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Hell House [Kindle Edition]

Richard Matheson
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (328 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $15.99
Kindle Price: $9.99
You Save: $6.00 (38%)
Sold by: Macmillan

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Book Description

Rolf Rudolph Deutsch is going die. But when Deutsch, a wealthy magazine and newpaper publisher, starts thinking seriously about his impending death, he offers to pay a physicist and two mediums, one physical and one mental, $100,000 each to establish the facts of life after death.

Dr. Lionel Barrett, the physicist, accompanied by the mediums, travel to the Belasco House in Maine, which has been abandoned and sealed since 1949 after a decade of drug addiction, alcoholism, and debauchery. For one night, Barrett and his colleagues investigate the Belasco House and learn exactly why the townfolks refer to it as the Hell House.

At the publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management software (DRM) applied.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Hell House is the scariest haunted house novel ever written. It looms over the rest the way the mountains loom over the foothills." --Stephen King

About the Author

Richard Matheson is the ""New York Times"" bestselling author of ""I Am Legend, Hell House, Somewhere in Time, The Incredible Shrinking Man, A Stir of Echoes, The Beardless Warriors, The Path, Seven Steps to Midnight, Now You See It . . .,"" and ""What Dreams May Come,"" A Grand Master of Horror and past winner of the Bram Stoker Award for Lifetime Achievement, he has also won the Edgar, the Hugo, the Spur, and the Writer's Guild awards.
He lives in Calabasas, California.

Product Details

  • File Size: 389 KB
  • Print Length: 302 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books; 1st Tor trade paperback ed edition (April 1, 2011)
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #15,299 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
188 of 197 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Scarier than I thought it would be... November 4, 2000
I am now officially a fan of Richard Matheson.
I started out by reading "I am Legend", which is one of the best horror stories ever written, so I was expecting a little less from this. And, it isn't as good as "I am Legend", but then again, not much is. I am on a crusade now to get all of my horror-loving friends and family to read Matheson - it seems his work has been virtually buried by the enormous amount of really bad horror that seemed to spring up in Stephen King's wake (which isn't King's fault...publishers just started seeing dollar signs...). Matheson is a rarity in the field of horror - he's classic.
"Hell House" is a fast read. Each chapter consists of one day, and the chapters are broken down into little sections (7:08pm, 1:39 am, etc.) that keep the pace quick, and make it very easy for you to say, "Oh, I guess I can squeeze in just a little more before turning out the light." (Or at least going to sleep!) The writing is snappy, and to the point. Matheson creates vivid, cinematic images without having the writing call too much attention to itself. Surely this is a skill he perfected while writing for "The Twilight Zone".
"Hell House" has enough twists and turns to satisfy, and enough really scary, disgusting stuff to possibly haunt your dreams. I found myself having to think happy thoughts as I closed my eyes at night. I haven't had to do that in a while...not since reading "It" by Stephen King as a kid.
Fellow horror fans, you really ought to do yourselves a favor and read this book (and all of his others, too!). And remember, if anything seems familiar -- like it's been done before -- then it was probably lifted from this!
Highly recommended!
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79 of 84 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Mount Everest of haunted house novels September 13, 2003
"Hell House" author Richard Matheson has always been one of the great supernatural authors of recent history. His novels may not hit the bestseller lists with the frequency of Stephen King or Dean Koontz, but his contributions to the genre are legendary. His resume includes episodes of "The Twilight Zone," "I Am Legend," "Somewhere In Time," "The Shrinking Man" and "Stir of Echoes." For me, "Hell House" stands out as his great contribution to the genre, a storied and historical form of literature traveled by the likes of Shirley Jackson, Bram Stoker, H. G. Wells and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Just when you think all has been covered in the haunted house genre, here comes Matheson with this electric and extraordinarily creepy variation circa 1971.
Wonderfully realized and darkly imaginative, "Hell House" is a simple tale of four unluckly folks hired to crack the legend of Hell House, an isolated mansion in Maine with a history as dark as the Manson Family at Spahn Ranch. Once owned by a Mr. Belasco, the house was an early 20th century hangout of deviant folks who explored carnal avenues to the ultimate point of starvation and death. Two previous expeditions of scientists ended in suicide and disaster, and our modern-day protagonists, needless-to-say, have their work cut out for them.
By novel's end, each character must come to terms with their own human weaknesses and repressions, exposed by the overwhelming evil of Hell House. Matheson's novel is brilliant because it brings a sexual awareness to the genre only flirted with in the past. The house, in many ways, is a prison with windows bricked over, nestled uncomfortably in an isolated, fog-covered valley. Matheson's characters are painfully alone, battling forces psycologically and eventually physically.
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43 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Horror Novel I've read so far May 24, 2003
I've been indulging in horror novels for the past year and I've read everything from Anne Rice to Stephen King. This novel was the most frightening novel I've laid my eyes on. While reading it, someone knocked on my door and I screamed so loud that I practically gave my visitor a heart attack.
So would you like this book? Picture this. There is a house where only one person has survived living beneath its roof in over 30 years. Four people return (a physicist, his wife, and 2 mediums); with a reward of 100,000 to see if they can get rid of the "hauntings" at Hell House. The physicists, Lionel, insists that there are no such things as ghost; that paranormal occurrences are a natural part of the world created by electromagnetic forces rather than the dead. The spiritualist, Florence, argues that the phenomenon's are a result of trapped and torments spirits which she has the power to relinquish from their prison. The mystery emerges as the debate of the force behind the phantoms grows. Will any of these four survive to solve the mystery of Hell House and if they do did they really learn the truth or just what the house wanted them to learn?
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars wonderfully terrifying and readable November 17, 1999
By A Customer
I'll agree with Stephen King, at the risk of seeming unorginal, that this is the scariest of all haunted house novels--much more so than "The Haunting of Hill House," "Burnt Offerings," or "The Shining," in my opinion, although it is not as good of a book overall as "Hill House." Matheson doesn't primarily rely on gross-outs for his effects (although some things in the book are rather revolting); mostly he just makes you afraid of what might happen next, by making the characters seem real and down-to-earth, with real fears and problems, and by establishing an extremely fearsome ambience through clear prose and ever more sinister suggestions. The use of semi-science fiction technology to investigate the possibility of an afterlife (explored by Matheson very differently in "what Dreams May Come" and "Bid Time Return") is kind of an interesting and involving element as well, and helps pull you in. Including some provocative sexual stuff kind of gets your attention also, but makes you feel guilty at the same time when things go really wrong--Matheson uses this device effectively, partly for titillation but also to heighten the overall effect. You really feel like you've been through the wringer after you get through this book, but it's somehow an enjoyable, refreshing experience. (Horror fiction aficionados I think will know what I mean, others will think that makes no sense). Be scared, very scared--read it.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars "Hell House" one of my all time favorite horror novels
You could easily replace the name of Belasco with Crowley to explore motivations for Belasco's evil that Matheson only hints at in
"Hell House". Read more
Published 1 day ago by John W Payne
2.0 out of 5 stars but frankly I just don't think it's that great.
Went on the recommendation of Stephen King about this book, but frankly I just don't think it's that great.
Published 4 days ago by Keith Neal
5.0 out of 5 stars wonderful book
Full of fright and a wonderful fast read! If you're into horror and haunted house stories this is a must read.
Published 4 days ago by Anthony
5.0 out of 5 stars I wasnt expecting to be drawn into this book, ...
I wasnt expecting to be drawn into this book, but I definitely was. Scary without being ridiculous, and still had a strong plot.
Published 4 days ago by Carl H.
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent story, rushed ending?
As a huge fan of horror, and beginning a new horror reading binge, I was recommended Hell House as a cornerstone of the genre. Read more
Published 10 days ago by Alexander Bertoni
4.0 out of 5 stars A chilling tale
Richard Matheson's Hell House plays out the way you might expect any haunted house tale to go, but with the exception that Matheson's characters are well developed and easy to... Read more
Published 21 days ago by Jerrett L. Richards
4.0 out of 5 stars Finally!
After so many knock-offs - both books and movies - it was wonderful to read the original at long last. Read more
Published 29 days ago by Jeffrey De Glopper
4.0 out of 5 stars The granddaddy of modern horror
The more I read Richard Matheson, the more I realize that much of his work has been used and reused by countless authors and film makers. Read more
Published 29 days ago by deborah jarvis
4.0 out of 5 stars The movie has always been one of my favorites
and I was really surprised to see how closely the film and script stick to the source. Matheson needs no props because he is simply one of the best and most original, from his... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Mark Byers
2.0 out of 5 stars Hell House
Mediocre at best. It held my attention initially, gradually waning though as I continued to read. The ending was nonsensical and a let down as I hoped the author would redeem the... Read more
Published 1 month ago by TAMARA LYNN MILLER
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More About the Author

Richard Matheson was born in 1926. He began publishing SF with his short story 'Born of Man and Woman' in 1950. I Am Legend was published in 1954 and subsequently filmed as The Omega Man (in 1971), starring Charlton Heston, and I Am Legend (in 2007), starring Will Smith. Matheson wrote the script for the film The Incredible Shrinking Man, an adaptation of his second SF novel The Shrinking Man. The film won a Hugo award in 1958. He wrote many screenplays as well as episodes of The Twilight Zone. He continued to write short stories and novels, some of which formed the basis for film scripts, including Duel, directed by Steven Spielberg in 1971. A film of his novel What Dreams May Come was released in 1998, starring Robin Williams. Stephen King has cited Richard Matheson as a creative influence on his work.

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How does Matheson compare to Lovecraft or King?

As an avid King fan who has read just about all his books/short stories (the exception being the Tower series, which is too "fantasy" genre for me), I can tell you that I was thrilled to stumble upon Matheson's works. Ironically enough, I had been familiar with so much of it... Read More
Jan 21, 2009 by Allison Rhodes |  See all 4 posts
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