Dear Great Book Guru, My friends and I have a monthly book club and this year we would like to read something special for Halloween - something frightening but also worthwhile - with social commentary perhaps?
Gravitating towards the Ghoulish
Dear Ghoulish Gravitator, I recently reread the 1990’s horror novel ROSEMARY’S BABY by Ira Levin. While it can be read as a terrifying tale of urban bliss gone bad, I found it much more socially relevant this time around. Rosemary, a young wife has left her mid-western family home, the religion of her youth, her conservative-minded parents and her many siblings to live in New York City with her aspiring actor husband Guy. We meet the couple as they navigate the urban real estate market with the prize being the apartment of their dreams, but one with shadowy hints of cannibalism, devil worship, and murderous wizardry. Rosemary’s eagerness to please everyone: her husband, her doctors, her neighbors, and her friends can be seen as commentary on a woman’s place in society. Faustian bargains to advance careers are casually made and complaints are dismissed as hysteria. Soon we come to realize these characters are outsized versions of ourselves set in a wildly fantastical world of evil improbabilities but mirroring much of what we know to be true. You will be very surprised at how topical this novel is….highly recommended!