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We Have Always Lived in the Castle Audiobook

We Have Always Lived in the Castle

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.
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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

3.9 (990 )
5 star
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3.8 (867 )
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4.3 (865 )
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Performance
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  •  
    P. T. McConnell 09-13-15

    Obsessive reader and listener; it's a sick thing!

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    12
    2
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    Performance
    Story
    "Chilling and absolutely perfect"

    I'm new to Jackson's work, but this is an instant favorite. it had all the urgency and magical quality that begs sympathy with the narrator, even as you come to realize the truth. Chilling in all the right ways.

    My only complaint with Dunne's reading is her silly men's voices, but it doesn't take away from the overall effect.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mary 08-04-15
    Mary 08-04-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
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    "Creepy and unsettling"
    Would you listen to We Have Always Lived in the Castle again? Why?

    Yes, I would. The story is engaging yet disturbing. The folie à deux of the two sisters is terrifying.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of We Have Always Lived in the Castle?

    The moment that sticks with me most is the when the sisters are hiding after the house fire and Merricat confesses to Constance. There's something soul-crushing about the matter-of-fact way it is presented. One wonders when the madness began.


    Have you listened to any of Bernadette Dunne’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I have not but I certainly would again. She does an excellent job.


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

    I wanted to but was unable to. I'm glad I didn't though. Gave more time to digest it.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Teddy 07-30-15
    Teddy 07-30-15 Member Since 2015

    I'm a monkey!

    ratings
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    27
    11
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    Story
    "A dissappointment"
    Would you try another book from Shirley Jackson and/or Bernadette Dunne?

    I love Shirley Jackson but this story is fairly predictable and lacks real tension.


    What does Bernadette Dunne bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    The reader does a great job it's just the story doesn't really take off.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Johnny Quest 07-25-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
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    3
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    Story
    "A small tale of a very dysfunctional family"

    Or remnants of a family. To be clear, while the narrator, Merricat, lives in a world of ghosts and magic, this is not a story about the supernatural. She is seriously mentally ill. Her older sister, Constance, who is agoraphobic, runs the home, caring for Merricat and the infirm and somewhat demented Uncle Julian.

    The rest of the immediate family died from arsenic poisoning six years before the story takes place. While Constance was probably always a fearful person, those fears were aggravated because she was tried for the murders of her family members. She was acquitted, but many of the town folk still think she put the arsenic in the food and killed the family.

    This is a small story that is well crafted. There is little action; it is mostly about Merricat's perceptions and related actions, and the interaction among family members. The story stayed with me. I didn't find it creepy, but it's sad. I picked it up in a sale and it was a good selection.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    s larsen 07-21-15
    s larsen 07-21-15 Member Since 2013
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    10
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    Story
    "I do t know why this book has so many good reviews"

    I thought the plot was dull and underdeveloped. I figured out the "mystery" of it in about 2 seconds which made the whole rest of this book just limp on.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Zi Wang 07-02-15
    Zi Wang 07-02-15
    ratings
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    4
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    Story
    "Meh... I'm not about that negativity"

    Weird story... The negativity of Mary Kat is sometimes unbearable. Sometimes there's a cool plot twist. Overall a good book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sandra L. Jacob US 06-16-15
    Sandra L. Jacob US 06-16-15 Member Since 2015

    Sleo

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    "A haunting tale"

    A tale of mental illness and murder. Brilliant writing. One of the happier Audible daily deals. Glad I got it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    MrKF 06-04-15
    MrKF 06-04-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    61
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    "Maybe I'm missing something"

    Perhaps I'm missing something but this book was just boring and uninteresting. I kept waiting for something to happen but it never did.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Daniel Hickory Creek, TX United States 05-25-15
    Daniel Hickory Creek, TX United States 05-25-15 Member Since 2016

    I am a 67 yo disabled Vet who lives in N. Texas. I was a medic in the Army during the Viet Nam war, got an MS in ecology and just retired.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Weird"

    This story is weird, strange, "Twilight Zone" like. It's so off beat that it's difficult to describe. The narrator is excellent and saves the book completely.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    wookie's mom 04-22-15 Member Since 2012

    Old, tired member of the sandwich generation. Waiting to just get to heaven!!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "NOT MY GENRE"

    My daughter recommended I listen to this book. I was rather disappointed as I just couldn't get into the story. I made it through four chapters and then gave up the chase. It just didn't do a thing for me.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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