Today Kim is bringing you a book review/Netflix TV show comparison of The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson! This classic was first released 60 years ago this week!
Author: Shirley Jackson
Published: October 16, 1959
Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 3 stars
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.
Ivan and I are weird horror freaks, that’s just the way we are. So when we find something scary, we run with it. Ivan’s brother suggested we watch The Haunting of Hill House tv show on Netflix so we did and it was amazing! Believe it or not, we did not consider it to be horror. There were definitely some scary elements, but it was mostly drama/mystery/thriller. I fell in love with Hill House and all the characters. Naturally, I wanted to read the book and see how it compared. Now, don’t get mad . . . Are you ready? I actually preferred the tv show over the book. I said DON’T get mad! Hear me out. Y’all know that I am not the deepest person in the world. Sometimes, in order for me to get things, you gotta spell it out pretty clearly. Shirley Jackson is definitely good at the horror element, it’s just that she is far more implied; whereas the tv show is more explicit in its horror.
I still love the book so much. Jackson managed to build up the tension so well that my shoulders kept creeping up towards my ears. I just kept waiting for the snap. My one real issue with the story is that I feel that the ending was a little anticlimactic, while I was reading it. Once I sat and considered for a while after, I liked it better. It also left a lot of questions, definitely on purpose and very well, but y’all know me, I like lots of answers and getting all the information and learning everything I possibly can.
Dang, this totally sounds like a negative review, but I promise it isn’t! I really enjoyed the book and I want to read it again later to see what I missed. The story itself was creepy and fascinating and the characters were all interesting and likable. Hill House is scary and you feel the “offness” on every page. I absolutely recommend it even to younger readers. A classic, chilling story that should satisfy most readers.
Kim’s Video Comparison:
Today Kim is bringing us something different: A video book review of Carmilla by J. Sheridan Le Fanu! It was suggested by her friend Adam who has appeared a few times at Jessica’s Reading Room. He mentioned Carmilla to her when she said that she has never been able to read Dracula, so she decided to give Carmilla a try!
Author: J. Sheridan Le Fanu
A classic vampire story that precedes Stoker’s Dracula by 26 years!
Nothing remained to assure us that the adventure had not been an illusion of a moment but the young lady who just at that moment opened her eyes
Kim’s Rating: 5 Stars
Kim’s Video Review:
Author: Charles Dickens
Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 5 stars
“The Signal-Man” is a horror story by Charles Dickens, first published as part of the Mugby Junction collection in the 1866 Christmas edition of All the Year Round. The railway signal-man of the title tells the narrator of an apparition that has been haunting him. Each spectral appearance precedes a tragic event on the railway on which the signalman works. The signalman’s work is at a signal-box in a deep cutting near a tunnel entrance on a lonely stretch of the railway line, and he controls the movements of passing trains. When there is danger, his fellow signalmen alert him by telegraph and alarms. Three times, he receives phantom warnings of danger when his bell rings in a fashion that only he can hear. Each warning is followed by the appearance of the spectre, and then by a terrible accident.
Ivan took me to London and of course I had to visit several bookstores while there. We went to Hatchards, the oldest bookstore in London. Founded in 1797, and with several floors filled with books, I geeked out. It was pretty funny to watch Ivan, he might have geeked out a little more than I did. I’m used to bookstores so my passion is little more subtle but he was gaping with his mouth hanging open! He could not get over the multiple floors and he just stared up the spiral staircase with eyes filled with wonder!
All that said, I bought a cute little booklet edition of The Signalman by Charles Dickens. I had already seen his burial place in Westminster, so it just felt right! The Signalman is a simple, straightforward read. It’s creepy without being scary. In the same style as A Christmas Carol, Dickens conjured up a spectre that chills the reader and imagined railway accidents that convey true tragedy (my gosh, who the heck is writing this review???? lol). I really liked it! The story was spooky and the characters engaging. It took me all of half an hour to read it so pretty much anyone can read it. I actually think this is a good classic to give to younger readers. It won’t overload their brains and they’ll find a ghost story appealing. An excellent little story!!