April 29, 2011

Rosemary's Baby by Ira Levin

Title:  Rosemary's Baby
Author:  Ira Levin
Format:  PB
Pages:  307
Genre:  Horror
Publisher:  Signet, 1997
ISBN-13:  978-0451194008
Series:  Rosemary's Baby, Book 1

Favorite Quote:  She opened her eyes and looked into yellow furnace-eyes, smelled sulphur and tannis root, felt wet breath on her mouth, heard lust-grunts and the breathing of onlookers.

Synopsis (Back Cover):  She is a housewife -- young, healthy, blissfully happy.  He is an actor -- charismatic and ambitious.  The spacious, sun-filled apartment on Manhattan's Upper West Side is their dream home -- a dream that turns into an unspeakable nightmare...

Enter the chilling world of Ira Levin -- where terror is as near as your new neighbors....and where evil wears the most innocent face of all...

Review:  I have heard so much about this novel and the movie made from it.  But, I'd never read the book nor seen the movie.  I'm glad I finally read the book.

The book seems a little dated, with a parts that are not politically-correct when it comes to race or sex.  However, the obvious fact that this is not a current piece of fiction did not in any way take away from the story itself.  It was riveting.  I finished it in less than a day.  I am already giving the sequel a try although, from what I've seen of the reviews, it may not be as good as this one was.

The main characters are believable, although not all that likable.  Guy, Rosemary's husband, is just selfish and cruel.  Rosemary comes across as weak and too eager to please, at least until the very end when she finally stands up for herself.  But the story stands on its own, being so mundane yet horrifying that I couldn't stop reading it.

The storyline, a woman giving birth to the ultimate evil, has become overused since the original publication of this novel in 1967, but this is the book that started it all.  This is a scary story, horrible and fascinating by turns.  I loved it.

Rating:  8.5 / 10

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