New Authors     New Books     Coming Soon     Most Popular     Top Authors    
     New Books     Coming Soon     
book cover of The House of Stairs

The House of Stairs

(1988)
A novel by

 
 
Publisher's Weekly
Writing as Barbara Vine ( A Dark-Adapted Eye ), Ruth Rendell adds dark, psychological elements to her novels that elude easy categorization as straightforward mysteries. Early on here, she establishes a knot of unknowns: Who is the sad, reflective narrator and what illness might she have? What hold does the tall dark woman called Bell have on her, and what happened at the carefully described House of Stairs in London that sent Bell to prison? The answers are revealed as gradually as an intricate knot is untied. The narrator is middle-aged novelist Elizabeth Vetch who, since she learned of her grim heritage at age 14, has lived under the threat of inheriting fatal Huntington's chorea, which she refers to as ''the terror and the bore.'' Years before, in the late '60s and early '70s, she and Bell and a roster of other beautifully realized people lived in the House of Stairs, owned by Elizabeth's recently widowed, newly Bohemian aunt Cosette. The tale begins when Elizabeth sights Bell in the street and, being as drawn to the woman as she had been before, feels compelled to understand her own reawakened emotion as well as the events that accompanied their parting and caused both Cosette and Elizabeth untold pain. With specific references to its underpinning of Henry James's The Wings of A Dove , Rendell's story is dark and portentous, overly so in the early part, where ominous and significant references drag the action. But soon Elizabeth, with her uncertain future and brave effort to pin down her painful past, takes over. She is, in the end, along with the considerably satisfying mystery connecting those who lived at the House of Stairs, profoundly memorable.

    Get it on Google Play

Similar Books by other authors...

thumb
The Veiled One
(Chief Inspector Wexford, book 14)
Ruth Rendell

Used availability for Barbara Vine's The House of Stairs

Hardback Editions

March 1991 : USA Hardback
thumb

Title: The House of Stairs
Author(s): Barbara Vine
ISBN: 0-517-06442-1 / 978-0-517-06442-9 (USA edition)
Publisher: Random House Value Publishing
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   


June 1989 : UK Hardback
thumb

Title: House of Stairs (Windsor Selections)
Author(s): Barbara Vine
ISBN: 0-86220-306-6 / 978-0-86220-306-1 (UK edition)
Publisher: Chivers Press
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


April 1989 : USA Hardback
thumb

Title: House of Stairs
Author(s): Barbara Vine
ISBN: 0-517-57252-4 / 978-0-517-57252-8 (USA edition)
Publisher: Harmony Books
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


September 1988 : USA Hardback
thumb

Title: The house of stairs
Author(s): Barbara VINE
ISBN: 0-670-82414-3 / 978-0-670-82414-4 (USA edition)
Publisher: Viking
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


Paperback Editions

April 2008 : UK Paperback
thumb

Title: Level 4: The House of Stairs (Pearson English Graded Readers)
Author(s): Barbara Vine
ISBN: 1-4058-8222-0 / 978-1-4058-8222-4 (UK edition)
Publisher: Pearson Ed
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


July 2006 : UK Paperback

Title: House Of Stairs
Author(s): Barbara Vine
ISBN: 0-14-305098-2 / 978-0-14-305098-8 (UK edition)
Publisher: Penguin Canada (APB)
Availability: Amazon CA   


December 1999 : UK Paperback
thumb

Title: The House of Stairs (Penguin Longman Penguin Readers)
Author(s): Barbara Vine
ISBN: 0-582-41765-1 / 978-0-582-41765-6 (UK edition)
Publisher: Longman
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


November 1998 : UK Paperback
thumb

Title: The House of Stairs (Penguin Joint Venture Readers)
Author(s): Barbara Vine
ISBN: 0-582-40244-1 / 978-0-582-40244-7 (UK edition)
Publisher: Penguin
Availability: Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


1989 : UK Paperback
thumb

Title: House of Stairs
Author(s): Barbara Vine
ISBN: 0-14-026709-3 / 978-0-14-026709-9 (UK edition)
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   


March 1996 : UK Paperback
thumb

Title: House of Stairs (Penguin Readers (Graded Readers))
Author(s): Barbara Vine
ISBN: 0-14-081576-7 / 978-0-14-081576-4 (UK edition)
Publisher: Penguin
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


May 1994 : UK Paperback

Title: House of Stairs (Simply Stories)
Author(s): Barbara Vine
ISBN: 0-14-081441-8 / 978-0-14-081441-5 (UK edition)
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


August 1990 : USA Mass Market Paperback
thumb

Title: House of Stairs
Author(s): Barbara Vine
ISBN: 0-451-40211-1 / 978-0-451-40211-0 (USA edition)
Publisher: Onyx
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


May 1989 : UK Paperback
thumb

Title: The House of Stairs
Author(s): Barbara Vine
ISBN: 0-14-011446-7 / 978-0-14-011446-1 (UK edition)
Publisher: Penguin
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


Audio Editions

October 2014 : USA MP3 CD
thumb

Title: The House of Stairs
Author(s): Barbara Vine
ISBN: 1-4915-8233-2 / 978-1-4915-8233-6 (USA edition)
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


April 2013 : USA Audio edition
thumb

Title: The House of Stairs
Author(s): Ruth Rendell
Publisher: Audible Studios
Availability: Amazon   


2012 : UK Audio CD
thumb

Title: The House of Stairs
Author(s):
ISBN: 1-4084-5158-1 / 978-1-4084-5158-8 (UK edition)
Publisher:
Availability: Amazon UK   


May 2008 : UK Audio CD
thumb

Title: Level 4: The House of Stairs MP3 for Pack (Pearson English Graded Readers)
Author(s): Barbara Vine
ISBN: 1-4058-6067-7 / 978-1-4058-6067-3 (UK edition)
Publisher: Pearson Education
Availability: Amazon UK   


June 2000 : UK Audio Cassette

Title: The House of Stairs Cassette: Audio Cassette (Penguin Readers (Graded Readers))
Author(s): Barbara Vine
ISBN: 0-582-43415-7 / 978-0-582-43415-8 (UK edition)
Publisher: Longman
Availability: Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


June 1994 : UK Audio Cassette

Title: House of Stairs (Simply Stories: Level 2)
Author(s): Barbara Vine
ISBN: 0-14-088363-0 / 978-0-14-088363-3 (UK edition)
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


August 1990 : UK Audio Cassette
thumb

Title: The House of Stairs: Complete & Unabridged
Author(s): Barbara Vine
ISBN: 0-7451-6341-6 / 978-0-7451-6341-3 (UK edition)
Publisher: Chivers Audio Books
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


Kindle Editions

October 2013 : UK Kindle edition
thumb

Title: The House of Stairs
Author(s): Barbara Vine
Publisher: Penguin
Availability: Amazon UK   


February 2011 : USA Kindle edition
thumb

Title: The House of Stairs
Author(s): Ruth Rendell
Publisher: Open Road Media Mystery & Thriller
Availability: Amazon