Friday, October 14, 2016

The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson

Unabridged Audio Version
During the month of October, I decided to listen to a scary book in honor of the upcoming holiday of Halloween! I don't celebrate Halloween in a big way. But listening to a scary novel or other Halloween themed book seemed an appropriate way to celebrate Halloween.

I've never read anything by Shirley Jackson before, so decided to listen to the unabridged audio version of her classic horror novel, The Haunting of Hill House. The Haunting of Hill House is narrated by Bernadette Dunne. Listening time for The Haunting of Hill House is 7 hours, 31 minutes.

I liked The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson, but didn't love it. It is a spooky novel and filled with very descriptive images of Hill House itself and the things that happened during the visit to Hill House. 

I liked the characters in The Haunting of Hill House... Especially, Eleanor Vance and Mrs. Montague (even though Mrs. Montague was a royal pain in the behind and didn't appear until towards the end of the novel). 

The ending of The Haunting of Hill House was a bit vague in the following way... Was Eleanor Vance simply crazy and imagining what she saw and heard at Hill House during her week long stay there?? Or was she haunted/driven crazy by Hill House?? Or a little bit of both? I'm not completely sure.

I thought that Bernadette Dunne was a good narrator for The Haunting of Hill House.

The following is a plot summary of The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson from Audible:
Past the rusted gates and untrimmed hedges, Hill House broods and waits…. 
Four seekers have come to the ugly, abandoned old mansion: Dr. Montague, an occult scholar looking for solid evidence of the psychic phenomenon called haunting; Theodora, his lovely and lighthearted assistant; Eleanor, a lonely, homeless girl well acquainted with poltergeists; and Luke, the adventurous future heir of Hill House. At first, their stay seems destined to be merely a spooky encounter with inexplicable noises and self-closing doors, but Hill House is gathering its powers and will soon choose one of them to make its own.

Shirley Jackson (1916–1965), a celebrated writer of horror, wrote such classic novels as We Have Always Lived in the Castle and The Bird’s Nest, as well as one of the most famous short stories in the English language, “The Lottery”. She has influenced such writers as Neil Gaiman, Stephen King, and Richard Matheson.
I am giving The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson a rating of 3 stars out of 5 stars.

Until my next post, happy reading!!


  1. I'm not big on Halloween either but will turn to scarier themed book this time of year too.
    I listened to this audiobook a few years ago, and remember being a bit confused by it but really liking the ending since it was so open-ended.

    1. Yes, I guess the open ending is a nice idea... Sometimes, things don't need to be wrapped up looking so tidy!!

  2. I have read all of Shirley Jackson's novels. Generally I like her skewed views on things and people, though this was not one of my favorites.

    1. I plan to read a few of her other works of fiction that sound intriguing to me as well. I look forward to seeing what's in store for me.

  3. Not going to lie, I really don't like vague endings.... I liked when everything is tied up nicely and you get the whole story. So that kind of makes me leery of this novel now. Wonderful review. It sounds like they really changed a lot from the Netflix show.

    1. I'm not a fan of vague endings (or cliffhanger endings either). Thanks for stopping by and leaving me a comment. Happy reading!