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Burnt Offerings Audiobook

Burnt Offerings: Valancourt 20th Century Classics

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Publisher's Summary

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.

©1973 Robert Marasco (P)2016 Blue Heron Audio

What the Critics Say

"Burnt Offerings has no peer. Better than Rosemary's Baby, The Other, and The Exorcist." (Hartford Courant)

"Insidiously frightening...It snares you early and draws you inexorably to one of the most nerve-shattering finales in years." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

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Performance


There are no listener reviews for this title yet.

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  • Kim Venatries
    Philadelphia, PA USA
    30/03/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "As Scary As I Remember"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, if they like horror stories that do not rely on blood and guts to terrify.


    What about R.C. Bray’s performance did you like?

    RC Bray is an excellent performer however, he would not have been my first voice for this book. It could be I'm used to listening to him doing action thrillers. I think a female performer may have been a better choice.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    This book was made into a film with the same title. It's very well done and one of my all time favorite movies. If you haven't seen it you really should. The movie is actually better than the book thanks in part to Karen Black and Betty Davis.


    Any additional comments?

    This book was released in the 1970s so sure it's a little dated but still delivers chills.

    13 of 14 people found this review helpful
  • Jim "The Impatient"
    Springfield, MO, United States
    27/04/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "YANKEE DOODLE"

    NO SECRETS, NO DARK THOUGHTS, THAT'S FOR MUSHROOMS
    This came close to five stars for it's literary merits. It's an entertaining story, even though it is predictable and fairly cliché. I do not feel I wasted my credit. This is one of the very few times in which I disagree with my fellow reviewer Kim, as this was not scary. The last twenty minutes were a little scary, but you got to listen to 7 hours and 25 minutes to get there. I was also not satisfied with the ending, of which the whole book is a lead up to.
    Bray
    I can't bray loud enough the talents of R.C.

    26 of 30 people found this review helpful
  • Mel
    USA
    21/10/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Happy Nightmares!"


    I love a scary book in October, and ESPECIALLY one that features an *old* maybe creepy couple! (No offense, by the definition in most books, I'm one of them!) Damn, if those *old* people don't continually throw down the scary with evil finesse that beats any long black wet-haired child crawling out of a well, reaching out through the TV. Sure, those are great jumper scares -- but put in a pair of seemingly sweet elderly people and you know you're dealing with some serious, well-seasoned soul suckers. Think of the sweet little old Minnie and Roman Castevet...from Rosemary's Baby. (Ruth Gordon, indisputable queen of the sweet old doddering minions of Satan.) Add an over the top Gothic mansion full of extravagant antiquities, tarnished, blanketed with cobwebs; a dilapidated greenhouse with rows of dead and twisted exotic plants; a swimming pool choked with dark muck; and a wing of the house occupied by an unseen old invalid...Yahoo! Let the wild ruckus start!

    I can't even offer any review of the writing itself, or the narration...I was just enjoying myself too much listening to how this unfolded. You probably can figure out the plot, but you'll still be oblivious to forming any criticisms, busy instead yelling, "No! Stay out of the pool, out of the greenhouse; don't open that sitting room door, get your gray hair touched-up!" This is pure fun. Creepy, spooky, and I really did notice it is written well. Diserving of the caption: *Valancourt 20th Century Classics.* If you are a reader that needs at least a seasonal spooky-fix, reach back in time for this absolute classic. I thought I had exhausted all of the horror novels available in my youth; I'm glad I left this one to be discovered now -- like finding one more piece of candy in an exhausted trick-or-treat bag full of wrappers.

    15 of 19 people found this review helpful
  • Calliope
    Toronto, ON, Canada
    3/05/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Haunted house story more creepy than horrific"

    This is really a psychological thriller than a horror novel - more creep than scare, and think that's terrific, because that makes for a better book. It's quite clear that there are elements that inspired Stephen King when he wrote The Shining, though the writing style is obviously different. Even though this takes place in the Hamptons, it shares a lot of elements with Southern Gothic stories, including an isolated house with a tragic past, aged owners who've fallen from their prime years of wealth and health, and a sick old relative up in the attic.

    It's like a slow burn rather than a raging fire.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Christina
    Freehold, NJ, United States
    1/05/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "As chilling as the movie"

    I can understand younger readers finding this book slow or not scary but it is a psychological horror story.
    Ever since I was a child and saw this movie with my brother on Chiller (without my moms permission) I have had nightmares about the chauffeur and the mere sound of an idling car outside my window in the middle of the night terrified me...til this day I never put the bed facing the door.
    If you had read the Ametyville Horror or The Shining you would understand...the movies for all 3 were scarier but that is because they brought to the forefront the creepiness one felt while reading this book.
    But again if you grew up with more "in your face" horror stories you may not feel as afraid. If needed watch the movie first and then read the story so you "get it" better.
    Arí St Marie

    7 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • Almira
    PHOENIX, AZ, United States
    29/09/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Gothic and spooky slow burn"

    I loved this older book (1973?) that I'd never heard of before and finished it in about a day.
    I enjoy a 'haunted house' book and appreciate the understated slow burn type of writing used here. Reminded me a little of early Stephen King. I liked all the detail and that some of it was left ambiguous, so that the reader could make up their own mind.
    If you are looking for blood, terror and a galloping plot of thrills, this might not be the book for you.
    That said, I entirely enjoyed it. Glad it's in my collection.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • H CG
    UT, United States
    29/04/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Good book"

    I enjoyed this book, it's not a "page turner" but still a good read. I would recommend it if you want a quick, kind of creepy read.

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • S. OKelley
    Gainesville, GA
    8/04/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Good story"

    The story is good but it was a little drawn out. The climax just never came.

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Annette
    MEMPHIS, TN, United States
    10/06/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Creepy blast from the past"

    Of course I'd seen the movie as a child but couldn't remember the ending. I kept rooting for the family not sure if they'd make it out alive. Even though the story was entertaining and there were no particular slow portions - no especially thrilling ones either- I just kept thinking the wife's behavior was unbelievable. I don't know a single person who'd be willing to polish someone else's silver on their vacation.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • SOCM
    MC ARTHUR, OH, US
    26/04/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "ehhh"

    it was okay. nothing to write home about. I was somewhat bored, but kept listening in hopes that it would get better, but it didn't.

    5 of 8 people found this review helpful
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  • Kim
    18/08/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Burn it out"

    Fantastic and original story. You can see how it's influenced The Shining. The only drawback for me was some of the overzealous voice acting from 'Brother' when first encountered - it leant more of a comical tone rather than creepy. And there are some uncomfortable sexual encounters. Brilliant otherwise.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Mr Patel
    UK
    9/08/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Not a great book - just didn't gain momentum"

    The story started off slow, gained a bit of momentum and then just didn't take off for me. It dragged on and there wasn't any point where I was hooked such that I world look forward to the next time I listened to it. RC Bray was great with his narration, as usual, but this book just didn't work. Not the worst book I've read/listened to but not one I would recommend.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Luigi Clemente
    19/06/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Lost opportunities"

    Good idea, poor development. Nice, eerie atmosphere but the story has too much padding and feels a bit pointless and dragged, despite the writing skills of the author.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • L
    8/06/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great story"

    I really enjoyed this book. It has an interesting storyline and is well written. I also enjoyed the narration. R,C. Bray has a clear, pleasant voice that is nice to listen to. The only downside was that I was expecting it to be at least a little scary but it wasn't at all. In fact it wasn't even creepy. Otherwise this was very enjoyable and I would happily try another title by this author or with this narrator.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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