BEA'S BOOK NOOK "I can't imagine a man really enjoying a book and reading it only once." C. S. Lewis “If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.” ― Oscar Wilde

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Bea Reviews The Canterville Ghost by Oscar Wilde

Publisher: Amazon Digital Services 
Source: purchased
Release Date: May 17, 2012
Challenges: Dust Off Your Classics
Buying Links: Amazon* | Book Depository* | OmniLit* | Barnes & Noble | goodreads
* affiliate links; the blog receives a small commission from purchases made through these links.

Blurb from goodreads:

This is Oscar Wilde's tale of the American family moved into a British mansion, Canterville Chase, much to the annoyance its tired ghost. The family -- which refuses to believe in him -- is in Wilde's way a commentary on the British nobility of the day -- and on the Americans, too. The tale, like many of Wilde's, is rich with allusion, but ends as sentimental romance. . .

Bea's Thoughts:

I recently saw a review of this at I Wish I Lived In A Library and it inspired me to read the story. I've seen a few movies based on or inspired by the book but hadn't read the book. I thought maybe I had but once I began reading it, I knew I hadn't.

"The Canterville Ghost" is short, about 70 pages, and is, naturally, very much a product of its time in terms of description and attitudes. Wilde skewers both the American and British upper classes and their mores, writing characters that aren't fleshed out so much as they're stereotypes or tropes given witty dialogue. The rich, know-it-all Americans with their modern, no nonsense attitudes are delightful cliches and drive the ghost, Simon, batty. He finally got a taste of his own medicine. The humor is a mix of laugh out loud and subtle and can be appreciated by adults and children.

The story is told in omniscient third person POV and we never really get inside Simon the Ghost's head though we do see some of his thinking. I appreciated the humor, and the romance, but Simon himself is not terribly likable. His happy ending was hard to believe or rejoice in since we never saw him repent for his actions, the ones before his death or after. Despite, that I enjoyed the story and Simon's creativity. Now I have an urge to re-watch some of the movies.

8 comments:

  1. I had a hard time with the ending as well. It felt a bit like Wilde didn't know how to end it so he just got all vague. I am glad you enjoyed it! I'm looking forward to watching the movies as well.

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    1. The ending was a disappointment but the movies are fun.

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  2. Katherine inspired me to read it too - I picked up a Kindle copy just a day or two ago. I'm sorry the ending disappoints. I enjoyed the movie with Patrick Stewart as the ghost; it wasn't fantastic but it was fun and I'd like to see it again this year.

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    1. Oooo, I'm not sure if I've seen the Patrick Stewart one. I'll have to check Hulu and NetFlix. It's a pleasant story, just not a fantastic ending.

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  3. Okay, so now I'm curious. Although, really, classics aren't my thing. But, now I'm going to check it out for my Kindle.

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    1. There's a free Kindle book, get that one. It wasn't a great story but it was good, a mix of romance and fantasy with a helping of social critique.

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  4. I like what you said about the humour! I downloaded this last week as a Halloween read and also a book towards Dust off your Classics. Really looking forward to it.

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    1. I counted it towards Dust Off Your Classics too. :) I hope you like the story!

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