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Look at me, with the reading and stuff…

Book #15 – Hell House by Richard Matheson

This is a re-read for me. I believe the first time I read it was in college, not long after I read The Haunting of Hill House. The premise of both books is the same: four people, running the gamut of psychic to skeptic, are hired to spend a certain amount of time in a haunted house and perhaps prove the haunting real or fake. The way in which each is told is very different. This might be due to the decade of time that interceded between the publications, or it could be due the masculine/feminine aspects of how the stories are presented (my own pet theory). Hill House is more about the house, Hell House more about the systemization of the haunting.

Matheson is never quite as good as I think he is.  There are really only a couple of passages that illicit any sense of unease for me, and one of them probably only due to a particular nightmare I occasionally have.  I was kind of annoyed by the last ten pages in which absolutely everything is tied together after the remaining characters are led back into the house for a really dumb reason.  And in those ten pages, we’re suddenly given all the pieces of the puzzle as they are being snapped together by the main character.  Stuff is revealed that the reader has no inkling of earlier.  To me, that’s a bit of a dodge.


Writer, publisher. Hobbies include reading, studying magic & illusions from a historical/theoretical perspective, and playing ultimate frisbee.

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