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Whatever Happened To Baby Jane
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Whatever Happened To Baby Jane

3.93  ·  Rating Details ·  1,493 Ratings  ·  121 Reviews
Book jacket: Baby Jane, a child star of early vaudeville, resented having to grow up in the shadow of her prettier sister Blanche Hudson, who became Hollywood's reigning love goddess. Now, some fifty years later, they are together and alone. And reality has toppled crazily into eerie fantasy. Blanche now finds she is growing old in the shadow cast by Baby Jane -- and a ver
Published (first published 1960)
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What a great old classic horror story! After a suspicious auto accident cripples the beautiful and successful movie star Blanche Hudson, her troubled and jealous sister Jane, (once a child actress herself known as Baby Jane) becomes her sole caregiver.......and the nightmare begins.

With loads of suspense and a high creep factor, Baby Jane Hudson slowly goes off her rocker serving grotesque meals, committing a brutal murder (view spoiler) and generally cont

Jul 19, 2014 LeeAnne rated it it was amazing
The Ultimate Tale of Sibling Rivalry

I have never seen the famous movie, but I have seen photos and short clips of Bette Davis and Joan Crawford in it. This is a spooky, creepy story but it is told in a very amusing, campy way.

This book was way ahead of it's time. Being a child star is such a rough path in life. I don't know why, in this day and age, anyone would subject their own child to it. Before Lindsay Lohan, McCauley Culkin and Justin Beiber there was this little girl…

Remember Buffy from
The latest in the long chain of events leading to the ruination of Western Civilization was my getting this book by way of the annual library book sale. No one had checked it out since the Reagan administration.

First of all, if you haven't seen the film go see it. As a gay man with a healthy respect for old Hollywood and camp horror I could be talking from my narrow personal worldview, much how a group of gourmands would be shocked ("What do you mean you've never had crème bachique!") at the eat
Natalie Richards
Feb 22, 2015 Natalie Richards rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Chilling and disturbing, this is a great fast read. Now I have to see the film.
What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?
If you've seen the movie, you're not going to gain anything by reading the book. The movie is very faithful to the story, with the added bonus of seeing Bette Davis and Joan Crawford work their magic in every scene.

It's not easy to talk about the story itself without giving something away, and so I won't.

It had been years since I had seen the movie, so I watched it again immediately after finishing the story. Because it was faithful to Farrell's story, and since I
Whitney (First Impressions Reviews)
Anyone who knows me, knows that my favorite actress is Bette Davis, who starred in All About Eve, Dark Victory and What Ever Happened To Baby Jane? This was the reason why I picked up Henry Farrell's novel. In the case of Baby Jane I saw the movie before I read the book and thus began with wonder of how much had been adapted. In What Ever Happened To Baby Jane they were right on. It was an early Misery minus James Caan/Paul Sheldon getting his foot cut off, but enough about the movie.

I read the
Keith Chawgo
Sep 11, 2013 Keith Chawgo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Henry Farrell is a classic horror writer who came to promience in the 60's. This will probably be his best remembered work due to the classic film starring Bette Davis and Joan Crawford. The film is pretty faithful to the book except for some minor changes and some excellent character building that you do not find in the film. As you get three quarters into the final story, things take a turn to the dark side. It is darker than the film and it does seem to get under the layers that the film only ...more
Jul 13, 2010 Alice rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was quite chilling - the movie version made with Bette Davis was very faithful to the plot. I enjoyed the fact that the story was written from the perspectives of multiple characters in the book. Definitely a quick read, but a memorable one.
May 23, 2016 Sarah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Get a copy of this book if you can and I also recommend watching the film. This is a perfect book and film pairing! Perfectly done. No beating around the bush just all story, all action, all suspense all the time.

Keep an eye out for a review @
Tabbitha Lindsley
I loved this Psychological Thriller!!!

Whatever happened to Baby Jane is about two sisters with a complicated relationship. The two sisters we're both stars at certain points in their lives and it was this part of their lives that tore them apart but also brought them together in an unforeseen way. Now that they're older they're locked away in a house with Jane taking care of her sister Blanche who is handicapped due to an accident years ago that everyone blamed Jane is on the verge of a psychoti
Sep 14, 2015 Gazella rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? is a gothic suspense novel of sibling rivalry. It is twisted but so good! It is dark and disturbing. It will keep you on the edge of your seat. The ending was chilling. I absolutely loved it.
Jul 16, 2016 Neri. rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Creepy, suspenseful and yet a little bit too long. Although, it was dragging a little bit, I kinda enjoyed it but I don't think that this book is for everyone.
Rebecca McNutt
Apr 12, 2015 Rebecca McNutt rated it it was amazing
This timeless novel of sibling rivalry has long been a favorite of mine, so has the 1962 film adaptation. It's excellent, especially if you're a fan of psychological thrillers and horror.
Dec 18, 2015 Kelly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
I've seen What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? at least a dozen times and somehow never knew it was based on a book. The screenplay, as it turns out, adheres very closely to the novel, but there are some differences. For anyone who knows the film backwards and forwards like I do, those differences feel like watching deleted scenes, and you'll hear the words in Bette Davis and Joan Crawford's voices just as clear as day, even when the lines are ones they never spoke.

Some of the differences are decide
Bonnie Randall
Feb 05, 2015 Bonnie Randall rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gothic
Two sisters, one a vaudeville darling of yesteryear, the other a Hollywood femme fatale of the 1930's silver screen, grow old within the confines of their gated, aging Hollywood manor, the bitterness swimming between them growing more toxic by the moment.

Everything about Whatever Happened To Baby Jane is grounded hard in gothic tradition; the melodrama, the urgency, the aching obstacles that prevent a character from even crossing a room...this oldie was a chiller mostly because it is an oldie -
Kris - My Novelesque Life

Baby Jane Hudson was the breadwinner of her family in the age of Vaudeville and never lets her family forget it. The tables turn when Blanche Hudson becomes the movie star and Jane is only gets parts because Blanche demands it in her contract. At the height of Blanche's career there is an accident that leaves her paralyzed and dependent on Jane. Jane seems to relish in the role of caretaker as this leaves her to torment Blanche and get back on top.

I saw this movie on PBS one friday night
Abby Mabb
Apr 24, 2014 Abby Mabb rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The word, "sinister" turns me on. Judge me as you want, but it does, every single time.

This, this is one of the best. Secrets, regrets, resentment, outright hatred, craziness but still a hint of love and possibilities. If you are all "sunshine" and happiness, read this. I hope you become more human in all its sinister, dark but real facets.

A modern gothic tale, but timeless.

The movie versions were brilliant as well. The original one in 1962 with Joan Crawford and Bette Davis was a fucking master
Mar 18, 2013 Judahbear rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I began watching the movie once years ago, and has always been on Jane's side, considering Betty Davis' past compared to Joan Crawford's, as well as the competition arising during filming. After reading the novel however, I completely sympathised with Blanche. Her sister had been portrayed as mad and insane, and since the novel had been more directed towards her first person encounters overall, it was easier to be suspenseful for her fate. Reading books with film adaptations also arises question ...more
Jan 06, 2015 Jalawa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Henry Farrell, is genius. The story was absolutely dark yet, thrilling to read. With each page you had to turn another. When the minute, hour or day didn't allow it, you actually missed the Hudson sisters. Somewhat sad.

The happiness, Hollywood/fame takes from a person is rich. Rich in its efforts to birth hatred at an early age. Any age. The price of fortune and fame, as seen through the life of these moving...ALIVE characters when you opened and turned the pages of his book almost angers you t
Feb 26, 2014 Corey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Yes, it was a novel first and, yes, it is as good as or slightly better than the movie. In this age of shock and gore it is a pleasure to read a horror story of such reticence and subtlety. For instance:
“Then, as the room and the objects inside began gradually to gather dimension and shape, she leaned sharply forward, and her eyes widened with horror. For a space of nearly fifteen seconds she stood breathlessly still and then, with a low, animal moan of numbed disbelief, she put out a trembling
Mar 15, 2016 Beth rated it really liked it
This is one of my favorite movies, but I had never read the novel that the movie is based on.

It is every bit as enjoyable as the movie, and it's a testament to the powerful acting of Bette Davis, Joan Crawford, and Victor Buono that I could hear their voices in the book. The movie hewed closely to the novel and a quick search showed that Farrell was also one of the screenwriters. The only thing I missed in the novel was the phrase, "But ya are, Blanche, ya ARE!"
Jasper Dekimmel
Jul 17, 2014 Jasper Dekimmel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A writing style straight out of the pages of Reader's Digest belies a campy yarn of sibling rivalry. Youngest siblings will appreciate this book, and hopefully it will teach future generations of older siblings not to be such damn assholes. I rate the suspense a 5; characters 4; writing style 3. Overall a solid 4 stars if you can get over the old-timey imagery and language.
Jun 25, 2014 Jelissa rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I loved the movie. But reading the book it was somewhat boring. Some parts got wanting to read more but most of it was boring. To me only reason why is because when it describes about certain things it's like ok I get it, let's move on. But it was an ok book.
Apr 19, 2008 Tina rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who can enjoy laughing at rather than with a book.
What a weird book! It was kind of cool how much it was like watching a 1950's horror film. Though its melodramatic and frivolous, it has a fun tone, and is kind of entertaining for how well it develops that tone.
Jan 23, 2009 James rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The characters in the book seem so much more realistic and 3 dimensional than the ones in the movie -- not that I'm knocking the movie!
Jun 29, 2014 Erin(DouglasFur) rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It keeps you reading. I'm still not sure what my thoughts are about this story or the characters.
Nov 30, 2014 Alex rated it really liked it
Just like the movie! Fantastic! THought out Bette Davis the entre time...
Jun 19, 2016 Donna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was all I hoped it would be.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Deborah Sheldon
Jan 05, 2017 Deborah Sheldon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you've seen the fabulous 1962 film starring Bette Davis and Joan Crawford, you'll know every plot-point. Nevertheless, 'What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?' is a nail-biter of a suspense novel. Author Henry Farrell must have been a great observer; each description of posture, gait or facial expression is the quintessential picture that tells a thousand words. (This edition included one novelette and two short stories. Oh, how I wish Farrell had expanded the novelette, 'What Ever Happened to Cous ...more
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