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Harvest Home (1973)

by Thomas Tryon

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
1,1513717,570 (3.68)1 / 74
In a country village, a family of New Yorkers encounters a chilling ancient rite After watching his asthmatic daughter suffer in the foul city air, Theodore Constantine decides to get back to the land. When he and his wife search New England for the perfect nineteenth-century home, they find no township more charming, no countryside more idyllic than the farming village of Cornwall Coombe. Here they begin a new life: simple, pure, close to nature-and ultimately more terrifying than Manhattan's darkest alley. When the Constantines win the friendship of the town matriarch, the mysterious Widow Fortune, they are invited to join the ancient festival of Harvest Home, a ceremony whose quaintness disguises dark intentions. In this bucolic hamlet, where bootleggers work by moonlight and all of the villagers seem to share the same last name, the past is more present than outsiders can fathom-and something far more sinister than the annual harvest is about to rise out of the earth.… (more)
  1. 20
    Blood Harvest by S. J. Bolton (jseger9000)
    jseger9000: Another horror story about strangers moving to an isolated town that practices old traditions.
  2. 21
    Children of the Corn [short story] by Stephen King (sturlington)
  3. 10
    House of Echoes by Brendan Duffy (sparemethecensor)
    sparemethecensor: House of Echoes is a more modern, less misogynist Harvest Home.
  4. 00
    The Ceremonies by T. E. D. Klein (J.Flux)
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 Name that Book: similar to Children of the Corn4 unread / 4SJaneDoe, January 2012

» See also 74 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 37 (next | show all)
Some books have such compelling action that I get completely sucked in, reading to find out what’s next, what’s going to happen on that next page. This is not that kind of book. Instead, it is a slow burning, wonderfully atmospheric story that sucked me into the mysterious events and curious characters, so that I kept reading because I wanted to know more, to mine the hints and subtleties to find out *why* people were doing and saying and events and stories were not matching up. I am not a fast reader, and with baseball games having started, I’m slower than ever, which is why it’s significant that I finished a 400 page hardcover in only four days. And that’s literally all I can think of to say without spoiling the whole plot.

This novel is not without its problems. It is certainly dated, but I wouldn’t say that it hasn’t aged well. More that it is an excellent snapshot of the cultural issues and fascinations of early 1970’s mainstream America. Although I have never studied the history of feminism, I am willing to bet that a modern feminist scholar would find a lot to dissect here.

One last thought. I first read this book when I was not quite a preteen, because it was all the rage at the time and my parents never noticed when I snuck their adult fiction off the shelf after they were done with it. They never would have let me read the novel equivalent of an R rated movie. So I didn’t have the maturity or the base knowledge to understand a lot of it (no internet in the 70’s and children were much more naïve then), and I’d forgotten most of the plot, so in some ways I was coming to this book unspoiled. And I’m glad of it. This book had been left on my parents’ bookshelves for 40 years, until I found it mixed into a box of my grandmother’s books, when my mother chose to give them to me as keepsakes rather than throwing them out. I was delighted to find it, and now I’m even more delighted after having reread it as an adult.

Previous Updates:
Pg 50: http://sheric.booklikes.com/post/1540577/harvest-home-progress-50-401-pg
( )
  Doodlebug34 | Jan 1, 2024 |
This is another vintage classic I found from Grady Hendrix paperbacks from hell book. A true horror classic! Small town oddities and twisted religious ideals galore. A truly scary setting and vibe. This is a definite must read......and will definitely be a reread for me! ( )
  Jfranklin592262 | Oct 24, 2023 |
I think this is going up there as an all time favorite. The writing is brilliant with an eye for artistic details and the story will sit you back down in your seat and make you wonder where the he’ll you’ve been for the last 379 pages.
  Deni_Weeks | Sep 16, 2023 |
I watched this film 45 years ago and it terrified me. For nearly 50 years it has stuck with me and planted dark slithering things in my mind. I was only five years old and worked the fields with my family and that association with those evil people has never left. The book is an incredibly well measured and put together story. A slow...very slow build up of something that you know is going to come not out of the dark, but out of the very souls of those surrounding you. I do not want to give away the plot by any means, but if someone tells you to mind your own business...guess what? DO IT. The characters are real and well written, The main character Ned, really seems like a good guy but he has not he common sense to just shut his mouth. The story will draw you in and the inhabitants of the village will make sure you stay there. ( )
  JHemlock | Jun 5, 2023 |
This is an exceptional good horror - very cerebral. It's not until the final 100 pages it picks up speed and gallops to the end. Give this a good try! It's a very good story. ( )
  AnnEly | Nov 19, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 37 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (5 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Thomas Tryonprimary authorall editionscalculated
Dotzler, UrsulaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
In Harvest-time, harvest folk
servants and all,
Should make all together
good cheer in the hall,
And fill the black bowl
Of blyth to their song,
And let them be merry,
all harvest-time long.

Thomas Tusser, Elizabethan farmer-poet
Dedication
This book is for Allen Leffingwell Vincent
First words
I awakened that morning to birdsong.
Quotations
Love the earth and it must love you back.
Thinking back from this day to that one nine months ago, I now imagine that bird to have been sounding a warning.
She pointed upward. "See that blue sky now, that's God's sky. And up there in that vasty blue is God. But see how far away He is. See how far the sky. And look here, at the earth, see how close, how abiding and faithful it is. See this little valley of ours, see the bountiful harvest we're to have. God's fine, but it's old Mother Earth that's the friend to man."
Harvest Home's when the last of the corn comes in, when the harvestin's done and folks can relax and count their blessin's. A time o' joy and celebration.
"A woman always thinks it takes two to keep a secret, but I'm here to say I think it takes one."
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Wikipedia in English (2)

In a country village, a family of New Yorkers encounters a chilling ancient rite After watching his asthmatic daughter suffer in the foul city air, Theodore Constantine decides to get back to the land. When he and his wife search New England for the perfect nineteenth-century home, they find no township more charming, no countryside more idyllic than the farming village of Cornwall Coombe. Here they begin a new life: simple, pure, close to nature-and ultimately more terrifying than Manhattan's darkest alley. When the Constantines win the friendship of the town matriarch, the mysterious Widow Fortune, they are invited to join the ancient festival of Harvest Home, a ceremony whose quaintness disguises dark intentions. In this bucolic hamlet, where bootleggers work by moonlight and all of the villagers seem to share the same last name, the past is more present than outsiders can fathom-and something far more sinister than the annual harvest is about to rise out of the earth.

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