Title: The Amityville Horror
Author: Jay Anson
Page Count/Review Word Count: 322
This book will try to tell you that it’s a true story, but it isn’t. Luckily, that didn’t really make any difference to me, and that’s not why I picked it up. I’d seen a few other people talking about it and thought I ought to check it out, especially as I was such a fan of The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty.
Unfortunately, The Amityville Horror just doesn’t have the same feel to it. It’s fine and all, but it didn’t exactly leap out of the page and reads more like a Wikipedia article than a horror novel. Usher’s writing style is reminiscent of hack journalism, but it works pretty well in the context of the book and honestly, I don’t really have any complaints.
If you’re looking for a horror novel then you should look elsewhere. This is more like a non-fiction book, and it certainly presents itself as one, except obviously it’s not. But if you take it for what it is instead of expecting great things from it, it’s good enough at what it does. I think I had a better experience with it than most of the people that I buddy read with, though, so that’s worth considering.
As soon as I’d finished reading it, we watched the movie, which I’ve seen before but not for ten years or so. It was fine, and the movie and the book are pretty true to each other, but honestly I’d say you’re perfectly fine to go with just one or the other. Neither medium adds anything more to the overall story, and it’s also important to remember that that’s all this is: a story. It’s not a masterpiece of modern literature, but it’ll while the time away and doesn’t require brainpower. There’s a place for books like that.