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Rosemary's Baby [Paperback]

Ira Levin
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
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Book Description

March 30 2010
A masterpiece of spellbinding suspense, where evil wears the most innocent face of all...
Rosemary Woodhouse and her struggling actor husband Guy move into the Bramford, an old New York City apartment building with an ominous reputation and mostly elderly residents. Neighbors Roman and Minnie Castavet soon come nosing around to welcome the Woodhouses to the building, and despite Rosemary's reservations about their eccentricity and the weird noises that she keeps hearing, her husband takes a special shine to 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 Castavets' circle is not what it seems...

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Product Description

From Amazon

When published in 1967, Rosemary's Baby was one of the first contemporary horror novels to become a national bestseller. Ira Levin's second novel (he went on to write such fine thrillers as A Kiss Before Dying, The Stepford Wives, and The Boys from Brazil), Rosemary's Baby, remains perhaps his best work. The author's mainstream "this is how it really happened" style undeniably also made the novel his most widely imitated. The plot line is deceptively simple: What if you were a happily married young woman, living in New York, and one day you awoke to find yourself pregnant? And what if your loving husband had--apparently--sold your soul to Satan? And now you were beginning to believe that your unborn child was, in reality, the son of Satan? Levin subtly makes it all totally plausible, unless of course, dear Rosemary--or the reader--can no longer distinguish fantasy from reality! A wonderfully chilling novel, it was later faithfully transformed into an equally unnerving motion picture. In 1997, a sequel was spawned, Son of Rosemary. --Stanley Wiater --This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.

From Publishers Weekly

Farrow's soothing reading of Ira Levin's classic returns her to the project that made her a star in Roman Polanski's eerily sedate thriller. Rosemary and Guy Woodhouse move into an ancient Manhattan apartment building and are immediately befriended by a pushy older couple, Minnie and Roman Castavet. When Rosemary becomes pregnant, she begins to suspect that the people in her building are satanists and that she may be carrying a demon's baby. What makes Levin's tale so haunting is how the horror is kept inconspicuous so tensions mount as ordinary events turn disturbing. Caedmon's packaging is outstanding, with inner sleeves listing track lengths and the first few words spoken on each track, making it easier to navigate. Farrow is an ideal choice as a reader for her history as well as her expressive and controlled reading. She doesn't attempt different voices for each character, but she does adapt a flat, nasal tone for Minnie (rather than imitate Ruth Gordon from the film). Subpar sound mars this classy recording: the volume is low and Farrow's voice sounds like it was recorded in a large, hollow space. Levin's thriller was previously recorded by Eileen Heckert in a 1986 three-hour abridgment from Random House Audio. (Nov.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

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First Sentence
Rosemary and Guy Woodhouse had signed a lease on a five-room apartment in a geometric white house on First Avenue when they received word, from a woman named Mrs. Cortez, that a four-room apartment in the Bramford had become available. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A chilling tale! July 9 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Ira Levin is the master of horror, conveying the dark side of ordinary everyday life in suspenseful and terrifying ways. With The Stepford Wives he took on the issue of feminism and created a pop culture phenomenon still relevant over 30 years later. Rosemary's Baby has to be one of his best novels, a dark and brooding suspense shocker about a housewife's descent into a dark world of satanic worship. To say any more would be to give away the suspense and shocks like only Levin could provide.
Rosemary is a brilliant heroine, real and emotional and it is so easy for the reader to relate. I found myself identifying with her and rooting for her to get through the madness her life takes on after moving into a popular apartment building with a history of evil. Levin slowly closes in on the horror, suffocating the reader as they try to unravel the mystery. The villians are more terrifying than any I have come across in literature because they are real people doing unreal things, which adds an effective creepiness to the story.
This is a terrific page-turner and one of the most twisted and disturbing novels I have ever read. I also like the movie, although I wish it had a darker tone like the book, but have not read the sequel, Son of Rosemary, which is supposed to be awful. It is such a short book, reading it won't take much time. This one is highly recommended.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Masterpiece Aug. 27 2005
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I came to ROSEMARY'S BABY via a rather strange route. Having just finished Jackson McCrae's novel "KATZENJAMMER," I found myself fascinated with the Ira Levin novel for reasons I'd rather not go into here, for fear of spoiling either book for you. Suffice it to say that they are companions of a sort. Both deal with the devil and environs surrounding that individual, but McCrae's book is hysterically funny whereas Levin's is totally serious. Ira Levin's novel ROSEMARY'S BABY explores that mind-boggling realm of the absolute darkness found in human nature. His depictions of evil are frighteningly real; even atheists may have trouble remaining in their state of disbelief in the good and evil supreme beings. This book is truly one that is nearly impossible to put down; it is extremely readable without seeming childish. Levin's ideas of good and evil are explained in a manner that is easy to understand, yet it is still perplexing to even the greatest of minds how such evil can be personified. Levin is truly a literary genius; this book proves it. Must also recommend THE STEPFORD WIVES.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Hauntingly chilling classic horror Feb. 24 2004
By CreepyT
Format:Paperback
Rosemary's Baby is the story of a young newly-wed couple who happen to move in to a building with a history of unfortunate and strange occurences. Rosemary is ready and willing to start a family, but little does she know she'll end up carrying the baby of, not her husband Guy, but rather Satan himself. This is a story of witches and devil worship coupled with real-life events and occurences. This fact is what made this novel so ground-breaking when it first came out in the 60's. It places horror in the home, and in someone's womb, as opposed to something slightly more abstract (ie-"Swamp Thing" or "The Blob"). "Fear where we never thought to look before." Is Rosemary being a worried soon-to-be mother? How many of her suspicions are rooted in fact? Does Rosemary need to protect her child from others, or is it everyone else who needs protection from him? For Rosemary, the line becomes blurred between fear and reality and she can trust no one as she struggles to discern the truth.
Levin weaves the plot elements together so masterfully and intricately that the story is indeed flawless. The characters are believable, and the suspense very real. The twists are intriguing and exciting. I cranked this book out yesterday, so it's fair to say that Rosemary's Baby is an easy and fast-paced read. However, though this is a great suspense-type horror book, it is not really necessarily "spooky" or nail-biting per say. If you are looking for a suspensful page-turner that is a quick and simple read, then give this one a try!
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Format:Mass Market Paperback
Rosemarys Baby is extremely easy to read and you will get through the book in no time at all. It is short, about 200 pages and is pretty much more of a novella than a full bloodied horror manuscript. None the less - it is still extremely satisfying and the size and depth of the story is particularly suitable for the subject matter at hand.
The plot revolves around the newly wed Rosemary and Guy Woodhouse who have moved into a huge apartment in a building known as the Bramford in New York. Rosemary wants children and Guy, an actor, wants to further his career. Hutch, a friend of Rosemary, tells her that the Bramford is a "danger zone" because of previous murders, suicides and diabolical deeds that have gone on there in the past. Sure enough many of these atrocities slowly begin to unveil themselves much to the dismay of Rosemary. Guy sees these events as just a coincidence and the elderly occupants who live in the Bramford seem to be all too innocent to be involved in plotting murders or faking suicides.
Eventually everything settles down and Rosemary gets pregnant during a nightmare that has her confused but she gradually calms down to prepare for her new born but not without the smothering attention of her neighbors who pop around twenty times a day to help her out. Rosemary casually begins to notice things in the Bramford or about its occupants in passing and slowly suspicion begins to develop in her mind that all may not be as it seems.
There is a classic mystery lurking behind the more horrific avenues found in this great story as Rosemary slowly unravels the unknown which seems to have a diabolical nature.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the most interesting books I've ever read
Well, I had seen the 1968 film Rosemary's Baby, and everyone was telling me the book was way better. Read more
Published 19 months ago by Cherno Blanco
5.0 out of 5 stars Rosemary's Baby
I have heard about this book since I can remember and people were always telling me that I must read it at least once in my lifetime....mission accomplished! Read more
Published on March 5 2009 by Debbie Venton
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely shocking.
A totally ordinary story about the completely shocking; I was so disturbed after this book I had to put it down and play video games until I felt too dumb to worry about it. Read more
Published on July 7 2004 by Researchette
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Horror Novel
Rosemary's Baby is a classic horror novel. It is extremely well written and keeps you spellbound turning page after page, not wanting to put it down. Read more
Published on June 4 2004 by Charles J. Rector
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing.
I found this book to be a letdown. The plot was slow and painful. The story seemed too simplistic to be truly frightening or even slightly creepy. Read more
Published on Aug. 31 2003 by lisa
3.0 out of 5 stars Not Bad But...
So I'm sitting here wondering about what I loved about this book and what I hated about it. The plot moves swiftly and the suspense is well painted throughtout making the reader... Read more
Published on June 9 2003 by David Coates
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderfully creepy
This story is so effectively creepy because it seems so normal. Rosemary and Guy Woodhouse are in many ways your typical young couple (albeit in 1966). Read more
Published on May 30 2003
1.0 out of 5 stars What the devil?
My school librarian recommended this book to me. I had know idea what she was thinking. I did not enjoy it at all. Read more
Published on Sept. 11 2002
3.0 out of 5 stars Superb Writing, Unsatisfying Ending
The first three quarters of the book were not very suspenseful--storywise--but were written well enough to create curiosity and interest in the story and its characters. Read more
Published on May 16 2002
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