Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Review: The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson

The Haunting of Hill House
by Shirley Jackson
Published: November 28, 2006
Publisher: Penguin Classics
Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal, Horror, Ghost


The greatest haunted house story ever written, the inspiration for a 10-part Netflix series directed by Mike Flanagan and starring Michiel Huisman, Carla Gugino, and Timothy Hutton

First published in 1959, Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House has been hailed as a perfect work of unnerving terror. It is the story of four seekers who arrive at a notoriously unfriendly pile called Hill House: Dr. Montague, an occult scholar looking for solid evidence of a “haunting”; Theodora, his lighthearted assistant; Eleanor, a friendless, fragile young woman well acquainted with poltergeists; and Luke, the future heir of Hill House. At first, their stay seems destined to be merely a spooky encounter with inexplicable phenomena. But Hill House is gathering its powers—and soon it will choose one of them to make its own.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

My Review:

In The Haunting of Hill House a young woman Eleanor has had a hard time fitting in with people all her life. Eleanor believes that no one wants to be around her. After the death of her mother Eleanor wanting to get out and explore the world takes a job working with Dr. Montague at a haunted house.

Dr. Montague is an occult scholar who wants to investigate a house, Hill House that is believed to be haunted. Dr. Montague hires Eleanor because she has experience with the paranormal. Two more people will be joining Dr. Montague and Eleanor at the house. The owner of the house Luke will be there as that is a part of the agreement of renting Hill House. The other person to be at the house is Dr. Montague’s assistant Theodora.

After arriving at Hill House strange things start to happen, things that may only be seen by Eleanor. Someone is leaving messages painted on the walls in red. Is it paint or is it blood? Who are the messages for? And what do they mean?

Hill House is a very large house where everyone seems to get lost whenever they go from one room to another. So they come up with a plan to keep the doors open when they go from room to room for everyone to follow so that they won’t get lost but the doors close all by themselves.

The lady that cooks for them will only stay at the house during daylight hours. Under no circumstances will you find her at the house after dark. She comes in sets the food out for them and as soon as they are done the dishes go back on the shelves where they belong and Mrs. Dudley is out of there.

The Haunting of Hill House is a very fast read that will keep you flipping the pages wondering through its haunted halls waiting for the ghosts to jump out at every corner. You feel as if you are wondering the halls yourself and hearing all the ghostly noises.

I saw the movie The Haunting of Hill House on Netflix and fell in love with it. Later I saw the book on Amazon and I thought I have to read this. The saying is that the book is better than the movie. Well almost every time that is true but I will have to say that this time I did enjoy the movie more. There are quite a lot of differences between the book and the movie. Both follow along the same story line and concept but they are different and it has some of the same characters. Although I did enjoy the movie more it didn’t take away from the books greatness. The book is an amazing story all on its own and I would recommend it to all ghost story and haunted house fans.

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