15 May 2007

Book Banter -- The Haunting of Hill House

Title: The Haunting of Hill House
Author: Shirley Jackson
Length: 182 pages
Genre: literary fiction
Plot Basics: Dr. Montague recruits three other people -- Theodora, Eleanor and Luke -- to spend a summer with him at Hill House in a sort of quasi-scientific venture. All four will be chronicling their experiences with the supernatural phenomenon that happen at Hill House. Upon her arrival, Eleanor is frightened by the house with its strange layout of rooms and doors that won't stay open. And as the happenings get stranger, one of the four could be the house's next victim.
Banter Points: Jackson, who's most famous for her short story, "The Lottery," crafts a taught psychological story with "Hill House." It's not the kind of spooky story that makes the reader want to turn on all the lights, but Jackson convincingly fools the reader about what's real and what's not.
Bummer Points: The writing style gets convoluted at some points as the reader sinks into Eleanor's thoughts.

Word Nerd recommendation:If you're looking for a horror-movie type scary book, this isn't it. If you are looking for an interesting book to do a book report on in school, this one would provide enough material to do a good literary analysis.

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