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Friday, November 10, 2017

#Audiobook #Review: 4 out of 5 stars for Burnt Offerings by Robert Marasco #RobertMarasco @blueheronaudio

AUTHOR: Robert Marasco
PUBLISHER: Blue Heron Audio
PUBLICATION DATE: March 25, 2016 (first published 1973)
FORMAT: Unabridged audiobook
LENGTH: 7 hrs and 45 mins
GENRE: Horror
Ben and Marian Rolfe are desperate to escape a stifling summer in their tiny Brooklyn apartment, so when they get the chance to rent a mansion in upstate New York for the entire summer for only $900, it's an offer that's too good to refuse. There's only one catch: behind a strange and intricately carved door in a distant wing of the house lives elderly Mrs. Allardyce, and the Rolfes will be responsible for preparing her meals.

But Mrs. Allardyce never seems to emerge from her room, and it soon becomes clear that something weird and terrifying is happening in the house. As the suspense builds toward a revelation of what really lies behind that locked door, the Rolfes will discover that their cheap vacation rental comes at a terrible cost....

The basis for a classic 1976 film adaptation and an acknowledged influence on Stephen King's The Shining, Burnt Offerings is one of the most original and scariest haunted house novels ever written. This edition, the first in decades, features a new introduction by award-winning author Stephen Graham Jones.

I love haunted house stories! When I saw this creepy Daily Deal on Audible, I couldn’t resist and had to have it.

The story is about the Rolfe family. Ben, a teacher, has summers off and the family wants to escape the confines of their small, stuffy apartment during the summer's oppressive heat. His wife, Marian, scours the classifieds looking for a summer home to rent. The ad says that the price is reasonable, and the couple drives out with their son, David, to meet with the homeowners. It is located about 2.5 hours away from New York City, and they are taken aback by the size of the estate with pool, private beach, and dock. The home is owned by the Allardyces, a brother and sister with their elderly mother. The Allardyces are very selective about their tenants, and they only agree to rent their home to the right people. Since they are wealthy, they can afford to charge a very modest rate. Initially, Miss Alardyce quotes a fee of $700 but her brother who is in charge of the family's financial matters makes her increase the rent to $900. The Rolfes realize that it is still a bargain and take them up on the offer. They invite Ben’s aunt to spend the summer with them so that they don’t have to worry about her being left on her own in the city.

Miss Allardyce explains that their mother will be remaining at the home during the summer, but not to worry because she isn’t a bother. Marian need only fix the elderly matron’s meals three times each day and bring them up to her sitting room and leave the tray for her there.

Marian is instantly taken by the heirlooms that fill the home. She takes it upon herself to polish the silver and restore lustre to the home’s many treasures. The family is each affected by the home in different ways, and it is changing them.

I love the atmospheric setting of the story, with a remote and isolated palatial estate. This was a quick read for me, and it gave me the chills that I was hoping for. There is also a 1976 film adaptation by the same name, starring Oliver Reed and Karen Black. I’ll be looking for that one!

R.C. Bray delivers a great narration, and he is well suited for this type of story. I have listened to him narrate other haunted house stories, and I like him. His voice adds to the air of mystery in the story.

4 stars!! It was really good, and you should put it on your TBR list if you enjoy horror.

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