“Creepiness at its best.”Alana wrote this review Wednesday, December 5, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Hauntingly creepy! I must now read her infamous The Lottery.”Tia Faciane wrote this review Thursday, November 8, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“This is a very well-crafted story. Like other works by Shirley Jackson, the tension and thrill pervades the story and leads to a great climax. You can come to see how houses can begin to be called "haunted." A good book to read around Halloween when you are looking for great writing and a spooky story!”eissme wrote this review Sunday, November 4, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“(AUDIO BOOK) ”Fiona R wrote this review Monday, October 22, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Wonderful book. One of my favorites. Shirley Jackson created such strong, vivid and disturbing female characters while creating a haunting world that you both fear and want to explore. Definite must-read.”cindythecurious wrote this review Sunday, October 21, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“We Have Always Lived in the Castle
By Shirley Jackson
When the fall time of year comes – as it is upon me while I write this small review – I look for books to settle in with during the early nights and long evenings. Autumn is my favorite time of year and I must confess that I look for novels to impress upon me shadow, doubt, yes even fear.
Nothing is more frightening than the human heart – and this book.
I don’t like gore, nor do I like things that pop out at me. What I do appreciate about a good scare is the way it sticks with a person.
We know immediately that something is wrong – with the first paragraph, the feel of ominous history in regards to the characters and a foreshadowing of doom.
Ms Jackson was a master. I was wowed by her novel, The Haunting of Hill House and hesitated to read this book for fear of disappointment – far from it. No word is wasted every single character, every single stick of furniture described is a potentate ruling over the drive of the novel – to put the reader on edge.
And I was on edge. Yes, we know early on that the town’s people believe one thing and the reality of the situation was another. That is also the glory of the novel. We are also front and center to the debauched human heart. The scenes start to accumulate near the end like a well-organized log jam.
And here is the hurt, the fright that stayed with me – who in the end was the real criminal and what good, is human ordained redemption? After mob violence, destruction and blazing hate what can really be done to assuage the scars – nothing. So what happens? What happened before – the wound is covered, the actions buried - alive.
“It was a fine April morning when I came out of the library; the sun was shining and the false glorious promises of spring were everywhere, showing oddly through the village grime.”
“…my wife Dorothy, who had done me the honor of casting in her lot with mine, although I do not think that she anticipated anything so severe as arsenic on her blackberries. “
“On Saturday mornings I helped Constance. I was not allowed to handle knives…”
“In ninth grade my class read The Lottery by Shirley Jackson. I was in my I-don't-give-a-shit-about-school faze so I really only skimmed but I remember the discussion the class had about the story and the interest it sparked in me. I never did read The Lottery for one reason or another but when I discovered the new-ish Penguin Deluxe Classics covers I knew I had to collect some of them and this one caught my eye instantly. This book is one of the oddest things I've ever read. You can't fully grasp it in the beginning, but there is an overall sense of off-ness to everything that's going on. Our main character is named Mary-Katherine and she is an eighteen year old who throughout the story acts increasingly childlike. Slowly the reader is let in on why the people living in the village surrounding Mary's house seemingly hate her and her sister Constance. Six years ago their entire family was poisoned with arsenic that was mixed into a sugar-bowl. Everyone assumes that Constance (Mary's older sister) murdered their family because she was arrested for the crime (and later acquitted) and all of the evidence points towards her. It was only a few chapters in that I figured it was really Mary who killed their family, though, my suspicious aren't confirmed until much later in the story. I don't really know exactly how to explain the story or how this particular author's writing has a way of staying with me but I get the feeling this book is going to be a favorite of mine for a very long time.
“MUST READ!”Cat Presley wrote this review Wednesday, September 12, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No