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Comments for The Haunting of Hill House

Haunting of Hill House: 12/02/04

Another book I'm currently reading is The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson. Her short stories were required reading in junior and senior high and until recently I didn't know she had written longer pieces.

I came to the Haunting of Hill House by way of the most recent version of the film (not the 1963 version which I hear is better). I enjoyed the film thoroughly, having a certain soft spot for the haunted house subgenre of horror. When I read the credits at the end of the film and saw that Jackson was credited, I had to read the book. Serendipity took over and I sound found a Book Crossing ring to join.

Jackson has a wonderful way of taking the mundane and turning it on it's side. With Hill House, the concept is straight forward: Doctor of Psychology invites people with apparent paranormal abilities to spend a summer at an equally apparent haunted house except that he doesn't tell them that it's haunted. So far the house is behaving itself but the characters themselves are just on the edge of cracking under normal circumstances that the psychological and emotional kettle is getting ready to boil over.

Other horror / gothic / psychological dramas (call them what you will) that I have enjoyed are:

  • The Rocking Horse Winner by D.H. Lawrence
  • The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
  • House of the Seven Gables by Nathaniel Hawthorne
  • The Marble Faun by Nathaniel Hawthorne

I'm Here — Go Away!

That was Sean's exclamation when we arrived at Day Care / Preschool. If I had let him have his way, he would have left me at the car and gone into the school all by himself. Of course he's only two, so there's no way that I'm going to just drop him off at the curb. I followed behind him at a respectable distance instead.

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