Ever seen the movie The Haunting? It starred Liam Neeson, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Lili Taylor. This is the book that inspired that movie.
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.
The Haunting of Hill House Review
Honestly, the movie was better. (Bad me, I know.)
The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson was an … interesting read. I’m not entirely sure what I think about it. I will say that when I had originally watched the Haunting, I didn’t know it was based on a book (though what decent movie isn’t based on a book?), and I rather liked it. So when I started reading Haunting of Hill House, I was surprised to recognize the characters and the settings immediately.
I think Shirley Jackson has a very, very good way with words. Her nonsensical dialogue is quite amusing, and she manages to get you lost in the mental break of Eleanor (Nell) very easily. You don’t really care about the other characters, but they are very realistic. No cardboard cutouts.
The book ended a bit abruptly, but I can’t say as I think that’s a bad thing.
The one thing I didn’t understand about reading this bookis that I could not just zoom straight through it like I normally do a short read. I’d read for a few minutes – thoroughly appreciating what I was reading – but then end up sitting it down and wandering off, only to be attracted back to it a few minutes later. It tripled the time it normally takes me to read a book.
I think it has a re-readability factor , but I can’t say I’d do it anytime soon. Buy The Haunting of Hill House on Amazon, and see for yourself.