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)
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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'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 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.
I would, and actually, have. Its always interesting to read books that have been made into movies and trying not to confuse the two. My friend read the book as opposed to listening and she said it took her awhile to finish. I am a fan of scary stories and this one had some good moments, I think listening made the difference. I did want to thump Eleanor in the head a couple of times, ok, more than a couple of times for being so weak and put upon. I think there could have been a better tie in as to why 'the house' wanted Eleanor, I was not clear even after Dr. Montague explained the history of the house. But who wouldn't like the dare of staying in a haunted house to see what spooks come to the forefront! Well, ok, not me, but I always enjoy stories like this.
This is the first book by Shirley Jackson I've listened to, actually the first one I've read as well.
Suspenseful, creative, and spooky just at the right moments!
I'm definitely not inspired to go spend the night in a haunted mansion trying to see what ghosts I can bring out of the woodwork! But I did enjoy the concept though the ending left a little to be desired.
One thing I did note and since I have not read the actual book, but there was an issue with the chapters. I tend to not let things like this weigh in when I'm reading/listening to a book but it was noticeable. The narrator would say Chapter 3 or 4 etc and you'd be on Chapter 8, then you'd be back to 3 or 2. It was noticeable enough to comment on but again, I don't know if this is the way the book is written or if the narrator lost her place or what. Its a minor thing, didn't really detract from the story, but note it if these kind of things bother you.
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