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text 2017-05-03 14:53
The Haunting of Hill House - progress 16%
The Haunting of Hill House - Shirley Jackson,Bernadette Dunne

But a house, arrogant and hating, never off-guard, can only be evil.


This house, which seemed somehow to have formed itself, flying together under its own powerful pattern under the hands of its builders, fitting itself into its own construction of lines and angles, reared its great head back against the sky without concession to humanity. It was a house without kindness, never meant to be lived in, not a fit place for people, or for love, or for hope. Exorcism cannot alter the countenance of the house.


Hill House would stay as it was until it was destroyed. 

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text 2017-05-02 14:09
Re-Read! The Haunting of Hill House
The Haunting of Hill House - Shirley Jackson,Bernadette Dunne

This is my second time through for this book. I'm re-reading for the Horror Aficianados May 2017 group read. 

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text 2017-01-23 23:10
7 Horror(ish) Novels That Set My Tail A-Waggin'
The Arabian Nightmare - Robert Irwin
Needful Things - Stephen King
The Book of Skulls - Robert Silverberg
The Haunting of Hill House - Shirley Jackson,Laura Miller
The Off Season - Jack Cady
The Tomb (Adversary Cycle, #2) - F. Paul Wilson
The Club Dumas - Arturo Pérez-Reverte,Sonia Soto

Okay, I've established that I like me some horror. I don't really like definitive "Ten Best" lists (writing them anyway; I love reading them), so I'll just talk about seven I really like. Some are only loosely horror, but it's my list, so there!


1. The Arabian Nightmare - Robert Irwin  The Arabian Nightmare - Robert Irwin  


    What a weird-ass book this is. A young Englishman comes to medieval Cairo during an epidemic. The victims fall into a never-ending nightmare that they can't remember if and when they wake. Balian, our protagonist, runs into various bizarre characters, such as Dirty Yoll the story-teller (who is also our narrator), possibly comes down with the nightmare, is victim of various conspiracies... It gets very strange, not least when the narrator dies, but keeps telling the story, and then gets better... maybe.


2. Needful Things - Stephen King  Needful Things - Stephen King  


    Look, I know many people think of this as one of King's worst works, but I love it. Besides, do you need yet another person extolling the virtues of ITThe Shining, or 'Salem's Lot? Of course not.

So, the devil comes to Castle Rock, promising the citizens their fondest wish if they'll just do him one small favor... The premise is awesome, the characters incredible, and some of the writing (particularly the prologue) is the best King has ever published. Scoff if you must, I love this  book.


3. The Book of Skulls - Robert Silverberg  The Book of Skulls - Robert Silverberg 


    Four college kids go to the desert, seeking the cure for mortality. Two must die, so the others may live forever. Dark, hedonistic, philosophical, and amazing. Told from four different, first-person perspectives in such a way that you never get confused as to who is currently narrating. Brilliant.


4. The Haunting of Hill House - Shirley Jackson,Laura Miller  The Haunting of Hill House - Shirley Jackson,Laura Miller  


    If you know anything about horror fiction, you've heard of this. Do yourself a favor and read it. Probably the best haunted house novel I've ever read.


5. The Off Season - Jack Cady  The Off Season - Jack Cady  


    Another strange one. A wanderer comes to town, along with a cat who purrs in several languages. A Victorian-era madman comes back to life, promising to help the citizens make mucho moolah in the tourist trade by exploiting their many ghosts. There's a parsonage that never stays in the same place, only to become  a flying fortress during the final battle. Whoa.


6. The Tomb (Adversary Cycle, #2) - F. Paul Wilson  The Tomb (Adversary Cycle, #2) - F. Paul Wilson  


    First, and best, of the Repairman Jack series. Jack is hired to retrieve a strange necklace for an ancient Indian woman as all hell breaks loose in NYC. Action-packed with many memorable characters.


7. The Club Dumas - Arturo Pérez-Reverte,Sonia Soto  The Club Dumas - Arturo Pérez-Reverte,Sonia Soto  


    Got into this book after seeing the movie The Ninth Gate, which was loosely based on this.

A rare book dealer is hired for two different jobs: to track down the manuscript of a certain chapter from The Three Musketeers; and to find out which, if any, of the three remaining copies off an evil tome is the original, for unknown reasons. Dark, funny, suspenseful, this introduced me to one of my favorite authors. If you like swashbucklers, check out his Captain Alatriste novels.

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review 2017-01-04 23:38
We Have Always Lived in the Castle
We Have Always Lived in the Castle - Shirley Jackson,Thomas Ott,Jonathan Lethem

Wow. What a way to start off the year. This was an excellent book.

I don't want to say too much for fear of spoiling anything, but this book while not outright scary was certainly plenty unsettling. We are set down in the middle of the lives of Merricat Blackwood, her agoraphobic sister, Constance, and their ailing Uncle Julian. The three are pretty much the village pariahs and have been since the remaining members of their immediate family died due to arsenic poisoning. Since then, Merricat only makes trips into town out of necessity (and has to face the taunts and jeers of the villagers who feel that Constance got away with murder), Constance (who was charged, but acquitted of the poisonings) won't venture further than her beloved garden, and Julian (a survivor of the poisoning), now weak in body and mind obsessively makes notes about the fateful night for a book he's writing.

The delicately balanced life the three have shared for the past six years is upset by the arrival of a cousin, Charles Blackwood.

The author does a fantastic job of setting the mood, you never quite feel comfortable while reading as a general sense of unease begins to gradually amp up to the book's climax.

I won't really say more than that for fear of spoiling, and this is definitely a book best read when one knows as little about the plot as possible.

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text 2017-01-04 00:09
Reading progress update: I've read 58 out of 160 pages.
We Have Always Lived in the Castle - Shirley Jackson,Thomas Ott,Jonathan Lethem
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