Charlotte Reads Classics

Slowly, slowly, she sipped a sentence.

Genuinely Terrified!

The Haunting of Hill House, Shirley Jackson

I read this for the most part in broad daylight and I was still really really scared. I’ve never read any Shirley Jackson before, but now I’m anxious to get my hands on more. Firstly, whoever chose this image for the book cover deserves a medal because it completely captures the eerie dappled light and drabness, not to mention the topsy turvy-ness and ominous feeling someone is watching you. Is it the house? Is it something inside? Secondly, it has the best opening lines I’ve read in ages.

I think the book is so scary because Jackson really captures how it feels to be absolutely terrified. The way she writes when something supernatural is happening creates a perfect sense of urgency as the unknown draws ever closer. And afterwards, in the morning, there is a lot of rationalising and nervously making light of it all that further confirms just how scared you were. If I were to re-read this, I’d take a closer look at all the characters again, because there is so much going on psychologically.

Shirley Jackson, you terrified me and I loved it.

Best Book Opening Ever?

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.
Shirley Jackson, The Haunting of Hill House