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Rosemary's Baby Paperback – May 5, 2014


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Pegasus (May 5, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1605981109
  • ISBN-13: 978-1605981109
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 5.8 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (246 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #60,229 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

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 an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

53 of 58 people found the following review helpful By JLind555 on April 1, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Why am I giving this book 5 stars when the writing isn't especially great? Because Ira Levin hit every right note in "Rosemary's Baby" and made it into an instantaneous horror classic. On one level, it's a great horror story; on another, it's also a kind of morality play: God has a son; what happens when the devil gets jealous and wants one too?

Enter Rosemary and Guy Woodhouse, almost-newlyweds, new tenants in an old, luxury building called "The Bramford", famous for its high ceilings and working fireplaces, notorious for its unsavory happenings (dead baby wrapped in newspapers abandoned in the basement). They are warned off by Hutch, an old friend of Rosemary's who knows all about the building's sordid history, but disregard the omens.

Rosemary is a housewife (yes, back in the day there actually were such things) who wants to be a mother. Guy is an actor and a rising star whose talent is overshadowed only by his unlimited ambition. Next door are the Castevets, Minnie and Roman, a delightfully ditzy old couple who just happen to head a coven of witches who have made a pact with the devil. Rosemary wants a baby; Guy wants a leading part in a hit play; the witches want... well, all the ingredients are there for a devil's brew that sets the pot boiling wonderfully for 260 pages.

After a nightmarish impregnation, Rosemary goes through a hellacious pregnancy, presided over by Dr. Sapirstein, a famous "society" obstetrician who assures Rosemary that her pains will go away in a day or two. Hutch's death after a long, suspicious illness jolts Rosemary out of her cocoon of trusting ignorance, and here Levin builds the horror up ever so insidiously until it hits you like a sledgehammer.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By fynsworth@webtv.net on September 6, 1997
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I have been on an Ira Levin marathon since reading the sequel to this book. So, I went back and read R's Baby after not having read it in thirty years. It is such an amazing book on so many levels it's hard to talk about. Everything, description, dialogue, characters, setting, and most of all plot, mesh seamlessly in one of the great reads of all time. If you've never read it you are in for a treat. As a side note, the film version by Roman Polanski is also a masterpiece. It is the best adaptation of book to film ever done. The reason for this is simple: It IS the book. Polanski didn't know he could change anything so 95% of the dialogue is taken verbatim from the book and the other five percent is paraphrased. It helps that Levin writes the best dialogue of anyone writing fiction today. But the more amazing thing is, that visual touches that I've been ascribing to Polanski all these years are ALSO right out of the book, as are several costume descriptions. Were it only that more movie adaptations were this faithful and we weren't subjected to baboon screenwriters' "fixing" of novels. For the clearest example of horrifying adaptation, one only need turn to Mr. Joe Estherhaz' adaptation of Ira Levin's Sliver
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By K. Anderson on March 10, 2007
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
As a big, big fan of Roman Polanski's 1968 film "Rosemary's Baby" I couldn't wait to listen to the new audio book of Ira Levin's novel as read by the quintessential Rosemary herself: Mia Farrow.

She certainly doesn't disappoint in this unabridged reading (actress Eileen Heckart did an abridged version several years back) and the years have brought a maturity to her voice that not only brings Rosemary back to vivid life, but infuses the other characters with a distinction and clarity that has you seeing the story play out in your mind as she reads.

Nicely packaged with chapter indexes, it is a great rendering of a great book. And really, having Mia Farrow reading this text is a film fan's dream come true!

Not much of an audiophile, I'm unqualified to rate the recording quality.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By "donnie@dreamscape.com" on July 17, 1998
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Ira Levin's novel is utterly fascinating. For one, the best element is that the horror and suspense all come from seemingly normal, everyday things. A world where the bad guys are the quirky next door neighbors is a lot scarier than one where the ridiculous horned monsters are the bad guys. Two, his dialogue is sparkling. It's as if all of the characters are real flesh and blood, the way that they speak so realistically. Three, I found it very interesting that Levin approached writing it not by using big words and long, complicated descriptions. His sentances are short, precise, and sweet. It makes a nice "relaxing" read. Also, the movie adaption is one of the best films ever made and is brimming with excellent performances. Read it and see the movie. I totally agree with the reader who commented on the movie being the best adaption of a book to film.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Tim Lieder on July 21, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Even though the ending to this book is known by all, you are still likely to find yourself in suspense over whether or not the nice old neighbors are really just nice old neighbors or if they are going to sacrifice the baby. Ira Levin writes breezy thrillers, well-crafted from beginning to end with compelling characters, nicely woven plots and several surprises. It's not until you read several badly contrived thrillers and horror books that you realize how much skill it takes to write one that works on all levels.
There aren't many insights into the human condition. This book will not make you look at your life in a whole new way and it probably won't make you suspicious if you are pregnant. Ira Levin even has an introduction to one edition complaining about people taking the book to the ridiculous levels of seriousness (you can read the "Left Behind" series if you want a 'serious' novel about Satanic conspiracies). What this book will give you is an enjoyable reading experience that will either be a relief from whatever deep and heavy book you've read or the bad thrillers.
And by the way, this is one of those cases where the book and the movie are almost identical except I think that there is more about the Satanic cult's origins in the book.
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