Read La casa dei sette abbaini by Nathaniel Hawthorne Mario Manzari Online


In una cittadina della Nuova Inghilterra esiste una vecchia casa di legno, adorna di sette frontoni. Un'aura di tragedia spira intorno ad essa: si dice che il terreno su cui sorge appartenesse un tempo a un umile pioniere che essendosi ostinato a non cederlo al giudice Pyncheon, puritano avido e spietato, era stato giustiziato come stregone. Il giorno stesso dell'inaugurazIn una cittadina della Nuova Inghilterra esiste una vecchia casa di legno, adorna di sette frontoni. Un'aura di tragedia spira intorno ad essa: si dice che il terreno su cui sorge appartenesse un tempo a un umile pioniere che essendosi ostinato a non cederlo al giudice Pyncheon, puritano avido e spietato, era stato giustiziato come stregone. Il giorno stesso dell'inaugurazione della casa, costruita sul terreno carpito, il giudice moriva di un colpo apoplettico. Morti e vicende misteriose si susseguono......

Title : La casa dei sette abbaini
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9788806121600
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 347 Pages
Status : Available For Download
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La casa dei sette abbaini Reviews

  • Kim
    2019-02-17 22:48

    OHMYFREAKIN'GAWD.Why the hell did I pick this up again? Life's too short, you say? You have 200+ other books on your 'to read' shelf and this was sucking your will to read? Give it up! You're right... all of it... and my answer is... my excuse being... because I'm freakin' stubborn. ItsHawthorne . I mean how much more New Englandy can you get? I couldn't just--- give up... I'd be betraying my countryman... Whatever. For a few years, in my younger days, I worked down the street from the House of the Seven Gables and I'd always get this literary stab of guilt for not having read it. I'd never fully look it in the eye, feeling the shame wash over me. Its judgmental gables peeking out at me while I'd sit by the lighthouse eating lunch. I want it all back. All those years of remorse. I could definitely put it to better use. And you know what? It's not such a bad story, really. It's got murder, witchcraft, a creepy house, a curse, a spinster and her childlike convict brother, some mystery hottie and a fair maiden. You throw in an organ grinder and some insolent chickens and you've got the making of a great short story. See there? What I did? I said 'short story.' But what Hawthorne does, and what irritates the fuck out of me, is draw out the narrative and then... draw it out some more. It gets to the point where you (read: me) throw the damn book down, cursing and feeling like you've just been scolded by your high school english teacher for not appreciating its nuances. Ugh. Double frickin' UGH.Example: Do I really need 8 pages describing the gardens? Or does he really feel he's being clever when he writes 18 pages playing out the death of one of the characters? (oops---spoiler---my bad) I get it...ha ha... yer just full o' wit there, Nate.I will say that there was one little salacious scene that had me all a twitter and thinking that I might see some girl on old decrepit man action: "On Clifford's part it was the feeling of a man naturally endowed with the liveliest sensibility to feminine influence, but who had never quaffed the cup of passionate love, and knew that it was now too late. He knew it, with the instinctive delicacy that had survived his intellectual decay. Thus, his sentiment for Phoebe, without being paternal, was not less chaste than if she had been his daughter. He was a man, it is true, and recognized her as a woman. She was his only representative of womankind. He took unfailing note of every charm that appertained to her sex, and saw the ripeness of her lips, and the virginal development of her bosom. All her little womanly ways, budding out of her like blossoms on a young fruit tree, had their effect on him, and sometimes cause his very heart to tingle with the keenest thrills of pleasure." I think Nate was dipping into Fanny Hill hoping to quaff his own cup a bit... but, I was bored and of course picked up on this. Maybe I've just read too much. Maybe I'm just expecting too much. I've said before, I grew up on Hungry Mans and the advent of the remote control. Don't pussy foot around. Give me what I want and give it to me now. Okay?

  • Henry Avila
    2019-02-02 20:51

    The illustrious Pyncheon family had quite a useful reign, (but that was long ago) its founder Col.Pyncheon, a stout, merciless Puritan and able soldier, helped wipe out the scourge, the evil threat of the abominable witches, in the honorable Salem trials of 1692. For his just reward, he happened by pure accident, to take over the property of old Matthew Maule. Still, a splendid , beautiful area , the perfect place to set his building, the magnifient Seven Gables,the Colonel's new mansion, for his noble efforts .The wicked Wizard Maule , met his proper end, at Gallows Hill. Things do not stay the same unfortunately, the family and House of the Seven Gables have seen better days... In fact truthfully at one time, few would argue against it being ranked among the best edifices in colonial Massachusetts. That was more than 150 years ago , this building, shall we reinterate is a little run down ( a dump in reality). Hepzibah Pyncheon, an "old maid", with nevertheless a wonderful name is now all alone, the only exception a young boarder, Mr.Holgrave. A daguerreotypist, as a resident, the poor Hepzibah has to open a cent store, also to make a living what a humiliating situation for an upper class woman, from a formerly prominent family. Also visiting a relative Phoebe Pyncheon, a penniless country cousin, with all that implies, the girl has no idea why the brother of Miss Pyncheon, Clifford. returns home after 30 years, was it for some crime ? Nobody is talking and the 17- year- old- girl, doesn't ask too many questions, she is a guest after all and very grateful. Judge Jaffrey Pyncheon, a rich distinguished man, once a member of Congress, and his son traveling around Europe, somewhere, are the last male Pyncheons, not counting the unfortunate and sick Clifford, nobody does. People stay away from the strange house rumors about ghosts and unexplained deaths, are a constant source of gossip, for the dull town. The bored Clifford likes to blow soap bubbles from the second story of the mansion, one hits his haughty cousin, the distinguished gentleman on the nose.The prosperous relative now has an excuse to visit, wanting to talk to Clifford, about a vague proposition, but the nervous ex-inmate, blames the aloof magistrate for his troubles, refuses. A dark , strange, thick atmosphere engulfs the premises, the ancient crumbling, House of the Seven Gables, will some sunshine ever brighten it ? A classic novel, not as exciting as when it was first published, yet worth reading still. Over a century and a half, after being first written, many events have shocked the world, making this rather mild in comparison. Did Hawthorne's, ( author of The Scarlet Letter, a monumental work) , evil ancestors, involvement in the notorious Salem kangaroo trials, gullible adults fooled by emotional, delusional bad children , with no conscious...These killing of innocent people, haunt the great author?

  • Fernando
    2019-02-17 16:43

    Descubrí a Nathaniel Hawthorne a través Herman Melville, uno de mis escritores preferidos. Melville y Hawthorne se hicieron grandes amigos a punto tal que Melville le termina dedicando su obra cumbre Moby Dick: "En señal de admiración a un genio este libro está dedicado a Nathaniel Hawthorne." Melville siempre destacaba, un atributo sobresaliente de Hawthorne que según sus propias palabras "Es la negrura en Hawthorne lo que tanto me atrae y me fascina. Los grandes genios son parte de los tiempos". Otro gran admirador de la prosa de este autor fue Edgar Allan Poe. En su reseña del libro "Cuentos dos veces contados", Poe resalta: "Los rasgos distintivos de Hawthorne son la invención, la creación, la imaginación y la originalidad y Hawthorne es original en todos los sentidos". Ahora bien, todos estos cumplidos y gestos de admiración seguramente en el caso de Poe se centran en ese libro que es un volumen de cuentos, mientras que Melville lo hace puntualmente sobre sus novelas. Tal vez el estilo de escritura es lo que atraía a Melville, quien en algunas de sus novelas empleaba un estilo similar.Leer "La casa de los siete tejados" es un libro de lectura lenta. Muy lenta. Hawthorne se toma demasiadas vueltas para explicar una acción o para definir los rasgos de un personaje y esto hace que todo se torne por momentos exasperante, insoportable. Algo parecido me sucedió con "Pierre, o las ambigüedades", casualmente de Melville.Dado que poseo por Hawthorne una estima que proviene de ese volumen de cuentos que también maravilló a Poe, es que intenté proseguir de la forma más estoica hasta el final de este libro, escrito en 1851 y que posee todas las características de la incipiente literatura de Estados Unidos, a comienzos del siglo XIX. Debemos tener en cuenta que estos tres autores que nombro, sumado a otros de la talla de Irving, Tennyson, Longfellow o Emerson son los que se consideran como pioneros de la literatura norteamericana.La casa de los siete tejados posee algunos destellos del puritanismo que formó parte de la vida ancestral de Hawthorne. Recordemos su familia, oriunda de Salem poseen una relación directa con el puritanismo extremo. Es más, su abuelo John Hathorne (sin la w) había formado parte de ese tribunal de inquisición que se dedicó a juzgar y ejecutar brujas allá por el tumultuoso año de 1690.Pero Hawthorne, escribe esta novela utilizando un recurso que me parece más que interesante: el personaje principal de la novela no es ninguno de los miembros de la familia Pyncheon, sino precisamente La casa de los siete tejados. De la misma manera que lo hiciera Edgar Allan Poe con su cuento "La caída de la casa Usher" o del emblemático caso de "El castillo de Otranto" de Horace Walpole, Hawthorne transforma a la vieja y ruinosa mansión en la estrella del lugar.Este caserón de siete techos, enorme, ominoso y lúgubre ya desde su fundación ejerce una opresión extrema en quienes lo habitan. A partir de la muerte del Coronel Pyncheon el mismo día de su inauguración, todos los descendientes de la familia sentirán agobio, desasosiego y asfixia al punto tal que sucederán las inevitables desgracias que se narran en la novela.De todos modos, es importantísimo aclarar que este no es para nada una novela de terror, ni de características completamente góticas, sino que posee ciertos elementos que el autor utiliza como adornos para sostener andamiaje de narrativo y argumental.Tan pronto termina la confrontación entre el supuesto brujo Matthew Maule y el Coronel Pyncheon, la historia avanza para centrarse propiamente en la vida de uno de los descendientes, la solterona Hepzibah Pyncheon junto a otros miembros de la familia como su anciano hermano Clifford Pyncheon, su joven sobrina, Phoebe y otro miembro que tendrá importancia en el relato, me refiero al Juez Jarrey Pyncheon.Hepzibah, una mujer ya entrada en la ancianidad deberá afrontar la realidad de una familia venida a menos hasta caer casi en la miseria y para ellos deberá afrontar recursos extremos contando con la ayuda de su sobrina, quien aportará algo de frescura ante tanto deterioro y abandono. Sucederán cosas que alarmarán a los personajes y que formarán parte de los últimos capítulos del libro para llegar a un final un tanto interesante, pero que no levanta el nivel de monotonía con el que Hawthorne le imprime a la historia. El arcaísmo de las frases, las eternas descripciones, la adjetivación desmesurada y el filosofismo refinado del autor entorpece el normal transcurso de la historia, haciendo que varios lectores desistan de seguir leyendo el libro y lo abandonen. Yo estuve tentado a hacerlo, pero no soy de abandonar la lectura de un libro y tendría que hacer memoria para recordar cuál puede ser ese libro que dejé inconcluso, pero debo reconocer que leer éste me demandó grandes esfuerzos para no claudicar y es algo que por ejemplo nunca me sucedió leyendo "La letra escarlata", otra de las novelas icónicas de este autor.Personalmente, creo que lo mejor de Hawthorne está en sus cuentos, algunos de ejecución perfecta, como el kafkiano "Wakefield", al que considero su mejor cuento o aquellos de tenor fantástico, como "La Hija de Rapaccini", "El experimento del Dr. Heidegger" y "La niña de hielo (un milagro infantil), que es bellísimo.En el caso de las novelas, creo que los lectores no acostumbrados a este tipo de autores chocarán con una barrera. Para libros como este es necesario armarse de paciencia y tiempo ya que como dije, su lectura es lenta, intrincada y puede tornarse aburrida y eso es lo peor que le puede pasar a un lector.Franz Kafka dijo una vez “Pienso que sólo debemos leer libros de los que muerdan y apuñalen. Si el libro que estamos leyendo no nos obliga a despertarnos como un puñetazo en la cara, ¿para qué molestarnos en leerlo?"Con "La casa de los siete tejados" la frase de Kafka me vino a la cabeza, pero fiel a mi estilo de no abandonar la lectura del libro no lo hice. Tal vez por el respeto y aprecio que le tengo al querido Nathaniel Hawthorne.

  • Werner
    2019-02-15 22:50

    Note, May 14, 2016: I edited this review just now to make a slight factual correction.During the Salem witch hysteria of 1692, when real-life accused witch Sarah Good was about to hanged, she pointed at one of the witch hunters, Rev. Nathaniel Noyes, who was looking on approvingly, and shouted, "I'm no more a witch than you are, and if you murder me, God will give you blood to drink!" (an allusion to Revelation 16:6). Years later, Noyes suffered a throat aneurism, and did die literally drinking his own blood --a fact that wasn't lost on the keepers of New England's traditions.Nathaniel Hawthorne was born and raised in Salem (and lived there much of his adult life), a descendant of the Judge Hathorne who was one of the judges in the witch trials, and the only one who never repented of it later. (The author added the 'w' to his own name to disassociate himself from the judge, and other ancestors who persecuted Quakers, etc.) His family heritage, and the intellectual debates taking place in the New England of his formative years over the region's inherited Calvinist orthodoxy, prompted him to give a lot of serious attention to questions of predestination, original sin, and inherited guilt. The House of the Seven Gables can be seen as his most direct literary exploration of these themes. It opens with a recap of the scene described above, but with the names (and, in the case of the "witch," the gender) changed; but it then telescopes time, so that Col. Pyncheon dies of a throat aneurism soon afterwards --on the day of the planned house-warming for the great, seven-gabled mansion he's built on the land he railroaded Matthew Maule to execution in order to steal. (That house is a real structure in Salem, and still stands today, though the Pyncheons are fictitious.) Hawthorne then skips down to his own time, while noting that the intervening generations of Pyncheons have shared their ancestor's nasty personality and, often, his mode of death; bloody aneurisms have run in the family. But not all Pyncheons share the family's legacy of greedy selfishness. Clifford, Hephzibah and Phoebe are decent people, despite being Pyncheons, because they've made their own choices in life as to what kind of people they'd become; for them, inheritance wasn't destiny, and therein lies Hawthorne's major point. Like Hawthorne himself --an Arminian Christian who repudiated the moral outrages his family once stood for-- they've exercised their free will to choose good over evil. Not everybody does that; but everybody can do it, and has a moral responsibility to do it, a view totally opposite to both Calvinist predestinarianism and modern chemical/social determinism. In his narrative voice, Hawthorne addresses Judge Pyncheon with the clear language of personal moral responsibility and choice: "Rise up, thou subtle, worldly, selfish, ironhearted hypocrite,and make thy choice whether still to be subtle, worldly,selfish, ironhearted, and hypocritical, or to tear these sins out of thy nature, though they bring the lifeblood with them! The Avenger is upon thee! Rise up, before it is too late!"Both of my Goodreads friends who've reviewed this novel consider it inferior to The Scarlet Letter. I'll concede that point; its plot doesn't have the dramatic tension of the latter (though it has some). It's not as strong in that regard as the author's less well known novels The Blithedale Romance and The Marble Faun, either. But it has its appeal nonetheless; it's perhaps the most Gothic of Hawthorne's novels, and it's message-driven without losing sight of the very real, often poignant human story it's telling.Hawthorne's ornate 19th-century diction isn't problematic to me, but will be a bane to many modern readers. That's a matter of misguided self-conditioning and prejudice in most cases, though, IMO. Contrary to what many modern readers automatically assume, expanding one's vocabulary and being able to decipher complex sentences doesn't take being born with some kind of genius-level IQ; it only takes patience, application and motivation, and I think the pay-off is worth it.Note #1: Joseph Schwartz's "Nathaniel Hawthorne, 1804-1864: God and Man in New England," contained in American Classics Reconsidered: A Christian Appraisal provides an excellent treatment of Hawthorne's often misunderstood religious thought.Note #2: The 1940 movie adaptation starring Vincent Price as Clifford does not follow the novel very closely (big surprise, coming from Hollywood --NOT!) Among other things, the scriptwriters made Hephzibah his love interest rather than his sister. :-(Note #3: Though I've read this book at least twice (originally as a teen), I've never read it in the edition above. The one I own and most recently read has no supplementary material except a good short biography of Hawthorne and a brief Forward and Afterword, all by Andre Norton.

  • Alan Fay
    2019-02-08 20:43

    This is the worst book ever written in the English language that is somehow celebrated against far superior novels from the same era, somehow earning him enough respect to have his crusty face emblazoned onto the Library of Congress.If the story were to take place in modern day Atlanta, it would be about some inbred, old money steel magnolia losing her shit up in Buckhead, and dragging her family down with her while she squanders what little remains of their inheritance on palm readers and telemarketers. Throw in the distant trailer-trash relative from Woodstock, a bum selling Cutco knives, the Gulf War Syndrome addled veteran brother, and Wayne Mason. Besides waiting for people to stop talking and describing things, the rest of the plot centers around walking around the house and hearing the characters complain about their lack of money and prestige.You take that story, rewind it about 175 years, add some baroque embellishment to every sentence you write, using the exclamation mark liberally, and you've got THE HOUSE OF THE SEVEN GABLES!I always imagine Nathaniel Hawthorne as being the trust-fund baby of his time. Having bored himself on sherry and biscuits ("How exhausting"), decides to forgo taking care of his plants, and "retire to his study" to pen a novel for us. He's like the writer of today who leaves his meditation room, hops in his Mercedes-Benz to the nearest Applebee's and scrawls another "Zen and business" book on a cocktail napkin, turning 50 pages of bullshit into 198 in 14 point San Serif font that every pink bubble-faced middle manager is going to have on their office shelf by the end of the week. Nathaniel Hawthorne was that guy, in his day.Why does he get praise for this crap? I think saying that "there are dark psychological themes throughout" is a nice way of saying "having read this, I couldn't decide if I should use the hose to pipe carbon monoxide into my house or to hang myself - oh bother, there's another page." The only interpretation I have is that his contemporaries just wanted to be nice to him and gentleman-like, encouraging him every now and then but for the most part trying to ignore him in the hopes he'd find a different hobby to harp about. Fast-forward and everyone's like "Damn, he must be good!" and for lack of imagination or god-forbid, actually reading the damn book to see if it's any good, it's going to appear on every high school student's summer reading list until the end of times.

  • Joselito Honestly and Brilliantly
    2019-02-17 18:43

    A clueless group here in made this this its book of the month read under the "Horror" genre when there is no horror in it. The author called it, instead, a "Romance" but there is no romance in it, either, except a brief declaration of love for each other of two protagonists towards the end with all its unmistakable phoniness ("How can you love a simple girl like me?" Duh, all men profess to love simple girls!).This is actually a sex book written under the atmosphere of sexual repression during the mid 19th century.There is this big, old house (with seven gables, of course) which has a dark past that can be traced back to a hundred or so years. Displayed inside is a portrait of the house's builder and original owner, Colonel Pyncheon. Its present occupants are a brother and a sister, both Pyncheons too, descendants of the Colonel, both decrepit and poor. The brother, Clifford, had apparently lost his marbles and acts, at times, like a child.They have a border, occupying one of the house's seven gables, a young, good-looking artist. Later comes for a visit (and she eventually became a occupant) another Pyncheon, a cousin of the brother and sister. She's young and pretty. And what would a story be without a villain? So we have Judge Pyncheon, another cousin: rich, powerful and a look-alike of Colonel Pyncheon in the portrait and said to be as evil as the original.Everything needed for gothic sex is here: a big, old gloomy "house"(which, in the dictionary, can mean a brothel), reminiscent of the castle in Marquis de Sade's "120 Days of Sodom"; an unattractive sex-starved character (the sister, a spinster, with a permanent scowl on her face and with a sado-masochistic name "Hepzibah"); one with an infantile taste for sex (the brother named Clifford, off in the head); the stud (the artist/border, Holgrave), a permanent fixture in all porn films; a nubile object of delectation and ready for corruption (the young lady from the country who first came for a visit and with the equally-nubile name "Phoebe"); and a villain (Judge Pyncheon).The first sex scene (symbolically only; remember this was in the 19th century when the Philippines was still firmly under Spanish rule) is where Hepzibah opened up her small store to earn her upkeep, like she is opening her legs for the first time in her life after she is forced to earn money by prostitution. Her first customer is the stud/artist. He asks her if he can assist her any further in her preparation. When Hepzibah--"saw the young man's smile--looking so much the brighter on a thoughtful face--and heard his kindly tone, she broke first into a hysteric giggle and then began to sob."'Ah, Mr. Holgrave,' cried she, as soon as she could speak, 'I never can go through with it! Never, never, never! I wish I were dead, and in the old family tomb, with all my forefathers! With my father, and my mother, and my sister! Yes, and with my brother, who had far better find me there than here! The world is too chill and hard--and I am too old, and too feeble, and too hopeless!'"The stud, Holgrave, however gives her words of encouragement:"'Oh, believe me, Miss Hepzibah, these feelings will not trouble you any longer, after you are once fairly in the midst of your enterprise. They are unavoidable at this moment, standing, as you do, on the outer verge of your long seclusion, and peopling the world with ugly shapes, which you will soon find to be as unreal as the giants and ogres of a child's storybook. I find nothing so singular in life as that everything appears to lose its substance the instant one actually grapples with it. So it will be with what you think so terrible.'"The exchange then continues:"'But I am a woman!' said Hepzibah, piteously. 'I was going to say a lady, but I consider that as past.'"'Well, no matter if it be past!' answered the artist, a strange gleam of half-hidden sarcasm flashing through the kindliness of his manner. 'Let it go! You are the better without it....'"For Clifford, the retard, nothing is more beautiful than Phoebe--"He took unfailing note of every charm that appertained to her sex, and saw the ripeness of her lips, and the virginal development of her bosom."But since he is such a child, all he can do is to touch her flower and smell it--"His feeling for flowers was very exquisite, and seemed not so much a taste as an emotion; he was fond of sitting with one in his hand, intently observing it, and looking from its petals into Phoebe's face, as if the garden flower were the sister of the household maiden. Not merely was there a delight in the flower's perfume, or pleasure in its beautiful form, and the delicacy or brightness of his hue..."With Phoebe by his side his little weapon comes alive--"now with the lesson thoroughly by heart, he could with difficulty comprehend his little airy happiness. Frequently, there was a dim shadow of doubt in his eyes. 'Take my hand, Phoebe,' he would say, 'and pinch it hard with your little fingers! Give me a rose, that I may press it thorns, and prove myself awake by the sharp touch of pain!' Evidently, he desired this PRICK of a trifling anguish..."What about the villain Judge Pyncheon? Here he is compared with the long dead Colonel Pyncheon and the clear implication is that both were as debauch and cruel as any of Marquis de Sade's sick "heroes":"The Puritan (Colonel Pyncheon), again, an autocrat in his own household, had worn out three wives, and, merely by remorseless weight and hardness of his character in the conjugal relation, had sent them, one after another, brokenhearted, to their graves. ...The Judge had wedded but a single wife, and lost her in the third or fourth year of their marriage. There was a fable, however--for such we choose to consider it, though not impossibly typical of Judge Pynchon's marital deportment--that the lady got her death blow in the honeymoon, and never smiled again, because her husband compelled her to serve him with coffee every morning at his bedside, in token of fealty to her liege lord and master."What is this, what is this "serving him WITH coffee every morning at his bedside" like he was her liege lord and master and which was so gross as to be the equivalent of a DEATH BLOW? My lascivious readers, your guess is absolutely correct! What could be more debasing than forcing your wife to give you a blowjob in the morning while she drinks her coffee?

  • Clif Hostetler
    2019-01-30 17:49

    The House of the Seven Gables begins with a preface by the author that identifies the work as a romance, not a novel. That may be the author's preference, but I think most romance fans will be disappointed if they read this book. The book is a classic by a famous American author, so it deserves to be read. Once you finish the book and look over the complete plot, you can see how romantic love has healed a 200-year family curse. Therefore, in that regard it is a romance. However, the experience of reading the book is more like wondering through a dreary haunted labyrinth. I did not find it enjoyable to read. I suppose the book can be considered a parable with a message aimed at the stiff necked 19th Century New England descendants of the Puritans. They are a people who behave in proper ways, but have an ancestral history of executing their neighbors on trumped up charges of witchcraft. They are haunted by a secret guilt of association because of the actions of their ancestors. The story told by this book is about the Pyncheon family that parallels this New England story at large.The book's narrative comes as close as possible to being a ghost story while still remaining within the world of realism. I can imagine that a reader who believes in ghosts can come away from this story with the impression that it is indeed about ghosts. Likewise, another reader who doesn't believe in ghosts will say the story is about people who suspect that there may be ghosts in their lives who are intent on mischief. Either way Nathaniel Hawthorne skillfully weaves a family story filled with angst.One feature of the book that surprised me was the role of Mesmerism (today we call it hypnotism). As described in this book it appears to be occult magic. Likewise, a lot of the melancholia described in this book would today be called clinical depression. Thank goodness for the character of Phoebe in the story. Her young sunny disposition is a breath of fresh air into an otherwise dreary environment. She’s a reminder of the eternal possibility of renewal brought by young people to human society.

  • Teresa
    2019-02-01 18:51

    4 stars for first read; 3.5 for secondIn late September I toured the House of the Seven Gables in Salem, Massachusetts. Our guide, a knowledgeable and entertainingly wry young man, spoke of two additions made to the house after the woman who bought it decided to turn it into a tourist attraction: a room to emulate Hepzibah’s little shop and a secret stairway not mentioned in the text that Clifford must’ve used to be able to suddenly appear the way he does. The latter intrigued me since I didn’t remember anything along those lines, so I decided upon a reread.As I got further into it, I realized only the beginning seemed familiar and I started to wonder if perhaps I hadn’t finished the book that first time, though that didn’t seem right either. Perhaps it’s just that the beginning, with its legend of the Pyncheons and the Maules, and then its description of poor Hepzibah setting up shop are still the most memorable scenes. The middle is a lengthy setting-the-stage for a rather anticlimactic denouement, completed with perfunctory explanations, some of which is apparently known of due to mesmerism. I understand why I remember liking it more the first time I read it, as at times I felt that same frisson of ‘gothic-ness’ I felt while reading We Have Always Lived in the Castle. Our guide had mentioned he’d read the book numerous times, adding in a hushed tone that it wasn’t all that great, apologizing when I told him I’d read it. I think I also reread this to prove him wrong, but I’m unable to do so. The main feeling I’ve come away with—that Hawthorne struggled with inherited guilt due to the actions of his ancestor, a ‘hanging’ judge presiding over the ‘witch’ trials—is what I discerned in that brilliant beginning. And what of Clifford’s mysterious appearances? There’s really only one, but it is an important one; and a bit later there’s the mention of another relative having had “secret access” to their uncle’s room: Curiosity satisfied.As I read my old paperback copy, the edges of both the front and back covers shed pieces. (My 1985 edition has a picture of the house on the front; that cover seems to have been removed from Goodreads, though it was here not too long ago.) Last night, as I settled in to finish, the back cover fell completely off the spine. And if I count in a certain way the spaces left behind from the triangles that fell from the front cover, they number seven.

  • William1
    2019-01-28 23:38

    This narrative, published in 1850, starts with a preface by Hawthone explaining his concept of the Romance, which is to be distinguished from the Novel because it provides the writer with greater latitude to takes risks. The Novel is somehow more straightforward, more conservative, less flexible as a vehicle for experimentation.The first chapter gives us the backstory in a kind of lump sum. Most contemporary novelists probably write such a backstory but often cut it, since, lacking action and character, it can seem too schematic and impersonal. Hawthorne's backstory is perhaps no exception. But, it has the virtue of being 160 years old, and that, combined with its antiquated vocabulary, deftly wielded, combines to hook the reader. The backstory spills all the beans of this fantastic narrative, including the heinous crime, the resulting curse, the astonishing event at the housewarming--and the collective guilt that is said to course through each suceeding generation of the Pyncheon family.When we reach the action of the present day, it's a particularly low moment in the Pyncheon family's fortunes. Hepzibah, the permanently scowling seemingly sole survivor of the line, is forced to open what was at the time known as a "cent shop" in a corner of the grand though decaying house. There's nerve-wracking suspense here. Hawthorne seems to wring it from every word. His mode of storytelling is simultaneously achingly and beautifully slow. There's one scene, for example, in which he lingers over a simple breakfast. Each item seems lovingly revealed; there's a sumptuousness to the language that seems to belie the meal's simplicity. The gaze throughout smacks of the voyeuristic; as if the dead, who are no longer permitted such pleasures, were narrating.The narrative is marked by a number of oppositions in terms of imagery: gloom and sunshine, animal and spiritual, age and youth, ugliness and beauty, exhaustion and vitality. Clifford embodies many of these. He is put forth as the spoiled and decadent figure and symbol of the family's fortunes. He is obviously homosexual, something Hawthorne, working in the era he did, could only vaguely touch upon. Yet in the end he is mindful enough to turns this cliché on its head. For Clifford, it turns out, is not the "symbol" of the decaying family, but an individual, just one, from whose shoulders at the end of the book all unfair connotation seems justly lifted.Clifford has an artist's sensibility without the artistry. He is a dilettante. The Daguerrotypist, who lives beneath one of the House's gables, is referred to as "the artist." The contrast is intentional. The fellow with the so-called artistic sensibilities is not an artist at all, but one who makes his living from a simple mechanical process. Clifford, by contrast, lives for beauty. It infuses his every happy moment. Without it he is corpse-like, almost inert.

  • Joe
    2019-02-05 16:45

    I'm so glad you're dead, Nathaniel Hawthorne.So this is a classic horror novel in which nothing at all happens for a few hundred pages except the description of some house, an old hag selling oatmeal, and some guy who may or may not have hypnotized the other chick who's boarding there. There might be something scary but I was too busy falling asleep to notice. If Hawthorne were alive, he'd be a zombie, which I'd totally be okay with because then he could get shot in the head by zombie experts. Take that for wasting my time, you dead bastard! One star! Read it and weep!

  • Jr Bacdayan
    2019-02-03 23:40

    … for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation… Exodus 20:5It has always been a wonder for me why punishment should be as such. Why is this idea of making descendants suffer for their forefather’s mistakes so recurring in literature? Including this passage from the bible, there are countless other works which involve this sad practice; Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The House of Seven Gables is one of the more renowned cases. With the infamous line “God will give him blood to drink!” the life of Coronel Pyncheon and his descendants are tainted with darkness and gloom. But why include the innocent? Why stain the pure with blood before they even take their first breath? It may not be as obvious as such curses, but it occurred to me that even without these often thunderous pronunciations of hexes, the lives of future generations are often so greatly affected by their ancestors that such curses prove to be superfluous in the success or downfall of a lineage. If, say, an ancestor gives you the handicap of poverty, then it is more probable that you would be born in hard circumstances. Having no material advantages at all, you would have to work infinitely to improve your living conditions. Alas, if you are given the advantage of luxury, being born in a well-endowed family, then you owe your well-being to your ancestors. A descendant is almost insured of a good life having such great advantages as money and power without working for it. It is laughable how much our life is dictated by one person’s decision two or three generations before us. This common occurrence in literature of making descendants suffer for their ancestors, in my perspective, is a tool meant to accentuate the power that an ancestor holds over his lineage. It implicates its effects by showing it in a more obvious form. In direct contrast with this lineal punishment is the practice of building a great house for posterity, this is where the house of seven gables comes in. The house, signifying Colonel Pyncheon’s good intentions for posterity, shows how an ancestor can plunge his lineage into wrong thinking of their welfare. The house, it would seem, represents everything that is wrong with the dead making decisions for the living. First, the curse that it incurred. Second, considering the number of his descendants, it proved that so large a house was unnecessary for Colonel Pyncheon’s lineage considering upkeep and maintenance. Third, like the portrait, and considering their history of gloom, it serves as a reminder for all the negativity and sadness that has haunted the home through the years. Aside from these long-term decisions, another recurring point in the novel is the feud with the Mauls. People heedlessly and often without sufficient reason are tangled into bitter conflict because of some unknown spat their grandfathers had years ago. Of course, the resolution of the two clans in the end proved to be more optimistic than expected, but the said rivalry because of lineage is one practice as contemptible as pronouncing punishment unto future generations. In the end, I can only agree with Holgrave’s discourse: “… a Dead Man, if he happen to have made a will, disposes of wealth no longer his own; or, if he die intestate, it is distributed in accordance with the notions of men much longer than he. A Dead Man sits on all our judgment-seats; and living judges do but search out and repeat his decisions. We read in Dead Men’s books! We laugh at Dead Men’s jokes, and cry at Dead Men’s pathos! We are sick of Dead Men’s diseases, physical and moral, and die of the same remedies with which dead doctors killed their patients! We worship the living Deity, according to Dead Men’s forms and creeds! Whatever we seek to do, of our own free motion, a Dead Man’s icy hand obstructs us! Turn our eyes away to what point we may, a Dead Man’s white, immitigable face encounters them, and freezes our very heart! And we must be dead ourselves, before we can begin to have our proper influence on our own world, which will be then no longer our world, but the world of another generation, with which we shall have no shadow of a right to interfere.” Of course, one cannot be so naïve as to brush aside our forefather’s examples and achievements before us. We learn much by their examples and owe our comfort to them, but the daguerreotypist has a point. The living should be more accountable for decisions they make and more responsible for the changes that occur during their lifetime. That being said, we cannot discount that our ancestors will have a major role in determining whether we have our head-starts or our pits, but we should bear in mind that it is only the starting situation they influence. The rest is up to us. We can control our destiny; we have the power to do so. “For, what other dungeon is so dark as one’s own heart! What jailor is so exorable as one’s self!”Hawthorne sought to write a story which would show guilt to be a trick of the imagination. The curse of the Pyncheons and the house of seven gables at the start of the novel is treated as folklore but slowly as the book unfolds turns into something you may consider otherwise. The calamities that befall the clan and the traceable hand that the Mauls play can make you believe the said curse. But as the book ends, a scientific and realistic explanation is given. Sometimes, we put too much weight on what people say about us that we believe it and make it so of our own accord. So that our downfall is sometimes caused by our very own volition. Nobody has power over ourselves but us, what we put into our minds is our choice. Self-pity, self-depreciation, insecurity, all these are mental states; they are but pits dug up by nobody else but ourselves, by our very hands. You dictate who you are, not what people say about you. The house of seven gables is a good read, it shows certain tendencies of the human state that can be improved upon, and it exposes qualities especially regarding lineage and folklore that can be outlived. It shows that the power of the past is but a choice, whether we acknowledge its ruling power or not is a decision made by the present. As with anything else, it has it shares of faults. It gives too much faith on mesmerism and hypnotism despite its alleged aim to disprove myths and curses. Also, it did not live up to certain expectations. The first chapter promised something of an epic sweeping across generations, but the novel only focused on one generation and showed but glimpses of others. I was under the impression of something like of one hundred years of solitude; I got but barely a year. And, sometimes I am given the impression that Hawthorne distrusts his reader’s intellectual capacity. Especially with regards to the chapter entitled “Governor Pyncheon”, he expects his reader to be clueless about a very obvious fact. Of course, this might be considered as style; nevertheless I disliked the treatment on my part. Considering all elements of the book, I can still say that it is worth the time I gave it. The novel ends on a positive note and its optimism despite all its precedent darkness gives light to Hawthorne’s romanticism and virtuosity. In the end, I would like to note that should I sum up the nuggets of wisdom imparted by this book by a sentence, it would read as thus: Live by your own accord, then let others live by theirs.

  • K.D. Absolutely
    2019-02-11 18:02

    An old US colloquial house with seven gables that seem to be mocking heaven. Seven main characters. The old ugly Hepzibah Pyncheon running a candy shop to earn a living for herself and her war-torn brother Clifford Pyncheon. Her face is ugly because she has to squint to see. She needs to wear eye-glasses but she is so poor that she cannot afford to have one. So customers are few except the young adorable boy Ned Higgins who loves gingerbread cookies that he comes back again and again to the candy shop ignoring Hepzibah's face. Hovering in the background is the lone tenant, the daguerreotypist (old style photographer) Holgrave that stuck it up in the house for an unknown reason.Then the other characters come to this old decrepit decaying house one at a time as if Hawthorne is calling them up the stage one by one: the young beautiful Phoebe Pyncheon stepping on the old wooden porch, the cunning and greedy Judge Jaffrey Pyncheon insisting to go inside the house despite protestations from Phoebe, and the frequent visitor who lives nearby, Uncle Venner.This makes this novel remarkable: the characters. Hawthorne has this masterful skill in providing contracts to his characters by highlighting their contrasts, e.g., the ugly but good-hearted Hepzibah vs the sweet-smiling but cunning Jaffrey, the young lovely Phoebe stepping on the porch of the decrepit old house, the young adorable Ned chewing the gingerbread cookies given to him by scary lady, etc. The house with glorious past hiding a dark secret. Images that are so stark and vivid that will stay with you as you close the book.The scare here is not due to a boy and a black man being able to read other people's mind or tell what will happen next. Nor from a lady in the bath tub whose blood-smeared breasts float on the water in a bath tub. The scare here comes from realization that a man's greed that happened long time ago can have an effect to the next generations. You sow and you and also possibly your children and grandchildren reap. The scare here is about man's frailty due to money. We all know that money can be evil. And if you do not have enough of it to pay for our mounting bills, it can result to sleepless nights and can drive you and your family all crazy.For this reason, it's Hawthorne over King.

  • Shawn
    2019-01-19 22:41

    This book dares you to read it. I hadn't thought about putting it up here, because, in fact, I have never finished it. I have the distinction of having had the book assigned to me no less than three times in various college courses, and never once read the whole thing. The problem is I do not care about a single character in this novel. A rich family is cursed because they screwed over a poor family? Great. Where's the conflict? I hate rich people, and didn't want to see them redeemed.The Daguerrotypist? He's a creep. Phoebe. Well, she's only "half-Pyncheon" right, Hepzibah? I had no pity for anyone in this novel, didn't care that the monkey and the Organ grinder were a metaphor for capitalism, and I certainly didn't care when Phoebe and the "artist" seemed to be the new hope for the Pyncheon line. What's in a name anyway?Maybe it's just the extremely nineteenth-centuryness to the book. (Can't be helped really...)I've never been fond of too much pre 1900 stuff, but man, read this book and tell me how many times you find the word "countenance." This works with anything from the period, really. See also Turn of the Screw. Only I liked that book.

  • Janet
    2019-02-08 21:54

    I adore this book. I recall reading it for the first time in my twenties, picking it up at random and being amazed how lively and picturesque the writing was, so different from the dreary Scarlet Letter I remembered from high school. The decline of the Pyncheon family after the curse of old man Maule, a fiercely independent man who’d staked a claim on land and a certain well which the progenitor of the Pyncheon clan, the old Puritan, desired to have for his own. Eventually he'd had Maule hung for a witch, so that he could come into possession of that acreage to build a fine house for his own family, but which came with a curse from the dead man. This curse played out through the generations of Pyncheons, to land in its final decline with old spinster Hepzibah, a mysterious relative and a young girl who arrives from the country, the final generation of Pyncheons to share the House of the Seven Gables.What is especially interesting about this book, besides the fine writing and the wonderful characterizations, is the framework of the novel, in which destiny is written out over the grave of some indelible wrong, touching everyone who came after--in this case, literally on the same plot of land. Hawthorne was the grandson of one of the judges at the Salem Witch Trials, and the legacy hung as heavy over him as the legacy of slavery over the writers of the Southern Gothic tradition. He gave his name an e not to share the same appellation as his ancestor. The past, Faulkner said, is not really over. It's not even past. Love the spookiness and the charm of this book, which he called a Romance rather than a tragedy, for the themes of the resilience of the weak, and the primacy of the living. A lovely book whose delights have been too long ignored.

  • Jason Pettus
    2019-02-17 19:45

    (My full review of this book is much larger than GoodReads' word-count limitations. Find the entire essay at the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography [].)The CCLaP 100: In which I read 100 supposed "classics" for the first time, then write reports on whether or not I think they deserve the labelBook #2: House of the Seven Gables, by Nathaniel HawthorneThe story in a nutshell:Like any good horror story, the spooky House of the Seven Gables actually tells two stories at once: it is simultaneously the historic tale of the cursed Pyncheon family, concurrent owners of a reputedly haunted house in Salem, Massachusetts for over two centuries now, as well as the specific tale of the most recent generation of this family, dealing with the same curse that has haunted all the Pyncheons since Puritan times. It seems that the original owner of the seven-gabled house, old Colonel Pyncheon, ended up getting a man named Maule killed as a witch in order to weasel out of the construction costs of the house itself, even deliberately knowing that the man was innocent; Maule, it seems, as a result issued an infamous curse on the Pyncheon family as he died, one that has haunted any member in those two centuries who's had anything to do with the house in question. In the meanwhile, though, another persistent rumor has been that the Pyncheon family actually owns a whole lot more land in Salem than the simple Seven Gables estate, and that if they could simply find the 200-year-old evidence then they could get the state government to retroactively reimburse them and make them rich, rich, stinkin' filthy rich; and in that respect, House of the Seven Gables is as much a morality tale as it is a horror or haunted-house one, in that any Pyncheon over the decades who takes an interest in finding this old evidence just ends up obsessed with the subject to their ultimate ruin, as surely as the supposed magical curse that also exists, along the tormented ghosts of all those cursed Pyncheons who still supposedly reside within the house's walls.Like I said, as a result the book ends up telling two stories at once, with the majority of it dedicated to the current Pyncheon family at the time of the story itself (mid-1800s): bitter spinster Hepzibah, for example, who has ended up having to open a cent-store on the first floor (basically the Victorian equivalent of a convenience store) in order to make ends meet; her elderly brother Clifford, a broken sad-sack who has just gotten out of jail after spending 30 years there for a crime he didn't commit; Judge Jaffrey, a haughty and hard old man who is thinking of running for governor, and who has become convinced that Clifford knows where the hidden Pyncheon real-estate evidence is; and the sweet-as-sunshine Young Phoebe, a rural cousin who is visiting that summer in order to help out this terminally dour family, and who is like a freakin' little rainbow compared to the rest of the family's endless thunderstorms. Combine with a lot of melodrama, a series of events that are semi-supernatural in nature, and a liberal sprinkling of backstory about the doomed Pyncheons of yore, and you have yourself one very Victorian novel indeed.The argument for it being a classic:...

  • J.G. Keely
    2019-01-23 17:41

    Hawthorne is the equivalent of nudging someone and winking without actually thinking of anything interesting, risque, beautiful, or even useful. It is sad that a man with such a voluminous writing ability was seemingly devoid of any notion of what to do with it.

  • Ioannis Anastasiadis
    2019-02-18 18:34

    Το 1850 ο Ναθανιελ Χοθορν όντας απογοητευμένος από την αιφνίδια απόλυση του από την εργασία του ως επιθεωρητή στο Τελωνείο του Σειλεμ της Μασαχουσέτης, μια απόφαση που ο ίδιος και άλλες προσωπικότητες των γραμμάτων και των τεχνών της εποχής απέδωσαν σε σκοπιμότητες πολιτικών του αντιπάλων, μετακομίζει στο Λενοξ, σε ένα παραθεριστικό κέντρο της περιοχής στο όποιο συχνάζουν διανοούμενοι, συγγραφείς, ποιητές όπως ο Μέλβιλ με τον όποιο συνδέεται φιλικά, ανταλλάσσοντας απόψεις, βιβλία και πολύωρες συζητήσεις για ό’τι μπορεί να φανταστεί κανείς. Αν κ απογοητευτική για τον Χοθορν η περίοδος εκείνη αποτελεί ταυτόχρονα και την γονιμότερη και για τους δυο όσον αφορά την συγγραφική δραστηριότητα καθώς από την μια ο μεν Μελβιλ συγγράφει το επικό του αριστούργημα ‘Μομπυ Ντικ’ , ο δε Χοθορν έχοντας ηδη παραδώσει το ΄Αλικο Γράμμα’ καταπιάνεται με ένα από τα σημαντικότερα μυθιστορήματα του και ένα από τα επιδραστικοτερα της Γοτθικής Λογοτεχνίας, το ‘Σπίτι με τα Εφτα Αετώματα'!Το συγκεκριμένο σπίτι δεν δημιουργήθηκε στο ευφάνταστο μυαλό του Χοθορν αντιθέτως του είναι αρκετά οικείο καθώς το 1804 η δεύτερη ξαδέρφη του Σουζανα Ιγκερσολ κληρονόμησε το οίκημα από τον πατέρα της το οποίο πρωτύτερα ανήκε από την εποχή που χτίσθηκε (1867) στον καπετάνιο Τζον Τερνερ και στους απογόνους του. Στις αρχές του 20ου αιώνα ανακαινίστηκε και σήμερα λειτουργει ως μουσείο με διάφορα events να συμβαίνουν στον εσωτερικό χώρο του σπιτιού με σημαντικότερο αυτό του Οκτωβρίου στο οποίο ζωντανεύουν μπροστά στα μάτια των επισκεπτών οι μυθιστορηματικοί χαρακτήρες του βιβλίου!.. Στις σποραδικές λοιπόν επισκέψεις του Χοθορν στο αρχοντικό του Σειλεμ –την περίοδο εκείνη το σπίτι αποτελούνταν μονάχα από τρία αετώματα- κ στις ιστορικές αναφορές της ξαδέρφης του για την εποχή που το επιβλητικό σπίτι στεφανώνονταν από επτά αετώματα ο Αμερικανος συγγραφέας όχι μόνο γοητεύτηκε από την παλλόμενη ανθρώπινη καρδιά του σπιτιού αλλά εμπνεύστηκε και ένα από τα σημαντικότερα έργα του. ΄΄ It was itself like a great human heart, with a life of its own, and full of rich and sombre reminisces ‘’ Nathaniel Hawthorne. Ένα άλλο σημαντικό γεγονός που επηρέασε τον Χοθορν στην δημιουργία του βιβλίου ηταν οι περιβόητες Δίκες των Μαγισσών στο Σειλεμ (Φεβ 1692-Μαιος 1693), στις οποίες μπροστάρης υπήρξε ο John Hathorne – έμπορος, ειρηνοδίκης και πρόγονος του Ναθανιελ- και κατέληξαν στην εκτέλεση, στην κρεμάλα κ στην φυλάκιση των κατηγορούμενων.Κάπως έτσι αρχίζει και η πλοκή του έργου σε μια πόλη της Νέας Αγγλίας..Ο γερό Μαθιου Μολ νόμιμος κάτοχος μια φτωχικής καλύβας στην μετεπειτα Πιντσιον Στριτ σέρνεται στα δικαστήρια από τον Συνταγματάρχη Πυντσιον με την κατηγορία της μαγείας, εν συνεχεία καταχράται το πενιχρό οίκημα μετατρέποντας το σε ένα αντάξια της κοινωνικής τους θέσης αρχοντικό κ ο άτυχος Μολ εκτελείται με απαγχονισμό. Προτού ξεψυχήσει προλαβαίνει να ξεστομίσει ένα ανάθεμα προς τον εχθρό του, μια καταρα για τις μελλοντικές γενιές των Πυντσιον αποκρύπτοντας ταυτόχρονα ένα μυστικό -και διατηρώντας το εν γνώσει στις ακόλουθες γενιές των Μολ- μυθώδης χρηματικής άξιας. Ο δε πρώτος ιδιοκτήτης του Αρχοντικού βρίσκεται ξαφνικά κ αναίτια νεκρός στην πολυθρόνα του, σε μια συνεστίαση με επιφανείς ανθρώπους την πόλης, επαληθεύοντας τον χρησμό του Μολ.Η ιστορία μεταφέρεται καμπόσες γενιές Μολ και Πιντσιον αργότερα κ σε ενεστώτα χρόνο στην ολιγομελή τελευταία γενιά των Πιντσιον όπου στο φτωχικό πλέον αρχοντικό διαμένουν κατ’ επιλογήν τους: η παρεξηγήσιμη για τον εγκλεισμό της από μια κοινωνία δυσανεκτική σε ο΄τι δεν εξηγείται σύμφωνα με τις δικά της πρότυπα, μα αγαπητή και συγκινητική στους αναγνώστες για την αυταπάρνηση της και την θαλπωρή της, η μυωπική άσχημη γριά Εψιβα, ο αδελφός της Κλιφορντ, ένας συβαρίτης, λάτρης του ωραίου με μυαλό μικρού παιδιού ο οποίος μετά την αποφυλάκιση δεν παραβγαίνει ποτέ από την περίμετρο του σπιτιού παρά μόνο στην στολισμένη από πεντάμορφα λουλούδια μεσαυλη, η ανιψιά τους η Φοιβη η όποια τους επισκέπτεται από έναν αλλοτινό τόπο και καταφέρνει όπως ο ήλιος με τις θαυματουργές ηλιαχτίδες του να φωτίσει κάθε ευχάριστη πτυχή της ανθρώπινης ψυχής τους, σαν μια όμορφη νεράιδα που με το μικρό μαγικό ραβδάκι της νιότης της δίνει μια ολοκαίνουρια υπόσταση σε όλα τα υπάρχοντα του σπιτιού και ένας μυστηριώδης δαγκεροτυπης με τον οποιο συμπληρώνεται και το πάζλ των αινιγματικών χαρακτήρων που πλάθει με τόση μαεστρία κ εξαιρετικά μεγάλο ζήλο ο Χοθορν.Αρκετά πιο πέρα από την οδό Πιντσιον σε μια πλουσιοπάροχη έπαυλη διαμένει ένας άλλος ξάδελφος της Εψιβα, ο Δικαστής Πιντσιον που αναμφίβολα θα μπορούσαμε να πούμε ότι αποτελεί την σύγκαιρη μετενσάρκωση του πανούργου Πουριτανού Συνταγματάρχη όχι μόνο φυσιογνωμικά και γιατί χαίρει της κοινωνικής εκτίμησης λόγω της κοινωνικής θέσης με την όποια είναι ενδεδυμένος –και αλυσοδεμένος θα λέγαμε εμείς- αλλά διότι είναι ο μοναδικός που αγωνίζεται για την αποκάλυψη του μυστικού των Μολ και κυρίως διοτι είναι ο μοναδικός υπεύθυνος για την συνεχεία της παράδοσης του ‘’οικόσημου’’ των Πιντσιον στις επόμενες γενιές. Προβληματισμένος ο Χοθορν εύστοχα παρατηρεί ότι εκτός των φυσικών χαρακτηριστικών που μπορεί να μεταβιβάζονται από γενιά σε γενιά μεταφέρονται με διαφορετικές και πιο σίγουρες διαδικασίες ελαττώματα , αδυναμίες, δόλια πάθη, δυσοίωνες προφητείες. Για την απόκτηση μιας μόνιμης κατοικίας και άλλων αγαθών που δημιουργούν μια ψευδαίσθηση της ευτυχίας ο άνθρωπος είναι διατεθειμένος να διαπράξει κάθε ανηθικότητα, το οποιαδήποτε ηθικό ή ποινικό έγκλημα, να ανοίξει ως άλλη πονηρή Πανδωρα το κουτί των δικών του συμφορών. Όσο για την φυσική παρουσία της σύγχρονης γενιάς των Μολ ας μας επιτραπεί να κρατήσουμε κ εμείς ένα μυστικό συμμετέχοντας στο μυστήριο της καλογραμμένης αυτής Ιστορίας. Σε διάφορες αναδρομές άλλωστε στο παρελθόν ερχόμαστε σε επαφή με καινοφανή εγκλήματα, παραδόσεις, προκαταλήψεις, ζήλιες, αντιπαλότητες και μέσω αυτών με άλλα αξιομνημόνευτα μέλη και των δυο οικογενειών.Ταυτόχρονα με την διάπλαση και την ωρίμανση της μυθιστορηματικής πλοκής διατυπώνεται κ μια ρεαλιστική απεικόνιση της εποχής και της κοινωνίας της Νεας Αγγλιας και της ιδιοσυγκρασίας των κάτοικων της. Η ικανότητα ωστόσο του Χοθορν να διεισδύει στα μύχια της ερεβώδους ψυχής κάθε αινιγματικού ή περιθωριακού ανθρώπου – και πάντα σε σύγκρουση με τα μάτια μιας μικρόνους κοινωνίας - είναι αυτή που εντυπωσιάζει τον διορατικό και έκπληκτο αναγνώστη. Ο Χοθορν αναδεικνύεται σε έναν πραγματικό αριστοτέχνη του γραπτού λόγου όπου η άρτια συγκροτημένη και βαθυστόχαστη σκέψη είναι τα κυρία συστατικά μιας συνεπούς παρατηρητικότητας που τόσο γοήτευσε και τον Μελβιλ ανακηρύσσοντας τον ως έναν από τους πιο ολοκληρωμένους συγγραφείς της Αμερικανικης Λογοτεχνίας.

  • Cabezabajo
    2019-02-03 18:44

    3'5 estrellasA pesar de las muchas recomendaciones y las buenas críticas leídas, cuando empecé este libro iba un poco a ciegas. No sabía si se trataba de una novela costumbrista, gótica o de terror, y tampoco conocía la pluma de Hawthorne, por lo que temía que se me atragantara. En mi opinión, la novela mezcla un poco todos estos elementos. No llega a dar verdadero miedo ni a ser una historia de fantasmas propiamente dicha (por suerte para mi), pero si que existe este aura extraña y sofocante, ese misterio detrás de la historia de la casa y de la familia que la habita que logra inquietarte de una manera muy sutil pero no por ello menos poderosa. Los personajes pueden parecer algo desdibujados y darnos la sensación de que no se ahonda lo suficiente en su personalidad, pero claro, hay que tener en cuenta que la protagonista principal de esta novela es la propia casa de los siete tejados. La historia se desenvuelve a través de ella, nace de ella, y los personajes se relacionan entre sí por su relación con ella. En ese sentido tengo poco que añadir porque creo que es algo obvio y que está desarrollado a la perfección. ¿Por qué entonces 3'5 estrellas? Pues porque la historia no ha terminado de engancharme como hubiera debido. En muchos momentos me salía completamente de la narración y me costaba mucho trabajo volver a ella. Es cierto que hacia el final remonta y ahí sí que me mantuvo pegada a sus páginas, pero desgraciadamente eso ocurrió demasiado tarde para mi gusto.Aún así tengo que admitir que la pluma de Hawthorne me ha sorprendido y estoy muy contenta de haberlo conocido por fin. Seguro que repetiré tarde o temprano.

  • Bruce
    2019-02-08 20:47

    Hawthorne labels his work a Romance rather than a novel, thus giving himself permission to mix an element of the “Marvellous” into the narrative. The work itself begins with sprinkled oddities - a hint of witchcraft and necromancy, a mysterious and possibly supernatural death, the presence of a perpetual family curse, a puzzling mirror rumored to show unusual characteristics, a house itself that is personified. Hawthorne’s language is exquisite, very early 18th century-ish, almost courtly, certainly highly literary and a delight to read, with scholarly language and entertaining complex syntax, altogether dated and altogether charming. I always find it interesting to read literature from the 18th and early 19th centuries, in that it often includes Classical, mythological, and literary allusions, not to say quotations in French, Latin and Greek, that the authors have every reason to presume their readership will find familiar and pertinent. How much we modern readers, for the most part, have lost, and how essentially illiterate we reveal ourselves to be when we must so rely on explanatory editorial footnotes for the routine and obvious.Near the beginning of the book, distinct contrasts are drawn between Hepzibah and Phoebe, between the old and the fresh young. In fact, the latter is presented in such a perfect and sunny way as to alert the reader that something bad will eventually develop. Clifford, apparently just released from prison after thirty years for murder, is now introduced, clearing up some of the mystery generated thus far, and his personality is different from those of the two women; he is self-absorbed, described as a Sybarite, destined to demonstrate self-centeredness, one presumes, again, the bringing ultimately of discord into the picture. The seeds are being sowed for problems to develop in the narrative; what will they be, and how will the development section proceed? A novel can be much like a piece of music, and so far themes are being introduced. And now Judge Pyncheon is added to the mix, another character clearly not to be liked nor trusted, someone how has nothing good at heart toward the rest of the extended family. Strife can be foreseen. And, indeed, as Hepzibah, Clifford, and Phoebe settled into a pattern of life of their own in the old house, the cloud on the horizon, the disruptive potential, is the Judge, and one sense that it is from him that the inevitable storm will arise.By the middle of the story, all that has been definitely established is the apparent existence of a multi-generational curse on the Pyncheon family and an antipathy between the few remaining Pyncheons, pitting Hepzibah and Clifford in their poverty against the Judge in his affluence. Where this will go and how it will resolve itself is unclear, although the reader’s sympathies have been brought to lie with the former two personages. What final role that Phoebe and the daguerreotypist will have is entirely unclear.Imbedded in the center of the novel is the tale by Horgrave, a lodger in the House, of Alice Pycheon, and his telling of it seems to advance the rapport between himself and Phoebe. At any rate, the continuing malignant sentiments of the Judge toward Clifford are revealed, or at least reinforced, since they were intimated much earlier. What had not been known, however, was that the Judge had been instrumental in Clifford’s imprisonment. All of this makes ominous Phoebe’s coming departure from the household, even though it is implied that her absence is intended to be temporary. Indeed, Horgrave himself predicts some tragic “fifth act” to the long and dismal saga of the Pyncheons; one cannot help but feel the cumulative weight of grimness beginning to gather and approach, presumably via the machinations of the Judge. Phoebe’s being out of the way will facilitate the denouement, no doubt.And now we are made aware of some incident in the Judge’s past, some apparent crime, something remaining hidden that makes him both evil and vulnerable. It is with this knowledge and background that a fateful interview between the Judge and Clifford is about to occur, Clifford being threatened with being placed in a lunatic asylum if he does not provide the Judge with the information he demands. The interview, however, never occurs, the Judge being found in the parlor stone dead while awaiting Clifford. Clifford and Hepzibah flee by railroad to heaven knows where.Finally, everything resolves itself, without the necessity of anything fantastic, nothing magical, no deus ex machina. It is a good tale, and I always enjoy leisurely 18th century writing, descriptive and philosophical.

  • Gkc3of9
    2019-02-12 19:00

    Just a quick comment about Hawthorne's claim this is a "romance". Many posts here misunderstand the author's definition of the word romance, thinking he means the kind of book found in the romance section of the modern bookstore that includes Nora Roberts and the like. This is NOT the kind of romance the author is claiming for this novel. More closely akin to what Hawthorne means for the modern reader would be "fantasy", that is, not a story of realism, but arising from a creative liberty which may dispense with realism in order to draw forth that which can only be revealed by looking through the real to something like what Wordsworth termed, "something more deeply interfused" within the real and revealed only by the imagination. Wordsworth was a "Romantic" poet. So was Keats who said, "I am certain of nothing but the truth of the imagination and the holiness of the heart's affection." So, if you read this expecting Danielle Steel and were disappointed, it wasn't the author who misled you, it was modern book publishers by limiting that section of the bookstore to a very particular kind of "Romance".

  • Obsidian
    2019-02-14 22:03

    Please note that I gave this book half a star and rounded it to 1 star on Goodreads.Bah. Bah a thousand times. I have no idea why I started reading this. I think for the Halloween Book Bingo and I ended up switching it out. This thing was painful to read. I don't even know what to tell you besides if you must read this, just pace yourself since trying to force read this thing was not fun at all. At least the last 10-15 pages were just about Project Gutenberg though. I am going to complain though that my library does not have this as an e-book to download, I had to read it via Overdrive which means I had to either read this via computer or my cell. I am so used to downloading my books to my Kindle for IPAD this was another reason why it took me so long to finish.The long and short of it about this book is following a family and their ancestral home in New England taking place in the late 1800s. At first with describing the home and how the family (Pyncheon) came to own the land that the home was built on. At first I was intrigued since it sounded like something supernatural was taking place. But then the book jumps to the current resident of the home ( Hepzibah, say that 10 times fast) and I lost interest. There are additional characters here and there, but nothing really works. The best part of the book is when Hawthorne describes the grounds and house that sits there.Other than the house, the whole book moves at a plodding pace.We have the characters of Phoebe Pyncheon who moves in with her cousin Hepzibah and of course has all of the men falling for her.I don't know what to say really besides the fact the flow was terrible throughout. Nothing happens and there's a lot of well maybe this is haunted (the colonel's chair) but nothing is really sad for certain. I wish that the setting had come more alive for me while reading this book. I just couldn't picture things well at all and had to look up pictures of the house to get things more fixed in my mind while reading.The ending was a big shrug from me. I am so glad I can finally stop seeing this thing on my currently reading list.

  • Омаира
    2019-01-21 20:51

    4.8"¿Por qué tienden los poetas a elegir a sus compañeras sin atender a que exista una similitud de dotes poéticas entre ellos, sino por unas cualidades que tanto podrían hacer feliz al artesano más rudo como a esos artífices ideales del espíritu? Probablemente sea porque, en su elevada situación el poeta no necesita de contacto humano, pero le da miedo descender algún día y sentirse un extraño" Esta es la primera novela gótica que leo con plena conciencia de que lo es, es decir, sabiendo mínimamente del tema (no soy estudiante -todavía- de literatura). Investigando un poco sobre ello, he visto que hay claras diferencias entre la novela gótica americana y la gótica europea. La principal: el escenario. En América no hay castillos del siglo XIII, por lo tanto, ¿qué utilizamos? Las casas coloniales de estilo inglés, en este caso me parece que se trata de un estilo Old English, pero no me hagáis mucho caso. En el resto la verdad es que el género no tiene muchas variantes. La Casa de los Siete Tejados narra los acontecimientos que desde la construcción de la mansión se sucedieron hasta el siglo XIX, en Salem (Massachusetts). Todo comienza cuando en 1692, el coronel Pyncheon se hace con unos terrenos propiedad de Mathew Maule, el cual es acusado ese mismo año de brujería. En esos terrenos el coronel edifica la mansión y el mismo día de su inauguración aparece muerto en su estudio, como Maule antes le había advertido que moriría. Años más tarde, la aristócrata familia Pyncheon sufre otro altercado, Jaffrey Pyncheon es asesinado por uno de sus sobrinos, un joven amable y para nada violento. Gracias a un familiar de ambos, otro Pyncheon, su condena se rebaja de la pena de muerte a la cadena perpetua. Y al fin 30 años más tarde, donde comienza nuestra historia, Hepzibah Pyncheon hermana del sobrina del tío Jeffrey, gobernadora ahora de La Casa de los Siete Tejados debe abrir una tiendecita en la casa, pues se halla casi en la ruina. Y ese mismo día recibe la visita de Phoebe Pnycheon, una de sus sobrinas, la cual desea establecerse con ella. Pero Phoebe y Hepzibah no son las únicas que viven en la mansión, un joven llamado Holdrave, de profesión daguerrotipista vive de alquiler en otra parte de la casa. Tanto Phoebe como Holdrave parecen encajar desde el primer momento, y la atmósfera de la casa con ayuda de los dos se torna más cálida, pero la llegada de otro familiar marcará un antes y un después para todos los Pyncheon.Pero para entender un poco el contexto de la historia, y la atmósfera tan fría, cochambrosa, indecente, impura que se crea en La Casa de los Siete Tejados, hay que entender algunas cosas sobre la vida del autor. Este señor durante su infancia estuvo sometido a una educación estrictamente religiosa y en Salem. Podéis haceros una idea. De hecho, el autor confesó su odio visceral por ella: “Detesto tanto esta ciudad que odio salir a sus calles, o que otros me vean caminando por ellas”. Cágate lorito.El narrador de la historia se trata del propio Hawthorne (tercera persona), en algunas partes se hacen alusiones a su presencia aunque bueno, prefiero decir que es un narrador omnisciente, por si las moscas. Dejando ya de lado los aspectos más generales, voy a centrarme en la lectura, vaya. Algo que me chocó bastante fue el prefacio. En aquella época me parece que aunque ya había cierta libertad ya para tratar algunos temas, tenías que avisar un poco sobre lo que ibas a encontrar en tu libro y recordar que nada de lo que sucede en tu romance es real. Vamos, que ni la familia Pyncheon existió, ni lo que pasa en la lectura se corresponde a la historia real de la Casa de los Siete Tejados (que de hecho, sí existe esta casa y me encantaría ir a verla algún día). Además durante la lectura, el autor hace unos breves incisos para recordar que está sacado de su imaginativa mente.Una vez dicho esto quiero pasar a los temas que se tratan durante la lectura y el mensaje. El primer tema con el que nos topamos es la decadencia de la aristocracia americana. Esto es tratado y adquiere mucha importancia en el segundo capítulo. De hecho, todo el capítulo está dedicado a esto. Hawthorne utiliza un tono burlesco para tratar esto que para Hepzibah es un drama. Para poneros en situación quiero que os imaginéis a la típica niña de papa que no ha movido un dedo en su vida y que a los sesenta años por las vicisitudes del destino tiene que abrir una tienda, ella, una DAMA. ¡Indignante! Sí, provienes de una familia aristocrática, pero, ¿a quién le importaba si no tienes un duro?También en los capítulos 6 y 7 se establece una diferenciación entre Phoebe y Hepzibah. Phoebe aunque de descendencia aristocrática sabe ganarse el pan, y no se le caen los anillos por ello. Incluso Hepzibah lo confiesa que están hechas de diferente material. Y en la página 120 el autor hace símil entre las gallinas y Hepzibah. Las gallinas (también aristocráticas, pues pertenecen a la familia desde que se edificó la casa) representan ese miedo a adaptarse, la profunda decadencias en la que están sumidas (ni siquiera ponen huevos por ello) al igual que Hepzibah.Es un tema que me gusta como está tratado en el libro, y el tema a nivel histórico, o mejor dicho, lo que pasó en realidad también me gusta mucho (no se nota).Esconde también una enseñanza este libro y es que los malos al final se descubren y pagan sus fechorías. No voy a comentar esto mucho porque haría spoilers, pero la muerte del coronel Pyncheon al principio del libro puede servir como ejemplo.Y por último, la maldad puede pasar de generación en generación hasta que se haga justicia. Y repito, no puedo hacer spoilers pero la cosa queda muy…ilustrativa al final de la lectura. Aunque este mensaje está estrechamente vinculado con el citado anteriormente.En cuanto al desarrollo de los personajes… en este tema no quiero explayarme demasiado puesto que el desarrollo más marcado se produce en Phoebe Pyncheon.Phoebe cuando llega a la mansión es una chiquilla alegre y feliz que siempre está sonriendo pero durante su estancia en la casa en cierto modo madura y aunque sigue siendo vivaz y divertida, ya no sonríe ni vive tan desenfrenadamente como antes. Al final de la lectura uno de los personajes nuestro narrador lo admite abiertamente. En los otros personajes, sobre todo Hepzibah y Clifford hay cierto desarrollo, sobre todo en una parte de la historia, donde admiten cual es su posición en el asunto. Y son realistas en cuanto a su posición social. Sí, son aristócratas, pero son unos desgraciados. La ambientación es bastante importante en muchos puntos de la historia, pero no lo principal. Es cierto que sobre todo al final cobra mucha importancia pero lo más importante son las reflexiones de los personajes. Sus sentimientos, sus deseos, sus miedos…Me esperaba, sí, una ambientación mucho más desarrollada, es decir, que la casa y la maldición que pesa sobre ella y sus habitantes cobrase más protagonismo pero la forma en la que la lleva el autor me parece ideal y poco más que añadir. Ahora voy a pasar al drama que genera a muchos lectores este libro: el estilo, la forma de escribir y la calidad literaria. ( Y voy a intentar ser amable)Primero, el estilo. Se trata de un estilo formal. Aquí no te vas a encontrar esos vocablos que en el siglo XXI tales como en cualquier proyecto de libro tipo… After. Segundo, el ritmo de la lectura. Este libro (y me imagino que toda la obra de Hawthorne) exige una lectura relajada. ¿Por qué? Porque hay mucha información, a veces condensada (44 páginas contando casi 200 años de historia familiar) y porque lo exige la lectura. No es un libro donde haya mucha acción, de hecho, realmente no la hay y donde priman la reflexión que los hechos que se suceden. Y ya lo dije con El señor de los anillos, pero lo vuelvo a repetir esto NO son libros de campo-playa. Tercero, la calidad literaria. No sé si podréis llegar a imaginar lo que tiene que ser para mí decir que hay un escritor que escribe mejor que Howard Phillips Lovecraft. Pero, como él también era seguidor de la obra de Hawthorne y me hubiese dado efusivamente la razón pues se le reconoce, y yasta. Hawthorne hace uso de un estilo narrativo que posee coherencia, claridad, originalidad (sobre todo en los capítulos 2 y 18 es que es increíble) y aunque no conciso o contundente, sabe desarrollar las ideas con maestría y fluidez claramente profesional.Lo único malo que podría destacar de toda la obra es el final demasiado apresurado. Creo que en comparación con toda la pausada narración peca de ser demasiado aclarativo. Como si alguien le hubiese instado a que acabase ya. Y no Hawthorne, yo te quiero y quería las 30 páginas que le faltan.Y como ya dije al principio, se trata de una novela gótica (con todas las características propias del género, las cuales no voy a citar aquí porque se haría eterno). Y no esperéis una novela terrorífica. Sí, hay elementos que vemos en el género del terror ( elementos sobrenaturales, la atmósfera de misterio…) pero esto es más propio de la novela gótica que otra cosa. Así que por favor, no vayáis esperando cosas que en el siglo ni de lejos habría en una narración. N-O E-S U-N L-I-B-R-O D-E T-E-R-R-O-R. En cuanto a lo que me ha dejado en mí la historia, bueno, creo que es obvio que me ha fascinado, encantado y enamorado. Es una historia increíble, con una forma de contarla preciosa. Siempre me ha gustado el tipo de literatura que se escribía en esta época y realmente no me equivoco al decir que me ha fascinado de principio a fin. Los personajes me han llegado mucho, en especial, Hepzibah y Phoebe. Concluyendo, La Casa de los Siete Tejados es un romance digno de ser admirado. Nathaniel Hawthorne expresa con maestría aquellos sentimientos que tanto atormentan a los seres humanos y la locura. Habla de la vida, de la familia y de los prejuicios, pero también habla del amor y de la venganza. Un autor que cualquier admirador de la literatura americana debe tener en su estantería.

  • Coos Burton
    2019-02-12 00:37

    No sé si asegurar que el libro me decepcionó, porque de cierta manera sabía a qué me estaba aventurando desde que lo empecé. Había escuchado una infinidad de veces que el libro no era para nada ligero, que tenía una cantidad exagerada de relleno innecesario, descripciones eternas de nimiedades que no le aportan a la trama, entre otras cosas. Creo que el problema radica, en principio, en que ésta es una novela gótica cuyo foco está en un drama familiar, pero no puede definirse plenamente como una novela íntegramente de terror.La novela gótica cuenta con varias características que suelen despistar al lector, haciendo que olvide la idea de "terror" durante la lectura. Algunas atmósferas oscuras indican que lo sobrenatural puede ocurrir, pero también está acompañado de un sinfín de detalladas descripciones sobre cosas más irrelevantes y cotidianas por cuestiones meramente estilísticas que hacen que uno pierda de vista algunos tópicos de mayor envergadura. Por ejemplo, de momentos nos encontramos con páginas repletas de descripciones con lujo de detalle sobre las gallinas, entre otras trivialidades. Esto sucede porque la novela gótica sigue esta linea: la de hacer que el lector se adentre en la trama desde el detalle de algunas cosas que rodean a los protagonistas, las descripciones específicas sobre sentimientos y situaciones por las que éstos atraviesan, expresiones empleadas, comentarios que denotan conversaciones mundanas, entre otros elementos que hacen que el lector se interiorice en el mundo del protagonista de una forma más "personal". Y por supuesto, eso no significa que todo lo que vaya a narrarse sea de interés del lector, pero parte de la literatura gótica consiste en tener ese carácter inmersivo que lo envuelve, y lo hace parte de la historia en cierto modo, y para esto en preciso contar las cosas desde cero y con alto grado de detalle.Las historias góticas son de mis predilectas, aunque con gran dolor en el corazón, debo admitir que "La casa de los siete tejados" no fue lo que esperaba. No quisiera extenderme mucho más sobre esto, al menos no por escrito, pero haré un video al respecto en mi canal para quienes gusten escuchar mi opinión sobre esta novela.

  • Ignacio Senao f
    2019-01-22 22:45

    EL marketing ha dañado mucho esta novela. No es necesario tratarla de terror y poner siempre de imagen un caserón tétrico. NO HAY NADA DE TERROR.Muy pausadamente narra como en la actualidad una familia ha quedado gafada por culpa de sus antepasados, los que construyeron tal casa. Y todos tienden a encontrarse en esa mansión parecido a la atracción de un imán. Acabando siempre mal.Destacar la buena escritura, descripciones y comidas. Es una novela relajante, simplemente.

  • Janette
    2019-01-21 18:49

    I can see why English teachers like this book. The vocabulary alone makes it worth reading. Plus it's full of all that theme and symbolism that English teachers love to talk about.Unfortunately, Nathaniel Hawthorne liked to talk about theme and symbolism too, which makes this book feel like one long treatise on theme and symbolism. I mean, seriously, Nathaniel Hawthorne goes on and on and on and then on some more about the stuff. He doesn't just tell you once that it is a degradation that Hepzibah has to set up shop or that Judge Pyncheon is evil. He beats you over the head with it. Which makes me wonder--did Nathaniel Hawthorne think his readers were stupid? Did he think people were going to read about Judge Pyncheon threatening to put Clifford in an asylum and think, "Hmmm, I wonder if he's the villain?"What Hawthorne didn't make clear was the plot. After dragging us through so many soliloquies about human nature, greed, sins of the fathers, class decay, the benefits of trains, and apparently any other topic that crossed his mind while he was writing, he wraps up the plot so quickly and carelessly that the reader is left to wonder what in the world happened.*Spoiler Alert*Judge Pyncheon dies while threatening Clifford and we are left to believe that Clifford kills him, because after all, Clifford is kind of crazy and Hawthorne has been hinting for the last hundred pages or so that Judge Pyncheon has something to do with Clifford being sent to jail for the last thirty years. Clifford and Hepzibah flee the town and get on a train.Phoebe and Holgrave find the dead judge, but instead of assuming that Holgrave has been murdered (He has a bloody spot on his chest) by one of the fleeing pair, Holgrave tells Phoebe that he has taken a picture of the Judge (well, who wouldn’t?) and has compared it to the Judge’s picture and somehow this proves Clifford’s innocence. How you may ask? Hawthorne doesn’t tell us.Just like he doesn’t tell us why Clifford and Hepzibah return from their train ride when surely they know they will be blamed for the death of the judge.But they’re not. Hawthorn just glosses over anything else about the townsfolk’s reaction to the Judge’s death. I mean, he is found dead in a chair in the house of those he has wronged with a blood stain on his shirt, but somehow nobody seems to think foul play is involved because Clifford conveniently inherits the Judge’s wealth and they move.Um, yeah.I would maybe care about all of those themes that Hawthorne is pushing on the reader, but I can’t care about them when the plot doesn’t work.

  • Christie
    2019-02-05 16:47

    When I finished this story, I found it hard to care about it. It is my least favorite of Hawthorne's books. The characters were mostly unlikable, the plodding plot fattened up with many pages of useless description that added nothing. It was a relief to be done with it, an achievement that can only be attributed to my stubborn refusal to stop reading once engaged, no matter how annoying the material. :o) It does feel irreverent to be trashing Nathaniel Hawthorne. But time would be better spent reading his other masterpieces.

  • Bettie☯
    2019-01-22 00:04

    H:\bookies\not essential\Nathaniel Hawthorne - The House of Seven Gables [unabridged:]I am becoming bored stiff with the shrill voice (this is Joss audio) prattling on about the whys and wherefores and not getting ON WITH THE STORY. If it's the same shrill female who narrates the actual story I will ditch......Later - it IS that same glass-shattering narrator. Sorry Mr Hawthorne, but my ears will only lay a guilt trip on me if I proceed.

  • Laura
    2019-02-10 19:00

    Free download available at Project Gutenberg.Not so good as expected.5* The Scarlet Letter4* Rappaccini's Daughter3* Wakefield ; Ethan Brand3* Wakefield - Il velo nero del pastore3* The Ambitious Guest3* The Blithedale Romance3* The House of the Seven GablesTBR The Marble FaunTBR Fanshawe

  • Justin Kelly
    2019-02-10 23:44

    great haunted house story with a moral

  • Mikela
    2019-01-30 22:56

    Synopsis:"Nathaniel Hawthorne's gripping psychological drama concerns the Pyncheon family, a dynasty founded on pious theft, who live for generations under a dead man's curse until their house is finally exorcised by love."Initially I found myself very pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this book set in 19th century Puritan New England. There was an eerie quality, a quiet subtle sense of  suspense that drew me to find answers without a heart pounding urgency to solve the mysteries behind the inhabitants of the house. I was slowly drawn into the riddles of the Pyncheon family. What is the identity of the boarder in the house and how does he fit into the picture? What has so saddened those gentle people living there? Why is such fear and loathing shown towards their cousin,  Judge Pyncheon? What could possibly have been done to them to bring them to these straits?Hawthorne painted such a vivid picture of Hepzibah Pycheon, the aged owner of the house who finds herself trapped by her heritage and beaten down by life and her fall from a wealthy gentile life to one where she finds herself with the necessity to now earn her own bread although totally ill-equipped to do so."These names of gentleman and lady had a meaning, in the past history of the world, and conferred privileges, desirable or otherwise, on those entitled to bear them. In the present - and still more in the future condition of society - they imply, not privilege, but restriction!"I can picture this woman, I know her and although I could not love her, I grew to admire tremendously yet also pitied her as the book progressed. Here was a woman who had withdrawn herself from society so totally as to be like the walking dead.  The cast of characters were each shown to be more flawed and damaged than the next one until we are introduced to Phoebe, a young, gay cousin arriving from the country, bringing life and a measure of happiness back into the house.  Hawthorne's beautiful prose flowed so smoothly that I just glided along with it.On the downside, there were portions of the book that were just a little too saccharine, almost wince causing:  " The deepest pathos of Phoebe's voice and song, moreover, came sifted through the golden texture of a cheery spirit, and was somehow so interfused with the quality thence acquired, that one's heart felt all the lighter for having wept at it."By page 200 the same slow tempo that charmed me at the beginning of the book started instead to cloy. I was losing patience and yearned for something to happen, anything at all, just get to it, give me some answers. When Hawthorne finally revealed the truth about his characters and their history it was anticlimactic, I had already guessed what his revelations would be so there was no surprise left for me.Overall, I did enjoy the book but did not love it.My rating: 3.5 out of 5*