We Have Always Lived in the Castle (Compact Disc)

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Staff Reviews

While she's finally starting to see a reemergence into the mainstream thanks to Netflix's series "The Haunting of Hill House," the fact that Shirley Jackson is still primarily known as a minor voice is one of the great failures of 20th century American Literature. At the risk of understating it, there is no modern horror genre without Shirley Jackson. And yet her focuses always lie so far beyond simple thrills and jump-scares: "We Have Always Lived in the Castle" is one of those obvious classics that reads like extant fable, and which is by turns melancholic, intriguing, sweet, funny, and yes, horrifying. This novel is almost entirely without flaw and remains entrancingly rereadable.

— Brett


Shirley Jackson's deliciously unsettling novel about a perverse, isolated, and possibly murderous family takes readers deep into a labyrinth of dark neurosis, macabre humor, and gothic atmosphere. Six years after four family members died suspiciously of arsenic poisoning, the three remaining Blackwoods--elder, agoraphobic sister Constance; wheelchair-bound Uncle Julian; and eighteen-year-old Mary Katherine, or, Merricat--live together in pleasant isolation. Merricat has developed an idiosyncratic system of rules and protective magic to guard the estate against intrusions from hostile villagers. But one day a stranger arrives--cousin Charles, with his eye on the Blackwood fortune--and manages to penetrate into their carefully shielded lives. Unable to drive him away by either polite or occult means, Merricat adopts more desperate methods, resulting in crisis, tragedy, and the revelation of a terrible secret. Jackson's novel emerges less as a study in eccentricity and more--like some of her other fictions--as a powerful critique of the anxious, ruthless processes involved in the maintenance of normalcy itself.

Product Details
ISBN: 9781441734280
ISBN-10: 1441734287
Publisher: Blackstone Audiobooks
Publication Date: March 10th, 2010
Language: English