Why this book?
Ira Levin is one of my favorite writers. Rosemary never should have moved into the Bramford apartments with her struggling-actor husband, or befriended their weird, pushy-old-people neighbors. She definitely shouldn’t have let her husband talk her into eating the chocolate mousse roofie. This book is a genuine masterpiece of horror, and having been raised Catholic, Satanic horror can really scare the hell out of me.
The book was a huge success. It satirized an established religion, the upwardly mobile, and motherhood, and included social commentary on the stress of being young and ambitious while weighing the choices of what has to be traded for success, or given up for motherhood. Or you can ignore all that and just read it as great horror. Rosemary’s Baby kicked off a boom in horror books in the 1960s. There’s a movie, and subsequent television and movies remakes, and a book sequel, but it’s still worth reading the original today. Ira Levin’s pared-down, straight-at-you story-telling style, which tells you exactly what you need to know, but leaves out everything you’ll never miss, is a great lesson in writing brevity.