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The Haunting of Hill House Paperback – Jun 12 1984


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books; Reissue edition (June 12 1984)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140071083
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140071085
  • Product Dimensions: 13.1 x 1.3 x 19.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 91 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (264 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #443,868 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From Amazon

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

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

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

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

Review

Praise for Penguin Horror Classics:

“The new Penguin Horror editions, selected by Guillermo del Toro, feature some of the best art-direction (by Paul Buckley) I've seen in a cover in quite some time.” – Cory Doctorow, Boing Boing

"Each cover does a pretty spectacular job of evoking the mood of the title in bold, screenprint-style iconography." – Dan Solomon, Fast Company
--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mark From Philly on June 3 2004
Format: Paperback
A powerful psychological thriller, "The Haunting of Hill House" affects the reader much as the fictional Hill House affects its intrepid explorers. Written with simple, lucid, and elegant prose, it is vaguely menacing and quietly disturbing, it is puzzling and disorienting, it is subtle and complex, and it works its dark magic by manipulating the fear, weakness, and despair we bring with us.
And the reviewer from Lubbock is spot on; My deepest sympathy to anyone who attempts chapter five, section four, alone, at night ...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By RavenHive99 on May 8 2004
Format: Paperback
Shirley Jackson is truly a master of the human mind. Her stories, including this one, are not just about these strange and horrible things that happen to people, but even more about their minds and the ways that they react to the people around them. In one sense you can see the end of this story coming for a while, but it's still a shock when you reach it.
I've already read every book Stephen King has written, so I was looking for a good horror novel. After reading some of the reviews here, I spent all day hunting for this book, moving from bookstore to bookstore, and when I eventually found this, I started reading, about mid-afternoon. I was caught up with it and couldn't put it down, not even to eat, until two o'clock the next morning. Now it may have just been because I was reading it in the middle of the night, but for me this book is more frightening than any story I've ever read before. There is a strange emotional tapestry among the ghosthunters in this building, but withing the growing unease, there are absolutely terrifying scenes that creep up on you and shock you. What happens to Eleanor over the course of the book makes you shiver. Now, I haven't read Matherson's 'Hell House', but I would say that this is the most frightening story ever.
Journeys end in lovers meeting...
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Format: Paperback
Created by Shirley Jackson, “The Haunting of Hill House” is about the experiences and relationships of four characters, with some past experience in the paranormal, that come to stay at the mysterious Hill House.

The first and most lasting impression this book made on me is its atmosphere. From that “first genuinely shining day of summer” to that final night of horror and bleak morning of forced separations, it was the ambience that made it such an amazing read. Hill House was “a place of despair… with a watchfulness… arrogant and hating”. Earlier I said this story is about four characters; actually it is about five. The fifth - and most intense one - is the house itself, with its bizarre structure, its eerie personality and the inexplicable ‘cold spot’ at its heart.

Set in this sinister world, the story is chiefly about protagonist Eleanor’s desire to create an identity for herself, her gradual descent to madness and her final identification with the House. While the conclusion to this story is certainly shocking, this book is not just about the ending; it is about a journey, and every moment of that journey.

There is a genre of horror that is based solely on gore; the desire to shock sensibilities being its only inspiration. This story is not that kind of horror. Rather, it is the kind that can put you in the midst of an open space on a bright, sunny day … and still tell you a tale that would make a horrifying darkness appear slowly and suffocate you eventually. Now that’s an art. And that’s why this book was such a good read.
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Format: Paperback
Because I have always wanted to read this gothic classic, I joined The Haunting of Hill House Readalong hosted by The Estella Society.

Dr. John Montague, a doctor of philosophy with a degree an anthropology, has a keen interest in supernatural manifestations. He rents Hill House for three months because of its reputation of being haunted. He handpicks a group of assistants who have had some past involvement with what can only be described as paranormal occurrences and invites them to spend the summer at Hill House. Out of the dozen people that were invited, only two take him up on his offer: 32 year-old Eleanor Vance and another woman named Theodora ("Theo"). It was also recommended to Dr. Montague to take along a member of the family who owned the house, and the owner's nephew (Luke Sanderson) joined the trio.

While I did enjoy the story, it was not as scary as I hoped that it would be. I was hoping for the same level of psychological creepiness as Sarah Waters' The Little Stranger but, for me, it did not deliver the same chills. The best part of the book was the ending, and I give props to Jackson for that! It was a five-star ending, and I only wish that the rest of the book could have achieved that level of enthrallment!

I intend to watch both film adaptations, both called The Haunting: the original 1963 version and the re-make from 1999.
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Format: Paperback
The author uses a droll and funny style to tell her story. She was an accomplished writer and observer of human nature and it shows. She had a sense of humor and understood, probably too well, darkness and melancholy.
Eleanor Vance, the heroine, is to go to Hill House, reportedly haunted. What the thirty-two year old woman lacked is a life of adventure. She had cared for her mother for eleven years. She is to be at Hill House with Dr. Montague, an investigator, and Luke Sanderson, the nephew of the owner. She meets Dudley, the caretaker, who is reluctant to open the gates. The house is a maniacal juxtaposition of line and place. Hill House is a house of despair.
Eleanor meets Theodora, another of the guests. They have connecting bathrooms. Mrs. Dudley, the caretaker's wife, says that she leaves before dark. She seems to take offense at criticism of the house. Hill House has a number of little odd rooms.
It is pointed out that no one knows why some houses are called haunted. This house is associated with suicide, madness, and lawsuits. The landlady is frank about the house's undesirability. Dr. Montague obtains a short lease to carry out his researches. Theodora has telepathic ability. Eleanor was involved with a poltergeist in the past.
The house was built eighty years previously. The owner was widowed three times. The two children of the owner spent their lives quarreling over Hill House. After dinner Luke and the doctor play chess. The two women sit by the fire and talk. The rooms are yellow, pink, blue, and green.
Eleanor sleeps well and awakes hungry for breakfast to be served at nine by Mrs. Dudley. The women, Theodora and Eleanor, have trouble finding their rooms. The ground floor is laid out in nearly concentric circles.
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