Back in the late 70's I guess, maybe the early 80's, I read this book and I loved it. I was very excited when I saw that Valancourt Books was bringing it back into print, but I had trouble working it into my reading schedule. When I was offered a chance to review the audiobook, I jumped at it and I'm glad I did.
It turns out that I had forgotten a lot of this story. Not only that-I think a lot of its social commentary went over my head because I was only a young teen at the time and didn't know half the things I thought I did.
Janice and Bill Templeton have a young daughter, Ivy, who has bouts of severe nightmares. Asleep, she runs about in a panic, yelling for her parents and screaming "Hot, hot, hot." The first time the nightmares occurred, a psychiatrist seemed to help the situation. This time around nothing seems to help.
Meanwhile, a strange man is spotted recently hanging around Ivy's school and standing nearby the beautiful apartment building where the Templetons live. How is this man related to Ivy and her nightmares? You'll have to read this to find out!
This story takes place in the 70's with all that that entails. Scientology and other cults are becoming popular. Hypnotism and psychology fascinate the general public. Casual sex, (before AIDS), is becoming a thing and the social fabric of life in the US is changing. Bill and Janice Templeton seem to want to change with the times, (they get sex manuals and try to keep things fresh, for instance), but in other respects, Bill especially is set in his ways. His world view is not flexible and anything that challenges it cannot be tolerated. If only for a slightly more adaptable point of view, much of what happened later might have been prevented.
Audrey Rose held up for me, after all these years. There was much I didn't remember so it seemed almost like an entirely new story. Some of it is dated, of course, (remember looking for a working payphone?), but its observations of human behavior are still spot on and sharp. This isn't a perfect story and perhaps the courtroom drama could have been trimmed a bit, but I never lost interest.
The narration by Matt Godfrey was also spot on and helped to cement some scenes clearly in my mind. "Mommy, daddy, hot, hot, hot..." gave me a serious case of the creeps every time I heard it.
I'm glad this story from the golden time of horror held up and maybe even exceeded my vague memory of it. This tale supports the idea that you should always appreciate fully what you have, but you should also keep an open mind. Don't be so stubborn that you allow no room for the unexplained. You may avoid a lot of heartache and tragedy if you can do that-just ask Bill Templeton.
Highly recommended, especially for fans of 70's and 80's horror!
You can find your copy here: Audrey Rose
*I received a free review copy of this audio in exchange for my honest review. This is it.*