As I mentioned in my March Favorites, I wanted to share my review on The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson this week.
“Hill House, not sane, stood by itself against its hills, holding darkness within; it had stood for eighty years and might stand for eighty more.”
Since I have watched the first season of The Haunting of Hill House on Netflix, I will briefly compare it to the book. In the book, four strangers arrive at Hill House: Dr. Montague a scholar looking for real evidence of a haunting, Theodora his assistant, Eleanor (Nell) who is well acquainted with poltergeists, and Luke the future heir of Hill House. At first their stay is filled with unexplainable spooky encounters, but Hill House is gathering its powers and soon it will choose one of them to make its own. The Netflix series follows a completely different plot and instead focuses on a fractured family who confronts the haunting memories of their old home, Hill House, and the terrifying events that drove them from it. Some of the family members share names with the characters in the book (Theodora, Nell, and Luke), but beyond that the story line is completely different. In the book, the story is told from the perspective of Eleanor, which I actually enjoyed. As far as pacing, the book is slow-paced and not a lot happens. The spooky encounters in Hill House build as the story progresses, but they are few in number compared to all the spooky encounters in the Netflix series. I did not mind the slow-pace of the book, but it may put off some readings who are wanting non-stop horror. One great aspect about the book is the atmosphere. Hill House itself is so creepy and when you learn about the past events that happened at there, it adds to the chilling atmosphere. The ending of the book is a bit open-ended and left me wondering what really happened at Hill House, but I thought it was a good ending. The Netflix series is more straightforward, and I am curious what they will do in the second season. If you have watched the Netflix series, I recommend reading the book because it is a completely different story. Also, I listened to the audiobook, which I highly recommend as the narrator changed her voice to fit the characters and that allowed me to become immersed in the story.
Overall, The Haunting of Hill House is a classic psychological horror novel with an slow building plot and a creepy atmosphere.
$12.92 at Book Depository