I’m not gonna buy this book out of principle. The Sample button should be about only that.. sampling the book. Penguin provides us no real content of the book. Not even a single page. just the Introduction. They are treating us would-be readers with contempt so why should we reward them?
This review was first published on Kurt's Frontier.
Dr. Montague is an occult scholar looking for evidence of a haunting. He picks three people for his team. Eleanor is a fragile young woman well acquainted with poltergeists. Theodora is his cheerful assistant. Luke is the future heir of Hill House and is present to represent his family. What is intended as a spooky encounter with inexplicable phenomena will soon become far more than they imagine. Cold spots, closing doors, and knocking will take a sinister turn. Hill House will choose one to make its own.
Shirley Jackson published The Haunting of Hill House in 1959. There is a trace of insanity in the writing to mirror the insanity of the house. Dr. Montague, who arranged the investigation, notes that the angles of the house are all intentionally slightly off. The investigation starts off innocently enough with doors never staying closed. The next night there is a strange dog and knocking on the wall. From there the encounters get more disturbing. What is more, they seem to be focusing on Eleanor.
I found the setting intriguing and the events had potential. It mixes the genres of horror with psychological thriller, mapping a descent into madness. The dialog was typical for the writing of the era in which Shirley Jackson wrote. Though the artistic nature was well crafted, it was hard to follow in places. Never-the-less, while not as spooky as it could be, it was a fun All Hallows Eve read.
I download a sample to see if I'd like to buy it and all you give me is an intro that has nothing to do with the story. No sample of the actual book?! What's the point?
One of the classic haunted house stories. The story will possess you the way the house possesses them. And just a touch of Jackson's biting domestic commentary for contrast.
If you're expecting a simpleminded, gory, Hollywood style horror story - which it seems some of the negative reviews expect - forget it. This is a superbly written, tightly crafted psychological portrait of a young, lost woman. Twisted Hill House is the foil for cruelty, guilt, loss and desperation, terrifying as you witness fragile, emotionally exploited Eleanor break down slowly and so poetically. This is really good literature - to enjoy it, you must appreciate delicately-rendered, methodically-paced internal dialogue, which will make you question the line between reality and mania. And if you're really good with characters, you might perceive a little bit of No Exit mixed in with gothic details.
This book rings like a bell: every sentence is perfect. Like a great short story, it's at once emotionally involving and totally heartless. Jackson's not just trying to scare us, though Haunting is creepy in a deep, lingering, slightly icky way. No, she's also telling the truth about something to do with family, hope, desire ... you know. Things like that. Things that live in houses.
More Turn of the Screw than Saw. Way less silly than Lovecraft. Absolutely worth reading, unless you equate subtlety with dullness.
Trying to understand why this is a top pick for horror novels of all time. Frankly didn't find any parts particularly "frightening". Scares left to reader's imagination.
Completely over rated...not scary at all. I also wish I could get my money back. any good suggestions?
It was a tough book to read. For those of you who rated this book as the scariest book you've ever read, I guess you've been deprived. Wish I could get my money back.
Recommended by Stephen King in Danse Macabre, it was well worth the read. Frightening in the mental images it calls to mind. The story is moved along fluidly with just the right amount of alternating dialogue and narration. A spooky book that's well-written.