‘Rosemary’s Baby’ by Ira Levin

My Review (5 stars out of 5)

Rosemary and actor-husband, Guy, are desperate to move out of their one-room bachelor pad when they hear about an apartment in the Bramford. The old New York City building might have a worrying reputation and a tenant list that seems only to include ‘mature’ residents, but the couple pull a few strings and soon move into the four-room apartment. Two of their new neighbours, Roman and Minnie Castevet, become regular visitors to the young couple’s residence and while they may be a little eccentric, seem fairly harmless. However, when Rosemary becomes pregnant, the Castevets take her forthcoming happy event a little too seriously and begin foisting gifts on Rosemary, some of which are just plain weird. As well as insisting she go to their own doctor rather than the one she had chosen, the mother-to-be soon finds herself becoming suspicious of the amount of time her husband spends with the old couple as well as the pair’s elderly, and equally weird, friends. When a young woman staying with the Castevets dies suddenly, Rosemary begins to wonder…

Although not an out-and-out horror novel, Rosemary’s Baby is nevertheless pretty damn creepy. Levin manages to create a gradual feeling of uncertainty and suspicion in his main character, pushing her towards increasingly bizarre theories concerning her neighbours. The book is an easy read and the author doesn’t waste time on irrelevancies, moving the plot continually forwards. My only criticism is that the paperback edition I bought has rather a lot of typos and additional (misplaced and repeated) commas dotted here and there, which you’d think, with a book first published in the sixties, would have been ironed out by now.

Aside from that, this is a cracking good read leading to an unsettling and sinister denouement that no doubt inspired horror writers the world over.

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  2 comments for “‘Rosemary’s Baby’ by Ira Levin

  1. 04/06/2021 at 6:05 AM

    I remember the film of this book, Colin. It was very scary. You have tempted me with this book.


    • 04/06/2021 at 7:07 AM

      Yes, apparently the film’s quite true to the book 😉


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