Stephanie's Reviews > The House Next Door

The House Next Door by Anne Rivers Siddons
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Nov 11, 07

bookshelves: meh
Recommended for: anybody stupid enough to follow a knife-wielding psychopath into the basement
Read in January, 2007

WARNING!!! THE FOLLOWING REVIEW CONTAINS PLOT SPOILERS. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!!

Trin's review was right on. I, too, picked up this book after reading Stephen King's rave review in Danse Macabre. And while I loved the beginning (Pie's miscarriage was truly horrific), my admiration turned to disbelief as the house made everybody in town stray from their spouses and have sex with somebody else. Just so you know it's really a curse and not plain ol' horniness that's gotten hold of these people, the author has the town engaging in gay extramarital sex, too. Wow, that place has gotta be haunted!!!

I also couldn't believe that Colquitt, who was always yammering about how having a childless marriage was the best means of privacy there is -- kept injecting herself into the lives of her next door neighbors, even after she suspected the house was haunted. I mean, after the second couple suffers a horrific tragedy, it's time to put down the Bundt pan and margarita mix and stay home.

I think I would have enjoyed this book more had I liked any of the characters. And while I think Siddons was deliberately trying to paint a picture of a smug, privileged society of suburbanites, I wish some of them had redeeming qualities. Even one sympathetic character would have been nice! But as the body count began to mount, I began taking more and more pleasure in everybody's misfortunes, until finally I was rooting for the house.

Lest anybody think I'm completely callous, I did get upset whenever any animal died...which was basically whenever one would show up in the story. (When the protagonist's two cats made their way into the story, I knew they were toast.)

/By the way, what are the odds that Ted Haggerty and Larry Craig stayed in this house? Because it would certainly explain a lot of things. /sarcasm off.
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Comments (showing 1-14 of 14) (14 new)

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message 1: by Kelly (new)

Kelly You know, I feel like I HAVE to read this book now. You and Trin gave such delightful summations of the novel's total badness!


Stephanie Let me know what you think of it after you've read the immortal work. (It's a quick read...should take a day or two.) It's an interesting book because it starts out very promising, but ends flat. Judging from the other positive reviews here, I guess what is horrific to some is laughable to others, and vice versa. And that's definitely a good thing!


Trin ahahahaha, YES. "The House made me do it" should the new go-to excuse for disgraced politicians. There's even a bit of a double meaning! FUN TIMES.


Jennifer (Hi from a complete stranger who came across your review of this book.)

Your review made me LOL, seriously. Love it.

I was kind of hoping the story was loosely based on a true story, like the Amityville horror, so I could go to the house and sneak in whenever I'm experiencing "a dry spell." lol


Stephanie Thanks for the kind words, Jennnifer! Yeah, it would be awesome to have a house like that. Better than Viagra.


Grace What's really scary is (from her quotes in Danse Macabre) how much alike Colquitt and Anne Rivers Siddons. As much as I dislike Colquitt I don't think I would like Anne much better.


Stephanie I think you've got something there, Crimsonbutterfly.


message 8: by Deb (new) - rated it 1 star

Deb Thanks for the great review. I wish my book club had read it before we picked this loser.


Stephanie Yeah, sounds good on paper but in practice, not so much.


Megan I thought the exact same thing about this book, Stephanie. The main couple were so insufferable I was hoping the house would win the whole time.


Randolph Carter You just don't get this at all.


Eileen I didn't particularly like most of the characters, but the book worked for me, as a really creepy and expertly told story. As for Siddons being like Colquitt, I'm not so sure. Read some of her other books, if you want. Siddons is really good at presenting a variety of personalities as the "protagonist".


message 13: by Ken (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ken Averill I also got the idea for reading this from Danse Macabre and while sympathise with some of your points, it was actually pretty well written in places, held together, and scored some good scares. I think it is easy to have a laugh at popular fiction, especially with a upper class Southern theme, but I have read worse, much worse, lit fiction.


message 14: by Tanya (new)

Tanya Negrey Thanks for your review, Stephanie. I think I'll give this one a pass.


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