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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm currently reading The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson and I'm thoroughly enjoying it!  It's an old book and really short compared to the books I have been reading at only a little over 3000 Kindle pages.  I'll be through in a snipit.  :)  I find the descriptions of the author absolutely delicious.  I can just see that old, ugly, scary house in my mind so vividly!!  Can't wait to get back to read more!!
 

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I just don't like scary stuff.....but I'm glad you are enjoying it enough to share with us.  Looked it up on Amazon...$12.99....I have never paid that much for a Kindle book yet, but I would if I found something I really loved.  How did you decide to read that particular book?  I'm just curious about what makes people pick a book to read.
 

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I have never read this Jackson book, but I found "The Lottery" deliciously creepy, and the freshmen at our school are required to read her book WE HAVE ALWAYS LIVED IN THE CASTLE.  Very Jackson--Gothic, creepy, psychologically disturbing.

Someone told me, though, that Shirley Jackson was actually really funny, and that she wrote a lot of humorous pieces, but I've never run across those.

:)

Julia
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Picatsso said:
I just don't like scary stuff.....but I'm glad you are enjoying it enough to share with us. Looked it up on Amazon...$12.99....I have never paid that much for a Kindle book yet, but I would if I found something I really loved. How did you decide to read that particular book? I'm just curious about what makes people pick a book to read.
Hmm...let me think. I read about the book here a few months ago and it sounded intriguing so I put it on my wish list. It stuck in my mind and I bought it a few weeks ago when my daughter gave me an Amazon gift card for mother's day. It IS rather short for the price, but once in a long while, I'll spend that much for an e-book if I REALLY want it. Though I don't like to.
 

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Julia444 said:
I have never read this Jackson book, but I found "The Lottery" deliciously creepy, and the freshmen at our school are required to read her book WE HAVE ALWAYS LIVED IN THE CASTLE. Very Jackson--Gothic, creepy, psychologically disturbing.

Someone told me, though, that Shirley Jackson was actually really funny, and that she wrote a lot of humorous pieces, but I've never run across those.

:)

Julia
Ah, The Lottery is horrible, in a good way.
 

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RhondaRN said:
I'm currently reading The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson and I'm thoroughly enjoying it! It's an old book and really short compared to the books I have been reading at only a little over 3000 Kindle pages. I'll be through in a snipit. :) I find the descriptions of the author absolutely delicious. I can just see that old, ugly, scary house in my mind so vividly!! Can't wait to get back to read more!!
I read that a long time ago and still think it is one of the best horror stories I have ever read. Jackson does amazing things with language. The book is truly frightening without any graphic violence. It is worth the extra money, if you want it for your Kindle (even though I do not like to pay 12.99 either.)
 

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In my opinion, The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson is the best horror story ever written. I hold it up as the story all others must meet in that genre. A few come close, but so far, none has surpassed it. I re-read it every year & I have the old B&W movie that is really very close to the book and I watch that about once every few months.

I am forever searching for new books like that one that are true horror without the graphic violence and blood baths.

I think the thing that really draws me back time & time again is the depths and how Jackson targeted Eleanor as the perfect victim for the circumstances described.

 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
That's it Amy!!  It's descriptions like yours that I have read on this board that made me really want to read it.!!
 

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This is also my favorite horror story ever. Jacksons funny stuff was very funny, but I never got We Have Always Lived In The Castle. Hill House is perfectly plotted and very scary. The house becomes a character, the perfect villian because there's no way to escape. And the B&W version of the movie is spot on. I recommend both to horror fans.
 

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Just read this last semester. What a great book! Really spooky without ever really showing anything. That's some amazing writing.
 

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That was a good book! The house really was the central character & extremely creepy.

I've read two other good scary books recently...

The Myrtles Plantation by Frances Kermeen. It's a true story about the most haunted plantation in New Orleans.

Summer of night by Dan Simmons. This book scared me so much I couldn't hang my feet over the edge of the bed for the longest time... fear of something reaching out & grabbing me!

Personally I love scary books more than scary movies. And gore isn't scary at all... building up the suspense & what you don't see is the scariest!
 

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Amy Corwin said:
In my opinion, The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson is the best horror story ever written. I hold it up as the story all others must meet in that genre. A few come close, but so far, none has surpassed it. I re-read it every year & I have the old B&W movie that is really very close to the book and I watch that about once every few months.

I am forever searching for new books like that one that are true horror without the graphic violence and blood baths.

I think the thing that really draws me back time & time again is the depths and how Jackson targeted Eleanor as the perfect victim for the circumstances described.
I think Amy's nailed it here - it's a great, great book - proper horror without the "bloodbaths". She's certainly been an influence on my writing (Jackson, no Amy!)

Hill House is one of my favourite books, and the opening paragraph is just... awesome, in the original sense of the word, not the Keanu Reeves one.

I love The Lottery too, and am currently reading a second collection of her short fiction which has The Summer People & The Visit in it. Both gems.

James
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
You're right James!!

Just to tease you that have not read the book, here's the opening paragraph:

"No live organism can continue for long to exist sanely under conditions of absolute reality; even larks and katydids are supposed, by some, to dream.  Hill House, not sane, stood by itself against its hills holding darkness within; it had stood so for 80 years, and might stand 80 more.  Within, walls continued upright, bricks met neatly, floors were firm, and doors were sensibly shut; silence lay steadily against the wood and stone of Hill House, and whatever walked there, walked alone."

Delicious, don't you think?  :)
 

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RhondaRN said:
I'm currently reading The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson and I'm thoroughly enjoying it! It's an old book and really short compared to the books I have been reading at only a little over 3000 Kindle pages. I'll be through in a snipit. :) I find the descriptions of the author absolutely delicious. I can just see that old, ugly, scary house in my mind so vividly!! Can't wait to get back to read more!!
That's definitely one of the books haunted house fans should read and a lot of the elements keep getting reused. Like the walls that seem to align wrong -- I've read a fairly long story in the last week with that, and a novel that had the same thing with an apartment building. It also contains one of the scariest moments ever, forcing the reader -- using nothing but his or her imagination -- to wonder about ... something. I can't say everyone will love it, but familiarity with it is crucial to understanding the genre. Or something like that.
 

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RhondaRN said:
You're right James!!
.
Just to tease you that have not read the book, here's the opening paragraph:

"No live organism can continue for long to exist sanely under conditions of absolute reality; even larks and katydids are supposed, by some, to dream. Hill House, not sane, stood by itself against its hills holding darkness within; it had stood so for 80 years, and might stand 80 more. Within, walls continued upright, bricks met neatly, floors were firm, and doors were sensibly shut; silence lay steadily against the wood and stone of Hill House, and whatever walked there, walked alone."

Delicious, don't you think? :)
Stephen King writes that there are few if any descriptive passages in the English language that are any finer than that one:

"It is the sort of quiet epiphany every writer hopes for: words that somehow transcend words, words which add to a total greater than the sum of the parts." ... "All I really want to do is point out how many things this single paragraph does. It begins by suggesting that Hill House us a living organism; tells us that this live organism does not exist under conditions of absolute reality; that because (although her I should add that I may be making an induction Mrs. Jackson did not intend) it does not dream, it is not sane. The paragraph tells us how long it's history has been, immediately establishing that historical context that is so important to the haunted-house story, and it concludes by telling us that something walks in the rooms and halls of Hill House.All of this in two sentences."
 

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I've read exactly one horror novel in my entire life (which is growing rather lengthy) and it's The Haunting of Hill House. "Practically perfect in every way."
 

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Ah, yes, one of my own favorite authors.  Shirley Jackson was a wonderful writer and if you haven't checked out 'We Have Always Lived in the Castle" I highly recommend it.

Joan
 

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This book is still one of my ALL time favorite books.

I love the psychological horror. I love Nell's internal thoughts, and how she sees things. There's a favorite scary part, but I won't post spoilers.

I love Shirley Jackson, and I think this is THE best haunted house story. Ever.

 

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I recommend We Have Always Lived in the Castle too. That's also $12.99 in the Kindle store, which is silly. I'm sure you can find an old paperback at a used bookstore for much less.
 
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