The Other (New York Review Books Classics)
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
Holland and Niles Perry are identical thirteen-year-old twins. They are close, close enough, almost, to read each other’s thoughts, but they couldn’t be more different. Holland is bold and mischievous, a bad influence, while Niles is kind and eager to please, the sort of boy who makes parents proud. The Perrys live in the bucolic New England town their family settled centuries ago, and as it happens, the extended clan has gathered at its ancestral farm this summer to mourn the death of the twins’ father in a most unfortunate accident. Mrs. Perry still hasn’t recovered from the shock of her husband’s gruesome end and stays sequestered in her room, leaving her sons to roam free. As the summer goes on, though, and Holland’s pranks become increasingly sinister, Niles finds he can no longer make excuses for his brother’s actions.
Thomas Tryon’s best-selling novel about a homegrown monster is an eerie examination of the darkness that dwells within everyone. It is a landmark of psychological horror that is a worthy descendent of the books of James Hogg, Robert Louis Stevenson, Shirley Jackson, and Patricia Highsmith.
Why, they had shared the same cradle, head to foot—that old wicker cradle, still in the storeroom—until they outgrew it, and then they slept in the same crib. You would have thought they were Siamese twins, so close they were; one being housed in two forms. What had happened? Whose fault? She could not tell. Always the same question, over and over . . . Yes, for Holland she could weep. “Why, Niles would give that boy the shirt off his back.” I expect he would. It is his nature. Generous to a
thumb. “Osa, yes. You both thought that was such a funny name for a lady hunter. And there was Tom the Water Baby—” Niles giggled. “And Wampus Tommy.” “Wampus Tommy? I don’t remember him.” “Ada used to read it to us. He was a cat.” “Cat?” She frowned at the thought and lightly put her fingertips to her eyes. “I remember Piggy Look-a-doo. He got roasted with an apple in his mouth, poor greedy thing. One of Holland’s favorites, wasn’t it?” “No—that’s the changeling, remember? In the fairytale
dollar.” Miss Josceline-Marie moistened her fingertip with the end of her tongue to slip out a paper bag and said, sotto voce, “Listen, m’love, you want to hear something’ll freeze your blood in your very veins?” “Sure.” Rose dug Chiclets from her bag. “Oh, Winnie,” Miss Josceline-Marie caroled to the back of the store. Winnie, who had been selecting apron fabric from the remnant table, approached the counter. “Winnie, this is Rose, Rose Halligan. Tell her what you told me about—you know—next
1922 Died March 1935 Part Three Now that was an event, wasn’t it? Poor Holland. You can see how it is. Very simple, really. Holland is dead. Dead as a doornail, to repeat Miss Josceline-Marie’s unfortunate simile, used an hour ago in Niles’s hearing. It’s true. Make no mistake about it. Do not be further deluded. Holland is gone. Trying to hang Ada’s cat in the well, he killed himself also. Such are the ironies of life. Killed himself in the well by the cloverpatch, back in March, on
streaks of black, her shoulders pitifully shaking, mouth pulled askew in silent anguish. “Mother, Mother, don’t—please. Please don’t cry. It’ll be all right.” Her lids blinked twice. “Yes, yes it will, it will, Mother. I promise.” He leaned to her, laid his head against her knee, patted her gown, trying to communicate to her some measure of childlike reassurance. When she had quieted, he made himself more comfortable on the stool and again took up the book, his place all marked where he