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Synopsis

Holland and Niles Perry are identical thirteen-year-old twins. They are close, close enough, almost, to read each other’s thoughts, but they couldn’t be more different. Holland is bold and mischievous, a bad influence, while Niles is kind and eager to please, the sort of boy who makes parents proud. The Perrys live in the bucolic New England town their family settled centuries ago, and as it happens, the extended clan has gathered at its ancestral farm this summer to mourn the death of the twins’ father in a most unfortunate accident. Mrs. Perry still hasn’t recovered from the shock of her husband’s gruesome end and stays sequestered in her room, leaving her sons to roam free. As the summer goes on, though, and Holland’s pranks become increasingly sinister, Niles finds he can no longer make excuses for his brother’s actions.

Thomas Tryon’s best-selling novel about a homegrown monster is an eerie examination of the darkness that dwells within everyone. It is a landmark of psychological horror that is a worthy descendent of the books of James Hogg, Robert Louis Stevenson, Shirley Jackson, and Patricia Highsmith.

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The Other
Average rating
5 / 5
January 25th, 2014
If you're looking for King/Koontz-style horror, you'd best look elsewhere, as THE OTHER harks back instead to Ray Bradbury, Shirley Jackson and even Henry James. Although there is "horror" here, it is merely one element in an exquisite, evocative tale. To read this book is to be transported to a small Connecticut town in the '30s. You can practically FEEL the thick summer heat, the musty air of a storage room, the sleazy atmosphere of a traveling carnival. You can almost HEAR the programs on the radio, the far-off notes played on a harmonica, the strangled gasps of fear. And you can very nearly SMELL the cool dankness of the apple cellar, the grassiness of new-mown hay, the frothy scent of fresh-spilled blood. Calling THE OTHER a classic horror novel is far too limiting. It is nothing less than a classic of American Literature.
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