I had been meaning to read this book for a while and have deliberately held off watching the Netflix series until I read the book – something I’d always recommend with TV/film adaptations if at all possible! After finishing the novel, I was quite surprised that they had chosen this book to turn into a series but I think that the series must explore and expand on the novel, filling in the gaps that Jackson leaves deliberately blank.
I found the fear in ‘Hill House’ was in the blank spaces; the unexplained and the unmentioned. I was expecting the novel to be quite explicit in the horror and scary scenes it described, but this isn’t what evoked the terror of the book. The novel explores the psychological side of terror: not as shockingly scary, but the kind of terror that lingers with you in the back of your mind. As such, I’m interested in how this translates to a television series and I’m imagining that some liberties will have been taken, but I’ll review once I’ve watched the series (don’t hold your breath as it always takes me an age to get through a series!!!)
I found the characters quite interesting: I always enjoy novels with unreliable narrators. I think Eleanor/Nell definitely fits into this category. I also think this adds to the unsettling nature of the novel. There was something uneasy about the narrative: something you couldn’t quite put your finger on and something that wouldn’t leave you alone. I found the other characters to be fairly interesting and I enjoyed the Doctor’s wife as a character, but the main interest for me (character-wise) was definitely Eleanor. I could never quite figure her out and this is what I found so intriguing.
Ultimately, I would really recommend this book and I can see the influence that it has had on later writers that I also enjoy; Neil Gaiman being the main one that springs to mind. I loved Jackson’s narrative style and I am keen on reading some more of her work in the future.
My music choice for this week is: Haunted by Evanescence. Hope you enjoy 🙂