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The Legacy

3.61  ·  Rating details ·  437 ratings  ·  26 reviews
Six beautiful people arrive for a weekend in the country. Six guests of the unseen host who lies wasting away upstairs. Five heirs to a mysterious Legacy watch the body of the sixth float to the side of the pool. Four claim the unspeakable power of the Legacy, while a red stain spreads across the ceiling. Three realize that the Legacy has come to claim them, while outside ...more
Paperback, 246 pages
Published April 1st 1979 by Berkley
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3.61  · 
Rating details
 ·  437 ratings  ·  26 reviews

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Jack Tripper
Jun 16, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: horror

1979 Berkley mass-market. One of the very few examples of a novelization that was more popular than the movie it was based on. It was actually a huge bestseller, while the movie, starring Katharine Ross and Sam Elliot, pretty much sank without a trace. I'm giving this a shot even though my only other John Coyne experience, Hobgoblin, was extremely underwhelming. I'm always down for a supernatural-infused And Then There Were None-type novel.
Jan 23, 2013 rated it liked it
This was a very entertaining book. It definitely had me going as I wanted to know who the killer was. The characters were interesting and there was just enough build up that I cared for Maggie and Pete. In the end it still wasn't clear about this "legacy," but it was enough to satisfy. Even though the puzzle pieces fall into place, I felt like it was wrapped up too quickly. I would definitely read more from coyne and will be watching the movie to see how it compares.
May 06, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: horror
For my full review, please visit Casual Debris.

Former horror and current golf author John Coyne wrote The Legacy early in his fiction writing career, and it helped establish him among the ranks of best-selling young American horror authors of the period, such as Peter Straub and Stephen King. While the novel was a best-seller and Coyne did pen some other successful horror books, most notably Hobgoblin (1981), he never reached the heights of Straub or King and his name is not well recognized toda
May 12, 2012 rated it really liked it
I stumbled across this little gem at my local used book store and despite having finals and a Heather Graham book to finish, I couldn't help but start flipping through it and finish it. It's a pretty fast read, so I don't feel overwhelmingly guilty at doing so. The book is unfortunately out of print, but you can still find used copies through the regular online vendors and (obviously) used book stores.

The story follows two Americans, Maggie and Peter, as they set out to England to take a job red
Dark Recesses
Horror Classics Book Review

By John Coyne
(Original publication date: 1979)

Folks, it doesn’t get much better than Coyne’s “The Legacy”. This book is the one of the reasons that horror is still cool. Written at the tail end of the 70s, Coyne managed to capture that exciting moment in horror history when all things were possible and there were yet no real clichés to avoid. It was a time when horror readers were being created by the likes of Straub and King, molded by savvy book marketers,
Feb 04, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: review
In ‘The Legacy’, Maggie and Peter travel to England in order to design a well-known company’s office. Upon arrival, they learn that there has been a mistake. After an accident with a gentleman named Jason Mountolive, he invites them to stay at his luxurious manor house while their vehicle is being repaired. However, when five guests arrive, it soon becomes evident that something unbeknownst to them is going on.

The book was slow-paced in the beginning as it took about six chapters for the actual
Carolina Dean
Jun 08, 2011 rated it really liked it

Very entertaining. 'Ten Little Indians' by way of Stephen King.

The Legacy was made into a film in 1979 starring Katherine Ross and Sam Elliot. If you seen the film, it follows the book very closely.
Matthew Bielawa
Feb 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
What can you say, there's a curse, a satanic cult, and the English countryside with an old estate: what's NOT to love?! Although to me it seemed like most of the characters were too simple and the storyline pretty routine, I still really got into it! It's just a fun read that pleases easily.
Nov 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: star
I watched this movie when I was a child and thought it was very eerie. It always stuck out in my mind. I read the book and loved it. I recommend the book and the movie (even if just for the cast), but I must say the book is better.
Rebecca McNutt
Jan 08, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, horror, thriller
Typical mass-market horror novel, nothing special but it still has some truly creepy moments and well-written chapters.
Virginia Marie
Nov 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own
I really liked this one. I resented anyone or anything that pulled me away from it. I finished it in a couple days. The only thing I didn't like was that this little gem didn't last long enough.
Feb 20, 2014 added it
The cover of this book TERRIFIED me as a little kid. If I ever come across it in a used bookstore, I will 1)scream and 2)read it.
Jun 30, 2017 rated it liked it
WhenI was about 10 I remember a commercial for a horror movie called the Legacy. The commercial showed a lovely young woman sitting outside a bed surrounded by various hospital equipment and as the woman leans closer to the bed, a hideous hand/claw grabs her by the wrist. And this is the novelization of that movie.

I have seen the movie fairly recently (most interesting that Roger Daltry is in it) and thought, I wonder what the novelization is like.

Unlike some novelizations that actually add to t
J. Elliott
Aug 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-i-devoured
Obviously, I need a WEIRD bookshelf, as this and Shirley Jackson clearly fall into that category. This book was made into a movie in the 70s, and they followed the book carefully. The story is spooky without being out-and-out scary. Can't say quite why, but this is one of my all-time favorites. Is it the nurse who transforms into a cat? Is it the grotesque way that the victims die in accordance with their transgressions? Or the innocent woman who finds her destiny is not at all what she thought ...more
H.L. Sudler
Feb 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Old-school easy read thriller. Enjoyable, with a predictable but satisfying ending. Devil-worship, murder, and old England come together in Ten Little Indians-fashion to create an ongoing legacy of terror. The Legacy works well as a beach read, and while it is not scary it is riveting and fast-paced.
Eden Thompson
May 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
From my book blog
The Legacy is an occult horror novel by John Coyne, essentially based on the screenplay of the 1978 movie of the same name, but enlarged with enough original concepts to make it a winner worth reading - a book that was more popular than the film. I shy away from novelizations, but forty years ago I remember being a fan of horror films but was eleven when this came out and too young to see it. Flash forward to a thrift store paperback for .50cen
Adding the old gothic paperbacks last night made me remember this one. I read it in later elementary school, which was probably a little too young, and it scared the poop out of me. So of course I read it over and over again! The evil white cat was the best part, and the scene of the woman drowning in the pool b/c some magical force had created an invisible "cover" over it afer she got in is STILL eerie to me. The last thing she sees as she loses consciousness is the cat watching her from the ed ...more
Oct 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is excellently written. Somewhere around the 1979 copyrighted date this was written to establish John Coyne as author extraordinaire, his horror is definitely styled to suit many readers of any favorite genres. It's a mainstream paperback bestseller in its time and could impress a bunch of horror fic fans today whether lighthearted or fanatic about the content in your stories. I'll need to read more of his works soon.
Richard Rich
Oct 05, 2016 rated it liked it
An average 70's horror novel.
Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed it, but the characters, the setting, even the story itself is middle-of-the-road. I know there is a movie of this story. I'm not sure which came first- the book or the movie- but the novel reads like an adaptation written from a screenplay. A quick read with some good kills.
Now, onto the movie.
Jaime Contreras
Aug 02, 2011 rated it did not like it
I only read this book because I am a John Coyne fan and I saw the movie. I was hoping that his novel would be better than the lackluster film. Unfortunately, the one-dimensional characters and the limp villains never fully carry enough suspense for this supernatural thriller. Pass this by unless you want to really struggle to read an unthrilling thriller.
Leah Richards
May 28, 2016 rated it liked it
A very good read and extremely well written. The story was excellent and I thoroughly enjoyed it. If he ending of the book and continued in the same manner I would have rated it 5 stars, however the ending felt rushed and left some unanswered questions. For this reason, 3 stars.
Feb 04, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: horror
This was a fun story that really stuck with me. Very Seventies-style horror with a lot of references to laid-back Californians and their struggles to achieve more sexual satisfaction.
Erika McConnell
Aug 02, 2010 rated it liked it
Exactly the story of the Eagles song "Hotel California".
Jeremy Hornik
Mar 05, 2016 rated it did not like it
Not my cup of meat.
Apr 11, 2012 rated it really liked it
frightening! Well written.
Raymond Valenti
rated it it was ok
Sep 06, 2012
rated it liked it
Jan 17, 2013
rated it liked it
Mar 03, 2017
Laurence Marvin
rated it it was ok
Jul 27, 2013
rated it liked it
Oct 25, 2016
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John Coyne (born 1937) is an American writer. He is the author of more than twenty-five nonfiction and fiction books, including a number of horror novels, while his short stories have been collected in "best of" anthologies such as Modern Masters of Horror and The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror. A former Peace Corps Volunteer and a life-long lover of golf, Coyne has edited and written a number of ...more
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