Monday, 16 December 2013

ROSEMARY'S BABY by Ira Levin

After the success of THE STEPFORD WIVES, I decided I was in the market for more 1970s thrillz. I chose ROSEMARY'S BABY on the basis that I'd heard of it. It's not as good WIVES but I did manage to polish off the entire thing in a few hours on a Sunday morning before I got out of bed, so it certainly qualifies as easy reading.

Interestingly, Levin chooses again to write as a woman, the Rosemary of the title, who is a young lady newly married to an actor. They move into a new flat which they are very excited about, only learning later of it's dark history of suicides (DUM DE DUM DUM!). Rosemary really wants to have a baby, and Levin tells us all sorts of things he imagines about womens' periods, which is sort of interesting as a window on the male mind. Her husband does not want to have a baby, but after they meet a sweet old couple who live across the hall he suddenly changes his mind. Rosemary becomes pregnant after a series of strange dreams, and her husband's career suddenly starts going extremely well.

Her friend comes to visit her, and noticing the smell in her apartment, the black candles the couple across the hall gave them, and various other bits and pieces . . . REALISES HER BABY HAS BEEN SOLD TO THE DEVIL. Yes, it's pretty awesome. Her husband has let her be raped by the devil so that she can have Satan's child. It all gets dumber from there, but her attempts to escape are entertaining, as is the final reveal of the Satanic child. Think: black bassinette, booties for the claws, All Hail Adrian (?) etc. Excellent Sunday morning reading. Put me in a good mood for the whole day.

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