Welcome back to a very spoooooky part two of the Novel Ideas Halloween Extravaganza (consisting of two episodes of questionable quality). This episode is about The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson. Shirley Jackson is probably best known for her excellent short story, “The Lottery,” which you can read by clicking on the link. In this episode we talk about that story, as well as distorted reality, queer coding, scary moments, and social isolation. We also get into Professor Dad, people with nothing better to do, the greatness of Mrs. Dudley, and listen to Gabs be impressed by Mr. Jackson. There’s also a higher than usual level of background noise which is caused by a combination of loud neighbors, snack seeking girlfriends, and (maybe) ghosts?
The music bump is “Hauntings” by Dan Welcher.
Our recommendation: A relatively easy read with some genuinely creepy moments. This is more of a psychological thriller than a straight genre horror story.
Ben: 7/10 silly psychic cards. A well written story that stands up well to the passage of time.
Gabs: 7/10 creepy knocks upon the door.
If for you it makes it to 10, remember that Mrs. Dudley clears at 10.
Prepare for a long, cold slog through a world devoid of life, filled only with ashes. In other words, get ready for a new episode of Novel Ideas. This week, we read The Road by Cormac McCarthy, the Pulitzer Prize winning post-apocalyptic novel about… love? Join us as we discuss post-apocalyptic morality, cannibalism, isolation, and finding a purpose for living. We also talk about the potential benefits of joining a bloodcult, doomsday devices, and fonts (both apocalyptic and otherwise).
The music bump is “Lips of Ashes” by Porcupine Tree. I didn’t mean to go back to that well so quickly, but the song title was just too close to home. Also, Jackson Browne’s “The Road” didn’t quite fit the tone of novel. Additionally, there’s a little bit of Patton Oswalt at the end of the podcast. If you get that far, you’ll know why.
Ratings and Recommendations:
Ben: 7/10 miles trudged, only for what purpose?
Gabs: 5/10 on enjoyment.
Consensus is that this is a work of literature rather than entertainment. It is well written, but you may not find it very fun reading.