Thursday, 3 November 2011

Review (Kinda) - The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson

Goodreads Summary: First published in 1959 Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House has been hailed as a perfect work of unnerving terror. It is the story of four seekers who arrive at a notoriously unfriendly pile called Hill House: Dr Montague, an occult scholar looking for solid evidence of a ‘haunting’; Theodora, his lighthearted assistant; Eleanor, a friendless, fragile young woman well acquainted with poltergeists; and Luke, the future heir of Hill House. At first, their stay seems destined to be merely a spooky encounter with inexplicable phenomena. But Hill House is gathering its powers – and soon it will choose one of them to make its own.

I’m going to keep this short. This book was chosen by a member of my book club, keeping in line with Halloween. It is the first horror I have ever read and I was disappointed. I always thought I didn’t like scary books but upon starting this I had a huge feeling of excitement. I was expecting something that would make me sleep with the lights on but alas, this was very much NOT scary. At all. And I spook easy. 

Shirley Jackson is excellent, there is no denying that. Her story is wonderfully written, and while I didn’t personally like the characters, they too were excellent. I enjoyed the group dynamics and psychological aspects of the story but it wasn’t what we were looking for, for the book club. Funnily enough, we thought the badly made movie which is only rated 12s was a lot more terrifying than the book!  


  1. Great review! You have a fabulous blog! I’m an author and illustrator and I made some awards to give to fellow bloggers whose sites I enjoy. I want to award you with the Best Books Blog Award. There are no pass along requirements. This is just to reward you for all the hard work you do! Thank you so much for taking the time to read and review all these books for us authors and readers.

    Go to and pick up your award.

    P.S. Since you are an avid reader I was wondering if I could interview you and get your insights into the books you enjoy. Send me an email: KnightessHope (at) gmail and I will send over the interview questions

  2. Sorry this wasn't as scary as you wanted it to be! I love the cover! I really enjoyed your honest review. :)

  3. Not a very scary book but interesting to read. For me it read more as a tragedy than a horror story.

  4. I think our tastes in "scares" have changed over the last 50 years. Each new book (Stephen King), film (Halloween) etc. brought new scares and fewer surprises. Compared to today's horror, 1959 was innocent. But you're right, Jackson is still good if you can read it for what it is.