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Burnt offerings by Robert Marasco (1973)

Burnt offerings by Robert Marasco (1973)

There have been Other-s perhaps more classily written, but this is a consuming and original horror story and you might as well submit and abandon hope all ye who enter here. Here being an endless old house (290 rooms, 200 acres) which a very nice ordinary young couple from Queens, Ben and Marian, along with their son David and their elderly Aunt Elizabeth, rent for the summer for relatively nothing. Except the proviso that three times a day a tray be left outside the door of Mother, just a "darling," said to be 85 and never making an appearance. It doesn't take long to establish the antipathetic effect of the house: Ben becomes violent toward David and later hallucinates; Marian's hair turns grey; and Aunt Elizabeth becomes tireder and tireder and tireder until she slips away altogether. But Marian, obsessively overwhelmed by its contents -- gold, silver and gold, all you can hold and more antiques than could ever fill the Parke Bernet -- is thoroughly busy shining and polishing everything up until the house is restored to its original beauty even if. . . . This is another one of those pleasurably malevolent stories of possession with lots of startling present shock. (Kirkus Reviews, February 1, 1972)

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