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review 2017-09-22 18:33
The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson
The Haunting of Hill House - Shirley Jackson

"The house was vile. . . Hill House is vile, it is diseased, get away from here at once."

I’m stingy with my stars and gave out five of them to Jackson’s We Have Always Lived in the Castle. It had it all; quirky characters, creepy goings-on and dreadful deeds and I was expecting similarly great things from this classic.

Perhaps my expectations were too high or maybe I just wasn’t in the mood because I found this one slower than cold molasses with slightly over-the-top characters whose plight never grabbed me. It took me well over a week to finish this skinny little book. I know I’m slow but that’s ridiculous even for me. I’d pick it up, read a few pages and fall asleep. Once I even dropped the edge of this cursed book on my face as I nodded off and woke up with a welt on my chin. At least my husband, the NON reader I might add, had a great laugh. And still I plundered on. . . 

In the end, I never did connect with the story and it wasn’t able to infect me with insidious dread. I can’t quite pinpoint what went wrong besides the fact that there was too little spooky and too much yapping for me. What with all of the talking these people did, I never did learn much about them. The descriptions of the house were divine, however, and I would love to live there.
 

 

I read this for Bingo. I'm all off track and have to figure out where I'm going to place it when I get my act back together. I don't even know what's been called at this point. Is there a master post of bingo calls somewhere?

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text 2017-09-14 16:43
Halloween Bingo 2017 - Terrifying Women
We Have Always Lived in the Castle - Shirley Jackson

Oh this was good. So very, very good.

 

Unreliable narrators are one of my favourite literary conventions. And Merricat Blackwood is more unreliable than most.

 

Is she a fey princess living on the moon with unicorns and flying horses, or is she a complete sociopath dreaming that people will die horribly and leave her and her beloved sister in peace?

 

Read it and find out.

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text 2017-09-13 18:31
Halloween Bingo 2017 - Terrifying Women
We Have Always Lived in the Castle - Shirley Jackson

I'm only 6% in, nothing has happened, and I'm already feeling very unsettled.

 

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review 2017-09-05 08:26
Magnificently Unnerving
The Haunting of Hill House - Shirley Jackson,Laura Miller

By the way, I went looking into the publishing date, and in typical wiki walk style, ended up learning about the difference between horror and terror. I need a new shelf, because this one goes into the second without question.

 

Points I can praise without spoiling (much):

 

The way everyone chats and snarks, cool as cucumbers while all the shit is going down. At times it made me laugh, at times I would tilt my head and wonder whether everyone was just crazy, and at times I would go back a paragraph wondering if I had miss-read

 

about the freaking blood/writing/thumping.

(spoiler show)

 

The dialogue (again), and how it crosses, goes over each others lines, interrupts, repeats, mixes conversations. Very natural. And sometimes confusing. You have to be engaged, because it goes fast.

 

Eleanor's thought process. Yeah...

 

All the commentary on social interaction. Jackson is a scary observant woman.

 

"She knew, of course, that he was delighting in exceeding his authority, as though once he moved to unlock the gate he would lose the little temporary superiority he thought he had—and what superiority have I? she wondered; I am outside the gate, after all. She could already see that losing her temper, which she did rarely because she was so afraid of being ineffectual, would only turn him away, leaving her still outside the gate, railing futilely. She could even anticipate his innocence if he were reproved later for this arrogance—the maliciously vacant grin, the wide, blank eyes, the whining voice protesting that he would have let her in, he planned to let her in, but how could he be sure? He had his orders, didn’t he? And he had to do what he was told? He’d be the one to get in trouble, wouldn’t he, if he let in someone who wasn’t supposed to be inside?"

 

Not able to comment on without spoiling:

 

The deep uncertainty that comes from viewing this story from Eleanor's head. Was she just that deranged, lonely, needy and possibly in-denial-lesbian? Or was she not deranged (the other are more or less foregone) and the house gave her a last push? There is also the opening, that if I were take on the context of Eleanor's situation, could mean that when all her illusions and daydreams were ripped from her, she had no avenue left but suicide. She could not cope with her absolute reality.

(spoiler show)

 

At any rate, an excellently written spook.

 

“God God—whose hand was I holding?”

 

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text 2017-09-05 01:14
Reading progress update: I've read 110 out of 182 pages.
The Haunting of Hill House - Shirley Jackson,Laura Miller

"If any of you has trouble sleeping, I will read aloud to you. I never yet knew anyone who could not fall asleep with Richardson being read aloud to him.”

 

Take that!

 

It is my second morning in Hill House, and I am unbelievably happy.

 

Eleanor is a strange cookie

 

 

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