We Have Always Lived in the Castle (Compact Disc)

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We Have Always Lived in the Castle By Shirley Jackson, Bernadette Dunne (Read by) Cover Image
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Staff Reviews

While I’m certain you’ve read “The Lottery” once or twice--it’s the most anthologized short story out there, after all--I’m concerned that you may not have given Jackson’s equally creepy novels a try. My favorite is her last, a truly bizarre little book called WE HAVE ALWAYS LIVED IN THE CASTLE that Jackson wrote after agoraphobia and substance abuse had effectively rendered her a prisoner in her own home. The novel centers around a makeshift family holed up in their own big old house: the feral, witchy Merricat; her beloved and anxious older sister Constance; and their infirm Uncle Julian. For reasons that slowly, horribly become clear to the reader, the family is bullied and reviled by the citizens of their small New England town, and manage to live in almost complete isolation for seven years until an upstart cousin comes to town and upsets the precarious balance of their lives. A twisted, eerie little psychological tale that also serves as a brilliant metaphor for Jackson’s own deteriorating mental state. You’d be crazy to miss it!

— Danielle


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.
Product Details
ISBN: 9781441734280
ISBN-10: 1441734287
Publisher: Blackstone Audiobooks
Publication Date: March 10th, 2010
Language: English