral thriller i have ever had the pleasure reading. i decided to read this book after seeing the play in London, West-end. The play had everyone screeming and constantly looking around themselves. The story is the most sping tingling tale i have ever read. It is relatively short but packs a punch! the portrayal of the Woman in Black makes it seem like she is in he room with you. WARNING!! you will prbably get nightmares after reading this book. most people i know have.! a must read
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The Woman in Black: Movie Tie-in
The Woman in Black: Movie Tie-in by Susan Hill (Paperback - Jan. 9 2012)
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