Book Review: Burnt Offerings

BURNT OFFERINGS | Robert Marasco
1973 | Valancourt Books
Rating: 5/5 stars


Ben and Marian Rolfe are desperate to escape a stifling summer in their tiny Brooklyn apartment. 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. It seems that Mrs. Allardyce never emerges from her room. As weird and terrifying things start happening within the house the connection to whatever lives behind that door seems undeniable. The Rolfes will discover that their cheap vacation rental comes at a terrible cost. 

I absolutely love checking out classic horror novels and after reading an article stating that Stephen King credited BURNT OFFERINGS as having an influence on his novel, THE SHINING, I knew this was a must read. The minute you open the pages of BURNT OFFERINGS you start to feel the creeping sense of unease. The house plays the perfect source of that strange, lurking presence in the story where the reader knows something is wrong, but can’t quite put their finger on what’s happening. The story unravels at a methodical and strategic pace that sets the stage for how the characters come to the realization that their lives may be in danger. I’m a huge fan of horror stories that build with subtlety and prove that you don’t always need something flashy or graphic to give people chills. If you’re a fan of ROSEMARY’S BABY, I think this one has a comparable vibe while being a completely different story, they both possess similar stylistic qualities.

This book is available to buy from: Amazon Book Depository

Disclosure: What Jess Reads is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to This in no way influences my opinion of the above book.

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