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Book Review #33: The Haunting Of Hill House

Updated: Jul 20, 2021

Shirley Jackson

The Haunting of Hill House

Publisher: Penguin

Pages: 246

One word review: Beguiling!

Did you know?

When Shirley Jackson's short story "The Lottery" was published in The New Yorker in 1948, reader were so horrified they sent her hate mails.

The Haunting Of Hill House is one of the most popular horror novels of all time and it is also the first book that I read in the horror genre. The novel is written with pitch perfect setting in a lonely hill house and well-defined mystifying characters.

Favorite lines from the Book:

I don't stay after I set out dinner. Not after it begins to get dark. I leave before dark comes.

Most of the horror stories is always set on a lonely house and I suppose this book started that trend for all horror movies. The story is centered around four characters and a lonely house at the hill top. We are taken into the world through the perspective of Eleanor, one of the lead characters. The other lead characters revolves around her perception and so does the house. Some times as a reader you wonder whether is it her perception or imagination? Each of the character's back stories are defined and delineated thoroughly to expand our imagination.

Far away, in the trees over Hill House, an owl cried out, and toward morning a thin, fine rain began, misty and dull.

Coming to the Hill House, the narration and description of the house is written with utmost intrigue and wonder leaving you thrilled; asking for your imagination and wanting to visit such a place. There is even a scene where one of the lead characters explicates the background story and architecture of the house which was fascinating to read. The novel is more focussed on character development than thrills and chills needed for a horror experience. So if you are excepting it to horrify you then you may end up getting disappointed.

Share a room and share our clothes, We're going to be practically twins.

With not many thrills but a well written intriguing story line and character developments, The Haunting of Hill House is one interesting and enchanting novel to read.

No live organism can continue for long to exist sanely under conditions of absolute reality.

Verdict: A Horror Story for Beginners!

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