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The Other

The Other - Thomas Tryon In honor of the wonderful year of my birth, I have decided to read at least one book each year that was originally published in 1971.

The Other made the cut this year. It serves as an affirmation of what I have always known; 1971 was a year for masterpieces! ;o)

I expected to like this novel, but I didn't know that I would love it. It is a horror story, but not the blood-and-guts type. It is that subtle kind of horror, that keeps you up at night. I never worry about aliens, zombies or werewolves, but PEOPLE... yeah PEOPLE can be scary as hell. The quote 'real life is stranger than fiction' applies here. The characters that Tryon created feel extremely REAL.

Niles and Holland are the stars in this novel. From the very beginning you know that something just isn't right about one of them. You know that little kid that always just seemed a little off. The one who enjoyed shooting birds with bb's just a little too much or pulling the wings off of butterflies. Yeah....that kid. Most people know one of those, but they don't always turn out bad, so we just keep a wary eye on them...just in case.

As well as Tryon gets into the minds of the twins, he also does a fantastic job with the other characters. The twins grandmother is especially well done. Her struggle to keep the family together during their tribulations is palpable, so is her strong love for her grandsons.

Tryon also used beautiful prose that I didn't expect in this genre at all.

Some lengths away, the burial was in progress. The mourners clustered around ..... while Mr. Tuthill intoned the Twenty-third Psalm, as inevitably he did. Leaves, burnished red and gold, rustled above the narrow hole. Somewhere a bird sang. But of that group none seemed to mark the odd contrast between the entrancing birdsong and the pastor's doleful cadences. Niles observed how silently a stem detached itself from a twig: giving up its life—bright leaf, falling. . . falling. . .The leaf spiraled down to rest upon the lid of the casket. It looked like a hand, offering benediction

Truly a 5 star book in every way!