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The House Next Door.jpg

The House Next Door is a 1978 horror novel written by Anne Rivers Siddons. It was first published by Simon & Schuster and became a New York Times bestseller. In his book Danse Macabre noted horror author Stephen King writes that this is one of the best genre novels of the 20th century. In 2006 it was adapted into a made-for-TV movie starring Lara Flynn Boyle and Mark Paul Gosselaar.


It is a sad day for Colquitt and Walter Kennedy when construction begins on an elegant new home on the formerly empty lot next door. It signals the end of an era of blessed tranquility, of sipping drinks on the porch in the quiet of a warm southern afternoon. But Colquitt and Walter are losing more than a view. With a new house come new neighbors -- with their secrets and fears and frailties that will not be contained within four strong walls, reaching out instead to wreak havoc with other lives and relationships. For there's something about the house next door that seems to bring out the worst in those who live there. And soon, nothing in the Kennedys' once-idyllic neighborhood will ever be the same again.


The novel is written in the first person narrative (with the brief exception of the epilogue, which is written from the third person perspective) and is told from the point of view of Colquitt Kennedy, who lives with her husband Walter next to the house of the title. One of the more interesting aspects of the story is that it is never definitely stated what force occupies the house next door; though Colquitt and her husband come to believe that it is possessed by some kind of malevolent intelligence Siddons never explicitly makes it clear. The novel has three main sections and is bookended by both a prologue and an epilogue.