Past the rusted gates and untrimmed hedges, Hill House broods and waits….
Four seekers have come to the ugly, abandoned old mansion: Dr. Montague, an occult scholar looking for solid evidence of the psychic phenomenon called haunting; Theodora, his lovely and lighthearted assistant; Eleanor, a lonely, homeless girl well acquainted with poltergeists; and Luke, the adventurous future heir of Hill House. At first, their stay seems destined to be merely a spooky encounter with inexplicable noises and self-closing doors, but Hill House is gathering its powers and will soon choose one of them to make its own.Shirley Jackson (1916–1965), a celebrated writer of horror, wrote such classic novels as We Have Always Lived in the Castle and The Bird’s Nest, as well as one of the most famous short stories in the English language, “The Lottery”. She has influenced such writers as Neil Gaiman, Stephen King, and Richard Matheson.
©1959 Shirley Jackson; renewed 1987 by Laurence Hyman, Barry Hyman, Sarah Webster, and Joanne Schnurer (P)2010 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
“Makes your blood chill and your scalp prickle…Shirley Jackson is the master of the haunted tale.” (New York Times Book Review)
“Now widely regarded as the greatest haunted-house story ever written.” (Wall Street Journal)
“Shirley Jackson is unparalleled as a leader in the field of beautifully written, quiet, cumulative shudders.” (Dorothy Parker, Esquire)
The book is written well and in detail, the narrator really portray's the characters very well giving each their own uniqueness, this makes it quite easy to imagine yourself in the book, which is what makes it so enjoyable!
Dunne's performance of Jackson's novel is just about perfect. Her husky, flexible voice provides a consistent sense of character and tone. I have a book on writing horror fiction. The editors ran a poll of top horror/fantasy writers as to "best of" and Jackson's Haunting of Hill House came in first. It is on Stephen King's list of "ten best." It is a wonderfully-written novel that gets inside your head. As one reads this, one sees how huge an influence it was upon King, as several elements play powerfully into Carrie, Rose Red, and other works.
Me am Pop-Surrealist Tiki-Artist living and making Art on the active volcanic "Big Island" of Hawaii. Aloha.
One of my favorites.
Well, hard to say, Elie, who you see much of the story through is going mad, so is not all times very likable, I think the Dr. who put together the experiment is interesting, the sexy woman psychic is fun, the idle rich boy is not very deep...perhaps the house itself is the strangest character.
She has a great voice with depth and texture, wonderful for a ghost story, a crime drama, or a tale of terror.
That's a hard one. "The Haunting of Hill House" is a classic title which sounds so right. It chills with it's mere words. Perhaps a second book could be called "The Hunger of Hill House"?
This is one of the all time great "Haunted House" stories. It set the bench mark for most every haunted house that has come after. If you love the horror genre, you MUST listen to this book. It's a classic.
I wouldn't, only because I've never been the type to read/listen to a book twice. It's nothing negative about the book itself.
The ending....although I won't say anything more to spoil it
I enjoyed her performance for all the characters. She did an amazing job distinguishing them.
Absolutly. I was highly disappointed when I would arrive at my destinantion and have to turn off the book.
For those who have only seen the original "the Haunting" (Hollywood film), the original story is much more about what is happening inside the mind of the main character. Julie Harris portrayed her very well, and her unbalanced mind came through in the film, but the book is able to better convey the mental issues that the character was dealing with, without being able to differentiate between reality and what was happening inside her own mind.
The story leaves you wondering what actually happened, and what was merely a reflection of the character's perceptions only.
I'm a bibliophile since early childhood. Love speculative fiction, odd premises, mystery novels that teach about different places and times.
Older books sometimes suffer from the information available at the time. This one does rather badly. The characters are so strange in this book. They go from being terrified of something quite unspecific to being jovially numb. It's quite unclear whether they are haunted or psychological unwell. In ways that don't make sense to any psychology I've studied. It neither ran true to the characters or the nature of hauntings. I found it very hard to finish and unsatisfying when I did.
Even when we have a book written in a time when we don't have a good idea clinically what is wrong with someone, I do expect good writing to supply a reasonable description. This rings sadly false.
I'm glad I finally got around to reading THOHH. The book is well-written (although the author's reliance on adverbs in dialogue attribution) and for the most part engaging, although it began to drag heavily toward the end.
Also, the novel is a half-century old, but somehow feels much older. Jackson's writing style does not feel particularly dated, but the dialogue and situations do.
The novel feels overlong and ultimately underwhelming, but Jackson's skillful writing and Bernadette Dunne's narration make it a worthwhile experience.
I don't get the 5 star ratings. I'm sorry, but this was really bad. This was not scary. creepy or even interesting. The characters were weak, unlikable and downright stupid. Who brings a gun to a house full of spirits? What good would that do? There are much better haunted house stories out there.
The brilliant prose.
Mark Z. Danielewski's HOUSE OF LEAVES & Caitlin R. Kiernan's THE RED TREE
Elenore, for her psychological struggles.
Just a brilliant, beautiful book. If one hundredth of contemporary dark fantasy were this good, we'd be fortunate indeed.
This story is a classic by one of the genre's old masters. Shirley Jackson's fiction often reflects a preoccupation with themes of alienation; in "The Haunting of Hill House", the shy, socially awkward protagonist Eleanor struggles with finding a place for herself, a home, somewhere to belong. In the past, she served as a caretaker for her sick and not-very-affectionate mother (another character, Luke, informs her with some pathos that he 'never had a mother,' and the reader is left to reflect ironically on Eleanor's mother and suspect that there are worse fates). After her mother's death, she lives with her contemptuous sister and brother-in-law who grudgingly allow her to live with them.
Eleanor's sojourn at Hill House is the great adventure of her life and her unspoken wish is to find somewhere (and someone) with whom to belong. Unfortunately, Eleanor finds herself among a motley lot of oblivious or self-centered characters. The only one who really seems to want her is Hill House itself...
I knew nothing about this book other than it has a high-standing reputation. I wanted a 'ghost story' for Christmas. I listened to it lying in bed with no distractions and, boy, did I get my money's worth. The atmosphere and descriptions are powerful enough, but it is the psychological portrait of, and interaction between the characters which takes this book far beyond 'genre' into a 'classic'. Unsettling and scary because it insinuates itself into you, rather than frightening with shocks. And though her voice may be an acquired taste I thought that Bernadette Dunn's reading is extraordinary.
"Not bad, but has its drawbacks"
The story itself isn't too bad. It has a high-ranking place in ghost story lore so that's why I thought I'd give it a go.
It took me absolutely ages to get through it, purely because of two reasons:
1. The narrator, in my opinion, does the story no justice. Her voice for Eleanor sounds dreadful. I just can't describe how much her voice irks me.
2. The characters don't act or even talk like real people would in certain places. I think my main problem is the character of Eleanor.
But this is just my opinion. Other people have given it good reviews, so I think Haunting on Hill House really is one of those that you have to try for yourself.
"You are invited..."
Take a tour of Hill House, and experience the chilling, bizarre events it encloses!
Eleanor’s invitation to Hill House by Dr.Montague is one she most likely wouldn’t have accepted, had she been aware of its looming consequences, but longing for new adventure, and “borrowing” her sister’s car, she finds her way there. At the house, despite a gloomy welcome, she eventually starts to feel safe, and quickly makes new friends in the other guests. But all is not what it seems, and soon she is entwined in a web of otherworldly encounters. Despite looking terror in the eye, Eleanor seems eventually to overcome her fears inside Hill House…or does she?
I enjoyed how the story went from a classic ghost story to a deeper, darker, and more surreal twist of events. The narration to me seemed a little contrived in parts, but otherwise I thought it flowed well.
Shirley Jackson’s 1959 novel is a perfect listen for a perfect, moody night, and will make you stay awake if you need to!
"Unsettling and spooky story excellently performed"
I like to listen to something spooky at Halloween and have wanted to read this for a while. What I like about this story is the fact that so much is left up to the reader to decide. The narrator is so obviously unreliable that it's never clear if we can trust a thing she says. Who has seen what? Is everyone in the house experiencing the same thing? Hill House itself has a strong presence as a character and even the dimensions and angles of the rooms seem to be inherently evil. I was reminded a bit of H.P. Lovecraft's non-Euclidean geometry in Dreams of the Witch House (one for the fans there).
If you've seen the truly dreadful film with Liam Neeson and Catherine Zeta-Jones, please rest assured that it bears almost no relation to this source material.
Bernadette Dunne is a great narrator who manages to portray the apparent malice of the house and really seems to get inside Eleanor's head.
The problem with the book is that although it has a good starting point and promising story, the characters and dialogues are completely unbelievable. Maybe it's because the book was written over 50 years ago, but now it just feels artificial.
Nonetheless there are a few twists and the ending is quite surprising.
The performance is quite good but not outstanding.
"Classic Ghost Yarn"
Hill house is a good solid, well written, if a bit rambling spooky classic tale..The narrator is good and performs all the parts well...Its not a romping good tale, it gently strolls along and does not really deliver any scares or shivers, it is more a study of the changing relationships of the characters.
Not sure I would use a credit for it given the option again....
Before you download this one look at the Woman in Black, same sort of thing but with a bit more bang for your buck.
"I wouldn't bother..."
Certainly not scary, plot rambling ,but worst of all the characters are entirely unbelievable.
If you are after a ghost story, there are plenty of better ones out there.
I'd advise steering clear of this one.
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