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Download House of Stairs epub

by Barbara Vine

Elizabeth Vetch and her recently widowed aunt Cosette move into the mysterious House of Stairs and find that troubled souls often come to roost there, and that murder lurks on the premises
Download House of Stairs epub
ISBN: 0517572524
ISBN13: 978-0517572528
Category: Mystery
Subcategory: Thrillers & Suspense
Author: Barbara Vine
Language: English
Publisher: Harmony Books; 1st American ed edition (April 13, 1989)
Pages: 277 pages
ePUB size: 1213 kb
FB2 size: 1842 kb
Rating: 4.2
Votes: 930
Other Formats: lrf lit mobi azw

A truly dystopian tale. I first read this in my early teens and it left an impression. When I began rebuilding my library this book was one I began searching for a copy of an early edition of to flesh out my collection. Originally written in the 70's and clearly a cautionary tale about government control and human nature, rereading this recently I could not help but almost imagine it had been written as a reflection upon the undercurrent of unrest.

The 5 characters are like little stereotype snapshots, and the point of view shifts around to each fleshing them out even as the escher-like hell they've been deposited in and a Pavlovian device trains away their humanity while starving them into submission to the whims of 'big brother'.

This is really more of a novella sized book, typical page count for something from the 70's, and while it is classified as a YA novel it is not one to overlook given the chance to read it.
I read this book in 7th grade (28 years ago) and, although I couldn't remember the name or author, I had always remembered it. Once I was able to find it, I bought it for my son, now in 5th grade, and he LOVED it too. He even lent it to his buddy at school. I told him that I better get it back so that I can read it too :) This book was definitely ahead of it's time and still relevant.
I vaguely remember reading this in elementary school, many years ago. I have thought about the book several times throughout the years and finally decided to track it down and purchase. It is very interesting to read it now as an adult. Well worth the read.
I have long loved Ruth Rendell aka Barbara Vine. Her plots and characters are not cookie-cutter or predictable, and her endings are not always "happy," though the reader has a sense of satisfaction at the end. I am ambivalent about House of Stairs. A certain gloom, pierced by occasional gleams of hope, pervades the story, and the ending leaves the reader disturbed, unsatisfied. But it's still worth reading.
Rich Vulture
I read this as an actual child and could not remember the title for decades. I thought incorrectly that it was called House of Glass. It is a thing-in-itself work of art. It seems to be a demonstration of Skinner behaviourism, but it is also about character, and tendency and what it means to be human. I've never forgotten this book, and it was as good as I had remembered. I would recommend it for any thoughtful child or any adult. I think I read it when I was about ten. Great stuff! Indispensable!
I see that I'm not the only adult here with strong memories of reading this novel when they were young. In my case, it must have been 30 years ago, but somehow I never forgot the book. I've been keeping my eyes open for a copy for years now, and it's truly fascinating rereading this book I loved as a child with my 40-year-old eyes.

The novel opens with Peter. Peter has no idea where he is. He finds himself blindfolded and taken to an unknown destination. Removing the blindfold, he finds himself all alone in a truly bizarre environment. Everywhere he looks, as far as the eye can see, he's in a cavernous space filled with stairs. Stairs going up, going down, some with small landings, some connected by bridges. There are no walls, no floor, no railings, no place to feel safe. As he fights vertigo, Peter finally spies someone below him and calls out.

Unfortunately, Lola doesn't know any more about where they are or why than Peter does. Their stories of being blindfolded are the same, but they quickly discover other commonalities as well. They are both orphans from state homes, and both 16 years old. They discover this is true of the other three kids they meet in the "house of stairs."

Peter, Lola, Blossom, Abigail, and Oliver all find themselves in an utterly inexplicable situation, and they all deal with it differently. They are very different personalities. Survival becomes their first priority. What at first seems to be an entity merely trying to control their actions, quickly becomes far more sinister.

Viewing the reactions of these young people to their circumstances, and finding out how the novel would end, had me turning pages just as fast now as it did when I was a kid. And I'm happy to report that I really enjoyed revisiting this story. I can see that it's a piece of fiction very much of its time, and as an adult I better understand the context of the novel. (Like another reviewer, I, too, thought of the infamous Zimbardo and Milgram experiments.) All that aside, House of Stairs is still a compelling story and a relevant warning to be heeded today.
I read about one fourth of the book, then gave up. It was so boring I could hardly process what I was reading.
An amazingly complex story for the young adult audience that stands up to a re-read as an adult. I picked up so much more on the second time around. It is truly a must-read for lovers of science/speculative fiction and good writing in general.