Read The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson Online

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Four seekers have arrived at the rambling old pile known as Hill House: Dr. Montague, an occult scholar looking for solid evidence of psychic phenomena; Theodora, his lovely and lighthearted assistant; Luke, the adventurous future inheritor of the estate; and Eleanor, a friendless, fragile young woman with a dark past. As they begin to cope with chilling, even horrifying oFour seekers have arrived at the rambling old pile known as Hill House: Dr. Montague, an occult scholar looking for solid evidence of psychic phenomena; Theodora, his lovely and lighthearted assistant; Luke, the adventurous future inheritor of the estate; and Eleanor, a friendless, fragile young woman with a dark past. As they begin to cope with chilling, even horrifying occurrences beyond their control or understanding, they cannot possibly know what lies ahead. For Hill House is gathering its powers - and soon it will choose one of them to make its own....

Title : The Haunting of Hill House
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780141191447
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 246 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Haunting of Hill House Reviews

  • BillKerwin
    2019-03-24 01:16

    The Haunting of Hill House (1959) is justly revered as an exemplar of the horror genre, not only because its plot provides the template for all those haunted house tales to come, but also because its superb prose and subtle psychology transcend genre, transforming what might otherwise have been merely a sensational tale into a artful novel, worthy of a discerning reader.The novel suffers from its own pervasive influence, for, as soon as it gets underway, it seems—whether or not you've seen either movie version—woefully familiar. Dr Montague (stuffy old scientific type), wishing to investigate a haunted house, enlists the aid of Eleanor (shy,retiring type), Theodora (flamboyant bohemian type), and Luke (handsome upper-class type), the heir to the house. At first, by daylight, things don't seem half-bad, but then night comes, and... well, you get idea. (Of course you do. You've heard it all before.)What you have not heard before, however, is the intelligent tone or the distinctive music of her prose. Witness part of the description of Hill House, early in the second chapter, as seen through the eyes of Eleanor:This house, which seemed somehow to have formed itself, flying together into its own powerful pattern under the hands of its builders, fitting itself into its own construction of lines and angles, reared its great head back against the sky without concession to humanity. It was a house without kindness, never meant to be lived in, not a fit place for people or for love or for hope.What a wonderful repetition of “for” in the last sentence! (Instead, I probably would have written “not a fit place for people, love, or hope.” And I would have been wrong.)In addition to its prose, the book's subtle psychology—similar to James' Turn of the Screw--interests and entrances the reader with its ambiguity. Are the phenomena real or caused by one of the experimenters? Is the house possessing them, or is one of them possessing the house? Shirley Jackson is too good a writer to decide for us. We must choose to decide—or not to decide—for ourselves.The book would have my highest praise except for the fact that the infuriating Mrs. Montague and her pompous friend Arthur Parker, brought in three-quarters of the way through to ease tension and give comic relief, are not only unnecessary but dissipate tension rather than relieve it. Besides, the laconic, creepy Mrs. Dudley (“I don't stay after six. Not after it begins to get dark.") is plenty of comic relief all by herself.But Mrs. M. and her friend P. are but a minor flaw. Give The Haunting of Hill House a chance. It is, in addition to being a classic of the genre, an excellent novel.

  • Michael
    2019-04-12 21:33

    I'm falling in love with this book all over again as I re-read it. The premise is that of a science experiment--an academic exercise to test the reality of house-haunting. I love the fact that the opening pages essentially replicate the clinical nature of the premise: here's the chief investigator, here are the three other characters, all described at a clinical remove before we get into the "story" itself. A contemporary editor might have said: "Cut this out and get right to the story," but to me these opening pages are wonderful little character studies. Then we follow Eleanor, the main character, as she takes the car she shares with her sister and drives to Hill House. Again, it takes a few pages to get there, but it allows for wonderful scenes where her imagination takes flight or where she interacts, awkwardly, with the townsfolk in the nearest small town. The interaction in the diner is classic Shirley Jackson--capturing the suspicion and unease and boredom of small town life.****Now for the house itself. I'd forgotten just what a genius description of the Hill House we're treated to when Eleanor first sees it. I find it fascinating that Jackson describes the house for nearly two pages without ever physically describing, other than to say it's "enormous and dark" and has steps leading up to a veranda. And yet...we somehow know it intimately nonetheless. It's presented as being alive, as being almost a lover who "enshadows" Eleanor when she walks up those steps, and in that description you get not only a sense of the house itself, but a sense of Eleanor, of her loneliness and perhaps even madness. She's afraid of Hill House in the same way she'd be afraid of a lover. Here is this strong presence who threatens to swallow her up, and in a way, when she walks in, a sort of Gothic romance is born.****The moment when Eleanor first meets Theodora is so brilliantly done. Eleanor is at the top of the stairs, looking down, and she begins talking before you realize there's anyone else there. "Thank heaven you're here," she says. To whom? Is there anyone really? Maybe not! Maybe Eleanor is mad. It's a disorienting moment, and then Eleanor sees Mrs. Dudley, but Eleanor is still not described as seeing anyone else until Theodora introduces herself. But even then, there is no physical description of Theodora--there's just a voice: "I'm Theodora." Is this all in Eleanor's head? Wow.****There really is so little physical description of the other characters, with the possible exception of Doctor Montague, who's described as "round and rosy and bearded" and who "looked as though he might be more suitably established before a fire in a pleasant little sitting room, with a cat on his knee and a rosy little wife to bring him jellied scones....". I love that description, but what amazes even more is how the other characters really aren't described at all. Only the house is tangible in a way.****I love the playfulness in Shirley Jackson, and the first conversation, when all four characters are sitting around talking, is a marvelous example of it. They're playing a game, inventing whimsical characters for themselves, but all is not pure fun--there's the flash of Eleanor's jealousy when Theodora gives Luke a "quick, understanding glance"--the same kind of glance "she had earlier given Eleanor." Beneath the fun and games lies something deadly serious.****The relationship between Theodora and Eleanor makes me think of a major theme in this book--sisterhood. You have Eleanor and her sister, of course, at the beginning of the book, and then the tale of the orphaned sisters who lived in Hill House, and then Eleanor and Theodora themselves, who quickly become like sisters. All those relationships are marked and marred by jealousy, one that lies just beneath the polite surface of things. Fascinating.****Interesting to study how Jackson builds the sense of disquiet throughout the novel. She does it through so many small decisions like the one I mentioned earlier, where she doesn't physically describe her characters. There's also a wonderful moment at the beginning of Chapter 4, where Eleanor and Theodora wake up after the first (uneventful) night at Hill House. It's a small moment, yet so revealing of Jackson's technique. Theodora is in the bathroom, taking a bath. Eleanor is in her room, looking out the window. Then in the very next paragraph, with no transition whatsoever, Theodora is suddenly pounding on the bathroom door telling Eleanor to hurry up. What? It takes a moment to realize what has happened--to realize that now Eleanor is in the bath, and Theordora is outside waiting for her. It's a startling jump-cut, to use a movie term. Jackson is constantly doing that sort of thing, unsettling the reader's expectations, making us realize that anything can happen and we can't rely on the usual narrative logic. It's so subtle, yet so masterful.****I've been thinking of the line that Eleanor keeps quoting: "Journeys end in lovers meeting." I didn't know this before, but it's actually from Shakespeare's Twelfth Night--it's a line sung by the "fool" in that play. Does this have any significance for Jackson's novel? I'm not sure. It's an interesting line in and of itself--so revealing of Eleanor's romantic desires, the way she seems so attracted to Theodora and to Hill House itself. She has the overwhelming sense that she belongs here, that she's part of this slapdash "family" of people staying at the house. She's excited; she's happy; she's constantly afraid of "missing something." In short, she's having the time of her life. This is her journey's end, and she's met her lover (or lovers), and she relishes every moment.****But then things start to turn--the relationship between Eleanor and Theodora starts to fray. It's begins with something immensely small--Theodora painting Eleanor's toenails red without Eleanor's permission. It's a small moment, but Eleanor harkens back to it later, when Theodora is frightened by the bloody creepy words painted on her wall: HELP ELEANOR COME HOME ELEANOR. Theodora is badly shaken and they all wonder if it's really blood and, of course, who put it there. Suspicion immediately falls on Eleanor, and you can see her struggle with what to say, her thoughts veering back to the red of her toenails and focusing on the fact that Theodora will now have to stay in her room and wear her clothes, and you can't help wonder if all this is Eleanor's elaborate revenge. Even afterwards, as they're all sitting talking, Eleanor's anger can't help coming through in her thoughts. "I would like to hit her with a stick, Eleanor thought, looking down on Theodora's head beside her chair; I would like to batter her with rocks." We see the fraying not only of the relationship, but of Eleanor's mind. Suddenly she feels suddenly like an outsider, like someone who's apart from the others--she sees how they stare at her, how they scrutinize what she says, as odd things begin to slip out in her speech and she begins to wonder what she's been saying, how much she's been revealing of herself.****Mrs. Montague is a wonderful character who bursts onto the scene in all her grand foolishness. But like Shakespeare's fools, she is perceptive in her own way--in this case, about Eleanor's relationship with her mother, which is one of Eleanor's dark secrets and which Mrs. Montague perceives after her session with planchette (a Ouija board). There's a dark horror at the heart of it, which we can't quite grasp, and it's all conveyed by this great fool, and so shot through with her bombastic comedy, that it leaves the reader unsure whether to laugh or cringe (or both).****I will try not to give too much away of the ending. I'll just say that it's fascinating to watch Eleanor: her rage, her jealousy, her giddiness. How she perceives the other characters, how she watches them and listens to them and to the house itself, how she hurtles toward the end ("I am doing this all by myself, now, at last; this is me, I am really really really doing it by myself."). And then that amazing ending, recapitulating the opening, and that final word--"alone"--capturing a sense of the house as a sentient being much like Eleanor herself. Just breathtaking. A truly remarkable book.

  • Stephen
    2019-04-18 17:16

    Shirley Jackson, you saucy little devil, where have you been all my life? I never knew she could spread prose like this. This is an impressive bit of work and definitely belongs among the classics of literate horror novels. Right from the first pitch, you can see that Ms Jackson…Shirl…is smitten with language and she uses it to great effect to create an emotionally charged, disorientating atmosphere with healthy heapings of melodrama. Very gothic in feel and actually reminded me of Wuthering Heights as far as the sense of emotional bleakness and dread that pervaded the narrative. I say this a good thangalang as I am a true fanboy of Wuthering Heights.I thought Shirl's writing style was smooth and glassy and had nice flow. It was also an utter mind-trip and I blew my whole thought-wad trying to keep up with her conflicting back and forth sense of "is it real or unreal” "is it genuine horror or psychological terror.” I admit by the end of this fairly short novel I was as drained and spent as a sailor on a weekend pass to Vegas. On the surface, this appears to be a classic haunted house story with a professor of the supernatural renting Hill House in order to investigate the mysterious phenomena rumored to have occurred within its oddly angled walls. Along with Dr. X-file, we have a Luke (one of the heirs to the house), Theodora and Eleanor. Eleanor is our troubled main protag who has had a happlyless life of playing recluse while taking care of her ungrateful mommie dearest. I don’t want to give away the plot so I will just say that almost immediately upon arriving at Hill House, the guests begin to experience “oddness” in the form of lost emotional control, muddled thinking, unusual feelings and unexplained sensations and occurrences...sort of like alcohol but no where near as pleasant. These events begin to wear on each of them, however, nothing overtly supernatural is shown to the reader. That is what was so yummy about the story is that Shirl leaves it up to the reader to determine what is really going on. One thing is very clear though…Hill House and people do not a good combination make and there is a growing sense of dread over the whole narrative from the very beginning. The terror is psychological (whether real or not) and the horror is all about atmosphere and “what if” rather than in your face. Makes of a chilling, intelligent tale.To sum up...a terrific gothic story. Well written, engaging and with what I thought was a Fergaluscious ending that fit perfectly with the rest of the narrative. I think this is a novel that could stay with you and should become even better upon subsequent readings. 4.0 to 4.5 stars.

  • Fabian
    2019-03-31 00:45

    This book is not about fear but rather about the love of being afraid-- for the ravenous gauging of limits. Adrenaline is searched for.... neurosis & a collective paranoia ensue. & cause naturally follows effect."Books are frequently very good carriers... Materializations are often best produced in rooms where there're books. I cannot think of any time when material was in any way hampered by the presence of books." [186]There is an aura of authentic literary splicing here: the psychological novel (think Charlotte Perkins Gilman's "The Yellow Wallpaper") and the horror of microsocieties doing their malignant will-type stories (think "The Lottery", as exceptional a short story as this is a superb haunted house prototype, an ingenious fountainhead for all future horror maestros). The haunted house is in actuality a person who is on the precipice, the verge of disaster; here is the quintessential tome about the inner demons becoming unleashed and wreaking havoc in horrific ways.A handsome legend, an essential myth. There would be significantly scant haunted house lore without this gothic gem.PS: EVERYONE, READ THIS FOR THE HOLIDAY*!*HALLOWEEN, HARVEST, SAMHEIN. Whatev.

  • Keith
    2019-04-07 20:31

    Erm. This book was lent to me with the assurance that it was one of the ten-or-so greatest horror novels of all time. So, just having finished it, I'm already forgetting having read it. The two stars it gets are because, quite literally, "it was ok" -- Jackson has an interesting writing style and an ear for consistent, if not always realistic, quirky dialogue. But the characters spend so much time being weirdly objective about their own fears that when bad stuff happens, I feel sort of...objective about it. The book veers between said objectivity and long hallucinatory 'scary' bits, but I found those bits sort of messily written and vague to the point of being coy, and just scanned through them.I dunno, it's like a bunch of hipstery academic fucks try to have an adventure, and instead spend most of the time discussing the adventure they're currently having, instead of actually having it.Oh, and the last ten pages got a little more focused and they were sort of creepy, but I was kind of forcing it because I really wanted to get something more out of the book than I actually did. The end.

  • Melissa ♥ Dog Lover ♥ Martin
    2019-03-24 21:37

    I got this from the library and I can't figure out what to rate it so I had to go with a 3 for right now. Here's the thing. I loved the movies better than the book. But I did enjoy the crazy, through the rabbit hole ness of the book. It's not scary in the least. Not to me anyway. But it's good weird and just uggg I can't explain it. Anyway, sorry so short. I don't feel that good. I wanted to do a longer review on this one. 😕Mel ❤️

  • Shawn
    2019-04-13 00:19

    Why rehash what the 5 star reviewers say below? Why even engage the lame arguments by the people who didn't enjoy the book (weak ending? unrealistic dialogue!? not enough happens!?! Christ, people, have an imagination! - although I will say this, they don't seem to be teaching kids what an "unreliable narrator" is in school nowadays, as this book is all about Eleanor's weak and self-centered take on her surroundings and how that slowly gets worked over by Hill House - so an unreliable narration subsumed by an even less reliable narration)Needless to say, if you like subtle, amazing writing (an ending that, if you have any kind of human feelings, should tear your heart out); if you like well-drawn characters who are of their times and psychologically complicated (yes, educated people did actually talk wittily to each other in days of yore - it was called the art of conversation - now go tweet someone about that awful egg McMuffin[tm:] you just ate) and astonishing well-controlled pacing and suspense (what was chasing them on the black, black path with the white, white trees? I'm sure happy I wasn't told, as not knowing was much more effective) then just pick up a copy of this, one of the finest supernatural novels ever written, lock the house, light a candle and relax. And PAY ATTENTION, because every detail is important. And don't trust the narrator, because she can't trust herself.This isn't a typical, structured review for me - THE HAUNTING OF HILL HOUSE is too well known to tread the ground with a plot synopsis. I will add this little idea that came to me (and which I posted on over in the Horror boards):Since the house seems to not be "haunted" by a spirit, in a traditional "haunted house" way (it certainly doesn't seem to be manifesting something/someone specific), because it seems to be an entity unto itself ("Hill House, Hill House, Hill House" mocks Theo in a wonderfully subtle scene that proves her telepathy) and because of some comments made by Eleanor late in the book, when, nearly gone and identifying wholly with the house and not her friends, she refers to their "clumsy, heavy, roughness" - I started to wonder if the answer to the question "what haunts Hill House?" isn't maybe - Dr. Montague and his team of psychics! Hill House seems to be an entity unto itself and maybe it is irritated and pained by these weak, sensitive, emotional creatures infesting it and wants them out of the picture so it can continue to walk alone.An amazing book by an amazing writer. Respect it as much as Shirley Jackson respects you, the reader.

  • Lyn
    2019-04-11 01:32

    Weird, weird book. But well worth the time reading it.Jackson was a masterful storyteller, using a minimalistic approach and a terse, almost journalistic narrative, she creates a mood and sense of expectancy and mystery that grips the reader slowly and completely and lasts until the very end. And unlike other ghost stories that struggle with an ending, Jackson's haunted house tale brilliantly ends with the same mystery and psychological tension as the narrative held throughout, she leaves the reader without a falsely satisfying conclusion. A very good story told by a very good writer.

  • Joe
    2019-03-25 23:32

    The Sgt Pepper and the Citizen Kane of ghost stories.

  • Hannah Greendale
    2019-03-22 20:33

    Click here to watch a video review of this book on my channel, From Beginning to Bookend.The Haunting of Hill House is a slightly spooky read that follows four strangers into the depths of a haunted house with a mind of its own. "No one knows, even, why some houses are called haunted.""What else could you call Hill House?" Luke demanded. "Well - disturbed, perhaps. Leprous. Sick. Any of the popular euphemisms for insanity; a deranged house is a pretty conceit." What makes The Haunting of Hill House compelling is the book's narrative voice: This house, which seemed somehow to have formed itself, flying together into its own powerful pattern under the hands of its builders, fitting itself into its own construction of lines and angles, reared its great head back against the sky without concession to humanity. It was a house without kindness, never meant to be lived in, not a fit place for people or for love or for hope. With skillful use of descriptive words, the author repeatedly invokes negative associations with places or objects that are otherwise mundane: [The room] had an unpleasantly high ceiling, and a narrow tiled fireplace which looked chill in spite of the fire which Luke had lighted at once; the chairs in which they sat were rounded and slippery, and the light coming through the colored beaded shades of the lamps sent shadows into the corners. As far as chilling elements are concerned, the book offers very little in the way of supernatural events. The Haunting of Hill House is more readily a psychological thriller than a ghost story. To say the book conveys the descent into madness is to use too scintillating a phrase to describe the plot. The effect of Hill House on the various characters evolve subtly, with infinitesimal shifts in their psyches.Though it moves at a moderate pace, The Haunting of Hill House is a beautifully crafted tale about the dark corridors and locked rooms in the unconscious mind.

  • Jason
    2019-04-15 19:46

    My mom has always said that an involuntary shudder—a shiver going up your spine, if you will—indicates someone having just walked over your grave. That cold spot you pass through when walking from the living room into the foyer? That’s not a draft of unheated air coming from upstairs (cold air sinks, you’ll recall)—no, that’s a ghost. And the message written in blood on your bathroom mirror this morning? Well, er, let’s just ignore that for the time being. But really, what is our obsession with the paranormal or the supernatural? What makes it so fascinating even to those of us who don’t believe in it?Eleanor Vance isn’t sure she believes in it, and yet she agrees to spend a summer at an unoccupied house purported to be haunted. Eleanor reminds me of the unnamed narrator from Rebecca. She is insecure, introverted, and often finds herself fantasizing about her current and future situations. Dreams keep us sane, though, right? Or is the descent toward instability a more slippery path than we’d like to think?Eleanor is both intrigued by and simultaneously frightened by the concept of solitude. Being an introvert, some of her favorite fantasies involve being on her own, secluded from the unwelcome intrusion of others. But after a few nights in Hill House, maybe being alone isn’t such a grand idea. What induces fear in Eleanor and the other guests of Hill House is their inability to reconcile observed phenomena with fact-based logic at the moment it occurs. They encounter something for which an explanation cannot be immediately provided and their minds are unable to cope. So what happens when these unexplainable occurrences no longer induce fear? Has the fear been somehow conquered? Or is there something more sinister in the fact that the need to formulate logical explanation for the otherwise unexplainable is no longer pressing?Unlike this guy, I do not believe in spooks. But when the fight-or-flight response associated with fear is triggered in a secure setting—you are home with your significant other and the doors are locked, or you are at a Spooky World funhouse where you know the scares are manufactured—the adrenaline jolt can be a pretty fun thing to experience. And this book is a pretty fun thing to experience because Jackson’s choice to limit the perspective of the protagonist is effective at heightening the senses. Eleanor doesn’t always know what’s going on around her, so neither does the reader. Not only is the line between the living and the dead somewhat blurred, but so is the line separating Eleanor’s internal ventures from that which she perceives externally. It is suffocatingly frightful, I say.So for those who don’t believe in ghosts, how many of you would be willing to spend a few nights in a house considered haunted by restless spirits? After all, you don’t even believe in restless spirits, so what is there to be afraid of? Except, how would you feel if people refused to believe in you?

  • Kelly (and the Book Boar)
    2019-04-19 20:45

    Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/WARNING: THIS REVIEW WILL USE ALLLLLLL OF YOUR DATA. GET THEE TO A REAL ‘PUTER OR AN UNLIMITED CELL PHONE PLAN BEFORE READING.My first official buddy read with the Non-Crunchy Cool Classic Pantsless ones . . . Turns out they picked kind of a crunchy one. I should have known those bastages were just trying to trick me! The Haunting of Hill House wasn’t awful, but it was most definitely a slow roller and more of an eerie tale rather than a scary one. It was most definitely NOT a work of “unnerving terror” as the blurb would lead you to believe. Instead, it was the story of a group who have been brought together to determine whether the rumors of Hill House being haunted are true . . . But first – they have to get there . . . . Actually there was quite an abundance of showing and telling with respect to Winchester Mystery Hill House. If you aren’t a fan of hearing all there is to know about dimity drapes and enamel dishware, you might find yourself nodding off. Once the story got rolling, things did start going bump in the night. Or did they????? *dun dun DUNNNNNNN!* Was the paranormal to blame, or was it all just a result of being . . . The Haunting of Hill House didn’t quite stand the test of time like We Have Always Lived in the Castle did. However, it still wasn’t awful. I found the droll tone of all of the characters quite entertaining and at under 200 pages it was certainly a quick enough read – even with all of the sharing of the boring details. Stuff like: “Journeys end in lovers meeting.”I’m telling you - DO NOT take a drink every time you come across that f-ing phrase . . . Many thanks to the population from the Island of Misfit Toys for allowing me to join their ragtag group. The combination of me inviting myself to their party so late and the fact that keeping the Pantsless Ones on topic is kind of like herding cats has led me to not even being positive who is or isn’t reading this one. That being said, some of the people who may or may not be participating in this read are as follows . . . .Jeff (He read it wrong, so now he has to buy everyone ice cream.)Stepheny Delee The Real Dan Ron 2.0 Alissa (Note: This image was taken after the announcement of the release of Twilight 7.4 - This Time It's Personal.) Tadiana, Ginger, and Kristin Evgeny Christopher (Who has made it a point to read everything EXCEPT this book.)My apologies to anyone I failed to mention and many thanks for allowing me to crash the party (and also to my curmudgeonly friendly book provider). Up next???? The Turn of the Screw. Hehehehehe SCREW.

  • Dannii Elle
    2019-03-20 23:41

    It still astounds me how a decades old horror story can continue to captivate and terrify a modern-day audience, more attuned to altogether grislier, bloodier, and gorier tales.The Haunting of Hill House is about exactly as the title described. And yet knowing all that is to come enhances instead of detracts from the building dread that begins right as the novel opens. The reader is introduced to a motley crew of intrepid explorers, advancing on the hidden Hill House as part of a spiritual experiment, and the terrors unfurl from there.The reader is invited to view this world through Eleanor's eyes. As the most fragile and overwrought member of the group, her rising fear affects the reader's, until both are bonded in their mounting dread of what is to occur around the next corner and over the next page. Jackson expertly controls her characters into revealing none of the facts before suspense has been allowed to build to an all-time maximum, and that is truly where the excellence of this novel lays.My first encounter with Jackson's writing was in her short story collection, Dark Tales. I found the open-ended nature of the tales contained within entirely infuriating. Here, a similar tactic is deployed and yet I found it be ultimately the novel's prowess and not its failure. There is an allure and an added fear of never really knowing where the truth in this narratives lies. This is what has continued to haunt me long after finishing this book and what makes me already eager to return and unearth the facts amongst the many deceptions.Hill House, with its chill, atmospheric setting, enthralled me from the first page and didn't let go until the very last. The setting works in tandem with the alluring yet untrustworthy cast of characters to delivering a truly chilling piece of literature that will have you fearful of the shadows for many a night to come, after reading this.

  • Dan Schwent
    2019-04-02 19:37

    October Buddy Read with the Pantsless OnesWhen an occult scholar recruits people to help him research the paranormal events at Hill House, will the house let any of them leave unscathed?I've heard this touted as a classic haunted house story for decades and finally decided to take the plunge when the Pantless Ones picked it for an October read. I was not overly impressed.I don't know if this was the case of wrong book/wrong time but I was not engaged by this book. All of the characters seemed like caricatures to me rather than real people. There were some creepy parts, like Eleanor holding a hand in the dark that turned out not to be whose she thought, and Eleanor's descent into madness, but I was pretty bored most of the time. The status bar on my Kindle couldn't creep to the right fast enough.I'm giving it two stars now but I may re-read it in the future when I'm in the mood for such a story.

  • Jean
    2019-04-02 00:34

    "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. Within, walls continued upright, bricks met neatly, floors were firm, and doors were sensibly shut; silence lay steadily against the wood and stone of Hill House, and whatever walked there, walked alone."This comes from the opening to The Haunting of Hill House, a 1959 novel by Shirley Jackson, an American writer who died far too young at the age of 48. It is a supernatural horror novel, a classic in the genre, although it is more likely to chill you to the marrow than to churn your stomach, relying more on terror rather than horror. There is some explicit horror, as well as much that is implied, but the blood is more likely to be running down the walls than gushing from dismembered body parts. The Haunting of Hill House owes much to Edgar Allan Poe, and is also in the tradition of Henry James's "The Turn of the Screw". Stephen King has credited Shirley Jackson as a great influence on his writing, and other authors such as Neil Gaiman and Nigel Kneale also owe a lot to her work.The story revolves around four main characters, Dr. John Montague, Eleanor Vance - who is the shy viewpoint character - Theodora, a more confident independent young woman artist, and the irresponsible Luke Sanderson - the young heir to Hill House. Plus, of course, the house itself, which could be viewed as an evil, malevolent character. It has had a history of suicide and violent deaths, which Dr. Montague explains to the three young people, thereby nicely building up the tension in the novel. Hill House had been built 80 years earlier by an unpleasant individual named Hugh Crain, who seemed to delight in making the house's dimensions as twisted and contrary to what the human eye perceives as attractive design, as possible."No Human eye can isolate the unhappy coincidence of line and place which suggests evil in the face of a house, and yet somehow a maniac juxtaposition, a badly turned angle, some chance meeting of roof and sky, turned Hill House into a place of despair, more frightening because the face of Hill House seemed awake, with a watchfulness from the blank windows and a touch of glee in the eyebrow of a cornice."The brooding atmosphere is established right at the start. Dr. Montague has invited these three to spend the summer at Hill House as his guests, selecting them because of their past experiences with the paranormal, and renting the house knowing of its reputation for psychic disturbance and being "possessed". He is hoping to find scientific evidence of the existence of the supernatural. "Dr. John Montague was a doctor of philosophy; he had taken his degree in anthropology, feeling obscurely that in this field he might come closest to his true vocation, the analysis of supernatural manifestations. He was scrupulous about the use of his title because, his investigations being so utterly unscientific, he hoped to borrow an air of respectability, even scholarly authority, from his education."Although he is ostensibly an "expert", the reader is aware from this passage that Dr. Montague is really as green as the others about supernatural events. Thus the story is set up to be a tale of a group of innocents, set against powers of possibly unlimited evil. The reader enjoys their modern scepticism, their jokiness with each other, their repeated avowals that they do not believe anything awful could possibly happen in this ugly old house. And the reader waits.Because sure enough things do happen. This is a superbly crafted book, the suspense being being wound up in a tightly controlled way, whilst the novel stays very readable. The relationships between the four change. Their friendliness becomes mistrust. Jealousies and petty spites rear their heads. They no longer trust each other. There are many strange events and inexplicable experiences. But are they real? How can the material evidence of spiritual manifestations just disappear? Are they just imagination? Even the reader is less and less sure. Here is a description of young Eleanor, socially inexperienced and trying to finally break out of her mould,"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."Is it significant that most of the phenomena is experienced by her? Are the others really oblivious, or just being kind? Is she perhaps losing touch with reality, and imagining these events? We only have Eleanor's view of the events and people after all, and this may be unreliable. Or does she subconsciously have a telekinetic ability which causes many of the disturbances? We know right at the start of the novel that she had been selected by Dr. Montague because of her early childhood experiences with episodes of poltergeist-like phenomena, although she has no memory of them. Even Eleanor herself wonders if she is responsible,"Now we are going to have a new noise, Eleanor thought, listening to the inside of her head; it is changing. The pounding had stopped, as though it had proved ineffectual, and there was now a swift movement up and down the hall, as of an animal pacing back and forth with unbelievable impatience, watching first one door and then another, alert for a movement inside, and there was again the little babbling murmur which Eleanor remembered; Am I doing it? She wondered quickly, is that me? And heard the tiny laughter beyond the door, mocking her."But then there is the house. They all feel the malevolence of the house,"It watches," he added suddenly. "The house. It watches every move you make." Is there something in the bricks and mortar? Is there a memory of past evils somehow imprinted in the walls? Is there a spirit or ghost in the house, or somehow attracted or conjured up by one of the party?When the tension is at its highest, and terror is finally taking over the characters, we are introduced to a new character. We have already had the dour housekeeper Mrs. Dudley, a creepy soul straight out of innumerable gothic novels, with her repeated mantra,"I clear breakfast at ten o'clock. I set on lunch at one. Dinner I set on at six. It's ten o'clock."Full of fear and ignorance, she nevertheless relishes what she sees as the young people's gradual acceptance and horror of what they had in their innocence initially scoffed at. She warns, with dark forboding,"We couldn't even hear you, in the night....No one could. No one lives any nearer than 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..."Mrs. Dudley visits the novel regularly with her doom and gloom, but much later we have the visit of the doctor's wife which had been expected, and these episodes provide much-needed humour, dry wit and irony. It is a welcome contrast.Dr. Montague throughout tries to keep his scholar's attitude, as with his earlier contention, that,"Fear ... is the relinquishment of logic, the willing relinquishing of reasonable patterns. We yield to it or we fight it, but we cannot meet it halfway."But as the inevitable conclusion is reached, the characters seem less and less in control. The ending is dramatic, and unexpected when it occurs. There have been red herrings; we expected drama and tragedy at various places, and there are still ambiguities. This by any standards is a very good read, but it is the reader's own imagination which provides much of the terror. The most frightening part of the book for me lay in the five simple words,"Whose hand was I holding?"because of the context in which they were written - because of what had gone before. It is a chilling and macabre story about the power of fear, and a large part of this fear is the fear anticipated by the reader. A reader who claims not to find it frightening probably has different expectations. Don't expect the author to describe physical torture, disembowelment, or gruesome entrails. She doesn't, and if this is what you seek in a horror novel you will be disappointed.If however you are intrigued by the psychological component, the nature of fright, the parameters of human sanity, the possibility - however remote - of the supernatural haunting of a house, then you will find this to be a very satisfying example of the craft."Journeys end in lovers meeting; I have spent an all but sleepless night, I have told lies and made a fool of myself, and the very air tastes like wine. I have been frightened half out of my foolish wits, but I have somehow earned this joy; I have been waiting for it for so long."

  • Char
    2019-03-20 00:43

    A super scary book with sentences that you want to stop and marvel over. This is an excellent haunted house story with a psychological aspect.HIGHLY recommended! Quote: “I am like a small creature swallowed whole by a monster, she thought, and the monster feels my tiny little movements inside.” And what I think is the best opening paragraph in all of literature: "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. Within, walls continued upright, bricks met neatly, floors were firm, and doors were sensibly shut; silence lay steadily against the wood and stone of Hill House, and whatever walked there, walked alone."

  • Evgeny
    2019-04-02 18:29

    This is a buddy read in a super-secret group which I will not name for the fear of a fatal accident I will have if I do name it. However I will name the people involved: Licha, Anne, Steve, Jeff, Miriam, Stepheny, Delee, Dan, Dan 2, Alissa, Tadiana, Ginger, Kristin, Christopher, and Kelly. Speaking about Kelly, I have no chances whatsoever to write a better review than hers, but the guy can still hope, can't he? Please let me know if I forgot somebody. Let me put you in the right mood for the review with some images: A couple of comments for the pictures above follow. All the depicted places are real. These real-life pictures are much scarier than the book. Sorry about the following rant related to book blurbs. I saw blurbs that completely gave away the content the entire book, including the last page. I saw blurbs that had no connection whatsoever with the books they were supposed to describe. I saw blurbs related to the book somehow, but their writers had genres of literature mixed up in their heads - like a blurb appropriate for a romance novel on a hard science fiction one. This is probably the first case when the blurb was lying. ...a perfect work of unnerving terror. Ladies and gentlemen, there were scarier moments in classic Scooby-Doo cartoons than in here. There are a couple of creepy moments, but they are way too brief to be really scary. I admit I have not seen the movies based on the novel and it might have affected my judgment. Then again what kind of book lover would I be had I allowed my perception of a movie change my opinion of its original material? I am sure every single book club would politely but firmly kicked me out in the street in such case. I provide the brief description of the plot for people unfamiliar with the book and movies. A professor studying occult found what seemed to be the perfect haunted house to conduct his research in. He selected several people to help him in this undertaking - using a somewhat dubious selection criterion, I might add. The book is about - unsurprisingly - their experiences in the house. I will give you a hint: it is haunted. From my impression whatever haunts it is too lazy to do real good old-fashioned spooky stuff. A big part of the appeal of spooky ghost stories is mysterious supernatural phenomenon; something which cannot be explained. For me the whole atmosphere of the book was killed the moment the Doctor tried to rationalize goings-on in the house and the explanation was believable enough for me to accept it. No mystery - no spookiness: it is simple as this. A house itself was undeniably gloomy, but gloomy is not equal to scary in my book. Ms. Jackson seems to be confused about this. Please see Titus Groan by Mervyn Peake for the description of gloomy and scary place; I am not a big fan of the book, but he really nailed it in this department. One feature which I noticed right away is the lack of description of the characters. All we know about the Doctor is that he is round, another character is lovely and we really have no clue whatsoever about the appearance of the POV character. Speaking about the latter, her development was somewhat unbelievable. Look into The Shining by Stephen King for a better example of the same themes - by the way I would be the first to admit King drew heavy inspiration from The Haunting of Hill House for his work. The end was a little disappointing as well with one extremely brain-dead decision which ended up in a very predictable way. My verdict is the following: the novel is just OK, on the lower end of OK spectrum. A lot of people that wrote glowing reviews for the novel said you need to be really smart to see all the nuances of the writing. To this I can only answer, "You now know my biggest darkest secret: I am as dumb as a hammer".

  • Raeleen Lemay
    2019-03-26 17:29

    This book was certainly eerie, creepy, and haunting. It was elegantly written, and the characters and plot immediately sucked me in. I highly recommend this for anybody looking for a slightly spooky, easy-to-read classic. I can't wait to read more Shirley Jackson!

  • Aoibhínn
    2019-03-19 17:25

    The plot, of The Haunting of Hill House, is about three people named, Eleanor, Theodora and Luke, who are invited to stay in a supposedly haunted house for the summer to aid a scientist, Dr. Montague, in his pursuit of paranormal investigation. The book started out as a tale about a creepy old haunted house and then turned into a story about a young mentally unstable woman losing her mind.I was disappointed by this book to be honest. I felt the novel did not live up to its potential and it certainly does not deserve the reputation, of being one of the scariest horror novels, it has gotten. There are a few creepy, spooky scenes but not enough of them. I felt disappointed that there wasn't more scary stuff in it. I didn't like any of the characters and therefore found it hard to care about them. Eleanor was a paranoid, insecure pain in the ass, Theodora was an immature bitchy cow, and Luke was a boring conceited little wanker. I thought the dialogue, throughout the book, between the characters was very strange. I don't know if the author intended it to be like that or if the book is just incredibly out-dated. Did people actually talk like that back in the 1950's? It was very annoying and childish.The ending left a lot of unanswered questions. Was the house really haunted or was it all just in Eleanor's mind?This is one novel where the movie, or in this case movies, are better than the book.2.5 stars!

  • Delee
    2019-04-12 01:17

    October 5th/2015[image error]What is that you say? ANOTHER buddy-read with The Non-Crunchy Cool Classic Pantsless Buddy Read Group????[image error]How frightening!!! Hold me closer Tony Danza!

  • María
    2019-04-08 23:17

    "[...] lo que fuera que caminase allí dentro, caminaba solo".

  • Councillor
    2019-03-22 18:41

    Tales about haunted houses are by now as common as major character deaths in Game of Thrones (sorry, couldn't resist that comment), but it seems like Shirley Jackson's The Haunting of Hill House belongs to those classic stories which caused the hype first of all. Shirley Jackson may be best known for her dystopian short story The Lottery which initially introduced me to her writing, but in the end, Hill House is what made her a commonly mentioned presence in the genre of classic horror stories. However, don't be led into the wrong direction here. There are no zombies strolling over streets, no vampires lurking in the dark, no monsters running behind desperated victims. There is only a mysterious house with secrets of its own, only some curious characters experiencing something they would not have expected. The true terror of the story is lurking behind the words, catching hold of your mind only when you are reading between the lines.In The Haunting of Hill House four characters who could not have been more designed as caricatures seek to learn the truth behind this house: a peculiar professor, his lighthearted assistant, the future heir of the house and a fragile woman. Inexplicable incidents soon cause those characters to be confronted with difficult questions, and the course of the story might lead some of them into the deepest corners of their conscious minds. This sounds like an intriguing premise, but ultimately, the execution turned out to be not as intriguing. I have read quite a few other Shirley Jackson short stories, all of them quite slow-paced and narrated without directly involving the reader, but each of them still managed to stand out in their own right. The same happened with this novel - you don't find any real twists there, no moments of true, climatic horror. The only difference to her short stories was the characterisation. While this can't be directly minded in her shorter works, her missing talent at writing believable characters sticked out in this novel, and it bothered me throughout my entire reading experience. In a short story, it can be enough to have an engaging plot, but in a book, you have to accompany characters on their journey, and if the author fails at making you care about them, the journey can turn out to be uncomfortable and disappointing.Shirley Jackson's writing style is unique and interesting, a style so different from other authors that in spite of the slow pace, it somehow manages to attract readers. But a good plot, an intriguing atmosphere and good writing are sometimes simply not enough. Someone should have taught Shirley Jackson how to create breathing, vivid characters before writing her novels. It is sad that she died way too young, at the age of 48 - she had a lot of potential for writing more powerful works and stories. Another book by her, We Have Always Lived in the Castle, has become quite popular throughout the years, so I will probably give this one a chance as well.It has almost been a year since I read this novel, but it still remains in my memory as if it was glued to my mind, so I feel like three stars are the perfect rating to this novel. Maybe my expectations were wrong or Shirley Jackson simply didn't exhaust all the possibilities with the potential of this story, but something always kept this from becoming an extraordinary work for me.

  • Mohammed Arabey
    2019-04-15 21:45

    بهذه الرواية "الكلاسيكية" ستواجه ما هو أكثر رعبا من البيوت المسكونةرعب الوحدة...والمحاولات اليائسة "للانخراط" الاجتماعي التي تصاب بالفشلA novel about a Horror more terrifying than Haunted Houses..The Horror of Loneliness, and the Desperate attempts to socially fit in.لم اجد ترجمة لكلمة "فيت أين" سوي الانخراط..ربما التأقلم أو التكيف.. ولكن هذا فعلا ماشعرت به خلال قراءتي للرواية واكثر ما ارعبني بالحكاية .. اكثر ما سبب لي الأنقباض بتلك الرواية الامريكية الشهيرة التي تعود ل1959 والتي تعد من الكلاسيكيات الحديثةكم من مرة شعرت أن لك صديق ما في الشلة لا تشعر انه ينتمي لكم, لأي سبب من الأسباب...تحاول ان تتجاهلة, تخرجه من الحوار بأي شكل أو حتي تسخر منهكم مرة شعرت بتأنيب ضمير بعد ذلك؟ أو كم مرة شعرت أنك نفسك لا تنتمي لشلة بالرغم من انك تود ان تكون معهم؟كم مرة كنت في حفل وشعرت انها بالرغم من الابهار بها انها ليست مكانك؟"تك..تك"حسنا دعك من كل هذا...هي ثرثرة نفسية اجتماعية ولنركز في روايتناأسألك ايضا أن تنسي الفيلم عن منزل "هيل" المسكون والذي تم انتاجه في 1999 مع ليلي تايلور, كاترين زيتا جونز وليام نيسون ..او حتي نسخته القديمة في 1963 ولنر الرواية التي ركزت علي إيلانور** الأحـــداث **---------دعني أؤكد لك ايضا ان وصف الاحداث لن يتخطي ثلث احداث الرواية القصيرة اصلا تلك كي لا احرق لك الحبكة...فقط نقد للفكرة"تك..تك..تك"إيلانور كانت ترعي أمها في مرضهاتطرق علي الحائط طرقات بسيطة فتستيقظ إيلانور للتتفقدها بالدواء او الماءحتي ماتت امها بعد ان اضاعت إيلانور اهم سنوات عمرها في الرعايةوالأن..أختها المتزوجة تشاركها المسكن..وعلي إيلانور أن تتحمل أبن اختها ايضا"تك..تاك..تاااك"دكتور يقوم بعمل تجربة للعيش في منزل مهجور ليسجل تجربة "المسكون بالاشباح" وقام بالبحث عن متطوعين سبق لهم مواجهة امور خارقة للطبيعةومن هنا جائت الدعوة لإيلانور بسبب حادث قديم حدث لها مع اختها عن احجار تسقط من السماء فوق منزلهم"بوم..بوم"إيلانور توافق علي الدعوة..ولكن اختها وزوجها لايقبلان أن تأخذ السيارة..بالرغم من انها دفعت نصف ثمنها ولم تستخدمها أبداستذهب...فهي وحيدة وقت مرض امها..وحيدة حتي بعد وفاتها..وحيدة حتي مع اختهاستذهب بالسيارة لمنزل هيل ...عملا بأغنية حالمةJourneys end in lovers meetingربما حالفها الحظ في السعادةوقد كان"بوم..بوم..بوم"بيت مهيب...نجحت المؤلفة شيرلي جاكسون في رسم ضخامته من خلال وصفها له...طابعه القوطي الرهيب والذي صوره ايضا الفيلم الحديث بشكل ممتاز وان كان مبالغ فيه بسبب بعض التغيرات التي اجراها الفيلم علي الحكايةولكن الوصف في الرواية جاء معقولا جدا ومهيبا بنفس الوقتستتعرف علي البيت...وتاريخ صاحبه وأبنتيه , الأختان المختلفتانولعنة الوحدة التي اصابتهماوذلك البيت الوحيد المحاط بالتلال والطبيعة ولكنه بعيدا تماما عن البشر واقرب بلدة له تبعد بعشرات الأميالولكنه يعجب إيلانور..فهو أفضل من جحيم الوحدة التي تعيشه** الشخصــيات **--------تتعرف إيلانور علي ثيودورا , الفتاة الجميلة المتحررة فهي اول من ستقابله في البيتسيصيرا صديقتين فورا..يتجولان بأنحاء ذلك البيت..يسخران من برود وتجهم الخدم الذي يرحل قبل الظلامويأتي ايضا لوك ساندرسون, شاب عابث قريب اصحاب المنزل الذين هجروه منذ زمن ولكنهم أصروا أن ينضم قريبهم لبعثة الدكتور اثناء بقاءه لتجربتهويأتي الدكتور نفسه .. دكتور جون مونتاج الذي يشرح لهم تسجيل اي احداث او ظواهر غريبة بالبيت..هذا هو الشئ الوحيد الذي يكلفهم به, وعليهم الاقامة في البيت بعد ذلك كما يحلو لهمكصحبة..كحفل لم شمل صغير..كاصدقاءوقد كانتقديم الشخصيات جاء بسيطا وحتي ماضيهم ... فتعتبر الشخصية الوحيدة ذات العمق هي إيلانور..الباقي تم تقديمه بما يناسب الاحداث فحسب..دوافع بقاءهم في البيت او حتي سلوكهمهذا ليس عيبا بالطبع ستشعر انك تتفهم مايشعرون به وردود افعالهم مع تطور الأحداث"بوم..بوووم..بووووم"بالأخص عندما تبدأ إيلانور ان تكتشف ان "لوك" و"ثيو" قد يصيرا اصدقاء اكثر وتشعر انها صارت علي الهامشبالأخص عندما يبدأ البيت في الصحوبالأخص عندما يبدأ البيت في الفوضي والرعبلقد حلمت إيلانور أن يكون لها بيتا جميلا...اصدقاء يحبونهاولكن احلامها تكاد تنهار بكل هذه الفوضيالرعب الذي تم تقديمه بشكل ربما لايكون كالافلام الحديثة لكنه هنا كان نفسيا رهيبا"بوووووم..بووووووم..بوووووووووم"قرعات ضخمة في منتصف الليل في الطرقات...برودة مفاجأة...كوابيس لإيلانور تخلط بين طرقات أمها وقت مرضها علي الحائط وبين تلك الخبطات التي تجمد الدماء في العروق في بيت "هيل" المسكونسر يؤرق إيلانور..وشعور بالنبذ ... أحلامها ببيت جميل واصدقاء تنهارجلسات تحضير ارواح..وبرج المكتبة ذو سلالم قوطية مرعبة حيث حدث من زمن بعيد حادث انتحار"بوووووووووم..بووووووووووم..بووووووووووووووم"** النهــايــة **-------لا لم ترق ليربما لم تكتب المؤلفة طوال الكتاب صوت الطرقات والخبطات التي طاردت الأبطالبوووووم بووووووم بووووووووومولكني كنت اسمعها ضجيجا في الليل وقت قراءة سطور الرواية واحداثها وحتي بعدها..تصدع رأسي وتؤلمهكنت اشعر بالأسي تجاه الشديد إيلانور منذ البدايةشعور الوحدة بالرغم عيشها مع اختهاشعورها بحاجاتها لبيت هادئ يحرسه تمثالي أسد..لكوبها الخاص المزين قاعه بالنجوم..للصداقة والحبربما لأني شاهدت الفيلم واعرف مصيرهاولكن علي كل حال , كي لا تعتبر هذا حرقا, فالنهاية الخاصة بها مختلفة تماما عن الفيلملم تركز المؤلفة علي البيت او علي الرعب سوي في مشاهد قليلة مقبضة بالفعل ولكني لم أر أن الرواية مرعبة قد ماهي مقبضة وذات نهاية مقتضبة شيئا مانفسية بإمتياز...5 نجوممرعبة بشكل ملائم...4 نجومشخصيات مثيرة وشخصية إيلانور بالأخص وعلاقتها بباقي الشخصيات .. 5 نجومتاريخ البيت نفسه لم اشعر له قوة في الاحداث , بل وهنا الفيلم كان افضل في هذا الجزء ...3 نجومتاريخ وماضي الشخصيات بالنسبة لإيلانور بالأخص طبعا..4 نجومالنهاية لم تكن كما توقعت عاما.. 3 نجوم(view spoiler)[لا أنكر أنني قبل نهاية الرواية قلت لنفسي ما سر قصة الأحجار الخاصة بإيلانور بأول القصة ولماذا لم يتم استغلالها ولكن بعدها عندما أتت شخصية من خارج المجموعة - زوجة الدكتور , محضرة الارواح والتي لم ترتبط باي معرفة حقيقية بإيلانور وحقيقة أنها لم تشعر بالطرقات العجيبة التي يسمعها باقي الشخصيات جعلني أتأكد أن الأمر كله بسبب إيلانور بسبب الضغط النفسي لها لمحاولة تكوين صداقة حقيقية ويأسها من الشعور بالنبذشعور ثيودورا طبيعي جدا في محاولات ابعاد إيلانور عنها..تخيل عندما يأتي لك شخصا لا يعرفك سوي منذ ايام ويطلب أن يعيش معاك ويظل معاك طوال الوقت...للاسف بالرغم من تعاطفي مع إيلانور إلا اني تفهمت كثيرا شعور ثيودورا حيث انني في وقت من الاوقات كنت اشعر بشعورها تجاه احد الاشخاص...ولا أنكر أنني شعرت بأسي شديد عندما عرفت ما حدث له بعد ذلك عندما قابل النوعية الخطأ ليتأقلم معها وأدي الي مشاكل حقيقية بعد ذلك بحياته (hide spoiler)]عاما يميز الحبكة انها ليست مطولة أو مسهبة..ولها الكثير من الطبقات أهمها تلك التي قلت عليها عن محاولات التأقلم أو النبذ والوحدة وأعتقد أن بسبب تلك الطبقات فإن الرواية فعلا تستحق القراءة ربما اكثر من مرةمحمد العربيمن 28 فبراير 2016إلي 3 مارس 2016The English Review------------------I hated it..It's a real Horror..I really felt as Eleanor while reading....Feeling that lonely even even living with her sister, that sad...and the thousands unfulfilled simple dreams..but there's always this "Tuk....Tuck...Tuckk" that ruining her dreams.. .. so pathetic... , so sad....trying to fit in and cannot... Feeling so alone even after meeting new friends...her desperate attempts to be with them forever..this weird unrealistic dream...that make everything even a nightmare..and "Boom Booooom Booooooom"too loud..too haunting..I know the author didn't write a single "Boom" in the novel but you can feel it..you can clearly hearing it..Booom Boooooom BoooooooomThe writing style is haunting and how deep the characters -specially Eleanor- is amazingly written.I didn't like the ending much , and that's the only part I hated....but overall , I loved extremely hated it...The story of Eleanor will haunt me more than the Hill House....Since everyone must have met an Eleanor...or been one at a certain time may be..بهذه الرحلة في بيت شيرلي جاكسون أنهيت رحلتي مع البيوت المسكونة خلال شهر فبرايربدأت بتامر ابراهيم و"منزل السيدة البدينة" والذي كان موفقا بالنسبة لنوفيلا عن الانتقام والوحدة أيضاريفيو منزل السيدة البدينةثم رواية البالغون لجيليان فلين مؤلفة "فتاة مفقودة" والذي مزج الطابع الكلاسيكي باطار معاصر في نوفيلا مثيرة مليئة بالتفكير والمفاجأت .. وهي من رشح لي تلك القصة في المقام الأولThe Grownup's Reviewثم رواية ستيفين كينج "مدينة ساليم" والتي كان بها بيت مهجور كان محرك الاحداث عن مصاصي الدماء والمخاوف والتي لم تكن عن المنزل قد ماكانت عن المدينة ككل بشكل اكثر من ممتاز'Salem's Lot's Reviewثم قراءتي الأولي ل ديفيد ميتشل السريالي العجيب وبيت أخر لا يظهر الا كل 9 سنين في اطار رعب خيال علميSlade House Reviewثم بيت عماد الدين لحسن الجندي والذي عن الخيانة وشئ من الوحدة بالنهاية ولكن في اطار فيلم هوليوودي تقليدي بعض الشئريفيو ابتسم فأنت ميتوبعده بيت من الأوراق...ذلك البيت العجيب والذي ينتظر الريفيو الخاص به بعض الموافقات -ليست الرقابة ولا الأزهر بالطبعHouse of Leaves' Pre-reviewتأتي النهاية مؤقتا للتجوال بكل تلك البيوت برواية تعد من الكلاسيكيات..وقد راقت لي بشكل كبير بل ويمكنك ان تلاحظ تأثر اغلب الروايات السابقة بشئ او بأخر منها["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>

  • Sam
    2019-04-12 21:24

    What are we talking about when we talk about genre fiction? Some people say it's a matter of tropes: a murder weapon, an android army, a haunted house. But a trope is just the shadow of a construction that used to be meaningful, and among the glut of police procedurals and space odysseys, good writers have always been mining the violence, loneliness, and paranoia that hides in the depths of our common forms. For Patricia Highsmith, a murder weapon wasn't just window dressing - it was an expression of the troubling human impulse to inflict violence and cruelty on other people, sometimes for no reason whatsoever. Philip K Dick's androids are preoccupied with their own existence as much, if not more, than any of Camus' famous anti-heroes. In other words, genres developed as structures, places where an author could hang human fears and desires, and so many great American writers - Chandler, Dick, Highsmith, even Melville, in his own way - have used genre fiction as a way to hide their ideas in plain sight, to dip the poison pill in something that makes the hurt go down easy, that it's amazing we even use the term at all.Which brings us to the Haunting of Hill House, perhaps Shirley Jackson's most famous book, a horror novel that manages to be straight-forwardly frightening without sacrificing any of its knotty arguments about identity's shifts and gaps. The plot is more or less straightforward, a sort of trope: a mysterious doctor summons three guests to Hill House, an abandoned mansion rumored to possess supernatural powers. All three guests have their own curiosities, but from the start the narrative hangs on the character of Eleanor, who comes to Hill House after the death of her mother frees her from a life of more or less menial servitude. Jackson's great achievement is getting us inside Eleanor's head; her identity is oddly half-formed, and her thoughts have a slanted quality that's both beautiful and frightening, a quality that makes you root for her, even as you realize, dimly, that something is very wrong.Jackson - like Highsmith - is a master of mirror images and doubled personalities, and Eleanor gets hers in the character of Theodora, the other female guest at Hill House. While Eleanor sheparded her mother into death, Theodora was living the liberated life, living in her own apartment, running a junk shop, doing as she pleased. Eleanor is fascinated by her, and soon they're sharing each other's clothes, listening to one another in the bathroom, comforting each other at night. A dangerous symbiotic relationship soon develops between the two women, full of bitter recrimination and suppressed violence, and once the House attacks - in spectacular fashion - Eleanor's ability to hold on to her own identity starts to give way. This isn't a proto-feminist identity novel masquerading as a horror story, this is a proto-feminist identity novel that is a horror story, the Yellow Wallpaper with better prose, better ideas, and more chills down the spine.In Shirley Jackson's world, horror is just what happens when you wake up and you no longer know who you are. She uses the tropes of the genre - the weird weather, the slamming doors, the messages scrawled in blood - like hammers, breaking down the characters' defenses until they're alone, blank, and terrified, staring into a void. You could read thirty philosophical treatises on humanity's aloneness and alienation in the world, and you'd never feel a thing like how you feel when Shirley Jackson gets through with you.

  • Brad
    2019-03-29 21:44

    Rarely have my feelings about a book been so jumbled.I hated all The Haunting of Hill House's characters so much that I couldn't stand reading the book, yet Shirley Jackson's need to make us hate all the characters in the book, and her success impressed the hell out of me.But then I wondered if the reason I hated the characters was not genuinely because of the book, but because of the crappy film version from 1999. Jan de Bont's remake, The Haunting, was abysmal, and the performances of its four stars were some of the worst of their careers (especially Lili Taylor, whose performance as Eleanor was the most insufferable of the lot).The film was so bad, in fact, that I'd put it completely out of my mind until I picked up The Haunting of Hill House.But as soon as I picked up the book Jackson's characters became the actors for me. Liam Neeson was all I could see when I was reading Dr. Montague, despite the fact that Jackson's vivid descriptions of the Doctor don't match the Irishman in any way. And I had the same problems with Owen Wilson (Luke), Catherine Zeta-Jones (Theo) and Lili Taylor (Eleanor). Their performances were the characters for me, and I worried that I wasn't giving Jackson's characters a fair shake.This hardly ever happens to me. I watch movies all the time -- sometimes before I read the books, although I try to avoid this -- and I've nearly always been able to avoid the actors' performances spilling into my fanciful renderings of the characters. This time, though, all four horrible performances stuck. So was my disdain for the characters really Shirley Jackson's doing, or was it my personal issues with a bad rendering of her work? I hope it was the former rather than the latter, but I remain unsure. I also ran into problems with my expectations of the story, and these seem to have been miraculously untainted by the movie. Even odder than my retention of the movie characters was my total lack of recall for the story itself. Jackson kept me guessing throughout The Haunting of Hill House, but right up until the end I felt like all these false leads and potential "realities" were missed opportunities. She frustrated me again and again. I wondered if the hauntings were being staged as a psychological experiment by Montague, then I hoped that was the case, then it wasn't. I wondered if Eleanor was there at all, then I hoped she wasn't, then she was. I wondered if someone was already a ghost, then I hoped she was, then she wasn't. And so it went: Jackson kept setting me up with the story's potential then knocking me down with an overturning of my expectations.Then I reached the end of the story, and Chapter Nine actually redeemed the tale for me. It didn't make The Haunting of Hill House one of my all time favourites, but it did bring me closer to believing that Shirley Jackson really expected us to loathe her characters, that she even depended on it, and that the control she exerted over her work was as deliberate and delicate as a surgeon repairing ligaments.I don't love Shirley Jackson's The Haunting of Hill House, but I do respect what it was trying to do. Even if I still wish she'd done something else. Did I mention that I didn't find this remotely scary?

  • Luvtoread
    2019-04-07 20:37

    What a great classic horror story! It just may be one of the best, because of the year she wrote this booktruly makes it unique and a precursor of all or most of the haunted house stories to be written thereafter.The movie The Haunting old b&w based on this story is excellent and truly scary and creepy especially for that eraand so eerie and suspenseful and no blood and gore just an old fashioned scare the wits out of you haunted house story!

  • Sam
    2019-04-15 17:22

    The Haunting Of Hill House is so much more than a haunted house story. At it's heart it's a psychological profile of a very troubled woman trying to find a place in the world. I'm sure it's chock full of symbolism, if you're one of them literary nerd types. Symbolism is all well and good, but if it weighs down the story then what's the point? Jackson doesn't spend an excessive amount of time on it - she simply tells the story in short vignettes, leading the reader through scenes of lyrical calm and bonecrunching terror with equal care for choosing just the right turn of phrase. It was tremendous.

  • Anne
    2019-03-22 19:39

    I was once so in love with Shirley Jackson that I declared I'd marry the man who could identify the source of this passage: "Don't do it, Eleanor told the little girl; insist on your cupof stars; once they have trapped you into being like everyoneelse you will never see your cup of stars again"Thank goodness this didn't happen (this was before search engines, by the way), but I'll hold to the opinion that Shirley Jackson is one of the most intriguing writers of the 20th century. Even if the man I married has never heard of her.***bonus*** It's discussed at length in another book I reccomend: Stephen King's "Danse Macabre."

  • Morgannah
    2019-04-08 01:32

    Who doesn't love a classic supernatural horror story, especially one which has been acclaimed by Stephen King as the blueprint for the modern “spooky story”?The tale begins with the rational-minded Dr Montague, who is sufficiently taken with the legend surrounding Hill House, to invite a few other people to stay with him in the house to “test his theory” that the unexplained goings-on can all be explained with science and reason.There is Eleanor, a quiet, shy, reserved woman who becomes increasingly reluctant to participate in the stay before she even gets there; encounters with hostile local people on the journey makes her certain that there is a sinister secret surrounding the place. Soon she meets Theodora, her “cousin”, who is more outgoing but the two women stick closely together upon their meeting. Then there is Luke Sanderson, the heir to the property, but somehow among the least receptive – or cut off even – when it comes to the story behind Hill House.Initially, everyone there is sufficiently spooked by the house itself – being a most imposing and unwelcoming place to spend any time in – only to have Dr Montague add to this by telling them the rather grisly story of the unfortunate family who first lived there. Madness, bad fortunes and suicide are recurring in the family history, and understandably no-one can bear to stay in the place for very long, but the new residents (perhaps excepting Eleanor, who anticipates the worst already) decide to give the house a chance.However the opinion that the house is, essentially, a malignant and living thing, with a will of its own to drive out anyone who dares to live there, begins to ring all the more true. It is not long before frightening events begin to unfold – loud banging in the night, writing on the wall and destruction of property – which seem to happen to, or close to, Eleanor more than anyone else. What makes this story so unsettling is that events are described in the narrative clearly enough to induce fear and unease in the reader, but also vaguely enough that a rational explanation can’t be ruled out entirely.A subtle build-up of apprehension, combined with a disturbing back-story to overshadow the present narrative, serve to make this a story which has clearly influenced later supernatural writers, and continues to spook readers today.

  • Alex
    2019-03-29 20:46

    You ever see a dog experience snow for the first time? Utterly mystified, right? "Ahhhhh, what the fuck is this, it's amazing!" Galumphing madly about. Trying to eat it. Batshit with ecstatic confusion.That's how I felt about this book. I had no idea what was going on, until the very end, and I only had one or two ideas even then. Are these people crazy? Is the house haunted? Is there a bad guy? Is this supposed to be funny? But I loved every sentence.Man, do I dig Shirley Jackson.