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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
on May 19, 2010
This book was wonderful. I bought it because I remembered the old movie called "The Canterville Ghost". The movie is nothing like the book and in fact the book is a 1000 times better and the movie should have been made like the book.

I would recommend this book to everyone. I truly enjoyed it and laughted a lot.
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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
on December 26, 2009
The book is not as long as Wilde's other works, but it is a great story none the less. This is a great work to start with if you have never read Oscar Wilde, and if you have it is still an enthralling story. I purchased it on my kindle, and had no formatting problems.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on January 22, 2011
When you think of a ghost story, you probably think it's going to be scary, but this definitely was an enjoyable, funny yet compassionate short book. This isn't a book about the paranormal and regardless if you believe in it or not, this book is about feelings!!! For the price of free, I'd recommend for anyone to read!
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on January 24, 2001
This "updated-gothic" tale is really a wonder. A typical American family of late-XIXth century buys a manor in England, the propery of Lord Canterville. Turns out that an ancestor of this lord, who holds the same name, is a ghost still wandering around the big and old house. And he is terribly annoyed and disturbed by the irreverent behavior of the Americans who, in the first place, don't believe in ghosts. That is, until they discover him and make him the target of their irreverence. Every day, Washington, one of the children, erases a centuries-old blood stain from the floor of the library, and every night the phantom paints it again, increasingly in strange colors. He grows more and more disheartened, until Virginia, the nice daughter of the family, comes along... Wilde's is a funny tale, a funny comparison between Americans and British, a compassionate look at ghosts, and an unforgettable story with the characteristic wit and smartness of a fine craftsman of literature.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on March 13, 2005
The Canterville Ghost is a charming tale, one of Oscar Wilde's best. It is a ghost story, a comedy and a romance all rolled into one, told with the offbeat, rolling wit that only Wilde can tell.

An American family moves into a haunted mansion in England, but it is they who torment the ghost with their irrepressible irreverence, finally driving the phantom to despair. The lovely, charming daughter of the family, strikes up a friendship with the ghost, freeing it, with her prayer and tears.

It is a tragic tale with a happy ending , a wonderful story for all ages.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on January 16, 2001
Oscar Wilde was the master of witty and amusing stories, and this little novella is no different. It tells the tale of the poor Canterville Ghost, whose very existence is made miserable by a family of Americans who not only do not believe in him (despite his best efforts at terrorising him), but who do unspeakable things like removing the eternal blood stain in the library.
The American family are really well drawn with the children being particularly successful in making the ghost miserable. And the ghost himself - well, we find ourselves having some symapthy for him, and the end of the story is quite poignant.
It is a wonderful story for an older child, but also for an adult. It is certainly one of my all time favourites.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on January 30, 1999
For those who have been curious about Oscar Wilde and have yet to discover his genius would have been more than US customs could have handled, the Canterville Ghost is a perfect introduction to his work. The story is cleverly woven around the archetypal upper middle class American clergy of the 19th century, yet fits easily into the modern response to our so called classless society.
Oscar, it could be said, is the modern day parabalist so heavily featured within the Bible, yet his work is laced with a caustic humor which will inspire smiles and sympathy, and perhaps, if you are prone, even a little terror at the antics of the children in their torment of the long time feared inhabitant of Canterville, the ghost himself.
My grandfather introduced me to this story when I was but a nipper here in England. I could not recommend it more, for children and adults alike. A classic!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
May other reviews have mentioned how short this novella is. Wilde created a wonderful haunted house, and a ghost who has through the last 300 years terrorized the Canterville family. Wilde has always been brilliant in his simplicity, in his wit, and in how quickly you become charmed by his characters.

Sir Simon (the ghost) is doomed to haunt the Canterville estate for the wrongs he comitted in life... these include the murder of his wife. His legend has grown through the years and he has terrified everyone who has lived in the house. All is going well for Sir Simon until the house is sold to an American family who absolutely refuses to be frightened by him. Their children torment him and set up booby-traps, The husband and wife offer the ghost grease for his chains and medicine for the sounds of his laughter, which they mistake as a cough of some sort.

Finally Sir Simon is driven to near madness and hides or creeps quietly about the house for fear that the Americans will notice him. Their young daughter Virginia, is the one who truely makes contact with him. I agree with the other reviewers that I wish this relationship had been more fully developed, but Wilde's conciseness prevents this. Virginia helps the old Ghost and everyone lives or dies happily ever after. A very short and sweet story that I sadly finished in less than a half an hour.

Even though it was short, the simple fact that every reader is left wanting more without needing it shows why this is a 5 star story.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on May 16, 2003
The Canterville Ghost is a small book, which is quite easy to read.
It is a funny story and there are a lot of jokes. Sometimes it is a little bit boring., but when you like the spiritual then you like this book.
It is a fantasy history, who you can use your own imagination. It is also a sad story, although superficially there is a happy ending.
There you see the difference between the serious minded English people and the practical Americans
You can see parallels between the story and the writer. Oscar Wilde had a very difficult life at the end, and in his story it is the ghost, which suffers a lot because of the fact that he has no audience who is willing to pay attention to his pranks.
I think it is a good book to read at school. And I have loved the jokes very much and I like the mystical and spiritual side of this book too.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Oscar Wilde, <strong>The Canterville Ghost</strong> (Public Domain Books, 1906)

Oscar Wilde's supernaturally comedic classic has been made into any number of movies (and despite this, I have somehow only seen a low-budget Polish version that was made for television, but which is quite enjoyable), so I've heard about it roughly ten thousand times, but I had never actually gotten round to reading it until now. It's not as spiked with quotable lines as <em>The Picture of Dorian Gray</em> or <em>The Importance of Being Earnest</em>, but it's still snappy and fun, until it's ruined by a characteristically moral ending (tacked on, one assumes, in order to make the book palatable to Victorian audiences). Useless ending aside, however, it's still fun, and worth reading; a short introduction to Wilde that gives you a good feel for his writing. ***
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