The Haunting of Hill House - Shirley Jackson, Laura Miller I really liked this! The premises feel a bit meh - a doctor of science who wants to examine paranormal activities in a house invites people that have been recorded as somehow related to paranormal phenomena to come stay with him, and one of the people who end up in the house is the extremely mousy Eleanor who has wasted her youth caring for a bitter mother. I guess a lot of people could find Eleanor extremely annoying, but for me she has just the right amount of insight and reflection on her own behaviour to not just be a wimp that you wish could be offed first.

I felt that the character descriptions were a bit off and the behaviour of some of them, Eleanor, was somewhat poorly carried out in the beginning, and as a consequence the characters didn't really make much sense. This stopped being a problem when the house started affecting them in various ways though, and then I could disregard the only thing that had been bothering me (perhaps with the exception of the doctor's wife, who was too much of a parody to come across as real), and the story became thoroughly enjoyable. I haven't read many horror stories, and I'm not overly familiar with haunted houses and how they behave, but I like this haunted house, and I think that Jackson's strength as an author lies in her treatment of the house, not of the people visiting it. The book is full of eerie things that in any ordinary setting would just be... inconsequential, and that impressed me. I still don't understand the house, which is a plus.