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Rosemary's Baby by Ira Levin
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Rosemary's Baby (original 1967; edition 2010)

by Ira Levin, Otto Penzler (Introduction)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,421642,563 (3.78)147
Member:TheLibraryhag
Title:Rosemary's Baby
Authors:Ira Levin
Other authors:Otto Penzler (Introduction)
Info:Pegasus (2010), Paperback, 256 pages
Collections:Your library, Paranormal Library
Rating:***1/2
Tags:library book, satanism, horror, book to movie

Work details

Rosemary's Baby by Ira Levin (1967)

  1. 20
    The Sentinel by Jeffrey Konvitz (jseger9000)
    jseger9000: The stories are quite different, but the books share similar themes. Both books are '70's religious shockers about a young woman moving into a new apartment, set in New York.
  2. 00
    Diary by Chuck Palahniuk (SomeGuyInVirginia)
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English (56)  Danish (3)  French (2)  Dutch (1)  Italian (1)  Hebrew (1)  All languages (64)
Showing 1-5 of 56 (next | show all)
I don't think I have ever seen the film (1968) based on this book, starring Mia Farrow. That was probably a good thing as I didn't know how the story ended.

The Introduction by Chuck Palahniuk prepared me a little though. He begins

"Before Ira Levin, horror always happened soemwhere else... it was a comfort to know that real life-threatening horror never occurred at home. You had to be baited far, far away. For the century leading up to 1967 the real horrors had been elsewhere in the world, always outside the borders of England and the United States. If you stayed home you'd be safe... Home constituted this safe little island where women could raise children in domestic bliss."

But Ira Levin changed all that, for, on the very edges of crime fiction, ROSEMARY'S BABY is a horror story, showing that there is no safety in your own home either.

There is a cinematographic quality to the action, and I kept imagining how chilling it would be on the silver screen.

During her early pregnancy Rosemary Woodhouse has incredible pain, and then peculiar dreams. A friend who warned her about the apartment house she and her husband have moved, is taken ill just before meeting with her, and then falls into a coma from which he never recovers. Rosemary thinks her husband has developed an unhealthy affection for their elderly neighbours but continues to trust Guy.

An interesting read. ( )
  smik | Mar 13, 2015 |
The classic novel of spellbinding suspense only the mind of Ira Levin could have imagined. 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... ( )
  Tutter | Feb 25, 2015 |
The story was gripping, hard to put down, but fell apart slightly when Rosemary drew conclusions based on slim evidence. The ending fit Rosemary's character and fit the story but was oddly unsatisfying on another level that I can't quite find words for -- too neat, maybe, or the change too sudden. ( )
  CathrynGrant | Nov 21, 2014 |
The movie might be my favorite horror film of all time, and seems to have drawn much of its dialogue verbatim from the book. So, the book was good, but Roman Polanski did something awesome with it to make it just so, so terrifying. What's interesting to me is that over time, I find different aspects of it scary. Right now, the thing that really strikes me is how much difficulty Rosemary has finding an obstetrician who will actually listen to her. Being pregnant and being at the mercy of people who poo-poo your concerns is definitely a very scary place to be. ( )
  ImperfectCJ | Nov 6, 2014 |
Rosemary's Baby by Ira Levin; {acquired prior to L/T}; (2 1/2*)

The entire first half of this book was slow for me. The couple move in, meet the neighbors, and try to have a baby. It also becomes immediately apparent that Rosemary is an idiot. Her refusal to see reason makes her scenes frustrating to read. The suspense is there and it comes in subtle drops along the way.
When Hutch begins to suspect Rosemary's neighbors of being more than what they claim, the plot speeds up considerably. I found myself reading what I thought would turn out to be a pretty good book by the time it was all over. However I did not find the conclusion to be well thought or I just didn't get it which was unsatisfying to this reader. Perhaps it was simply outdated for me. The subject matter and the midsection were so good that if the ending had been better handled and had Rosemary had some sense, I could have excused the slow start and jumped the rating up the rating but as it was; meh. ( )
2 vote rainpebble | Oct 31, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 56 (next | show all)
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Dedication
Completed in August 1966, in Wilton, Connecticut, and dedicated to Gabrielle
First words
Rosemary and Guy Woodhouse had signed a lease on a five-room apartment in a geometric white house on First Avenue when they received word, from a woman named Mrs. Cortez, that a four-room apartment in the Bramford had become available.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
Rosemary Woodhouse and her struggling actor-husband, Guy, move into the Bramford, an old New York City apartment building with an ominous reputation and only elderly residents. Neighbours Roman and Minnie Castavet soon come nosing around to welcome them; despite Rosemary's reservations about their eccentricity and the weird noises that she keeps hearing, her husband starts spending time with them. Shortly after Guy lands a plum Broadway role, Rosemary becomes pregnant, and the Castavets start taking a special interest in her welfare; as the sickened Rosemary becomes increasingly isolated, she begins to suspect that the Castavets' circle is not what it seems.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0451194004, Mass Market Paperback)

When published in 1967, Rosemary's Baby was one of the first contemporary horror novels to become a national bestseller. Ira Levin's second novel (he went on to write such fine thrillers as A Kiss Before Dying, The Stepford Wives, and The Boys from Brazil), Rosemary's Baby, remains perhaps his best work. The author's mainstream "this is how it really happened" style undeniably also made the novel his most widely imitated. The plot line is deceptively simple: What if you were a happily married young woman, living in New York, and one day you awoke to find yourself pregnant? And what if your loving husband had--apparently--sold your soul to Satan? And now you were beginning to believe that your unborn child was, in reality, the son of Satan? Levin subtly makes it all totally plausible, unless of course, dear Rosemary--or the reader--can no longer distinguish fantasy from reality! A wonderfully chilling novel, it was later faithfully transformed into an equally unnerving motion picture. In 1997, a sequel was spawned, Son of Rosemary. --Stanley Wiater

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:37:22 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

Witchcraft and terror await Rosemary and Guy Woodhouse when they move into the ominous Bramford apartment building.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 10 descriptions

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