Review of “The Canterville Ghost” (1887)

Oscar Wilde (writer).

Read in 2017.

A Gilded-Age American family annoys a British ghost.

Reading this parody of the Gothic ghost story, I was surprised by the turn to seriousness in the ghost’s beautiful description of death. If Wilde had actually undergirded that scene with some worldbuilding, the story might have worked; the scene might have been poignant. Instead, it’s like a mediocre “Treehouse of Horror” episode from The Simpsons (1989).

fiction text