Myles's Reviews > The Haunting of Hill House

The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson
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's review
Jul 07, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: horror, literary, c20th
Read on July 07, 2010

It occurs to me that Shirley Jackson hardly wrote of agreeable characters. Those few that exist are never the central focus, usually casual victims of society or a shocked face in the crowd.

The Haunting of Hill House seems to start out with four agreeable people, with quirks and eccentricities, but friendly and likable. There is much to laugh about at first when you meet the housekeeper Mrs. Dudley and the trappings of the haunted house almost become ridiculous.

This changes. Perhaps because of the house, or because of Jackson's sharp insight into the cruelties we commit on each other every day, these agreeable people become magnified and distorted into petty monsters and deluded fools.

The horror is there too, with them, the effects and sounds and visions pale with description but while reading the novel one is profoundly grateful for a light to turn on. Hill House, unlike many haunted houses, successfully becomes a character of its own - its mysteries never fully explained, its motives unclear.
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Reading Progress

07/07/2010 page 34
02/13/2017 marked as: read

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