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Grade 9 Up. Hawthorne's tale about the brooding hold of the past over the present is a complex one, twisting and turning its way back through many generations of a venerable New England family, one of whose members was accused of witchcraft in 17th century Salem. More than 200 years later, we meet the family in its decaying, gabled mansion, still haunted by the presence of dead ancestors: Hepzibah, an elderly gentlewoman fallen on had times; her ineffectual brother, Clifford; and young Phoebe, a country maiden who cheerfully takes it upon herself to care for her two doddering relations. There's also Holgrave, a free-spirited daguerreotypist, who makes a surprising transformation into conventional respectability at the story's end. These people seem to be symbols for Hawthorne's theme more than full-bodied characters in their own right. As such, it can only be difficult for today's young adults to identify with them, especially since they are so caught up in a past that is all but unknown to present day sensibilities. Talented Joan Allen, twice nominated for Academy Awards, reads the tale in a clear, luminous voice. Because she has chosen not to do voices, however, it is sometimes difficult to tell which character is speaking. Still, she is more than equal to the task of handling Hawthorne's stately prose in a presentation that will be a good curriculum support for students of Hawthorne or those seeking special insight into this work of fiction.?Carol Katz, Harrison Library, NY
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"A large and generous production, pervaded with that vague hum, that indefinable echo, of the whole multitudinous life of man, which is the real sign of a great work of fiction."
—Henry James --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
For modern readers, this is a difficult read. And once you are finished, you will likely have difficulty arguing that it was worth your while. Read morePublished on April 23 2011 by Rodge
This is quit possibly the worst book i have ever read, it was dry, there was no plot, and it was hard to understand. if you are considering buying this book, bad idea... Read morePublished on May 3 2004 by katie bryan
I tried to read this book for the first time when I was in my late teens, but I couldn't stand it. The language was just too flowery and long-winded. Read morePublished on Nov. 24 2003
The House of Seven Gables by Nathaniel Hawthorne is considered one of his greatest novels, (According to Henry James) is based on a true story within Hawthorne's own family line. Read morePublished on Oct. 7 2003
I have come to the conclusion that this is anovel you either love or you just can't get into it. I couldn't get into it. Read morePublished on June 4 2003 by S. K. Leggate
I have come to the conclusion that this is a novel you will either love or you just can't get into it. I am one who couldn't get into it. Read morePublished on June 4 2003 by S. K. Leggate
Nathaniel Hawthorne is probably one of the most despised figures in the American literary canon, at least in the minds of the millions of school children forced to read "The... Read morePublished on May 18 2003 by Jeffrey Leach
Hawthorne's writing style is excellent, perhaps one of the very best in english. and his idea is good too, i'll give him that. but the story is not made very interesting. Read morePublished on April 10 2003 by jan erik storebø
Nathaniel Hawthorne's The House of the Seven Gables today enjoys unshakable status as one of the brighter stars in the firmament of American literature. Read morePublished on Dec 4 2002 by The Wingchair Critic