This is a story from the Lord Arthur Savile's Crime and Other Stories collection.
A palmist's prediction leads to murder; an enigmatic woman's lifestyle is a mystery to be solved; a ghost tries to frighten the new tenants of his home; a man has discovered the dedicatee of Shakespeare's Sonnets; a millionaire wants to be painted as a pauper. Lord Arthur Savile's Crime and Other Stories is a collection of fascinating short stories that are subversive as well as entertaining. Also included in this audiobook is 'The Birthday of the Infanta from A House of Pomegranates', in which an ugly dwarf loves a beautiful princess. How will his feelings fare in a cruel society?
Showing off an uncanny ability to glide between American and British accents along with exhibiting impeccable comedic timing, Rupert Degas turns in an adroit, whip-smart performance of lionized Irish writer and libertine Oscar Wilde's first published story, which, along with flipping the traditional horror story on its head, drips with the wit and humor that defines his body of work in its depiction of an American family's experiences with the unwelcoming ghost who resides at their newly purchased English country house and his futile attempts to terrorize them away from his abode and back across the pond.
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A Warning to Cynics
Don't pick this as a book for discussion at a book club. The best books for book clubs are books that a lot of people dislike. Everyone at our book club (23 of us) loved this book, and those of us who bought the audiobook loved the narrator as well. This tends to make for very short and uninteresting discussion. "I loved x" "Yes so did I" "I loved y" "Yes so did I" "I particularly loved z" "That was the best bit." You get the idea. For me, having read a lot of Wilde, but not this story, The Canterville Ghost was a revelation. So much less barbed and pointed that many of his other works, so much more concerned, it seems, with simply entertaining and uplifting, the book was a delight. The most delightful part of the story, I thought, was the adoration of the young and gallant Duke of Cheshire, down from Eton, for the daughter of the house (Virginia). I've always had a soft spot for chaps who wear their hearts on their sleeve, and nobody wears it better than the Duke of Cheshire.“You can have your secret as long as I have your heart". Coming a close second, who could be a more desirable companion than ‘Jonas the Graveless, or the Corpse-Snatcher of Chertsey Barn’?