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.
“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)
If you enjoy dark stories of slowly creeping madness, give this one a listen. I couldn't turn it off.
I am an amateur ethno- botanist, an Apple evangelist and an avid consumer of audio books.Audio- books have given more choices of what to have in my head while I am doing mindless tasks. Audible has become more important now than when I first joined since I have limited shelf space in our new apartment.
I read this book many years ago along with "The Haunting of Hill House". Shirley Jackson had a genius for the inner monologue of her main characters. This form of listening to the story makes it impossible for us not to want to interject a little more wisdom into that shallow gene pool of a town.
You know what is bound to happen but you must listen pulled along by the story's intense rhythm and the narrator's voice. Like a picnic in a grave yard, this small piece of classic horror, makes you aware that it is not the dead we have to fear.
I can't wait to share this one with my daughter, who shares my love of all sorts of plants and fungi. Especially those that can kill.LOL
Why ever would I do that?
I found this book creepy - but I don't really know what was going on. Two stars instead of one b/c maybe I just wasn't smart enough to figure it out. Put it down. Money down the drain ...
I've read books since and can't put my finger on it, but I do remember I didn't care for the narrator.
I enjoyed the style of the narration and the detail. I wanted to know more about the characters. It felt like reading a script that I never got to see acted out.
You will always discover something new each time you reread it. Bernadette Dunne completely elevated to story. Like one other reviewer said; this book took on a surprisingly different tone than the one I read during my school days. Creepy, mysterious, endearing
I've had this book sitting in my library for well over a year and haven't touched it.
finally got to it so that I can mark it as read and was pleasantly surprised.
it leaves a little mystery at the end and that's a door I'd rather leave closed. I've seen enough horror shows and read plenty of books to be able to paint my own horrific tale on the matter.
i would rank this audiobook pretty high up there in the great writer catagory , i give it a 10 for being super scary without pretension.
my choice of reading material is already so off the beaten path that i may try to share the story with anyone who would listen .
perfect she did a great, great job.
i found it interesting when the main character was saying "magic words " to herself for good luck. i loved constance's sweetness and good , patient nature
who sprinkled the sugar?
I'm usually pretty neutral at best about narrators who are not the authors. However, I like this reader particularly for this story. It is a really good match. Enjoy! ....great spooky story too.
Her voice is soft and soothing and draws you in to the characters.
This is my 2nd favorite Shirley Jackson story, right behind The Haunting of Hill House. It's very weird and creepy, but not really a ghost story.
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.