Read The Woman in Black by Susan Hill Online


Arthur Kipps, a junior solicitor, is summoned to attend the funeral of Mrs Alice Drablow, the sole inhabitant of Eel Marsh House, unaware of the tragic secrets which lie hidden behind the shuttered windows.The house stands at the end of a causeway, wreathed in fog and mystery, but it is not until Arthur glimpses a wasted young woman, dressed all in black, at the funeral, tArthur Kipps, a junior solicitor, is summoned to attend the funeral of Mrs Alice Drablow, the sole inhabitant of Eel Marsh House, unaware of the tragic secrets which lie hidden behind the shuttered windows.The house stands at the end of a causeway, wreathed in fog and mystery, but it is not until Arthur glimpses a wasted young woman, dressed all in black, at the funeral, that a creeping sense of unease begins to take hold, a feeling deepened by the reluctance of the locals to speak of the woman in black - and her terrible purpose....

Title : The Woman in Black
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780099572640
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 200 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Woman in Black Reviews

  • Jeffrey Keeten
    2019-04-05 18:10

    “A man may be accused of cowardice for fleeing away from all manner of physical dangers but when things supernatural, insubstantial and inexplicable threaten not only his safety and well-being but his sanity, his innermost soul, then retreat is not a sign of weakness but the most prudent course.” The young solicitor sent to Crythin Gifford to sort out the affairs of a recently deceased Mrs. Alice Drablow is a man by the name of Arthur Kipps.The people of Crythin Gifford are like the people of most small towns, suspicious of strangers and unwilling to help or provide information to outsiders. Kipps attends the funeral of Mrs. Drablow and has his first encounter with a woman the locals call The Woman in Black. ”She was dressed in the deepest black, in the style of full mourning that had rather gone out of fashion…. A bonnet-style hat covered her head and shaded her face, but although I did not stare, even the swift glance I took of the woman showed me enough to recognize that she was suffering from some terrible wasting disease, for not only was she extremely pale, even more than a contrast with the blackness of her garments could account for, but the skin and, it seemed, only the thinnest layer of flesh was tautly stretched and strained across the bones, so that it gleamed with a curious, blue-white sheen, and her eyes seemed sunken back into her head.”Not the typical mourner to show up to most funerals, although I have a few great-aunts that, especially when seen in partial shadows, give me the willies. Kipps is curious, but he has a job to do out at Eel Marsh House to sort through a lifetime of accumulated Drablow paperwork, so he shrugs off the apparition and focuses back on his task. Eel Marsh House, once the tide comes in, is cut off from the rest of civilization, so Kipps has a choice to either stop early enough to leave before the tide comes in or decide to stay the night in the house. He tries it both ways, but decides that by staying over he will have more time to finish the job more efficiently. He is a junior associate, after all, and still trying to impress his bosses. He hears noises, unexplainable noises that raise the hair on the back of his neck. “Whatever was about, whoever I had seen, and heard rocking, and who had passed me by just now, whoever had opened the locked door was not 'real'. No. But what was 'real'? At that moment I began to doubt my own reality.” I really liked the fact that Kipps reaches the conclusion that Eel Marsh House is haunted by a ghost. He doesn’t try to convince himself that he is imagining things or that it has to be something other than a ghost. He asks questions of the residents of the town, but receives few answers. He finds some letters at the house, among the disorder of invoices and scraps of correspondence. These letters start to fill in the gaps. He soon realizes who the ghost is and why she is still…here. The Woman in Black, as it turns out, wants to share her pain. The implications of this will haunt Arthur Kipps for the rest of his life. I loved Susan Hill’s writing style. While reading this book I felt some nostalgia for those Victorian ghost story writers such as Wilkie Collins and Sheridan Le Fanu. The interesting part of the book is that, even though it is of modest length, the actual plot takes a while to develop. While waiting to get to the juicy details, Hill shares some beautiful descriptions of scenery and lays the groundwork for the story. We are also introduced to a much older Kipps, seemingly irrationally irritated by the extortions of his family to tell them a scary story. He has only one scary story, but it isn’t a fabrication of a writer’s wild imagination, but a real event where tragedy begets more tragedy. Stephen Mallatratt adapted the novel to the play which became the second longest running play in West End history. A movie adaptation starring Daniel Radcliffe came out in 2012. There are reasonably significant changes to the plot in the movie version, but I still enjoyed the experience. It was my first time watching Radcliffe in a grown-up role, and it turned out to be a good choice of script for him. If you wish to see more of my most recent book and movie reviews, visit http://www.jeffreykeeten.comI also have a Facebook blogger page at:

  • BillKerwin
    2019-04-06 19:25

    A disappointment. I kept hearing about how this was a real honest-to-god, old-fashioned ghost story steeped in the tradition of James and James (Henry and Montague Rhodes)that delivered a frisson of genuine terror and some very fine writing as well. Alas! I didn't find any of this to be true.For starters, I didn't believe the narrator. He is a man in his forties--self-described as "unimaginative"--who years before suffered a scarring supernatural experience, yet he sounds for all the world like a timid watered-down version of a young Bronte heroine (or should I just say "du Maurier heroine"?), sensitive to nature and hell-bent on describing everything that comes "his" way, relevant or not. The book is a pastiche of 19th century stylistic cliches, starting with a half-hearted Pickwickian Christmas, moving quickly to a Bleak House inspired description of fog, and soon settling into page upon page of lengthy sentences resembling those of middle-period Henry James, yet which--unlike those of the master--contain no fine distinctions of intellect or sensibility to justify their continual qualifying clauses. The story itself, although not remarkable, could have been interesting. The first sight of the spectre in the graveyard is chilling, and the subsequent scenes where the hero wanders alone in the fog, hearing horrors rather than seeing them, are undoubtedly effective. But there is only enough material here for a 4,000-6,000 word short story, and this is a 40,000 word novella. It is short as horror books go, but far too long for what it has to say.

  • Emily May
    2019-04-10 16:27

    I said in another review that I'm near impossible to scare because my parents were relaxed with horror movie censorship when I was a young kid. I was oversaturated with horror from a young age and tend to find it more laughable than spine-tingling.However, this book may be the only exception I have found so far. In recent years I have flat-out avoided horror stories because they do nothing for me... I can stomach Stephen King but only because his books tend to be about more than the basic horror element. For me to find this book, a book that is entirely a horror story, to be so enjoyable and so frightening is quite incredible.I don't need to tell you what it's about, you can read that in countless descriptions, but I do need to say just how much this scared me and had me sleeping with the light on all night and jumping up at every single creak and sigh. The image of the woman stood in the marshes with her face wasting away is so vividly described that it was all I could picture for days, I kept looking over my shoulder when I was by myself expecting to see her stood there in her long black cloak. This lady does very little and is still probably the most frightening character I've ever come across in a novel. I would not recommend you read this while alone in the house... especially if it can scare someone so immune to horror like me.

  • Cecily
    2019-04-03 18:14

    A chilling, traditional ghost story, with a strong Victorian feel: a lone lawyer goes to a spooky house on the marshes, plagued by stories of madness and death. No great surprises, but shocking none-the-less. It is skilfully written, so that most of the scary stuff happens in your head, rather than being explicit on the page. NARRATOR Arthur Kipps, the main character and the narrator is very pragmatic and always tries to dismiss his fears and find a rational explanation, which serves to make his story more believable – and thus more alarming. All the way through, his greatest need is to uncover the truth, however unpalatable it may be. However, it’s not what he sees or hears that really scares him, but what he FEELS, and the power of the Woman in Black’s emotion. His feelings towards her change from concern through fear to anger. However, despite his pragmatism, right at the beginning Kipps does have a strong conviction that a particular house is part of his destiny (which implies some openness to the supernatural), and when he first arrives at the town he says he felt like “a spectre at some cheerful feast”.WEATHER IMAGERYThe weather (mist, rain, wind and sun) is a major character in the book; sometimes it parallels the situation and mood of the characters (mists and disappearances) and sometimes it is in total contrast (sun at a funeral). It could be clichéd, but, perhaps because it doesn't always match the plot, it has more dramatic weight.BIRDSOne feature I didn’t notice on first reading was the birds. Kipps himself is a bit of a birdwatcher, and different birds make fleeting appearances: a menacing “snake-necked bird”, the woman in black looking like a carrion bird, a nice happy robin later on.PROBLEMS WITH TIMEThe first chapter jumps around in a confusing way, which doesn’t really matter plot-wise, but is disconcerting. The bigger mystery is when it is set. Everything about it feels Victorian (foggy London, pony and trap, steam trains), but she mentions telephones, electric lights (even in a remote house on the marshes), cars, cycling as a (not particularly wealthy) boy, a grave stone from “years back” is inscribed “190...”, and Kipps makes reference to Dickens and the treatment of Victorian servants 60 years earlier. Each time I’ve read this book, I’ve been more puzzled and irritated by this, though it's still a very good book.If you like it, The Turn of the Screw is in a similar vein. And don’t believe those who say it is like a ghost story written by Jane Austen!

  • Jemidar
    2019-04-15 19:28

    Rating Clarification: 2.5 stars.Disappointing and predictable, this Gothic ghost story isn't a patch on the classics of the genre such as Henry James' The Turn of the Screw. The writing is uneven and the author fails to keep the suspense building often interspersing awkward/boring moments between the tense scenes, which unfortunately were all too few. Part of the problem with the tension was that it was all so predictable I didn't even feel the need to check the ending like I usually do. In other words the suspense wasn't killing me. Not that the actual story was at fault as such, it was more that the author seemed to give away too much too soon and didn't manage to drip feed bits of the story to the reader in such a way to make it a compelling page turner. I was also left with various questions at the end, some silly some not. For instance, when was it set? The writer appeared to be trying for a classic Victorian tone, but there were mentions of motor cars and electric lights. My guess was Edwardian, but I can't be sure. Also, I was left wondering how on earth there was electricity at all out at the isolated Eel Marsh House. No mention was ever made of a generator, the narrator just flicked switches even though the house was unoccupied when he arrived. While these questions and some others (which involve spoilers so I won't mention them here) may not amount to major plot holes, they did niggle and distract which is never a good thing, especially in this type of book.Despite my disappointment in the book, I still hold out hope for the movie. From what I've seen in the trailers, it looks like the film embraces the full horror of the classic Victorian ghost story which is something the book failed to do. The potential was there but it was just never realized by the author.

  • Dem
    2019-04-18 16:24

    After finishing and loving The Silent CompanionsI really wanted to another gothic/period style ghost story to creep me out and when The Woman In Black came up in in my recommendations feed I was excited about the novel after reading the book's blurb. image: What I heard next chilled and horrified me....The noise of the pony trap grew fainter and then stopped abruptly and away on the marsh was a curious draining, sucking, churning sound, which went on, together with the shrill neighing and whinnying of a horse in panic and then I heard another cry, a shout a terrified sobbing......A short novel that really should have but didn't pack a punch, it had Most of the elements for the type of ghost story I normally am drawn to, the fog-shrouded house set on the outskirts of a remote English Village where sightings here and there of a ghostly lady all dressed in black.... but unfortunately the story lacked athmoshpere and for this reason it failed to be eerie or anyway creepy for me. The characters were bland and I felt the book a little predictable and repetitive. Having loved The Silent Companions perhaps I was expecting too much from this novel. An ok read but not a book that will cause me any nightmares.

  • Nandakishore Varma
    2019-04-20 21:03

    You know, what I love about British ghost stories are that they are so understated, like everything else in the country. They don't come bellowing and and dripping gory entrails - they creep upon you, and whisper "boo" almost apologetically in your ear. I think M. R. James started this trend, and all others seem to be following it.Susan Hill starts her novel, "The Woman in Black", showing Arthur Kipps, an elderly lawyer and the first person narrator, having a quiet Christmas Eve with his family. However, we are given a hint of the tragedy in Kipps' life, when he casually mentions his status as a widower in his early twenties. When his stepchildren ask him to narrate a ghost story, the normally sedate lawyer becomes extremely agitated and walks out - because the children have touched a raw nerve. For there is a very real ghost in Arthur Kipps' past.As a young man, Arthur is sent to the market town of Crythin Gifford by his boss; to attend the funeral of their client Mrs. Alice Drablow and to sort out her papers, as she has no heirs. Mrs. Drablow lived at Eel Marsh, connected to the mainland by the Nine Lives Causeway and approachable only at low tide: both sides of the causeway are bordered by the treacherous marsh. Kipps thinks nothing of it until he finds that the locals at Crythin Gifford gives the house a long berth and refuse to discuss anything regarding its owner. Things take a turn for the worse when Arthur sights a woman dressed all in black, with a wasted and ravaged face - apparently a ghost.Ignoring his misgivings, the young lawyer takes up residence at the house on Eel Marsh, but is unable to complete his work as the haunting grows stronger and scarier. Apart from the woman in black, there is a ghostly horse and trap (not seen but only heard) which keeps on plunging into the marsh, accompanied by a child's wail: also, a nursery within the house eerily suspended in time where a rocking chair rocks by itself... as the terrors mount, Arthur discovers the tragedy which is the root cause - and terrifying consequences of sighting the woman in black. He escapes-but the horror follows him...***This is a good, old-fashioned ghost story with absolutely no gore and shocks - the one that is best narrated around a campfire on a chill December evening. Susan Hill does a masterly job with the voice of the narrator, which is very much Victorian (hard to believe that the novel was written in 1983). This is absolutely essential, as the horror is very much period and a modern voice would have totally spoilt it.It is not the ghostly visitations itself that scares one in the novel (though they are sufficiently creepy) but the tone of quiet despair and the starkness of the tragedy. This story, like Stephen King's Cujo, doesn't let the reader escape even after the book is put away - though the author leavens the horror by starting from a point in the protagonist's future when the tragedy has been put behind. However, the ending is sufficiently devastating for it to stay with one for days.An excellent read to start the year!

  • Poonam
    2019-04-20 00:10

    2.5 starsThe story starts with our main protagonist- Arthur Kipps narrating his paranormal experience to his close family and friends. The start of the book reminded me of The Turn of the Screw as this also starts with a similar narration pattern and both these stories revolve around an isolated house.But that is where the similarity ends.The setting of 'Eel Marsh House' is spooky, it is foggy surrounded by marshes and the accessibility to the house is blocked during high tide....Arthur see's The Woman in Black and then start's experiencing unusual things. The paranormal angle of this is interesting but not as creepy even though it involves The Woman in BlackThis was a quick read and the ending took me by surprise (view spoiler)[When Arthur got away from Eel Marsh and Crythin Gifford, I thought he has got away but the Woman in Black took her revenge (hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>

  • Aubrey
    2019-03-24 18:26

    3.5/5I make a habit of not watching the based on movie before reading the propagating book, so that fact that I’m reading not one but two of said unfortunate works (A Clockwork Orange sneaking in during my youth due to college fanboys and the like) is not something I plan on ever happening again. However, it happened, and I will not lie that my expectations have been adjusted accordingly.While the book is horror, the movie is horror horror horror, tragic past combined with morbidly saturated cinematography sprinkled with heart-stopping pop-outs galore. The facts are there, but the plot is vastly different, one phrase of the book playing a much larger role and, indeed, the setting the mood and thematic content for the entirety. In short, the book is nicer, and while I don't agree with the Jane Austen comparison at all, I did admire the spectrum of emotions and thoughts the main character experienced; an authorial sensitivity to human psychology at both the highs and the lows that you don't often come across in literature as a whole.The balance between cheerful normality and burgeoning dread was well developed one, but ended up sacrificing the more poignant extremes of the movie horrors for its focus on stability. I wasn't a fan of being scared out of my wits every five minutes, but as it is horror, and there were certain masterfully handled cinematic scenes that I was disappointed to not discover in the book, I could have handled a little more thrills and chills. Other reviews have spoken of Hill's talent at writing mood, and while I do emphatically agree with that, I'm someone who's childhood reading was half Tolkien and half Stephen King. If you want to scare me via paper these days, you need to provide a little more visceral imagery than descriptions of internal panic and full bodied terror. Accurate replication of the feelings of fear are all very well, but real terror will strike only when you give me something physical to envision(view spoiler)[, a movie favorite of mine being the main character stepping up to a window, our view from the opposite side allowing us, and only us, to watch with horror the ghostly visage coming up alongside him. That scene sold me on the trailer, and later on the movie as a whole (hide spoiler)].However. Neither the book nor the movie end well, but when it comes to the overcast of nervous paranoia chasing the reader or viewer long after the finishing, the book had the movie beat. The movie's extended use of the book's main point of fear (view spoiler)[, children dying in horribly gruesome ways and coming back to haunt forevermore, (hide spoiler)] ended up sucking the life out of the original shock, while the book saved up its cards till the moment was right. This made for a far more full-fledged sense of 'you reap what you sow' that pushed up this reader's evaluation that final half star.

  • Kwesi 章英狮
    2019-03-29 16:18

    Every November we used to play and go in someone's houses and go hunting the ghost that lurks. It seems that I read the book earlier than what I have thought. I can feel the tingle of the cold and smell of the estuary. The dead is coming and hunting me again a little earlier than what I thought.When Arthur Kipps asked to summon and attend a funeral of Mrs. Alice Drablow, the inhabitant and owner of Eel Marsh House, secrets and lies behind the four walls of the house went blown through the atmosphere of the story. Because of Arthur Kipps' curiosity, he manages to dig the stories and the ghost of the mysterious woman in black that hunted the town since 60 years ago.God, if only I read this book at night I might shrivel to death or shout for help. This is very amazing and this is the only horror book I read that I'm dying to admit that I did like it. The construction of the story is perfect and I keep on asking about the mystery of the story until it came out and revealed. I was so shocked that I want to tear the book and edited it on my own.The sentences are beautifully written, they rhymed through the story and it keeps my imagination clearer than before. I can hear Susan Hill narrating it for me and my heart is keep on jumping every syllable. It was amazing, yes, and I recommend this to all people who wants to read horror book this coming November. She usually use a lot of adjectives and beware of it guys, and of course a lot of punctuation marks in between but those thing never hurdled me from reading it.The mystery, it was so good-ie that I'll choose Susan Hill's horror books than the detective one. I am a little bit unfair but seriously I can't keep bugging myself from time to time. Anyway, I suggest everyone have to wear thick jackets or any comforter because you can feel the bitterness of the ghost. For Peter, who suggested this book to Flippers, kudos for you for sharing it and you always had the best gothic novels! I'm off for the book discussion.Review posted on Old-Fashioned Reader.Rating: The Woman in Black by Susan Hill, 5 SweetsChallenges:Book #258 for 2011

  • Rita
    2019-04-19 20:08

    Wonderfully, spooky, tragic story. The narrator does a frighteningly good job of conveying the absolute horror that young Arthur Kipp experiences when he travels on behalf of his legal firm to tie up the loose ends of a client who has died. Eel House stands deserted and only accessible twice a day with the low tide. He has no idea what he is going to find when he plans on staying at the malevolent house under the hateful, evil watch of the deadly woman in black. Arthur has no idea that seeing her will haunt him for the rest of his life. I loved listening to this probably more than I would have liked reading it. A chilling ghost story to get into the Halloween spirit.

  • Carol
    2019-04-14 16:12

    A very good ghost story with creepy sounds, a marsh with lots of fog and danger, and a haunting revengeful spirit. I was all set to give this book a strong 3 stars until the last chapter's chilling, horrid surprise ending. Now I can't wait to see the movie with Daniel Radcliffe. This is a GREAT October read!

  • Kayla Dawn
    2019-04-07 21:25

    Das Buch hat sich leider unglaublich gezogen & die meiste Zeit ist nichts passiert.Allerdings waren die Schlüsselmomente umso atmosphärischer und haben mir wirklich gut gefallen. Das Ende war ab einem bestimmten Punkt des Buches relativ vorhersehbar, aber trotzdem gut.Gucke mir die Tage den Film an :)

  • Scarlet Cameo
    2019-04-08 17:20

    Lectura con el grupo 221 b Baker street"La forma de desterrar a un viejo fantasma que sigue apareciendo consiste en exorcizarlo."Esta novela se siente como las historias clásicas de monstruos, donde estos casi no aparecían, pero su leyenda se había extendido al grado que, aun antes de que el protagonista de hecho los viera en acción, ya empezaba a encontrarse atormentado por él. Dejando de lado el gore que actualmente abunda en el ambiente del terror (en todas sus formas), en esta novela la ambientación lo es todo, es gracias a ella que el misterio se construye, que realmente logras conectar con el miedo del protagonista. Es una novela que se centra en las descripciones, carente en gran medida de dialogos y cuyo fuerte se encuentra en las descripciones. Hablar de loes personajes es complicado, principalmente porque cpnstituyen mi mayor problema con esta lectura, y en segundo porque básicamente sólo vemos a Arthur, y por momentos al resto, a quienes solo conocemos a través de la percepción de Arthur, la cual, para el momento que esta narrando la historia, se encuen tra distorcionada por lo que todos dan la sensación de ser personas increíblemente desagradables.Puedo decir que esta novela bastante buena, la manera en que esta narrada es penetrante, aunque se siente más como un relato corto dado que pasa bastante rápido, pero lo que se lleva la corona es el final. Lo veía venir, porque al inicio se nos dan ciertas pistas, pero es increíble la manera en que lo construye la autora. La desesperación que transmite ese último tramo, la repulsión hacia la mujer de negro y el miedo que siente el protagonista, son elementos descritos de una manera maravillosa y completamente envolvente.En conclusión, este es el tipo de libro que respeta de manera maravillo la traidición del cuento gótico, pero con el que no debe confundirte, a pesar de que esta clasificado como una historia de terror, es más bien un anectotario de lo que se siente pasar por una experiencia sobrenatural y como es que está te deja marcado."Fue la mujer la que se movió. Se deslizó detrás de la lápida, caminó pegada a las sombras del muro, atravesó una de las brechas y desapareció de mi vista. En el instante mismo en el que desapareció, recuperé el aplomo, la capacidad de hablar y de moverme y el sentido del yo; me aclaré las ideas y, de inmediato, me enfadé, eso es, me enfadé con ella por las emociones que había despertado en mí y por hacerme sentir tanto miedo; la contrariedad me llevó a la decisión de seguirla, detenerla, hacerle algunas preguntas, recibir las respuestas que correspondía y llegar al fondo de la cuestión. "

  • Char
    2019-04-18 21:12

    2.5 rounded up to 3 stars.I was very disappointed with this book. It's much shorter than I thought it was going to be, for one. That's my fault for not checking to see how many pages it was.I found the prose to be overly descriptive. I get it, the house is located in a marsh by the sea. I get it that there is fog. I get it that the only road to the house is underwater during high tide. Enough already, where is the woman?Even when the woman shows up, the story continues to be boring. I did not find this book to be even remotely scary. There were a couple of chilling scenes and that was about it. If you are looking for a good scare, look somewhere else.

  • Anna
    2019-04-15 21:08

    Hmm. A pseudo-Victorian gothic ghost story that has a very un-Victorian length of 140 pages. To be honest, it's not very good. It reminds me of 14 year old me when I started reading things like Dracula, Frankenstein, Wuthering Heights, Jane Eyre and thinking 'there's not much to this writing a classic novel business- I should give it a try'. Cue the dull, rational protagonist (lawyer or doctor obviously) who is thrown into some spooky goings-on and slowly becomes undone in such default settings as spooky misty moore or haunted house. What I didn't understand when I was 14, as Susan Hill doesn't seem to understand in the 1980's when this was written, is that imitation is not all that flattering when it comes to novel writing. Those Victorian/pre-Victorian novels, that everyone now knows, are classics, not for their content, but for how revolutionary they were in their own time and how different they were from what came before them. They were then a reaction against Romanticism, a way to make people's skin crawl in a time when the rational began to, unfavourably for some, overtake the irrational and mystical/religious. This story is displaced in time, adding nothing, and doing nothing.It is a cliche from beginning to end. Seriously. Look up a list of all the features needed to create a Gothic novel and you can tick them off on a checklist whilst reading it. And if you're thinking, like me, that there is going to be a huge, redeeming twist at the end that throws everything that comes before it into a riotous question would be wrong. It really is trying to be a legitimate Gothic novel. It doesn't even have an interesting, dubious protagonist ala 'The Turn of the Screw'. It is really....nothing.However, saying all this you are probably wondering why I have even given it two stars. Well. Embarrassingly enough, this silly ghost story gave me the creeps a little bit. So it partly did it's job I guess. Faces at the window, unlocked doors opening themselves, dogs howling, children screaming, rocking chairs inexplicably set a-rocking...these kinds of things never fail to make me uneasy. And the writing's not terrible. But then, nothing much happens for the first 100 pages and, while many people may call this build-up and making the reader feel tense and uneasy in anticipation of the climax, it was done quite poorly and I wasn't as scared as I should've been. It was quite boring really and my eyes glazed quite a bit during that section.Anyway, disappointment aside, I am glad I read this ahead of the film as now I probably won't bother seeing it. Although as the ending is...upsetting to say the least (it is the ONLY harrowing bit of the book and is well-written enough to make you feel a jolt of...something) it is so obvious and so expected as to be almost a shock when it actually happens! I can already barely remember the name of the main character...I have a feeling I am not gonna remember this short story for very long at all.

  • Doha AhMad
    2019-03-26 19:31

    I've watched the movie recently & became so excited to read the novel. Actually, I don't consider it a novel, because it's more like a short amusing story. Indeed, the movie was more thrilling,  in my point of view,  because I liked the changes that were made in the original incidents of the story. Undoubtedly, I enjoyed reading it but unfortunately, its Plot was somehow weak & too short; I wished if it could have been little more prolonged. Even the language the author had used was extremely simple, It wasn't literary. That's all what I didn't like about it.

  • Daniel Kaine
    2019-04-05 00:17

    I've always loved a good ghost film, so after seeing 'The Woman in Black' advertised at a bus stop, I decided I absolutely had to go see this film. Imagine my surprise when I found out it had originally been a book! Well, that changes everything, I thought. I have to read the book first! And so I did.'The Woman in Black' tells the tale of Arthur Kipp, a solicitor acting on behalf of the late Mrs. Drablow, attempting to sort out her affairs. Mrs. Drablow was an old recluse, living in a small house away from the rest of the village, set apart by the Nine Lives Causeway, the tide cutting off the house from the mainland twice a day. But as Arthur comes to find out, the house is shrouded in more than just fog, as it holds the secret to the inexplicable sighting of the woman in black.When I first began to read this book, a sense of horror washed over me. No, not because it was instantly that scary, but because, at a first glance, I thought I had picked up what some might call 'a classic'. Scary, I know. I've never liked classics for the sheer amount of unnecessary description and inane ramblings from the main character. Fortunately, while 'The Woman in Black' does lean towards an older style of writing, it's still quite light on the descriptions compared to some. I was able to fly through this book without ever feeling bogged down by prose. The beginning chapter was an incredibly slow start, and felt like a lot of pointless background about the main character as he talks about his past and sets the stage for telling the story of his haunting memories. It felt much more like a prologue – something a reader could choose to skip over – as it added masses of information that added nothing to the plot whatsoever.Having read some of the reviews for this, I was expecting something vaguely scary. On this point, the book fails to deliver. In fact, it misses the mark by quite some margin and instead hits the bullseye for 'same-old-ghost-story'. A locked door that's found inexplicably open. A rocking chair moving of its own accord. Yawn. Completely predictable, and therefore, lacking in suspense and mystery, and certainly not scary when you can see it coming a mile off. Possibly my biggest gripe about this book though... everyone seems to know the whole story concerning the old house and the ghostly woman, but simply refuse to speak about it with Mr Kipp.Overall, this was a quick, vaguely entertaining read, if a tad predictable. There were some surprises, but not enough to rescue it from the tired ghost story clichés that littered the book. Not bad for its age, but could have been so much better. Will I still go see the film? Damn right. Hopefully it can capture that essence the book seemed to lack. My only worry is how they'll turn what was essentially a very small book into a full-length film.I'd recommend it to those who are into classics and are looking for a quick, light read.

  • Andrew
    2019-04-07 00:08

    I have known of this story for some time and I will admit I have wanted to read it even before the film (and now its sequel) but it wasnt until recently that I found the book (dont ask books seem to disappear in to the void that is my collection). The book itself is incredibly atmospheric - which I think makes up a huge part of the appeal to me. The story itself is excellently told as you would expect from Susan Hill, the plot however if you have read much of gothic horror and ghost stories is pretty standard fair - however when the two combine I personally feel that this is a story worthy of any late night fireside ghost story.The book is considerably shorter than I was expecting although I may have been suffering from being over loaded with so many drawn out and over sized books recently. I guess this book proves that a good story can be delivered in fewer pages than you think (or publishers want). So this was a very enjoyable read and one that was a surprise even though I thought I knew what I was letting myself in for.

  • Sara
    2019-04-12 21:31

    A bit of a fun ghost story, complete with a house right out of Poe. "I looked up ahead and saw, as if rising out of the water itself, a tall, gaunt house of gray stone with a slate roof, that now gleamed steelily in the light."Our narrator first confronts the woman in black in a graveyard. How appropriate is that? The story is Gothic in flavor, reminiscent of The Turn of the Screw, and crammed with cliches that work perfectly. I was surprised by the ending, which doesn't happen all that often. I liked that Hill built into the story right away and kept it quick and clean. Nothing there that wasn't needed. Well done.

  • Magrat Ajostiernos
    2019-04-15 22:30

    Lectura rápida, entretenida y perfecta para estas fechas :)

  • Becky
    2019-04-19 23:03

    3.5 Stars Apparently I'd had this book on my radar (AKA: Goodreads To-Read list) for a long time, but forgot all about it - until the movie starring Harry Potter Daniel Radcliff was being advertised all over the place. I then thought, "Oooooh creepy shiny!" and tried to add it, only to realize I had already done been added it. And now that I've done been readed it (err, I'll stop with that now), I'm thinking that it excelled in some ways, but left me disappointed in others. And I'm wondering whether the book might be outshone by the movie. I'll find out soon, as I'm queuing it up to watch it right now. Jebus bless teh interwebz. :DI'll stop that now, too. Anyway, so, this book. Reviewing in 3...2...1: Atmosphere: 5/5I found myself really loving the writing and style of this book, and it felt classically gothic. Creepy, secluded house, in the middle of a small village, Crythin Gifford, where all the villagers seem to share a secret? Good stuff. The Eel Marsh House itself is accessed by the Nine Lives Causeway, which itself is only accessible twice daily during low tide, and when the frets (fogs) allow... AWESOME. Then throw in a mysterious woman in black, and you got yourself some seriously good setting stuff there. Characters: 3/5I have to say that the characters here were a little cardboard for my liking. I wanted to like Arthur more than I did like him, though I WAS pleasantly surprised that he seemed to accept things being... unexplainable... as quickly as he did. Usually, the steadfast lead adamantly refuses to believe or even entertain the thought of the situation not being of mundane cause - but Arthur surprised me, and I liked that. Of course then he was sadly obtuse when it came to piecing together other things, so it all comes out in the wash. The villagers were the usual reticent bunch who would throw out meaningful glances and unhelpful but mysterious comments and shut down conversations to keep their secrets. But still, they weren't JUST that. They had other things going on, and they didn't just try to run off strangers at the first sign that they had their eyes open and might actually see something. Story/Mystery: 3/5As mentioned before, Arthur took a bit long to come to some conclusions that I'd reached pretty early on. There was a twist at the end, the kind that isn't very surprising, but that kind of makes sense on looking back. The initial chapters of the book felt a little long and unnecessary to me, and at the 1/3 mark the real story had barely even started. This is a short book, with a lot packed in, but the initial part just didn't seem to fit to me. Overall though, I still liked this well enough, and would recommend it. I'm off now to watch the movie and see how it compares...

  • Bonnie
    2019-03-30 16:24

    Interested in more of my reviews? Visit my blog!’Yes, I had a story, a true story, a story of haunting and evil, fear and confusion, horror and tragedy.StorylineArthur Kipps is a junior solicitor from London who has been asked by his employer to attend the funeral of Mrs. Alice Drablow in Crythin Gifford. He must also visit her residence in order to collect any important paperwork that she may have been left behind. Arthur sees the woman in black at Mrs. Drablow’s funeral and again at her residence at Eel Marsh House. She doesn’t appear to be a malevolent spirit so Arthur doesn’t worry too much and decides to spend the night at the house so that he can quickly finish his work and return to London. But that night, Arthur begins to hear unexplainable sounds and worries that he may have underestimated the woman in black. '...piercing through the surface of my dreams, came the terrified whinnying of the pony and the crying and calling of that child over and over, while I stood, helpless in the mist, my feet held fast, my body pulled back, and while behind me, though I could not see, only sense her dark presence, hovered the woman.'ThoughtsI quite enjoyed this quick little read and am glad I finally got around to reading it. I love ghost stories even though I tend to scare quite easily… and this book was no exception. The writing was beautiful and vividly creepy and definitely manages to get under your skin even though the real scary parts don’t even start till the latter half of the book. The descriptions were spot on and the whole book is simply eerie even though, in thinking back to it, nothing real huge actually happens. The ghost doesn’t come alive and smother him in his sleep or glue the windows shut or anything absurd like that. Nevertheless I was frightened enough to have to ask my boyfriend to walk upstairs with me to our darkened bedroom after I was finished. He still makes fun of me for that. Lol Enjoying it as much as I did, I still didn’t give it 5 stars and the only reason for that was because of the ending. It left a bit to be desired for me and was a bit too abrupt for my liking.

  • CarolynStorer
    2019-04-19 18:10

    I first read 'The Woman in Black' back in 1990 - I loved it then and I still love it now. I re-read it especially for my 'All Hallows Eve' event and I'm so pleased I revisited this amazing book.The eeriness of the story is combined with delicious descriptive prose. This is what I love about Hills' writing. She's able to describe the world surrounding her characters with such detail I could actually be there, smelling the morning dew, feeling the biting wind on my skin, sensing the fear that grips Arthur Kipps that fateful day...Her writing mesmerises me and I cannot bare to put her books down, and I've read many, all with their own uniqueness, but none, for me, come close to the darkly atmospheric 'The Woman in Black'.The reader is pulled into the story with teasing snippets as we learn about Kipps' ghostly past. We first meet him in old age as he sits around a roaring fire on Christmas Eve with his beloved family. But the experiences of his past still haunt him so he decides to exorcise them by writing about them in detail and this is where we, the reader, learn what those experiences were which have caused him so much anxiety and many sleepless nights.Kipps takes us back to when he was a young junior solicitor working his way up the ladder, when one day his boss gives him the responsibility of attending the funeral of a client. Little did Kipps know that this assignment would change his life forever. He takes the trip to Crythin Gifford, a small place in the country, sparten and desolate surrounded by marches and cold November fog.The village folk greet him well until they hear he has arrived for Mrs Drablow's funeral and tend to her estate and he's baffled by their reaction. But after one night in Eel Marsh House, Kipps begins to understand as he's scared beyond all imagination. Although I knew how it ended, as this is my second reading, it's still shocking and sad.VERDICT:This is one of my favourite books - it's a brilliant old-fashioned ghost story packed with bone-chilling suspense. Everything is written in wonderful detail and you're pulled into the story from the very first page. A fabulous read - I can't recommend it enough!

  • Glenn Sumi
    2019-03-29 23:14

    Susan Hill’s The Woman In Black has all the elements of the classic English ghost story:• an isolated estate that includes one locked room at the end of the hall• an unwitting protagonist (in this case a junior lawyer going over a dead woman’s papers)• a tragic event in the dead woman’s past• townsfolk who keep their knowledge of mysterious evil deeds to themselves• a final turn of the screwWhat the novel lacks in originality and genuine frights, though, it more than makes up for in ambience. Hill’s descriptions of fog, mists, marshes and windowpane-rattling winds make you feel the growing horror in your bones.And in a neat trick, she never comes out and states the era in which the story is set, which gives the book – published in the early 1980s – a timeless feel, in homage perhaps to classic tales written a century earlier by authors like Wilkie (The Woman In White) Collins.

  • BAM The Bibliomaniac
    2019-04-10 18:13

    This is the type of horror story I can manage. Eel Marsh stands solitary through most of the tide on an island once inhabited by monks. But now that its elderly owner has passed, does it stand empty? Our narrator takes a journey to town as the solicitor who must collect the assorted paperwork of the deceased. His fortitude is put to the test. As a helpmeet he is given the companionship of a dog named Spider. She becomes attuned to the mysteries of the manor house as well. We learn who the woman in black is as well as her story, which I appreciated. This is a very short story, which I finished overnight. This in no rates up there with King on the thriller level; it’s more of the James category.

  • Gloria Mundi
    2019-04-09 22:24

    I read this book mainly because I went to see the play at the Fortune Theatre in London a few weeks ago. The play was really good. It wasn't the scariest thing I have ever experienced, as some reviews claim, but it did make me jump and it was a fantastic performance carried entirely by two actors, with most of the fear factor delivered through good old fashioned darkness, sudden noises, closeness of the atmosphere (it was the smallest theatre I have ever been in) and the audience interaction (there were very frequent shrieks), rather than any advanced technology or complicated props. The play has been performed in London for the last 23 years and remains hugely popular, so I would thouroughly recommended it if you are ever in London and are theatrically inclined.The Woman in Black is a short novella written by Susan Hill in the 1980s which tells the story of a young solicitor Arthur Kipps and his terrifying encounter with a ghost in a small market town on the East coast of England where he is sent to settle the affairs of Alice Drablow, an old lady recently deceased. The novella is a pastiche on the Victorian gothic literature and it certainly read very authentic with its languorous pace, isolated gloomy manorhouse setting and extensive descriptions of fog and other kinds of dreary weather. But therein also lies the main problem I had with this book. I can well understand the need to set the mood and the scene with some description of nature and the surroundings, but when I am faced with paragraph after paragraph describing the colour of mud and the dripping sky, my eyes soon start to glaze over. The intro and the build-up to the actual story were also far too long, given the overall length of the book (it is 30-odd pages before the hero even gets to the place in a book that's only 138 pages long) and the ending was too rushed and abrupt in comparison. Also, the comic relief, which was very well done in the play, was sadly missing from the book.Overall, however, this was an interesting story and a quick read and I look forward to seeing what they have done with it in the film.

  • Mizuki
    2019-04-02 20:15

    2 stars. This book could have been a 3 stars book if the ending isn't such a letdown.The opening of The Woman In Black is quite nice, the writing is decent and it reminds me of the Victorian Gothic vampire short stories I used to read. But sadly there is a downside to the Victorian Gothic horror style the author, Susan Hill, tried to channel: the writing of Victorian Gothic horror is always dry, boring, reeks of dusty old English and overused cliches. Very sadly Susan Hill didn't make anything new out of this overused old genre. There's a even bigger flaw than boring writing in the book: The Woman In Black is supposed to be a thriller but to me the haunting in the books is utterly underwhelming. I know, being left alone in an ominous house which belongs to a dead old woman, seeing strange figures appearing out of nowhere, hearing chilling noise in the middle of the night is supposed to be super scary, but those scary scenes come off being very forced and plain.I would also like to add that the narrator, a self proclaimed unimaginative lawyer, doesn't even manage to look his part. I mean, an unimaginative person reading poetry and taking time paying attention to every detail of the landscape? Not very likely. If you want to be scared out of your skin, if you want to enjoy some good old, honest to goodness Gothic horror, try Edgar Allan Poe, try H P. Lovecraft, etc. Don't bother with this one. Or you can always try watching The Woman In Black movie, I'm positive that the movie can do a lot better than the book if it were directed by a decent director.

  • Monique
    2019-04-11 23:14

    Over the four-day Halloween/All Saints' Day/All Souls' Day long weekend, I took a respite from reading the classic novel, Gone With The Wind, to get spooked read something that's thematically apt for the holiday. I had been provided with a PDF copy of this book for a couple of months now (thanks to Kwesi), and I was particularly saving reading it for Halloween.The Woman In Black: A Ghost Story is about a young Brit lawyer, Arthur Kipps, who was tasked to tie up the loose ends in the estate of the deceased Mrs. Alice Drablow. In order to manage her affairs, Arthur had to travel a long way away to a remote part of England, far from London, where their law office is based. Eel Marsh House, the mansion of the late Mrs. Drablow, stands on an isolated patch of land surrounded by marshes, which practically becomes an island come high tide. Ingress and egress are possible only during low tide, and if the fog doesn't cover the surrounding areas, which included an old burial ground.When I commenced reading the book, I was prepared to be scared, but nothing could have prepared me for the intensity with which I got the creeps. I mean, I was scared sh*tless. Seriously. It could have been just the graphic, accurate writing, or it could be that I have such a vivid imagination that I could picture clearly in my head the scene as it was described, or I'm really just a scaredy-cat that I was shivering with goosebumps reading every other chapter.The thing with ghost stories, though, is that you've heard a lot of them, with variations each time they're told, that they tend to get predictable after each retelling. Almost always, there's a reason for this apparition or that, there's a restless soul that needed closure, or there's something that needed to be done in order for the recently departed to "cross over".It is no different with The Woman In Black. Before I read the last chapters of the book, I pretty much had a good idea of who the actual woman in black is, why she was doing what she was doing, and what will become of our protagonist, Arthur. It was that predictable that my guesses were accurate, and, somehow, that fact diminished the scare factor that the novel held for me in the first few chapters.Nonetheless, The Woman In Black succeeded in what it was supposed - and what I expected it - to do: scare me witless, at least for the most part. There were parts when I literally got exhausted from reading - I didn't appreciate the compound, too-long sentences which were difficult to follow. But, all in all, it was the perfect Halloween read, and I liked it very much, for what it was worth. I can still imagine how the "wasted" and "sunken" face of the woman in black looks like.... and I have to shake the image off my head. I value my precious, dreamless sleep, thank you very much.Also posted here.

  • Maciek
    2019-04-13 16:16

    Susan Hill's The Woman in Black is a homage to the traditional English ghost story - the stylish and atmospheric works of M.R. James, who delighted in telling them to his students and friends at Christmastime, and pretty much began the tradition of doing so. This is not a bad thing by any means, but has one significant drawback - a work must be original enough to stand on its own, and not merely be a case of careful but uninventive inspiration. Sadly, The Woman in Black is a clearly the latter. Susan Hill writes well and clearly sets out to write a chilling and atmospheric tale, but her novella never becomes more than a homage to the old greats. It opens with Arthur Kipps, our narrator, being invited to a funeral of one of his clients, which takes him from bustling London to a small town far away in the English countryside, where he encounters a lot of fog and a mysterious, decaying mansion (Interestingly enough there is no mention of the period when the novella is set - although certain inventions such as modern cars are mentioned, these details are so scarce that the story could easily take place anywhere from the late 19th to the late 20th century). The rest of the novella features the narrator systematically uncovering the history of the mansion and its inhabitants, while encountering the ghastly apparition of the titular woman in black. This is not a new story, or a remarkable one, and its shortness doesn't work in its favor. I couldn't become invested in the trials and tribulations of the narrator, as I found them to be largely predictable and unsurprising, and quite frankly couldn't care less what happened to him.That being said, the story proved to be quite popular and has been adapted several times for the radio, and for both the big and small screen. The latest adaptation features Daniel Radcliffe as Arthur Kipps and looks like a solidly made Victorian flick which might be worth a look, and in this case the information that its storyline is quite different from the source material can serve only as an encouragement.