July Books 18) The Haunting of Hill House

18) The Haunting of Hill House, by Shirley Jackson

Picked this up at P-Con, partly inspired by my memory of Jackson’s famous short story “The Lottery”, and was prodded into reading it by ‘s write-up. It was also on the women writers meme that was going round a few months back. Abigail Nussbaum didn’t like it.

Anyway, I loved it. Not in fact a particularly short book (246 pages in my edition) but a real page-turner. Written and set in 1959. Professor invites people to spend the summer in a suppsoedly haunted house with him. The viewpoint character, Eleanor Vance, is obviously somehow affected by the environment, much more so than the other two guests, a young man who is related to the house’s owners and a woman who is taking a break from her (we assume) girlfriend (though her lover’s gender is never specified. The caretakers, and the professor’s wife who arrives with entourage halfway through, make up the numbers.

The pace is kept up very well throughout. Horror isn’t really my thing unless it’s done well, and this certainly is.

One thought on “July Books 18) The Haunting of Hill House

  1. Certainly sounds like an interesting read! I wonder if they followed the Chalk River workers to see what effects the exposure had on them?

    As an aside – demerits to the Economist in my books: “spewing radiation as far as Iceland” oh those poor people in Iceland – spewed upon by Fukishiman radiation!

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