Trudi's Reviews > Hell House

Hell House by Richard Matheson
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I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to read such a horror classic by one of the masters who has influenced so many others, including Stephen King. First off, what I loved:

1) What’s not to love? Matheson manages to accomplish a haunted house story that is not only supremely eerie and filled with a creepy atmosphere that’s sublime, but a full-on assault of the senses as well. This book does not pussy-foot around – it is in your face practically from page one all the way through to the end.

2) Belasco House – even the Overlook Hotel has nothing on the absolutely sordid, depraved history of Hell House. One of the most riveting scenes in the novel is when Fischer is describing the house’s past in gritty and illuminating detail. It created images in my mind I won't ever be able to erase. Ever.

3) Tension and suspense are rife in this novel and so expertly handled. Matheson really is a master of his craft. (view spoiler) Positively ghoulish! I loved that I was never quite certain what was going to happen next, on edge with the uncertainty of how far things were going to go.

Why I’m giving it four stars instead of five:

1) What would have been shocking and new to audiences in 1971 has become a tad too familiar today. While this speaks volumes to the book’s cultural and literary impact – the fact that it has been copied and imitated by so many on film and on the page nevertheless detracts from the book’s overall contemporary wow factor.

2) I have to say while I found the scientific explanations to be somewhat interesting, Dr. Barrett’s endless condescending descriptions of his work became insufferable after a while and robbed some of the book’s momentum.
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Comments (showing 1-5 of 5) (5 new)

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message 1: by TK421 (new)

TK421 I really want to read this one!


Trudi Gavin wrote: "I really want to read this one!"

Oh do make time for it. I'm so glad I did. An oldie but a goody :)


message 3: by Andrew (new) - added it

Andrew your reviews and book shelves are costing me a fortune lol


Trudi Andrew wrote: "your reviews and book shelves are costing me a fortune lol"

haha! I'm afraid compensation for that is not part of the deal :)


message 5: by Andrew (new) - added it

Andrew its a cost I'm happy to bear


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