“... a mind needs books as a sword needs a whetstone, if it is to keep its edge.” ― George R.R. Martin, A Game of Thrones


Friday, 5 August 2016

Rosemary's Baby by Ira Levin

Rosemary's Baby is a 1967 best-selling horror novel by Ira Levin. It sold over 4 million copies making it the top bestselling horror novel of the 1960s. The commercial success of the novel helped launch a "horror boom", where horror fiction would achieve enormous commercial success.

Set in Manhattan's Upper West Side, it tells a story of modern-day Satanism and other occultism. In the beginning of this masterpiece of spellbinding horror, Rosemary Woodhouse and her struggling actor husband Guy moves into the Bramford, an old New York City apartment building with an ominous reputation and mostly elderly residents. Soon after, neighbours Roman and Minnie Castavet comes to welcome the Woodhouses to the building. Despite Rosemary's reservations about their eccentricity,their strange friends and the weird noises that she keeps hearing, her husband seems to like them. Shortly after Guy lands a plum Broadway role, Rosemary becomes pregnant.The Castavets and their bizarre group of friends start taking a special interest in her welfare and as the sickened Rosemary becomes increasingly isolated, she begins to suspect that the Castavets' circle is not what it seems.

The book was adapted into a film of the same name in 1968. It was  written and directed by Roman Polanski. The movie earned almost universal acclaim from film critics, won numerous nominations and awards, and today is considered one of the greatest American horror films ever made.

It was also made into a two-part, four-hour television miniseries in 2014; directed by Agnieszka Holland and starring Zoe Saldana.Unlike earlier versions, it is set in Paris rather than New York. The work however, was not well received by critics.

A sequel of Rosemary's Baby, Son of Rosemary was released by Ira Levin. However, unlike its predecessor, it did not enjoy the same success.

About Ira Levin

Levin graduated from the Horace Mann School and New York University, where he majored in philosophy and English.

His first novel, A Kiss Before Dying, was well received, earning him the 1954 Edgar Award for Best First Novel. A Kiss Before Dying was turned into a movie twice, first in 1956, and again in 1991.

Levin's best known play is Deathtrap, which holds the record as the longest-running comedy-thriller on Broadway and brought Levin his second Edgar Award. In 1982, it was made into a film starring Christopher Reeve and Michael Caine.

Other Levin novels were turned into movies, including The Boys from Brazil in 1978; The Stepford Wives in 1975 and again in 2004; and Sliver in 1993.

Ira Levin died from a heart attack at his home in Manhattan, on 12 November 2007.



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