Friday, 26 May 2017

Book Review - The Haunting of Hill House - Shirley Jackson

I've been a fan of Shirley Jackson ever since reading We Have Always Lived in the Castle, but somehow never read her horror The Haunting of Hill House.

I found this book to be a subtle horror. There were some more typical haunted house scenes, but mostly it was slow, subtle psychological horror. It wasn't what I expected, but it was true to Shirley Jackson's writing style. Bleak yet somehow beautiful.

I think the relationship between Theodora and Eleanor is, in my opinion, the most powerful part of the book. What starts off looking like a firm friendship turns more twisted, spiraling between lust and loathing, and is an integral part to the slowly unraveling of Eleanor's mind.

I think, however, when the Dr's wife and friend join the story further into the story, some of the creepy spell the book had created was broken. They came across comical, and rather annoying which did nothing to add to the bleak, tense novel. They were characters that I think the book could have done without.

If you're looking for a jumpy type of horror, this isn't it, but if you're looking for something a bit slower, something that when you read you feel fine, but keeps you up at night, spooked in the darkness, then this is for you. I thoroughly enjoyed it - 4/5
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