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Hell House Paperback – October 13, 1999
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About the Author
- Publisher : Tor Books; First edition (October 13, 1999)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 304 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0312868855
- ISBN-13 : 978-0312868857
- Item Weight : 13.6 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.56 x 0.79 x 8.31 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #37,157 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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This was written in another time, sure, but the things I read were stomach-turning.
I'm huge on horror, love gore and will stomach anything, but this crossed a line.
That line was the sexual abuse the women in this house endured, which was not written from a sympathetic standpoint, but rather an exploitative one.
sickos prob get off on this type of read but ima pass and suggest any well-ajdusted human does too.
Unrelenting pace. Sympathetic characters with disparate backgrounds and conflicting motivations. A different approach to the science vs. supernatural debate. An interesting (novel, haha) sectional structure, where the ‘chapters’ are marked by time of day rather than conventional numbering or titles.
Full disclosure: this book does contain sex scenes and overt references to sex and sexual activity. That should come as no surprise to readers of the genre, in general. Also worth mentioning in this regard: the book was written ~1970. The sexual revolution was, if not still in full swing (haha), still radically reshaping notions of sex and sexuality. While “Hell House” does contain shocking (at times, explicit) scenes, I’m not entirely convinced those scenes exist explicitly for shock value. Instead, they seem mostly in line with tropes that are now considered genre-standard.
Recommended for: fans of horror (especially haunted house stories, I would suspect); those drawn to tales of the supernatural; those who relish incredibly well paced stories; readers who want to be quickly immersed in a setting and remain engrossed as long as possible; anyone looking for a scare or some classic creepiness. If you enjoyed Matheson’s other contributions to horror, or books like “Our Lady of Darkness,” which have their basis in late 19th/early 20th century influences, spend some time with “Hell House.”
Edit: typos. Thar be plenty, yar.
“A flickering in her eyes revealed the change, like the evanescent shimmer of sunlight across a cloud-darkened landscape. Instantly she was herself again; but not emerging from amnesia. It was, instead, a sudden, brutal surfacing to self, with total memory of every vileness she’d been forced to utter.”
“Fischer nodded. “Belasco formed a club he called Les Aphrodites. Every night-later, two and three times a day-they’d hold a meeting; what Belasco called his Sinposium. Having all partaken of drugs and aphrodisiacs, they’d sit around that table in the great hall talking about sex until everyone was what Belasco referred to as ‘lubricous.’ Then an orgy would commence.”
“Psi phenomena abound in realms of credulity.”
“It was silent for a while. Then Edith’s legs retracted as Florence began to sing in a soft, melodious voice: “ ‘The world hath felt a quickening breath from heaven’s eternal shore. And souls, triumphant over death, return to earth once more.’ “ Something about the sound of her muted singing in the darkness made Edith’s flesh crawl.”
“Fischer tottered on his knees, across his face the dazed expression of a man who’d just been bayoneted in the stomach. He tried to hold himself erect but couldn’t. With a choking noise, he fell, landing on his side and drawing up his legs, bending forward at the neck until he had contracted to a fetal pose, eyes closed, body shivering uncontrollably. He felt the rug against his cheek. Nearby, he heard the pop and crackle of the fire. And it seemed as though someone were standing over him, someone who regarded him with cold, sadistic pleasure, gloating at the sight of his ravaged form, the helpless dissolution of his will.”
You know how books will sometimes advertise other titles by the same author in the back of the book? Well, Hell House has that page and I was shocked. Probably the most shocked I was throughout the whole experience! Talk about being a versatile writer, Richard Matheson also wrote the stories and screenplays for.... Duel (one of hubby's favorites)...I am Legend, he also wrote...wait for it....nah I can't tell you. Okay I will, the author of Hell House, the iconic haunted house movie (and book) wrote the novel and movie Somewhere In Time. You know the time travel, love story with Christopher Reeve. Now that is someone who can write anything!