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Hell House by Richard Matheson
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Hell House (original 1971; edition 1971)

by Richard Matheson

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,159547,020 (3.6)104
Member:sturlington
Title:Hell House
Authors:Richard Matheson
Info:New York, Viking Press [1971]
Collections:Given away or lost
Rating:***1/2
Tags:Horror, 2003

Work details

Hell House by Richard Matheson (1971)

  1. 80
    The Shining by Stephen King (angelikat)
  2. 30
    The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson (sturlington)
    sturlington: Hell House was clearly inspired by The Haunting of Hill House.
  3. 00
    The Medusa In The Shield (Dark Descent) by David G. Hartwell (cammykitty)
  4. 00
    The Supernaturals by David L. Golemon (Scottneumann)
  5. 45
    The Amityville Horror by Jay Anson (Moomin_Mama)
    Moomin_Mama: Both very 70s, a bit dated, scary in places but unintentially funny in others... and both about haunted houses.
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English (52)  French (1)  Finnish (1)  All languages (54)
Showing 1-5 of 52 (next | show all)
Dated, especially in the portrayal of women, but an entertaining tale. Weird ending (not in a good way). We read this for my book club as our "Halloween" read and it fit that theme nicely. ( )
  sparemethecensor | Oct 25, 2014 |
This was a very scary book! could have done with a lot less sexual situations though. ( )
  hredwards | Oct 8, 2014 |
Read for my American Gothic class. I found it strangely exploitative, and it made me uncomfortable. ( )
  sighedtosleep | Sep 1, 2014 |
1.5
I haven't got a clue how to rate this book. There are too many things I found either funny or plain bad. I even waited for a day or so to think about it. On the one hand, I like haunted house theme (half a star for the theme). On the other, there are tons of things which I really didn't like. First, it isn't scary. At all. Sure, there are a few moments that should have been scary, but for me they were plain flat - as if I was watching from above.
Second, I didn't like the characters or how they were presented. Barret, the self appointed unofficial leader of the group of people who were hired to spend a few days in that house, is the worst with his constant patronizing chuckle and calmness.
Simply put: I didn't like this story. The ending is hilarious. I think this story might probably be better as a film. I really thought I'd like this book more. ( )
1 vote Irena. | Aug 26, 2014 |
A classic haunted house novel, this is a fast and well-paced read. Matheson balances tension with the supernatural, and moves smoothly between psychological terror and gruesome horrors. The one drawback of the novel is that the characters simply aren't all that sympathetic. It may be because they need more depth, but regardless, the book would be far more frightening if readers were drawn in to care more for the specific characters at the heart of the book. Instead, the plot and the suspense drive the book by themselves, and while that's plenty of drive to keep a reader engaged...it isn't necessarily enough to keep a reader scared. Simply, I expected to be scared by the book, and while I was interested and sometimes disgusted, I was rarely given any level of a scare.

Honestly? It was worth the read, but I expected a lot more. ( )
  whitewavedarling | Aug 23, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 52 (next | show all)
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With love, for my daughters Bettina and Alison who have haunted my life so sweetly
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It had been raining hard since five o'clock that morning.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0312868855, Paperback)

Rolf Rudolph Deutsch is going die. But when Deutsch, a wealthy magazine and newpaper publisher, starts thinking seriously about his impending death, he offers to pay a physicist and two mediums, one physical and one mental, $100,000 each to establish the facts of life after death.

Dr. Lionel Barrett, the physicist, accompanied by the mediums, travel to the Belasco House in Maine, which has been abandoned and sealed since 1949 after a decade of drug addiction, alcoholism, and debauchery. For one night, Barrett and his colleagues investigate the Belasco House and learn exactly why the townfolks refer to it as the Hell House.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:39:29 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

A group of four people enter Belasco House, known as the "Mount Everest of haunted houses."

(summary from another edition)

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