I’ve never read the original novel, and would have to find a copy somewhere. But a friend of mine claims that unlike in the movie, in the original novel it was ambiguous whether Rosemary was really the victim of a Satanist plot, or whether she was in fact a paranoid delusional schizophrenic. Is this true?
Amazingly enough, I happen to have a copy of the novel handy, so I pulled it out and re-read the ending.
No ambiguity whatsoever; although Rosemary is told that the baby died and her husband and the others try to explain away all of her suspicions, eventually she finds the hidden door between the two apartments and sees the baby. He has his father’s eyes - “golden-yellow, all golden-yellow, with neither whites nor irises; all golden-yellow, with vertical black-slit pupils.”
Your friend isn’t thinking of Rosemary’s Baby; rather, the anti-climactic, silly
Son of Rosemary.
Rosemary’s Baby is actually a pretty decent little novel.
Well, for MUCH of the novel, we’re uncertain as to whether Rosemary is merely delusional… but in the final chapter, it’s made very clear that her neighbors really ARE part of a Satanic cult, and that her son is the spawn of Satan.
I thought it turned out that the plots of both books were all Rosemary’s dream, not a psychotic delusion.
And yes, the book is good. It’s not that hard to find; I see paperback copies at Borders all the time. You can also order it from Amazon. If you like it, I also recommend reading The Stepford Wives (especially if you haven’t seen the remake and/or don’t know how it ends).
Ira Levin wrote some pretty good thrillers. Along with Rosemary’s Baby and The Stepford Wives, he’s responsible for Sliver and The Boys From Brazil.
You’re right, LifeOnWry, I’d forgotten about The Boys From Brazil and Sliver. You know, everyone knows of the movie version of Sliver because it was so bad, but the book was good. I remember liking it, although I was only 15 when I read it.
I also forgot about A Kiss Before Dying. That’s another one that’s been adapted for film–twice, in fact. Neither version is entirely faithful to the book, but the old one with Robert Wagner is pretty good. But you should definitely read the book first. There are some crazy twists in there.