Thursday, July 9, 2009

We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson

This is the Penguin Deluxe Classic edition of Shirley Jackson's last novel (but the first of hers that I read), the cover of which is illustrated by Thomas Ott.

If you are going to read it, I implore you to skip the introduction by Jonathan Lethem until you have finished the whole novel, because it contains many spoilers that completely ruin the experience of reading this book. I have had this happen a number of times and I really don't understand why publishers would include an introduction to a book that revealed the ending. It would have worked much better as an afterword. (I suppose I am in a position to actually get an answer to this as I work for the publisher in question. But I have not asked yet.)

That said, it is a wonderful, creepy, short book and the cover illustrations perfectly accent the tone. The french flaps are also quite lovely.

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