This is one I have been excited about. I found the book in a child’s wagon outside of a dual book and jewelry store on the island of Molokai. All of the books in the wagon were only twenty-five cents (a bit more expensive than my dime-book finds, but still a deal.) Ira Levin’s Rosemary’s Baby is known not only as a classic film but a great story. I love horror, tension, and the best part is when “evil” is not the true villain of the story.
I’ll be totally honest. I did see the film before I found the book and loved it. When I found the book, I wasn’t sure it could be better. I mean, we are talking about Roman Polanski, aren’t we? But after reading this book and thinking about how it succeeded in a completely different way than the film, I realized that the best stories aren’t exclusive to one form. In fact, each form brings out something new to the experience and it’s not fair to call one better than the other.
In One Sentence: Housewife gives birth to Satan’s baby. (Well… it’s her baby too. Hence, the title.)
Favorite Line: “… she wished that no motive and no number of drinks could have enabled him to take her that way, taking only her body without her soul or self or she-ness — whatever it was he presumably loved. Now, looking back over the past weeks and months, she felt a disturbing presence of overlooked signals just beyond memory, signals of a shortcoming in his love for her, of a disparity between what he said and what he felt. He was an actor; could anyone know when an actor was true and not acting?” – p. 94
Review: As I was skimming through the book to look back at quotes and scenes, I found myself becoming immersed in this world once again. Ira Levin is a master-page-turner. Rosemary’s Baby is enjoyable for two reasons. One, the most horrifying element of the story has nothing to do with Satan. This story takes us to what we fear most (not in a snakes and monsters way, but what do we fear will happen now? tomorrow? the next day?) and adds a supernatural twist. Second, Ira Levin. Since reading this novel, I am addicted to Ira Levin. It’s no wonder his books easily get turned into films. Every sentence propels the story forward. THIS IS NOT VICTOR HUGO, PEOPLE. I’ve read a few of Ira Levin’s novels now, and the only shortcoming I can see is a product of his time. His women characters turn quickly to silly putty in the face of danger and all his male characters use sex as a weapon… but with that said, I can’t stop reading.
The Book Would Have Ended A Lot Sooner If: Actors weren’t self-involved.
On Ira Levin: