I’m not a huge reader of gothic horror texts but I read this book in one day, I was completely hooked! The Netflix adaptation of this doesn’t follow the plot of the novel at all, so if you have seen the series don’t worry, I happen to think the book is far better! Jackson’s text is thrilling and haunting and it’s a book that makes you want to carry on reading, if I were to use one word to summarise this book it would be gripping’!
If you’re new to this genre, this is a rather short book so I feel like it’s one that can be used as an introduction to horror texts! Some other horror texts, such as the Stephen King novels, are equally as gripping but can be a bit of a challenging read if you’re not a huge fan of the gothic genre!
From the very beginning of the book, Jackson creates an eerie atmosphere through the use of plot and characters alike. The setting and histography of ‘Hill House’ forms the perfect backdrop for the ghost story that takes place. Jackson forms the basis of the novel by incorporating psychological mysteries to its plot, leaving the reader to gauge whether the hauntings are psychical or are a result of Eleanor being emotionally disturbed. The use of the house alongside the experiences of the characters really allows Jackson to add a sense of terror to her writing.
This review is just a short one as the novel itself is short and I don’t want to give too much away. This book relies on suspense and psychological plot lines to really draw its readers in, no wonder it has been considered as one of the best ghost stories of the 20th century!