The Canterville Ghost
Buy or Borrow: Buy
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher!
When the Americans Mr and Mrs Otis and their four children move into Canterville Chase, its previous occupant Lord Canterville warns them that the ghost of his ancestor still haunts the house. Their disbelief is soon shattered by the nightly sound of rattling chains in the hallways and the appearance of mysterious bloodstains in the living room. However, the ghost struggles to intimidate his new victims, as they counter his ghoulish behaviour with typically transatlantic pragmatism, offering lubricator for his chains and cleaning up the stains with detergent. As the spirit is deserted by his capacity to scare, Virginia, the Otises' daughter, gets to know him and learns the tragic tale behind his sad fate.
I'm not going to lie to you guys, I completely forgot that this book was, not only by Oscar Wilde, but an actual book! I've seen one of the film versions and I genuinely never realised! So I was quite excited to read this one and I was pleasantly surprised when I started to read!
Usually when I read a classic that isn't a modern classic, I assume the language is going to give me trouble in the beginning until I get used to it. I've literally just read a twelve book series in like four days, and I figured the language difference was going to hit me even harder than usual but nope. The language in this book is surprisingly easy to read! I breezed through this book super fast, and I was completely entertained!
Along with Canterville Ghost there are three other stories, The Sphinx Without a Secret, The Model Millionaire and Lord Arthur Savile's Crime! The last of those titles is a long one, but the other two are quite short and they're comic mystery stories which had you reading and at some points, shaking your head at the character, especially in Arthur Savile, I was reading it like "This is not going to end well" but then it took a turn I wasn't expecting. Considering what I know of Dorian Gray I was expecting these stories to be darker than they where, and a lot creepier, but not at all!
The stories are humorous and witty and a lot of fun, actually! In Canterville Ghost, I felt sorry for the poor old ghost while I was reading, and I kinda didn't like the twins because I ended up being strangely on the side of the ghost! Odd for me, considering they freak me out to another level. I wasn't entirely sure where Sphinx was going, but I felt like it had a bit of a tragic bent considering what happened to the woman. Not like doom and gloom tragedy but it was a bit sad. I knew exactly what Model Millionaire was doing, it's like the only one that I could work out! I was incredibly proud of myself! As for Arthur Savile's Crime...for some odd reason I could picture it as a film, like some sort of odd comedy film!
All in all Canterville Ghost is a brilliant collection of stories and they're a lot of fun to read! As with all Alma editions, you have the notes to add context and answer terminology questions, the information on the author and on his works! So you get to read the stories and learn more about them and the person who wrote them, which I always enjoy!