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The House Next Door

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  8,901 ratings  ·  766 reviews
Thirty-something Colquitt and Walter Kennedy live in a charming, peaceful suburb of the newly bustling Atlanta. Life is made up of enjoyable work, long, lazy weekends, and the company of good neighbors. Then, to their shock, construction starts on the vacant lot next door, a wooded hillside they'd believed would always remain undeveloped. Soon, though, they come to realize ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 352 pages
Published February 1st 1995 by HarperTorch (first published 1978)
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Average rating 3.86  · 
Rating details
 ·  8,901 ratings  ·  766 reviews


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Jeffrey Keeten
Nov 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, southern
”If we find that all our efforts have failed and someone buys the house, we shall set fire to it and burn it down. We will do this at night, before it is occupied. In another time they would have plowed the charred ground and sowed it with salt.

If it should come to that, I do not think we will be punished.

I do not think we will be alive long enough.”


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Colquitt and Walter Kennedy live in an upscale neighborhood among people of similar socioeconomic status. They are all friends who barbeque, hav
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Char
This book was Fan-Freaking-Tastic!

Our narrator, Colquitt, is a hoity-toity lady of society in Atlanta in the 1970's. She and her husband Walter live next door to a beautiful wooded lot with a creek and their life is nearly perfect. Until the lot is sold to a couple who plan to build a beautiful modern home with lots of glass and chrome. Once the house goes up, perfection leaves their lives forever.

I normally don't get into the plot in my reviews, and I'm not going to delve too deeply here, bu
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Candi
Nov 09, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars

"I thought with pleasure of yellow lights in those windows, smoke curling up from the chimneys like the breath of the house. It needed life now, like a heart to beat."

I’ve never read anything by Anne Rivers Siddons before. To be honest, I wasn’t really familiar with this author until just recently when I heard she had passed away. When I learned that she wrote this book, a haunted house tale, I decided what better way to make my acquaintance with her during the month of October. I don’t
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J.K. Grice
Oct 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
This is a great period horror piece basically set in a well-to-do Atlanta neighborhood. Siddons does a masterful job juxtaposing the horror with the affluence of the characters experiencing the traumatic events. This novel seems as much a character study to me as it does a haunted house tale. But it's BOTH, and Siddon's pulls it off in marvelous fashion. What a fine, unique book!
Beverly
A great haunted house story with lots of terrifying mayhem, The House Next Door has no supernatural elements. All the horrible happenings are natural and can be explained away if you are not paying attention. The main characters are Col and Walter Kennedy, a wealthy, middle aged couple with no children and a perfect life. They have interesting, well paid jobs, have exotic vacations, go to parties, give parties and play tennis with their other rich friends and neighbors.

They are a bit too perfec
...more
Trin
Oct 02, 2007 rated it it was ok
Shelves: american-lit, horror
Another book where I really dug the first third and then became progressively more and more annoyed. Narrated by a woman with the improbable name of Colquitt (forgive me if this actually IS a popular name Down South; I'm clearly an ignorant Westerner/Yankee, yo), this is a haunted house story that I'd heard was fantastic from several sources, including Stephen King—not in his usual, I'll-blurb-anything fashion, but in long passages of "Danse Macabre," (the title of which GoodReads seems determi ...more
Kathryn
After rewatching Lifetime's film version of Anne Rivers Siddons' The House Next Door , I decided to reread this horror classic. I've gotta admit, rereading a book I once loved is always nerve-wracking. Will I still enjoy it? Does this book stand the test of time? And in the continued spirit of honesty, I'll concede: sorta yes and sorta no.

But before I get into the why of it all, here's the premise: Colquitt & Walter Kennedy live a relaxed, child-free existence in an upscale suburb of Atlanta.
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Stephanie
Nov 11, 2007 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: anybody stupid enough to follow a knife-wielding psychopath into the basement
Shelves: meh
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 au
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Marie
Can a brand new house be haunted?

That is a question that swirls through the minds of Colquitt and Walter Kennedy as they try to figure out what is going on with the house next door. In a quiet upscale neighborhood where everyone knows everyone, the house that was built next door becomes the center of their world.

Three families move in and out of the house within a few years with tragic circumstances taking place inside the house. Colquitt and Walter Kennedy along with other neighbors become fri
...more
Ginger
Aug 15, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: buddy-read, 2019
Going with 3.5 STARS on this one!
Good grief, what a neighborhood!

The House Next Door was wrote in 1978 by Anne Rivers Siddons and her writing was wonderful. I enjoyed the descriptive and atmospheric nature of this book.
The people, not so much.

It was sunshine, lazy summers playing tennis at the club, drinking gin on the patio and not having a care in the world for bills, jobs or being a failure in life.
But something evil lurks next door and the neighborhood’s spoiled life is about to come crashin
...more
Marc
Oct 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I remember checking this book out of the public library when I was in high school and how much I liked it. It's stayed in my mind and it's weird how some books have that effect on you. The great thing is when I picked it up 30+ years later I still thought it was excellent. A very well done and creative horror novel and, in my opinion, it holds up well. Highly recommended.
Deborah Markus
What is the point of a haunted house?

In a story, it's there to scare the bejabbers out of a reader. Clear enough.

But here's a conundrum I found myself puzzling over early in my spooky-reading career: Haunted houses that are too good at what they do won't have anyone to haunt. If a house earns a reputation for being scary as all get-out, people will steer clear of that house. And then what will it do for fun?

I genuinely used to wonder about this. I still do. "This" being: What's a haunted house'
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Bark
Nov 25, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Colquitt & Walter Kennedy are a comfortable couple living out their dreams in an affluent suburb and then the lot next to them is sold . . . It has some very sinister undertones and I'm looking forward to discovering what happens next.

Later: This was a great book. I remember picking it up because it was on Stephen King's recommended reading list in Entertainment Weekly a few years back. It's a story about a group of upper class people who have lived charmed lives until construction begins in a p
...more
Cody | CodysBookshelf
When compiling a list of vintage horror books to read and review this month, my first and best source was Stephen King’s Danse Macabre. Invaluable was it in determining which novels I wanted to take a chance on it. In Danse King spends three or four pages dissecting this — Anne Siddons’s 1978 release, The House Next Door, one of the smartest and most atmospheric haunted house tales I’ve read yet.

Told from the point of view of Colquitt Kennedy, an upper-middle class woman living in an upscale At
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Becky
Nov 25, 2011 rated it really liked it
This was not really what I was expecting, but I liked it quite a lot. I was expecting something along the lines of a traditional ghost story, but, instead, I got something similar to Shirley Jackson's The Haunting of Hill House... but better, in my opinion. The two books share quite a bit of ambiguity, in that we're never truly sure if there is something going on, or if it's all just in their heads, but I felt like this story just worked a bit better for me.

Almost from the start, I was kind of
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Randolph
Jan 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, fiction
One of four iconic American Haunted House novels. This book is like nothing Siddons ever wrote before or since. Her milieu is generally the contemporary New South, Old South social drama. Set in suburban Atlanta (think Buckhead), the modernist upper middle class shack that goes up next to the Kennedy's home is going to do more than ruin their view. As time goes on there is evidence that more than just a few bad vibes are coming off the new neighbor's house. The New/Old South is still the backdro ...more
Kimberly
Feb 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ha-challenge
I really enjoyed this book! The fact that you could just never tell what form the "horror" would take on next was so unsettling! This is definitely one that I can see myself re-reading in the future. My only--minor--complaint was that I was tired of hearing Colquitt explaining how they were just average people, even though they clearly lived an above-average lifestyle. But the uncertainty these people faced day-to-day, not knowing what new disaster would unfold, made for a very strong, gripping ...more
Jennifer
Apr 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
This turned into a book I didn't want to put down. It made me long for drinks on the patio, martini lunches, fancy dinner parties, tennis at the club... evil house next door....
Don't read to much into this novel, take it at face value. Col and Walter would want that. All they wanted was their nice, quiet life together. But the House Next Door has other ideas, dark ideas, it doesn't want people to be happy. For me there were a few jaw dropping scenes that came from left field, that damn house...i
...more
Rachel Bea
What a satisfactory, creepy read. Totally crawled under my skin and I could see and believe every word.
Mark
Feb 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Cheryl
Feb 26, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very good psychological horror novel. It starts out so bland, you wonder if it's going to be scary at all. But slowly the tension builds. At the half-way point I was so creeped out by it, I couldn't read it at night. A house emanating evil, causing worse and worse tragedy to each new family that lives in it. I also liked the book because it doesn't blatantly show there is a supernatural connection, leaving you to decide for yourself. Subtle, well-written and worth reading.
Noel
May 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
This book was great. I loved the setting, loved the writing, loved the plot. This was the first Anne Rivers Siddons book that I've read, but it will not be the last. She has a way with words that made this book something special. I believe this is her only book that has a supernatural element, which is unfortunate, as she did such a great job with it, but regardless, I'm excited to read more from her.
Tom Mathews
I spent much of this book convinced that I would give it three stars at the end. The characters didn't really appeal to me, the nature of the haunting lacked an explanation, and the actions of the characters struck me as very implausible. Luckily, the author managed to come up with a great ending which gave it the 4th star that succeeded in pulling it up out if the sea of mediocrity.

My thanks to the folks at the On the Southern Literary Trail group for giving me the opportunity to read and dis
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Jackie
Dec 23, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: e-books, 2013-read
2.5 stars

I struggled a bit rating this one. Sometimes it was 2 stars, sometimes 3 stars and then sometimes it fell in between. I don’t think there was a point where I didn’t like it, but the narrator, Colquitt, and even some of the neighbors got on my nerves plenty of times. Colquitt, for the most part, sounded so pretentious that I wanted to slap her. I believe the author wanted to make her and Walter relatable characters, but instead they came off as upper middle class snobs with their gin and
...more
Emily
May 01, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: owned-tbr
"The madness lay next door."

3.5⭐

I have pretty mixed feelings on The House Next Door. I loved some of it, and didn't care for other parts. The synopsis of this book seemed so perfect for me with the mix of horror and domestic suspense. I really enjoyed this book overall, but I felt like something was missing at times.

I wish it would have been a bit more sinister. It kept feeling like it was building to something, and then it would just sort of flatline. However, I was invested the entire time I
...more
 Reading Reindeer
Sep 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing
A truly astonishing novel, both for the depths of inexplicable horror, and for the character and relationship dynamics. I rate this one along with Jay Anson's wonderful 666 as truly classic horror, haunting houses which are not just "haunted" per se, but which themselves are the vector and the impetus of the haunting. Anne Rivers Siddons is a sterling writer; I've read several of her other novels, but being a dyed-in-the-bone (died-in-the-bone?) horror fan, this is my favourite. ...more
Jessica Woodbury
Oct 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror
I saw this book on a list of horror novels somewhere and I was skeptical. Siddons writes what bookstores call "Women's Fiction" and this looked like just another one of those but maybe with a ghost. The copy I got from the library had a cover that blended in with all her other covers, looking like the kind of book you'd read after gardening. So I was absolutely tickled to find that this is legitimately scary, actually disturbing, and a real rip of a read. It's too bad Siddons didn't write more h ...more
Tracy Robinson
May 04, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4-4.5 I really can’t pick. I loved LOVED the atmosphere that Siddons builds and the characters are believable. I either liked them or loved to hate them...sometimes both for the same character.

Published in the 70s, readers should expect some dated ideology but for me it wasn’t enough to pull me out of the story. On the whole, I find the book to be quite timeless. My only issues (which is why I’m wavering with half stars) are with a few places where the plot could’ve used a tad more development
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Marie-Therese
Any detailed review I could leave would just be one (tired, melodramatic) spoiler after another and I doubt that's really helpful to the potential reader wondering whether to pick this up.

Suffice it to say, I strongly disliked this book; I detested each and every one of the characters, I felt authorial ugliness and prejudice (classism, anti-semitism, and general white American shittiness) raised its head throughout in ways that could not be excused by unreliable/unlikeable narrators, and the fl
...more
Latasha
For all the hype this book has, I didn't care for it. I found the characters unrelatable. I didn't like most of them. It took a while for anything to happen but there's a ton of talk! I liked the way the house "haunted" people but it wasn't enough for me.
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Born Sybil Anne Rivers in Atlanta, Georgia, she was raised in Fairburn, Georgia, and attended Auburn University, where she was a member of the Delta Delta Delta Sorority.

While at Auburn she wrote a column for the student newspaper, The Auburn Plainsman, that favored integration. The university administration attempted to suppress the column, and ultimately fired her, and the column garnered natio
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