[Book Review] The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson

the haunting of hill house

The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson is a classic horror novel. Following the story of four adults as they plan to spend the summer in reclusive and unmentionable Hill House, the occupants soon learn the reason why no one goes there.

Despite the novel being published originally in 1959, I have not yet read it, but it has always been a book I’ve wanted to read.

The novel lives up to its hype, and is truly scary. I found there were moments where Jackson’s writing got under my skin and left me scared, leading me to put the novel down for the moment to calm down. It has been a long time since I’ve read a novel that’s affected me in such a way.

The writing style of the novel is interesting, at times there are more than one conversation going on, particularly when it comes to Mrs Dudley, as she parrots back her rules whilst other characters talk around her. It gives the sections a feeling of her not being there, adding to the haunting element of the tale.

Eleanor is also an interesting character, especially as she begins to ‘feel’ the house and gives the house an almost lifelike description.

This book is definitely one I would recommend for those who are interested in a good scary story. Shirley Jackson crafts a ghost story that gets under your skin and wanting to read more despite the fear you’re feeling.

[Book Discussion] House Of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski

house of leaves

 

Please note: This discussion will only include talks about the book until chapter 16 as time has passed me by and I’ve not finished! ūüė≠

House Of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski is an interesting book for me. From the narrative structure of the novel, to the way the novel is physically laid out.

The novel (up to what I have read), follows two main stories. The Navidson Record, and Johnny Truant. One part the story of a haunted house, set out written like a critical discussion of a film, the other found in the footnotes by Johnny Truant who discovered this novel.

Firstly, the novel is hard. It took me a while to figure out how I should be reading it. The footnotes are extensive and massive. Sometimes taking over whole pages. When I first picked up the book, I found it hard to keep track of what was going on in both stories, but eventually I figured myself out and managed to get a rhythm, which has lead me to where I currently sit at chapter 16.

The story is so engrossing. I’m having so much fun reading it. Up until the point I’ve gotten to, I’ve not encountered too many scares, but the novel has certainly left it’s mark on me. After one particularly heavy reading session, I had nightmares. But, for the most part, the novel is surprisingly a love story. I’m really liking the novel so far, and definitely do plan on finishing it.

The layout of the novel is so interesting. At certain points the writing is back to front, side to side. The best part of the layout for me came when Navy and the gang were at the bottom of the stairs, and all of their sections were at the very bottom of the page, but for those on top of the stairs, the writing was on the top. It’s really hard to explain, but I loved that difference so much. I might have geeked out a bit at that.

There’s so much going on, and I’m so excited to finish reading it!

What did you think? Let me know in the comments!

Want to know what we’re reading next month? You can find out here.

What Book Are You Reading?

We have a choice of three books for this months book club, and which did you choose?

If you aren’t sure of the choices just yet, you can find them here:

  1. House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski
  2. People Who Eat Darkness by Richard Lloyd Parry
  3. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

I’ve decided to read¬†House of Leaves which is quite the hefty book. It’s also a little confusing to read. Which way have you decided to read it? The footnotes in some sections are really long, so I’m reading them all as they come, but then the main text is also important, and it’s getting my mind in a boggle.

Let me know what you think so far!

Are there any other scary reads you plan on reading this month? Let me know!

It’s October First! Let’s Get Reading

Happy 1st of October, everyone!

If you aren’t sure of what we’re reading this month, and want to know your choices, look no further!

Our reading this month includes:

  1. House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski
  2. People Who Eat Darkness by Richard Lloyd Parry
  3. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

I hope everyone enjoys, and let’s see what they have on offer!

[Book Review] The Shining by Stephen King

the shining

Stephen King is a novelist known worldwide, but The Shining was my first real introduction to his writing.

Following the story of Jack, Wendy and Danny, The Shining takes place at the Overlook hotel, where Jack finds a job as the winter caretaker.

Following their arrival at the Overlook, strange events begin to take place, there’s a lady in the bathtub, a mysterious ballroom party taking place at night, the elevator operates by itself.

The novel certainly promises anticipation in all the right places.

What was most surprising for me, as someone who had previously seen the film but not read the book was the more psychological element of the novel. The novel deals heavily with alcoholism, going in depth with Jack’s struggle, his guilt over hitting Danny fighting against his desire to just drink one more time. I found this perhaps one of the best parts of the novel, watching Jack sink into madness as the ghosts of the Overlook finally took over and he caved into drinking.

Overall, I thought the novel was good, it built anticipation in all the right places and dealt with a lot of issues throughout the course of the novel. Stephen King left no stone untouched, and I did not leave the novel thinking that I’d wished something had been tied up.

Initially, I had expected to be terrified out of my mind, but that did not happen. There were a few moment where I got anxious, particularly the scene with Danny and the fire extinguisher at the beginning. But, it was not the terrified I had been expecting. I find that I did not mind that so much, as I had a lot of enjoyment out of other sections of the novel.