The unmitigated classic that shaped the course of modern horror. Elevated Horror. Feminist Horror. Social. Queer. Outsider. Ira Levin's novel fits under all these umbrellas because of the characteristic empathy he brings to his portrayal of Rosemary Woodhouse, as she struggles to oppose the dark forces arrayed against her.
The slow burn tension-building. The is-it-real-or-imagined ambiguity. The dark wit. The terror of the everyday. Of one's neighbors. They all originated here. (Frequent misattribution to the 1968 film notwithstanding.)
The book's publication marked the first time since 1934's Rebecca that a horror novel appeared on Publisher's Weekly's annual best-seller list, and its supremely faithful 1968 cinematic adaptation marked only the fourth time a horror film received an Oscar (for Ruth Gordon's timeless turn as Minnie Castevet).
Levin was an ardent Hitchcock fan; we suspect character Edward Hutchins (known in-book as "Hutch") is a tip-of-the-hat to Alfred Hitchcock (known in life as "Hitch")
In 1970, legendary film composer John Williams (Star Wars, Jaws, Schindler's List...) sought to musicalize Rosemary's Baby. Levin declined, only as – being a playwright as well as a novelist – he contemplated the possibility of writing a stage adaptation himself one day