I picked up this book for one of two reasons…

  1. My wife said it was good because of how it was written.
  2. It was free with my paid subscription on Audible.

With that, I listened to this over the last two weeks and just finished it today. I am comparing this to both the movie and as a writer. Movie-wise, I definitely think the movie is better, BUT there is a lot more happening that they can’t give you. You see things differently in book form as well as visually. Things you might have trouble imagining are well portrayed in the movie… but in the book, you take the time to mentally form a different picture, which can be frightening based on your own imagination. For me, I didn’t find the book any scarier than the movie, nor vice versa.

As a writer, here is what I took away. With this being based on a true story, Anson wrote the details very matter-of-factly. It consisted of a lot of dates, times, facts, and figures. While he did tell a story, it didn’t evoke any sense of dread or horror for me because it read more like a podcast. There was so much telling and less of the showing aspect. I never once felt pity or fear for these people because I never connected with them. They were just names on a page without a soul for me to connect with.

I think there are ways to convey these true story books, especially since they had interviewed the members of the family, in a way where the reader understands the fear instead of being told that they were scared. Therefore, I was bored.

The Amityville Horror was a no-go for me, not being impressed by the book as a whole.



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