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The Other

3.99  ·  Rating Details ·  16,105 Ratings  ·  443 Reviews
Entranced and terrified, the reader of The Other is swept up in the life of a Connecticut country town in the thirties-and in the fearful mysteries that slowly darken and overwhelm it.

Originally published in 1971, The Other is one of the most influential horror novels ever written. Its impeccable recreation of small-town life and its skillful handling of the theme of perso
Mass Market Paperback, 288 pages
Published 1971 by Fawcett
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Jeffrey Keeten
Mar 17, 2013 Jeffrey Keeten rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
”Twins? With different birthdays? How unusual. Indeed for identical twins, very. Oh yes, there were the mixed signs, on the cusp, as one says--they should have been more alike; nevertheless, the difference. Holland a Pisces, fish-slippery, now one thing, now another. Niles an Aries, a ram blithely butting at obstacles. Growing side by side, but somehow not together. Strange. Time and again Holland would retreat, Niles pursue, Holland withdraw again, reticent, taciturn, a snail in its shell.”

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Jan 19, 2017 Brad rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, 2017-shelf
I'm very impressed by this classic horror! I know I've been told it is one of those novels that spawned a bunch of lookalikes during the seventies, but rather than being a simple bestseller that everyone and their little fat dog emulated, I personally think that it has a ton of depth and staying power.

I think it's a toss up whether the best feature is the narrator's voice or whether it's in the plot twists. Both are superb and fascinating and lulling and it's extremely easy to fall into the idea
Jan 07, 2009 Nick rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you plan on reading this novel prepare to plow through the first 90% without much enthusiasm. But beware, this novel is like a deadly spider that is slowly lowering itself down from the ceiling toward the back of your neck. By the time you notice it, it's too late, and the scariest part, (other than the fact that it's just bitten you), is that it has been hanging there ALL ALONG, and you had no idea.
Sep 18, 2015 Jason rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed, wine-club, 2015
A stranger on the Internet instructed me to review this book, so I guess I’ll do as I’m told.

This book is okay. Actually, the second half of this book is great, but still not great enough to resurrect the full work to anywhere beyond its three-star label of mediocrity.

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 f
Jan 06, 2017 Linda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio, 2017
Oh my, now that was just full of creepy greatness! Although I knew the premise of the book and sensed that something just didn't feel right from the beginning, I did not see the big reveal coming. Of course, I look back now and can see all the clues nicely sprinkled throughout and wonder why I didn't put two-and-two together sooner. And then with ~30% of the book remaining after the big reveal, I wondered at how much was there left to keep me interested in the book. Oh, there was plenty remainin ...more
Jul 07, 2010 Myles rated it it was amazing
It's hard to believe that this is Thomas Tryon's first novel, The Other is fully formed and sophisticated in its characterization of a small town, Pequot's Landing, in Connecticut in the 1930s and the central family as well. Many of the characters are surely drawn from life and Tryon gets all of the details right in a fashion that likely still makes Stephen King envious.

King definitely was influenced by this book--maybe he should reread Tryon and get back on track. The Dome missed huge opportun
Jonathan Janz
Sep 27, 2012 Jonathan Janz rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'll likely expand this review someday, but for now I'll just say that this is one of those books that truly deserves the status of "horror classic." Tryon's prose has a way of keeping the reader at arm's length. I don't mean that in a bad way at all because Tryon is a fantastic writer. I mean that he keeps us just far enough outside the mysteries of his story for their reveals to be as stunning as any in horror fiction. As far as great twists go, I'd say The Other is one of the twistiest, most ...more
Oct 13, 2013 Hannah rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: did-not-finish
Considering new shelf name for books like this:
"Migraine-Inducing Literature"

Oct 25, 2014 Alex rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Holy Sh*t! I didn't know anything about this book when I picked it up from a secondhand bookstore. This is easily one of the best books I have ever read. It is so shocking and insanely scary. I recommend going into this not know anything about the story and I'm sure it will leave you as shocked as I was. HIGHLY recommended!
Sep 14, 2012 Chy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Saxophones are the devil's instrument."

Hell yeah. I love Ada. In a weird way, I blame Dead Poet's Society (one of my favorite films from way back) for my hate of saxophones, but it's hard to explain and has no place in this review.


I scroll down at all these reviews that are made without spoilers and all I can think is how?

I can say this: The writing is gorgeous and mesmerizing. The characterization, haunting. The twists...well...I read it as a writer without meaning to, because of the go
Sep 29, 2011 Kenneth rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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. You can practically FEEL the thick summer heat, the musty air o ...more
Jul 06, 2013 Addy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Thomas Tryon is an author to reckon with! A must read for anyone who loves horror. I Cannot recommend this enough. This story was so finely crafted, it had me questioning every written page. Its a tale of twin boys who hold gruesome secrets and a very loving and likeable aunt who has a secret herself. Its mostly sad, but beautifully written. I love this story and look forward to reading more of his work.
This took me far too long to get through, I swear I'm a much faster reader than this.. Even though the "secret" is fairly easy to figure out, I found that once the true identity of 'the Other' is confirmed for the reader is when the story actually picks up and becomes more intense. That's how it played out for me, at least.

On a side note, this is the second book written by an actor that I've read recently.. praise for people being multifaceted.. or overzealous about their many talents..
Jan 15, 2017 Vavita rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved the book! This is an amazingly sick book! At the beginning, it seems nothing is happening but you have to read carefully because there are clues from the very first page.
I saw the 1972 movie first and knew the "twist" / secret all along. By mid of the book, I had already discovered all the "clues", so if you pay attention, it is somehow clear what was going on.
In any case, I doubt that anybody can see ALL the little details. Even though I saw the movie, I was surprised by the ending of
Andrew Lennon
Jul 03, 2013 Andrew Lennon rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I gave up after four pages. I was confused....
Jeannie Sloan
Apr 27, 2010 Jeannie Sloan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, fiction
What can I say that others haven't already? What a good book.I read it in one sitting and I think that that is the way to read it. I was genuinely surprised by the plot twists 3/4 of the way through and I have read A LOT of horror so that says something right there.Excellent prose which slowly build a sense of unease throughout the book.You know from the beginning that something is wrong but just can't put your finger on it until the revelation.
I did not find the writing dated at all.It seems th
Jan 15, 2009 William rated it did not like it
Personally, I don't get it. This was supposed to be a great book, one of the classics of horror literature. I'll vote it to be one of the boring books of horror literature. I couldn't finish it. I got halfway and had to dump it. Long prose, no atmosphere, little suspense. Read it if you like but I wouldn't recommend it.
Nov 15, 2012 Stenwjohnson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I’d never heard of Thomas Tryon’s 1971 novel “The Other” until I saw an ad for a reissue by the New York Review of Books Press. NYRB reliably performs the same service to literary classics that the Criterion Collection offers to cinema on DVD, curating a long list of deserving titles; my trust in this impressive work of high-literary psychological horror was implicit, and it was well rewarded.

“The Other” was, remarkably, a best-seller followed by a film version with a screenplay by Tryon. Yet it
Kelly Hager
Jul 23, 2012 Kelly Hager rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Other is a classic horror novel, which came out around the same time as Rosemary's Baby and The Exorcist. It's now being brought back in print.

Niles and Holland are twins. You know that old cliche about the evil twin? That's Holland. Niles is the good one and Holland...well, when Holland's around, accidents happen. They're young boys and that's what makes this even creepier. (It's actually like that cheesy movie The Good Son, only it's really, REALLY creepy. So I guess really, it's more like
Jun 07, 2010 Victoria rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a classically creepy book! Reminiscent of the film, The Bad Seed, this story of twins, Niles and Holland, absolutely enraptured me. Despite being written in 1971, it felt modern and had such an ominous atmosphere! It wasn't terribly unpredictable, but more in the way that foreshadowing hints at events than the plot being worn or tired. And, obviously, the twins aspect was a nice twist on the "Bad Seed"-esque plot. My only real complaint came from the edition that I read - it was a first edi ...more
Julie Paugh
It's been a long time since I was originally read this but it stands as one of my all-time favorites. It takes a lot to surprise me, and it could be that I was more easily surprised by this book because of my young age when reading, but I didn't see the ending coming and I LOVE it when that happens. It's a wonderfully, creepy and haunting story. Still, 20+ years after reading, I think about this story. The plot and characters were perfectly crafted. I think I may reread this one, as some of the ...more
Kurt Reichenbaugh
Feb 08, 2012 Kurt Reichenbaugh rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
Honest ta Pete, this one's dark!

Much better than I expected. You sort of know going in what the set up will be. Twins, one good, one evil, one warm and friendly, the other dark and brooding. Both sharing in The Game and swearing each other to secrets. The strength here is that Tryon knows the reader's expectations, and turns on them by revealing it fairly early on, and letting the foreshadowing build to more darker and more horrible repercussions. Lot's of detail of the 1930's from life on the
I had an inkling early on in this story as to how it would eventually play out but it was still a chilling read. I enjoy psychological horror and this story did deliver in that respect. Complex characters, moody, atmospheric and dark. A well written novel that stands the test of time.
Rebecca McNutt
May 03, 2015 Rebecca McNutt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Other was 20th century mass-market horror at its best; it was suspenseful, eerie, disturbing and incredibly well-written.
Jan 10, 2008 Sara rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Evil children are scarier than evil adults.
Oct 07, 2012 Thomas rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, dark, gothic, 2012
I'm not quite finished with my trip down nostalgia lane. I have one more to go after this (Carrion Comfort is the one following The Other, and then I think I'll be finished, unless I decide I want to re-read Harvest Home, too). When I first read this in graduate school, I had no idea what to expect from it. I had heard that it was a classic horror novel, but a first novel by a B-grade actor written in the 1970s? Pshaw, I said. I didn't expect it to be very good at all. But whoah, nelly, was I wr ...more
Chris Shamburger
Sep 22, 2013 Chris Shamburger rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I have tried to finish "The Other" by Thomas Tryon on two separate occasions. The first was in December of 2011, when I thought I just wasn't in the frame of mind to focus on it, and the next was just now. This will be my last attempt, as I'm fully convinced the book just isn't for me.

I had been looking for this book for a long time after finding it on many "Best of Modern Horror" lists and was fortunate enough to find an old paperback copy in a used bookstore. Had I known then what I know now,
Jan 24, 2008 Bill rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those who like their horror on a slow burn
Shelves: horror
This movie was quite unsettling when I saw it back on the 70s. But despite having seen the film, it did not take away from the enjoyment of the novel. Most people would probably have given this one a pass if they had known that Tryon was an actor before he wrote this, but this guy was (he died of cancer in 1991) some fine writer. The movie was very true to the novel, so there will be no surprises with the dreadful turns that both the novel and movie follow.
But like I said, it's still a fine read
Jan 05, 2014 LeeAnne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thrillers, gothic
I read this when I was still in elementary school, too young. When I finally understood the twist at the end, my little brain imploded. As I grew up and grew older I eventually forgot the title, but never the plot or the terror the struck me cold while reading it. I discovered it again by accident on Goodreads and all of those feelings of horror came flooding back!! An extremely realistic horror story that will knock your socks off. Fans of Shirley Jackson (The Lottery, The Haunting of Hill Hous ...more
L.A. Starks
Perhaps because this book is such a classic, published in 1971, the plot was telegraphed from the first page. The Other is an interesting example of horror notable mainly for its 1930s Connecticut setting.
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It was Noel Coward’s partner, Gertrude Lawrence, who encouraged Tom to try acting. He made his Broadway debut in 1952 in the chorus of the musical “Wish You Were Here.” He also worked in television at the time, but as a production assistent. In 1955 he moved to California to try his hand at the movies, and the next year made his film debut in “The Scarlet Hour” (1956). Tom was cast in the title ro ...more
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“A hermaphrodite. There was this poster at the drugstore this morning that said they’re going to have a real live hermaphrodite this year. All the way from Malta.” 2 likes
“It is like a deep pool, this imagination, and during the day it gets used up, like water, and when we sleep at night the water we have used during the day gets replaced. And if it is not replaced, if there is none to drink of, we are thirsty. It is from sleep that God gives us our strength and our power and our peace, do you see.” 1 likes
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