THE DISCONTENTED GHOST by Scott Corbett

THE DISCONTENTED GHOST

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Oscar Wilde's version of events was brilliant, but limited by an ""Irish inclination"" regarding facts, says Corbett's Canterville ghost, who now proceeds to set the record straight. Corbett quotes at length from ""Oscar"" but reveals considerable behind-the-scenes plotting by the ghost and his long-dead wife, here disguised as housekeeper Mrs. Umney--and in process casts quite a different light on the events that transpire when the American Otis family purchases stately Canterville Chase in 1884. First off, Corbett makes a permissible hero of the ghost by acquitting him of his wife's 1575 murder; thus cleared, Sir Simon wins further credence by confessing that the sentimental speech reported by Oscar was ""bilge"" produced for the occasion. Beyond this, Corbett makes an Earnest-like comedy of the proceedings, uniting Otises and ghost against an unwanted guest, involving young Wash Otis in a spoofy hidden-identity romance, elaborating on Virginia Otis' romance with her little duke (and its connection with her acquisition of the Canterville family jewels), and at last dispatching Sherlock Holmes to the scene in a finale that takes some liberties with chronology but is true to the story's spirit. Overall, an entertaining footnote to Oscar's more inspired creation--which Sir Simon strongly urges his present readers to consult.

Pub Date: Oct. 26th, 1978
Publisher: Dutton