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  • Writer's pictureTali

Tali's Horror Road Trip: New York

A novel with a red cover and a dark, foreboding building is set up in front of a stack of other novels

"Rosemary's Baby" by Ira Levin

State: New York


Don't trust neighbors who are too nice.

I loved this book so much. It was simple but still a fantastically creepy story. The book managed to keep me at the edge of my seat and completely glued to the story. I almost felt like I could not read the story fast enough.

Rosemary Woodhouse, a Manhattan housewife, and her husband Guy, an actor, find out a four-bedroom apartment has become available in the Bramford building. Rosemary falls in love with the 7E apartment and begs her husband to get out of the lease of their current apartment. The Bramford apartment has gothic undertones. It's spacious and has a lot of wood carvings in the walls.

After they move in they realize that they have odd neighbors. Minnie and Roman Castevet are eccentric older people who seem to mean well by visiting and offering food. The story takes off after Rosemary has a bizarre dream that seems very real.

This simple but superb story unfolds very slowly and starts to reveal layers at just the right pace with the right amount of creepiness to keep the reader engaged. I never thought that the story was too slow or boring. Levin did a good job at setting up the environment and characters. Several scenes had my heart racing, like at the end when Rosemary was approaching the baby's bassinet.

I loved that the adaptation stayed true to the book. Several phrases used in the movie were taken exactly from the book. Aside from minor differences, like the end, the movie was a scene by scene adaptation . Some parts in the beginning of the book were also slightly different. As the actors were speaking, it almost felt like I was reading the book all over again. The similarities were uncanny even down to what Rosemary was wearing in some scenes.

"Rosemary's Baby" is an example of a bare bones story where a person can watch the movie and never really read the book.

Other recommended reads in New York:

"Gothic" by Phillip Fracassi

"Ghost Written" by Ronald Malfi

"Heart Shaped Box" by Joe Hill

"The Project" by Courtney Summers

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