Wordy, pedantic, familial soap-opera... yes, yes, and yes.
As much is made of Hawthorne's mastery of the English language, his style doesn't translate to the modern reader terribly well in The House of the Seven Gables. Many reviews here criticize the slow-moving story line, frequent digressions, and over-abundance of adjectives. Be that as it may, it's a wonderful period view of New England society. I, too, found the first half to be difficult going much of the way, but the detailed snapshot of life in the mid-19th century kept me going.
It's not a horror story, it's a time capsule....Continua
I think this book is overlooked by many. Instead, it's just amazing! The way Hawthorne describes scenes, places and people, the incredible wit and sharpness in his observations, the way he sometimes lingers for pages on a single scene to involve us in the macabre, chilling stillness of it, or to simply mock a character- is amazing. The characters are so hopeless, gloomy, forlorn, and yet so alive and heroic. I still think of poor old Hepzibah with affection, and I kind of miss her. Highly recommended. I wish I could go see the real house in Salem, which belonged to Hawthorne's relatives, and had only four gables at his time. The seven gables were added back in early 20th century when the house was turned into a museum, and even a cent-shop like the one run by Hepzibah in the novel was built....Continua