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Publisher's Summary

Ben and Marian Rolfe are desperate to escape a stifling summer in their tiny Brooklyn apartment, so when they get the chance to rent a mansion in upstate New York for the entire summer for only $900, it's an offer that's too good to refuse. There's only one catch: behind a strange and intricately carved door in a distant wing of the house lives elderly Mrs. Allardyce, and the Rolfes will be responsible for preparing her meals.
But Mrs. Allardyce never seems to emerge from her room, and it soon becomes clear that something weird and terrifying is happening in the house. As the suspense builds toward a revelation of what really lies behind that locked door, the Rolfes will discover that their cheap vacation rental comes at a terrible cost....
The basis for a classic 1976 film adaptation and an acknowledged influence on Stephen King's The Shining, Burnt Offerings is one of the most original and scariest haunted house novels ever written. This edition, the first in decades, features a new introduction by award-winning author Stephen Graham Jones.
©1973 Robert Marasco (P)2016 Blue Heron Audio
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Critic Reviews

" Burnt Offerings has no peer. Better than Rosemary's Baby, The Other, and The Exorcist." ( Hartford Courant)
"Insidiously frightening...It snares you early and draws you inexorably to one of the most nerve-shattering finales in years." ( Publishers Weekly)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Calliope on 05-03-17

Haunted house story more creepy than horrific

This is really a psychological thriller than a horror novel - more creep than scare, and think that's terrific, because that makes for a better book. It's quite clear that there are elements that inspired Stephen King when he wrote The Shining, though the writing style is obviously different. Even though this takes place in the Hamptons, it shares a lot of elements with Southern Gothic stories, including an isolated house with a tragic past, aged owners who've fallen from their prime years of wealth and health, and a sick old relative up in the attic.

It's like a slow burn rather than a raging fire.

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39 of 40 people found this review helpful


By P6PTX on 03-11-17

Burnt?More like charred..

I've heard about this story for years and was quite excited to hear what partially inspired authors like Stephen King.The narration was excellent in emoting the family's urban cage,its problems and eccentrics and the anticipation of getting away from it all.Even the odd couple at the getaway was enthralling to hear,the reverence held for the longtime home.Even after the oppressive influence of the true nature of the place begins to emerge,the struggle seems to wear out the suspense.It becomes monotonous,and im convinced that in the 70s,suspense was set at a low bar.Im glad to be to cross this off my list.Im even checking into other books by the author,but i dont see what all the fuss is over.BUT I will still refer this to others,i really was entertained and submerged in the story thanks to R.C. Bray.

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19 of 19 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Kim on 08-18-16

Burn it out

Fantastic and original story. You can see how it's influenced The Shining. The only drawback for me was some of the overzealous voice acting from 'Brother' when first encountered - it leant more of a comical tone rather than creepy. And there are some uncomfortable sexual encounters. Brilliant otherwise.

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3 of 5 people found this review helpful


By dc on 10-30-17

Read t book, watched t movie, enjoyed t audio

Bought this as it is an old favourite. Knew I would enjoy the story and the only question was the narration. It was good. I enjoyed every minute of it. A good reason why this is a simple classic. It is not a classic per say - corset ramble - I think it takes place in the 60s - 70s and has stood the test of time because you can't go wrong with it.

You should buy it if you like a bit of spook.

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