Author: Ira Levin // Published: March 12, 1967
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 Castevet 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 Castevets’ circle is not what it seems . . .
So I only started watching (Well, and reading) horror recently. I honestly just never thought I’d like it much? I was clearly very wrong. I saw one horror movie last year and decided to dive a bit deeper into it and now there’s just no turning back.
With all that being said, I never really knew what Rosemary’s Baby was about. You’re probably thinking ‘How could you not?’ but in my defense, I’m very new to all this. I knew that it was a really popular movie and that it involved a baby but that was it. Now I really didn’t think this would be a five star read but the more I think about it the more freaked out I am. Which I’m weirdly starting to enjoy these days. The story is such a slow burn. Half the book is us following the main characters in their day to day lives. There’s this slight air of weariness as you go along. Then you reach that point in the story were things start to really feel off. Not to mention Rosemary’s dream, and the moment that scared me the most.
I’m personally in love with the way this story goes along. It feels like an okay read while you’re in it but somehow my feelings changed completely by the middle of it. What also helped was the fact that I did not know the ending (or much of it at all but you get the picture). I had an ending in my mind but when I read that last line and realized that the book was over I screamed. Did not see that coming. Although the context of the book is far from pleasant (if you know you know) I still really loved this. It just felt like a real shock. I feel like the context of the story is scary and unsettling but it’s also the feeling of losing control over yourself. As you’re reading you see how things are out of Rosemary’s control and how far away help is for her. She was kind of naive at times but it’s that already too late realization that really hits home.
I will admit that reading the slurs was not fun. I know the book is old which is why I didn’t think the most of it but it was still uncomfortable.
I’ve been debating between giving this a four or five stars but I’m going to go with five because I can. I also have a feeling I’ll be thinking about this for a while. Can’t wait to see the movie!
About the Author
Ira Marvin Levin was an American novelist, playwright, and songwriter. His most noted works include the novels A Kiss Before Dying, Rosemary’s Baby, The Stepford Wives, and The Boys from Brazil, as well as the play Deathtrap. Many of his novels and plays have been adapted into successful films.
Have you read or seen Rosemary’s Baby?