We Have Always Lived In The Castle: (penguin Classics Deluxe Edition) by Shirley JacksonWe Have Always Lived In The Castle: (penguin Classics Deluxe Edition) by Shirley Jackson

We Have Always Lived In The Castle: (penguin Classics Deluxe Edition)

byShirley JacksonIntroduction byJonathan LethemIllustratorThomas Ott

Paperback | October 31, 2006

see the collection Tales of Horror

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Shirley Jackson's beloved gothic tale of a peculiar girl named Merricat and her family's dark secret

Taking readers deep into a labyrinth of dark neurosis, 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. This edition features a new introduction by Jonathan Lethem.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
Shirley Jackson (1919–1965), a celebrated writer of horror, wrote many stories as well as six novels and two works of nonfiction.Jonathan Lethem is the author of numerous acclaimed novels, including Motherless Brooklyn and The Fortress of Solitude.
Title:We Have Always Lived In The Castle: (penguin Classics Deluxe Edition)Format:PaperbackProduct dimensions:160 pages, 8.38 × 5.64 × 0.48 inShipping dimensions:8.38 × 5.64 × 0.48 inPublished:October 31, 2006Publisher:Penguin Publishing GroupLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0143039970

ISBN - 13:9780143039976


Rated 4 out of 5 by from Creepy and fast read This was a very interesting novel with a strange plot. I was able to figure out the twist, but this did not take away from my enjoyment of the book.
Date published: 2018-11-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A new favorite! This quickly became one of my favorites after reading it. I wasn't sure what to expect going into it, but it was great! The characters are well developed and unique. The vibe is super creepy. There is a twist that you may or may not see coming. You will likely experience mixed feelings about characters. Go read it!
Date published: 2018-09-24
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Interesting Good book with an unreliable narrator, great imagery, and a creepy vibe.
Date published: 2018-06-08
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Pleasantly Creepy This is a very fun take on the unreliable narrator novel, and it hooked me right away. It isn't scary, but it's unsettling and captivating. The characters are fascinating and disturbing at the same time. It'll get a reread - maybe around Halloween!
Date published: 2018-02-14
Rated 4 out of 5 by from creepy and wonderful I didn't really know what I was getting into with this book but was simultaneously disturbed and entranced by the novel. I really enjoyed the read- which was relatively quick!
Date published: 2017-12-10
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Odd, and Very Creepy A relatively short read, but one with depth and a lot of intrigue. I was quickly immersed in the plot because of Merricat's odd, and perturbing perception of the world. It kept me hooked because I was trying to resolve her understanding of events with what might have happened. She is definitely an interesting addition to the unreliable narrator literary tactic. The mystery of the tale is revealed slowly, and the twist isn't the focus of the plot. Actually, it's almost an after thought which I found refreshing - even though I did guess the identity of the murderer. Oh! There's also a cleverly used red herring that reminded me of American Horror Story's first season. Overall, there's a lot to enjoy in a few pages. I can see how this work may have influenced many contemporary authors (A Head Full of Ghosts comes to mind immediately because of food and poison being a pivotal plot piece), and I'm interested in reading more of Jackson's work.
Date published: 2017-11-15
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Creepy and delightfully disturbing I LOVE Shirley Jackson's weird, macabre, mind**** and creepy kind of storytelling. I wasn't can't-go-to-sleep scared but I was definitely unsettled in a good way. I'm continuing my October reads with more Shirley Jackson books. I just can't get enough right now!
Date published: 2017-10-24
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Interesting but uneventful This book has a slow build and the payoff is rather anticlimactic -- but still a good read, and interesting, and mysterious. Very atmospheric, so if anything it was enjoyable to read for the setting.
Date published: 2017-09-29
Rated 4 out of 5 by from GOOD What a strange book. Creepy too
Date published: 2017-09-01
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Doesn't make sense I had read so many good things about this book, bloggers raved about it and reviews said it was the best book they read again and again. I eagerly started reading, but soon was wondering if I had downloaded the correct book. This is an odd story. It is the tale of two sister, the younger who indulges in flights of whimsy and is unable to connect with her neighbours and whose older sister never goes beyond the gardens in their yard. The entire story was stilted, and never seemed to settle into it's telling. Perhaps it was the wording that was often awkward with some passages required several readings to make sense of them. I didn't enjoy this book but kept reading with the hope that it would improve, but it didn't. I had had this book on my reading list for quite a while, and moved it to the top when a favoured character in a recent read proclaimed this was her most favourite book ever. I figured there must be something I was missing if that author loved it so very much. If you choose to read We Have Always Lived in the Castle, do so with a friend and discuss it along #IndigoEmployee
Date published: 2017-04-23
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great read! Eerie and captivating, but not memorable. Not a story that stays with you, but in the moment, a great read.
Date published: 2017-02-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Incredible the story of sisters, and what they do
Date published: 2017-02-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Creepy This gave me such a gothic vibe, I'm surprised it wasn't written hundreds of years ago! Jackson's story was so creepy and unsettling, I felt like I couldn't trust anything or anyone. She's defintely created a masterpiece! #plumreview
Date published: 2017-02-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from GREAT Gulped this novel down, quite the little treasure!
Date published: 2017-02-05
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Deliciously intense! Riveting intense creepy novel. I read it in one sitting it was that intense. You won't regret purchasing it
Date published: 2017-02-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from one of shirley jackson's best if you've only read the lottery, in high school, then this book is the next step to Shirley jackson's work- it's got the same theme of social paranoia, and the growing sense of dread. the characters are vivid. Read it before the movie comes out!
Date published: 2016-12-31
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Unsettling The way Jackson writes this little treasure keeps you in a state of suspended expectation... 'What's going on," was a present thought in my head as I unraveled the gem that is this story. Don't want to give anything away, there are so many levels of horror throughout, it's hard to gauge which is the worst. I felt like I was in the head of someone losing their mind. Pick it up, you won't regret it!
Date published: 2016-12-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing Such a good and eerie book. Must read!
Date published: 2016-12-29
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Southern Gothic as hell the creepy, unsettling, nobody's-talking-about-it-but-something-is-powerfully-wrong-here atmosphere of this book is just incredible.
Date published: 2016-12-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Atmospheric and Unsettling I can’t help it when people are frightened; I always want to frighten them more. We Have Always Lived in the Castle is my second Shirley Jackson read, the first being The Haunting of Hill House, and I am completely sold. Jackson is an absolute master of atmosphere – her books are creepy, and I mean that as a huge compliment. I felt incredibly uneasy while reading We Have Always Lived in the Castle; I love the slow burning tension and the look into Merricat’s thoughts. Reading this book has made me that much more interested in Jackson herself – she writes about women who are descending into madness, and I have to wonder where that inspiration came from. I may pick up Ruth Franklin’s new biography, Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life to learn more about the woman behind the books. If you’re looking for an atmospheric and unsettling read for October do not hesitate to pick this up!
Date published: 2016-12-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A dark delight Absolutely creepy and wonderful. Jackson's dark humour is unlike any other.
Date published: 2016-11-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from My absolute favourite!! I love Shirley Jackson and everything she has written but this one really stands out. I read it in an afternoon, couldn't put it down. It was horrifying at times and sad and strange. It really makes a statement about society and how misfits are perceived and treated. Just incredible!!
Date published: 2016-11-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from So good... So creepy This little book is a gem. It will stick with you long after finishing.
Date published: 2015-10-02
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Very good, and a little creepy... 18-year old Mary Katherine (Merricat), her sister Constance, and their Uncle Julian live in a big house close to a village. However, Julian is not well, and Constance never leaves the property, which leaves Merricat to get groceries in the village once a week. Unfortunately for her, she and her family are either shunned or bullied by the villagers. This started off really strong for me. I didn't like the middle quite as much, but it also ended on a high note. Had it kept up on the stronger note all the way through, I would have rated it higher and it could have been in contention for a favourite for the year. However, it was still very good. A little creepy and more and more secrets were revealed as the book went on...
Date published: 2013-08-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A small weird masterpiece. Loved this book even more than The Lottery, though it has things in common with it. The horror of small town life, and pack mentality, with the quiet and frightening strangeness of those the town pursues. Merricat the narrator has the distinction of being someone lovely and creepy at the same time. Highly recommended!
Date published: 2013-01-24

Read from the Book

Table of Contents WE HAVE ALWAYS LIVED IN THE CASTLETitle PageCopyright PageIntroductionDedication Chapter 1Chapter 2Chapter 3Chapter 4Chapter 5Chapter 6Chapter 7Chapter 8Chapter 9Chapter 10WE HAVE ALWAYS LIVED IN THE CASTLESHIRLEY JACKSON was born in San Francisco in 1916. She first received wide critical acclaim for her short story “The Lottery,” which was published in 1949. Her novels—which include The Sundial, The Bird’s Nest, Hangsaman, The Road through the Wall, and The Haunting of Hill House (Penguin), in addition to We Have Always Lived in the Castle (Penguin)—are characterized by her use of realistic settings for tales that often involve elements of horror and the occult. Raising Demons and Life among the Savages (Penguin) are her two works of nonfiction. She died in 1965. Come Along With Me (Penguin) is a collection of stories, lectures, and part of the novel she was working on when she died in 1965. JONATHAN LETHEM is the author of Motherless Brooklyn, which won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction, as well as the novels The Fortress of Solitude; Gun, with Occasional Music; As She Climbed Across the Table; Girl in Landscape ; and Amnesia Moon. He has also published stories (Men and Cartoons) and essays (The Disappointment Artist).

Editorial Reviews

“A marvelous elucidation of life…a story full of craft and full of mystery” —The New York Times Book Review“A witch’s brew of eerie power and startling novelty” —The New York Times“I was thrilled by the genuine but meaningful strangeness of Shirley Jackson’s We Have Always Lived in the Castle.” —George Saunders“Jackson’s novel is so wonderfully creepy that students usually feel subversive just for reading it. Add to that one of the most brilliantly realized unreliable narrators in fiction and the book becomes irresistible.” —Marlon James