Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Tuesday Intro: The Haunting of Hill House


No live organism can continue for long to exist sanely under conditions of absolute reality; even larks and katydids are supposed, by some, to dream. Hill House, not sane, stood by itself against its hills, holding darkness within; it had stood so for eighty years and might stand for eighty more. Within, walls continued upright, bricks met neatly, floors were firm, and doors were sensibly shut; silence lay steadily against the wood and stone of Hill House, and whatever walked there, walked alone.
The Haunting of Hill House
by Shirley Jackson

I sat down to begin The Haunting of Hill House on Saturday afternoon, posted a photo on Instagram, and received an interesting piece of advice shortly afterwards: Do not read this book before bedtime! Horror isn't my usual genre, so of course that got my attention.

A quick look at the goodreads summary convinced me not to take any chances.
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.
The Estella Society is hosting a readalong in conjunction with the R.I.P. IX challenge. It runs through the end of the month, so there's plenty of time if you'd like to join us... there's safety in numbers!

What do you think of the intro? Are you brave enough?


Every Tuesday, Diane at Bibliophile by the Sea posts the opening paragraph (sometime two) of a book she decided to read based on the opening. Feel free to grab the banner and play along.

44 comments:

  1. This sounds very good. I would keep reading. I hope you enjoy it.

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  2. I don't love horror (but, yes to thrillers...I feel like they're different), so would probably skip this one. But have definitely had to stop reading certain books before bed before!! One that comes to mind was Ann Rule's The Stranger Beside Me...nonfiction about Ted Bundy!

    Here's Mine: http://www.sarahsbookshelves.com/fiction/top-ten-authors-ive-read-one-book-tuesday-intro/

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    1. Sarah - Horror and thrillers are definitely different to me, too, but I haven't read enough to be sure how to classify Hill House.

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  3. You know I love this one! I'm about halfway through with it now. It's got a pretty impressive intro. Definitely sets the tone for the book.

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    1. Katherine - I think that's a great intro, too. I've only read a few chapters so far.

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  4. Ooohhh...I love books like this. I would definitely keep reading. Good choice!

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    1. Yvonne - This is a bit of a stretch for me, but I like it so far.

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  5. I would not read this one. I don't read horror , and not even thrillers much. I find they infiltrate my sleep. All my books do. Yikes! The cover even spooks me!

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    1. Grammajudyb - That's how I feel about horror movies, lol!

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  6. Ooh, you started it! I have read The Paying Guests first. :) Or maybe simultaneously, so that I make sure to have Hill House done for Oct. 1!

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    1. Leila - Can't wait to hear what you think of The Paying Guests! I've enjoyed a couple of Waters earlier books and have this on my wish list.

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  7. Not quite brave enough yet. I thought Jackson's The Lottery was brilliant and hope to read this one too...maybe next year although the safety in numbers strategy does have merit!

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    1. JaneGS - The Lottery totally creeped me out! We'll see how this goes...

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  8. I don't know if I'm brave enough....but I would definitely stick to reading during daytime hours! I have been curious about this one for ages...thanks for sharing.

    And thanks for visiting my blog!

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    1. Laurel-Rain Snow - This is one book where I know I'll be skipping the film adaptation!

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  9. Even if I read this early in the morning I'd still have nightmares. Good luck to you, however. I hope you're enjoying Eleanor and Park and the Christie novel. I loved both of them.

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    1. Thanks, Margot. I'm loving Eleanor & Park on audio and am almost halfway through the Christie. I put it down for over a week so I could finish An American Tragedy.

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  10. I really don't know why they say stuff like that! I definitely would not say it invokes terror. It is actually very subtle, to the point where you ask yourself if the house is haunted or the people are crazy. Which is the best kind of scary story I think. This is just good classic storytelling.

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    1. Sandy - You make it sounds even more appealing!!

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    2. I agree with Sandy...it was so subtle I missed the whole point. I didn't find it scary at all.

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    3. Jill - You and Sandy have made me even more curious about this one... I need to read faster!

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  11. I'd have to be in the right mood to read this -- and NOT at night! Hope you enjoy it.
    Here's the link to my Tuesday post: Tumbleweeds.

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    1. Sandra - I'm choosing me reading time wisely ;-)

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  12. This is on my Classics Club list so yes, I would read this and thanks for pointing it out and reminding me. I loved The Lottery by same author and recommend that to all.

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    1. Rita - I still think about The Lottery from time to time - what a story! We HaveAlways Lived in the Castle was very good, too.

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  13. It's so interesting to me that I think I've never felt frightened by words on a page - I think I need the visuals (i.e., a scary movie). But I'm willing to try to scare myself in print. :)

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    1. Audrey - Visuals get me every time, too. I HATE horror movies and will definitely skip the film version of Hill House.

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  14. It's been a long time since I've read a creepy book. This sounds like a good one!

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    1. Les - Creepy books are few and far between for me, too. We'll se how this goes.

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  15. Oh, I love this book! I saw the the movie (the original, not the remake, which was terrible) when I was a kid on the late, late show. I remember sitting with my feet up in the chair because I was afraid to have them on the floor. So of course, years later, I had to read it. It really is as close to the perfect horror story as I've ever seen.

    Mine's at http://suziequint.blogspot.com/

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    1. Suzie - You are braver than I will ever be... the movie is out of the question for me!

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  16. Good thing you got the message. I used to enjoy horror when I was a teenager, but I haven't read it for years now. Hope you like it.

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    1. Paulita - My plan is to read this in the mornings ;-)

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  17. "...whatever walked there, walked alone." Ooo, I love that line.

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    1. Diana - That's my favorite part, too!!

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  18. I read this when I was a teenager. It scared me so bad I've never read another horror novel. No I would not read this. *shiver* kelley—the road goes ever ever on

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    1. Kelley - I gave up on horror in my early 20's, so we'll see how this goes...

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  19. After reading The Lottery years ago, I decided not to read Shirley Jackson again. That short story tore me up. I just couldn't shake that story. Now, the beginning of this book moves me to want to read her again. I might read this one for a FrightFall Book Challenge. Might even read her bio again. I'm open to her again. Probably, too young the last time.Thanks for inspiring me. Might read The Lottery again too.

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    1. Topazshell - The Lottery really crept me out and I didn't read Jackson for decades afterwards.

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  20. This book gave me the creepies in such a good way!

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    1. Lisa - I know exactly what you mean and am very impressed so far.

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