The Haunting of Hill House Paperback – Jun 5 1984
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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
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
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Top Customer Reviews
And the reviewer from Lubbock is spot on; My deepest sympathy to anyone who attempts chapter five, section four, alone, at night ...
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...
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.
Most recent customer reviews
Best. Horror. Story. Ever. Bar none.
It's subtle, and elusive.
Story-line is captivating. There are no ghoulies or ghosties or long-leggety beasties. Maybe. Read more
Even though I knew the storyline, I found reading it enjoyable!! Readers should not read the forward until after they read the book, or they'll find the story pre-explained!!!Published 7 months ago by Elaine Stewart
Love, love,love the book and the service. I ordered the book and it came in 3 days (standard shipment) great book. Very happy with this purchasePublished 11 months ago by sarah
This book was suppose to be among the top thrillers ever written. I for one did not find it as good as all the hype. I believe if it were a movie I'd be shaken in my boots.Published 11 months ago by Lesley Dawn
Forgetting the genre for a moment, as a work of fiction, this book is a masterpiece. "Hill House" is widely considered to be THE haunted house story that has been endlessly... Read morePublished 12 months ago by Aaron Steinhoff
Not scary at all. HardIy anything happened. I forced myself to finish it cause I paid good money for it.Published 15 months ago by Master Blazer
Because I have always wanted to read this gothic classic, I joined The Haunting of Hill House Readalong hosted by The Estella Society.
Dr. Read more
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