>> Thursday, September 18, 2008
Publication Date: 1967
Challenges: A-Z Reading #42 (L Author)
I had forgotten this book even existed until I saw Sharon’s review during last year’s RIP challenge. I’d read another Levin book (The Boys from Brazil) many years ago. It was seriously creepy. I’d also seen the 1975 movie of The Stepford Wives, but somehow had missed out on Rosemary’s Baby (both the book and the movie). Even though I opted to skip this year’s RIP challenge, this book worked out well for the A-Z challenge.
I used to read a lot of horror and supernatural type books, but I tend to pass up that genre now. It was interesting to read what is considered a bit of a classic.
Rosemary and Guy Woodhouse are a young couple who finally get their dream apartment in the old Victorian Bramford Building. Despite a friend’s stories of the building being the site of mysterious happenings, the young couple is thrilled to move in. Guy is a sometimes employed actor and Rosemary is looking forward to decorating their apartment and starting a family.
Soon they meet the elderly neighbors and before long Rosemary and Guy are drawn into a circle of older people who become very involved in their lives. Unsettling things start happening. Rosemary has vivid dreams and one particularly disturbing nightmare is a major turning point in the book.
Although happy to have her husband’s career on a successful turn and thrilled to be pregnant with their first child, Rosemary is soon suspicious of nearly everything that is happening to and around her.
This is a quick read and I managed to finish it in just a couple of sittings which is good because the tension in it builds gradually through a series of seemingly innocuous events that added together have the reader as suspicious as Rosemary.
After 40 years, the book is only slightly dated and the story and the building suspense are well done. Disturbing, but well done.