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The Haunting of Hill House (Penguin Classics) Paperback – November 28, 2006
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"Children of Blood and Bone"
Tomi Adeyemi conjures a stunning world of dark magic and danger in her West African-inspired fantasy debut. Pre-order today
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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
About the Author
Shirley Jackson (1919–1965), a celebrated writer of horror, wrote many stories as well as six novels and two works of nonfiction.
Laura Miller, previously an editor at Salon.com, writes essays and reviews for the New York Times, the New Yorker, and other publications.
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It's creepy and horrible in the best way and immediately draws you in with Eleanor, who has been unable to create a life of her own because she's spent the past 11 years as the caretaker for her dreadful mother. I especially liked this passage:
Eleanor Vance was thirty-two years old when she came to Hill House. The only person in the world she genuinely hated, now that her mother was dead, was her sister. She disliked her brother-in-law and her five-year-old niece, and she had no friends. This was owing largely to the eleven years she had spent caring for her invalid mother, which had left her with some proficiency as a nurse and an inability to face strong sunlight without blinking. 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.
Hill House, like Eleanor, waits, empty for someone to fill it up. The haunting may seem mundane by modern standards, but it's the atmosphere and the character of the house itself that really creates the atmosphere which makes this novel so effective.
One note about the forward in this edition. IT CONTAINS SPOILERS! Luckily it's a relatively heavy piece of literary analysis and I was ready to go so I skipped it and read it afterwards. If you've already read this book then definitely read the forward as it is excellent, if you haven't, then definitely take the time to read it afterwards.
Also, this is not really a horror story. It is advertised as a horror story, and the movies that have been made about it are horror movies, but this book really only barely strays into the horror realm. It is a creepy book at times about a creepy house, but it is never really horror. By the end your not even sure if it is a story about a haunted house.
One thing that has to be said though is that the house is great. It wont take long before you see Hill House as the realy main character of the book, and it is by far the most interesting character and you can start to appreciate the hold the house starts to exert on Eleanor
This book has the loveliest poetry describing the house and surrounding.
I did not find this book all that scary, but I do have a big dog, and two other grown-ups living with me. Don't think I would want to read this in a home alone with myself, a couple of yappy dog, or cats that run away like the devil is after them at the slightest sound...just saying...consider your environment before you read this tale.
I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys classic literature, horror or stories about big scary houses.