Friday, May 18, 2018

Burnt Offerings (Valancourt 20th Century Classics) Paperback – March 17, 2015 by Robert Marasco (Author), Stephen Graham Jones (Introduction)( Valancourt Books )

By now I've become numb to many of the things that frightened me when I first read Poe or Jackson or King, and so to an extent Burnt Offerings seems a little dated and mild. But it wasn't when it was new and it still reads as a disturbing account of a family's descent into the maelstrom of evil that they find themselves descending into. It is very much a story of a house that is terrifying not because it is ghost-filled but because it is an entity, which a house certainly is not supposed to be. It has more of a feel of the apartment building in Rosemary's Baby, perhaps. The story contains only a handful of characters, one of whom is a young boy, but this is not a child-in-jeopardy story like King's early works. It remains somewhat unique in categorization, and its ambiguity ultimately adds to its power. I hope to be able to read it a second time, for I admit I got caught up in its even occasionally and rushed ahead. That was due as much to being scared (OK, it is scary) as to being impatient. So there you go.

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