The Ghost Writer by John Harwood

Reviewed by
April 2004, no. 260
James Ley reviews 'The Ghost Writer' by John Harwood

The Ghost Writer

by John Harwood

Jonathan Cape, $32.95 pb, 347 pp

The Ghost Writer by John Harwood

Reviewed by
April 2004, no. 260

There is a species of Victorian mystery story that is as pure an expression of nineteenth-century rationalism as you are likely to find. A strange event occurs which, at first glance, appears to admit no rational explanation; by the end of the story, it is revealed to have a logical explanation after all. Thus foolish superstition is banished by the pure light of reason. But there is another side to late-Victorian fiction of the unexpected, represented by Henry James’s ghost tale The Turn of the Screw (1898): a darker, slipperier, and far more unsettling narrative in which the supernatural elements are never satisfactorily explained and are charged with menacing psychological overtones.

James Ley reviews 'The Ghost Writer' by John Harwood

The Ghost Writer

by John Harwood

Jonathan Cape, $32.95 pb, 347 pp

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