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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 (1654 )
5 star
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3.9 (1478 )
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4.3 (1472 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Tanya Twombly 05-10-17 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Love Shirley Jackson"

    Another great work by Shirley Jackson. Sweet and tragic at the same time. interesting to consider as a representation of the plight of the housewife in the 1960s

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amber 05-04-17
    Amber 05-04-17
    ratings
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    3
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    "Interesting characters but VERY slow pace"
    Any additional comments?

    If there had been a bigger twist at the end or the story picked up in pace at some point I would have enjoyed it more. It really feels like half a book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jordan 04-14-17
    Jordan 04-14-17 Member Since 2017
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    32
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    Story
    "unsatisfying ending"

    story had good potential comma good character development. But the plot left something to be desired. It didn't end up going anywhere.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Samantha Dunaway Bryant Hillsborough, NC 04-09-17
    Samantha Dunaway Bryant Hillsborough, NC 04-09-17 Member Since 2014

    mirymom

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Chilling and Thrilling"

    This is another re-read for me. I read the paper version as a child, and all I could really remember was that I loved it. Wow! What a story. Bernadette Dunne has a very young sounding voice, which was perfect for narrating as Mary Kat, the sociopathic girl at the heart of this story.

    What I hadn't remembered was the suspense. The slow reveal of what had happened, and how Shirley Jackson was able to surprise me at so many turns by going a different direction than I expected and still thrilling me.

    The genius is in how she can play on your sympathies. The main character is an unreliable narrator and a frightening person, and yet she has my sympathy. I'm on her side.

    Wonderful!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 04-03-17 Member Since 2016
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    "Different"

    This story had me in a state of Angst the entire time, I was kinda glad when it was over. Not my style. Different.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Caitlin 03-31-17
    Caitlin 03-31-17 Member Since 2014
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    38
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    Story
    "Deliciously, nostalgically creepy"

    Strange and sweet and dark and sparklingly twisted. Too odd to describe. You must listen for yourself.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Steve 03-28-17
    Steve 03-28-17 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Beautifully Disturbing!"
    What made the experience of listening to We Have Always Lived in the Castle the most enjoyable?

    Shirley Jackson writes such a beautiful story. Her sentences are perfectly crafted. Bernadette Dunne then spins the web with her narration that lures the listener in and ensnares them in this strange place.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The writing is excellent. After reading "The Haunting of Hill House" and her short story "The Lottery", I think this is her best work. The writing is like peeling the layers on an onion. Each sentence reveals just a little bit more of Constance and Mary Catherine.


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

    She found every nuance in the Jackson's wonderful narrative. She brought a richness to each character and her narration was haunting.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The reveals are expected but hearing the way they are presented is sad and moving.


    Any additional comments?

    The characters are rich, the writing is flawless and the narration brings the story to life in way that will haunt your dreams.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Susan Brady, LCSW Palo Alto, CA United States 03-28-17
    Susan Brady, LCSW Palo Alto, CA United States 03-28-17 Member Since 2008
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    "Wonderful"

    The story is truly fabulous and I can't imagine a better reading. Thank you Bernadette!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anna 03-01-17
    Anna 03-01-17
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    "amazing book"

    this will mean something if you read the book "Merricat ,said Constance would you like a cup of tea?"

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Taryn Methenitis 02-16-17 Member Since 2016
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    "One of my favorite books"

    I love this book! If you're a fan of dark, creepy, gothic tales this is for you! Shirley Jackson is magical with her words, I adore this story and feel like it should have been the prequel for an even darker chapter, I didn't want it to end. Fantastic.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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