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The House of the Seven Gables

3.45  ·  Rating Details ·  28,122 Ratings  ·  1,611 Reviews
Enduring Literature Illuminated By Practical Scholarship

The story of the Pyncheon family, residents of an evil house cursed by the victim of their ancestor's witch hunt and haunted by the ghosts of many generations.

This Enriched Classic Edition Includes:

A concise introduction that gives the reader important background information

A chronology of the author's life and wo
Paperback, 432 pages
Published June 19th 2007 by Simon & Schuster (first published 1851)
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Aug 16, 2009 Kim rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cultured, meh-at-you

Why the hell did I pick this up again? Life's too short, you say? You have 200+ other books on your 'to read' shelf and this was sucking your will to read? Give it up! You're right... all of it... and my answer is... my excuse being... because I'm freakin' stubborn. Its Hawthorne . I mean how much more New Englandy can you get? I couldn't just--- give up... I'd be betraying my countryman...


For a few years, in my younger days, I worked down the street from the House o
Feb 13, 2008 Werner rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of 19th-century classics
Shelves: classics, books-i-own
Note, May 14, 2016: I edited this review just now to make a slight factual correction.

During the Salem witch hysteria of 1692, when real-life accused witch Sarah Good was about to hanged, she pointed at one of the witch hunters, Rev. Nathaniel Noyes, who was looking on approvingly, and shouted, "I'm no more a witch than you are, and if you murder me, God will give you blood to drink!" (an allusion to Revelation 16:6). Years later, Noyes suffered a throat aneurism, and did die literally drinking
Alan Fay
Dec 02, 2008 Alan Fay rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: nobody
This is the worst book ever written in the English language that is somehow celebrated against far superior novels from the same era, somehow earning him enough respect to have his crusty face emblazoned onto the Library of Congress.

If the story were to take place in modern day Atlanta, it would be about some inbred, old money steel magnolia losing her shit up in Buckhead, and dragging her family down with her while she squanders what little remains of their inheritance on palm readers and telem
Descubrí a Nathaniel Hawthorne a través Herman Melville, uno de mis escritores preferidos. Melville y Hawthorne se hicieron grandes amigos a punto tal que Melville le termina dedicando su obra cumbre Moby Dick: ”En señal de admiración a un genio este libro está dedicado a Nathaniel Hawthorne.” Melville siempre destacaba, un atributo sobresaliente de Hawthorne que según sus propias palabras "Es la negrura en Hawthorne lo que tanto me atrae y me fascina. Los grandes genios son parte de los tiempos ...more
Joselito Honestly and Brilliantly
A clueless group here in made this this its book of the month read under the "Horror" genre when there is no horror in it. The author called it, instead, a "Romance" but there is no romance in it, either, except a brief declaration of love for each other of two protagonists towards the end with all its unmistakable phoniness ("How can you love a simple girl like me?" Duh, all men profess to love simple girls!).

This is actually a sex book written under the atmosphere of sexual repre
Henry Avila
The Pyncheon family had a long and useful reign.The founder Col.Pyncheon, was a stout Puritan and soldier.Who helped wipe out the evil threat of the witches. In the Salem trials of 1692.For his reward, he happened to take over the property of old Matthew Maule. A good place for the Colonel's new mansion. For his noble efforts .The Wizard Maule .Met his just end, at Gallows Hill. The House of the Seven Gables. Was one of the best edifices in colonial Massachusetts. But more than 150 years later, ...more
Mar 24, 2011 William1 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, 19-ce, us
This narrative, published in 1850, starts with a preface by Hawthone explaining his concept of the Romance, which is to be distinguished from the Novel because it provides the writer with greater latitude to takes risks. The Novel is somehow more straightforward, more conservative, less flexible as a vehicle for experimentation.

The first chapter gives us the backstory in a kind of lump sum. Most contemporary novelists probably write such a backstory but often cut it, since, lacking action and ch
Jr Bacdayan
… for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation… Exodus 20:5

It has always been a wonder for me why punishment should be as such. Why is this idea of making descendants suffer for their forefather’s mistakes so recurring in literature? Including this passage from the bible, there are countless other works which involve this sad practice; Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The House of Seven Gables is one of the more renowned ca
Mar 27, 2008 Joe rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I'm so glad you're dead, Nathaniel Hawthorne.

So this is a classic horror novel in which nothing at all happens for a few hundred pages except the description of some house, an old hag selling oatmeal, and some guy who may or may not have hypnotized the other chick who's boarding there. There might be something scary but I was too busy falling asleep to notice. If Hawthorne were alive, he'd be a zombie, which I'd totally be okay with because then he could get shot in the head by zombie experts. T
K.D. Absolutely
Aug 23, 2009 K.D. Absolutely rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to K.D. by: 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die (2006-2010)
An old US colloquial house with seven gables that seem to be mocking heaven. Seven main characters. The old ugly Hepzibah Pyncheon running a candy shop to earn a living for herself and her war-torn brother Clifford Pyncheon. Her face is ugly because she has to squint to see. She needs to wear eye-glasses but she is so poor that she cannot afford to have one. So customers are few except the young adorable boy Ned Higgins who loves gingerbread cookies that he comes back again and again to the cand ...more
Oct 07, 2013 Janet rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I adore this book. I recall reading it for the first time in my twenties, picking it up at random and being amazed how lively and picturesque the writing was, so different from the dreary Scarlet Letter I remembered from high school. The decline of the Pyncheon family after the curse of old man Maule, a fiercely independent man who’d staked a claim on land and a certain well which the progenitor of the Pyncheon clan, the old Puritan, desired to have for his own. Eventually he'd had Maule hung fo ...more
Jul 30, 2007 Shawn rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: few
This book dares you to read it. I hadn't thought about putting it up here, because, in fact, I have never finished it. I have the distinction of having had the book assigned to me no less than three times in various college courses, and never once read the whole thing.

The problem is I do not care about a single character in this novel. A rich family is cursed because they screwed over a poor family? Great. Where's the conflict? I hate rich people, and didn't want to see them redeemed.

The Daguer
Jason Pettus
(My full review of this book is much larger than GoodReads' word-count limitations. Find the entire essay at the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography [].)

The CCLaP 100: In which I read 100 supposed "classics" for the first time, then write reports on whether or not I think they deserve the label

Book #2: House of the Seven Gables, by Nathaniel Hawthorne

The story in a nutshell:
Like any good horror story, the spooky House of the Seven Gables actually tells two stories at onc
Nov 09, 2016 Cabezabajo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016, victorian
3'5 estrellas

A pesar de las muchas recomendaciones y las buenas críticas leídas, cuando empecé este libro iba un poco a ciegas. No sabía si se trataba de una novela costumbrista, gótica o de terror, y tampoco conocía la pluma de Hawthorne, por lo que temía que se me atragantara.

En mi opinión, la novela mezcla un poco todos estos elementos. No llega a dar verdadero miedo ni a ser una historia de fantasmas propiamente dicha (por suerte para mi), pero si que existe este aura extraña y sofocante, e
J.G. Keely
May 26, 2007 J.G. Keely rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Hawthorne is the equivalent of nudging someone and winking without actually thinking of anything interesting, risque, beautiful, or even useful. It is sad that a man with such a voluminous writing ability was seemingly devoid of any notion of what to do with it.
Jul 19, 2009 Bruce rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Hawthorne labels his work a Romance rather than a novel, thus giving himself permission to mix an element of the “Marvellous” into the narrative. The work itself begins with sprinkled oddities - a hint of witchcraft and necromancy, a mysterious and possibly supernatural death, the presence of a perpetual family curse, a puzzling mirror rumored to show unusual characteristics, a house itself that is personified. Hawthorne’s language is exquisite, very early 18th century-ish, almost courtly, certa ...more
Nov 16, 2016 Obsidian rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Please note that I gave this book half a star and rounded it to 1 star on Goodreads.

Bah. Bah a thousand times. I have no idea why I started reading this. I think for the Halloween Book Bingo and I ended up switching it out. This thing was painful to read. I don't even know what to tell you besides if you must read this, just pace yourself since trying to force read this thing was not fun at all. At least the last 10-15 pages were just about Project Gutenberg though. I am going to complain though
Aug 09, 2012 Gkc3of9 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics, fiction

Just a quick comment about Hawthorne's claim this is a "romance". Many posts here misunderstand the author's definition of the word romance, thinking he means the kind of book found in the romance section of the modern bookstore that includes Nora Roberts and the like. This is NOT the kind of romance the author is claiming for this novel. More closely akin to what Hawthorne means for the modern reader would be "fantasy", that is, not a story of realism, but arising from a creative liberty which
Aug 27, 2015 Omaira rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Omaira by: Lectores experimentados de clásicos.
Shelves: brujas, gótico
"¿Por qué tienden los poetas a elegir a sus compañeras sin atender a que exista una similitud de dotes poéticas entre ellos, sino por unas cualidades que tanto podrían hacer feliz al artesano más rudo como a esos artífices ideales del espíritu? Probablemente sea porque, en su elevada situación el poeta no necesita de contacto humano, pero le da miedo descender algún día y sentirse un extraño"

Esta es la primera novela gótica que leo con plena conciencia de que lo es, es decir, sabiendo mín
Dec 11, 2010 Janette rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I can see why English teachers like this book. The vocabulary alone makes it worth reading. Plus it's full of all that theme and symbolism that English teachers love to talk about.

Unfortunately, Nathaniel Hawthorne liked to talk about theme and symbolism too, which makes this book feel like one long treatise on theme and symbolism. I mean, seriously, Nathaniel Hawthorne goes on and on and on and then on some more about the stuff. He doesn't just tell you once that it is a degradation that Hepzib
Feb 28, 2012 Gloria rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Curses spat out by an accused and condemned-to-death wizard.

Patriarchal greed which flows through the veins of a family tree.

Younger generations striving to break free from the curse, seemingly in vain as they labor to barely live beneath the gloomy seven gables of the ancestral manse.

I don't know if it's because Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter was required reading in junior high ... but I never have (until recently) been motivated to pick up his stories-- even though I really liked The Scarlet L
When I finished this story, I found it hard to care about it. It is my least favorite of Hawthorne's books. The characters were mostly unlikable, the plodding plot fattened up with many pages of useless description that added nothing. It was a relief to be done with it, an achievement that can only be attributed to my stubborn refusal to stop reading once engaged, no matter how annoying the material. :o) It does feel irreverent to be trashing Nathaniel Hawthorne. But time would be better spent r ...more
Synopsis:"Nathaniel Hawthorne's gripping psychological drama concerns the Pyncheon family, a dynasty founded on pious theft, who live for generations under a dead man's curse until their house is finally exorcised by love."

Initially I found myself very pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this book set in 19th century Puritan New England. There was an eerie quality, a quiet subtle sense of  suspense that drew me to find answers without a heart pounding urgency to solve the mysteries behind
Clif Hostetler
Oct 26, 2008 Clif Hostetler rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novel
The House of the Seven Gables begins with a preface by the author that identifies the work as a romance, not a novel. That may be the author's preference, but I think most romance fans will be disappointed if they read this book. The book is a classic by a famous American author, so it deserves to be read. Once you finish the book and look over the complete plot, you can see how romantic love has healed a 200-year family curse. Therefore, in that regard it is a romance. However, the experience o ...more
Mary Ronan Drew
Nov 22, 2010 Mary Ronan Drew rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Decades have gone by since I've read any Hawthorne and now I'm sorry because re-reading the House of the Seven (sic) Gables has been a great pleasure.

The characters are, as always in Hawthorne, remarkable, burdened with weighty meaning. Hawthorne writes like no other about guilt, redemption, and atonement. Always mysterious. The incomparable Hepzibah, the beautiful and innocent Phoebe, the puzzling daguerreotypist, the ex-con Clifford, hypocritical Uncle Jaffrey, the tragic memory of Alice, the
Jul 04, 2010 Q rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Having read Scarlet Letter in Jr High -I was surprised how much I enjoyed House of the Seven Gables. He called it a romance vs a novel; for a romance has a moral. Here the moral was the actions of past generations effect the current generation.

This book is a great historical novel - of changing times in New England. The Puritanical ways are changing to new thought. the impact of the Salem Witch trials - having cast a web of strife for many - is now coming back to center. Greed and arrogance of
Oct 06, 2009 Stuart rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another "great American novel" that really is one of the Great American Novels, this book is a surprisingly quick read, by turns charming and creepy, with a small but excellently drawn cast of characters ranging from the comically tragic but dignified Hepzibah, to the gracefully mysterious Holgrave. An unexpected plot twist at the beginning of the book's final third leads to two chapters of excellent writing, one detailing Clifford and Hepzibah's flight on a train and the almost psychotic breakd ...more
Free download available at Project Gutenberg.

Not so good as expected.

5* The Scarlet Letter
4* Rappaccini's Daughter
3* Wakefield ; Ethan Brand
3* Wakefield - Il velo nero del pastore
3* The Ambitious Guest
3* The Blithedale Romance
3* The House of the Seven Gables
TBR The Marble Faun
TBR Fanshawe
Chris Gager
This isn't the edition I got/bought from the library but close enough. I get tired of looking. It was published by Longriver Press(Secaucus, NJ) in 1976. Mine's a hardbound cheapie(the paper is getting brown along the edges) but in very good condition. Illustrations by ? There is no "a Romance" after the main title. So far I've only read the Intro and the author's preface. I read this in boarding school back in the sixties and enjoyed it as I recall.

Moving into the story last night as Mr. H take
I was like halfway through this book before I bothered to look up what a gable is. I imagined it as something cool, like a parapet or a widow's walk. Nah, it's not; it's just this. It's just a thing houses have. So goes the novel.

Hey: Hawthorne is no Puritan conservative. Hawthorne insistently indicts Puritan culture; he once said, "Let us thank God for having given us such [Puritan] ancestors; and let each successive generation thank Him, not less fervently, for being one step further from them
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Nathaniel Hawthorne was a 19th century American novelist and short story writer. He is seen as a key figure in the development of American literature for his tales of the nation's colonial history.

Shortly after graduating from Bowdoin College, Hathorne changed his name to Hawthorne. Hawthorne anonymously published his first work, a novel titled Fanshawe, in 1828. In 1837, he published Twice-Told T
More about Nathaniel Hawthorne...

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“Shall we never never get rid of this Past? ... It lies upon the Present like a giant's dead body.” 44 likes
“What other dungeon is so dark as one's own heart! What jailer so in exorable as one's self!” 31 likes
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