Friday, October 30, 2015

Book Review Discussion: The Canterville Ghost by Oscar Wilde

Book: The Canterville Ghost by Oscar Wilde
Genre: Children's classic
Rating:★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
For: the readathon and family book club
From: the library

Short Synopsis: A family moves into a nice old house and is very emphatically warned by the previous owner that the house is haunted. They just shrug and say, whatever. We'll deal. Turns out, the house really is haunted and the family does just shrug it off. They confront the ghost, they yell at him, they set traps for him, they undo all his mischief and they generally make his ghostly life miserable. The tables are completely turned. He ends up one very depressed ghost. Then the daughter of the family talks to him, learns his story and helps him to find peace and release.

My Response: Cute story! Lots of funny moments. Though you do feel sorry for the ghost, even though he really did mean things when he was alive. The end is bittersweet and I'm sure has all sorts of symbolism and stuff, but I didn't try too hard to figure those out. The writing is fun and light-hearted. I was surprised and expected it to be a little heavier coming from Mr. Wilde, but I did learn that he has written a ton of kids stories. So that was interesting.

Bottom Line: Fun story. Kids will love it. I know there are several picture versions of the story and it can be read in long sitting, or over a couple of nights.

Let's Talk About: I'm wondering if you are all familiar with this story? I wasn't until we decided to read it for our first family book club pick. I mean, the name sounded familiar but I didn't know at all what it was. How about you all? I know there are lots of movie versions too. Anyone seen one?

Other Reviews:

It’s funny, imaginative, and so easy to read it’s suitable for younger readers as well as adults. From She Reads Novels

What I am continually impressed by is how modern and fresh Oscar Wilde’s prose still sounds given it was penned in the late 1800s. From Book Lover Book Reviews

What I liked most about the Canterville Ghost was his fish-out-of-water experiences. Not being able to scare the residing family like he should. From

Here's a fun trailer for one the movies:


  1. I didn't know Oscar Wilde wrote kids books. This one seems familiar. Maybe I saw the movie and just don't remember.

  2. I loooooved this movie when I was growing up! Thanks for the reminder to pick up the dang book!

  3. I don't know the story. When you said you were going to read it for your family book club, I thought of the Canterbury Tales by Chaucer.

  4. I haven't read this story, but it does seem familiar. Like Jenny, I probably saw one of the film versions a long time ago and forgot all about it. It sounds interesting.



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