Haunting of Hill House

Haunting of Hill House…what to say? Let’s start with the summary of the book provided by the publisher:

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.

Although the story does touch on scariness, I wasn’t once scared.  It seemed rather tame to me but I can imagine that by the standards back when it was written (1950’s)?  The story is largely told from Eleanor’s point of few or how events relate to her.  I’m afraid I picture the movie Eleanor and that kind of ruins it for me because I did not like that chick.  Note to self, don’t see the movie before reading the book.

The descriptions of Hill House are detailed and the house sounded beautiful.  I liked how Shirley makes the house evil yet it isn’t all that hostile.  It wants what it wants but doesn’t have to flair with gore or cheap thrills.  The book is way better than the movie, in my opinion.  At only 171 pages, I think if this story were written today it would be at least 250 pages.  You know how they remake movies and improve them as they go? Too bad one couldn’t do the same to books because this one could be terribly scary.  I give the book a B+.


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