zaterdag 28 mei 2016

"Rosemary's Baby" by Ira Levin

“'The costumes, the rituals,’ Mr. Castevet said; ‘every religion, not only Catholicism. Pageants for the ignorant.'”

Newlyweds Guy and Rosemary Woodhouse move into a fantastic apartment in the prestigious Bramford building in New York. The building has a quite a reputation: there are innumerable stories about killings, suicides, child eaters and satanism all through the long history of the house. The young couple doesn't mind these tall tales, though, and they're sure they will be very happy there. They soon befriend their neighbours, Roman and Minnie Castevet, who have just lost their foster daughter. Guy in particular seems very much taken by the elderly couple. Minnie and Roman are quite intrusive, though, and especially when Rosemary gets pregnant and the older couple shows an unhealthy interest in the baby, Rosemary starts to feel uncomfortable. After a few troubling incidents, and after she discovers a link between the Castevets and some of the old stories about the house, Rosemary is convinced that Roman and Minnie are out to take her baby away from her. Is Rosemary just an over-protective pregnant woman worrying about nothing, or has she really been thrown into a cove of witches and devil worshippers?

"Rosemary's Baby' is one of the best examples of psychological horror I've ever read. It's a quick, and easy read and basically a very simple story, but it's incredibly intense. The characters are very well written. As a reader, you never know if you're just reading about Rosemary's silly worries or if her suspicions are justified. The terror builds very slowly and culminates in a fantastic finale.  These days, I very much prefer these kinds of horror stories to the blood and splatter novels I used to enjoy. Brilliant novel!

Author: Ira Levin
Title: Rosemary's Baby
Publisher: Corsair, London
Year: 2011 (orig. 1967)
Number of pages: X + 229 p.
ISBN: 9781849015882

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