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We Have Always Lived in the Castle Audiobook

We Have Always Lived in the Castle

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Publisher's Summary

Six years after four family members died of arsenic poisoning, the three remaining Blackwoods—elder, agoraphobic sister Constance; wheelchair-bound Uncle Julian; and 18-year-old Mary Katherine, or, Merricat—live together in pleasant isolation. Merricat has developed an idiosyncratic system of rules and protective magic to guard the estate against intrusions from hostile villagers. But one day a stranger arrives—cousin Charles, with his eye on the Blackwood fortune—and manages to penetrate into their carefully shielded lives. Unable to drive him away by either polite or occult means, Merricat adopts more desperate methods, resulting in crisis, tragedy, and the revelation of a terrible secret.

©1962 Shirley Jackson (P)2010 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What the Critics Say

“At certain moments, quietly, in quick, subtle transitions of tone, Miss Jackson can summon up stark terror, make your blood chill and your scalp prickle....To all the classic paraphernalia of the spook story, she adds a touch of Freud….” (New York Times Book Review)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (1173 )
5 star
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3.9 (1038 )
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4.3 (1035 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Vanessa 04-09-14
    Vanessa 04-09-14 Member Since 2016

    V

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Sorry, but No"
    Any additional comments?

    I know this is a classic, and I really wanted to like it based on other works by Shirley Jackson, but I just can't. It's such a slow start, and the narrator (the character, not the voice actor) is so unreliable that I could not sustain my interest in her story. Dull.

    6 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gilmara Lima Mendes Piscataway, New Jersey 04-08-13
    Gilmara Lima Mendes Piscataway, New Jersey 04-08-13 Member Since 2016

    Audible Obsessed wishes she had more time for so many audiobooks.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Much Ado about Nothing"

    At first I read the ratings and I thought this could be an interesting book to listen to, but I was mistaken.

    This is not a ghost story as I thought It would be.

    It is supposed to be a mistery involving the murder of the Blackwood family, but only two sisters and their sick uncle are the ones to survive the tragedy. Mostly everyone in the village is mean to them, they have few friends and the relative they have is a golddigger who turns their life around in an awful way.

    I found it to be VERY disturbing from start to finish. I also though it was a little predictable. You find out who the murderer was, but then, there is just content, but no justice, no straightening up.
    It was a good story, not great.

    Bernadette Dunne, however, does a wonderful job with the voices and emotions of the characters. KUDOS for her! 5 well deserved stars.

    I would not read it again, but it certainly is a good book for psychology students.

    13 of 18 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sunshine5 07-26-15
    Sunshine5 07-26-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Oddly Amazing and A New Favorite"

    A whimsical, creepy, and twisted gothic tale full of psychological suspense, eccentric characters, and a dark family secret!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Coleen 09-02-14
    Coleen 09-02-14 Member Since 2014

    I love audiobooks!

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    "Surprising book that is now one of my favorites!"

    This book was a surprise to me. It's very haunting and an interesting world to be in. I love Merricat and Constance's relationship. My partner hit the nail on the head when she said that this book is Lizzie Borden meets Grey Gardens.

    I would recommend this to anyone and will likely read it again.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    cat's pajamas 07-31-12 Listener Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Skillful Presentation of Contemporary "Scary" Tale"
    If you could sum up We Have Always Lived in the Castle in three words, what would they be?

    Flipside Fairy Tale


    What did you like best about this story?

    Shirley Jackson is an amazing yarn-spinner - her deliberate slow display of telling details and wonderful way of evoking an atmosphere is unparalleled.


    Which character ??? as performed by Bernadette Dunne ??? was your favorite?

    Merricat - the first person narrator of the story - Bernadette Dunne does an amazing job!


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No - I wanted to stretch out the enjoyment!


    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Darryl 09-10-12
    Darryl 09-10-12 Member Since 2008
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    "Better than Hill House in My opinion"

    This is an excellent creepy story from a young girl's point of view and I thought it was excellent and much better than Hill House which is the one everyone reads. I tell them don't bother with Hill, go with this. It is a bit like the Other by Tom Tryon which I wish would show up some day. Jackson is a good writer and there are a couple more of her's I hope show up too, Sundial, Hangsaman, and maybe they'll be just as good as this.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kim GREENVILLE, SC, United States 04-23-12
    Kim GREENVILLE, SC, United States 04-23-12 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Narrator made this book amazing"

    Classic Shirley Jackson horror, creepy and atmospheric. The narrator was excellent, really brought the book to life.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jesse CHICAGO, IL, United States 07-21-11
    Jesse CHICAGO, IL, United States 07-21-11
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    "Haunting, Engaging and Memorable"

    This is an American masterpiece, a classic that has been grossly overlooked in classes across the nation. Shirley Jackson created fiercely real character who will engage, entice and disgust you. Written in the 1960s is is scary how little things have changed. So many classrooms could benefit from this wonderful short novel.

    8 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ann-Marie Gavle, Sweden 09-17-12
    Ann-Marie Gavle, Sweden 09-17-12 Listener Since 2010

    I live in a big house by the Baltic sea in Gävle, Sweden. I am married and have three teenagers and one dog. I read books, buy books and blog about books. If I don´t read I knit, sew or quilt.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Creepy and beautiful"

    It is not at all the horror story I thought it was. It is a creepy, affectionate and beautiful story of insanity, loneliness and hatred. Merricat is one of the most fascinating literary characters I've met. It's very hard not to like her and feel sorry for her and at the same time there is an uncanny feeling about her. A must read!

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ally Napanee, ON, Canada 03-25-12
    Ally Napanee, ON, Canada 03-25-12 Member Since 2014
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    "Loved it!"

    The narrator is totally creepy, and the story is like the Addams Family for grownups. I absolutely loved it. I mean, the "mystery" part is not so much a mystery. I won't spoil it for anyone, but I figured it out relatively quickly, but there was something in the narrative that sort of makes me think you're supposed to. The mystery isn't really the point.

    I love this book, and can see myself listening to it over and over.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful

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