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The Haunting of Hill House Audiobook

The Haunting of Hill House

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Publisher's Summary

Past the rusted gates and untrimmed hedges, Hill House broods and waits....

Four seekers have come to the ugly, abandoned old mansion: Dr. Montague, an occult scholar looking for solid evidence of the psychic phenomenon called haunting; Theodora, his lovely and lighthearted assistant; Eleanor, a lonely, homeless girl well acquainted with poltergeists; and Luke, the adventurous future heir of Hill House. At first, their stay seems destined to be merely a spooky encounter with inexplicable noises and self-closing doors, but Hill House is gathering its powers and will soon choose one of them to make its own.

Shirley Jackson (1916-1965), a celebrated writer of horror, wrote such classic novels as We Have Always Lived in the Castle and The Bird's Nest, as well as one of the most famous short stories in the English language, "The Lottery". She has influenced such writers as Neil Gaiman, Stephen King, and Richard Matheson.

©1959 Shirley Jackson; renewed 1987 by Laurence Hyman, Barry Hyman, Sarah Webster, and Joanne Schnurer (P)2010 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"Makes your blood chill and your scalp prickle...Shirley Jackson is the master of the haunted tale." (New York Times Book Review)

"Now widely regarded as the greatest haunted-house story ever written." (Wall Street Journal)

"Shirley Jackson is unparalleled as a leader in the field of beautifully written, quiet, cumulative shudders." (Dorothy Parker, Esquire)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (124 )
5 star
 (43)
4 star
 (45)
3 star
 (22)
2 star
 (8)
1 star
 (6)
Overall
3.9 (97 )
5 star
 (38)
4 star
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3 star
 (19)
2 star
 (7)
1 star
 (4)
Story
4.1 (98 )
5 star
 (49)
4 star
 (22)
3 star
 (15)
2 star
 (7)
1 star
 (5)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Stephen 09/01/2011
    Stephen 09/01/2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    129
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    27
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    Overall
    "Stunning"

    I knew nothing about this book other than it has a high-standing reputation. I wanted a 'ghost story' for Christmas. I listened to it lying in bed with no distractions and, boy, did I get my money's worth. The atmosphere and descriptions are powerful enough, but it is the psychological portrait of, and interaction between the characters which takes this book far beyond 'genre' into a 'classic'. Unsettling and scary because it insinuates itself into you, rather than frightening with shocks. And though her voice may be an acquired taste I thought that Bernadette Dunn's reading is extraordinary.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Beccameriel London, United Kingdom 31/10/2013
    Beccameriel London, United Kingdom 31/10/2013 Member Since 2011

    Fan of urban fantasy & Victorian gothic especially set in London. Oh, and Georgette Heyer.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Performance
    Story
    "Unsettling and spooky story excellently performed"

    I like to listen to something spooky at Halloween and have wanted to read this for a while. What I like about this story is the fact that so much is left up to the reader to decide. The narrator is so obviously unreliable that it's never clear if we can trust a thing she says. Who has seen what? Is everyone in the house experiencing the same thing? Hill House itself has a strong presence as a character and even the dimensions and angles of the rooms seem to be inherently evil. I was reminded a bit of H.P. Lovecraft's non-Euclidean geometry in Dreams of the Witch House (one for the fans there).

    If you've seen the truly dreadful film with Liam Neeson and Catherine Zeta-Jones, please rest assured that it bears almost no relation to this source material.

    Bernadette Dunne is a great narrator who manages to portray the apparent malice of the house and really seems to get inside Eleanor's head.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Adele Strusshamn, Norway 06/11/2012
    Adele Strusshamn, Norway 06/11/2012 Member Since 2016

    Heaven is a place with lots of good books.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    46
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    Overall
    "You are invited..."

    Take a tour of Hill House, and experience the chilling, bizarre events it encloses!

    Eleanor’s invitation to Hill House by Dr.Montague is one she most likely wouldn’t have accepted, had she been aware of its looming consequences, but longing for new adventure, and “borrowing” her sister’s car, she finds her way there. At the house, despite a gloomy welcome, she eventually starts to feel safe, and quickly makes new friends in the other guests. But all is not what it seems, and soon she is entwined in a web of otherworldly encounters. Despite looking terror in the eye, Eleanor seems eventually to overcome her fears inside Hill House…or does she?

    I enjoyed how the story went from a classic ghost story to a deeper, darker, and more surreal twist of events. The narration to me seemed a little contrived in parts, but otherwise I thought it flowed well.

    Shirley Jackson’s 1959 novel is a perfect listen for a perfect, moody night, and will make you stay awake if you need to!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    kevimh 24/05/2015
    kevimh 24/05/2015 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
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    Performance
    Story
    "Supernatural story"

    Tense but finally disappointing. Characters rather shallow and some characters completely unnecessary. Book kept you on edge for first half and then seemed fairly predictable

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    hannah 08/02/2015
    hannah 08/02/2015 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
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    7
    2
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    "Dissapointing"

    After reading lots of reviews saying how terrifying this book was, I was shocked when the end came as I was still waiting to be a little shook up. maybe scary in its day but I believe this type of horror is dead.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Aaron MELTON MOWBRAY, United Kingdom 26/03/2013
    Aaron MELTON MOWBRAY, United Kingdom 26/03/2013 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    45
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    Overall
    "Not bad, but has its drawbacks"

    The story itself isn't too bad. It has a high-ranking place in ghost story lore so that's why I thought I'd give it a go.



    It took me absolutely ages to get through it, purely because of two reasons:



    1. The narrator, in my opinion, does the story no justice. Her voice for Eleanor sounds dreadful. I just can't describe how much her voice irks me.



    2. The characters don't act or even talk like real people would in certain places. I think my main problem is the character of Eleanor.



    But this is just my opinion. Other people have given it good reviews, so I think Haunting on Hill House really is one of those that you have to try for yourself.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Aleksandra Warsaw, Poland 10/05/2013
    Aleksandra Warsaw, Poland 10/05/2013 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
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    55
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    Performance
    Story
    "Disappointing"

    The problem with the book is that although it has a good starting point and promising story, the characters and dialogues are completely unbelievable. Maybe it's because the book was written over 50 years ago, but now it just feels artificial.
    Nonetheless there are a few twists and the ending is quite surprising.
    The performance is quite good but not outstanding.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tania Horton 12/09/2016
    Tania Horton 12/09/2016
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    4
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "More than just a ghost story."
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Something to get your teeth into over multiple listens.


    Would you be willing to try another book from Shirley Jackson? Why or why not?

    A little too much extra story line about the characters before getting to the main event.


    What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

    Easy to listen to but a little dull at times.


    Any additional comments?

    A classic but not what i was expecting after seeing the old movie.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gaskell 22/02/2016
    Gaskell 22/02/2016 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    "Utter rubbish"

    I don't want to be disrespectful but this book is not very good. Utterly rubbish, at least I thought so.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elaine 07/01/2016
    Elaine 07/01/2016
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Wanted to read after seeing stage show"

    Enjoyed this novel, bit different from the stage show I saw at Liverpool Playhouse but still good. Absorbing psychological horror.. Just don't listen to close to bedtime as I'm convinced my dreams were more vivid and anxiety laden as a result!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • Mark
    Hanover, IN, United States
    04/11/10
    Overall
    "Superb Reading of Horror Classic"

    Dunne's performance of Jackson's novel is just about perfect. Her husky, flexible voice provides a consistent sense of character and tone. I have a book on writing horror fiction. The editors ran a poll of top horror/fantasy writers as to "best of" and Jackson's Haunting of Hill House came in first. It is on Stephen King's list of "ten best." It is a wonderfully-written novel that gets inside your head. As one reads this, one sees how huge an influence it was upon King, as several elements play powerfully into Carrie, Rose Red, and other works.

    36 of 40 people found this review helpful
  • Crystal
    Bluefield, VA, United States
    11/02/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Well written horror tale"

    I chose to listen to this book in order to pass the time while organizing and cleaning the kitchen. I remembered Ms. Jackson's stirring short story, "The Lottery" and hoped this would be just as intriguing. I used the book as an incentive to get done a job I did not want to do and it was treat was to listen to this book as I went about my task. This book has been on my list for a while, after learning that Ms. Jackson wrote in this genre. I don't read many supernatural thrillers but this one was a good one that wasn't too "freaky" that would leave me with nightmares. I would think that it sits solidly in the genre along with Henry James' Turn of the Screw and as well as Stephen King's The Shining. It some ways it reminded me of both. I'm sure that it was on the cutting edge, written in the 1950's when everything was to be happy and pleasant. I appreciated the solid description that helped build the scene in my mind without being overly descriptive and flowery. Her characterization is solid but not overwhelmingly vivid, except maybe for the Doctor's wife. She was maybe a bit too vivid. This "ghost" story sits adequately between the old and the new in the genre. I was adequately entertain without my intelligence being insulted. I look forward to reading other pieces from Ms. Jackson.

    19 of 21 people found this review helpful
  • Tango
    Texas
    08/08/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A Pity Party Ends Badly"

    I have heard about The Haunting of Hill House for years, but never read it. But it is on Charlaine Harris' list of favorite books so when Audible had it on sale, I picked it up. Since it is a bit of classic, I'm not sorry I listened to it and Bernadette Dunne's narration is so very good I can't consider it a total loss, but I am glad I didn't pay full price. There is very little action and I didn't find it very suspenseful either. The characters are reasonably interesting, but the only backstory you get in detail is for Eleanor who seems to be psychologically damaged and absolutely drowning in self pity. The more I knew about her, the less I wanted to know. There is some superb spooky mood setting, but any real suspense is undermined by an unbalanced central character who steals the show from anything paranormal or horrific.

    11 of 12 people found this review helpful
  • anmaree
    bendigo, Australia
    20/02/11
    Overall
    "Well written story that captures the imagination."

    The book is written well and in detail, the narrator really portray's the characters very well giving each their own uniqueness, this makes it quite easy to imagine yourself in the book, which is what makes it so enjoyable!

    13 of 15 people found this review helpful
  • Toddany
    PA
    16/02/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Best narrator I've listened to to date"
    Would you listen to The Haunting of Hill House again? Why?

    I wouldn't, only because I've never been the type to read/listen to a book twice. It's nothing negative about the book itself.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Haunting of Hill House?

    The ending....although I won't say anything more to spoil it


    Which character – as performed by Bernadette Dunne – was your favorite?

    I enjoyed her performance for all the characters. She did an amazing job distinguishing them.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Absolutly. I was highly disappointed when I would arrive at my destinantion and have to turn off the book.


    16 of 19 people found this review helpful
  • Scott
    Whitehall, PA, United States
    01/11/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Classic?"
    What would have made The Haunting of Hill House better?

    A real story
    I was very disappointed


    What was most disappointing about Shirley Jackson’s story?

    Really everything
    Plot, the main characters
    The most annoying person was the doctors wife


    Which character – as performed by Bernadette Dunne – was your favorite?

    Eleanor was great
    But she was an empty character as well, and crazy before being asked to go the hill house


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Lots of disappointment
    No anxiety, no fear,
    It's a shame but I wanted it to be over


    Any additional comments?

    Reviews by other listeners are usually dead on but not this one
    Dunne was great but that's it
    I wish I had better feelings toward this

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Pamela
    Choctaw, OK, United States
    13/08/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A Haunting it is NOT"
    What disappointed you about The Haunting of Hill House?

    The story was more about a crazy woman than a haunted house.. I love horror movies and books and this book was just plain boring... I kept waiting for something good to happen and it just didn't.


    What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

    The reader did a great job with the characters


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    They chose a good narrator... It was a waste of time and the only reason I finished it was because I paid for it... I am with the Kansas reviewer... I could not get through it fast enough!


    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Symmetry
    United States
    09/08/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Insane babble start to finish"
    What would have made The Haunting of Hill House better?

    This book would have been better off never having been written.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Shirley Jackson again?

    I will NEVER listen to or read anything by Shirley Jackson again.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    There weren't any scenes worthy of being favorite.


    What character would you cut from The Haunting of Hill House?

    Arthur was a complete waste of wordage.Although, since the whole book was a waste of words, he was just superfluous.


    Any additional comments?

    They should have called this book Ramblings of an insane mind. And by that, I don't mean a character, I mean the author. The main character is more than a little unstable, and her ramblings were fairly focused, but not on anything relating to the plot. The dialog between the characters had the potential to be cute, but didn't live up to that potential. It came off as unrealistic to the point of just being ridiculous.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Debbie Francis
    Wichita, Ks
    27/02/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "The Haunting of Hill House - haunting, not so much"
    Did Bernadette Dunne do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

    The narration was done very well.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Boredom.... irritation....frustration


    Any additional comments?

    I couldn't get through it fast enough. Very little haunting, a lot of inner dialogue from a disturbed woman apparently sensitive to the house....

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Old Man Parker
    Kailua-Kona, HI, United States
    04/04/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Perhaps the best haunted house tale of all time."
    Where does The Haunting of Hill House rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    One of my favorites.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Well, hard to say, Elie, who you see much of the story through is going mad, so is not all times very likable, I think the Dr. who put together the experiment is interesting, the sexy woman psychic is fun, the idle rich boy is not very deep...perhaps the house itself is the strangest character.


    Have you listened to any of Bernadette Dunne’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    She has a great voice with depth and texture, wonderful for a ghost story, a crime drama, or a tale of terror.


    If you could rename The Haunting of Hill House, what would you call it?

    That's a hard one. "The Haunting of Hill House" is a classic title which sounds so right. It chills with it's mere words. Perhaps a second book could be called "The Hunger of Hill House"?


    Any additional comments?

    This is one of the all time great "Haunted House" stories. It set the bench mark for most every haunted house that has come after. If you love the horror genre, you MUST listen to this book. It's a classic.

    11 of 13 people found this review helpful

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