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The Other (New York Review Books Classics) Paperback – October 2, 2012

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Editorial Reviews


“It is perhaps unfair and a little inaccurate to typecast The Other as a horror story. It is so ingenious and well-written that it transcends that—or any—label. The setting is the small Connecticut town of Pequot Landing, which under other circumstances, might be idyllic.  But the people who inhabit Tryon’s New England are just as haunted as O’Neill’s, and a lot more violent…His [Tryon’s] characterizations have depth and subtlety, the narrative is well-paced and suspenseful. Where he really excels is with mood and atmosphere. Rarely have such commonplace surroundings been made to seem quite so dark and menacing and chillingly evil.” – Chicago Tribune
“A lyrical, impressive horror story that is a cross between The Bad Seed and John Cheever’s The Wapshot Chronicles.” – Los Angeles Times
“This first novel from Thomas Tryon is a distinguished one, it may well leave you blenched with horror, but it is beautifully, even poetically, wrought, and within its boundaries there would seem an actual divination into the spirit of murderess insanity….In due time The Other will doubtless become one of the classics of horro tales, comparable to The Turn of the Screw.” – Dorothy B. Hughes Los Angeles Times
“Like most professional writers, I resent Tom Tryon’s The Other, since Tryon should get on with the job of being a good actor and not write good books as well. Enough is enough already. The Other is a highly readable chiller.” – Anthony Burgess
“If you're looking for a good scary book to enjoy this Halloween, here is a suggestion: The Other by Thomas Tryon. The 1971 horror classic is a tale of a seemingly bucolic farmhouse in a small Connecticut town in the 1930s. There are no vampires in the story, no ghosts, no swamp monsters or ghouls or zombies or witches. There are two little boys, twins Niles and Holland, the picture of innocence. Or so it seems. The story is told in the voice of one of the boys, now older and a resident of a sanitarium. Insanity, it seems, is a family inheritance, and insanity is at the core of the chilling story that slowly unfolds and culminates in some horrifying deaths.” – Advocate (Baton Rouge)
“Truly extraordinary! One of those books over which everybody will take leave their senses, all seven of them…” – Kirkus
“A smashing suspense-horror novel.” – Minneapolis Tribune
“A humdinger…A whirlpool of Oh-My-God horror. Please congratulate Mr. Tryon for me. What a marvelous job he’s done.” – Ira Levin, author of Rosemary’s Baby
“Tryon succeeds in creating a story that cast a subtly savage spell.” – Saturday Review
The Other is an all-out war on reality.” – Chicago Sun-Times
“The most memorable chiller-thriller to come along since Rosemary’s Baby….A tale of evil obsession with surprises and shockers.” – Hartford Courant
“Thomas Tryon has unfolded a horror story of supreme proportions.” – Los Angeles Herald-Examiner
“A psychological thriller that you read a second time to see how the author did it.” – Cleveland Plain Dealer
“Thomas Tryon’s The Other will scare the hell right out of you….You’re almost afraid to turn the next page.” – Rocky Mountain News

About the Author

Thomas Tryon (1926–1991) was born in Hartford, Connecticut into a family whose New England roots stretch back to the seventeenth century. After serving in the navy during World War II , he attended Yale, and upon graduation began an acting career that would take him from a made-for-television Disney western to Hollywood, where he was featured in several B movies as well as Otto Preminger’s The Cardinal. Preminger’s treatment of Tryon was so cruel as to become a Hollywood legend, and Tryon turned to writing. His first book, The Other (1971), was an immediate success, spending more than six months on the New York Times best-seller list and allowing 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 Other, Harvest Home (1973) and Lady (1974), before turning to works like All That Glitters (1986), that explore the dark side of the golden age of Hollywood. At the time of his death Tryon was working on a historical trilogy set in early nineteenth-century Connecticut.

Dan Chaon’s most recent book is Stay Awake, a short-story collection. He is the author of the novels You Remind Me of Me and Await Your Reply, as well as of the story collections Fitting Ends and Among the Missing, which was a finalist for the 2001 National Book Award. His stories have appeared in Best American Short Stories, The Pushcart Prize Anthologies, and The O. Henry Prize Stories. He teaches at Oberlin College, where he is the Pauline Delaney Professor of Creative Writing and Literature.

Product Details

  • Series: New York Review Books Classics
  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: NYRB Classics (October 2, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1590175832
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590175835
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (93 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #103,394 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

98 of 102 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 26, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I've read hundreds of horror books in my lifetime, 39 yrs. to be exact, but very few have fascinated me or stayed with me like this book, called The Other. This is the most realistic horror novel ever written (I have read it 5 times) and I absolutely love it. There are no devils, aliens, or monsters of any kind, just two psychologicaly messed up kids(which one is the evil one? or is it both?) who play an imagination game that goes horribly out of control, awesome twist ending, this book will keep you riveted for hours on end. Mr. Tryon creates characters that are so true to life you swear you met them before or they really existed at some time. This book is intelligent horror written by a late great author who doesn't suffer from verbal diarrhea like some of the popular present day writers. Harvest Home is another novel written in the early seventies that is just as creepy with a stunning ending, I loved it! If you enjoy The Other here are a few books you might want to look up : Harvest Home-Thomas Tryon, Conjure Wife-Fritz Leiber, The Nightwalker-Thomas Tessier, The Manitou-Graham Masterson, The Godsend-Bernard Taylor, After Sundown-Randall Boyll, The Homing-Jeffrey Campbell, For Fear of the Night-Charles L. Grant, The Dogs-Robert Calder, Dead White-Alan Ryan they are all fantastic scary reads!.
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80 of 88 people found the following review helpful By JLind555 on March 10, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Once upon a time there was a somewhat forgettable actor named Thomas Tryon who starred in a series of very forgettable movies ("The Cardinal" and a few others). Mr. Tryon wisely decided to forget about the forgettable and sat down and wrote a spooky novel called "The Other". The result is an absolutely superb, un-put-downable, unforgettable horror story.

"The Other" tells us the story of the Perry twins, Niles and Holland, 13 years old, identical twins born on either side of midnight and thus have not only different birthdays, but, in a true stroke of fictional genius, different astrological signs. They are thus as different as day from night, one friendly and sunny and outgoing, and the other deep, dark and diabolically evil. Their father is dead, their mother imprisoned inside her own creeping madness, and their grandmother, blessed or cursed with the Sight, is unable to stop the horror that is about to engulf the whole family.

The story takes place mostly during a long, lazy Connecticut summer in the 1930's, and as the temperature cools down, the plot heats up. Two-thirds of the way through the book, Tryon divulges the twins' secret that will literally rock the reader in his tracks. You would think the rest of the book would be an anti-climax after this; fasten your seatbelts, because now you're in for a real ride. And hang on tight: Tryon piles one horror on top of another until you wonder if he has anything left in his bag of tricks, and then he pulls it out: a climax that will knock you over. And as if all this wasn't enough, the last page of the book will leave the reader wondering if Tryon was pulling the wool over everyone's eyes and have you guessing for days.
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42 of 45 people found the following review helpful By Gary F. Taylor HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 28, 2005
Format: Hardcover
In prose as easy as a floating dream with a story as frightening as a pre-dawn nightmare, Thomas Tryon's 1971 novel THE OTHER is one of the three finest horror novels of 20th Century America, easily ranking alongside Shirley Jackson's THE HAUNTING OF HILL HOUSE and Stephen King's 'SALEM'S LOT.

Holland and Niles Perry are twins on the brink of adolescence, residing with their large extended family on a comfortably ramshackle farm in 1930s New England. But their lives have been touched with tragedy: their father, killed in an accident; their mother, unable to recover from the shock. Grandmother Ada, Russian-born, has become the backbone of the family. And Grandmother Ada has a game for them to play together, a solace for them in a time of grief. But it is no ordinary game, this. It is one passed down through the blood from generation to generation. And it is through this game of the mind that Ada unwittingly unleashes a psychological horror that consumes everything it touches.

THE OTHER is the first of the several novels Tryon wrote before his premature death and, although the novel HARVEST HOME is perhaps more widely remembered, to my mind it is his finest. The plot has been extremely influential, and some readers may recognize various turns from having encountered them at the less talented hands of later writers who shamelessly borrowed Tyron's ideas. But it hardly matters: the prose is absolutely flawless, dreamy, languid, and seductive even as it begins to unravel into a psychological void from which there is no return. It is a rare reader who will not unravel right along with it--and immediately re-read the novel to see how Tyron has so unerringly cast his spell. Strongly recommended.

GFT, Amazon Reviewer
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By ManiacMansionJason on August 29, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Actor-turned novelist Thomas Tryon's first book is one of the best out there. The technique the book uses to creep up on you if very unique. This book is very old (and very out of print..i'd sell my soul before giving up my 1971 first edition with dj) so I hope you can find yourslef a copy, because this is a book that you simply HAVE to read, if you want a good horror story.
And now the plot (don't worry, I'm not giving any spoilers):
In 1935 12-year old twin boys (Niles and Holland) live on a New England farm. The twins are both very different. Niles is more outgoing and light-hearted, while Holland is shy and hides a lot. Their Russian grandmother Ada has taught them "The Game," which allows you to be (or at least see from the POV) whatever or whoever you concentrate on. Their mother always stays inside, and their father's rcent death is probably the reason for it. It doesn't take long before a series of murders take place in the peacful town, and it becomes clear that Holland is connected to each of say anything else about the novel would ruin the book. Just remember:
Peregrine for Perry.
Also, check out the movie: It's excellent.
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