Adventuring in the Spooktacular! Monkey Minis for Shirley Jackson Books…

spooktacular reads

Hello all! Just a super quick post today for some super quick spooooky reads. Now, if you’ve been around a while you might know I have a low tolerance for *scary* reads- but being the daredevil monkey that I am, I decided to risk it with a couple of legendary Shirley Jackson books. You know, in broad daylight, so the ghosts couldn’t reach through the pages and get me 😉 Onto the reviews!

we have always lived in a castle

We Have Always Lived in a Castle– Ooh the intrigue and spooky vibes were strong with this one! It was enigmatic, creepy and mysterious. There was a distinctive feel for the characters, which made them feel both lifelike and otherworldly. I realllly appreciated the setting as well- everywhere in the novel seemed to have a too-close-for-comfort feel to it. I liked that it left so many questions unanswered- as a good ghost story should. There was some ambiguity at the end as well, though it wasn’t entirely open-ended. I simply adored the writing style too. Overall, this was a definite success!

Rating: 4/5 bananas

haunting of hill house

The Haunting of Hill House– Ahh Jackson certainly has a lovely turn of phrase. Sadly, it wasn’t quite as tantalisingly terrifying as We Have Always Lived in a Castle. I feel like I made a mistake to read that one first, cos this one didn’t quite blow me away. I think my greatest disappointment was the ending- it didn’t leave me with that blood-chilling oh-my-god-what-just-happened feeling. Ya know, the one we read scary stories to get (why do we read them again? 😉). I didn’t care too much for the characters either, which was a problem in such a claustrophobic setting. Still, I can safely say Jackson has the uncanny feeling down. And even if it seems like all I’ve done is complain about it, I still enjoyed it.

Rating: 3½/5 bananas

hand-drawn-bananahand-drawn-bananahand-drawn-banana half-a-hand-drawn-banana 

So what do you think of these? Did you enjoy them? Did they successfully freak you out? Let me know in the comments

63 thoughts on “Adventuring in the Spooktacular! Monkey Minis for Shirley Jackson Books…

  1. I feel guilty that I haven’t read either of these, and the recent Shirley Jackson revival has really reminded me of that. I read her short story “The Lottery” in school and went on to read several of her short stories. She has a wonderfully compelling view of the world that really exposes the drama in the ordinary. Even when she’s not being scary her eye for peoples’ prejudices can be quite spooky.

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    1. Yeah that’s definitely what made me curious too. Yeah she really does- I definitely want to check out her short stories now, cos I haven’t read them, so I’m glad to hear you got the same impression from them as I had from these. Such a great point!

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  2. I felt the same about The Haunting of Hill House. I liked it and thought it was very atmospheric but just felt like it missed something. I’ve had my eye on We Have Always Lived in the Castle for a little while, so I’m glad to hear it’s even better than Hill House – another one for the TBR pile!

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  3. Yup, the cover of We Have Always Lived in a Castle already freaks me out. 😭😭😭 I have an uber-low tolerance for creepy reads, same as you, and it’s not great that I spotted it at 3 in the morning when it’s super quiet and dark. Thank you very much for that. 😂

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  4. I enjoyed “The Haunting of Hill House” mainly because the author so artfully creates that claustrophobic setting that you mention. Her writing is very introspective and not so much for the ‘jump out of the dark’ factor, I think. Such a wonderful writing style, even in her non-horror works!

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  5. I made the same mistake of reading “Castle” before “Hill House.” I thought that both the writing and subject matter of “Castle” were more interesting. I generally find atmospheric “what darkness lurks in the hearts of men” kind of horror scarier and more satisfying than supernatural stuff.

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    1. They really are!! hehehe! makes sense 😉 Hope you like them!! Yeah I saw the trailer for the show (honestly it looks too scary for me to watch personally) and they look really different, so yeah I’m sure you’ll get something out of it! 😀

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  6. I’ve read both and I adored Castle. I finished it in a day because I was so hooked. It’s a while since I read House, though, and it can’t have made that much of an impression me since I don’t remember much about it. I wonder if I should give it a reread some day.

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  7. I also have a low tolerance for scary books, so I tend to stay clear of the horror genre… When October rolls around, I will typically gravitate to gothic novels, OR I will read MG “horror”. I’ve always wanted to read a Shirley Jackson book though… Maybe I’ll try We Have Always Lived in the Castle.

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  8. Just read A House of Ghosts by W. C. Ryan – so creepy! I’m not sure if I can handle more spooky reads at the moment but will put them on the list anyway – you never know. 😄💕

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  9. I LOVE Shirley Jackson. LOVE her. I read Hill House first and was also curious why it wasn’t as scary as I expected (I mean “haunting” is in the title lol), but I still really enjoyed it and I’m glad it was my first Jackson book. I looooove WHALITC. So innocently creepy. Love it love it love it. Have you read any of her short stories? The Lottery is a really good/popular one. I’ve read a few others I’ve come across, but I’m always wanting more Jackson! 😄👻


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