Rating: 5/5 stars
Genre: Adult Horror (Classic?)
Year Release: 1959
Source: Library audiobook
|Listened to the audiobook
I generally don’t read source material or classics. The thrills and chills, however, of the Netflix adaptation of Haunting of Hill House, tickled my terrors so thoroughly, I had to read the source material. What a classic it is. (Writing this review on the heels of a horror workshop is also interesting).
What really struck me the most was just how deep into the characters’ heads we get. We start off the book and everyone seems to be well-adjusted. And then they start their summer at the house. The eerieness comes in small doses, not reaching any kind of climax. The house is just like that. It’s a villain under whose spell the characters can only fall under, powerless despite their research and the resident medium.
The house itself is undoubtedly a setting-as-a-character. Its influence is felt from the very first introduction. No action that the characters take comes without the house’s influence. It’s eerie and spooky in a way where you cannot separate the characters from their setting.
By the end, I hadn’t realized it was published in the year it was. There’s a certain timelessness to both the characters and that vulnerability. Many of the feelings did translate to the Netflix adaptation, but that’s a whole separate essay, which I’m sure someone else has done.
The archetypal haunted house story, definitely give this a read if you’re behind on reading things that are thoroughly beloved.