View Full Version : Henry James

09-21-2007, 06:39 AM
I'm reading "Washington Square" at the moment and I just can't put it out of my hands. I'm usually not a fast reader, but this one goes so smoothly. I looked Henry James on the net and saw that he has written many novels, this is just my first one(strangely he didn't like WS that much). So, witch one you recommand me to read next?

09-21-2007, 07:01 AM
Portrait O A Lady is a really fine novel. I've never read Washington Square, but funny you should say bit reads smoothly. One criticism of Henry James is that his writing is a maze to read. But I think that mostly applies to his later works. His earlier works are easier to read.

09-21-2007, 08:52 AM
A great story by James and one that simply every literate person needs to have read is "Daisy Miller." It is quintessential, without being the tiring, Henry James. Hope you enjoy it.

09-21-2007, 10:47 AM
Oh I didn't consider short novels. The Beast In The Jungle is a must read.

09-21-2007, 06:23 PM
Such a sad ending for WS. :bawling:
Makes you think how boring life is sometimes. But the novel is not boring at all. Very well written.

09-21-2007, 08:45 PM
playeru've chosen a great entre for James. Washington Square is just the ticket. You might try The Turn of the Screw, The Aspern Papers, The Portrait of a Lady or Daisy Miller next. Any would be a good next step. Save The Ambassadors for when you are a full fledged James devotee. Enjoy!

11-21-2007, 05:29 PM
I recommend The Portrait of a Lady as well. The Ambassadors is the novel the James was most pleased with. I'm currently reading The Wings of the Dove and at this point I'd advise you to steer clear until you've exhausted the Henry James catalog.

11-22-2007, 08:28 AM
The Lesson of a Master (is this the correct title...) is a short HJ but notheless brilliant. I sign down The Turn of the Shrew, the most likely perfect Horror story of english language after Poe and Melville's Benito Cereno.

There is a book by James, his prefaces reunited in one book : The Art of Novel, where he explains how he wrote his novels, it is a great study of prose writing and construction of story.

Granny Bookhog
12-02-2007, 03:49 PM
Glad to hear you enjoyed this book so much. I read it some weeks ago for
the second time in 7 years and enjoyed it even more the second time.
I am now reading James' short stories in one of the volumes of his works put
out by "The Library of America"(publishers) and it is a pleasure to know that
he wrote so voluminously that I will enjoy his works for some time to come.
He is so descriptive and sets a mood for each of his stories that brings you right into the narrative. Recommend the short story: "The Ghostly Rental."
Wishing you many enjoyable hours with HJ

12-20-2007, 04:52 AM
Ah, Washington Square... Probably my least favorite of his novels so far, but good nonetheless. If you seek other novels, I would emphatically repeat the previous suggestion of The Portrait of a Lady (I need to reread it myself, actually), and would add The American. As far as stories, "Daisy", for sure, and "The Lesson of the Master". The Beast in the Jungle is one of my favorite of his works, but it seems sometimes to take a James-worshipper to enjoy it. It's very different from the earlier works being discussed here. Also, The Aspern Papers is one of his more suspenseful works, I think, and the obsessive narrator can be pretty amusing sometimes. I don't know what the common feeling is on "Four Meetings", but it was my introduction to James and I love it to this day. It's pretty short, and concerns a young man's four meetings with a young woman trying to get to Europe. Nothing discussed here has a happy ending. If you can deal with that, you'll probably be fine with most HJ.

01-08-2008, 08:10 AM
Personally, I would go for Turn of the Screw. It intruiged me, although i do admit James' Style is exceptionally convoluted, the whole auro that he creates around that novel is exceptional. The depth preent is amazing, thoruoughly good read, plus ive always had a soft spot for supernatural stories.