Book vs. Movie: We have always lived in the Castle

Hello, guys!
I finally had time to read this Shirley Jackson book, which I was mainly interested in because from the first pictures I saw for the film, I was intrigued. But since I like to read the novel first, the movie sat on my to-watch-list collecting dust. Well, the novel was finished, the movie was watched, so here we are now!

The Plot (as found on Goodreads):

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-cap mushroom. Everyone else in my family is dead…

Book vs. Movie:

I’m still not 100% sure how I feel about this. I can definitely say that I liked the movie better than the novel, but I wasn’t too much into either, to be honest. I know many people love Shirley Jackson’s books but so far, their charm seems to elude me. This is the second novel of hers that I read, and once more I am intrigued by the idea, but the execution just doesn’t hit the spot for me. Maybe it’s simply that her writing style doesn’t work for me. Because, by all means, I should have loved this book. Quite often the main character is such a mood! But ultimately, I ended up finding her irritating and annoying in the novel and wished we wouldn’t spend so much time in her head/her thoughts.

I was, however, really curious how this would turn out on screen. The story has the potential for a great adaptation (and Sebastian Stan’s in it), so I had to check that out as well. First of all, I immediately liked the film better, precisely because of what I said just before. We don’t spend so much time with Merricat’s thoughts. Also, in the book, it struck me as odd that everybody in the village would have such a deep-rooted hate for the sisters. In the movie, there were at least tiny attempts in giving some characters a reason to dislike them (e.g. a guy who was rejected by her sister). Another thing that the adaptation does a better job with is Charles. I get what Shirley Jackson wanted to accomplish there, what kind of person he is, his character. Maybe it’s just Sebastian Stan, but in the film, this character seems so much more intense, and also so much more charming. I can see why Constance would fall for him. In the book, he just seemed like an utter twat every single minute of every day.

While, overall, the adaptation kept fairly close to the book except for minor changes, there is one major plot divergence at the end. SPOILERS AHEAD

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Book vs. TV Show: The Haunting of Hill House

Hello, my darling readers!
I’ve been curious about The Haunting of Hill House ever since the show came to Netflix. Well, I wanted to read the book first, so it took me a while – but here we are!

The Plot:

…of the Show (according to Rotten Tomatoes)

The Haunting of Hill House is a modern reimagining of Shirley Jackson’s legendary novel of the same name, about five siblings who grew up in the most famous hauntedhouse in America. Now adults, they’re reunited by the suicide of their youngest sister, which forces them to finally confront the ghosts of their own pasts… some which lurk in their minds… and some which may really be lurking in the shadows of the iconic Hill House.

…of the Book (according to Goodreads)

First published in 1959, Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House has been hailed as a perfect work of unnerving terror. It is the story of four seekers who arrive at a notoriously unfriendly pile called Hill House: Dr. Montague, an occult scholar looking for solid evidence of a “haunting”; Theodora, the lighthearted assistant; Eleanor, a friendless, fragile young woman well acquainted with poltergeists; and Luke, the future heir of Hill House. At first, their stay seems destined to be merely a spooky encounter with inexplicable phenomena. But Hill House is gathering its powers—and soon it will choose one of them to make its own.

The Haunting of Hill House on Goodreads

TV Show:

As you can see from the two plot descriptions, the book and its adaptation are bound to be somewhat different. Nevertheless, there are a few things that remain the same and you can tell where the show drew inspiration from the novel. Before we get to the comparison, I’ll talk a bit about the book!

I was pretty excited to pick up the book but ended up very disappointed.
Why you may ask? First of all, the characters were pretty annoying. I didn’t like any single one of them or cared in the slightest what happened to them. Especially, Eleanor was so much in her own headspace, constantly complaining about bullshit that I soon got very annoyed with her. Honestly, most of the characters seemed to be so bothered by entirely trivial things that I couldn’t help but roll my eyes.

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