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Harvest Home: A Novel [Kindle Edition]

Thomas Tryon
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (174 customer reviews)

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Book Description

In a country village, a family of New Yorkers encounters a chilling ancient rite

After watching his asthmatic daughter suffer in the foul city air, Theodore Constantine decides to get back to the land. When he and his wife search New England for the perfect nineteenth-century home, they find no township more charming, no countryside more idyllic than the farming village of Cornwall Coombe. Here they begin a new life: simple, pure, close to nature—and ultimately more terrifying than Manhattan’s darkest alley. 

When the Constantines win the friendship of the town matriarch, the mysterious Widow Fortune, they are invited to join the ancient festival of Harvest Home, a ceremony whose quaintness disguises dark intentions. In this bucolic hamlet, where bootleggers work by moonlight and all of the villagers seem to share the same last name, the past is more present than outsiders can fathom—and something far more sinister than the annual harvest is about to rise out of the earth.

Editorial Reviews


“Tryon plays to the senses. . . . His stories ripple with plots and subplots.” —The New York Times on Crowned Heads

“Even more creepy-crawly than The Other!” —The Washington Post

Harvest Home is a brilliantly imagined horror story.” —The Boston Globe

“Superbly haunting.” —Chicago Tribune

“Scary in the same way Rosemary’s Baby keeps the tension growing. A genuine eye-widener, Harvest Home pulls out some new stops in horror story telling, and might keep you from small, out-of-the-way towns for a long time to come.” —The Sacramento Bee

About the Author

Thomas Tryon (1926–1991), actor turned author, made his bestselling debut with The Other (1971), which spent nearly six months on the New York Times bestseller list and allowed him to quit acting for good; a film adaptation, with a screenplay by Tryon and directed by Robert Mulligan, appeared in 1972. Tryon wrote two more novels set in the fictional Pequot Landing of The OtherHarvest Home (1973) and Lady (1974). Crowned Heads (1976) detailed the lives of four fictional film stars and All That Glitters (1986) explored the dark side of the golden age of Hollywood. Night Magic (published posthumously in 1995) was a modern-day retelling of The Sorcerer’s Apprentice.   

Product Details

  • File Size: 708 KB
  • Print Length: 392 pages
  • Publisher: Open Road Media (September 24, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #38,358 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
100 of 106 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Memorable Horror July 13, 2005
Born in 1926, Thomas Tryon first came to public attention as an actor in such films as I MARRIED A MONSTER FROM OUTER SPACE and the popular television series TEXAS JOHN SLAUGHTER--but Tryon's acting career began to falter in the early 1960s. Fortunately, he turned to writing and discovered his true calling: the 1971 novel THE OTHER was a critical and popular sensation, easily one of the best psychological horror novels of the decade. He followed it in 1973 with equally lauded and popular HARVEST HOME.

Read today, it easy to foresee several of the major plots of HARVEST HOME--but this is largely because so many later novelists (including Stephen King) borrowed so liberally from the novel. Still, there's nothing like the original, and in 1973 the book was all of that, the tale of a New York couple with a difficult teenager daughter who decide to trade the crime-ridden cityscape for countryside peace... and stumble into a rural nightmare that makes a metropolitan crime wave seem tame by comparison.

Cornwall Coombe is a tiny, isolated village, the sort of place where everyone is related to everyone else by blood or marriage or sometimes both. It is also a community that clings to "the old ways," rejecting most modern agricultural ideas--not to mention newcomers to the area. As it happens, however, Ned and Beth Constantine and their daughter are smiled upon by the Widow Fortune, a woman who holds tremendous sway in the community, and as time passes they are accepted.

But into what? For it soon transpires that the "old ways" include a number of odd superstitions, all of them centering on the cycle of seasons and the area's corn crop. At first Ned is amused, then curious--but the more he learns the more disturbing the superstitions and traditions become.
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36 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars oh, this is a creepy one November 5, 2007
By JAllen
My mom read this book right after she finished high school and still had it in the bookshelf by the time I was in high school. I read it one day when I had nothing else to read and finished it the same night. Yikes! Really creepy for a 15 year old with an active imagination to read. Fifteen years later I still think about it though I have yet to re-read it. Excellent book.
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39 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars OUTSTANDING GOTHIC CHILLER... November 18, 2006
This is an exceptionally well written chiller. It takes place in Cornwall Coombe, a seemingly bucolic little hamlet in New England. It is to this idyllic locale that Ned Constantine, his wife, Beth, and their teenage daughter, Kate, move.

Ned had quit his job as an advertising executive in New York City and was now a professional artist, having established a studio in which to paint on his newly purchased property. In love with the three hundred year old house that they had unexpectedly been able to purchase, he and his family settled down to what he hoped would be a tranquil existence.

Alas, this was not to be. The town's very being revolved around ancient rituals dictated by the corn crop, and the town's ways were old ways. Its bucolic setting was deceptive, as there existed a malignancy that was becoming all too apparent to Ned. It was a feeling, however, that neither his wife nor daughter shared.

Cornwall Coombe was a town seemingly controlled by the Widow Fortune, an old woman with a knack for healing. The town had a secret, and its insular townspeople were all in on it. Ned was determined to discover what that secret was, even if it were to his detriment. He ultimately finds that some secrets are best left undiscovered.

This is a beautifully written book, almost lyrical in the telling. The author has a distinct gift for storytelling, and the tale that he weaves is spellbinding, as well as chilling. It is a tale that is sure to keep the reader riveted.
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39 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Patiently Paced Novel of Believable Horror! August 4, 2005
Thomas Tryon, an actor turned author, crafted one of the finest real horror novels of the latter half of the 20th century with The Other. With Harvest Home, he took us again into the realms of real horror - horror that doesn't involve monsters, but the people right next door.

While Harvest Home borrows from historic horror authors such as H.P. Lovecraft and Stevenson, Tryon treads new ground for the modern novel. Harvest Home (1973) demonstrated to many modern authors (Stephen King and Peter Straub both acknowledge borrowing heavily from Tryon) how horror novels don't have to contain creatures or aliens to be scary.

Harvest Home is the story of a young couple who move to a remote hamlet in New England, known as Harvest Home. The village has chosen to remain isolated over the years. While not Quaker or Amish, the feeling is similar. The residents are all either related to or married to other residents of the village. The residents are not too welcoming of outsiders.

When the Widow Fortune takes a liking to the family, the town eases its defenses and also embraces them. The problem is that there is something sinister running amok in the village. There is something creepy going on during the corn harvest....

When you read this novel, you have to be able to imagine yourself in a time before Stephen King's novels (because he crafted several novels and stories based on material he gleaned from this book)...a time before modern horror cinema had bastardized all the really unique ideas that Tryon laid out in this book.

The novel was another best seller for Tryon. It also spawned a film, albeit a made-for-TV film.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Painful
I deserve an award for finishing this book. I hung in there until the end with the hope that it would get better or at least have a powerful ending. Read more
Published 2 days ago by E
5.0 out of 5 stars I was glad I found this book
I was glad I found this book. it is so different and you cannot believe what goes on. his writing is so much better than his acting was. what a wonderful talented writer. Read more
Published 3 days ago by bufin
3.0 out of 5 stars Scary story
I like Thomas Tryon, but this one took me longer than most to get through. That said, it was a good book if you are into creepy, and definitely sneaky. Read more
Published 10 days ago by Lori
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Tyron's best horror novel. A page turner.
Published 18 days ago by Tim Black
3.0 out of 5 stars Dulled By Time and Imitators, Harvest Home Still Hits All The Right...
Is corn scary? It is a rather bizarre plant. It grows tall and fast and has vaguely human qualities, like corn-silk hair and ears. Read more
Published 20 days ago by Robert Errera
5.0 out of 5 stars But it's the wonderful writing and intriguing characters that makes...
What is it about corn that people find so spooky anyway?

Oh, never mind. Corn is scary, period, and I think this novel might have started that tradition. Read more
Published 21 days ago by Bobbi JG Weiss
5.0 out of 5 stars but this was a great novel. Intense character development
Not much for writing reviews, but this was a great novel. Intense character development. Very Stephen King-ish before King was cool. Very well written. Read more
Published 27 days ago by Tad O. Pary
5.0 out of 5 stars Suspenseful Autumn read.
I happened to read this novel in November, which made it an even better read. This novel was very descriptive, and I could picture it all beautifully. Read more
Published 28 days ago by Carolyn
5.0 out of 5 stars spooky book
Spooky, high price to pay to live in that town.especially if you are a curious person.very well written book I bought several more books by this author.
Published 29 days ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Even better 30 years later.
I love this book - I read it 30 years ago and it still sucked me in!
Published 1 month ago by Momx4
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