The House of The Seven Gables

This is my copy of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The House of The Seven Gables for which I paid .50 cents about three years ago. It was only about .49 cents too much.

In a word? Boring!

It’s the only 245 page paperback that has taken me almost a week to read.

I forced myself to begin, and for awhile there, when I left an enticing comment on Les’ blog, I was enthralled. But, what could have been a fabulous ghost story ended up being just plain tedious.

In a nutshell, Colonel Pyncheon basically steals a beautiful piece of property from the Maule family, and then has Old Matthew Maule hung for witchcraft. Before Maule dies, he curses Pyncheon with these words: “God,” said the dying man, pointing his finger, with a ghastly look, at the undismayed countenance of his enemy, “God will give him blood to drink!”

Which He does. Indeed, those generations of Pyncheons who live next in the house come to all kinds of ill: mental illness, poverty, loneliness. We, the readers, must endure endless accounts of Hepzibah, her brother Clifford, their wicked rich cousin Judge Pyncheon, and the lovely cousin Phoebe who comes and enlightens everyone’s heart.

At the end, the proper title to the land is found, hidden in a hole which a member of the Maule family made while he was building the house for the Pyncheons. Everyone escapes and lives happily ever after.

The end.

Save yourself the experience of reading this book, unless you love 19th century prose and watching paint dry.