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Shirley Jackson Í 6 Free read

Thers at the crumbling old mansion for a funeral she wanders off to the secret garden But when she reports the vision she had there the. Shirley Jackson writes seriously weird fiction I used to think of her as a horror writer after reading The Lottery and reading about The Haunting of Hill House umpteen number of times I have still not been able to lay my hands on the book However We Have Always Lived in the Castle convinced me that her literary talents were much above that of the run of the mill horror writer the book under discussion has strengthened that belief Shirley Jackson is a genius of the level of Franz Kafka a genuine purveyor of nightmares In The Sundial we have Kafka meeting P G Wodehouse in an American manor houseAs with We Have Always Lived in the Castle the opening is abrupt and horrifying and hits us with the power of a sledgehammer The Halloran family has just returned from the funeral of young Lionel Halloran who has been killed by his mother by being pushed down the stairs Orianna Halloran killed her only son so that the house would belong to her at least until young Fancy Lionel s daughter comes of age Fancy is already dreaming of pushing her Grandma down the stairs like she did her daddyAnd all this is mentioned in the first two pages it s only a prelude to the story properThe Hallorans are a dysfunctional family Apart from the murderess Orianna there is Maryjane the weak wife of Lionel Orianna s husband Richard who s paralysed from waist down and slowly sliding down the slippery slope of dementia Fancy who we shall see is as psychopathic as her grandmother the governess Miss Ogilvie Essex a young gigolo who has attached himself to Orianna and last but not least Richard s sister Fanny Aunt Fanny who is skirting the thin line between eccentricity and insanityIn fact vintage ShirleyThe Halloran house constructed by Fanny s father is situated near a village which is a tourist attraction in its own right due to a notorious murder where a young girl wiped off her whole family with a hammer The house is huge and laid out symmetrically as is the grounds and garden Only the sundial stands off centre striking a jarring note with the curious inscription WHAT IS THIS WORLD written on itImmediately after Lionel s death Aunt Fanny loses her way during a morning ramble in the garden and apparently meets her long dead father who gives her the message of doom the world is going to be destroyed From the sky and from the ground and from the sea there is danger tell them in the house There will be black fire and red water and the earth turning and screaming this will comeFather Father whenThe father comes to his children and tells them there is danger There is danger Within the father there is no fear the father comes to his children Tell them in the housePlease When the sky is fair again the children will be safe the father comes to his children who will be saved Tell them in the house that they will be saved Do not let them leave the house say to them Do not fear the father will guard the children Go into your father s house and say these things Tell them there is danger Fanny relays the message and here is where the novel starts to become pure Kafka apparently the whole household buys into it initially in a spirit of indulgence but getting serious as time goes on The Halloran family picks up a few guests who become their fellow travellers on the road to Armageddon Mrs Willow and her daughters Gloria a cousin whose father is away on a game hunting trip in Africa and the captain a young visitor to the village picked by Mrs Halloran to add to her coterie Together they await the destruction of the old world and the birth of the new and story moves slowly and surely to its destructive climax Shirley Jackson s writing is pure delight I have always felt that humour and horror straddled a thin line many horror scenes could become sources of belly laughter if not managed properly and many jokes would make good horror stories Shirley does the tightrope act splendidly Her characters are unpleasant and serious enough to inspire unease but they show their ridiculous side especially in the dialogue which is very Wodehousian in this novel often enough to make us laughOne cannot miss out the religious undertones The only son who is sacrificed the father who plans to destroy the world and save only one family The burning of the books The matriarch who wears a crown which looks just like a substitute for a hat to put in the ridiculous touchview spoiler and who is killed by her successor who appropriates it hide spoiler

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The Sundial

Aunt Fanny knows when the world will endAunt Fanny has always been somewhat peculiar No one is surprised that while the Halloran clan ga. Like a sort of compassionate Oscar Wilde this romp among the tombstones all types of Gothic macabre can be experienced like a full out play There is an impressive group of characters eh automatons and enough lines of dialogue to tickle anyone s fancy This is the third Jackson novel I ve delved into the third novel deserving a 5 star rating Jackson is the uintessential lost and found writer the fountainhead of so much of the stuff the genre has to offer In short an indispensable author whom if you have not read yet you most definitely should It s almost religious this bond formed between us twoAnyway the theme here is charlatanism The seance its ministrations are at the forefront along with story faves such as family curses a limboesue arena for the wind up toys to snap at each other in creepy children and naive adults you see Shirley Jackson writes about this solely because she herself is its inverse She s the Real DealThis is like Edward Gorey fing the Addams family The magic is derived from the fact that characters are added subtracted with so much freakish freuency that it all seems as in a feverish dream

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Family is engulfed in fear violence and madness For Aunt Fanny's long dead father has given her the precise date of the final cataclysm.. The sight of one s own heart is degrading people are not meant to look inward that s why they ve been given bodies to hide their souls 35 stars While the charmingly odd dialogue and eerie atmosphere were uite a bit intriguing than the actual plot you can never go too far wrong with Shirley Jackson


10 thoughts on “The Sundial

  1. says:

    In Stephen King's novel 112263 a man named Jake Epping finds a portal that allows him to travel to 1958 To be sp

  2. says:

    Like a sort of compassionate Oscar Wilde this romp among the tombstones all types of Gothic macabre can be experienced like a full out play There is an impressive group of characters eh automatons and enough lines of dialogue to tickle anyone's fancy This is the third Jackson novel I've delved into; the third novel deserving a 5 star rating Jackson is the uintessential lost and found writer the fountainhead of so much of the stuff the genre

  3. says:

    This book is such a wicked pleasure I give it four stars only to distinguish it from We Have Always Lived in the Castle and The Haunting of Hill House which are really the pinnacle of Shirley Jackson's art But the elements are all here in The Sundial the old house the sense of decay and doom family legends oddbal

  4. says:

    WHEN SHALL WE LIVE IF NOT NOW?Shirley Jackson is a wonderfully weird sister a witchy woman with wicked powers and wry sense of humour The Sundial a lesser known precursor to The Haunting of Hill House and We Have Always Lived in the Castle is a nasty indulgence well worth reading It features many characters none of them particularly sympathetic who find themselves in the Halloran Mansion and who are convinced the end of the world is immi

  5. says:

    this is among my favourite novels every time i read it i am just as struck by its harmonious discord as i was the first time this story is to me a perversely uneven amalgam of apocalypse drawing room comedy and creepy gothic haunted house tale i think i only like the book for the fact that the pieces don't uite fit together and the scene that scares me the most isn't the one i'd expect; though there are severa

  6. says:

    Shirley Jackson writes seriously weird fiction I used to think of her as a horror writer after reading The Lottery and reading about The Haunting of Hill House umpteen number of times I have still not been able to lay my ha

  7. says:

    ★★★★✰ 4 stars “I mean why should I figure I’m so special the world is going to end while I’m around?”In Th

  8. says:

    “The sight of one's own heart is degrading; people are not meant to look inward—that's why they've been given bodies to hide their souls” 35 stars While the charmingly odd dialogue and eerie atmosphere were uite a bit intriguing than the actual plot you can never go too far wrong with Shirley Jackson

  9. says:

    Collected in Let Me Tell You New Stories Essays and Other Writings is a lecture titled “About the End of the World” In it Jackson explains how she came to write this novel Casting around for a topic she reread her earlier pre 1958 novels and discovered they all included a wall surrounding some forbidden lovely secret and in this wall a gate that cannot be passed She also realized she never got past the ga

  10. says:

    Shirley Jackson was such a kooky genius Emphasis on genius Also emphasis on kooky I'm learning that there is a whole world of Shirleyana beyond that one story which shall remain nameless because everyone read it in high schoolThe premise of this one is simple but also highly bizarre A wealthy family plus assorted hangers on waits around in a big old house for what they believe to be the imminent apocalypse Mo

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