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Harvest Home Hardcover – May 12, 1973
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Saw the mini-series in the '70's. The book is MUCH better.Published 15 days ago by Charlene K. Himes
Enjoyable psychological horror story written in the last century. Good suspense without a lot of graphic violence. It may not have enough action for today's audience. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Carpebiblio
i have read this book at least 5 times. and i am sure i will read it againPublished 1 month ago by redmontana
When Ned Constantine and his wife Beth blunder upon Cornwall Coombe and an old, dilapidated house in it-- a house dating from the 1700s-- they think they've found the answer to... Read morePublished 1 month ago by SFReader
This is now the 2nd novel of Thomas Tryon that I have tried to slog my way through, the first one being The Other, and both books left me feeling the exact same way...... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Michelle Christine
It takes nearly the entire book to get interesting and somewhat creepy. His book The Other was much better.Published 1 month ago by Mary Blanchard
The writing was great, the story was engrossing BUT the end was just plain gross and horrible. This one is definitely not for the faint of heart. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Sweetcheeks