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We Have Always Lived in the Castle (Penguin…
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We Have Always Lived in the Castle (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition) (original: 1962; edição: 2006)

de Shirley Jackson (Autor), Thomas Ott (Ilustrador), Jonathan Lethem (Posfácio)

MembrosResenhasPopularidadeAvaliação médiaMenções
6,2563561,224 (4.07)752
We Have Always Lived in the Castle is a deliciously unsettling novel about a perverse, isolated, and possibly murderous family and the struggle that ensues when a cousin arrives at their estate.
Membro:HillaryFredrick
Título:We Have Always Lived in the Castle (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition)
Autores:Shirley Jackson (Autor)
Outros autores:Thomas Ott (Ilustrador), Jonathan Lethem (Posfácio)
Informação:Penguin Classics (2006), Edition: Deluxe ed., 146 pages
Coleções:Sua biblioteca
Avaliação:
Etiquetas:to-read

Work Information

We Have Always Lived in the Castle de Shirley Jackson (1962)

  1. 161
    Rebecca de Daphne Du Maurier (teelgee)
  2. 121
    The Wasp Factory de Iain Banks (taz_)
    taz_: I suspect that Iain Banks' "Wasp Factory" character Frank Cauldhame was inspired by Shirley Jackson's Merricat, as these two darkly memorable teenagers share a great many quirks - the totems and protections to secure their respective "fortresses", the obsessive superstitions that govern their daily lives and routines, their isolation and cloistered pathology, their eccentric families and dark secrets. Be warned, though, that "The Wasp Factory" is a far more explicit and grisly tale than the eerily genteel "Castle" and certainly won't appeal to all fans of the latter.… (mais)
  3. 30
    A Head Full of Ghosts de Paul Tremblay (sturlington)
    sturlington: Sisters named Merry. Tremblay was clearly influenced strongly by Jackson.
  4. 20
    Who was Changed and Who was Dead de Barbara Comyns (laytonwoman3rd)
  5. 43
    The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie de Alan Bradley (citygirl)
    citygirl: Castle is much darker and Flavia is more adorable than creepy (Merricat is quite creepy), but if you're interested in unusual young protagonists, with a very particular world view, try these.
  6. 11
    The Hill of Dreams de Arthur Machen (Nialle)
    Nialle: Young, emotionally complex, imaginative narrators in isolated situations - have something going on that the reader only glimpses before the big reveal
  7. 11
    The Behaviour of Moths de Poppy Adams (sparemethecensor)
    sparemethecensor: Two sisters with a mysterious relationship and dark history together, unreliable narrators, dark, old, rural houses with mysteries of their own... Though the books take different plotlines, they share so many similar elements that people who enjoyed the setting and storytelling of one will likely enjoy the other.… (mais)
  8. 22
    The Franchise Affair de Josephine Tey (lahochstetler)
  9. 01
    Goblin de Ever Dundas (wandering_star)
    wandering_star: Similar tone (and Dundas credits Jackson in the book's afterword).
  10. 01
    The Island at the End of the World de Sam Taylor (passion4reading)
    passion4reading: Though set within completely different landscapes, situations and time periods, each novel has the central theme of an outsider intruding upon an isolated close-knit family group, with disastrous consequences.
  11. 23
    The Weed That Strings the Hangman's Bag de Alan Bradley (kraaivrouw)
  12. 01
    Heartstones de Ruth Rendell (isabelx)
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» Veja também 752 menções

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Mostrando 1-5 de 355 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
This one is hard to say much about without saying too much. I knew absolutely nothing about it going in but Haunting of Hill House was really good and this one is even better.
Haunting was a bit ambiguous during the conversation scenes, it was like meeting someone's friends for the first time and they all have the same points of reference that you don't. Something like that anyway. This one though is a much smoother read.

The cover and title are a bit misleading, i thought it was going to be like Gormenghast :lol . Its not its a perfectly modern setting more or less. It did feel a bit like Peake in the aspect that the characters are a little grotesque and perfectly realized and memorable.

I probably got more tense during it than other readers might as it hit pretty close to home at times but i also just have a deep aversion to the petty evils.
The little bully's of the world who never give you enough to properly retaliate against but tarnish slightly every soul they touch... sorry gone off on a tangent.

This is a great little story and utterly compelling. ( )
  wreade1872 | Nov 28, 2021 |
It’s a short 150 pages, but it is deliciously, unmistakably...,Shirley Jackson. It has her gripping, unique, and quite dreamy writing style that tells a story of a mysterious family with a possibly disturbing, horrible secret. The Blackwood family, whose remaining family members have been ostracized by the small community where they live. Why? We now learn why. Seems a terrible tragedy years before a poisoning, took place. It took the lives of everyone of the Blackwood clan excerpt three.... Uncle Julian...Constance... and the narrator, Mary Katherine, (“Merricat”). Constance was suspected... but ultimately acquitted of the poisoning. Living a life mainly of alienation away from the whispers of the town, the Blackwoods are able to survive. Merricat believes in omens, and is vastly different compared to her sister, Constance. Uncle Julian is an invalid because he did have a little of the poison that claimed the other Blackwoods’ lives, but not enough to kill him. Not too much about this book can be reveled without leaving major spoils... but, when cousin Charles suddenly arrives at the Blackwood home...things pick up go on from there to a conclusion that you only think you know. ( )
  Carol420 | Nov 5, 2021 |
The Danger Within

Constance Blackwood and her younger sister Mary Katherine (Merricat) live with their infirm Uncle Julian in a big old rambling house on a large estate and set apart from the town. Six years previously someone poisoned the rest of the Blackwoods at dinner by putting arsenic in their dessert of blackberries. Since Merricat had been sent to her room for being bad and Constance didn’t eat blackberries, suspicion fell on Constance. However, an inquiry found her not guilty, though the townspeople always suspected she, in fact, murdered her mother, father, brother, and aunt, and severely injured her uncle, and so ostracized her. Constance herself is agoraphobic and will only venture as far as the house’s backyard. Merricat takes care of any errands and shopping in town, where people usually give her a wide berth or make fun of her. She, in turn, hates them all and has thoughts of killing them, watching them die, and seeing the town destroyed. She’s quite content to live alone in the big Blackwood house with Constance and Uncle Julian, whom she constantly promises herself to treat more kindly. To protect herself and Constance, she has nailed to trees and buried around the house various familiar objects that belonged to the family. Readers learn what happened to the Blackwoods, as well as gain insight into the deceased Blackwoods, through the ramblings of Uncle Julian, who busily works on a history of the incident and the Blackwood family.

As the novel progresses and we spend time with Merricat, we can see that she isn’t quite right, that she feels comfortable and kindly to one person only, her sister Constance, and that Constance is indulgent regarding Merricat and either oblivious to or accepting of her oddities, not to mention the not so secret “secret” they share. There’s always a sense of impending danger and Merricat always keeps her guard up, making her rounds of magical objects to ensure she and Constance remain safeguarded against the outside world. But then she starts having a bad feeling, a dread that something terrible is closing in on them, heightened when she discovers a book she’d nailed to a tree has fallen.

Charles Blackwood, a cousin, appears at their door and Constance invites him in. Merricat takes an immediate dislike to him and doesn’t hide her hatred of him. She resents that he beguiles Constance, coming between them, and recognizes him for what he is, a financial mercenary. When spying on his quarters in her father’s room, she discovers that he has left his pipe smoldering on the nightstand, she topples it into a wastebasket of newspapers. Later, it ignites a fire destroying the entire top flood of the house and bringing an invasion by the fire department and the townspeople. This permanently expels Charles, leads to Uncle Julian’s death, and leaves Constance and Merricat together alone with each other in three rooms forever. They subsist on Constance’s preserves from the basement, food from their garden in the back, protected by barriers established by Merricat, and penance offerings from townspeople to make up for their bad behavior the night of the fire.

What makes We Have Always Lived in the Castle so striking and absorbing is Jackson’s portrayals of Constance and especially Merricat, as well as their relationship. She never tells us that Constance suffers from agoraphobia or that Merricat is a sociopath. She shows us by taking us into Merricat’s mind, a very dark and disturbing place, conveying past and potential violence without any overt violence, just the sense that it could erupt at anytime. Readers will find it interesting to note that evil might move in two directions, depending on Merricat’s and the reader’s points of view. Merricat has it coming from the outside, from her deceased family, from the townspeople, and from Charles. Readers will eventually discover that the evil emanates from Merricat out to all of these parties with devastating consequences. Brilliant conjuring not to be missed.
( )
1 vote write-review | Nov 4, 2021 |
The Danger Within

Constance Blackwood and her younger sister Mary Katherine (Merricat) live with their infirm Uncle Julian in a big old rambling house on a large estate and set apart from the town. Six years previously someone poisoned the rest of the Blackwoods at dinner by putting arsenic in their dessert of blackberries. Since Merricat had been sent to her room for being bad and Constance didn’t eat blackberries, suspicion fell on Constance. However, an inquiry found her not guilty, though the townspeople always suspected she, in fact, murdered her mother, father, brother, and aunt, and severely injured her uncle, and so ostracized her. Constance herself is agoraphobic and will only venture as far as the house’s backyard. Merricat takes care of any errands and shopping in town, where people usually give her a wide berth or make fun of her. She, in turn, hates them all and has thoughts of killing them, watching them die, and seeing the town destroyed. She’s quite content to live alone in the big Blackwood house with Constance and Uncle Julian, whom she constantly promises herself to treat more kindly. To protect herself and Constance, she has nailed to trees and buried around the house various familiar objects that belonged to the family. Readers learn what happened to the Blackwoods, as well as gain insight into the deceased Blackwoods, through the ramblings of Uncle Julian, who busily works on a history of the incident and the Blackwood family.

As the novel progresses and we spend time with Merricat, we can see that she isn’t quite right, that she feels comfortable and kindly to one person only, her sister Constance, and that Constance is indulgent regarding Merricat and either oblivious to or accepting of her oddities, not to mention the not so secret “secret” they share. There’s always a sense of impending danger and Merricat always keeps her guard up, making her rounds of magical objects to ensure she and Constance remain safeguarded against the outside world. But then she starts having a bad feeling, a dread that something terrible is closing in on them, heightened when she discovers a book she’d nailed to a tree has fallen.

Charles Blackwood, a cousin, appears at their door and Constance invites him in. Merricat takes an immediate dislike to him and doesn’t hide her hatred of him. She resents that he beguiles Constance, coming between them, and recognizes him for what he is, a financial mercenary. When spying on his quarters in her father’s room, she discovers that he has left his pipe smoldering on the nightstand, she topples it into a wastebasket of newspapers. Later, it ignites a fire destroying the entire top flood of the house and bringing an invasion by the fire department and the townspeople. This permanently expels Charles, leads to Uncle Julian’s death, and leaves Constance and Merricat together alone with each other in three rooms forever. They subsist on Constance’s preserves from the basement, food from their garden in the back, protected by barriers established by Merricat, and penance offerings from townspeople to make up for their bad behavior the night of the fire.

What makes We Have Always Lived in the Castle so striking and absorbing is Jackson’s portrayals of Constance and especially Merricat, as well as their relationship. She never tells us that Constance suffers from agoraphobia or that Merricat is a sociopath. She shows us by taking us into Merricat’s mind, a very dark and disturbing place, conveying past and potential violence without any overt violence, just the sense that it could erupt at anytime. Readers will find it interesting to note that evil might move in two directions, depending on Merricat’s and the reader’s points of view. Merricat has it coming from the outside, from her deceased family, from the townspeople, and from Charles. Readers will eventually discover that the evil emanates from Merricat out to all of these parties with devastating consequences. Brilliant conjuring not to be missed.
( )
  write-review | Nov 4, 2021 |
If you enjoy writers like Stephen King, Neal Gaiman, or Richard Matheson, I have some great news for you. Shirley Jackson, who was an absolute master of psychological suspense and horror fiction, did it better than any of them. And despite dying of a progressive heart illness in 1965 at just 48, Jackson left behind a relatively substantial body of work for readers to explore and enjoy.

One of my own Shirley Jackson favorites is her last novel, 1962’s We Have Always Lived in the Castle, which critics have dubbed a “gothic mystery.” In approximately 150 pages, depending on which edition you read, Jackson creates a weirdly believable small-town world in which jealous townspeople finally find an opportunity to get even with the rich family in town that has for generations made all of them feel so inferior. And one night they get their revenge in spades.

The story begins when “Merricat” Blackwood, one of two sisters living in the Blackwood family home introduces herself this way:

“My name is Mary Katherine Blackwood. I am eighteen years old, and I live with my sister Constance. I have often thought that with any luck at all I could have been born a werewolf, because the two middle fingers on both my hands are the same length, but I have had to be content with what I had. I dislike washing myself, and dogs, and noise. I like my sister Constance, and Richard Plantagenet, and Amanita phalloides, the death-cup mushroom. Everyone else in my family is dead.”

Merricat, our narrator, then begins a flashback of a few months duration describing the last time she went into town to pick up library books and a few groceries for her and her sister. It is obvious from the way that she is treated in town, that the townspeople see Merricat as something strange and a bit horrifying, and that they feel free to torment her right up to the point where they draw the line at physical abuse. Merricat has so little self-awareness that her inner thoughts and compulsive rituals mark her as a target even for the children living in town.

Back at home in the fenced-in Blackwood family estate, we learn that some six years earlier the Blackwood family suffered a tragedy that only three of them survived: Merricat, her older sister Constance, and the girls’ Uncle Julian. The survivors have been completely isolated from their neighbors ever since, with the exception of Merricat’s quick Tuesday runs into town for supplies and new library books. The townspeople, while not particularly upset about the number of people who died that night, believe that what happened was not an accident. And because making someone pay for what happened is the easiest way for them to feel superior to the Blackwoods for the first time in their lives, they jump all over that opportunity when it suddenly presents itself.

Bottom Line: We Have Always Lived in the Castle is a mystery that only gradually reveals its truths as each layer of the relationship between the sisters is peeled back. Some of the secrets are revealed through Julian’s rambling memories even though it is apparent that the man’s mind is no longer what it once was. But it is only when a wildcard character, the ruthless cousin of the girls’, moves into the Blackwood estate that their world finally blows up. Neither they, their cousin, or the people in the town will ever forget what happens next — and none of them will ever be the same. ( )
  SamSattler | Nov 3, 2021 |
Mostrando 1-5 de 355 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
Of the precocious children and adolescents of mid-twentieth-century American fiction ... none is more memorable than eighteen-year-old "Merricat" of Shirley Jackson's masterpiece of Gothic suspense We Have Always Lived in the Castle (1962).
 

» Adicionar outros autores (4 possíveis)

Nome do autorFunçãoTipo de autorObra?Status
Jackson, Shirleyautor principaltodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Bliss, HarryArtista da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Dunne, BernadetteNarradorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Franzén, TorkelTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Lethem, JonathanIntroduçãoautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Oates, Joyce CarolPosfácioautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Ott, ThomasArtista da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Pareschi, MonicaTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Serra, Roseanne J.Designer da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
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My name is Mary Katherine Blackwood. I am eighteen years old, and I live with my sister Constance. I have often thought that with any luck at all I could have been born a werewolf, because the two middle fingers on both my hands are the same length, but I have had to be content with what I had. I dislike washing myself, and dogs, and noise. I like my sister Constance, and Richard Plantagenet, and Amanita phalloides, the death-cup mushroom. Everyone else in my family is dead.
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Merricat, said Connie, would you like a cup of tea?
Oh no, said Merricat, you’ll poison me.
Merricat, said Connie, would you like to go to sleep?
Down in the boneyard ten feet deep!
You will be wondering about that sugar bowl, I imagine. Is it still in use? you are wondering; has it been cleaned? you may very well ask; was it thoroughly washed?
Our house was a castle, turreted and open to the sky.
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We Have Always Lived in the Castle is a deliciously unsettling novel about a perverse, isolated, and possibly murderous family and the struggle that ensues when a cousin arrives at their estate.

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