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The House Next Door (1978)

de Anne Rivers Siddons

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MembrosResenhasPopularidadeAvaliação médiaConversas / Menções
1,1684517,107 (3.77)1 / 84
Thirtysomething Colquitt and Walter Kennedy live in a charming, peaceful suburb of newly bustling Atlanta, Georgia. Life is made up of enjoyable work, long, lazy weekends, and the company of good neighbors. Then, to their shock, construction starts on the vacant lot next door, a wooded hillside they'd believed would always remain undeveloped. Disappointed by their dimished privacy, Colquitt and Walter soon realize something more is wrong with the house next door. Surely the house can't be "haunted" yet it seems to destroy the goodness of every person who comes to live in it, until the entire heart of this friendly neighborhood threatens to be torn apart.… (mais)
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Mostrando 1-5 de 45 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
Unusual story. Better than I predictedGoodreads review:.Their lives would never be the same.Colquitt and Walter Kennedy enjoyed a life of lazy weekends, gathering with the neighbors on their quiet, manicured street and sipping drinks on their patios. But when construction of a beautiful new home begins in the empty lot next door, their easy friendship and relaxed get-togethers are marred by strange accidents and inexplicable happenings.Though Colquitt's rational mind balks at the idea of a "haunted" house, she cannot ignore the tragedies associated with it. It is as if the house preys on its inhabitants' weaknesses and slowly destroys the goodness in them -- ultimately driving them to disgrace, madness and even death.
1 vote bentstoker | Jan 26, 2024 |
A 1970s novel firmly of its period with much contemporary detail including the total absence of computers, mobile phones and such, this is a story told by a middle class woman, Colquitt, and firmly grounded in her comfortable life with husband Walter. They have chosen to be childless at a period when such a choice would be more questioned than today, but have a close bond where they are self-sufficient, though they also have a circle of friends and acquaintances for socialising, going to the tennis club etc. and close friends in near neighbours Claire and Roger.

The first vibe of wrongness is that the vacant lot between their house and another of their neighbours is bought and a house begins to be built, threatening to destroy the wildlife area Colquitt has been used to gazing out on. Despite herself she grows to like the house and becomes very fond of the architect, a young man for whom this is his first proper project. The couple who have commissioned the house make frequent visits to view progress. They are a rich, rather empty headed, woman whose relationship with her daddy is a little too close, and her put-upon fledgling lawyer husband. During one of these visits, a truly horrible accident ensues, but even before this occurs, something has been tearing apart the wildlife that lives on the site.

The attrocities abruptly cease after the couple move in and the force responsible turns its attention to them. A succession of owners arrive over time, and each are destroyed in turn through their own weaknesses.

This is an unusual haunted house tale because there is no overt haunting as such. On one occasion, Colquitt experiences a rushing 'white noise' and feeling of electricity in the air when something induces her to act out of character while visiting to water the plants for the holidaying owners - but otherwise there is nothing that could not be explained by normal means, although the piling up of one horrible event after another becomes a strained set of coincidences for those who will not accept a supernatural explanation.

The force reaches out, affecting the general population of the street when other families become too close to the inhabitants and are involved in the various tragedies. Colquitt becomes convinced that there is an evil force sucking the energy out of the house's inhabitants and using their foilbles to destroy them. Her husband resists her interpretation for a long time, but finally he is drawn into accepting and supporting her desire to warn prospective buyers, with the resulting social and career annihilation that follows for both of them. And ultimately, the sacrifice of all they have cherished together.

There is ambiguity in the novel because it all could be suggestion and just really bad luck plus people for some reason acting out of character .... though I don't think that is the author's intention, especially in view of the Epilogue. Some of the characterisation is very good, in particular the relationship between Colquitt and her best friend, and its breakdown as a direct result of the succession of tragedies and her friend's unwillingness first to believe and then to want to have anything to do with it. We also get an insight into the lives and attitudes of the comfortably well off, and the attendant hypocrisy and small mindedness. Some of the book's attitudes are dated, but I don't think it's the fact that two characters suddenly have a gay liaison in public that is deplored, but more the subtle distinction that people who esteemed each other and had a good working relationship are abruptly skewed by the house into behaving in a way they would not otherwise, as happens more frequently between men and women who fall into the house's ambit.

The ending is a bit abrupt and odd, although there is a chilling epilogue, so because of that and because the animal killings seem rather grafted on to what is more properly a tale of psychological chills and end rather conveniently, I rate this at 3 stars. ( )
1 vote kitsune_reader | Nov 23, 2023 |
Read for a graduate seminar on the haunted house novel at CU Boulder.

Despite having a serious aversion to all things horror or haunted or just dealing with unknown forces in general, I really enjoyed this novel. It is both beautiful written and very well paced. I was also legitimately spooked by the time I finished, so if that's your bag, give it a go! ( )
1 vote BreePye | Oct 6, 2023 |
4.5 stars. Creepy! ( )
  Maryjane75 | Sep 30, 2023 |
Very dated and not politically correct for 2021 but still rates high on the creep factor. I can see why it was considered scary in 1979. ( )
  Andy5185 | Jul 9, 2023 |
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Nome do autorFunçãoTipo de autorObra?Status
Anne Rivers Siddonsautor principaltodas as ediçõescalculado
Chabrian, DeborahDesigner da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Chong, SuetDesignerautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
King, StephenIntroduçãoautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Rosenblat, BarbaraNarradorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Song, JaeArtista da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Sothoron, Karen HendricksonArtista da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado

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Thirtysomething Colquitt and Walter Kennedy live in a charming, peaceful suburb of newly bustling Atlanta, Georgia. Life is made up of enjoyable work, long, lazy weekends, and the company of good neighbors. Then, to their shock, construction starts on the vacant lot next door, a wooded hillside they'd believed would always remain undeveloped. Disappointed by their dimished privacy, Colquitt and Walter soon realize something more is wrong with the house next door. Surely the house can't be "haunted" yet it seems to destroy the goodness of every person who comes to live in it, until the entire heart of this friendly neighborhood threatens to be torn apart.

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