We Have Always Lived in the Castle

( 58 )

Overview

Merricat Blackwood lives on the family estate with her sister Constance and her uncle Julian. Not long ago there were seven Blackwoods—until a fatal dose of arsenic found its way into the sugar bowl one terrible night. Acquitted of the murders, Constance has returned home, where Merricat protects her from the curiousity and hostility of the villagers. Their days pass in happy isolation until cousin Charles appears. Only Merricat can see the danger, and she must act swiftly to ...

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We Have Always Lived in the Castle: (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition)

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Overview

Merricat Blackwood lives on the family estate with her sister Constance and her uncle Julian. Not long ago there were seven Blackwoods—until a fatal dose of arsenic found its way into the sugar bowl one terrible night. Acquitted of the murders, Constance has returned home, where Merricat protects her from the curiousity and hostility of the villagers. Their days pass in happy isolation until cousin Charles appears. Only Merricat can see the danger, and she must act swiftly to keep Constance from his grasp.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
These six very different titles are the latest crop of Penguin's redesigned "Classics Deluxe Editions" Each volume features kick-ass covers drawn by some of today's top graphic artists, including Frank Miller, Yoshihiro Tatsumi, Thomas Ott, Chester Brown, and Tomer Hanuka, with introductions by the likes of Jonathan Lethem and Doris Lessing. Note that the de Sade cover features some nudity and the Lawrence graphics include comics using the F-word and depicting sex acts, so proceed with caution (you'll laugh, but some of your patrons may not). Nonetheless, all beauties. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Publishers Weekly
Since the mysterious death of four family members, the superstitious Mary Katherine "Merricat" Blackwood, her ailing uncle Julian, and agoraphobic sister Constance have lived in a bizarre but contented state of isolation. But when cousin Charles arrives in search of the Blackwood fortune, a terrible family secret is revealed. Bernadette Dunne's reading is flawlessly paced and suspenseful. The voices she provides the cast of characters are spot on: precocious Merricat is haunted and increasingly desperate; Constance is doting but detached; Uncle Julian is both pleasantly dotty and utterly unnerving; and Charles is the conniving villain listeners will love to hate. A treat for fans of mystery and suspense. (June)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780140071078
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 6/28/1984
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 124,276
  • Lexile: 980L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.16 (w) x 7.78 (h) x 0.53 (d)

Meet the Author

Shirley Jackson (1919–1965), a celebrated writer of horror, wrote many stories as well as six novels and two works of nonfiction.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 58 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(26)

4 Star

(16)

3 Star

(10)

2 Star

(3)

1 Star

(3)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 59 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 18, 2012

    DON'T................POST....................SPOILERS!!!! FOR TH

    DON'T................POST....................SPOILERS!!!! FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, WHAT IS WRONG WITH SOME PEOPLE??!!!!

    19 out of 25 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 3, 2002

    A Work of Literary Magic

    I am a voracious reader, and was never able to choose a single 'favorite' book until I read 'We Have Always Lived in the Castle.' I was immediately captivated by the ethereal narrative of the haunted and haunting Mary Katherine Blackwood, and the eccentricities of Constance and Uncle Julian add depth, humour, and sorrow to the book. Mary Katherine's perspective makes Cousin Charles a thoroughly despicable and intrusive presence, and it is enjoyable to speculate on how she might have dealt with him had circumstances not thankfully driven him away. 'We Have Always Lived in the Castle' is a bewitching novel.

    8 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 19, 2001

    an outstanding psychological novel

    jackson skillfully manipulates the readers by bringing them into the mindset of merricat, making them realize everything isn't always black and white. a truly startling voyag einto a disturbed mind that leaves no reader unaffected.

    8 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 26, 2011

    This woman is a genius

    Jackson naturally imbues seemingly normal events with a pervasive terror that makes it impossible to put her book down until you've fit all the pieces together to view the rich and horrible story her words paint.

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 20, 2012

    Another look into craziness

    A masterful tale of three family members living in isolation after one of the members has poisoned the rest of the family. An unusual look into mental illness. I enjoyed the story but it did not have near the impact on me as The Lottery. Nevertheless, a great story.

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 21, 2012

    Friends

    I need a lend me friend:(

    3 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 16, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Twisted But Intriguing.

    As are all stories by Shirley Jackson, this book is one that has a very unique twist in the plot. This is certainly a book that will keep you wanting to know what happens next. It is also a story that will keep you thinking. Clues and omens are very significant in this piece of literature. These omens intrigue the reader at first and then result in an "Ah Ha!" moment later on in the story. Also, there are many opportunities to explore different "what ifs" and form your own opinion on certain backgrounds. Although maybe not a book for the permanent library, it is a quick read that I would recommend reading once.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 26, 2007

    This book was bad!!!!

    the book had no exciting parts and it just kept going on about how merricat is a killer. i mean you already know who it is so it is not that surprising.

    2 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2005

    High School Reading With A Twist

    You pick up the book and it looks like a high school reading list book.' You begin to read it, and your initial thoughts are amplified. But then, the twist. You are looking into the lives of a family which puts the dys in dysfunctional. One person has Alzheimers, another person suffers from Agoraphobia, a third person is an eighteen year old with the mind of an eleven year old, and the last family member has waited to weasel in with intentions of corruption and thievery, and ... one of these individuals is the mass murderer of seven people in their own family.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 9, 2012

    FA Fascinating

    I haven't read a foray into the mind of a mentally disturbed character this detailed and flawless since The Sound and the Fury. Jackson's hand is nearly invisible and if read in one sitting, it's quite easy to forget that the narrator isn't all there due to an unusual childhood (to say the least).

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 27, 2011

    Good Read

    I really liked this book. It was fast moving, nicely plotted. If you have read and liked any other books by this author, you will enjoy this one too.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 1, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    Great reading of a fascinating book

    Bernadette Dunne does a great job of bringing Shirley Jackson's last novel to life. A strange, disturbing tale of a broken family and the terrible consequences of a community's failure to forgive the past. Definitely worth a listen.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 7, 2010

    It was just okay...

    *SPOILER ALERT*

    This book was quite short, but it definitely had an impact. The characters are so amazing! I love how odd and superstitious Merricat is and I really felt her emotions flood into me as I read how much she disliked Charles. Some of the events I didn't see coming. But when Merricat had said she would put death in everyone's food and watch them die, I had really hoped to see her go through with that plan. When she didn't, I wasn't too surprised, the book is short, and there wasn't much time left for her to kill people at the rate the book was going. I hope my eagerness for her to kill people doesn't come across as creepy. But this book is one of my favorites now, as much as I didn't love the ending.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 5, 2009

    Discovering A New (Old) Author

    I love Shirley Jackson's writing style. I read The Lottery years ago and came across it again on the internet. After re-reading the story, I thought it would be interesting to read something else by Ms.Jackson. She did not disappoint. Although I suspected the identity of the true murderer, I love the way she develped the characters and the storyline. I passed this along to a friend who had never heard of Ms.Jackson~ she really emjoyed the story too. Quite an unconventional ending.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 13, 2009

    Good book!

    I liked this - kind of weird in places, but it was a good book!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 20, 2006

    A Dizzying Read That Pulled Me In.....

    This book was not what I expected and even more, strangely thrilling, eerie and chilling, the story takes twists and turns that had me unable to stop turning the pages, a captive to this unexpected and rather brilliant story....

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 4, 2000

    It is a tale of true terror

    I think you really have to just set yourself in the shoes of mary katherine, this woman although girl like truly is insane her habits have no bounderies. Spoiled rich kid suffering from middle child sindrom merricat brings terror alive with her twisted reality

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 13, 2000

    Amazing Work- Jackson's best

    This strange tale was hard to put down. The awkward behavior of the characters questions their sanity. Merricat, though in her twenties, acts and is spoken to like a child. The line, 'I'm going to put death in all their food and watch them die.....the way I did before,' was frightful and insane, yet readers cannot help love the main characters and feel sorry for their positon in society.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 23, 2000

    What was she thinking?!

    This book was very...um...crazy. All I can say is that all the people were insane. Merricat poisons her family and no one seems to care. I mean she wants to live on the moon, but won't leave the house. And one more thing...hello?...is there a plot in there?!

    1 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 27, 2014

    I like how things are revealed gradually throughout the story.  

    I like how things are revealed gradually throughout the story.  They are all a bit crazy, but is one of them dangerous?  The ending could have been much more satisfying, but I don't want to spoil anything.  When you read it you will see a more obvious ending that would have had much more impact.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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