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Posts Tagged ‘1967’

Reading: Rosemary’s Baby

Rosemary's Baby
Rosemary’s Baby by Ira Levin
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Rosemary’s Baby is a creepy story, thanks primarily to how happy Rosemary remains for most of the book. She has the perfect apartment with her loving husband who is on the cusp of his acting career taking off, all of her neighbours are so friendly and helpful, and, above all else, she is pregnant with the baby that her husband has only just decided he wants to have, with one of the best doctors in the city to see her through the pregnancy. Sure, there are some weird events around the building and the neighbours occasionally do some odd things, but all in all things couldn’t be much more perfect for her.

As the reader you can see what Rosemary does not. You know why the apartment was recently vacated, you know why her husband’s career and attitudes have taken a sudden turn, you know why the neighbours are always eager to pop by, taking the place of her existing friends and always bringing specially-prepared food and drinks, you know why the doctor gives the advice that he does, and you know why the pregnancy proceeds in an unusual way.

Rosemary isn’t oblivious so much as she’s just sensible. Whenever she starts to feel like something is off there is always somebody to make her believe she’s being irrational or ridiculous, whenever her old friends grow alarmed or suspicious circumstances always manage to create distance between them and Rosemary, and mostly she doesn’t want to believe the truth because it would be so horrible and fantastical. When the truth makes less sense than the lie it’s so much easier to accept the lie.

When the end does come it’s horrifying and terrible in its implications, but there are no maniacal villains, no snarling monsters or great battles. There are just seemingly-normal, reasonable people doing abnormal, horrible things. They could be anybody, and that’s very unsettling.

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