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The Haunting of Hill House (Penguin…
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The Haunting of Hill House (Penguin Classics) (original 1959; edition 2006)

by Shirley Jackson, Laura Miller (Introduction)

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Title:The Haunting of Hill House (Penguin Classics)
Authors:Shirley Jackson
Other authors:Laura Miller (Introduction)
Info:Penguin Classics (2006), Edition: Revised, Paperback, 208 pages
Collections:Your library
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The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson (1959)

Recently added byDoxieLibrarian, biblio99, brookeott, Juliana.Brina, private library, EBT1002
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» See also 467 mentions

English (164)  Japanese (1)  French (1)  Portuguese (1)  All languages (167)
Showing 1-5 of 164 (next | show all)
Jackson’s novel, often hailed as a classic of horror fiction, seems decidedly quaint by current horror standards. While all of the fundamental elements of a haunted house tale feature prominently in this novel—an ill-fated history of death, suicide, and family intrigue, mysterious and unexplained noises, dark passages and an architectural design that appear to defy logic, a remote and isolated locale, strangers assembled to survive in the house cut off from the outside world—the horror (or more precisely, the terror) that occurs in this story is almost too subtle and too muted.

The title of the story might provide some clue regarding the nature of this tale. Note that the title implies that what occurs in this tale is a “haunting”—it does not seem to imply that Hill House *is* haunted but rather that what transpires in the novel is a *haunting.* The main character, Eleanor—an inscrutably lonely romantic prone to imaginative flights of fancy—might very well be the agent of the haunting. That is, rather than the house haunting the characters, in this story, the characters (or rather, the main character) could be haunting the house, as the title implies.

Read this one for the restrained suspense of Jackson’s writing and its value as a cornerstone of the genre, but temper your expectations of spine-tingling frights and sleepless nights. ( )
  jimrgill | Nov 2, 2014 |
My blog post about this book is at this link ( )
  SuziQoregon | Oct 28, 2014 |
Rereading an old favorite. ( )
  vnesting | Oct 26, 2014 |
Just in time for Halloween, a nice scary book. This was a great read. I thought it was going to be about a haunted house but it wasn't at all. It was more psychological than ghosts that go bump throughout the night.

For the rest of the review, visit my blog at: http://angelofmine1974.livejournal.com/80767.html ( )
  booklover3258 | Oct 23, 2014 |
oh this book is so, so good. i didn't love the first 2.5 pages, but by midway through page 3, when she opens chapter 2 with - "Eleanor Vance was thirty-two years old when she came to Hill House. The only person in the world she genuinely hated, now that her mother was dead, was her sister. She disliked her brother-in-law and her five-year-old niece, and she had no friends. This was owing largely to the eleven years she had spent caring for her invalid mother, which had left her with some proficiency as a nurse and an inability to face strong sunlight without blinking." - i was all in.

it's not as scary (in the traditional sense) as i'd expected, but i think it's stronger for it as it's less about the supernatural manifestations in the house and more about the expectation of them that build in the group and with each of the people individually. is the house evil? is anything happening or is it in the occupant's heads? (does mrs. montague not experience any phenomena because there aren't any or because she's not a part of the group the house has chosen?) is theodora mean to eleanor or is that (also?) in eleanor's head? at what point does eleanor really start to go mad, and how much of the story is then called into question because it's told from her point of view? there are so many questions that come up reading this; it's the kind of book that makes you want to go back through and find clues and see how things shift based on how you might answer those questions.

i love the uncertainty that comes with reading this and i understand why it's cited as foundational for so many writers (like stephen king). and yet it reads like it could have been published the day i began reading it.

i can't do this book justice. it's just so good on so many levels. shirley jackson can write and i can't wait to read (and reread over and over again) everything she ever published. ( )
  elisa.saphier | Oct 22, 2014 |
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» Add other authors (18 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Shirley Jacksonprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Dunne, BernadetteNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Edelfeldt, IngerTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
King, StephenIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Miller, LauraIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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First words
No live organism can continue for long to exist sanely under conditions of absolute reality; even larks and katydids are supposed, by some, to dream. Hill House, not sane, stood by itself against its hills, holding darkness within; it had stood so for eighty years and might stand for eighty more.
Quotations
Journeys end when lovers meet.
She could not remember ever being truly happy in her adult life; her years with her mother had been built up devotedly around small guilts and small reproaches, constant weariness, and unending despair. Without ever wanting to become reserved and shy, she had spent so long alone, with no one to love, that it was difficult for her to talk, even casually, to another person without self-consciousness and an awkward inability to find words.
The house was vile. She shivered and thought, the words coming freely into her mind, Hill House is vile, it is diseased; get away from here at once.
When they were silent for a moment the quiet weight of the house pressed down from all around them.
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Wikipedia in English (2)

Book description
Hill House is an eighty year-old mansion built by a man named Hugh Crain. The story concerns four main characters: Dr. John Montague, an investigator of the supernatural; two young women, Eleanor and Theodora; and a young man, Luke, the heir to Hill House, who is host to the others. Doctor Montague hopes to find scientific evidence of the existence of the supernatural. He rents Hill House for a summer and invites several people to stay there as his guests. Of these invitees, whom he has chosen because at one time or another they have all experienced paranormal events, only Eleanor and Theodora accept.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0143039989, Paperback)

Shirley Jackson's The Haunting of Hill House has unnerved readers since its original publication in 1959. A tale of subtle, psychological terror, it has earned its place as one of the significant haunted house stories of the ages.

Eleanor Vance has always been a loner--shy, vulnerable, and bitterly resentful of the 11 years she lost while nursing her dying mother. "She had spent so long alone, with no one to love, that it was difficult for her to talk, even casually, to another person without self-consciousness and an awkward inability to find words." Eleanor has always sensed that one day something big would happen, and one day it does. She receives an unusual invitation from Dr. John Montague, a man fascinated by "supernatural manifestations." He organizes a ghost watch, inviting people who have been touched by otherworldly events. A paranormal incident from Eleanor's childhood qualifies her to be a part of Montague's bizarre study--along with headstrong Theodora, his assistant, and Luke, a well-to-do aristocrat. They meet at Hill House--a notorious estate in New England.

Hill House is a foreboding structure of towers, buttresses, Gothic spires, gargoyles, strange angles, and rooms within rooms--a place "without kindness, never meant to be lived in...."

Although Eleanor's initial reaction is to flee, the house has a mesmerizing effect, and she begins to feel a strange kind of bliss that entices her to stay. Eleanor is a magnet for the supernatural--she hears deathly wails, feels terrible chills, and sees ghostly apparitions. Once again she feels isolated and alone--neither Theo nor Luke attract so much eerie company. But the physical horror of Hill House is always subtle; more disturbing is the emotional torment Eleanor endures. Intense, literary, and harrowing, The Haunting of Hill House belongs in the same dark league as Henry James's classic ghost story, The Turn of the Screw. --Naomi Gesinger

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:18:41 -0400)

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The four visitors at Hill House-- some there for knowledge, others for adventure-- are unaware that the old mansion will soon choose one of them to make its own.

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