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A horrific tale about the importance of family

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  4. 'Burnt Offerings' Is an Outstanding Terror Movie

Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Preview — Burnt Offerings by Robert Marasco. Burnt Offerings by Robert Marasco. 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.

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As the suspense builds towards a revelation of what really lies behind that locked door, the Rolfes will discover that their cheap vacation rental comes at a terrible cost. Get A Copy. Hardcover , pages. More Details Original Title. Other Editions Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

To ask other readers questions about Burnt Offerings , please sign up. This question contains spoilers… view spoiler [Please can someone explain the end? What is the mother? Is the house reliant on the lives of the family? Alex This answer contains spoilers… view spoiler [ The mother is the personification of the house. But the mother is like a fire -- she needs kindling -- in the form of human life -- to thrive. Marian …more The mother is the personification of the house. Marian is her primary fuel. Marian feeds her, Marian cares for the house.

Mother's spirit, like fire, grows in light of Marian's careful attention. Because Mother is a personification of the house, we see the house transform from a state of neglect to a state of beauty. This is a result of Marian's care. But as we see in the book, nourishing the house comes at a price: human life. As Marian nourishes Mother, Mother grows strong enough to steal the life of everyone in the house for herself.

Mother -- the house -- needs human life to thrive. Like a fire, Mother consumes its inhabitants to nourish herself. But this nourishment won't last forever. As Roz and Brother explained to Marian early on, they have summer renters every two years or so. Seems like after a couple years, Mother gets hungry again and needs new nourishment. See 1 question about Burnt Offerings…. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Watch the windows. And then drive home with the dome light on, and check that back seat as often as you can.

Four-five years ago, we visited some friends in their new house, in a quaint seaside village, relatively close to Athens. The house was beautifully decorated, in an old-fashioned but nostalgic and inspired way, the family has been friends of ours for years, so no worries there. Yet, not long after we had comfortably placed ourselves in the lovely living room, I wanted to leave. Just like that. And the weird thing is that my parents felt it as well.

It seemed to drain out every bit of energy in us… In this exquisite thriller by Robert Marasco, the vast mansion becomes a summer refuge for the Rolfe family. At least, this is what Marian wants it to be. Fed up with their noisy New York apartment and the draining city life, she convinces Ben to spend two months in an estate beyond her wildest dream. You may have watched the film version. It made my heart pounding as I was approaching the conclusion, I was appalled and fascinated and under the grip of the tense influence of watching everything falling apart.

The descriptions are razor sharp, building the story and the feeling of a foreboding darkness grows page by page. The dialogue could want for more, but let us not forget that the novel was written in the 70s, a decade that was fascinating and exciting but with colloquations that make us cringe now. And it seemed to me that the main theme was obsession. The craving for a different life, for what we perceive as mirrors of our identity and how far can we go in order to satisfy it.

What if we have to make the most impossible choice? Would we succumb to an obsession or rise up against it? It all comes down to choices or at least, the illusion that we have a choice and this is exactly what attracted me to this finely woven plot. Marian is highly unsympathetic. Self-centered, manipulative, an all-around bad mother. I never felt sorry for her.

Not even for a moment Ben starts out as a bit indifferent, verging on irritating but I found that he was quite complex as the story progressed and in truth? He was the only one who had a passable percentage of common sense and logical thinking in his mind. Aunt Elizabeth was sympathetic enough, quirky and compassionate.

This is a psychological, paranormal thriller that does absolute justice to the genre that is being relentlessly tortured in our current times. There are no gore, no ghosts or jumpscares. But there is something far more frightening than any of these. Human obsession. The root for most evils in our lives. The way we choose to blind ourselves to sustain our illusions, the price we sometimes have to pay for not listening to our instinct and run…..

View all 20 comments. Apr 07, Jeffrey Keeten rated it it was amazing Shelves: gothic , unnatural-appetites , horror. It was the door itself that caught her attention now. Swirls and garlands were cut into triangular panels that met in a small, raised pistil. She moved closer and the design became more intricate and abstract and impenetrable: a globe, a web, a sunburst, a maze, a slab carved with ancient pictographs. Perfect for large families. Pool, private beach, dock.

Burnt Offerings Dual Format

Long season. Very reasonable for the right people. Marian Rolfe likes fine things. She even takes temporary work occasionally to afford an extra fine desk or a lovely bureau. She also loves to clean, and more days than not when Ben returns from teaching, he is greeted by the aroma of lemons and polish. Ben believes she is a bit obsessive.

Marian is determined to escape Brooklyn for the summer. With a thought to protecting their modest savings, Ben wants to stay in Brooklyn and venture out on a few trips to upstate New York when they need some relief from the oppressive heat of summer. Ben is overmatched, of course, with battling a splash of feminine wiles, a dash of not so subtle manipulations, and a smattering of outright deception. Once Marian sees the palatial, crumbling Allardyce mansion, she is in lust.

The house is full of all the wonderful things that Marian can only dream of every possessing. Ornate furniture, delicate vases, expensive dinnerware, and antique clocks are scattered throughout the house, all shrouded with dust and cobwebs. The walls and floors of this faded beauty are drab and dingy.

All of this would give most anyone else pause, but Marian sees beyond the dreariness and knows with buckets of Lemon Pledge, warm water, elbow grease, and a pile of fresh rags she can make it gleam again. As its aroma ventures into your unworthy nostrils, it plants the seeds of ecstasy and euphoria into the womb of your mind. After all, it is a bargain, and when would they ever get this opportunity again? Part of the stipulations is that Marian has to feed the matriarch of the family, Mrs. Allardyce, the glorious mother, three times a day by leaving a tray for her outside her ornately carved door.

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Marian never sees her and only occasionally gets a proof of life by noticing that some of the food on the plates she leaves So this novel is written with a slow burning fuse. There are sprinklings of foreshadowing that add to the unease of the reader. Things start out strange, but not too strange. It was interesting to see the acceptable level we have for the unusual before we start to feel alarmed. Clocks spring to life that refused to work. Weathered roof tiles fall to the ground revealing new tiles. Everything about the house starts to take on a healthy shine.

Ben starts to feel his personality change. He starts to know with more and more certainty that he needs to get away from this place, whether Marian wants to go or not. Things long buried are being pulled out of the recesses of his brain. He knew that. There was absolutely no way something could creep back from the distant past and be real; or out of the tiny, vulnerable part of his brain where the image had lodged itself. And be real and no more than ten feet from him. It is certainly a classic of the genre. No slashing arcs of blood or piles of steaming gore, just good old fashioned psychological terror.

I loved it! I will definitely be cuing that up in the near future. View all 18 comments. I can't say enough good things about this incredible haunted house story! It was fast paced. It was chilling. It was vividly real. It was atmospheric. It was scary. It inexorably, unrelentingly pulls the reader to its final conclusion and that conclusion is stunning. Perhaps it's not as literary as The Haunting of Hill House, but it makes up for that with amazing imagery punctuated with scenes of such a chilling nature that my hands actu I can't say enough good things about this incredible haunted house story!

Perhaps it's not as literary as The Haunting of Hill House, but it makes up for that with amazing imagery punctuated with scenes of such a chilling nature that my hands actually trembled while reading them. If you're looking for a haunted house tale with an ending that doesn't disappoint, this is THE book for you.

Here it is. And it is, for the house seems to be exerting its influence on Marian, Ben, and their son David. Will the Rolfe family head back to Brooklyn before it's too late? This one caught my eye when I was perusing that sacred text one day and I eventually took the plunge. Burnt Offerings is a slow-burn haunted house store, emphasis on the slow.

The tortoise-like pace was a little frustrating for awhile. Also, it's very much rooted in the s, from Marion being a mostly compliant house wife to some rapey moments from Ben, which seems to be a lot more commonplace in 70s fiction than it should be. It's one of Stephen King's inspirations for The Shining, and it shows. Most of the gripes I had with The Shining are here as well.

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Now that I have my gripes out of the way early, I wound up enjoying the book once the pace picked up. The creepy atmosphere is very well done, starting with subtle bits of weirdness and eventually going full tilt. Would you take a tray of food to an unseen ancient woman once a day to live in your dream house for a couple months? How far would you go for your dreams? These are the questions posed by Burnt Offerings. I thought I knew which of the Rolfe's would go off the rails first but I was wrong. If the rest of the book had been up to that standard, it would have been an easy four stars.

As it stands, it had to work pretty hard to earn three from me. As always, your mileage may vary. If The Shining was to your liking, you might like this more than I did. View all 11 comments. May 07, Janie C. Hands down, the best dream-house turned nightmare chiller ever. A classic. View all 23 comments. Nov 11, kohey rated it really liked it. The thing that I like about this novel is that it is not a hungry house itself but a certain family that goes crazy and freak out with nasty nudges from the monster mansion.

How could small things lead us into destruction so easily unfortunately with the help of an uncanny thing ,just when we feel stressed out? A superb psycho thriller with a bad aftertaste. View all 6 comments. I like psychological thrillers, but cannot say the same of this psychological horror thriller. This is one of those, in which the house takes the center stage for a young couple, Ben and Marian Rolfe, who desperately wanted to escape the stifling heat in their tiny Brooklyn apartment and need a place to go for the summer holiday.

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They found this beautiful old house out in the country, in upstate New York. Charming, with an ocean front, a boat, and a big swimming pool. Little did they know that i I like psychological thrillers, but cannot say the same of this psychological horror thriller. Little did they know that it would destroy the husband, possess the wife and terrify their child. Yes, it's that scary! Way too graphic for me, but for the right reader it will be perfect. I don't know why I feel like this about this book since I loved the Alfred Hitchcock books. It is similar in ambiance, but I think what disturbed me the most was the presence of the old lady and the young boy.

I wanted them gone from there. But of course, the author knew that and made me suffer for it :- Oh and upstairs in one of the bedrooms, there was old Mrs. Allardyce for whom Marian had to prepare three meals a day. That was the catch for getting the house so cheap. How can I leave the vulnerable people behind and close the book, you know. Which reminds me, take a very I DID take notice of the introduction of the book in which , in , Stephen Graham Jones forewarned the reader: Drive by the house you're interested in at night, I say.

See if anybody's waiting for you there. It won't be enough. From the Hansard archive. A person can go into a restaurant and be brought a burnt offering that is called a steak. The most common usages are animal sacrifice "zevah" , peace offering and "olah" burnt offering.

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From Wikipedia. Then she has a vision of her son as a burnt offering. The wood was to be used for a burnt offering. The priest who offered a burnt offering kept the skin. Such huge love that almost every meal she was asked to prepare ended up a burnt offering. Both, for example, involve "two turtledoves, or two young pigeons" brought to a priest, one for a "sin offering" and the other for a " burnt offering ", on the eighth day. The rest of the bulls blood he shall pour out at the base of the altar of burnt offering at the entrance to the tent of meeting.

Indeed, these materials were so closely affiliated as burnt offerings that they were often burned together, at times blended and at other times spattered on one another.

'Burnt Offerings' Is an Outstanding Terror Movie

That was the moment for them to raise their protest, instead of merely saying they did not like the smell of the burnt offerings. Community Showcase More. Follow TV Tropes. You need to login to do this. Get Known if you don't have an account. Show Spoilers.