Interesting twist on the "haunted house" story. Though it made more sense to me to read it symbolically. The setting: an upper middle class neighborhood. Those who live there are very comfortable with their lives. They live a cocoon-like existence where the evils of the world don't touch them. Those who have children send them to the best private schools and the best colleges. They have frequent parties where they get together with likeminded people. The story centers around Colquitt and Walter Kennedy, a couple in their 40's, no children, both owning their own businesses, both wrapped up in each other and their lifestyle. One day, construction starts next door to the Kennedy's and they learn that a new house is getting built there. The house turns out so stunning, that the Kennedy's forget about their objections. However, this house destroys everyone who lives in it. Seeing the house as a soul, it has some sort of malignant power over the couples who end up living there. Colquitt is the first to realize that it's the malignant force in the house that destroys everyone who lives there. She tells one of her friends her theory only to be thought of as crazy. This friend starts gossiping about Colquitt which turns most of the cocktail crowd against her. Even Walter thinks she's off and keeps trying to get her to see everything rationally. It is only with the last killing that Walter acknowledges Colquitt's beliefs about the house. The Kennedys do a 180degree turn. They decide to tell as many people as they can to prevent anyone else from moving in the house. I didn't find this turnaround believable until I saw how foolishly the Kennedys were approaching their solution. If they had been used to helping others instead of living their cocoon-like existence, they would not have told so many people so boldly. Not only were they looked upon as insane, they were avoided, even shunned by people in the neighborhood. Colquitt's best friend turns against her. She loses all her clients. Walter is bought out by his partner at the ad agency he founded. Still, the Kennedy's persevere. They now feel they have a purpose in life - to keep people from buying the House. By the end of the story, we see a very different neighborhood, including the Kennedys. They have left their cave behind but have not yet made a successful transition towards the light.
I am usually a fan of horror/sci-fi books, but this one was very different. More of a modern contemporary psychological thriller. Very well written and leaves you guessing til the last minute. Not your typical scary horror, I could even read this one when alone.
Sherre T. (Sherre) - , reviewed The House Next Door (The Stephen King Horror Library) on
Helpful Score: 3
This is one of the best books I've read recently. In fact, it is so good that I read it twice - something I very rarely do. The suspense keeps you on the edge of your seat. If you want to lose sleep because you can't put this book down, read it!
A young couple moves into their dream home, an architectural masterpiece. Suddenly, within it and everywhere around it, families began to go mad...to die. Their neighbors realize their only hope for survival was to enter and destroy the house...
If you enjoy psychological horror stories, you will enjoy this contemporary "ghost story". A newly constructed house designed by a talented young architect is seemingly possessed by a malevolent entity that targets its inhabitants with murderous results. Told by the young couple next door in this upscale neighborhood, the story of three families who are unfortunate enough to move into this beautiful house unfolds in fascinating detail. While there seem to be logical explanations for much of what happens, everyone connected to the house seems to lose what they value most.
It is a sad day for Colquitt and Walter Kennedy when construction begins on an elegant new home on the formerly empty lot next door. It signals the end of an era of blessed tranquility, of sipping drinks on the porch in the quiet of a warm southern afternoon. But they are losing more than a view. With a new house come new neighbors-with their secrets and fears and frailties that will not be contained within four strong walls, reaching out instead to wreak havoc with other lives and relationships. For there's something about the house next door that seems to bring out the worst in those who live there. And soon, nothing in the Kennedys' once idyllic neighborhood will ever be the same again.
I love Anne Rivers Siddons books. That having been said, I do not read terrifying books such as Stephen King but I loved this book! It was not really terrifying but it was scary. I sat on the edge of my seat and could only put the book down when I started to fall asleep from having stayed up so late. I think it would be a spoiler to say nearly anything about this book other than it's about a malevolent house.
Why did I let this book sit on my shelf so long? It was a riveting book. The characters were very Siddons, comfortable Southern middle-aged couples with a certain status in their small community. A small lot in the their neighborhood is purchased and a stunning contemporary house built - but only ill comes to those who live in the house. Is it a phenomenal string of bad luck? Or something more?
I absolutely LOVED this book and could NOT put it down!
I just rec'd it this past Friday afternoon. Began reading it Fri evening and finished it Sat AFTER not being able to stop reading it until I was finished with it and by THAT time, it was about 3:00 a.m. Sat morning!
THAT is how GREAT I think it is!
I love ARS's work anyway but this was such a departure, I wasn't sure that I would care much for this one. Boy was I ever wrong!
It's scary as heck though because it does deal with horror and horrible things from the standpoint of a first-person account, but it's typical of Anne's incredible talent even if such a radical departure from her usual novels. ALTHOUGH underneath the horror, there is still a thread of romance believe it or not for two of the main characters so it's not without a little romance
I doubt I would have been able to sleep (for two reasons - #1: because it was too GOOD a read to put down without finishing it and I couldn't even had I tried to stop and #2: because I was scared to after reading the thing right before bedtime) anyway so I finished the entire thing
If you love Ms Siddons work and you also love a departure from an author's usual writing style, as well as a good horror/paranormal story, then this book is for you
Just be warned! It will scare you if you're anything like me AND you won't be able to put the thing down until you finish it so don't start it when you have only a few minutes to read something. AND if I were you, I wouldn't read it right before bedtime either lol
I devoured it so quickly I'm thinking of putting it on my bookshelf here within a day or two because as good as it is? It won't be as much fun next time for me after knowing how it ends and besides, I'm not sure I could handle the terror again anytime soon
This haunted house story ignores the normal formula of this type of story. We are slowly led into the story, characters are introduced and we are lulled by the scene of southern gentility. That this house is evil, there is no question, it seeks out the darkest secrets of it's occupants hearts and rips them out for all to see. An excellent, highly recommended read.
Colquitt & Walter Kennedy are a comfortable couple living out their dreams in an affluent suburb and then the lot next to them is sold . . . This book has some very sinister undertones and was a great book. I remember picking it up because it was on Stephen King's recommended reading list in EW a few years back.
It's about a group of upper class people who have lived charmed lives until construction begins in a previously unbuildable empty lot in their development. From the beginning ominous events occur and as time goes by the incidents become much more appalling and life changing for the residents nearby. I don't want to give too much away but if you like a good old fashioned soap opera/spooky tale this is as good as they get.