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Burnt Offerings Audiobook

Burnt Offerings: Valancourt 20th Century Classics

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Publisher's Summary

Ben and Marian Rolfe are desperate to escape a stifling summer in their tiny Brooklyn apartment, so 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.

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. As the suspense builds toward a revelation of what really lies behind that locked door, the Rolfes will discover that their cheap vacation rental comes at a terrible cost....

The basis for a classic 1976 film adaptation and an acknowledged influence on Stephen King's The Shining, Burnt Offerings is one of the most original and scariest haunted house novels ever written. This edition, the first in decades, features a new introduction by award-winning author Stephen Graham Jones.

©1973 Robert Marasco (P)2016 Blue Heron Audio

What the Critics Say

"Burnt Offerings has no peer. Better than Rosemary's Baby, The Other, and The Exorcist." (Hartford Courant)

"Insidiously frightening...It snares you early and draws you inexorably to one of the most nerve-shattering finales in years." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (186 )
5 star
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3.9 (174 )
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Story
4.5 (172 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Kim Venatries 03-30-16 Member Since 2013

    There are few things better than a good story well told!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "As Scary As I Remember"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, if they like horror stories that do not rely on blood and guts to terrify.


    What about R.C. Bray’s performance did you like?

    RC Bray is an excellent performer however, he would not have been my first voice for this book. It could be I'm used to listening to him doing action thrillers. I think a female performer may have been a better choice.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    This book was made into a film with the same title. It's very well done and one of my all time favorite movies. If you haven't seen it you really should. The movie is actually better than the book thanks in part to Karen Black and Betty Davis.


    Any additional comments?

    This book was released in the 1970s so sure it's a little dated but still delivers chills.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Christina 05-01-16
    Christina 05-01-16
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    "As chilling as the movie"

    I can understand younger readers finding this book slow or not scary but it is a psychological horror story.
    Ever since I was a child and saw this movie with my brother on Chiller (without my moms permission) I have had nightmares about the chauffeur and the mere sound of an idling car outside my window in the middle of the night terrified me...til this day I never put the bed facing the door.
    If you had read the Ametyville Horror or The Shining you would understand...the movies for all 3 were scarier but that is because they brought to the forefront the creepiness one felt while reading this book.
    But again if you grew up with more "in your face" horror stories you may not feel as afraid. If needed watch the movie first and then read the story so you "get it" better.
    Arí St Marie

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jim "The Impatient" Springfield, MO, United States 04-27-16
    Jim "The Impatient" Springfield, MO, United States 04-27-16 Member Since 2015

    I am brutally honest. Popular, love everything they read, reviewers are scared to go neg. and risk their ranking. It's your money!!!

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    "YANKEE DOODLE"

    NO SECRETS, NO DARK THOUGHTS, THAT'S FOR MUSHROOMS
    This came close to five stars for it's literary merits. It's an entertaining story, even though it is predictable and fairly cliché. I do not feel I wasted my credit. This is one of the very few times in which I disagree with my fellow reviewer Kim, as this was not scary. The last twenty minutes were a little scary, but you got to listen to 7 hours and 25 minutes to get there. I was also not satisfied with the ending, of which the whole book is a lead up to.
    Bray
    I can't bray loud enough the talents of R.C.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    AudioBook Reviewer Madison, WI, United States 06-15-16
    AudioBook Reviewer Madison, WI, United States 06-15-16 Member Since 2011

    All of my reviews are on my blog audiobookreviewer dot com

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    "At it's core is this is a haunted house story"

    Burnt Offerings by Robert Marasco is a slow-burn of a horror novel, one that I have to admit I struggled with. For a book that’s around only 8 hours of listening time, it felt twice as long thanks to Marasco’s lethargic pacing and subtle scares.

    At it’s core, Burnt Offerings is a haunted house story. Ben and Marian Rolfe, along with their son, Dave, escape the city for the summer and rent an opulent, lakeside mansion on the cheap. There’s a catch, of course, beyond the minor price-tag and the oddities of the Allardyce’s they are renting from, and Marian soon finds herself the caretaker of an unseen old woman who lives upstairs. The premise is sound, but the execution left me wanting far more than Marasco provided. See, I prefer quicker, deeper, faster cuts in my horror fiction and too much of the horror elements here revolved around a woman’s hair turning prematurely gray as she methodically cleans house. Too much of the book is even less intriguing than this. There are occasional, and well done, moments of creepiness, as well as forays into violence and madness, to interrupt the otherwise languid narrative before slipping back into a frustratingly slow story, until the last hour or so when things finally get kicked up a notch for an unsettling finale.

    Burnt Offerings is a mixed bag of a book. I didn’t care much for the characters or Marasco’s plodding pace, but there is a richly developed theme about the curse of consumerism and desiring what others have. Much of the book revolves around Marian’s base need to possess what is beyond her, until she, and those she loves, is threatened by the very thing she wishes to consume. It’s a great element in the book, but one that I wish were amplified to a stronger degree in the characters. I wanted more psychological scares, more mania, more horror. I know Burnt Offerings was a notable influence on Stephen King’s The Shining, but frankly I’ll take that King book over this any day.

    A part of me thinks that RC Bray, though, is a better narrator than this book needed. He has such a rich, deep voice and switches up character voices with ease and a lack of fuss. His delivery is spot-on, particularly during the rare frenetic scenes where he provides a suitable amount of gusto to bring the horror to life. In terms of production quality, there’s nothing to complain about – audio levels and clarity are consistently good throughout the run-time, and I like the little snippet of musical score that accompanied the opening and ending of this title.

    While I found myself occasionally disturbed by some of the events depicted in Marasco’s book, I ultimately felt more disappointed and, too often, bored.

    Audiobook was provided for review by the publisher.

    Please find this complete review and many others at my review blog

    [If this review helped, please press YES. Thanks!]

    8 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    H CG UT, United States 04-29-16
    H CG UT, United States 04-29-16 Member Since 2012
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    "Good book"

    I enjoyed this book, it's not a "page turner" but still a good read. I would recommend it if you want a quick, kind of creepy read.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Charles 08-16-16
    Charles 08-16-16
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    "Slow burn with a predictable ending"

    I had high hopes of a fast paced scary book, well I guess my hopes were a bit too high. Honestly this book crawls along like a wanna be spooky melodrama. This book is out of touch with today's audiences being that it was written in 1973, now that's scary lol.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Annette MEMPHIS, TN, United States 06-10-16
    Annette MEMPHIS, TN, United States 06-10-16 Member Since 2010
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    "Creepy blast from the past"

    Of course I'd seen the movie as a child but couldn't remember the ending. I kept rooting for the family not sure if they'd make it out alive. Even though the story was entertaining and there were no particular slow portions - no especially thrilling ones either- I just kept thinking the wife's behavior was unbelievable. I don't know a single person who'd be willing to polish someone else's silver on their vacation.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    S. OKelley Gainesville, GA 04-08-16
    S. OKelley Gainesville, GA 04-08-16 Member Since 2013

    S.OKelley

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    "Good story"

    The story is good but it was a little drawn out. The climax just never came.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joan 09-26-16
    Joan 09-26-16 Member Since 2015
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    "Great story!"

    Thought this story had a nice amount of creepiness. liked the characters and never got dull. would have loved more detail around certain things in the story, it left me wanting to know more... Very good and I'd recommend it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jazzi Las Vegas, Nevada, United States 09-11-16
    Jazzi Las Vegas, Nevada, United States 09-11-16 Member Since 2015

    I have an eclectic taste in books. I move from Jodi Picoult to Gillian Flynn. From Ken Kesey to Janet Evanovich. If it is good, I'll read it

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    "Solid Horror Read"
    Any additional comments?

    Mister Marasco does an outstanding job in this book. As I listened, I couldn't help but wonder if Stephen King came up with the idea for the Shining after reading Burnt Offerings. There are glaring parallels between the two books that are hard to ignore. I won't go into those similarities, suffice it to say, it is easy to see why King would be drawn to this well written tale filled with horror and suspense.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • Kimberly Myatt
    8/18/16
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    "Burn it out"

    Fantastic and original story. You can see how it's influenced The Shining. The only drawback for me was some of the overzealous voice acting from 'Brother' when first encountered - it leant more of a comical tone rather than creepy. And there are some uncomfortable sexual encounters. Brilliant otherwise.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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