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Rosemary's Baby #1

Rosemary's Baby

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Rosemary Woodhouse and her struggling actor-husband Guy move into the Bramford, an old New York City apartment building with an onimous reputation and only elderly residents. Neighbours Roman and Minnie Castavet soon come nosing around to welcome them and, despite Rosemary's reservations about their eccentricity and the weird noises she keeps hearing, her husband starts spending time with them. Shortly after Guy lands a plum Broadway role, Rosemary becomes pregnant and the Castavets start taking a special interest in her welfare.

As the sickened Rosemary becomes increasingly isolated, she begins to suspect that the Castavet's circle is not what it seems.

229 pages, Paperback

First published January 1, 1967

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About the author

Ira Levin

68 books1,436 followers
Levin graduated from the Horace Mann School and New York University, where he majored in philosophy and English.

After college, he wrote training films and scripts for television.

Levin's first produced play was No Time for Sergeants (adapted from Mac Hyman's novel), a comedy about a hillbilly drafted into the United States Air Force that launched the career of Andy Griffith. The play was turned into a movie in 1958, and co-starred Don Knotts, Griffith's long-time co-star and friend. No Time for Sergeants is generally considered the precursor to Gomer Pyle, USMC.

Levin's 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.

Levin's best known novel is Rosemary's Baby, a horror story of modern day satanism and the occult, set in Manhattan's Upper West Side. It was made into a film starring Mia Farrow and John Cassavetes. Ruth Gordon won an Oscar for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for her performance. Roman Polanski, who wrote and directed the film, was nominated for Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium.

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.

Stephen King has described Ira Levin as "the Swiss watchmaker of suspense novels, he makes what the rest of us do look like cheap watchmakers in drugstores." Chuck Palahniuk, in , calls Levin's writing "a smart, updated version of the kind of folksy legends that cultures have always used."

Ira Levin died from a heart attack at his home in Manhattan, on 12 November 2007. He was seventy-eight at the time of his death.

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5 stars
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 6,240 reviews
Profile Image for Federico DN.
394 reviews785 followers
September 10, 2023
Baby fever.

Rosemary and Guy Woodhouse are moving to the Bramford, an apartment complex in NYC renowned for its long history of tragic incidents. But they don’t care; once Guy’s acting career starts picking up, their plan is to start a big family. And when Guy finally gets his big break, and Rosemary gets pregnant, everything seems happy and according to plan. But then Rosemary’s health starts deteriorating, and strange events start happening all around them. Something is wrong. Something is very wrong.

A lovely horror classic. Not gruesome in the slightest, but scary enough to make your skin crawl through almost all the ride. Highly suspenseful. Consistently creepy. Very easy to read. Recommendable. And looking forward to the sequel.

Thanks to Inciminci for this wonderful first buddy read.

The movie (1968) is a decent adaptation. Extremely faithful to the book, yet not nearly as great as. Although nicely executed, the smooth pacing. the suspenseful atmosphere and the thrilling buildup hardly equals the quality displayed in the book. Some parts felt very awkward, and we never get to see Rosemary's baby, which I believe would'e made a much greater ending. Still, decent to watch, all things considered, and a great complement to the reading.

[1967] [229p] [Horror] [3.5] [Recommendable]
[Krzysztof Komeda - Lullaby]

★★★★☆ The Stepford Wives
★★★★☆ Rosemary's Baby [3.5]
★☆☆☆☆ Son of Rosemary [1.5]


Fiebre de bebé.

Rosemary y Guy Woodhouse se mudan al Bramford, un complejo de apartamentos en NYC reconocido por su larga historia de trágicos incidentes. Pero a ellos no les importa; una vez que la carrera de actor de Guy empiece a despegar, su plan es empezar una gran familia. Y cuando Guy finalmente tiene su gran oportunidad, y Rosemary queda embarazada, todo parece feliz y acorde al plan. Pero luego la salud de Rosemary se empieza a deteriorar, y extraños eventos empiezan a suceder en todo su alrededor. Algo está mal. Algo está muy mal.

Un hermoso clásico de horror. No sangriento en lo más mínimo, pero lo suficientemente aterrador como para darte piel de gallina durante casi todo el viaje. Altamente suspensiva. Consistentemente siniestra. Muy fácil de leer. Recomendable. Y con muchas ganas de leer la secuela.

Gracias a Inciminci por esta maravillosa primera lectura conjunta.

La película (1968) es una decente adaptación. Extremadamente fiel al libro, pero no tan genial como. Aunque bellamente ejecutada, el suave ritmo, la atmósfera suspensiva y la emocionante acumulación difícilmente iguala a la calidad reflejada del libro. Algunas partes se sintieron muy raras, y nunca llegamos a ver al bebé de Rosemary, que creo hubiera hecho un mucho más genial final. Aún así, muy decente de ver, considerando todo, y un gran complemento para la lectura.

[1967] [229p] [Horror] [3.5] [Recomendable]
[Krzysztof Komeda - Lullaby]
Profile Image for Emily May.
1,990 reviews298k followers
July 10, 2022
I first read this when I was about thirteen/fourteen and don't remember that reading at all.

I then watched the movie when I was about eighteen/nineteen, which I remember better and didn't really like. Bit too weird for me.

Third time lucky, I guess. I thought this was a great read in 2022. Super easy to read, eerie, unsettling, and the second Levin I've read where women are gaslighted by those around them, which is something I find especially terrifying-- I understand both sexism (being labelled "hysterical" or "crazy" for normal emotions) and mental illness, so when both are used against you at once and you can't quite be sure which is at play, whether the people around you are out to get you or your own mind is, that is a really scary situation.

It is also a testament to an author's skill when the fate of minor side characters has a big impact, I feel.
Profile Image for Jeffrey Keeten.
Author 3 books248k followers
January 23, 2020
”She opened her eyes and looked into yellow furnace-eyes, smelled sulphur and tannis root, felt wet breath on her mouth, heard lust-grunts and the breathing of onlookers.”

Nightmare? Passionate dream? Real? How could it be real? It can’t possibly be real.

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Rosemary Woodhouse wants a baby. She is married to an actor named Guy. They have recently broken another lease to take an apartment in the exclusive Bramford Building. Guy, who glibly uses his acting skills to spin stories, has no difficulty extracting them from the first lease to take the open apartment in the Bramford. After all, that is what Rosemary wants.

Whenever any of us look back on our lives, we can usually point to a specific moment in time when we made one decision that sent us down a pathway that led us, hopefully, only briefly, astray from the pursuit of happiness. None of us, or maybe I should say few of us, can see the future. We have to make our best guess, hopefully based on more logic than a hope of luck. The apartment at the Bramford had more Gothic overtones, detailed woodwork, and certainly a more interesting location than the other apartments the Woodhouses had looked at. Although smaller than some of the other places, having a hip apartment, especially to young pseudo-intellectuals, is much more important than a few extra square feet of space.

They should have kept the first lease on the other apartment.

I can’t help but think of Bram Stoker every time the Bramford name dances before my eyes on the pages of this book. Strange things have routinely happened in this apartment building. Unexplained, sometimes brutal, deaths have occurred too frequently to be ignored, especially if you are an inquisitive man, such as Rosemary’s dear friend Edward Hutchins. He, on further investigation, finds that there are far more sinister stories surrounding the history of that building than are known by the general public. He discourages Rosemary from continuing to live there, but she is a rational, modern woman who doesn’t believe that a building can have sinister connotations.

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Polanski used the Dakota for the outside shots of the Bramwell building.

She might ignore the past and the warnings that come with it, but she does feel flutters of unease that are based more on what can easily be quantified as primordial superstition than on any real basis of fact. Coincidences do happen and can seem ominous or alarming to someone who is already hearing the tap tap tap of paranoia on the door of reason.

Their next door neighbors are Roman and Minnie Castevet, who seem to be a well meaning, overly friendly, almost smothering, older couple. They are delighted to hear the news when Rosemary is pregnant. They suggest a more fashionable obstetrician and even a different regimen of vitamin enriched drinks than what her previous doctor had recommended. Rosemary goes along because Guy is so insistent, but the longer it goes on, the more suspicious she becomes of everyone’s motives.

Run, Rosemary, run!

I’ve been wanting to read this book for years. I’ve put off watching the famous movie by Roman Polanski because I wanted to read the book first. The story has become such a classic icon that people know the bare bones of the story without ever having read the book or seen the movie. The pacing of the book is simply a superb example of a writer who knows how to build tension and unease. By the time Rosemary is approaching the bassinet to see her baby for the first time, I was biting my knuckles, and the hackles on the back of my neck were not only raised but vibrating. I know what she is going to see, but until I read the words, I can hold off fully realizing the implications.

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I loved the fact that Rosemary is a reader. Two books that were mentioned that stand out were Flight of the Falcon by Daphne Du Maurier and The Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire by Edward Gibbon. I love it when books are part of the lives of the characters I read about. I’m a huge fan of Du Maurier and plan to read Rosemary’s choice soon. I was even more impressed by her taking on Gibbon. I have six volumes of Gibbon staring me in the face every time I pick my next book to read. Yes, yes, I will read Gibbon. I must read Gibbon to call myself a reasonably educated man.

Rosemary’s Baby was published in 1967, the year of my birth, and has held up superbly, certainly much better than I have. It is a quick, flashy read that will give chills and thrills to all but the most jaded modern reader.

If you wish to see more of my most recent book and movie reviews, visit http://www.jeffreykeeten.com
I also have a Facebook blogger page at:https://www.facebook.com/JeffreyKeeten
Profile Image for Ahmad Sharabiani.
9,564 reviews45 followers
August 29, 2021
Rosemary's Baby (Rosemary's Baby #1), Ira Levin

Rosemary's Baby is a 1967 horror novel by American writer Ira Levin, his second published book.

The book centers on Rosemary Woodhouse, a young woman who has just moved into the Bramford, an old Gothic Revival style New York City apartment building, with her husband, Guy, a struggling actor.

The pair is warned that the Bramford has a disturbing history involving witchcraft and murder, but they choose to overlook this. Rosemary has wanted children for some time, but Guy wants to wait until he is more established.

Rosemary and Guy are quickly welcomed to the Bramford by neighbors Minnie and Roman Castevet, an eccentric elderly couple.

Rosemary finds them meddlesome and absurd, but Guy begins paying them frequent visits. After a theatrical rival suddenly goes blind, Guy is given an important part in a stage play.

Immediately afterward, Guy unexpectedly agrees with Rosemary that it is time to conceive their first child.

Guy's performance in the stage play brings him favorable notices and he is subsequently cast in other, increasingly important roles; he soon begins to talk about a career in Hollywood.

After receiving a warning from a friend, who also becomes mysteriously ill, Rosemary discovers that her neighbors are the leaders of a Satanic coven, and she suspects they intend to steal her child and use it as a sacrifice to the Devil.

Despite her growing conviction, she is unable to convince anyone else and soon becomes certain that there is no one actually on her side, least of all her own husband. Ultimately, Rosemary finds that she is wrong about the coven's reason for wanting the baby — the baby that she delivers is the Antichrist, and Guy is not actually the father, Satan is.

تاریخ نخستین خوانش: روز دوم ماه ژانویه سال 2017میلادی

عنوان: بچه ی رزمری؛ نویسنده آیرا لوین؛ مترجم: محمد قائد؛ تهران، نشر کلاغ، 1394، در 291ص، شابک 9786007656006؛ موضوع داستانهای نویسندگان ایالات متحده آمریکا - سده 20م

بچهٔ رُزمری، رمانی کوتاه یا داستانی بلند، از یکی از بهترین نمونه‌ های ایجاد تعلیق، میان «وهم» و «واقعیت» است؛ «رومن پولانسکی» از روی همین کت��ب، فیلمی درخشان ساختند، در بسیاری موارد، برگردانِ سطر به‌ سطر، و حتی کلمه به کلمه ی رمان «آیرا لوین»، به تصویر کشیده شده است؛ پرداختن به فراواقعها، معمولاً با دلهره، و سایه‌ روشن��هایی پر رمز و راز، همراه است؛ «بچه ی رُزمری»، دلهره ی ماوراء طبیعه را، وارد اتاق نشیمنِ پر از رنگ و نورِ آدمهایی عادی، و حتی مضحک می‌کند؛ وارد کردنِ رخدادهای فوق طبیعی، در زندگی روزمره، راهگشای ژانری در ادبیات عامه‌ پسند شد؛ که پس از چندین دهه، همچنان پرخواستار است؛ محمد قائد - از پشت جلد کتاب

رزماری، و «گای وودهاوس» زن و شوهر جوانی هستند، که علیرغم توصیه ی دوست نزدیکشان «هاچ»، به آپارتمانی قدیمی در «برانفورد» نقل مکان می‌کنند؛ در همسایگی آنها، زوج مسنی به نامهای «مینی» و «رومن کستوت» زندگی می‌کنند؛ «مینی» و «رومن»، به سرعت با «گای» طرح دوستی می‌ریزند؛ رخدادهای عجیب و غریبی، برای اطرافیان «رزماری» رخ می‌دهد: زن جوانی به نام «تری» که در رختشویخانه آپارتمان، با «رزماری» آشنا می‌شود، به طور ناگهانی می‌میرد؛ هنرپیشه‌ ای که رقیب کاری «گای» به شمار می‌آمد، ناگهان بدون هیچ دلیلی کور می‌شود و ...؛ «رزماری» نسبت به همسایه‌ هاشان مشکوک است، اما «گای» تردیدهای او را بی‌ پایه می‌داند، و هرچه بیشتر از او فاصله می‌گیرد؛ «رزماری» باردار می‌شود، و تصور می‌کند، همسایه‌ هایش، نقشه‌ هایی برای او و نوزادش دارند...؛

تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 01/07/1399هجری خورشیدی؛ 06/06/1400هجری خورشیدی؛ ا. شربیانی
Profile Image for Mario the lone bookwolf.
805 reviews3,849 followers
July 5, 2020
The very rare case of a slow moving, nevertheless suspenseful soft horror novel mainly using characterization and worsening foreshadowing to thrill the reader.

This one really stays in mind because of the end nobody would suspect and an accelerating thrill and feeling of discomfort I´ve hardly ever seen performed this way. It starts friendly, does a bit of creepy exposition, and gets more and more disturbing for the lead protagonist, culminating in a great wtf moment. Really, why can´t it always be such a

The sexism is a bit exaggerated, even for the late 60s, but how it shows the oldfashioned thoughts and mindsets surrounding motherhood and feminity has the extra bonus of a bit of social cultural studies, although I suppose that Levin possibly integrates a bit of his own mindset here too. That´s of course highly subjective and I don´t know it, but it could be the explanation for the a bit over the top manly masculinity that is contrasted with and compensated by satanism and occultism but whatever, all the same 1st and 2nd millenium trash.

The today hilarious idea of a woman could be today's black comedy material. But a very well written one.

It must be creepy to read this as a woman in general and especially as a mother, because it subverts the idea of pregnancy by dealing with the fear about the health of the unborn child . I imagine it longer, with more bam, blood, and gore, escalating to the end and followed by a worthy second part, not the seemingly bad if one believes the ratings, such as I tend to do, jay, collective intelligence.

Tropes show how literature is conceptualized and created and which mixture of elements makes works and genres unique:
Profile Image for Anne.
4,058 reviews69.5k followers
January 27, 2023
Having Satan's demon baby was a frightening thought when I was younger.
Now, quite frankly, the most terrifying thing I can think of would be giving birth to a mid-life oops baby.


But to be fair, Rosemary's ovaries aren't trying to cough out some leftover egg that will ruin her retirement plans.
No, she's young and excited and wants to experience the joys of motherhood.
Spoiler Alert for all First Time Mothers:


Rosemary and her husband, Guy Woodhouse, have just moved into her dream apartment in NYC. He's a working actor who has had a few successes and they're able to live comfortably, but his career could go either way.
Honestly, she should have been suspicious of the turn her life was going to take the moment she married an actor named Guy.
But she wasn't.
Remember how it felt to be in love and invincible with all the promises of youth, just waiting for your life to start?


Neither do I. I live in the land of cold adulthood, bad lighting, and too much wine in the evenings.
Evenings start at 4, right?
Don't answer that.
But Rosemary hasn't experienced the harsh slap of reality on her still youthful face. She and Guy are a happily married couple who like to do all the normal things that young people do with other young people. Parties, theater, dinners, etc.


But all that changes when they meet their elderly neighbors.
After the initial wrinkling of his nose at having to dine with the old farts next door, Guy suddenly switches gears, insisting that all their time should be spent hanging out with Minnie and Roman Castevet. Rosemary's life becomes one endless slog of staying in, eating casseroles, and talking about the best sort of liniment to put on arthritic joints.


On the upside, Guy decides that he's finally ready to start a family with Rosemary.
And after a night of drinking too much booze, Rosemary passes out, has a nightmare, and wakes up pregnant. Supposedly by Guy.


But hey, I was pleasantly surprised that Ira Levin had Rosemary get so upset and angry over Guy having sex with her while she was unconscious. I don't think that kind of spousal rape was much talked about when this book was written, and while she does eventually talk herself into trying to be ok with what happened, he brought up a lot of fantastic talking points because of that scene. So. Good for you, dude.


You get a front-row seat to some first-class gaslighting, too. As little things that don't seem quite right to Rosemary slowly reveal themselves to be completely sinister. By the time she figures out what's happening, it's too late.
As in, the contractions have started.
The doctor she goes to for help calls her husband to come pick up his hysterical wife. And with that comes the dawning horror that her story of Satanists and magic spells won't be believed by anyone, and she's completely on her own.


Of course, she assumes that this cult want to sacrifice her child to the devil and fights like hell to save her baby.
Oh, if only things were that simple, Rosemary.


Turns out, it's not actually a scary book. A lot of weird stuff, but none of it what I would call spine-tingling.
I liked that ending, though.

Narrated by Mia Farrow <--very cool, btw.
Profile Image for Delee.
243 reviews1,133 followers
March 26, 2017
I knew from a young age that I probably didn't have the maternal instinct that is necessary to raise a child. I hated dolls- they creeped me out, and instead of dressing up the ones I was given as gifts- the dolls sat in the corner in various stages of undress- while I wheeled my cat whiskers around in a baby carriage- showing off his cute bonnets and frilly dresses. He was the best dressed kitty in the neighborhood. And if my parents were not convinced then, that I would never give them grandchildren- they knew later on when in grade 7- the "great baby/egg" school assignment was given. I killed 5 egg-babies in a week (by accident of course), and ate the last one for breakfast when the experiment was over.

If I had read ROSEMARY'S BABY when it first came out- it definitely would have convinced me even further that making babies wasn't for me...

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When a four bedroom apartment finally comes available in The Bramford building- newlyweds Rosemary and Guy Woodhouse- ignore the warnings from their friend Hutch- that the building is cursed- and excitedly sign a lease.

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Rosemary thinks The Bramford will be the perfect place to raise a child, and is hoping after they settle in -Guy- an aspiring actor, will warm to the idea of having a baby.

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Shortly after the couple move in- Rosemary meets her first neighbor in the laundry room- Terry- a young woman, down on her luck, who has been welcomed in by the elderly couple next door. The two new friends make a pact to do their laundry together on a weekly basis- since they both find the basement a little scary and unpleasant...but before their next laundry date- Terry falls to her death from the top of the building- the police rule it a suicide.

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Rosemary is shaken, and at first can't believe that the cheerful and optimistic woman she met could have intentionally taken her life- but after meeting the people that were caring for Terry- Roman and Minnie Castevet- she dismisses any questions she had. The Castevets are a little odd but seem warm and friendly.

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...and Guy is becoming quite close to Roman- thinking of him as a father figure. Who is she to judge???- especially since the closer Guy gets to Roman- the more enthusiastic he is about having a baby.

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Before she knows it Rosemary is pregnant, Guy's acting career blossoms and just when everything is going their way...the nightmare begins...

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ROSEMARY'S BABY is the third Ira Levin book I have read- and I haven't been disappointed yet! The only thing I wish is that I had read it loooooong ago- because it would have been much more fun to have been surprised and shocked by the ending.
Profile Image for Candi.
622 reviews4,714 followers
October 20, 2017
"She didn’t know if she was going mad or going sane…"

Well, this classic horror novel certainly hit the spot this month! You simply can’t go wrong with pure and ‘simple,’ subtle fright for some pre-Halloween entertainment. This is a book very firmly set in the period of 1966 New York City, yet it never feels outdated on the creepiness scale! It has such a nightmarish quality that seeps into your psyche and makes you wonder on whom you can truly rely. Are people something other than what they appear to be on the surface? Even those we most depend on – can they betray our trust in them?

I absolutely loved the setting for this one. Rosemary and Guy Woodhouse are newly married, Guy is trying to establish his acting career, and the couple tosses around the idea of having their first baby. But first Guy wants to settle into a new home and make a name for himself. He is ambitious, and sweet Rosemary is supportive. When the opportunity arises to secure an apartment at the highly sought-after Bramford, the Woodhouses jump at the chance. "The Bramford, old, black, and elephantine, is a warren of high-ceilinged apartments prized for their fireplaces and Victorian detail." The perfect backdrop for what is to follow! For, the Bramford, despite its illustrious address, has a lurid history. And we all know that history has a way of repeating itself.

I’m not going to tell you much more – likely, you are familiar with the story already. The movie was such a huge hit and is still popular even today. If you don’t know it, then suffice to say that this book should thoroughly scare the crap out of you! For me personally, this brand of horror is the ultimate. Forget about Jason, Freddy Krueger, Michael Myers, or even Chucky – grab a copy of Rosemary’s Baby instead and be prepared for some exquisite terror. While the overall plot is not dated, I should mention that occasionally the language itself is just that – some racist vocabulary which I could do without. This was sporadic and an unfortunate consequence of the time in which this was written, but worth mentioning for those that may be turned off. Other than that, I do like Ira Levin’s straightforward prose and his clever writing – in both this as well as Deathtrap. Next Levin novel up - perhaps The Stepford Wives.
Profile Image for Johann (jobis89).
672 reviews4,289 followers
January 30, 2021
“What have you done to his eyes?!”

Rosemary’s Baby has shot up into my top 5 fiction reads of 2020 (only 50-odd years after its release)! Given that I’m such a fan of the movie and after hearing that the two are incredibly similar, I didn’t expect the book to feel so fresh and be THAT enjoyable, but I am more than happy to admit I was dead wrong.

If you’re unfamiliar with the set-up of Rosemary’s Baby, here’s a brief synopsis. Rosemary and Guy Woodside move into a New York City apartment where their neighbours, an elderly couple, develop a weird interest in them, particularly when Rosemary becomes pregnant.

First and foremost, Levin’s writing is an absolute dream. It’s relatively simple and straightforward, using the perfect amount of description - it begs to be devoured. The kind of book you’ll stay up late to squeeze in one more chapter!

Rosemary herself is a fantastic character, if a little naive. Surely losing weight, in addition to being in constant pain during your pregnancy, is NOT a good thing?! Use your brain, Rosemary!! Or seek a second opinion from a different doctor, I don’t know. But then again, this was the 1960s. Women often went along with whatever their husband said - I guess it’s reflective of the time period.

Rosemary’s Baby is a surprisingly chilling and sinister book - I didn’t expect to be so unnerved by it. I was fascinated by the dark history of their apartment block, learning about it was quite chilling. Levin effectively builds the tension as you progress through the story, and he truly nails it at the end, delivering one of the most memorable and iconic endings in horror.

If you’ve seen the movie and thought “what’s the point in reading the book? I know what’s going to happen” please reconsider! I was thoroughly impressed and would now rate this as one of my favourite horror books. 5 stars.
Profile Image for El.
1,355 reviews502 followers
October 27, 2014
Disclaimer: I am not marking this review as containing spoilers, because honestly, it's the 21st century and if you know nothing about the book or the movie, then that's just sad and shame on you (unless you don't like scary things, in which case you shouldn't even be on this page). If you don't want to know anything about the story, then please stop reading here.

Disclaimer 2: This is probably going to be a long review because I have a lot of thoughts. If you don't want to read a long review, then please stop reading here.

I read this in honor of my friend who is pregnant and will be giving birth in approximately 26 dayds. I want to make a lot of references to Rosemary's Baby to her every single day but that would be cruel because she also hates scary books/movies. So that's a bummer. But this goes out to her. I'm a true friend.

This is the story of Rosemary Woodhouse, a young woman married to a struggling actor named Guy (whose real name, I am sorry to say, is Sherman - a detail that doesn't come up in the movie, but I thought it was interesting enough to share) who is your standard Sixties WASP. Rosemary is your standard Sixties Housewife, all "Here's your dinner, Guy!" and "My poor husband with all his hard work..."

They have an opportunity to move into the Bramford, a lovely apartment building that Rosemary's friend and mentor, Hutch, tries to discourage them from taking. "It's full of eeeeviiiiil!" They're all "Pshaw, crazy ol' Hutch" and they take the place anyway because that's what people do when their friends warn them of evil.

They're befriended by a meddlesome elderly couple, Roman and Minnie, who live down the hall from them. Very quickly Guy's big break comes in the acting world, but at a price, as it turns out, because the only way anyone gets anything good in these sorts of books is if a deal is made with the devil. Rosemary, however, is oblivious to all of this because she doesn't know her husband has gotten in cahoots with their neighbors outside of just randomly hanging out with them and talking to them - which, I might add, wouldn't necessarily be strange on its own (some people really do like hearing old peoples' stories), but because Guy is a collosal prick (more on that to come), Rosemary is even a little confused by his interest towards them. But because she's a good Sixties Housewife, she doesn't really think much more about it. Or about anything, really.

Guy gets a bug up his ass suddenly and now he's all "Let's make a baby!" and starts monitoring her cycle and being really creepy about it. They share a romantic evening, Minnie brings over some questionable dessert for them to share, and soon Rosemary is drunk and Roofied because she was forced to eat the dessert despite the fact she didn't like it. Her "adoring" husband puts her bed, but soon enough he's removing her clothes, and weird things appear to be happening but she thinks it's all a dream. The next morning, however, when she's all scratched-the-shit-up and sore she realizes that maybe something actually did happen. She questions Guy who is all "I was drunk too! I couldn't contain myself! You make a hot incapacitated lady, sort of like a corpse! Whoopsies!" That's all paraphrased. The exact quote is "I didn't want to miss Baby Night."

Yeah, you're a dick.

Rosemary feels pretty violated, rightly so, but convinces herself she's just being silly because Sixties Housewives aren't raped by their husbands, Guy has had a really hard time of things, she's sure she's just being sensitive. Her feelings don't matter, it was probably her own fault for looking so sexy as an incapacitated corpse, right? And he apologized, so therefore—

And then Guy gets even creepier about it. "Hey, you start your period yet? No? You must be pregnant!" and they bet a quarter on it because that's what a healthy married couple does.

It does turn out that Rosemary is pregnant and she goes to a hot, Kildare-type doctor that she feels really comfortable with, but then allows herself to be coerced by Minnie, et al to see their doctor, Dr. Sapirstein. Because Rosemary is not in fact in control of her own body, or the child growing within, she goes along with this plan because she's just a silly Sixties Housewife without a mind of her own.

And Sapirstein! He's all anti-medication and "Come see me every single week" (because that's not creepy) and "Don't talk to anyone ever again." He allows Minnie to make these creepy drinks that Rosemary can drink that's full of things like tannis root and who knows what else. And Rosemary is all "Hey, great, I'll drink this, YOLO!" since the last time she ingested something Minnie made she was raped by her husband.

Rosemary doesn't make all the best choices. But don't get me wrong, I am not victim-blaming.

Of course then she has weeks of pain and she gets all gaunt, and Guy becomes the worst.

Signs Guy is an asshole:
-As previously stated, he rapes his wife while she is incapacitated and unable to give consent.
-Tells her the new Vidal Sassoon hairstyle that she got is "the worst mistake [she] has ever made in [her] entire life." That's pretty... harsh. I'm sure she's made bigger mistakes. Like, I dunno, marrying Guy.
-Calls her friends "bitches" when they show concern and try to take care of her during her pregnancy when she's all "The pain! The pain!" A guy who keeps his wife from her family and friends and then calls them names or feels threatened by their concern is not a good guy, kids.
-Throws a fit when Rosemary says she wants to go back to the Kildare-type doctor and uses money as an excuse and not wanting to hurt peoples' feelings and stuff. Uh, dude? Her body, her decision. I know that wasn't popular thinking in the Sixties, but you're still being creepy.
-He throws away a book that was given to Rosemary by Hutch who had fallen in a coma and subsequently died. It was the last thing he gave to her, though does that even matter? You do not throw away your wife's books, especially on the pretense that you know better than her. Period. That's divorce-material right there, buster.

Oh, there's so much more I'm sure, but those are really the highlights.

Moving on from all of that, now. So it turns out Roman and Minnie are part of a coven, most of the Bramford is in on it, and Guy is the newest member of the gaggle. He made a deal with the devil that if the devil knocks up his wife and the coven gets to keep the devil-baby, then Guy will have all the best roles. Since he's an abusive husband who does not truly love his wife so much as he wants to control her, this seems like appropriate action.

I've seen some reviews where people are all "This wasn't scary", to which I suggest maybe they're looking at the story in the wrong way... and I don't mean that pretentiously. (This time.) Yes, there's a demonic force and the book and movie land on all the Top Horror lists and stuff. But what makes it scary to me isn't the devil aspect (because I'm not a believer); rather because of all the stuff I discuss somewhat jokingly above.

It's a scary novel because Rosemary is property. She has no control over her body, her decisions, her thoughts, her feelings. She turns back to the Kildare-type doctor and tells him all of her concerns and she thinks she's going to be saved and it turns out that he totally rats her out to Sapirstein and her husband. Imagine the betrayal! Imagine being in danger and not being able to turn to anyone (because your husband has isolated you from everyone). Imagine being forced to have sex with anyone (demon or regular human) and not have any say in the matter, and especially imagine that when the sole purpose was to create another human (or, rather, devil spawn in this case). Imagine then being told you have to see a certain doctor, you cannot talk to your friends, you cannot do any research on your own, you have to have these disgusting drinks your neighbor makes for you, you are just a little lady who has no valid thoughts on her own. Imagine then being told you're prenatally "crazy" (which I believe Guy tells her a couple of times towards the end). Imagine you're told your child has died.

I may have a very flippant reaction to all of the above because I make jokes about Sixties Housewives and all, but the true, scary truth of the matter is this book is still relevant today. You hear about the "war on women"? Which is a real thing, but if you want to be picky about it, what is especially concerning is the "war on women's reproductive systems." Even now, in 2014, there are some people who are not allowed access to birth control. There are some people whose lives still mirror what Rosemary went through. (Hopefully without the devil-spawn.) Women are still being told what they should do with their bodies, how they should dress, how they should smile, how they shouldn't be offended or uncomfortable when someone on the street says anything to them ("It's a compliment, lighten up!"), and on and on and on.

This all happens. Every day.

Rosemary is given no choice in anything that happens to her throughout this novel. Is it frustrating to see how quickly she bends to Guy's will? Yes. Is it her fault? No.

This is what makes this a horror novel. The part about the devil and the coven is almost secondary. Take those parts out and it's still a horror novel. The sex scene is one of the scariest sex scenes in literature because we know what's really happening: Rape.

So, El, it totally sounds like you're super down on this book. Why the high rating? I know, it's contradictory, right? There's anti-Semitism, there are stereotypical references to women, blacks, and at least one Japanese character. It's dated, granted.

The movie is one of my all-time favorite movies and I despise Polanski as a person. The book is still a thrilling read. It's not high literature, but it's a quick and engrossing read. I thoroughly enjoyed the book even though I found myself ranting at it.

I think it's an important book, even if you want to pooh-pooh it for being genre fiction. There's more going on in these pages than just what everyone claims makes it a horror novel. All of the things I wrote about above are just as important today as ever, and I wish more people would read this book so they can understand that. Modern readers like to read this and laugh at it. Yes, it seems laughable, doesn't it? Except when you realize it's all so real, whether in 1967 or in 2014. There is a problem with our society, still, despite all of our advances. There's still a lot of work to be done.

That's what Rosemary Woodhouse taught me.
Profile Image for Rebecca.
265 reviews275 followers
December 7, 2021
Rosemary Woodhouse and her struggling actor-husband, Guy, move into the Bramford, an old New York City apartment building with a sinister reputation and only elderly residents. Neighbours Roman and Minnie Castavet soon come nosing around to welcome them; despite Rosemary's reservations about their eccentricity and the weird noises that she keeps hearing, her husband starts spending time with them. Shortly after the couple's desires become a reality; Guy lands a role on Broadway, Rosemary becomes pregnant, the neighbours start taking a special interest in her welfare. As the sickened Rosemary becomes increasingly isolated, she begins to suspect that the Bramford residents are not who they seem.

Rosemary’s baby was so effortless to read. Such a simple story idea that doesn't over complicate itself with too much detail. I enjoyed the author's style of writing, the flow and the ease of reading.

It’s a brilliantly written novel, but I will say it's a rough read at times. It deals with not only satanic discussion but topics of heinous and macabre violence.

That ending though. I wasn’t expecting it at all. I loved it. I’m glad I finally read this. Highly recommend 👌🏻
Profile Image for Mariel.
667 reviews1,069 followers
February 9, 2011
This is why I will never have children.
Profile Image for Joe Valdez.
498 reviews851 followers
September 11, 2017
What shocks me most about reading Rosemary's Baby is what fantastic fiction it is. Published in 1967, this thriller by Ira Levin flew off shelves and was adapted to film in 1968 by Roman Polanski into not only a prestigious studio picture but one that stands the test of time as one of the best horror films ever produced. In an afterword penned in 2003 and included in this edition, Levin expresses surprise by how faithful the hit film was to his book--preserving virtually all of the characters and scenes and even much of the author's dialogue--perhaps because no one told Polanski, making his first American film, that he was allowed to make changes.

Opening with the pop and the sizzle of a tabloid photo, the novel centers on Rosemary Woodhouse, a Manhattan wife in her early twenties who with her husband Guy, a striving actor, are notified that a four-room apartment has opened up in the Bramford, a 19th century building the couple has been wait listed for since their wedding. The available 7th floor apartment was once the back of a luxurious ten-room apartment, but even after being split, retains a large kitchen and bath, as well as five closets, one of which has been barricaded by a dresser it takes both Guy and the leasing agent to budge. Inside the closet they find nothing but a vacuum cleaner and linen.

Rosemary falls in love with 7E and is already planning to change the wallpaper as she urges Guy to get them out of a lease they've signed on another apartment (he phones in a fib to the landlord about joining a four-month USO tour of Vietnam). Born and raised in Omaha to a family of rigid Catholics she has separated herself from physically and spiritually, Rosemary believes in Guy, struggling to break out after minor roles in a couple of big plays and some commercial work that pays the bills. He notes that the theaters are all within walking distance of the Bramford, but Rosemary's patriarchal friend Hutch, a writer of boys' adventure novels, warns them against moving there.

"I don't know whether or not you know it," he said, buttering a roll, "but the Bramford had rather an unpleasant reputation early in the century." He looked up, saw that they didn't know and went on. "Along with the Isadora Duncans and Theodore Dreisers," he said, "the Bramford has housed a considerable number of less attractive personages. It's where the Trench sisters performed their little dietary experiments, and where Keith Kennedy held his parties. Adrian Marcato lived there too; and so did Pearl Ames."

"Who where the Trench sisters?" Guy asked, and Rosemary asked, "Who was Adrian Marcato?"

"The Trench sisters," Hutch said, "were two proper Victorian ladies who were occasional cannibals. They cooked and ate several young children, including a niece."

"Lovely," Guy said.

Hutch turned to Rosemary. "Adrian Marcato practiced witchcraft," he said. "He made quite a splash in the eighteen-nineties by announcing that he had succeeded in conjuring up the living Satan. He showed off a handful of hair and some claw-parings, and apparently people believed him; enough of them, at least, to form a mob that attacked and nearly killed him in the Bramford lobby."

Rosemary enthusiastically supervises the painting, furnishing and carpeting of her dream apartment, while Guy goes on auditions in the afternoon, his wife confident that his big break is coming. Their neighbors are heard but not seen: Minnie and Roman Castevet, an elderly couple who Guy concludes must be recluses or keep odd hours. Entering the creepy basement laundry, Rosemary meets a young woman named Terry, who was found on the street by the Castevets and can't say enough kind things about them. She shows Rosemary an amulet given to her for good luck; it contains a moldy smelling substance Terry calls tannis root.

When police find a jumper on the sidewalk, Rosemary and Guy help identify her as Terry. They meet Minnie and Roman Castevet at the scene and Rosemary offers her condolences. In the morning, Minnie Castevet pays Rosemary a visit to thank her. An energetic and nosy old bat, but kind, Minnie invites the couple for dinner. Guy tries to beg off, fearing that if they get too close to the old timers they'll never be rid of them, but over dinner, he's charmed by Roman's travel stories and his belief in Guy's potential. Guy cancels their plans with friends so he can visit the Castevets again. Rosemary finds it odd that their neighbors' bare walls showed signs of picture frames being taken down.

Rosemary begins to observe changes taking place around her. Guy lands a big break when an actor he lost a lead role in a play to goes blind and Guy is offered the part. He proposes to Rosemary that they have a baby, breaking his pattern of resistance to children. On the night they're planning to conceive, Rosemary receives a strange phone call from her estranged sister, wary that something bad had happened to Rosemary. Eating a chocolate mousse that Minnie prepared, Rosemary detects a chalky undertaste. Guy brushes it off and urges his wife to finish the mousse anyway. Dizziness sets in and Rosemary is taken to bed by her husband, where she has a vivid dream.

Below was a huge ballroom where on one side a church burned fiercely and on the other, a black-bearded man stood glaring at her. In the center was a bed. She went to it and lay down, and was suddenly surrounded by naked men and women, ten or a dozen, with Guy among them. They were elderly, the women grotesque and slack-breasted. Minne and her friend Laura-Louise were there, and Roman in a black miter and black silk robe. With a thin black wand he was drawing designs on her body, dipping the wand's point in a cup of red held for him by a sun-browned man with a white moustache. The point moved back and forth across her stomach and down ticklingly to the insides of her thighs. The naked people were chanting--flat, unmusical, foreign-tongued syllables--and a flute or clarinet accompanied them. "She's awake, see sees!" Guy whispered to Minnie. He was large-eyed, tense. "She don't see," Minnie said. "As long as she ate the mouse she can't see nor hear. She's like dead. Now sing."

Rosemary's dream culminates in her rape by something inhuman and a conviction that it's really happening to her. She wakes to discover scratches on her thighs. Guy apologizes for having too much to drink last night as well, admitting that he had sex with her while she was passed out. Rosemary is offended and feels her husband has become distant. Late for her period, she visits Dr. Hill, a young obstetrician recommended to her by a friend and receives the great news that she is pregnant. Elated, Rosemary also shares with Guy her concerns over how they've been treating each other. He apologizes for neglecting her for his play and promises a new start.

Guy rushes to share the baby announcement with the Castevets. Minnie offers to get Rosemary an appointment with one of the top obstetricians in the country, a Dr. Saperstein who is a good friend. While Rosemary is content with Dr. Hill, Guy urges her to accept the upgrade. Fearful of the unknown, Rosemary also accepts a good luck charm from Minnie in the tannis root amulet like Terry had worn. Visiting the elderly Dr. Saperstein, Rosemary is ordered to ignore the baby books or advice of her friends and to drink an all-natural milkshake he'll have Minnie Castevet prepare daily. When Rosemary experiences prolonged abdominal pain, Dr. Saperstein tells her it'll pass.

Hutch visits Rosemary in 7E and is shocked by how much weight she's lost. He questions the black candles in the apartment (provided by Minnie) and her amulet, packed with what smells like a fungus to him. Hutch phones Rosemary and asks her to meet him in the morning, but suffers a stroke before she can speak to him. His daughter ultimately delivers to Rosemary a parcel he meant for her. Inside is a book titled All of Them Witches. It offers clues that "Roman Castevet" is an anagram for "Steven Marcato," Adrian Marcato's son, and their neighbors dabble in modern day witchcraft. She presents her conspiracy theory to her husband.

Guy watched her for a moment. "What about Dr. Saperstein?" he said. "Is he in the coven too?"

She turned and looked at him.

"After all," he said, "there've been maniac doctors, haven't there? His big ambition is probably to make house calls on a broomstick."

She turned to the window again, her face sober. "No, I don't think he's one of them," she said. "He's--too intelligent."

"And besides, he's Jewish," Guy said and laughed. "Well, I'm glad you've exempted
somebody from your McCarthy-type smear campaign. Talk about witch-hunting, wow! And guilt by association."

"I'm not saying they're really witches," Rosemary said. "I know they haven't got
real power. But there are people who do believe, even if we don't; just the way my family believes that God hears their prayers and that the wafer is the actual body of Jesus. Minnie and Roman believe their religion, believe and practice it. I know they do; and I'm not going to take any chances with my baby's safety."

"We're not going to sublet and move," Guy said.

"Yes, we are," Rosemary said, turning to him.

He picked up his new shirt. "We'll talk about it later," he said.

"He lied to you," she said. "His father wasn't a producer. He didn't have anything to do with the theater at all."

"All right, so he's a bullthrower," Guy said; "who the hell isn't?" He went into the bedroom.

Rosemary sat down next to the Scrabble set. She closed it and, after a moment, opened the book and began to read the final chapter,
Witchcraft and Satanism.

Guy came back in without the shirt. "I don't think you ought to read any more of that," he said.

Rosemary said, "I just want to read this last chapter."

"Not today, honey," Guy said, coming to her. "You've got yourself worked up enough as it is. It's not good for you
or the baby." He put his hand out and waited for her to give him the book.

There have been plenty of novels about paranoia, with a protagonist confronted by incongruencies--hinting at a mental breakdown or a massive conspiracy against him--but Ira Levin operates on another level with Rosemary's Baby. His protagonist is a pregnant woman heavily dependent on her husband and her social structure and thus vulnerable to them. She finally wakes up and comes to fear that both she and her child are in danger. Her evidence inconclusive and theory improbable, she's told she's overreacting. While witchcraft is implausible, society's frequent mistrust of women is not. This makes the terror of the novel plausible.

As a protagonist, I don't cater sympathy for Rosemary Woodhouse, even as a woman of her era. Desperate to escape the control of her family, she surrendered control of her life to a husband, a man whose stagecraft comes with certain perks. Rosemary cut her deal with the devil at the county courthouse and Rosemary's Baby is about the devil coming to honor that contract. Regardless of one's views of marriage, the novel can be enjoyed as sinister, delightfully executed suspense. Levin writes with restraint and precision, introducing no detail he doesn't leverage later and engaging the reader's imagination to question whether anything supernatural is occurring at all.

In 1966, schlock horror producer William Castle put in the highest bid for the film rights to Rosemary's Baby, but in need of financing, went to Paramount Pictures, where a young production head named Robert Evans bet that the material would be a match for a young European filmmaker he wanted to work with named Roman Polanski. Evans used Polanski's love of skiing and promise of a skiing picture to get him to Los Angeles, where he convinced Polanski to consider Ira Levin's novel instead. The film is a masterwork of unease, duplicity and slowly pulsating doom, with Mia Farrow, John Cassavetes, Sidney Blackmer and in her Academy Award winning role, Ruth Gordon.

Profile Image for Celeste.
933 reviews2,381 followers
March 16, 2020
You can find this review and more at Novel Notions.

Thanks, Mr. Levin. I hate it.

I had so many problems with this book. Because I feel the need to vent about said problems, there will be an abundance of spoilers in the review below. I’ll try to keep things as vague as possible, but yeah. Spoilers. If you’re unfamiliar with the story and have any desire to read it without prior knowledge, please skip reading this review.

You have been warned.

I feel like one of the very few people in my part of the world who has never watched the movie Rosemary’s Baby, or at least been exposed to the story. Because I have in recent years developed a love for the horror genre, I’m trying to read some of the backlist of books that make up the genre’s classics. As this is a tiny little novel, barely outside of the novella length, I decided that it would be my next foray into said classics. I’m glad to be able to say that I’ve read it, and that’s about all the good I have to say about this book. I read it. That’s it.

Rosemary and Guy Woodhouse are a recently married couple who find luck turning in their favor when an apartment becomes available at the prestigious Bramford. The two move into their new home with glee and excitement, exulting in the building’s quirks and motley assortment of tenants. Two of these neighbors, Minnie and Roman Castevet, take the couple in as if they were long lost grandchildren. Rosemary begins experiencing some odd happenings as her husband’s acting career takes off and she finds herself finally pregnant with the child she’s been longing for. But her memory of the child’s conception is hazy at best, and the few details she does recall sound like something from a fevered nightmare so she refuses to see them as real. From there things spiral down for Rosemary. She finds herself consumed by pain and paranoia, and utterly isolated. She believes there is a malevolent force in her life, a conspiracy to steal her baby. And she’s not wrong. This is because her child is not fully human. You see, Guy isn’t the father. Lucifer is.

Okay, let me air my problems with this book. First, Rosemary is an incredibly weak and self-absorbed protagonist, and I didn’t find her the least bit likable. I felt sympathy for her, of course; she’s facing a terrifying situation that I wouldn’t wish on anyone. But some of her choices infuriated me. Yes, she did start fighting back near the end of her pregnancy, seeking to extract herself and her unborn child from their terrifying situation. But before coming to that decision, she accepted just about anything she was told or given, even if she protested somewhere inside herself. And when she would make a decision to see a different doctor or stop drinking Minnie’s sketchy vitamin drink, she was fairly easy to convince to change her mind and fall back into her previous patterns. Also, I couldn’t stand Guy. I’m trying to think of a more careless, callous, superficial character, but I’m coming up blank. I wanted to reach into the pages and strangle him, and give Rosemary a slap for not seeing through him sooner. But what really blew my mind was Rosemary’s decision at the end of the book. I was totally baffled by her response, which I won’t get into just in case you decide you do want to read it for yourself.

There were a couple of redeeming qualities to this book which kept me from rating it with one star instead of two. First, Levin had to have a massive set of figurative balls to stick with this ending. It was risky and has been controversial since the book was first published. Rarely does an author show evil winning the day, and that’s what Levin does here. Good doesn’t suddenly appear out of nowhere to vanquish said evil. It actually wins. Second, even though there were many elements of the book that felt cliche, you have to remember that this novel was written before they were cliche, and is more than likely a large part of how these elements have become and remained so prevalent in pop culture.

I can see why other horror fans love this book, I honestly can. But it really rubbed me the wrong way, especially theologically. I believe that the devil is real, and I know that the Church of Satan is an actual religion practiced by real people. My problem here was with how easily Rosemary, a lapsed Catholic, shrugs off this evil while believing that she could fight it singlehandedly. This argument sounded fragile and watery even in her own mind, and I doubt that she truly believed it. Rosemary’s Baby is all kinds of messed up, but it’s compelling, I’ll give it that. Read at your own risk, though, especially if you’re a practicing monotheist. Because Levin knows how to make believers in God feel super uncomfortable.
Profile Image for Kay ☼.
2,029 reviews764 followers
March 4, 2023
I'm not familiar with the story at all and never saw the movie before I started this novel. The only awareness I have of this classic is the image of the baby carriage. Thanks to Goodreads' "The Mystery, Crime, and Thriller" February's BoTM pick, I finally picked up this amazing horror.

What I enjoy about this book is the unsettling paranoia and tension throughout the story. Rosemary and Guy Woodhouse are looking for an apartment when a unit at the Bramford becomes available. Despite its bad reputation and history, Rosemary is eager to move to this gothic building and start a family.

Everything at the Bramford gives off a creepy vibe, especially the tenants. I really love this horror because it's not a gory kind. Her dreams are weird and I don't understand what's going on there. I found the second half better and unputdownable.

I was excited and chose to listen to this on audio with Mia Farrow reading. She's an obvious choice because of the film. Although this audio was published in 2005, her style and tone are exactly like the '60s movie. I can't say that I'm a fan but I got used to it.

The movie is true to the book and really good except for one tiny part

The book and movie are free to read/watch from archive.org
Book: https://archive.org/search?query=rose...
Movie: https://archive.org/details/rosemarys...
Profile Image for Bionic Jean.
1,256 reviews1,130 followers
August 8, 2023
Which do you prefer: to read the book first or to watch the movie?

I’m definitely in the “read it first” camp, and love to then watch a film which brings it all back to me—provided they haven’t changed too much. (Then I might turn into one of those annoying people who says “What?” loudly, in the cinema.)

In the case of Rosemary’s Baby however, I watched the film first. I’d never heard of it, not the book, nor the author. In fact when I did read the book for the first time a little later, I assumed the author to be Irish—and female. Witchcraft seemed to fit better with anti-Catholicism, and babies with women … but I need to start earlier.

The film had been released in 1968, and about three years later it was showing at an avant-garde cinema in Oxford, called the “Moulin Rouge”. You wouldn’t get any blockbusters there, but “edgy” films such as Pasolini’s “The Decameron” or the extraordinary film about Wilhelm Reich “W.R.: Mysteries of the Organism”. Most had subtitles for an English audience, but this was a rare occasion: a double bill of two films in English. One was “If ….”, a satirical film directed by Lindsay Anderson about a group of pupils who stage a savage insurrection at an English boys’ public (i.e. in England, a fee-paying boarding) school. It was teamed with Rosemary’s Baby, which I learned was an American psychological horror film.

At that time, my boyfriend was at Oxford University, and my friends were all Oxford undergraduates, and all male. Their backgrounds were either grammar, or public school, but their sexual orientation varied, and they were socially diverse, ranging from working to upper middle class. This was a time of grants, when academic ability determined who would enter universities. One friend assured the group that we must see this wonderful film about bullying and revolution in a public school. There was another film on with it—a bit trashy, he said, like a “Hammer Horror” film—but it was a double bill, so we might agreed we might as well just sit through it. It was probably showing because it was directed by Roman Polanski. Except that I didn’t just put up with it. I was alienated, then engrossed, then chilled to the bone, and when “If ….” came on I was still recovering from the first film.

After the film, we talked a bit, but I seemed to be on my own. In fact there wasn’t much of a consensus. My friends’ backgrounds were just too different from each other. One’s experience was exactly like the school in “If ….” and it was not so long ago, either. Of course he dreamed of blowing it all up! The others just shrugged. Yes, it was good. Any counterculture was good. They were not typical Oxford students of the time: not Toffs, Pseuds, Hearties (admitted solely on their sporting prowess) or Freaks. They—we—thought ourselves different.

And what made me on edge from the start about Rosemary’s Baby, was the mire of ordinariness. No, not the idea of amid a conventional happy home, which seems to be what terrifies most readers, but what I saw as the futility of the characters’ lives, the self-limited boundaries of their experience, and their unimaginative aspirations. This alienated me from the start; these characters were trapped. Only now can I see that this was a deliberate strategy; an underlying theme. Ira Levin was subverting the stereotype of the American dream. It was not my world, not at all, but then I did not need to be a part of it to know I would run a mile from it.

So we began with a typical all-American couple, Rosemary and Guy Woodhouse. Rosemary was a twenty-four year old woman from Omaha, Nebraska: a middle-of-the-road sort of place. She had been brought up as Rosemary Reilly, the youngest of six children in a Catholic family. But Rosemary disliked her family’s expectations of her, and left:

“an angry, suspicious father, a silent mother, and four resenting brothers and sisters”

all of whom had married early and made homes close to their parents. Rosemary though, moved to the bright lights of New York. She met and married Guy, an “ordinary guy” from Baltimore, who was a struggling actor. Now they were looking for a place to call home, and had just signed up for a charmless place without character, when an apartment in a much sought-after old building became available. This was the “Bramford”, an historic Gothic Revival-style New York City apartment building. * Rosemary was enchanted. It was old, and even had gargoyles. It was everything she ever dreamed of. She begged her husband Guy, to get them out of the contract somehow.

Readers today complain how accepting Rosemary is of her husband’s dominance. But this is part of Rosemary’s essential make-up. Just as the viewpoint character in Daphne du Maurier’s “Rebecca” is a mousy young woman, easily impressed and persuadable, so is Rosemary. Yet in both cases some readers misread this, and assume it is an objectionable indication of an earlier male-dominated society. In fact that is only a partial truth. Daphne du Maurier’s heroine remains unnamed throughout, to indicate her low self-image. It is not “old-fashioned”, and nothing to do with women’s position in the social hierarchy of the time, but a point about her psychology. In his 1967 novel Rosemary’s Baby, Ira Levin too has not bought into the convenient stereotype of a submissive female, as in most popular novels up to the 1960s. He is exploiting it, so that he can burst it wide open. Ira Levin’s central character does have a name, in fact, but it is a carefully chosen one: “Rosemary”. It includes both “Rose” for purity, and “Mary” the mother of Christ. This feeds into the allegorical aspect of the story.

As well as the mistaken criticism that the author’s ideas of female roles are dated in Rosemary’s Baby, a common criticism is that the views are racist. This idea comes about because the residents in the “Brampton”, and all the friends and theatre contacts of the young couple are white, although one key character later on is Jewish: Abe Sapirstein, a high society doctor. The one exception is Guy’s agent’s “negro girlfriend” who is a model, and very much an adjunct to the other characters. The word “negro”, as a simple description, gave me a start, but perhaps that is because I am English, and it was not an accepted term at the time.

In Rosemary’s Baby, the service providers, such as a “uniformed negro boy with a locked-in-place smile” operating the elevator, or “a bevy of negro laundresses [who] ironed and gossiped”, are usually described this way. They have no individuality, but are seen in terms of their colour and their ensuing low-grade job. It seems obvious that this is not the author, but the culturally biased social system in Manhattan at the time! Rosemary has a burgeoning sense of racial inequality, feeling: “self-conscious, clumsy and Negro-oppressing”.

Rosemary had had a convoluted dream . The later part was about the Pope and the Sistine Chapel, but the earlier part of the dream took place on a yacht. Various important people were there, such as President Kennedy, and also her family. The “Negro mate [was] holding the steering wheel unremittingly on its course”. She knew in the dream that that the mate hated her, and that he hated all white people. Far later, the lightbulb moment for Rosemary harks back to this specific fact in the dream. Diego, the elevator man smiles at her:

“Smiled because he liked her, favoured her over some of the other tenants.
The smile, reminding her of something in her, revived something,”

and from then on Rosemary fights. Fights for her life, and for that of her child. And what has triggered this positive action; this strive for freedom and independence, has been a minor character from an ethnic minority. This is clearly not a racist, or even a dated book. It looks frankly at those social mores, and judges.**

Into this microcosm of New York, and the ideal of the American Way, Rosemary arrives, excited at the idea of creating a home—hopefully complete with a baby. But Guy is ambitious, and wants to wait until he is better known, when his career will be more established. So far he has only appeared in small roles; in one stage play and various TV commercials. Rosemary is encouraging. Her husband is marvellously talented, and she tells him so over and over again. This first section of the book is all about her buying fabric and making curtains and loose covers, covering shelves with plastic, and similar domestic pursuits, though I seem to remember they employed a decorator. Odd, that. But the USA was different, I reminded myself. Just as cars, huge refrigerators and the latest gadgets were mandatory, the standard of living for a “struggling actor” seemed pretty lavish.

Guy had managed to sweettalk the estate agent of course; the first indication we have that he will easily lie when it is convenient. Rosemary does not seem to notice this. She has got what she wanted, gargoyles and all. Their apartment is huge! It had been built during 1880 to 1884, so yes, it must have seemed old to the characters in the story, although not to English readers. Oxford’s colleges date from the 13th century, and I could see gargoyles—real ones not replicas—if I lifted my eyes from the page. Yet how could this couple afford to rent so much space?

I had moved to Oxford by the time I read the book. I was disillusioned with the prescribed academic courses on offer, or “careers” in steady jobs. I wanted to think for myself, and got a job merely to pay the rent on my one room. It was tiny, just a bed, a wardrobe, a tiny “baby Belling” portable oven, a one bar electric fire and a washbasin. I had a “coin in the slot” meter, and shared use of the mouldy-walled bathroom in the basement. But I was happy, and free! I could change my room or my job at any time. I bought an old armchair from a junk shop, a card table and upright chair, and put up temporary shelves to hold my books, record player and art materials. I had my thoughts and my independence, and found Rosemary’s voluntary incarcerated situation, and those of her friends, horrific.

It’s likely I was not typical though. Called in for a reprimand by the librarian, I was told I had “upset” a fellow assistant. “She just wants to get married and have a baby—and you’re upsetting her”, I was told, and forbidden to say anything. Not that I knew what I had said— it puzzled me—but I hated to be unkind, so kept quiet. I was different. Perhaps others then, would have viewed this story differently. At what point would the horror have started for them, I wonder.

Perhaps with the arrival of some neighbours who are also on the 7th floor, Minnie and Roman Castavet. They are an eccentric, elderly couple, who do everything they can to welcome Rosemary and Guy to the Bramford. Rosemary likes Minnie at first: “enjoying this open forthright old woman with her loud voice and her blunt questions”. But soon she begins to think that Minnie is nosey and interfering, and “gets a smothery sort of feeling, as if they’re being too friendly and helpful”. The Castavets watch everything Rosemary does, and Minnie invariably thinks she has better ideas, often pressing food on them, or visiting. They seem to want to take over Rosemary’s life, especially when she falls pregnant.

But Guy makes her feel she is being unkind to a lonely old couple. After all, they are harmless and amusing, a bit like like Ma and Pa Kettle. Surely she can put up with their meddlesome habits? It is only because they care. Guy begins visiting them regularly, and Rosemary understands. (Of course she does.) He does not have a large family back in Omaha, as she does. They must feel like substitute parents, to him.

So the first section is full of little domestic details, and shopping for commercial items I did not know, as Rosemary makes her “nest”. If this had been written later, I might have suspected product placement, but it is really just a detailed account of a reasonably affluent, materialistic American couple. They are aware of current events, know contemporary styles and fashions in everything, and have seen the right plays to talk about with their friends—who are all exactly like they are.

Rosemary and Guy are worldly-wise and sceptical, with no particular belief system. Minnie and Roman are similar in this, with Roman’s comments about the “hypocrisy behind organised religion”, and Guy loves to hear his old actor stories. Roman seems to have known everyone in the theatre world! When their visitors have left, the long-suffering young couple are polite to all the other elderly residents: friends of Minnie and Roman, who visit them, and have strange parties where they seem to chant and play the flute or clarinet. At least, that is what it sounds like through the wall.

Parties. Bright conversation, artificial chatter and artificial food. And a hidden worry about the Brampton. Too many accidents have happened there. Too many cases splashed across newspaper headlines, of strange perverted people who have lived there. There have been accusations and claims of witchcraft, cannibalism, Satanic worship, suicide and infanticide, and earlier in the century it was called “Black Bramford”. But that was aeons ago! What about here and now? In the modern 1960s, with educated, rational people? This surely is mere superstition, Rosemary and Guy think. They are an enlightened, sophisticated couple, not living in the Dark Ages. Why, they even have a copy of the two volumes of the “Kinsey Report” on their bookshelves. But Rosemary’s friend “Hutch” (Edward Hutchins), a 54-year old English writer, whom Rosemary jokes is the Professor Higgins to her Eliza Doolittle (and who is the only appealing character in the book) is serious, and had warned them even before they moved in. And so it begins.

“The pain grew worse … and she stopped reacting, stopped mentioning it … stopped referring to pain even in her thoughts. Until now it had been inside her, now she was inside it; pain was the weather around her, was time, was the entire world.”

“The stubborn fact remains … that whether or not
we believe, they most assuredly do”.

Do we believe? Aren’t we too, enlightened, educated, and far too sophisticated to be taken in by this story? The Castavets’ message is that all religion is like showbiz. All superstition aside, Science had trumped God:

“In the obstetrician’s waiting room, a magazine headline blared, “Is God Dead?”

The truth is worse than Rosemary ever suspected, and the ending throws the reader completely off kilter. Once again, Ira Levin has broken the rules, and the ending is not what you expect, and more unnerving that anything that has gone before.

In Rosemary’s baby, the horror is not a monster lurking in the dark, waiting to cry “boo”, (or armed with a hatchet) but hidden in normality. We have references to Gothic tropes: the Brampton is evidently a parallel for a creepy old, haunted castle, with the “creaks and tremors” of the elevator, and the “eerie” basement, with passageways where footfalls whispered distantly and unseen doors thudded closed”.

Yet we are modern sceptics, and laugh at these ideas. Other gothic references are to Rosemary, as the story’s maiden; there is the central theme of Catholicism, and blood rituals, artefacts plus elements of incarceration and torture. Yet there is no monster save in a “dream”, and no deranged murderer. This evil wears a smiling, everyday face.

Ira Levin paces his 1967 novel (written in 1966) superbly. Once again, this second novel does not put a foot wrong. We are constantly on edge, wondering about the truth. The three sections parallel before, during and after, and the tension increases incrementally and precisely. Even when Rosemary seems to have discovered incontrovertible proof, what does this mean, after all? Isn’t it merely that a group of people have crazy beliefs? The ambiguity is maintained and perfectly controlled.

Rosemary’s Baby can be read as a spine-tingling horror, or as a humorous pastiche of horror stories. The story is packed with symbolism. Essentially it is an allegory about the , and has never been bettered, although it has spawned many imitations. Satan-themed horror novels such as “The Exorcist” and “The Omen” followed Rosemary’s Baby.

Its unnerving quality is due to the combination of the baroque and the Gothic, with the modern and the banal; the very “ordinariness”, which I found so suffocating back on my first encounter with the story. It has knife-sharp social observation, and pleasing constant references to other literature, such as:

““I’ll bet you still read Dickens.”
“Of course I do,” [Rosemary] said, ““Nobody stops reading Dickens.””

Very true! But Rosemary’s Baby, far from being a tacky horror story, is for me a modern classic.
Profile Image for Melina.
61 reviews59 followers
September 1, 2020
Είναι απ'τις σπάνιες περιπτώσεις που η αριστουργηματική ταινία του Πολάνσκι ξεπερνάει το βιβλίο κατά τη γνώμη μου. Μάλιστα ο ίδιος ο Πολάνσκι έδωσε μεγάλη έμφαση στο να μην παρεκκλίνει καθόλου απ'το βιβλίο και έκανε συχνές συζητήσεις με τον Ira Levin προσπαθώντας να αποδώσει πιστά τις εικόνες που είχε ο συγγραφέας στο μυαλό του όταν έγραφε το βιβλίο.

Δεν είναι καθόλου ατμοσφαιρικό, ούτε τρομακτικό και φυσικά όχι υψηλής λογοτεχνικής αξίας.
Είναι βέβαια κλασσικό βιβλίο και ενέπνευσε μεγάλη γκάμα ταινιών και βιβλίων.
Κυλάει αβίαστα και κρατάει αμείωτο το ενδιαφέρον, ειδικά στις τελευταίες σελίδες.

Profile Image for Carol.
1,370 reviews2,155 followers
February 18, 2017
ROSEMARY'S BABY is creepy as HELL!

I truly had no intention of reading this novel until I realized Ira Levin was the author. He sure could write creepy-scary too, and as with his other novels, he moves right along in the telling describing a 1966 New York City setting, young newlyweds Rosemary and Guy, and their new place of residence in the 'old' Bramford apartment building with a very dark history.

If you've only seen the scary as HELL movie, you'll find the book very similar, if not exactly the same, complete with weird 'old' nosy neighbors, smelly charms and potions, mysterious debilitating spells and suicides, and a very unpleasant and shocking encounter.

"This is no dream......This is real....This is happening."

Eerie and quietly suspenseful throughout, a must read classic for true horror enthusiasts, but definitely not for everyone.

Profile Image for Rachel (TheShadesofOrange).
2,206 reviews3,194 followers
August 19, 2021
4.0 Stars
This little novel certainly holds up a horror classic! Dark and twisted, this would be a wonderful (or terrible) book to read when pregnant. The story is very slow and quiet, but it has a good payoff in the end. I don’t always connect with classic literature, but I found this one to be very accessible and engrossing. I would highly recommend it to other horror readers.
Profile Image for Alex ☣ Deranged KittyCat ☣.
651 reviews406 followers
November 16, 2018

The horror of this book is not the devil, nor his baby-demon. The horror of this book is represented by the corrupt, deranged mortals who surround Rosemary, all of them led by Guy, her husband. He sold his wife's body for success. He drugged her, stood there and watched his wife being rapped by the devil.


He stood there and watched her conceive the devil's child... and getting tortured by the creature inside her for months.


And he stood there and watched while Rosemary was being used as a cow to milk, all the while letting her think her child was dead.

I despise him and his friends.

Profile Image for Em Lost In Books.
903 reviews1,813 followers
October 23, 2021
Almost to the last week of October and I picked this as my spooky read. No horor list is complete without this. Last time I voluntarily read a horror was "The Exorcist", and it was perfect. It scared me, gave me chills, and thrills. So I prepared myself this whole month to get scared to read this and this just fell short on every account. It read like mystery for the most part and when I thought there's going to be a showdown, some big revelation, blood bath, and it ended. It freaking ended!!

No spooky October for me. Sigh.
Profile Image for Melki.
6,031 reviews2,385 followers
October 21, 2021
" . . . the house has a high incidence of unpleasant happenings."

What are the three most important things to remember when shopping for real estate?

Location, location, and location

Ira Levin casts a dark shadow over a common desire - creating the cozy, welcoming home, a nest, if you will, in which to start a family. Poor Rosemary, and her husband, Guy, blunder right into a spider's web in their search for the perfect New York apartment. (If only they'd learned the golden rule my parents taught me at a young age: Avoid thy neighbor.)

If you're looking for chills that will keep you up all night, sit down with another book. Levin's novel is more parody than horror, a well-crafted spoof on the American dream. He conjures up an urban version of that white-picket-fence perfection that most little girls are brought up to believe can be theirs if only they are pretty enough, and marry well enough to achieve it. And, then he pisses all over it. Rosemary's simple wishes for a "normal," happy life, are all wrapped up in that tiny ball of cells growing in her uterus; under Levin's direction, those dreams blacken, and whither on the vine . . . in a most delightful way!

I'm waffling between four and five stars for this one, but I think I'll go with the higher rating as I would certainly be willing to read this again sometime. I liked it more than the movie; Mia Farrow always seemed miscast to me. The remake playing inside my head featured the egotistical Don Draper, and his superficial second wife, Megan . . . and I enjoyed every minute of it.

Profile Image for Eloy Cryptkeeper.
296 reviews196 followers
May 16, 2021
"No sabía si es que se estaba volviendo loca o volviendo cuerda; si los brujos sólo sienten ansias de poder o si su poder era verdadero y fuerte; si Guy era su amante esposo o el traicionero enemigo del bebé y de ella misma."

¿Una obra maestra de "terror minimalista"?
Logra impactar con lo que se percibe en el aire. Sin necesidad de escenas muy descriptivas, explicitas o escabrosas. Ni grandes diálogos, personajes o reflexiones. Aun así se te mete en la piel...
la idea, el concepto es lo verdaderamente importante. El peso recala en lo que transmite.
Tanto novela como película trascienden totalmente al género, y son parte de nuestra cultura popular.
July 18, 2022
Well, that was a rather rocky ride! I had heard of this book, but I'd never known what it was actually about. I think this probably aided my overall enjoyment of the book, because essentially I went in blind.

This book had me from the outset. It was atmospheric and chilling, without being overly so, which always kept me guessing what might happen next. I enjoyed how Levin used slow-burning tension, without everything happening all at once.

The characters were well crafted, but I cannot say I actually liked any of them. Rosemary was so naive it was decidedly stifling. I mean, she had gullible written all over her. There would be no way I'd consume any herby drink from some random I've-only-just-met-you neighbour had prepared for me, and I would have kicked Guy out ages ago.

I thought the writing was wonderful, easy to understand, and very effective for the story.

The only thing I didn't love was actually the ending. It was a little anticlimactic for me, but apart from that, a creepy but fun read!
Profile Image for Dannii Elle.
2,063 reviews1,473 followers
October 21, 2022
First Read: May 2020, Rating: 4/5 stars
Second Read: October 2022, Rating: 4/5 stars

Rosemary and Guy find the home of their dreams in an old New York apartment building. Their neighbours might not be just as ideal and a sinister past might haunt their new abode, but the fortune that soon follows their move-in forces them to forget all other sources of discontent. Well, at least until they become truly impossible to ignore...

This is a renowned title I had heard a lot about without ever having been aware of the details. I think my lack of prior knowledge benefited my reading experience as I was immediately sucked into the story and consistently intrigued with the journey to its haunting conclusion.

Whilst definitely a high-ranking member of the horror genre, this was a far more placid tale than I had anticipated. Some startling incidents occurred, yet, for the most part, this was highly focused on Rosemary and Guy's daily lives. The events, including the tension surrounding them, escalated at such a slow-rate that they almost seemed to come upon the reader unawares, with the first part being almost exclusively horror free, if sometimes still very disturbing.

This cleverly constructed tale culminated into something subtle yet horrifying that remained engrossing throughout and was definitely, for me, enhanced by the slow-burn tactics used to heighten the suspense.
Profile Image for Ginger.
786 reviews365 followers
November 20, 2019
Wow, what an ending!
You know Rosemary’s Baby is a great horror book because you’re in shock about that ending and you’re still thinking about it hours later!


This is the first book that I’ve read by Ira Levin and I was impressed.
Rosemary’s Baby is wrote in 1967 so it will be a bit dated with terms and language.

The plot was creepy and I despised about every character in this book. Well, except Hutch!
I think that’s the point. Are we suppose to like a character in this book after all that transpires?

We’re on the fence with Rosemary for most of the book and hoping for the best.
I kept thinking, “Open your eyes Ro! Can’t you see what’s going on around you? You’re too trusting.”

But if the scenario that’s going on in your mind is correct, are you crazy too?

I believe that’s the appeal of this book. The whole plot is so damn bonkers that you would be put in an asylum right along with Rosemary. You could hold hands together while walking down the hallway and then braid each other’s hair at night, right before the orderlies put you in a straight jacket!

I loved this effect in the book. I felt crazy and frustrated while reading it!
I loved how the tension just keeps building. I wanted to yell at Rosemary so many times that you’re not crazy! It’s just brilliant with how Levin gets this right in the book. The stress of being a backseat driver and not having any control about helping Rosemary out.


Definitely recommend this if you love classics and the horror genre. I’m really glad I finally read this and especially reading it before seeing the movie.

To the other 2 people out on Goodreads that hasn’t seen the movie or knows what will happen in this plot, read the book first! I think you'll love the shocking ending even more.
Profile Image for ALet.
291 reviews240 followers
October 24, 2020
★★★ /5
I don’t know how to feel about this book, it wasn’t bad, but not that good either. The plot was a little bit messy; the characters weren’t that bad. It was well written, but sometimes hard to understand. I really liked the ending.
Profile Image for Abby.
232 reviews47 followers
July 12, 2014
holy mother of fucksticles
4.75 This is no dream, she thought. This is real, this is happening. stars.
Rosemary's Baby

Rosemary and her husband Guy are moving, looking for an apartment to have their children. When a place opens up at Bramford, they do all they can to get it, but it may have been the worst decision of their lives...

Rosemary and Guy have been married for several years, Guy is a failing actor, he just can't find any jobs. Rosemary is a housewife and only thinks about having children and doing domestic work. They decide to move to a bigger place so that they can raise their children, and they move to the prestigious Bramford, where lots of gruesome murders have occurred. Their apartment was originally bigger, and was split. On the other side is the Castavets, a nice chipper old couple, who are somewhat weird;
through the wall, Rosemary heard a party in progress at Minnie and Roman’s; the same flat unmusical singing she had heard the last time, almost like religious chanting, and the same flute or clarinet weaving in and around and underneath it.
Just like everyone else, well maybe not everyone; Everyone except my friends that is, have watched the movie (confused?). So, naturally, I knew what was going to happen, and yet, I was really blown away. There was so much more detail that was lacking in the movie (although, they are very similar) I didn't realise there was a large backstory to Hutch (The guy who wants to meet her but goes into a coma.) He was like a dad to her. I usually prefer to read the novel and then watch the movie, or not watch the movie at all, and yet, I was still filled with anticipation while reading. I don't think there was a boring moment for me, even though she's just going about her mundane life.

Rosemary and Guy appeared very close during the beginning, and had lots of cute scenes;
They picnicked on the rug, on tuna sandwiches and beer, and made floor plans of all four rooms, Guy measuring and Rosemary drawing. On the rug again, they unplugged the lamp and stripped and made love in the nightglow of shadeless windows.
And when Rosemary finally realises what they are doing, my heart started beating so fast, and I was scared for her. If I was her though, I would have just ran away, and not

There were a few little things that I disliked though, just tincy wincy little things, like when he wrote about afro-carribean people as Negroes, and in another review, it said that it wasn't used that often in the 1960's.

Also, the build up was really good, without being creepy, where seemingly mundane things are twisted slowly into the conclusion. But the last 10% was really like a soap opera, and was unbelievable (I know, I know, but the scenario wasn't realistic.

Ira Levin has a real way with words, every letter, every word, every sentence seemed meticulously checked and useful. There were no sentences that 'filled the gaps' they were all relevant to the story. Sort of like a diary entry; including the useful information and nothing more. Ira's writing style really worked for me, so I look forward to reading more from Ira in the near future.

Rosemary's Baby quote

Son of Rosemary; To be, or not to be, that is the question

A copy of Rosemary's Baby was kindly provided to me by Pegasus Books, the publisher, in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Tom Lewis.
Author 3 books190 followers
January 1, 2019
In case there’s anyone out there in GRland who hasn’t seen the Roman Polanski film, or isn’t familiar with its shock ending, I’ll keep the spoilers to a minimum. The film is a faithful adaptation of the book. They’re both eerie, atmospheric, and unsettling; but never really cross over into being scary.

My takeaways from the book (and film) – beware of kindly old busybody neighbors who are overbearing with their gifts. Never accept a smelly good-luck charm from said busybody neighbors. If your husband’s acting career suddenly and unexpectedly takes off, bail on him; especially if he landed the lead role after a tragedy struck the original actor. And if you dream a dark creature is having sex with you while your actor husband and the busybody neighbors watch, it might not have been a dream... and 9 months later when the kid's born, your asshole husband might not be the father.
Profile Image for Maziyar Yf.
530 reviews278 followers
September 2, 2022
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انزجار ، بچه رزماری و مستاجر معمولا با نام آقای پولانسکی که سه گانه ای از این سه کتاب ساخته شناخته می شوند و شاید نویسندگان این کتاب ها خیلی معروف یا شناخته شده ، حداقل در ایران نباشند . اما بچه رزماری طبق همین قانون فیلم بسیار معروفی هست و در درجه بعدی کتاب موفقی هم هست . این که تمام جزئیات ذکر شده در کتاب با دقت و وسواس بسیار در فیلم هم رعایت شده اند . به هر حال بچه رزماری به عنوان یکی از فیلمهای مادر در رابطه به شیطان و ترس های زیر پوستی شناخته میشود . کتاب و فیلم با محوریت زندگی آپارتمانی در یک شهر بزرگ ( نیویورک) و زوج جوانی که قصد زندگی در آن جا را دارند آغاز می شود . ( فیلم لالایی خیلی معروفی هم در ابتدا و هم در انتها دارد که شاید بر وجه مادری و معصومیت آن اشاره داشته باشد ). در ادامه داستان با همسایگان آنها آشنا می شویم که زوجی پیر ، فضول و کمی هم مشنگ و خل وزن هستند . این زوج که انسان هایی مهربان و عادی نشان داده می شوند در حقیقت از بازماندگان جادوگری هستند که در سالیان قبل با شیطان ارتباط داشته و حال آنها وظیفه دارند که بچه شیطان را از طریق زوج مناسب به دنیا بیاورند و آن ها ر��ماری را مناسب وظیفه سخت مادری بچه شیطان دانسته اند ! همان طور که می بینید با یک داستان نا متعارف و به شدت جسورانه روبرو هستیم و هزینه این جسارت در به تصویر کشیدن شیطان و شیطان پرستان را رومن پولانسکی با سلاخی شدن همسر باردار خود به سختی پرداخت . داستان رز ماری همانند مستاجر بنیاد زندگی در آپارتمان و از آن مهمتر اعتماد به همسایه گان را ویران می کند . از کجا معلوم که انسان هایی که هر روز در اطراف حریم امن خود می بینیم یک شکنجه گر ، یا یک عده دیوانه روانی ( مانند مستاجر) یا نماینده شیطان نباشند ؟ تا چه حد می توان به انسان های اطراف اعتماد کرد ؟ و آیا این شیطان که فقط به فکر کام دل گرفتن از رزماری و داشتن بچه ای از اوست ترسناکتر است ؟ یا انسان های اطراف رز ماری ؟ مثلا همسراو که به خاطر پیشرفت شغلی همسر خود را می فروشد ؟؟
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