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The Other

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3.98 of 5 stars 3.98  ·  rating details  ·  11,723 ratings  ·  293 reviews
Holland and Niles Perry are identical thirteen-year-old twins. They are close, close enough, almost, to read each other’s thoughts, but they couldn’t be more different. Holland is bold and mischievous, a bad influence, while Niles is kind and eager to please, the sort of boy who makes parents proud. The Perrys live in the bucolic New England town their family settled centu...more
Paperback, 272 pages
Published October 2nd 2012 by NYRB Classics (first published January 1st 1971)
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Jeffrey Keeten
”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.”

 photo TheOther_zps5ed7575c.jpg
The...more
Myles
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...more
Nick
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.
Hannah
Considering new shelf name for books like this:
"Migraine-Inducing Literature"

Chy
"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.

Anyway.

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...more
Jonathan Janz
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
Jeannie Sloan
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...more
Kelly Hager
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...more
Kenneth
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
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
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...more
Megan
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..
Addy
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.
Sara
Evil children are scarier than evil adults.
Stenwjohnson
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...more
Thomas
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
Victoria
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
William
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.
Chris Shamburger
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,...more
Hannah
Just as I was coming to the denouement of this work, the power went out in my Nepali homestay and every part of my being started screaming, "NONONO don't you DARE leave me alone in the dark with this book." While the plot itself, the rare flashes of gruesome imagery, certainly neatly sew this work up as a good ol' thriller, it is the subtlety of the language, the slow way that it moves from careless nymph to brooding imp to wicked changeling, that sets this book apart. I will probably read it ag...more
Djrmel
1) Actually a reread but Goodreads has simple way of recording that
2) Not true Southern Gothic because it doesn't take place in the South, but it has all the key points of Southern Gothic and theses are myshelves and I will mark them like I want them.

This is a the rare horror story that gets better after the first reading, when you know all the twists, because they become more twisted with each reading. Also, once you know what is coming, you can focus on the very complicated characters that Tr...more
Bill
Jan 24, 2008 Bill rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  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...more
LeeAnne
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
Frances
Honestly, it was pretty dry. I started suspecting the big reveal very early on, and nothing really directed towards anything else.

That said, it did have one "oh holy hell no" moment quite near the end, and the pacing and incluing of information was beautifully done. I can't fairly give it less than three stars, I think, though I wouldn't give it more.
Corey
This is one of the best spooky books I've ever read. It's what Stephen King might write if he could write like Wallace Stegner.
Mindi
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. 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...more
Jill Bonham
I don't know what is was about this book but I slogged through the first 2/3 of it. Usually I can get through a 200+ page book in a couple of days but not this one. I kept finding myself nodding off, or having to reread long passages because I just could pay attention. not the the writing was bad, it was just something about the writing style---long descriptive sentences. And then I would get irritated at myself because there were many examples of beautiful prose such as..... "Overhead the summe...more
Ann Sloan
I saw the film based on this book back in 1972 when it was first released. That was forty years ago and it has still stayed with me. I’ve seen other horror movies since, but this had an impact.
I was surprised to see it on NetGalley, since the book was published in 1971, but I had to read it to see if I got that frisson from the book that I had from the movie. Edith Wharton referred to the “fun of the shudder.” I got that from the book, again.
Of course, this time I knew what the mystery was. Neit...more
Megan
Ugh, one star dnf for right now.

Sometimes I feel like a slave to Goodreads. Even when I am not active on this site, I am always lurking. And when I go to a bookstore and discover a new book... my first move is to search for it here (Thank you Goodreads App!) and see what, if anything, my friends have said about it.

Lame, right? Yeah...

Except that stuff like this happens... I purchased The Other because the updated cover looked cool. (The inside is all purple & green, lurvely!) Also, the syn...more
Belinda
Fantastic book. I love Thomas Tryon's work so much. It's very interesting how it varies both in subject and style. I am particularly fond of the Gothic series he's done, The Other and Harvest Home. While there is a twist in the book (which I won't reveal despite other reviewers doing so--sorry, I think that's obnoxious--I don't assume everyone has seen the film or knows the twist-, the beautiful writing style is just as much a charm of the book. His descriptions are both lovely and brutal and th...more
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NYRB Classics: The Other, by Thomas Tryon 2 5 Oct 29, 2013 04:11PM  
Danske Læsere / D...: August 2013: Horror/Gysere: "The Other" af Thomas Tryon 22 40 Oct 20, 2013 01:23AM  
Goodreads Librari...: Incomplete author name 2 25 May 28, 2012 07:07AM  
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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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