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The Diary of Ellen Rimbauer: My Life at Rose Red
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The Diary of Ellen Rimbauer: My Life at Rose Red

3.66  ·  Rating details ·  8,655 Ratings  ·  434 Reviews
At the turn of the twentieth century, Ellen Rimbauer became the young bride of Seattle industrialist John Rimbauer, and began keeping a remarkable diary. This diary became the secret place where Ellen could confess her fears of the new marriage, her confusion over her emerging sexuality, and the nightmare that her life would become. The diary not only follows the developme ...more
Paperback, 277 pages
Published April 29th 2001 by Hyperion (first published 2001)
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Cindy It fills in a lot of the blanks. You get to know the back story a little better. In fact, Ellen Rimbauer is someone you might first admire, then…moreIt fills in a lot of the blanks. You get to know the back story a little better. In fact, Ellen Rimbauer is someone you might first admire, then sympathize with, and finally pity.

I will say that it was written really well. It feels like a period piece. The one exception being the candid and detailed diary entries feeling a little too informative. There is just a little too much narration what is supposed to be the diary of a woman in the early 19th century. Unfortunately, there are times when it is feels as if this book is only a marketing tool for the movie and not a stand-alone novel.

As far as paying ten dollars for a copy? Ever the cheapskate, I checked out a copy from the library.

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
Mar 07, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: library-book
If ever there was a book that had me enthralled from cover to cover and constantly saying to myself "OMG...WTF" (yes...I'm sorry, my thoughts were quite that profane as I read it and for the sake of some of our viewers I've not spelt out the phrases), this was it. Trying to recall the movie I had watched depicted after Stephen King's version I can't quite place the two together. While I believe the movie was quite scary, reading the diary was far more dark and it wasn't that graphic. Chills were ...more
Chanthini Butler
Aug 10, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Is this story true? No, Rose Red does not exist.

However...The story was partially based on the story of Sarah Winchester who continued to build her house until she died. Sarah Winchester was very superstitious and that thought the victims that had died at the hand of Winchester rifles would one day come back to haunt her, so the house was build with doors to no where, steps that lead up to ceilings and went no where, in her vain attempt to protect herself.

You can tour this house the Stephen Kin
Dec 14, 2007 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: someone that likes lame stories
This was a book that I picked up and started reading essentially because it happened to be right there in front of me. I couldn’t tell you what compelled me to finish it, obviously I had NOTHING better to do and looking back that’s kind of sad.
The only good thing I can say is that the book initial had an idea with potential, but unfortunately that potential was ignored and wasted.
The story went on and on, but never had any points that I found memorial or crucial. If there is a climax it was to
Sarah Mac
No, it's not great literature...but it has a certain charm.

Loosely based on the mythos surrounding the Winchester House, this mock-up period ghost/possession/haunting was first published to accompany a (rather meh) miniseries called 'Rose Red.' I watched said miniseries & wasn't terribly impressed by the acting or the campy FX...but the 'background' of Rose Red intrigued me enough to read this a few weeks later. In retrospect, I should have waited; my opinion was colored by the show, &
Rebecca McNutt
Sep 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
This combination of history, the paranormal and the power of the human mind, is a really great story with more to it than meets the eye.
Tabby Kat
May 14, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: stephen-king
I really loved this book. I recieved my copy as a surprise gift from my husband and I read it right after I watched the series on TV. The book is very well written and is just like a diary. It complaments the movie very well if you have seen the movie by all means read this companion book.

A mysterious and haunting spirit lurks within the walls of Rose Red, the setting for Stephen King's upcoming ABC miniseries tie-in by the same name. Built on a Native American burial ground in early 20th-centu
SheriC (PM)
About the only thing positive I can say about this book is that the premise is interesting. Of course, the idea of a house that is (view spoiler) is pretty fun. The execution is lacking, though. I finished the book out of mild curiosity to see how the story played out and because I needed the Supernatural bingo square for the 2016 Hall ...more
Mar 28, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: reviewed
First I would like to point out that while Stephen King was responsible for the miniseries, which takes place after the events of this book, he is not the author of this book, which becomes quickly apparent as you read. It lacks King's style, and I'm surprised that any fan of his would think this was the case more than five pages in. The actual author (according to wikipedia, and the author's own site) is Ridley Pearson. He's apparently a really real person, with his own list of books on amazon. ...more
Edwina Callan
Jan 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bookcrossing, 2016
Perfect creep-fest story to go along with the dark and stormy nights that we've been having!
Aug 05, 2008 rated it liked it
So, I'll have to admit, first of all, that I really thought Stephen King wrote this. I felt like such a putz when it was pointed out that he did not. At least I can breathe a sigh of relief, because this was not up to King's usual level. Duh!

This diary entry book tells the story of Ellen Rimbauer and her life at the mansion Rose Red. The story actually begins on the day footings are being laid for the mansion's foundation, and then follows Ellen and John Rimbauer on their year long honeymoon aro
Jul 09, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Cheryl by: Sean
This book really held my attention. I even thought it was real. I was very disappointed when I discovered the truth. The movie is stupid, so if you've seen it, don't let it play a role in your decision to read this book.
Nov 30, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Tweens
This was a lesson in what constitutes progress. Found this on a rainy day in Venice Public Library and decided it might be sort of time-capsule creepy, a mouse-hole view into another era.

If I had had any idea whatsoever that this was in fact a companion novelization to a popular Stephen King miniseries... it would've remained on the shelf. But on this day I needed something to read, and my holds had yet to appear in the arrivals stack. Nothing about cover, flyleaf notes, or interior designations
Aug 23, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Considering this was written as promotional material for a TV movie, there's actually something to The Diary of Ellen Rimbauer. There's not a lot to it, but it's not bad by any means.

There are a lot of clichés here (all of them, in fact), but who doesn't love a good haunted house book? The tone is inconsistent and the story doesn't make a lot of sense, but you've got a philandering oil baron husband, a psychically-sensitive housewife, a spooky African housemaid with powers, a Chinese medium with
Aug 15, 2012 rated it did not like it
As haunted house books go, this one had an interesting premise but I didn't find the story interesting. The biggest problem was the narrator, for me. The diary conceit is always difficult to pull off, perhaps especially when the book's set in the past. Ellen Rimbauer was, for me, an annoying combination of self-conscious historical voice and modern novel habits. For instance, I'm not going to say what a teenaged bride at the turn of the century would or wouldn't possibly know about, she did seem ...more
Jan 20, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: horror
I skimmed through the first few pages because the prose was overwrought and extremely melodramatic. It reminded me of the sort of thing someone who has never read a romance might write thinking this is the way it's done. Purple prose, fluttering hands, and swooning galore. Blech.

Okay, I'm revising my first impression of this book because last night I zipped through 3/4's of it without taking a break, getting bored, or skimming. I haven't done that in YEARS. Something about this story fascinates
Sabrina Barnett
Jun 28, 2014 rated it really liked it
I went back an re-watched "Rose Red" recently (on VHS no less! Recorded straight from the magic talking box! Remnant of an ABC in whose programming only lawyers existed!), a mini-series remembered fondly by myself and about five other Americans, and decided to read (or, more accurately, listen) to this book. I found myself very pleasantly surprised by this lil' story, a nice spooky tale to enjoy of an evening, particularly for Winchester Mystery House enthusiasts such as myself. Nothing terribly ...more
Aug 22, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: horror
OK, first it needs to be understood that The Diary of Ellen Rimbauer is not a real diary. It was written by Stephen King to hype his Rose Red movie. That's right. It's a gimmick. Now, I'm not necessary opposed to a gimmick if it's well done. (See my review of Heat Wave.) However, King didn't even put any real effort into the writing of this. It felt like King punched this out on his computer in about an hour, then decided to turn it into a diary, so he took what he already wrote, chopped it up i ...more
Erin the Avid Reader ⚜BFF's with the Cheshire Cat⚜
I finished this book over a period of four days and really disliked every minute of it. Okay, I'm exaggerating a bit, but this book is neither sexy nor scary. In fact, it's quite cliche and boring most of the time. The main character was barely fleshed out, and let's not get started on the background characters. They barely even exist!

After finishing this book I found out it was made into a television series by Stephen King. The cinematography looked stunning and intriguing, yet one part of me t
Sarah Asp
Aug 15, 2010 rated it did not like it
I got half way through and since reading is a joy to me and something I do for relaxation and fun I could not read any more. It was truly awful. If I run out of toilet paper I know what to reach for. The premise was ridiculous and the long long description of life with her terrible sexually deviant husband was mind numbing. Really I don't have anything good to say about the book except it looked intriguing from the front cover. Good job I got it at goodwill for $1 or I'd have another regret to a ...more
Dec 28, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, horror
No wonder it read like Fiction - it is fiction! LOL Apparently it was written by Stephen King, which also explains why I devoured it in one sitting. He's one of my favourites. I'm now left wondering who wrote the online blog about the subsequent investigation that I read a few months ago. It didn't read like King at all, and was pretty incomplete. A horror of a house, reminiscent of the one in the Flowers in the Attic series.
May 17, 2013 added it
I thought this was written by Stephen King, and was confused by the odd style. Once I discovered it wasn't by him, I was both annoyed and relieved. This book absorbed my attention but at the same time felt poorly written and Ellen was working my last nerve. Every diary entry began the same way: "Oh my! I simply cannot write about the events of tonight/today/last month/breakfast! But I shall must up the courage and do so for pages and pages!"
Tracy Lee
Aug 24, 2009 rated it did not like it
picked up at the thrift store. eh, one of those "it's really a true story... see, we made a website to prove it!" ala Blair Witch Project. Fake diary of woman living in house she thinks is possessed - like many other "diary" books this one doesn't ring true as being someone's private writings nor does the style/language fit the time frame. It goes back to the thrift store for someone else to pick up for 50cents
Dina Herrera
Nov 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
It's better than what I expected. The first person point of view makes it so personal and sentimental, touching I the private life of Eleen without the exaggerations and unrealistic horror stories common in this genre. I enjoyed reading it over the Thanksgiving break.
Stephanie Utley
Like the best books I’ve read, this book left me frustratingly wanting more when the last page was turned. I was intrigued from the first word to the last. In a few weeks I’ll be venturing into the Winchester Mansion, the inspiration for this story. Having become as enamored with Rose Red as I have, my excitement to greet its real life counterpart and learn even more can barely be contained.
Michael Armijo
Nov 02, 2010 rated it really liked it
This diary belongs in everyone's personal library.

It amazes me that this diary was found at an estate sale in the summer of 1998. It is quite revealing of the past. The diary will take you into the mind of a woman who found herself in a torrid relationship with a wealthy man in the early 1900s. She forced herself to love this man. I would definitely give this book a solid B as it is a GOOD form of reading a womans' thoughts almost a century ago. The romantic woman, Ellen, was in the forefront fo
Sheena Jabile
Jul 05, 2013 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Got this book at a library sale because I was in the mood for true!hauntings and/or Victorian spiritualism, and got neither. I was a little disappointed to find out it wasn't a true account, but that didn't ruin the book for me; lots of creepy-haunting books aren't true accounts.

However,I didn't think this book was particularly scary or creepy; it was a fairly run-of-the-mill fictional haunting with some lesbianism thrown in for omgsoshocking!!1!! value.

I didn't think the book felt like a diary
Alex Telander
Jan 28, 2011 rated it liked it
You all remember the popular Stephen King mini-series that aired earlier this year on ABC under the auspicious title of Rose Red: the story of a group of “gifted people” who, with the help of Joyce Reardon, venture into the old abandoned mansion known as Rose Red, where within they come in contact with the supernatural, though in no way that has ever been televised before. But what happened to the former occupants of the house? The ghosts that now dwell within, what were their lives like? Well h ...more
May 13, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011
When I last reviewed a book in diary form - Stray - I mentioned, that it's not my favourite type of narrative and here's a very good example of why this is.

Ellen's superficial and self absorbed ramblings are simply annoying. I couldn't stand her and since it's her diary there is no escape. And if you skip pages of details about wardrobe or her feeling sorry for herself because her husband isn't treating her well (a man she only married because of his money and social status, mind you) there just
Lisa James
Mar 06, 2011 rated it really liked it
The book was SO much better than the mini series! The details in the book, & the complete spookiness & shocking details come across as a REAL diary. If it hadn't been written by Stephen King, you'd think it could have been a real experience. This was completely awesome. I love Stephen King anyway, but this little book is quite possibly the least sensationalized & most realistic thing he's ever done. I HIGHLY recommend it as a read. Preferably at night, when you're home alone, & i ...more
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"Joyce Reardon" is a pseudonym of Ridley Pearson.
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“A woman's heart is much stronger than a man's. They are weak creatures, dear. Weak, and often far more insecure than they present on the outside. Trust your love, child. The rest will follow.” 0 likes
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