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The House of the Seven Gables by Nathaniel…
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The House of the Seven Gables (original 1851; edition 2001)

by Nathaniel Hawthorne

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5,53281782 (3.51)1 / 260
Member:jreeder
Title:The House of the Seven Gables
Authors:Nathaniel Hawthorne
Info:Adamant Media Corporation (2001), Paperback, 336 pages
Collections:Read but unowned
Rating:****
Tags:Fiction, Historical, Mystery, Colonial New England, Salem Massachusetts

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The House of the Seven Gables by Nathaniel Hawthorne (1851)

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Albeit a tedious read, I'm respecting the fact that is a classic reflecting the
dark romanticism of the period. ( )
  pennsylady | Jan 23, 2016 |
The House of the Seven Gables
★★★

I decided to read this as a kind of Christmas ghost read, however it was more a psychological study of the effect of guilt on families.

The story begins with a brief history of the Pyncheon family and how the house of the seven gables came to be built. The land was originally inhabited by a poor man called Matthew Maule who had built his family a small hut and garden when Colonel Pyncheon decided he wanted that land as part of his epic mansion house, when Maule refused to give in Pyncheon arranged for him to be found guilty as a wizard. When he is executed Maule curses the Colonel and all his family.

Maule's curse does not take long to work the stream and well which made the house so desirable become clogged and not long after the house is finished the Colonel dies in his chair.

Down the generations there appears one descendant who is the embodiment of the old Colonel a harsh, determined and often brutal man who looks like the portrait that must be kept hanging in the house.

The novel then moves on to detail the lives of the current Pyncheons, Hepzibah, Clifford, Phoebe and Judge Pyncheon.

The house of the seven gables is a bleak place that sucks the life from its inhabitants and along with the house the family appear to have inherited a guilt about how Matthew Maule met his end, what remains to be seen is can the current generation escape from the curse?

An interesting gothic read but not the ghost story I was hoping for ( )
  BookWormM | Jan 15, 2016 |
What a boring book. Nothing really happens in the whole book. Hepzibah Pyncheon opens a shop, her cousing Phoebe comes to live with her and then her brother Clifford returns home and they all hate Judge Pyncheon. I could care less about any of the characters and have no idea why this is one the 1001 books to read before you die list. ( )
  RachelNF | Jan 15, 2016 |
A spooky classic for October. This reminds me of a Shirley Jackson's 'The Haunting of Hill House' but with more to say about the human mind and situation than I remember from Hill House. The psychology that Hawthorne presents here for his characters is most impressive. No matter who the character, Hawthorne can seamlessly create an inner life: what comes with Hepzibah's solitude. The prison of the mind that comes after the incarceration of Clifford. At times I could relate to Hepzibah, Clifford and Phoebe. The ending seems to wrap a little too conveniently and perfectly for everyone, but Hawthorne's delving into so many minds was worth it. So much more here than "the wrongdoing of one generation lives into the successive ones". ( )
  booklove2 | Dec 31, 2015 |
Two venues for mud runs happen to bear the name of the author of The House of the Seven Gables: Hawthorne Racecourse in Cicero, IL, and Hawthorne, NJ. This is perhaps what induced one LT reviewer here to write: "I read somewhere that trying to read Hawthorne is like trying to run through mud."

In a rather strange coincidence, John Updike once wrote that "Reading Pynchon is like reading a very long Popeye strip, without the spinach." (Life, 61, No. 19, November 4, 1966) When you know that Hawthorne decided to make the House of the Seven Gables the dwelling of the Pyncheon family, the ancestors of Thomas Pynchon, the similarity of the two analyses is striking. I even wonder if Updike is the author of the comment on Hawthorne in my opening paragraph.

I too experienced falling asleep after 3 pages of The House of the Seven Gables; spending 3 weeks to read it; being interested in the last 3 chapters only; being bored to death by the circumlocutions and the long incised sentences.

But perhaps will I, for all these reasons, remember this book longer than if I had loved it. Strange, isn't it? ( )
1 vote Pepys | Sep 18, 2015 |
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» Add other authors (90 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Hawthorne, Nathanielprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Brooks, Van WyckIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Colby, Homer W.Illustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Davidson, Cathy N.Afterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fogle, Richard HarterIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Furst, ClydeEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lathrop, George ParsonsIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
MacEwen, MaryIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Moffett, H. Y.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Peters, DonadaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schirmer, DukeAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stern, Milton R.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Half-way down a by-street of one of our New England towns, stands a rusty wooden house, with seven acutely peaked gables facing towards various points of the compass, and a huge, clustered chimney in the midst.
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This is the main work for The House of the Seven Gables by Nathaniel Hawthorne. It should not be combined with any adaptation, abridgement, etc.
ISBN 0809598752 is a Wildside Press publication.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0553212702, Mass Market Paperback)

In a sleepy little New England village stands a dark, weather-beaten, many-gabled house. This brooding mansion is haunted by a centuries-old curse that casts the shadow of ancestral sin upon the last four members of the distinctive Pyncheon family. Mysterious deaths threaten the living. Musty documents nestle behind hidden panels carrying the secret of the family’s salvation—or its downfall.

Hawthorne called The House of the Seven Gables “a Romance,” and freely bestowed upon it many fascinating gothic touches. A brilliant intertwining of the popular, the symbolic, and the historical, the novel is a powerful exploration of personal and national guilt, a work that Henry James declared “the closest approach we are likely to have to the Great American Novel.”

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:24:13 -0400)

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The curse of Matthew Maule descends on seven generations of the inhabitants of an old New England house.

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