Book Review: The Other by Thomas Tryon

17 Dec

The OtherMy Rating 4 out of 5 stars

I heard about this book from my sister-in-law who was describing this as being one of the scariest books she’d ever read.  She said she read it in like the 6th grade.  After some searching (no eBook, no library copy and it is out of print) I was able to find a paperback copy on Amazon, which the seller claimed to be in Good-Used condition.  I’d argue that rating since the spine split the second I opened it to the first page.  But whatever.  So here’s the deal with this book.  It was written in 1971 by an actor named Tom Tryon.  He was in a bunch of stuff in the 1950s and 60s.  This book was made into a movie by the same name (not to be confused with The Others with Nicole Kidman in it – it’s not the same).  It scared the bejesus out of everyone who read it or saw the movie. 

So knowing that, would you expect it to be 1) good writing (the author was an actor for goodness sakes) or 2) scary (by today’s standards)?  Perhaps not, but you would be sorely mistaken on both fronts.  The writing is very unique, but Tyron most certainly had talent.  He described the environment and moved the story along so well, it was so believeable.  And it was creepy (the grown-up kind, not the tween kind)…so creepy that it was still creepy to read in 2011, exactly 40 years after the book was written.  How many things that were scary then are just as scary now?  Right, The Omen, maybe.  And everyone’s heard of that.  I think this book is grossly underrated and the author’s style is superb.  If you are interested in borrowing it from me, you’ll have to stand in line (and bring some masking tape).  Thanks to a great SIL for helping me discover this gem!

 

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One Response to “Book Review: The Other by Thomas Tryon”

  1. Kabatch April 6, 2012 at 11:56 pm #

    Hi Karen,

    I have a copy of this book as well. I actually misunderstood to be Nicole’s movie interpretation of the book as I had the hard time trying to relate between the movie and the book. The story was really scary and one that’s quiet to discern on first reading so I have to go back again. Nice review you have here.

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