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Customer Review

42 of 46 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Um, I would not go in there Dr. Reardon, if I were you..., January 21, 2002
This review is from: The Diary of Ellen Rimbauer: My Life at Rose Red (Hardcover)
This faux-diary will remind many of the brilliant publicity campaign orchestrated for "The Blair Witch Project," although it certainly does not reach the depth and detail of that infamous effort. For me, "The Diary of Ellen Rimbauer," the back story for the upcoming "Rose Red" mini-series whipped up by Stephen King is more reminiscent of "The Secret Diary of Laura Palmer" from "Twin Peaks." The different is that the latter came out AFTER the first season and only served to obscure what was happening in that bizarre little town. "The Diary of Ellen Rimbauer" certainly sets the stage for the mini-series. We know a lot of what happened and we have some theories as to what is going on in that strange mansion overlooking Seattle, but the mystery is not even close to be solved.
The character of Ellen Rimbauer also reminds me strongly of Edna Pontellier, the heroine in Kate Chopin's 1899 classic "The Awakening." Both deal with the issue of a woman embracing her sexuality at the turn of the century and while both tales are tragedies, Ellen's is of a different fate. Her character is the strongest part of the "Diary," and if you are expecting the traditional heroine afflicted by a haunted house, you are going to be in for a surprise. The book suffers from the necessity of leaving massive holes in the narrative so that the cat does not end up entirely out of the bag. There are a couple of photographs and several relatively crude drawings that add little to the aura of authenticity (although I have seen better in both regards elsewhere associated with this enterprise).
This is a relatively simple division: If you are going to watch "Rose Red," then you should read "The Diary of Ellen Rimbauer." Yes, on one level it is a blatant attempt to make money off of our interest in anything Stephen King. But on the other hand, it is a solid back story and if it does NOT inform our enjoyment of the mini-series, I really will be surprised. After "Rose Red" is aired, most of the fun and a large chunk of the value of reading this faux-diary will be gone.
So, who do I think wrote the book, Stephen or Tabitha? I certainly think he could do it and I suppose at some point a figure will emerge from behind the curtain and we will learn the truth, but it does not matter to me if this turns out to be Richard Bachman revisited. For now, we can just be content to go along for the ride. Besides, I am curious as to why so much seems to happen on the 15th of the month and will overlook the fact that if they indeed believe everything in the diary to be true, then Joyce Reardon, Ph.D. and his team of investigators are idiots to attempt to wake up Rose Red. But then there would be no mini-series, right? WARNING: Do not pursue the URL to discover the "other" diary excerpts, considered "too graphic and disturbing" to be printed in this volume by the "editor" until you have finished reading the diary.
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Review Details

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Reviewer

Lawrance Bernabo
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)    (COMMUNITY FORUM 04)   

Location: The Zenith City, Duluth, Minnesota

Top Reviewer Ranking: 18,675