We Have Always Lived in the Castle

Written by:
Shirley Jackson
Narrated by:
Bernadette Dunne

Unabridged Audiobook

Release Date
March 2010
5 hours 33 minutes
Shirley Jackson’s deliciously unsettling novel about a perverse, isolated, and possibly murderous family takes readers deep into a labyrinth of dark neurosis, macabre humor, and gothic atmosphere.

Six years after four family members died suspiciously of arsenic poisoning, the three remaining Blackwoods—elder, agoraphobic sister Constance; wheelchair-bound Uncle Julian; and eighteen-year-old Mary Katherine, or, Merricat—live together in pleasant isolation. Merricat has developed an idiosyncratic system of rules and protective magic to guard the estate against intrusions from hostile villagers. But one day a stranger arrives—cousin Charles, with his eye on the Blackwood fortune—and manages to penetrate into their carefully shielded lives. Unable to drive him away by either polite or occult means, Merricat adopts more desperate methods, resulting in crisis, tragedy, and the revelation of a terrible secret.

Jackson’s novel emerges less as a study in eccentricity and more—like some of her other fictions—as a powerful critique of the anxious, ruthless processes involved in the maintenance of normalcy itself.
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The book was not haunting or mysterious but actually quite boring. You finish the book with more questions than answers. Not a satisfying read, with a lacklustre conclusion

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Ranyah Ghussein

When I was looking for a "scary" book to listen to on the internet this book kept popping up, so I excitedly added it. I had high expectation but ended up being very disappointed! The book reads very slowly, and spends too much time rambling on and on about details that have no bearing on the story. The story is told in the form of a lot of nonsensical ramblings from a mentally unhinged protagonist. I really wish I didn't waste my credit on this!

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Lizeth T.

The narrator was perfect but the history is so boring, I was expecting that something happen but nothing happened. Not recommend.

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The story was hauntingly amazing, loved every minute. The narrator is the perfect fit for this story!

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bernadette dunne’s narration was impeccable - I enjoyed this immensely and in no small part due to her reading! somehow a both cosy and terrifying story, and I think the writing and plot has aged wonderfully. if you told me this was written last year, I would have believed you! I found merricat wildly compelling, and her relationships with both the people and landscape around her were sharp and fascinating. it was frustrating to me that we never found out *why* she did what she did, but I think it would also have ruined the story if we did. the eternal struggle…

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Tom Purnell

Fascinating book. Characters brilliantly realised. Narrator excellent.

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Natale R.

hauntingly good book. I highly recommended if you want to short and haunting read but nothing disturbing

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Robert Y

Rather slow, but creepy. There is a scene not of horror but of terror about half-way through. Well-written (well, it's Shirley Jackson). The reader is excellent.

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Dina Stark

I loved the tone of this book and the very odd characters. I did a combo of reading and listening and I do think the narration adds a bit of color and realism to the characters. Do not read the forward as it gives away some details you may not want to know. The book itself has a great quirky tone. It is a bit creepy, but I don't think it is scary. The end was a bit anticlimactic for me, but I think it was worth reading. It's a fast read/listen.

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