I've always loved Hell House. I've read it twice in book form, and I think I enjoyed it most listening to it on my third journey to the Belasco House. Believable and truly frightening, Hell House is a horror story to be savored. While the movie based on the book (The Legend of Hell House) is enjoyable, I hope that a more faithful version is made someday. This remains my favorite Halloween read!
This was seriously the worst and most disgusting book I have ever listened too.I actually ended up returning it, but wanted to give others a heads up.
I like scary stories, and I am not squeamish at all. This book just went WAY too far though. Was it scary, at times? Yes. There were definitely "jump out at you" moments consistently, which would have been good if the content hadn't been so perverted. That is the only way I can truly describe this book, perverted.
I get that sometimes, sex is mixed in with violence, that is part of the genre. But as I said, this book took it way too far. I feel like none of the reviews or descriptions I read prepared me for it. The Hell House is a house of complete debauchery, and the haunting reflect that. I ended up skipping over long, drawn out rape scenes (rape is never sexy).
On top of all that, the characters are pretty shallow and stupid. They continue repeating the same thoughts over and over, and there is not really any character development or even plot development. When I wasn't wanting to fast forward, I was yawning. Lastly, the narration (which was done by Ray Porter, who I really liked in Water for Elephants) was very jarring. He switches off between whispers and shouting so much that I would find myself jumping, not because of the plot of the story, but because suddenly someone is shouting in my ear.
I would not recommend this book, ever, to anyone. It sucked.
My reviews are my personal opinions. I am not an expert or a critic or a massive reader/audiobook listener, and neither do I claim to be. I choose my audiobooks by reading the reviews, therefore I try and make my reviews as honest as possible.
Now this book is weird! The reason why I bought it is because it is narrated by Ray Porter - an excellent narrator.
If the author meant for it to be a horror or a thriller, he failed. I listened to the story before bed, alone, in the dark, and it failed to scare me. Many parts of the story I found amusing. I don't want to spoil anything for potential readers, so I will make an example: you're in the middle of a cemetery near a haunted house and you stumble upon a quartet of singing stone busts performing the Lollipop song (if you've seen Haunted Mansion with Eddie Murphy, then you know what I'm talking about). I liked the reason behind the haunting of the house (i.e. the house's past). I didn't like the way the book ended, I felt like the author was in a hurry to finish and just sort of... did.
The narration was amazing though, which doesn't come as a surprise to me, because Ray Porter is a genius and deserves a medal.
Overall, I would recommend this book but not for people who want to listen to a horror story and experience fear and a rush of adrenaline.
I was very lonely as a teen and books were my escape. Thanks to my father who introduced me to the love of reading.
Suspenseful , Eerie, Thrilling
The Legend of Hell House is a 1973 British horror film
The book was just as scary as the movie when I first saw it. The narrator Ray Porter was exceptional in making the characters believable and his discriptions were so vivid of the times and events in the book.
I would highly recommend this book as a listen if you love suspense or horror. The book is very graphic and I would not recommend it to the weak.
I will listen to NO boring book. Old Fav's,Card, King , Hobb. New Fav's, Hill, Scalzi, Sawyer, Interested in Lansdale, Crouch, Konrath
I guess I am getting too old for this type of book. I liked Matheson's (I am Legend and The Shrinking Man.) This book I could not wait to finish. I did not care about the characters and the story was silly. I liked Shirley Jackson's (The Haunting Of Hill House) better. The characters and the house were more interesting. Matheson could have used better developed characters and Jackson could have used more sex.
Richard Matheson is a master of subtlety! Hell House invites you into its' madness and doesn't release you to the very end. As the characters approach the house, the feeling of doom is almost palpable. Matheson's proficiency at weaving simile and metaphor to tingle your spine is genius. The author wrote a masterpiece of horror without having to revert to gore instead relying on imagery a craft Matheson's knows all to well.
I was very excited to read this. I Am Legend is phenomenal. Sadly, the story just doesn't cohere and most of it feels like contrived set pieces. The characters are under developed. Still it was an enjoyable listen. I would just suggest that you lower your expectations. The narrator is excellent - I wish he had done Ghost Story.
I've read the book a couple times before listening to the audio book. this is one of the scariest and best books out there. the audio book is very well done and very captivating. Richard matheson is one of my favouriite authors.
It's hard to find good, serious ghost stories. This one is pretty top notch. I gradually became uncomfortable with the increasing level of sexual violence- this is not a book for teenagers or for adults who are at all squeamish about graphic sexual torture, but on the whole the writing was strong enough that it didn't detract too much from the book for me.
My ultimate verdict is that if you can stomach that stuff, this is a book well worth reading, truly deserving of its' name as a horror classic and linchpin of the genre.