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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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Member:bfps0cq
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
Rating:***
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Work details

The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson (1959)

Recently added byNickidemus, private library, kalathur, RuthieD, whsschuler, Marcyt75, masland
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English (156)  Japanese (1)  French (1)  Portuguese (1)  All languages (159)
Showing 1-5 of 156 (next | show all)
Shirley Jackson does a wonderful job crafting the vision of a haunted house. The tension builds quickly through this short read. Definitely worth a read if you're looking for something lightly spooky. ( )
  JenLamoureux | Sep 8, 2014 |

"It is a rude shock to turn that corner and get a clear look at Hill House." I managed to spoil myself after two thirds of the book. I could have been quite content not remembering this film. However, something triggered the damn memory and the last third I spent waiting for familiar things to happen.

If I were to rate this book regarding the characters and how I liked them, the second part would get one fat zero. I spent a lot of time wishing I could slap one of them. I have to not loathe the characters I am reading about in order to enjoy the book. I can take it when there is one or two bad ones, or even just one or two good ones, but when all of them manage to be as despicable as they could, then I have a problem. I understand why this isn't a reason people dislike books. I accept it is just me. I hated every single one of them for various reasons later in the story. They were not like that when they arrived at Hill House. Their first conversations are pretty funny.

All that doesn't change the fact that it is well written story. I mean, the language is truly beautiful. So, I won't allow my hatred towards the characters ruin it.
The frightening thing is not openly shown. There are quite a few subtle moments that will make your hair at the back of your neck rise and you might feel the chill they felt at one moment or another. The first part of the book is simply a build-up for the things to come. You keep waiting for something to happen. That anticipation is almost as real as the characters.

I was so pleased to see that even though I've watched the film, the story managed to surprise me in the end. I prefer this ending. It is more sinister.

Compared to [b:Manchester House|7304371|Manchester House|Donald Allen Kirch|https://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1260496406s/7304371.jpg|8717624] and [b:Hell House|33547|Hell House|Richard Matheson|https://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1384259876s/33547.jpg|804298], this one wins. These two are stories with monsters you can see and try to fight.
The most terrifying thing of Hill House is not so easily depicted. ( )
  Irena. | Aug 26, 2014 |
I love Shirley Jackson, I really do. I've always put this book on the back burner because I wasn't in the "mood" for a haunted house story. Little did I know that this is SO much more than that. Okay, yes... it IS a story of a haunted house but what Jackson has done for the haunted genre mirrors what Hitchcock did for the spooky film genre. She knows how to descriptively get into the mind and send icy chills throughout your body. I think one of my favorite things about this book is how much I hated all the characters. Usually when one reads a book full of detested characters, that book is hard to get through. This was not the case for “The Haunting of Hill House”, even though the characters had horrible qualities, it only added to the terror of Hill House. It showed just how far people can fall when faced with madness… one who has deplorable characteristics can somehow become even more intolerable when driven to the edge. I loved every bit of the fall from mediocrity (most books follow the “fall from grace”), Jackson wanted to show that everyone who enters the house will be affected negatively. I would recommend this to anyone who loves a good chill down the spine, the kind of spook we get from watching an Alfred Hitchcock movie. [ai:Alfred Hitchcock|9420|Alfred Hitchcock|http://d.gr-assets.com/authors/1208725187p2/9420.jpg] ( )
  yougotamber | Aug 22, 2014 |
My favorite passage:

"I don't stay after I set out dinner," Mrs. Dudley went on. "Not after it begins to get dark. I leave before dark comes."
"I know," Eleanor said.
"We live over in the town, six miles away."
"Yes," Eleanor said, remembering Hillsdale.
"So there won't be anyone around if you need help."
"I understand"
"We couldn't even hear you, in the night."
"I don't suppose--"
"No one could. No one lives any nearer than the town. No one else will come any nearer than that."
"I know," Eleanor said tiredly.
"In the night," Mrs. Dudley said, and smiled outright. "In the dark," she said, and closed the door behind her.

A fun ghost story without all the blood and gore a lot of them have. Still leaves you wondering. . . ( )
  Mirandalg14 | Aug 18, 2014 |
Excellent book. I have to admit to being surprised at how closely the film seemed to follow the book although I think the film divided the terrors among all the characters rather than just the one. In tone the book reminds me a bit of Affinity except that here the ghostly terror of the house is presented as really happening. I enjoyed how Jackson bends the time so that terrifying events seem to take forever for some and are just moments for others. ( )
  pussreboots | Aug 15, 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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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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