Monday, 7 November 2011

Woman in Black (Book Review)


The Woman in Black by Susan Hill

Reason to Read: October 2011 Book Selection

The Woman in Black is one of the books for the Book to Film Club that I was most excited about, in part because I rarely read supernatural books (although I watch a lot of supernatural & paranormal film & TV), and also because it was a risk including it with the book as back in January it only had a UK release date and now it's confirmed that it will be released in North America in early 2012. I wish all the selections ended up with a release date, but that's the thing with risks - you never know how they will work out!

Anyhow, the book itself follows a young lawyer who goes to small town to settle up the legal affairs of a woman who has passed, and when arrives all the townsfolk are leery of him being out where she lived and no one seems to have cared very much about her. The book really gets the creepy vibe across very well, an unsettling, unnerving atmosphere which I wasn't quite sure I would take to on the printed page but I really did. I also really enjoyed the character of Arthur, the young lawyer whose young but it's historically-set so he feels very much a man even though young - I think this makes casting Daniel Radcliffe in the role a perfect choice because it fits very closely to where he is as an actor, and I appreciate that he'll be playing a character that fits his age.

After some of the lengthy books in the past few months, it was also a treat to breeze through a less than 200-page novel that was full of atmosphere and an intriguing story. There isn't a heck of a lot of dialogue, but it's quite haunting and chilling but it's a great choice for an adaptation (and not the first - it's been adapted for the stage and TV) because of the tone, interesting story and they may even be able to get everything in the film which would be such a treat. I know that it's one where there are a few scenes I consider to be must be included in the film, although I've not seen anything alluded to them in the trailer (which could be a good thing). As it's a supernatural tale and a mystery, I'll leave those details to be their own mystery for now and will move on to anxiously awaiting the films release on February 3, 2012.

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