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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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5,23472848 (3.54)1 / 249
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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Showing 1-5 of 71 (next | show all)
The dark and suppressive nature of a Hawthorne novel is not new to our group. We read The Scarlet Letter a few years ago, so there were no big surprises this month with our return visit to this American classic writer.
It could be the time of year, but most struggled to complete this (what some described as tedious) novel and were at odds to comprehend exactly where Hawthorne meant to go with it. The plot seemed non-existent, which didn’t help getting you through the monotonous rambling descriptions Hawthorne so loves.
We discussed the style that seemed so popular in the day and compared its likeness to Dickens and Bronte. In a time when there was little in the way of visual entertainment, novels of this sort would have been an important diversion from everyday life. So Hawthorne’s long and illustrative narrative may well be daunting to us modern readers, but we can see how it worked in a time of romance novels (when in fact all novels were considered ‘romance’).
The term ‘gothic’ was also bantered around and Cathy, who did not think she would take to this book, found herself quite enjoying this dark, boding tale and believes she could be reading one of the first gothic novels written.
In the end, we decided Hawthorne was able to weave an exemplary kind of magic with his words (his many, many words) and that alone is worthy of consideration, and a read.
  DaptoLibrary | Dec 21, 2014 |
This gothic novel is as much about the setting of the creepy old house as it is about the characters. The building of the house of the seven gables by colonel Pyncheon at the expense of the Maule family begins generations of bad luck for the Pyncheons. When we meet the family, there are only a few members left and things are looking bleak for the continuation of the family line. Hawthorne creates a suspenseful mystery around the family and very slowly reveals answers.

I really enjoyed this book. The language was flowery and gothic without being silly and I thought the pacing, while admittedly drawn out, was appropriate. ( )
  japaul22 | Jul 20, 2014 |
Shallow story which approaches "gothic", but layered with high quality vignettes. Each page is a delight even if they don't add up to much of a sum. ( )
  DromJohn | Jun 10, 2014 |
It took me a really long time to get through this book, but I'm not really sure why. I enjoyed every moment of it and found the writing clever and accessible. I picked it up initially because I remembered enjoying The Scarlet Letter in highschool and wanted to revisit Hawthorne, but decided to read something I was completely unfamiliar with so that I could decide what my feelings were about his writing without being influenced by my experiences being taught it in school. I liked The House of the Seven Gables far more than I liked The Scarlet Letter, and had an excellent time getting to know the characters -- including the house itself, which functions very much like a character throughout the novel.

The House of the Seven Gables is about the Pyncheon family and their family home, and mainly concerns elderly Hepzibah Pyncheon and her brother Clifford Pyncheon as they struggle against Judge Pyncheon who seeks to uncover a missing fortune. Their story is reflective of what we are told about the entire Pyncheon family history, and there are hints and connections placed around the book about their past and the infamous Pyncheon family curse.

The story is suspenseful and moves along at a moderate pace, though we are given a lot of very pleasurable images of the house and the town and the smaller characters within it. Though it's a very serious book in most ways, there are instances of light-heartedness that I found very refreshing. Hawthorne's prose style is inviting and captivating. I'm excited to continue reading his work. ( )
  vombatiformes | Apr 16, 2014 |
I was bored to death. It felt like reading a journal, like a case study. Hawthorne really loves his adjectives, a lot of describing and less ACTION! (haha) Where's the ghosts? Where's the so-called "romance", not even a kiss! If the characters are trapped inside the HOUSE, the novel also had me trapped, it seemed to never end!!! It was too gloomy, sad, miserable and all of its synonyms!

The last 3 chapters were actually bearable. Maybe because its nearing the end (hehe). Nice happy ending to a really really gloomy book. ( )
  krizia_lazaro | Mar 6, 2014 |
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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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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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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.
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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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:02:39 -0400)

(see all 8 descriptions)

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

(summary from another edition)

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