This chilling, suspenseful indictment of mind control is a classic of science fiction and will haunt readers long after the last page is turned. One by. Five fifteen-year-old orphans of widely varying personality characteristics are involuntarily placed in a house of endless stairs as subjects for a psychological. House of Stairs may be one of the most disturbing and memorable young My best guess is that William Sleator had a nightmare about stairs.

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I do wish we were given more closure and explanations, but the end left me with so many chills that I decided it was okay. Five fifteen-year-old orphans of widely varying personality characteristics are involuntarily placed in a house of staurs stairs as subjects for a psychological experiment on conditioned human response.

House of Stairs

House of Stairs William Sleator Snippet view – I have had it”; [ citation needed ] williaj has had access to various goods apparently unavailable to others.

What Sleator’s book has is a really thought-provoking setup that asks you to think about humanity and how easily William Sleator’s suspenseful, almost sci-fi, novel is pretty old even older than me, but don’t houee anyonebut I think its lack of specific details means that it holds up pretty well. It has held up really well for a book written in the mids, besides some unfortunate stereotyping that was more common at the time.

Every character was unique and memorable. When it becomes clear that they will be fed only by escalating cruelty, the children divide into two groups. These five kids are trapped in this house of stairs. As a Psychology mayor, I have studied and am versed in the risks, benefits and limitations of conditioned reinforcement.

Lola, Peter, Oliver, Abigail, and Blossom could not be more diff What would you do if you woke up in a seemingly never-ending space full of stairs?


A weird, interesting, and compelling read. Most importantly, there is a machine with flashing lights and jouse that sometimes dispenses food contingent on certain behaviors from the teens.

I was even more fascinated by the concept that people might refused to be conditioned. The rest of the book is about what doesn’t change: I first read the synopsis for this a few years ago and the concept immediately caught my attention.

It is abundantly clear throughout the book that the teens are facing an inhumane experiment. The story itself is quite good. Peter and Lola, in contrast, remove themselves to a distant part of the maze, supporting one another in the decision to starve rather than become monsters.

Set in a dystopian America in the near future, the story tells of the experiences of five year-olds who were living in orphanages who wake up to find themselves in a strange building that has no walls, no ceiling, and no floor: There’s a reason people remember it.

One by one, five sixteen-year-old orphans are brought to a strange building. He mainly wrote science fiction novels for young adults. Peter and Lola, however, strengthen one another in resisting corruption. Five sixteen year old orphans living in state institutions are called to their respective offices, blindfolded, and dropped off in a building that consists entirely of stairs and landings. That some of the wealthy and members of the government live behind a wall in large houses whilst the rest of the population are denied such a luxury and in many cases not even aware wilpiam sort of lifestyle even exists.

The author draws the reader in immediately, and through crafty writing, is able to keep the reader right at the edge, unable to put the book down.

The disgusted tone of the author seems to me quite inappropriate, especially in a book aimed at teenagers. They are blindfolded, taken from their group homes and dumped in a huge, brightly-lit seator filled with neverending stairs, bridges and landings. Such is the nature of that experiment that the two children who resisted the conditioning were actually regarded as failures.


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Book Review: House of Stairs by William Sleator | Opinions of a Wolf

It was fairly short which I felt worked in it’s favor, keeping the sleaor from getting too monotonous. At the beginning, Oliver sets out to shame and manipulate insecure, passive Abigail, alternately treating her seductively and indifferently.

This book was crazy. Abigail, Oliver, and Blossom choosing to stay with what they knew ended up costing them their individuality. Notify me of new comments via email.

This book was enthralling from the first scene, featuring Peter awakening on a landing intensely disoriented and frightened. Nov 23, Ficie rated it did not like it.

So I retrieved it from the library, probably the exact same copy I read when I was 9, and I read it in a few hours, and it’s great! No eBook available Amazon. Hyman Days of Summer had optioned the movie rights to House of Stairs. Read and see for yourself. In its way, it’s even more disturbing than Lord of the Flies – at least the kids in that book had been left to their own devices, as terrible as they were.

William Sleator was perhaps the hoouse young adult author.

In the end slator group is ‘rescued’ and brought back to a physically healthy state and regrouped in a laboratory of some sort where they are told the true meaning behind this experiment.

Nothing but endless flights of stairs leading nowhere—except back to a strange red machine. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed.