Thursday, June 25, 2009

My Favorite Reads #3: THE HOUSE NEXT DOOR by Anne Rivers Siddons

by Anne Rivers Siddons

From the jacket flap (Stephen King Horror Library edition):

The house next door to Colquitt and Walter Kennedy is haunted by an all-pervasive evil – an evil that takes away whatever the occupants hold dearest. The Kennedys are about to become witnesses to an overwhelming force that will strip away the veneer of the civilized Atlanta suburb that surrounds and protects them.

A stunning feat of architectural imagination and skill, the house is built for the Harralsons – newly married, rich, and expecting a baby. They become the first victims of an all-engulfing force they cannot comprehend. But the tragedy of the Harralsons is only the beginning, for the fabric of the Kennedys' lives is also ripped apart. And when the Sheehans move in next door, the house destroys them too. But it is from the Greenes that it will take the ultimate prize.

The Kennedys alone understand the subtle, awful toll the house extracts. Their warnings go unheeded, their fears are dismissed, and it seems that if they are to survive they must themselves destroy the house. But it is something more than they know, this extraordinary evil, and they must either be embraced by it or die.

In his Introduction to this exclusive Stephen King Horror Library edition, Stephen King favorably compares author Anne Rivers Siddons to the long tradition of Southern gothic writers who came before her: “The stuff underneath, the stuff which makes the heart of this novel pulse with such tremendous crude strength, is the Old South.”

Why I Chose This Book:

Reason #1: I loved this book.

Reason #2: The Introduction to this edition is written by Stephen King.

Reason #3: I bought this book on the "recommendation" of Stephen King.

Reason #4: I thought it would be fun to feature a different side of Anne Rivers Siddons, especially since I'm currently hosting a giveaway for her book, OFF SEASON. First published in 1978, THE HOUSE NEXT DOOR is classic Southern Gothic.

Reason #5: I think Stephen King liked it.

Click here to read an excerpt from Chapter One . . . If you dare . . .

About the author (from the publisher):
Anne Rivers Siddons was born in a small railroad town just south of Atlanta, where her family has lived for six generations. She attended Auburn University and later joined the staff of Atlanta magazine. Her first novel, Heartbreak Hotel, a story of her college days at Auburn, was later made into a movie called Heart of Dixie, starring Ally Sheedy. Since then she has written fifteen more novels, many of which have been bestsellers. Recently, a movie version of her later novel The House Next Door was aired on LifeTime Network. Ms. Siddons now divides her time between Atlanta and Brooklin, Maine.

Alyce of At Home with Books hosts a weekly feature spotlighting favorite reads from pre-blogging days. Because it's been a while since the books were read, these posts are not reviews per se, but rather impressionistic remembrances of a positive reading experience. I think of this feature as an opportunity to more deeply explore the range of my reading interests and those of other book bloggers and readers of book blogs outside of the current crop of new releases.

Do you have an old favorite that you'd like to share?


Gary Carden said...

I read "The House Next Door" when it came out in 1978 and it has always been one of my favorite books. I loved the idea of a new, modern house being evil in contrast to the traditional concept of an old decaying mansion. Are you familiar with the novel, "The Land of Laughs" by Jonathan Carroll? It is definitely my favorite.

Alyce said...

I had no idea that Anne Rivers Siddons wrote gothic fiction. I don't mind a hint of gothic in books, but this one sounds like a story that would scare me too much. It looks like a book that fans of scary stories would love though. :)

Lisa said...

I love love love Heartbreak Hotel by Siddons. LOVE. It's in my top five ever. It helps that I went to Auburn, so I recognize all the landmarks. (Grew up in AL, went to AU, now in SD. It is a mystery.)

(New profile pic, same Lisa from Books Lists Life.)

Dawn - She is Too Fond of Books said...

I'm only family with Siddons' books about the generations in Maine (COLONY?) and the "young women" in Atlanta (PEACHTREE?) ... had no idea she wrote gothic horror, and so long ago. Wow, it really stuck with you!

Zibilee said...

I love a good scary book, but had not heard of this one. It sounds like something I would really enjoy reading so I will have to see if I can get my hands on a copy. Thanks