The Amityville Horror
By Jay Anson
Narrated by Ray Porter
Ⓟ 2008, Blackstone Audio
6.40 recorded hours
Flash forward to 2009. One of The Sisters (Acquisitions Agents for Blackstone Audio) tells me she’s bought the rights to this book. I hadn’t thought about the book specifically for years, though I still hate seeing flies in cold weather and still prefer not to sleep with my back to the door. I tell her the story of my eleven year-old self which was probably a mistake as she starts sending me “funny” e-mails, signed “Jodie.” Sigh. A little later, I was in Studio A working with Ray Porter on another project and he mentions that’s his next narrating job is The Amityville Horror. He talks animatedly about the book and we share a few laughs and he goes on his way. I can’t wait to hear the audio. Though I had hoped it would be released by Halloween of 2009, it was released in March of 2010 (?!) And so now we come to 2010. It’s Halloween and I want to listen to this book because I want to see if it stills has any hold on me and because I remember Ray Porter being so enthusiastic about it. When Jason was looking for recommendations for an October Selection for The Audiobook Club Online, I didn’t hesitate. I offered copies for a promotional give-away and we were off.
I uploaded the audio onto my iPod and, I have to tell you, when I heard the Priest’s Introduction, there was a moment when I had to take a little breath. I wondered where my rosary beads were and if I found, them, would I remember how to say it? But after the Introduction, I have to admit I was a little disappointed in the audio for two reasons: 1) Ray Porter sounded stiff and 2) the story didn’t seem scary or real. I really don’t know what to say on Ray Porter’s behalf, other than that, if you had heard him talk about the book in Studio A that day, you wouldn’t recognize the narrator of the audio. Gone was the enthusiasm and half-convincing incredulity. I mean, as much as we scoff at tales of the paranormal, I think I can honestly say there’s a part of us that illogically believes. I wanted to hear that little voice that decried the debunking of the story. Ah, the story itself. The writing seemed a bit amateurish and the story unbelievable. Could anyone really have believed that story? Looking at the story now, it seems pretty clear that George and Kathy Lutz took on more than they could financially handle when they purchased that house and, they found a way to exploit The Exorcist fad and walk away from their mortgage. I say that and sound so cynical. But I know that given the chance to live at 112 Ocean Drive, I wouldn’t. All it would take would be for me to wake up one night at 3:15 a.m. and that “little voice” I spoke of earlier? That would be the screams of an eleven year-old who still believes.
OTHER: I borrowed a library CD copy of The Amityville Horror (by Jay Anson; narrated by Ray Porter) from Blackstone Audio. I receive no monies, goods or services in exchange for reviewing the product and/or mentioning any of the persons or companies that are or may be implied in this post.