Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Rosemary's Baby by Ira Levin

This is the cover of the version I read. It has a forward by Stephen King, which I did not read since I have read this one before and saw the movie.
Rosemary is living in NYC.  She had to leave Omaha and her very strict Catholic family behind.  They did not forgive her for marrying a Protestant man named Guy Woodhouse. Ro and Guy dream of living in a building called The Bramford. One day they get a call that an apartment is available.  They rent it despite warnings of doom by a close friend, Hutch. He tells them of the suicides and occult based things that has happened in the house through the years.  The couple do not care.  They love the apartment.
A suicide happens and they become friends with the old couple from next door.  Rosemary wants a baby but guy is not ready because he is a struggling actor. He gets a great part because the actor that had originally got it suddenly went blind.  How weird! Then Guy tells Rosemary it's time for a baby.  She has a strange dream one night. Then she is pregnant.  Creepy things start to happen!!

This book was published in 1967 and made into a movie the next year, starring Mia Farrow, John Cassavetes and Ruth Gordon. Here are some photos from the film.

Meeting the neighbors after the suicide.

Rosemary is shocked! Why?  Read the book!

Summary from goodreads:
Rosemary Woodhouse and her struggling actor-husband Guy move into the Bramford, an old New York City apartment building with an onimous reputation and only elderly residents. Neighbours Roman and Minnie Castavet soon come nosing around to welcome them and, despite Rosemary's reservations about their eccentricity and the weird noises 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 Castavet's circle is not what it seems.

Hutch, surprisingly, tried to talk them out of it, on the grounds that the Bramford was a “danger zone.”
When Rosemary had first come to New York in June of 1962 she had joined another Omaha girl and two girls from Atlanta in an apartment on lower Lexington Avenue. Hutch lived next door, and though he declined to be the full-time father-substitute the girls would have made of him—he had raised two daughters of his own and that was quite enough, thank you—he was nonetheless on hand in emergencies, such as The Night Someone Was on The Fire Escape and The Time Jeanne Almost Choked to Death. His name was Edward Hutchins, he was English, he was fifty-four. Under three different pen names he wrote three different series of boys’ adventure books.

To Rosemary he gave another sort of emergency assistance. She was the youngest of six children, the other five of whom had married early and made homes close to their parents; behind her in Omaha she had left an angry, suspicious father, a silent mother, and four resenting brothers and sisters. (Only the next-to-the-oldest, Brian, who had a drink problem, had said,“Go on, Rosie, do what you want to do,” and had slipped her a plastic handbag with eighty-five dollars in it.) In New York Rosemary felt guilty and selfish, and Hutch bucked her up with strong tea and talks about parents and children and one’s duty to oneself. She asked him questions that had been unspeakable in Catholic High; he sent her to a night course in philosophy at NYU. “I’ll make a duchess out of this cockney flower girl yet,” he said, and Rosemary had had wit enough to say “Garn!

To read more, click here.

Original cover from 1967.
Pages: 245
Published: 1967


Nicola Mansfield said...

Came over from the Horror Challenge. I would so love to re-read this and then watch the movie again as well!

Majanka Verstraete said...

I'm a total horror fanatic and I've never read Rosemary's Baby. Totally ashamed now! I love how you incorporated pictures from the movie in your review.

Charlie (The Worm Hole) said...

Glad you enjoyed the book, and the movie! Well done on What's In A Name.