File Size: 550 KB
Print Length: 289 pages
Publisher: Penguin Classics; 1 edition (November 28, 2006)
Publication Date: November 28, 2006
Dr. Montague decides to investigate Hill House, a notorious haunted house, by going to stay there. He invites Eleanor Vance and Theodora as they have booth have previous paranormal experiences. Luke Sanderson is a nephew of the current owner and goes along to represent the family. Each has their own reason for being at the house and what starts as a lark soon turns into a living nightmare. What possess Hill House and will they be able to escape?
I enjoyed my edition of The Haunting of Hill House which is part of the Penguin Horror collection and included an introduction by Guillermo Del Toro about the horror series as well as an introduction of this specific book by Laura Miller. I skipped both introductions to read the story on its own merit, but returned to them after I finished the book. They are both worth a read.
I don’t want to get too much into the plot as I don’t want to ruin the story for others, but the writing was fabulous from the memorable start to thrilling conclusion. I loved both the first quote and last quote and many in between as seen below. I also love how it is not bloody gross horror, but suspenseful horror. The horror of a house that doesn’t seem quite right, but slowly takes over the minds of those who inhabit it. I love that it is a Victorian house that smothers the occupants with its clutter and unsymmetrical design. I thought Eleanor was a fascinating character and I liked her journey through the novel.
My favorite quotes:
“Hill House, not sane, stood by itself against its hills, holding darkness within; it had stood so for eighty years and might stand for eighty more.”
“The light changed; she turned onto the highway and was free of the city. No one, she thought, can catch me now; they don’t even know which way I’m going.”
“No human eye can isolate the unhappy coincidence of the line and place which suggest evil in the face of a house, and yet somehow a maniac juxtaposition, a badly turned angle, some chance meeting of roof and sky, turned Hill House into a place of despair, more frightening because the face of Hill House seemed awake, with a watchfulness from the blank windows, and a touch of glee in the eyebrow of a cornice.”
“Naturally I hope that we will all know a good deal more about Hill House before we leave. No one knows, even, why some houses are called haunted.”
“It watches. The house. It watches every move you make.”
“She might have cried if she could have thought of any way of telling them why; instead, she smiled brokenly up at the house, looking at her own window, at the amused, certain face of the house, watching her quietly. The house was waiting now . . . and it was waiting for her; no one else could satisfy it.”
“Within, its walls continued upright, bricks met neatly, floors were firm, and doors were sensibly shut; silence lay steadily against the wood and stone of Hill House, and whatever walked there, walked alone.”
Overall, The Haunting of Hill House was a perfect Halloween read; suspenseful with great characters including an unforgettable house.
Book Source: I purchased this book from Amazon.com,I finished this book last night and I have been thinking about what I should say about it. The movies ( the original and the remake) "The Haunting" is based on this book. As this was a some-what interesting read, I expected it to be a lot more suspenseful. In my opinion, the movie's ending was a lot better. I would recommend this book to those easily spooked, but for those like me who can handle it, time to get back to the Dean Koontz books! Haha,I found this book quite boring. I thought the book had some pages missing at the end because the ending was such a let down. I was like, "That's it?" Non-relatable characters, and too much building up to something that never happens. The frights are non-existent and when they do make an attempt at them they are very predictable. Jump scares do not work in books.,The book is very well written, although (was it published in the 50's?) the style is somewhat old-fashioned. I think I must have missed something in this book, as I found it so readable, yet not terribly scary (which I was after!). Other reviewers mentioned being scared by the "games" the place played with the characters, while I only read it with mild interest.
Often, I found the normal conversations between the characters awkward. It was as if the author found it hard to write normal direct speech! I enjoyed the book, but would not go to 4 stars. Some incidents, such as the pounding on the doors, were really spooky. I would actually have loved to know and read a little more about the housekeeper, who was both surly and amusing. I kept wondering what she knew and of course would not tell.
Why were we never enlightened as to the cold spot in the nursery door? Actually, nothing about the history of the house was really unearthed, nor did we read of any strange deaths in there. So for me it was as if the raison d'être of the haunted house was completely left out, and the attention shifted to Eleanor, a rather irritating character sometimes.
Eleanor was an enigma. Was she slightly insane? Psychic? Silly? Was she in love with Theodora? Hard to tell. I felt, like another reviewer, that the book started out promising thrills and chills, but wound down to ... nothing much, only what poor Eleanor did ... (no spoilers). I still maintain I enjoyed the book and it's well worth reading and making up your own mind.
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