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666 by Jay Anson
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666 (1981)

by Jay Anson

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The 70's authors never fail. You've got to stay with this one till the end. It IS a great novel. ( )
  ARBraun7 | Jul 20, 2013 |
Not counting young adult novels of less than 20 pages, this is the first "real" book I ever read, and I loved it. I still read it once in a while again. ( )
  AshuritaLove | Apr 7, 2013 |
Ever since Satan incited Nero to scapegoat the Christians for Rome's burning, and then ordered them massacred via the most grotesque means possible, Satan, so the premise goes, in Jay Anson's, 666, has been operating out of a Victorian mansion framed with the very blood splattered wood of those long ago martyrs.

Why did Satan have his Victorian mansion framed with such gore? Because, according to one of the self-styled satanists in 666, a young man named Lawrence, who's also a bunny and bird sacrificing bozo pretending to be a wholesome church boy on Sundays, Satan's in terrible pain. And since Satan is in such terrible pain, he feels more at home in his two-story Victorian knowing that his house was literally built, beam by beam - every beam of it - drenched in the ancient blood of innocent victims. Supposedly, such architectural acoutrements help alleviate Satan's pain, if we're to believe Lawrence, who obeys the commands of an infernal voice named "Damon." Damon (get it?) sounds an awful lot like Daemon or even (gasp) Damien! from The Omen! Damien was the anti-Christ!, remember? Satan, obviously, is very shrewd and subtle in masking his real identity in the world of 666, by giving such non-dead-giveaway names to the voices he uses to command his adherents. Good grief, "Damon," I just realized, is only one letter removed from being...unholy cow!...Demon! Wow!

Satan also goes by the name of "Mr. Coste". Should a Mr. Coste ever call me up out of nowhere, like he did David Carmichael, an antiques dealer, informing Mr. Carmichael that his Victorian mansion was available for rent at a ridiculously reduced rate, I hope to God I wouldn't take the bait and rent it. Because, if I did, after having read 666, I'm convinced I'd never see my deposit, or let alone the light of another day again!

Satan only lives at the street address of 666, no matter what street or what city he lives in. Satan moves his house around about once every three years or so, and the address is always 666 (insert street name). In 666, it's 666 Sunset Brook Lane, but before that, back in 1973, when the first mysterious murders occurred in his wicked house (only nobody knew it was a wicked house of Satan), it was 666 Bremerton Road.

Satan's not in his house all the time. He's not omnipresent like God. Which means he can't exist everywhere all the time. But when he is in that house, look out! Look out especially if you live across the street from that house like poor Keith and Jennifer Olsen! And when, God forbid, the six-sided conservatory of the house, the hexagonal sided room facing the west, with its leaded windows etched with human faces, begins casting a red glow for no rational reason around sundown, and then when the glowing not only glows but (get me out of here!) starts to pulsate like an eerie satanic strobe, that means for certain that Satan is presently occupying the house, luring hapless people - and birds - to their doom.

Why these characters in this surprisingly fun read - 666 - don't get that; why they don't get that they should always stay away from any house whenever it begins pulsating in any color, is beyond me! Didn't they read Jay Anson's first bestseller, The Amityville Horror, and know what was going to happen if they went back inside the literally godforsaken house? Hadn't they seen Halloween? Stay out of the goddamned house, People!, and you'll be fine, but step inside...nice knowing you.

Sadly, the Olsen's stepped back inside the house at 666 Sunset Brook Lane one too many times, and met their fate. But at least they got to meet Satan face to face too, before they died, which must have been a real treat for them. Satan stands about nine feet tall, described by Anson. He's got the head of an overgrown goat (like maybe the goat got too close to a nuclear reactor maybe?), and in place of horns, Satan's got a nice head of antlers, like an elk's. His legs are furry, but his arms have scales. He's one ugly, evil looking, evil entity, for sure.

Did I mention that in Satan's house, there's a thirty foot long lightning rod made out of iron running up alongside the chimney (presumably dating back to the Iron Age, lettered in Latin?) That way, lightning, even though it serves no purpose to further the plot of 666, will nevertheless routinely strike Satan's house, and thereby create an even more spooky aura of menace. As if a house with a creepy conservatory that throbs redredred every night weren't spooky or menacing enough!

Jay Anson died in 1980, just before 666 was published. A coincidence? Perhaps. Or maybe Satan didn't like the idea of his house being an Open House for the whole world to see (it was like Jay Anson outted him by writing 666), and so Satan iced him just like he iced everybody who ever had anything to do with his house. Might be. But we'll probably never know for sure.

For novels about the devil, 666 is probably not as good as, say, Mikhail Bulgakov's classic, The Master and Margarita, but I liked it nonetheless. ( )
10 vote EnriqueFreeque | Sep 24, 2009 |
Good, cheesy horror from the writer of the Amityville Horror. Nothing spectacular, but not bad. Good fodder for a low-budget horror film. ( )
  Duranfan | May 24, 2007 |
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Epigraph
Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan came also among them to present himself before the Lord.
And the Lord siad unto Satan, From whence cometh thou? And Satan answered the Lord, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down it.

-Job, 2:1-2
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FOR LESIA
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Ten days in the Caribbean were just what Keith Olson needed.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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A house mysteriously appears across the street from a nice young couple. Soon it exerts a demonic influence on their lives.

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