Shawn's Reviews > The House of the Seven Gables

The House of the Seven Gables by Nathaniel Hawthorne
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Jul 30, 07

Recommended 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 Daguerrotypist? He's a creep. Phoebe. Well, she's only "half-Pyncheon" right, Hepzibah? I had no pity for anyone in this novel, didn't care that the monkey and the Organ grinder were a metaphor for capitalism, and I certainly didn't care when Phoebe and the "artist" seemed to be the new hope for the Pyncheon line. What's in a name anyway?

Maybe it's just the extremely nineteenth-centuryness to the book. (Can't be helped really...)I've never been fond of too much pre 1900 stuff, but man, read this book and tell me how many times you find the word "countenance." This works with anything from the period, really. See also Turn of the Screw. Only I liked that book.
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Kristen Heh, I was assigned "Hamlet" 7 times between highschool and college... and sadly it's the only one of Shakespeare's works that I just cannot make it through.

And I agree, that Maul descendent artist guy was a complete weirdo... too bad poor Pheobe couldn't escape this book and wind her way over to like Narnia or something, heck even Wuthering Heights would be a blessing... at least things happen over there


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