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Publisher's Summary

Shirley Jackson's third novel, a chilling descent into multiple personalities.

Elizabeth is a demure 23-year-old wiling her life away at a dull museum job, living with her neurotic aunt, and subsisting off her dead mother’s inheritance. When Elizabeth begins to suffer terrible migraines and backaches, her aunt takes her to the doctor, then to a psychiatrist. But slowly, and with Jackson’s characteristic chill, we learn that Elizabeth is not just one girl - but four separate, self-destructive personalities. The Bird’s Nest, Jackson’s third novel, develops hallmarks of the horror master’s most unsettling work: tormented heroines, riveting familial mysteries, and a disquieting vision inside the human mind.

For more than 70 years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers and listeners trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

©2014 Shirley Jackson (P)2022 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

"Undeniably brilliant...superlative entertainment; much the best book Shirley Jackson has written." (New York Herald Tribune)

"Shirley Jackson's best novel...The Bird's Nest is brilliant, swift, at times immensely funny, and alternately frightening. Shirley Jackson's portrayal of a personality in disintegration is masterful." (Chicago Tribune)

What listeners say about The Bird's Nest

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Great audio version

I read The Bird’s Nest years ago, as a fan of Shirley Jackson, but it was never my favorite of her works. I loved it this time. It is really great as an audiobook. Both narrators captured/delivered Shirley Jackson’s humor in their portrayal of the doctor and aunt. It’s dated enough at this point to be a period piece by now, but the topics of mental illness and trauma are as relevant as ever.

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Painful

As a huge fan of psychological thrillers and mysteries, I went into this book with very high hopes. I kept hanging in there, even after discovering how laborious the reading was and how much I disliked the narrator, hoping that things would pick up and become more interesting. Trust me when I say, it never did. In fact, it got worse… it was only by sheer force of effort that I determined to finish this book. Just say NO.

1 person found this helpful