Pagination October Book Club - The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson!
Join us Friday, October 25th at 6 PM for our Pagination Book Club Discussion of The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson!
Published in 1959, Jackson’s resulting novel has defined the haunted house story ever since. Stephen King, in his history of the horror genre, Danse Macabre, said The Haunting of Hill House is – along with Henry James’s The Turn of the Screw – one of “the only two great novels of the supernatural in the last hundred years”, while Ramsey Campbell called it “the greatest of all haunted house novels, and arguably the greatest novel of the supernatural”.
“I know of no other writer in the field who conveys paranoia and spectral dread with more delicacy than she. Who else could terrify with the sight of a picnic on a lawn?” he said. “Like the best of Lovecraft and Machen, her work is a peak we lesser writers try to climb.”
Jackson was the first author to understand that “houses aren’t haunted – people are”, says Hill. “All the most terrible spectres are already there inside your head, just waiting for the cellar door of the subconscious to spring open so they can get out, sink their icy claws into you,” he says. “In the story, the house toys with the minds of our heroes just like the cat with the mouse: with a fascinated, joyful cruelty. Nothing is more terrifying than being betrayed by your own senses and psyche.”
Hurley says: “The menace of the house is subtle and insidious and when it does appear, you realise that it was there from the start. Hill House is far more than just a ‘haunted house’ story. Quite what it is, or what it means, is as changeable as the house itself.”
~ From The Guardian, by Allison Flood