Both subtle and compelling, The Turn of the Screw has haunted me since I first read it. I envy you the experience of reading this story for the first time.
This is one of the greatest stories of the supernatural ever written in the English language - or is it? Maybe it's one of the greatest psychological dramas ever written. The fact that readers are still debating how this story ends and what it means is a testament to James' extraordinary subtlety.
Henry James layers ideas one on top of another the way impressionist painters layered color. In my opinion, his "run on sentences" are an attempt to deliver a whole impression to the reader at one time. Please don't be put off by this. James' wasn't trying to be "artsy" or to fool his readers - he was trying to communicate all of his impressions and ideas to his readers. His stories are rich and textured but always carried along by a strong plot and compelling characters. This book is a classic for a reason.