The Other was instantly heralded as a classic and probably nobody thought it was a masterpiece more than Tryon himself. I first made my acquaintance with THE OTHER 42 years ago, and have just finished my 3rd or 4th re-read. If you’re looking for King/Koontz-style horror, you’d best look elsewhere, as THE OTHER harks back instead to Ray Bradbury, Shirley Jackson and even Henry James. Although there is "horror" here, it is merely one element in an exquisite, evocative tale. To read this book is to be transported to a small Connecticut town in the ’30s.
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However, I just don’t think Thomas Tryon is right for me. Tryon was an actor who had tried to become a movie producer, but his treatment for a movie about evil twins called The Other wasn’t getting any traction so he borrowed money from his family, locked himself away for 18 months and turned it into a novel.
As a good deal of the plot turns on shocking the reader, to say much else about the going ons of the story would ruin the reading experience, so I’ll remain mum on revealing specific events. To give the book credit, it is quite old, and at the time the story was probably quite shocking. I personally found how the story unfolded predictable and even the beautiful writing couldn’t completely win me over. I knew something was going to happen or be revealed, but I had no idea what was coming. The prose is also beautiful and atmospheric, which isn’t especially typical in the horror genre.
Often with mystery novels there is a slow but steady build of intensity, a momentum that gathers in a such a way that the reader remains riveted to the end. That occurs here, as well, so I don’t ascribe my disappointment with the first half of the book to any lack of momentum on its part. In fact, I’d say that the plot drive in the second half was so well executed that it overcame what I would otherwise have to describe as naïve, whimsical writing. But in the author’s defense, he was (at the time of this book’s initial publication, anyway) a naïve writer.
Deliciously horrifying and thoroughly entertaining short read. Tryon was good at painting scenes with vivid descriptions and setting atmospheres with his words. The story took place in summer at a small town, and I could almost feel the humid, pressing heat, the distant screams of children, the grass tickling my thighs. He has a way of characterising the people in the story too – Niles and Holland, their unwelcome cousin and his family, their mother wilting away in her room in grief, their feisty Russian grandmother. I love the sense of foreboding in the background that pervades the main story, it creeps up on you and slams home rather quickly at the end with one reveal after another.
You can practically FEEL the thick summer heat, the musty air of a storage room, the sleazy atmosphere of a traveling carnival. You can almost HEAR the programs on the radio, the far-off notes played on a harmonica, the strangled gasps of fear. And you can very nearly SMELL the cool dankness of the apple cellar, the grassiness of new-mown hay, the frothy scent of fresh-spilled blood. Calling THE OTHER a classic horror novel is far too limiting. It is nothing less than a classic of American Literature, and one of my Favorite Books of All Time.
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It’s a creepy murder mystery, a reflection on bygone days, a coming of age story, and a study of a family undergoing intense grief and hardship. It’s also a very deep reflection on relationships, and how sometimes the love you feel for another can do more harm than good. I just finished this novel, and wow, I’m still trying to process how surprised I am that this gem of a horror story isn’t more popular.
- Regardless, your kids will naturally want to play the hot new game their friends are playing.
- As a very general rule of thumb, you don’t want to let them be the first among their friends play a new game, but you maybe also don’t want them to be the last.
- But if you don’t like the look of it, it’s often not the best idea to simply ban it, since they’ll become excluded from their friend group.
- Games are awfully good at holding players’ attention, great at selling extra features to them, and delighted to bombard them with invitations to play.
- The modern PC gaming landscape is very different than the one many of us now-parents experienced.
Published in 1971, it was a huge best seller at the time. In the afterword of the edition I read, Dan Chaon discusses how this book, along with others like Rosemary’s Baby and The Exorcist, were some of the first to start the immense popularity of horror novels in the 1970’s. Since I’m such a huge fan of the genre, I’m shocked that I didn’t even know it existed until a few Combofix months ago when I saw it in a "scariest books" list online. while this one was certainly predictable now a days, I don’t think it would’ve been for the time it was published. I did enjoy the story, the journey and the reveal of who is narrating the story to us and I certainly liked it more then Lady.