Friday, May 1, 2009

Book Review - The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson

The Haunting of Hill House (Penguin Classics) The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson
rating: 2 of 5 stars

When I first picked up The Haunting of Hill House, I wondered if it would be a wise read before bedtime. Easily it is and with no nightmares to report. The Haunting of Hill House is not the scary horror story you would expect.

This is the story of a scientist out to prove that Hill House is haunted. He enlists the aid of two women with prior paranormal experience and a man that is heir to the house. Much of the story is in the head of its characters, and the reader is left to wonder if the bizarre events actually happen or are imagined. In any case, they aren’t that scary. And because it wasn’t always clear whether an occurrence was real or imagined, there were places in the story I found confusing.

While this book was already on my “to read” list, it was also recommended reading in preparation for an upcoming writing class on endings. The Haunting of Hill House was on the list of books with bad endings, and there it did not disappoint. The ending felt abrupt, rushed, and out of character with the rest of the story.

On the upside, the story moved along and held my interest, although I kept expecting something a little more. I liked it OK, but there are certainly better choices of books to read.

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