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Book jacket: Baby Jane, a child star of early vaudeville, resented having to grow up in the shadow of her prettier sister Blanche Hudson, who became Hollywood's reigning love goddess. Now, some fifty years later, they are together and alone. And reality has toppled crazily into eerie fantasy. Blanche now finds she is growing old in the shadow cast by Baby Jane -- and a ver Book jacket: Baby Jane, a child star of early vaudeville, resented having to grow up in the shadow of her prettier sister Blanche Hudson, who became Hollywood's reigning love goddess. Now, some fifty years later, they are together and alone. And reality has toppled crazily into eerie fantasy. Blanche now finds she is growing old in the shadow cast by Baby Jane -- and a very sinister shadow it is.


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Book jacket: Baby Jane, a child star of early vaudeville, resented having to grow up in the shadow of her prettier sister Blanche Hudson, who became Hollywood's reigning love goddess. Now, some fifty years later, they are together and alone. And reality has toppled crazily into eerie fantasy. Blanche now finds she is growing old in the shadow cast by Baby Jane -- and a ver Book jacket: Baby Jane, a child star of early vaudeville, resented having to grow up in the shadow of her prettier sister Blanche Hudson, who became Hollywood's reigning love goddess. Now, some fifty years later, they are together and alone. And reality has toppled crazily into eerie fantasy. Blanche now finds she is growing old in the shadow cast by Baby Jane -- and a very sinister shadow it is.

30 review for What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?

  1. 5 out of 5

    Idarah

    “Sometimes I wonder about the two of them over there in that big old house all alone. They don’t ever seem to do anything—or have anyone in for company. It must be awful….” I have been watching Feud: Bette and Joan for a month now, and I'm enthralled! My grandmother introduced me to so many black and white thrillers like The Bad Seed, Dead Ringer, Straightjacket, and my favorite, What Ever Happened to Baby Jane. As a result, I've been a big fan of the duo, so it's been wonderful to see them a “Sometimes I wonder about the two of them over there in that big old house all alone. They don’t ever seem to do anything—or have anyone in for company. It must be awful….” I have been watching Feud: Bette and Joan for a month now, and I'm enthralled! My grandmother introduced me to so many black and white thrillers like The Bad Seed, Dead Ringer, Straightjacket, and my favorite, What Ever Happened to Baby Jane. As a result, I've been a big fan of the duo, so it's been wonderful to see them at the end of their movie careers amid a cutthroat film industry. So much politics! This book didn't disappoint; the movie sticks pretty closely to the book. What makes books so great is that you're able to delve into characters' minds. Sometimes you learn about motives, other times you don't. The hatred Jane and Blanche have for each other is so raw and vivid! Obviously Jane's sanity is unraveling, and it's wonderful and scary to watch. Even though I knew how it would end, it was still fascinating to read about. This edition also included the short story that Hush...Hush, Sweet Charlotte was based upon. If you're in need of supplemental reading material inspired by Feud, then you can't go wrong with the book that started it all!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Carol

    What a great old classic horror story! After a suspicious auto accident cripples the beautiful and successful movie star Blanche Hudson, her troubled and jealous sister Jane, (once a child actress herself known as Baby Jane) becomes her sole caregiver.......and the nightmare begins.With loads of suspense and a high creep factor, Baby Jane Hudson slowly goes off her rocker serving grotesque meals, committing a brutal murder (view spoiler)[of Edna the housekeeper (hide spoiler)] and generally cont What a great old classic horror story! After a suspicious auto accident cripples the beautiful and successful movie star Blanche Hudson, her troubled and jealous sister Jane, (once a child actress herself known as Baby Jane) becomes her sole caregiver.......and the nightmare begins.With loads of suspense and a high creep factor, Baby Jane Hudson slowly goes off her rocker serving grotesque meals, committing a brutal murder (view spoiler)[of Edna the housekeeper (hide spoiler)] and generally continues to starve and terrorize Blanche. It has been a while since I've seen the old movie so I must admit to being surprised by the twist at the end with the truth about (view spoiler)[ the auto accident that Blanche actually caused herself, but blamed on a disturbed Jane. (hide spoiler)] . Creepy right down to the last sentence! (Do not pass up the introduction as the true story of the combative relationship between Bette Davis and Joan Crawford was almost as entertaining as the novel......almost.)

  3. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca McNutt

    This timeless novel of sibling rivalry has long been a favorite of mine, so has the 1962 film adaptation. The ending especially is always a shocker, and in the age of starlets like Honey Boo Boo, Justin Bieber and Elle Fanning, this book is still as relevant to our culture as ever. It's excellent, especially if you're a fan of psychological thrillers and horror.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Char

    Even though I've seen the film a few times when I saw this book available to download at my local library, I clicked! I'm glad I did. This wasn't exactly like the film, but in all the important ways, it was about the same. I pictured the characters as Joan Crawford and Bette Davis portrayed them, and I think the narrator did a fantastic job. Recommended! *Thanks to my local library for the free download through the Libby app! Libraries RULE!*

  5. 4 out of 5

    LeeAnne

    The Ultimate Tale of Sibling Rivalry I have never seen the famous movie, but I have seen photos and short clips of Bette Davis and Joan Crawford in it. This is a spooky, creepy story but it is told in a very amusing, campy way. This book was way ahead of it's time. Being a child star is such a rough path in life. I don't know why, in this day and age, anyone would subject their own child to it. Before Lindsay Lohan, McCauley Culkin and Justin Beiber there was this little girl… Remember Buffy fro The Ultimate Tale of Sibling Rivalry I have never seen the famous movie, but I have seen photos and short clips of Bette Davis and Joan Crawford in it. This is a spooky, creepy story but it is told in a very amusing, campy way. This book was way ahead of it's time. Being a child star is such a rough path in life. I don't know why, in this day and age, anyone would subject their own child to it. Before Lindsay Lohan, McCauley Culkin and Justin Beiber there was this little girl… Remember Buffy from the 1960's TV show Family Affair? The young actress was Anissa Jones and she died of a heroin overdose at the age of 18. Heartbreaking. Whatever Happened To Baby Jane is a psychological, horror story about two aging show-biz sisters, Jane and Blanche Hudson, who are locked in the ultimate sibling rivalry war. When they were very young Jane was a cute, famous vaudeville child star known as "Baby Jane". Think of Shirley Temple but in a traveling variety vaudeville show with tap dancing and singing. Baby Jane was the breadwinner for the family. She was spoiled rotten, indulged and doted on by her father and grew up with a massive sense of entitlement. Jane's sister, Blanche, grew up in Jane's shadow, ignored and dismissed by her parents and pretty much everyone else too. In a crazy a twist of fate, as adults, Blanche becomes a wildly successful movie actress. Blanche becomes wealthier, more famous and more beautiful than Baby Jane ever was. As Blanche's star power grew brighter, Jane's star power dimmed and faded away into obscurity. Flash forward: decades later and these two competitive sisters are still living together in a decaying old Hollywood mansion owned by Blanche. Blanche is now handicapped and confined to a wheelchair, the result of a terrible car wreck. Blanche's disability keeps her trapped on the upstairs floor of the house. It is implied that Jane's deep-seated jealousy had something sinister to do with Blanche's mysterious car accident. Now both women are middle-aged. Jane continues to resent Blanche. Blanche has managed to keep her good looks but Jane is an alcoholic who has not aged well physically or mentally. What's worse is Jane is really starting to lose her grip on reality. As Jane spirals into mental illness, she becomes more and more controlling, taunting and abusive towards Blanche, who is helpless in her wheelchair. Blanche's only contact with the outside world is through Jane. Blanche is completely dependent on Jane for general care, food, doctor visits, everything. In one of her earliest psychotic moments, Jane delivers Blanche breakfast on a tray as usual, but instead of a meal Jane decides to serve Blanche her dead, pet bird and then later a dead rat she caught in the basement. Old Jane thinks this is just a hoot. Who's hungry? Such a jokester, that Jane. Soon Jane is really becoming unhinged. Fueled by alcohol Jane starts stealing Blanche's money by forging her checks. Jane has a fantasy of using Blanche's money to kickstart a comeback and revive her old Baby Jane vaudeville act. Jane puts on a babydoll dresses, drunkenly smears makeup on her face and in a baby voice starts rehearsing her old song and dance routines. This is only the beginning. Jane's behavior continues to spiral out of control, growing more bizarre and over-the-top. I’ll let you read the book to find out how crazy she truly becomes.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Rachael

    Baby Jane Hudson was a precocious vaudeville child star until she was overshadowed by her younger sister, Blanche. Blanche became a beautiful Hollywood actress, but in her prime an accident robbed her of her glittering career, her prospects of romance, and the use of her legs. Whatever happened to baby Jane is a story of toxic families, jealousy, betrayal, mental illness and family loyalty. It’s astoundingly modern and yet ageless. I know it’s a cliche but I really couldn’t put this down. I know Baby Jane Hudson was a precocious vaudeville child star until she was overshadowed by her younger sister, Blanche. Blanche became a beautiful Hollywood actress, but in her prime an accident robbed her of her glittering career, her prospects of romance, and the use of her legs. Whatever happened to baby Jane is a story of toxic families, jealousy, betrayal, mental illness and family loyalty. It’s astoundingly modern and yet ageless. I know it’s a cliche but I really couldn’t put this down. I know that I really enjoyed a book when I turn the last page and realise it’s 3:00am and don’t regret only getting 3 and half hours sleep. A fantastic story, I highly recommend it. Now I must hunt down a copy of the film. 4.5*

  7. 4 out of 5

    Latasha

    O. M. G this story! I have not seen the movie but had a vague idea of what it’s about. Well honey! I was surprised at the crazy and betrayal and crazy that is this book. It was great and the lady reading it did sooo great with the voices. I can’t wait to watch this now!! Ps- someone please pass word to Jinx Monsoon to narrate this story! She’d be so perfect for this!

  8. 4 out of 5

    TraceyL

    Great classic thriller. I had only seen clips of the movie, but definitely want to watch it now.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Natalie Richards

    Chilling and disturbing, this is a great fast read. Now I have to see the film.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Cheryl

    Very similar to the movie. You do have more psychological insight into the characters, though.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Deborah Sheldon

    If you've seen the fabulous 1962 film starring Bette Davis and Joan Crawford, you'll know every plot-point. Nevertheless, 'What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?' is a nail-biter of a suspense novel. Author Henry Farrell must have been a great observer; each description of posture, gait or facial expression is the quintessential picture that tells a thousand words. (This edition included one novelette and two short stories. Oh, how I wish Farrell had expanded the novelette, 'What Ever Happened to Cous If you've seen the fabulous 1962 film starring Bette Davis and Joan Crawford, you'll know every plot-point. Nevertheless, 'What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?' is a nail-biter of a suspense novel. Author Henry Farrell must have been a great observer; each description of posture, gait or facial expression is the quintessential picture that tells a thousand words. (This edition included one novelette and two short stories. Oh, how I wish Farrell had expanded the novelette, 'What Ever Happened to Cousin Charlotte?' into a novel! Apparently it inspired a film, which I'll have to track down.)

  12. 4 out of 5

    El

    What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? If you've seen the movie, you're not going to gain anything by reading the book. The movie is very faithful to the story, with the added bonus of seeing Bette Davis and Joan Crawford work their magic in every scene. It's not easy to talk about the story itself without giving something away, and so I won't. It had been years since I had seen the movie, so I watched it again immediately after finishing the story. Because it was faithful to Farrell's story, and since I What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? If you've seen the movie, you're not going to gain anything by reading the book. The movie is very faithful to the story, with the added bonus of seeing Bette Davis and Joan Crawford work their magic in every scene. It's not easy to talk about the story itself without giving something away, and so I won't. It had been years since I had seen the movie, so I watched it again immediately after finishing the story. Because it was faithful to Farrell's story, and since I had just spent a few days reading it, one thing I realized (that never made an impression before) is that Farrell may have had a problem with women. There are a lot of really nasty women in this story; it's like Farrell had a bone to pick and/or didn't know a decent woman in his entire life. This makes me sad for Farrell, of course, but also makes me worried about what he expressed to his audience: Women are drunk, overbearing, lying, cheating, stealing harlots. (view spoiler)[The couple okay-ish women didn't survive to the end of the story. So what is that saying. (hide spoiler)] What Ever Happened to Charlotte? Ah, another good question! Everyone wanted to know what happened to Baby Jane, and that worked out pretty well, so let's write a story about Charlotte and what happened to her. This story was previously unpublished, but it is the story that became another Bette Davis movie, Hush... Hush, Sweet Charlotte. Like Baby Jane it's another story about a young woman whose life was changed significantly by events that are unfolded slowly through the telling of the story. We get a little backstory first off, but then the majority of the story involves Charlotte as an older woman, very similar in behavior to Baby Jane in her older years. The mystery is not dissimilar, but only in the sense that something happened and we (the readers) want to know what it is. So we read it. And I'll admit I was a little shocked at just how vivid a few pieces of this story were. Especially surprising were how vivid they were in the movie from the 60s. A good story, but not as good as Baby Jane. I'll admit that I have now read both of these stories and re-watched their respective films in a couple of days, and I am a bit exhausted with psycho-biddy stories featuring overwrought characters, as talented as Bette Davis was. It's just a bit much all at once. Note: The movie is also much longer than the story, and I have heard complaints about having to listen to Davis screaming and yelling for so long. Not saying their wrong, but it is Bette Davis. It's hard to turn away. (Unless you're my boyfriend who is clearly scared of her.) The Debut of Larry Richards Wait, I don't know how to read this story. It doesn't end with a question mark, for one, and I don't think a movie was made out of this short story. And there's no insane woman! In fact, it appears that the unsettled one in this story is a... gasp... man. This is probably why no movie was made out of it. No good role for Bette Davis. Was this even written by Henry Farrell? I don't believe you. Here we have an older man, Laurence Richards, who is fairly well known in the theater biz. And, well, he's sort of a diva now. We find out he was ill for a few years and unable to work, and now he's trying to find his place in the studio. Larry finds himself on the first day of shooting with a young man in his dressing room with a gun, and he somehow needs to get himself through the shoot without setting off the young man. A very short story, short and sweet, not a lot of meat. Not the best story ever, but certainly not the worst. I really just had difficulty understanding how a man could be at the center of a Farrell story because I'm already not used to that. First, the Egg What a great title. No question mark, but after The Debut of Larry Richards, I understand that Farrell sometimes wrote stories with titles that didn't end with punctuation. It's a whole new world out there. And also one of the best first lines in story history: All because no one would take Orvil's egg seriously, the world was in for quite a shock one of these days. That's a solid first line if I have ever read one. Another short story, this time about a man named Orvil who once traveled to the north and brought back a mysterious egg. His story gets picked up by the Hollywood studios who, in a very amusing sequence, rewrite the entire story so it's nothing like Orvil's experience at all. The egg, ultimately, does hatch, and that's where things get sort of amusing. Like... I cracked a smile. It was charming, this story. Only one female character, and she says things like "I've always wanted to be kissed that way" or weeps a lot and asks Orvil to pretend to not be crazy, y'know, "for her". Otherwise it's a cute story and a fast read. Oh, and I also don't believe a real movie was made out of this story either. Sadly.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Madeline

    Great movie! (Starring Bette Davis and Joan Crawford) and a Great book! I haven't seen the movie in years, but from what I recall, the movie closely follows the book. It's just so creepy and suspenseful.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Whitney

    Anyone who knows me, knows that my favorite actress is Bette Davis, who starred in All About Eve, Dark Victory and What Ever Happened To Baby Jane? This was the reason why I picked up Henry Farrell's novel. In the case of Baby Jane I saw the movie before I read the book and thus began with wonder of how much had been adapted. In What Ever Happened To Baby Jane they were right on. It was an early Misery minus James Caan/Paul Sheldon getting his foot cut off, but enough about the movie. I read the Anyone who knows me, knows that my favorite actress is Bette Davis, who starred in All About Eve, Dark Victory and What Ever Happened To Baby Jane? This was the reason why I picked up Henry Farrell's novel. In the case of Baby Jane I saw the movie before I read the book and thus began with wonder of how much had been adapted. In What Ever Happened To Baby Jane they were right on. It was an early Misery minus James Caan/Paul Sheldon getting his foot cut off, but enough about the movie. I read the introduction before beginning What Ever Happened To Baby Jane? something I rarely do. I am so glad I did, as it gave fascinating insight into both the author, his reasoning and thought process behind the book and making of the film. The novel itself was campy but eerily so and held a suspenseful element. This was shown subtly with Baby Jane revising her old act in replicas of her old costumes and the "Chef Specials" she would give to her sister Blanche. Henry Farrel did a superb job setting the run-down stuck in time Hudson Home with just as vivid of characters. Jane, while I hate to do the comparison, but she was Shirley Temple but only if Shirley Temple was a washed up drunk. Her sister the invalid, once great movie star Blanche, while playing the sick card both for real and sometimes for the irk of her sister I felt she knew something beyond the circumstances from her accident. What Ever Happened To Baby Jane is masterly crafted and should be a read for anyone who enjoys old Hollywood or just a good creepy read.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    Get a copy of this book if you can and I also recommend watching the film. This is a perfect book and film pairing! Perfectly done. No beating around the bush just all story, all action, all suspense all the time. Keep an eye out for a review @ www.coffeeandtrainspotting.wordpress.com Get a copy of this book if you can and I also recommend watching the film. This is a perfect book and film pairing! Perfectly done. No beating around the bush just all story, all action, all suspense all the time. Keep an eye out for a review @ www.coffeeandtrainspotting.wordpress.com

  16. 4 out of 5

    Dez Nemec

    I picked this up in a book auction as I didn't know that the movie was based on a book (not that I've seen it). Blanche Hudson, former movie star, is now an invalid being taken care of her sister, Jane. Jane was also a star in her own right - a child star in Vaudeville known as Baby Jane. However Jane is now a bitter old woman, becoming increasingly unhinged. And Blanche is at her mercy... REALLY liked this one.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Alice

    This book was quite chilling - the movie version made with Bette Davis was very faithful to the plot. I enjoyed the fact that the story was written from the perspectives of multiple characters in the book. Definitely a quick read, but a memorable one.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Gazella

    What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? is a gothic suspense novel of sibling rivalry. It is twisted but so good! It is dark and disturbing. It will keep you on the edge of your seat. The ending was chilling. I absolutely loved it.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Richard Wilson

    So, if you have only seen the classic, black and white horror movie starring Bette Davis and Joan Crawford, then you DO NOT know the tense, and harrowing story of these two tormented and 'once talented Sisters' then get ready for the shocker by Henry Farrell, still a great horror story even after 50 years! And that BITCH; oh, but which one? So, I had not read this since 1970, when I was only 9 years old! And, it still was so sad, horrifying and shocking, that i could not flip the pages fast enoug So, if you have only seen the classic, black and white horror movie starring Bette Davis and Joan Crawford, then you DO NOT know the tense, and harrowing story of these two tormented and 'once talented Sisters' then get ready for the shocker by Henry Farrell, still a great horror story even after 50 years! And that BITCH; oh, but which one? So, I had not read this since 1970, when I was only 9 years old! And, it still was so sad, horrifying and shocking, that i could not flip the pages fast enough! Actually I just got done listening to the audio book, and i was so surprised! The story starts out in the early 1900's and Baby Jane Hudson is a child vaudeville star, and a little bitchy bratty one, at that! Her younger sister; Blanche, (who was the older one in the movie version) is just an infant. Baby Jane is the apple of her Father's eye, and the bread winner of the family. As her Vaudeville act turns old and sour, as does she with age, she disappears and is no longer known for her talent, the world of silent films and Hollywoodland is starting to become the next sensation. We jump forward and now Blanche is the famous and most gorgeous of the two, she is a huge successful Hollywood actress, and Jane is the 'has been' sister of the two. See? https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/comp... Now, almost 35 years later, Blanche and Jane are both living in a Hollywood Victorian Mansion that is owned by Blanche. Blanche is now confined to a wheelchair, due to a horrible car accident that they were both in, rumors had it that Jane tried to kill Blanche due to her jealousy. With Jane being Blanche's only caretaker and cook, she now has the chance to get back at Blanche for all the hell that she said Blanche put her thru when they were young girls......taking 'her Daddys' love away from her, and other reasons. What ensues is a horrifying and gripping tense tale of sibling rivalry that only Farrell could have written, and be ready for a shocker!!! This classic took the horror genre to a whole new meaning, and now everything since this one, is just a copycat. Get ready for 'Whatever Happened To Baby Jane?'

  20. 4 out of 5

    Suvi

    Life itself could not be possessed, really, not even a minute of it. She saw it with sudden clarity; life kept slipping away from you, it kept shifting and changing, like the dancing lights in the false stones, shifting and changing and shooting off into the shadows without you. It was all just a reflection. People were only reflections. - - - [W]hile you wandered there in the darkness—then you couldn't even find the shape or the heart of yourself—and that was terrible, and you were afraid... Life itself could not be possessed, really, not even a minute of it. She saw it with sudden clarity; life kept slipping away from you, it kept shifting and changing, like the dancing lights in the false stones, shifting and changing and shooting off into the shadows without you. It was all just a reflection. People were only reflections. - - - [W]hile you wandered there in the darkness—then you couldn't even find the shape or the heart of yourself—and that was terrible, and you were afraid... When my bookshelf is about to crumble down and twenty library books have been standing on the table unopened for weeks simply because I just can't seem to decide what to read next, I've noticed that the only way to get rid of the antsy feeling is to either focus on watching movies (these days I try to watch one at least every other evening before going to sleep) or to read something that feels familiar somehow. The latter choice usually involves Agatha Christie, but this time I wanted to try something that was familiar to me through movies. You guessed it: What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962) is one of my favorite films and also the tour de force of the psycho-biddy genre. It's creepy, crude, odd, and Bette Davis plays demented old ladies so well. What's not to like? I haven't seen it in a while, but as far as I can tell, it's very faithful to the book. However, sometimes it means that it's pointless to read the book after you've seen the movie, because everything is so by the numbers and over and done with. Why should you check out the novel in this case, then? Simply because Farrell is a great writer. To be honest, I was expecting a cheesy pulp classic (not a bad thing), but I don't know where I got that from. When I remember all the boring, clichéd and flat contemporary thrillers I've had the misfortune to come across with, Farrell's writing stands out even more. It's beautiful and insightful, but also sparse and economical in all the right places. Of course, a good thriller needs a good pacing and lots of suspense as well, and WEHBJ passes that test with flying colors. I had a long break in reading because I had to do other stuff, but when I came back I was sucked into the world again and breezed through a hundred pages in a day. What also helps to elevate WEHBJ above other more pedestrian thrillers is the pinch of unpredictability in the ending. It tips the scale into a more sad territory with the revelation that might potentially get the reader to feel sorry for Blanche, but which will at least cause you to re-evaluate everything that has happened. There's no question that Blanche is unhinged and delusional in thinking that everything she did was only because she was forced into it by other people's actions, but the reason for that massively questionable behavior is left for the reader to decide. The uncertainty that lingers on after the ending, the fact that everything isn't actually resolved and tied into a neat little bow so that we can move on knowing that everything is alright again, won't appeal to everyone. Personally, I love the symbolic ellipsis that I've seen so many times in horror anthology TV shows and in some Stephen King short stories. That's what horror or suspense is at its best: uncertainty, ambivalence, and the dread of evil squashing your happy ending.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Bren

    I'm sorry. I first read this as a kid and I disliked it greatly. Adulthood has changed nothing. I actually forgot about this book until I saw it on a list. I was genuinely creeped out by this book but not in a good way. When I was younger, I did like horror way more then now and I really creepy books. They do not come any creepier then Baby Jane. But I always felt it was just to unpleasant a read for me. And that was when I was in full horror mode . Much has changed and I have moved on to other gen I'm sorry. I first read this as a kid and I disliked it greatly. Adulthood has changed nothing. I actually forgot about this book until I saw it on a list. I was genuinely creeped out by this book but not in a good way. When I was younger, I did like horror way more then now and I really creepy books. They do not come any creepier then Baby Jane. But I always felt it was just to unpleasant a read for me. And that was when I was in full horror mode . Much has changed and I have moved on to other genres..but this book still has the power to make my skin crawl. Part of it is the emotional torture. Also it is just sick scary not fun scary. My first read of Baby Jane was at my Aunt's house and I stayed up all night petrified. It does still have the power to scare as an adult. But it is also one of the most twisted reads I've ever experienced and honestly I saw movie too though I barely remember it. I think both were scary but the book is worse. This is not one I personally could recommend.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Keith Chawgo

    Henry Farrell is a classic horror writer who came to promience in the 60's. This will probably be his best remembered work due to the classic film starring Bette Davis and Joan Crawford. The film is pretty faithful to the book except for some minor changes and some excellent character building that you do not find in the film. As you get three quarters into the final story, things take a turn to the dark side. It is darker than the film and it does seem to get under the layers that the film only Henry Farrell is a classic horror writer who came to promience in the 60's. This will probably be his best remembered work due to the classic film starring Bette Davis and Joan Crawford. The film is pretty faithful to the book except for some minor changes and some excellent character building that you do not find in the film. As you get three quarters into the final story, things take a turn to the dark side. It is darker than the film and it does seem to get under the layers that the film only hints at. This is a fantastic read and highly recommended. If you buy the e-book version, it comes with loads of extras such as 'Whatever Happened to Charolotte?' which is the basis of Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte, three more short stories and an excellent introduction by the author's agent. This is a true gem and a great discovery to classic literature.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Tabbitha Lindsley

    I loved this Psychological Thriller!!! Whatever happened to Baby Jane is about two sisters with a complicated relationship. The two sisters we're both stars at certain points in their lives and it was this part of their lives that tore them apart but also brought them together in an unforeseen way. Now that they're older they're locked away in a house with Jane taking care of her sister Blanche who is handicapped due to an accident years ago that everyone blamed Jane is on the verge of a psychoti I loved this Psychological Thriller!!! Whatever happened to Baby Jane is about two sisters with a complicated relationship. The two sisters we're both stars at certain points in their lives and it was this part of their lives that tore them apart but also brought them together in an unforeseen way. Now that they're older they're locked away in a house with Jane taking care of her sister Blanche who is handicapped due to an accident years ago that everyone blamed Jane is on the verge of a psychotic breakdown and it's no wonder that she loses it on her handicapped sister Blanche who she's jealousy clouds her. What will baby Jane do?

  24. 4 out of 5

    James Peter

    I read this book because I loved the movie, and I enjoyed the book even more than the movie! That said, the movie is very true to the book. Nevertheless, you get a better insight into the characters' minds by reading the book rather than watching the movie. This is the tragic story of two wasted lives - those of Blanche and Jane Hudson (view spoiler)[ and the maid, who was killed by Jane (hide spoiler)] - and the author gradually reveals details about their pasts so as to help you to understand I read this book because I loved the movie, and I enjoyed the book even more than the movie! That said, the movie is very true to the book. Nevertheless, you get a better insight into the characters' minds by reading the book rather than watching the movie. This is the tragic story of two wasted lives - those of Blanche and Jane Hudson (view spoiler)[ and the maid, who was killed by Jane (hide spoiler)] - and the author gradually reveals details about their pasts so as to help you to understand why these two women are as they are. I think Jane is supposed to be a narcissist, believing herself to be superior to her sister based only on the fact that she was once a child vaudeville star, and that she was famous first. (view spoiler)[ Given whisky as a child to stunt her growth, or so it was rumoured when she was performing her famous Baby Jane act, Jane was used by her parents to make them money. Accordingly, as an adult she became an alcoholic with an inflated but fragile ego. Unofficially blamed for paralysing Blanche, which she didn't actually do, at the height of Blanche's Hollywood career, on a night that she doesn't remember because she was so drunk, she spends the rest of her life resentful that she has to look after her sister. Blanche, paralysed from the waste down and living as a shut-in, for a long time rejected those close to her who wished to see her after the "accident". She spends her days reminiscing about her glamorous movie star past. She didn't want to sell the house or even move to a different bedroom after the accident, so she spends most of her time in her upstairs bedroom, and doesn't even know the neighbours. I found this story fascinating and it also shows that people's attitudes towards disabled people have changed a lot since this book was published in 1960, as becoming a paraplegic is no longer akin to a kind of social death. (hide spoiler)]

  25. 4 out of 5

    George K. Ilsley

    Another book which is hard to separate from the movie; impossible to read without images of Joan Crawford and Bette Davis popping into my head. The fact of the famous feud between these two actresses also adds another layer of resonance to the story. The novel itself? It is a horror story, of a sort — real-life horror. Much of it is (as the creative writing kids say today) "on the nose". Some of the details of Blanche's condition are ignored; for example, when she is sleeping in her wheelchair, n Another book which is hard to separate from the movie; impossible to read without images of Joan Crawford and Bette Davis popping into my head. The fact of the famous feud between these two actresses also adds another layer of resonance to the story. The novel itself? It is a horror story, of a sort — real-life horror. Much of it is (as the creative writing kids say today) "on the nose". Some of the details of Blanche's condition are ignored; for example, when she is sleeping in her wheelchair, neglected, there is no mention of basic needs. Sometimes in books and movies it is as if no one ever has to go to the bathroom. I found the novel fairly gripping, even though I'm familiar with the movie. The main trouble was that I kept waiting for Jane to say, "But you are, Blanche, you are!". In the book Jane never says this, but it is something my friends feel quite free to say to each other! 4 stars just for being so ensconced in pop culture.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Rachelle Kirby

    Though What Ever Happened to Baby Jane would probably not be marked as horror by today's standards it's every bit as good as any modern thriller. Probably the original story of sibling rivalry. Plenty of remarks on society as well. Definitely worth the time to read.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Lesley

    Loved it!

  28. 4 out of 5

    Kelly

    I've seen What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? at least a dozen times and somehow never knew it was based on a book. The screenplay, as it turns out, adheres very closely to the novel, but there are some differences. For anyone who knows the film backwards and forwards like I do, those differences feel like watching deleted scenes, and you'll hear the words in Bette Davis and Joan Crawford's voices just as clear as day, even when the lines are ones they never spoke. Some of the differences are decide I've seen What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? at least a dozen times and somehow never knew it was based on a book. The screenplay, as it turns out, adheres very closely to the novel, but there are some differences. For anyone who knows the film backwards and forwards like I do, those differences feel like watching deleted scenes, and you'll hear the words in Bette Davis and Joan Crawford's voices just as clear as day, even when the lines are ones they never spoke. Some of the differences are decidedly more gruesome and plenty of moments were toned down for the film. For example, when Jane serves up a dead bird for Blanche's lunch (a pretty shocking scene in the film), it's somehow more disturbing in print by virtue of having a dollop of mayonnaise on top. Also missing from the film—though I suppose it's to be assumed—is the fact that Blanche is wallowing in her own filth after being left chained to her bed for so long. Blanche's terror is all the more palpable in Farrell's version, because we get to know her thoughts as she lies for days, starving and afraid, knowing that her sister is growing more and more disturbed. The insights into Blanche's mind—and also the details about the family's past—fill in the characters a bit more from the garish caricatures of the movie version (however entertaining they may be). Highly recommended for fans of the film, or anyone who enjoys psycho-biddy horror.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Kris - My Novelesque Life

    4 STARS Baby Jane Hudson was the breadwinner of her family in the age of Vaudeville and never lets her family forget it. The tables turn when Blanche Hudson becomes the movie star and Jane is only gets parts because Blanche demands it in her contract. At the height of Blanche's career there is an accident that leaves her paralyzed and dependent on Jane. Jane seems to relish in the role of caretaker as this leaves her to torment Blanche and get back on top. I saw this movie on PBS one friday night 4 STARS Baby Jane Hudson was the breadwinner of her family in the age of Vaudeville and never lets her family forget it. The tables turn when Blanche Hudson becomes the movie star and Jane is only gets parts because Blanche demands it in her contract. At the height of Blanche's career there is an accident that leaves her paralyzed and dependent on Jane. Jane seems to relish in the role of caretaker as this leaves her to torment Blanche and get back on top. I saw this movie on PBS one friday night many moons ago and the story has stayed with me since. I have seen the film few times and love the acting and chemistry between Joan Crawford and Bette Davis. I have been trying to get my hand on this book and it has been quite difficult. I was so excited when I saw that this was available on audio at Overdrive. The novel was just as good as the move and provides a bit more detail to the story. The narrator was fabulous and I would recommend this to anyone who has loved the movie.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Chandré Louw

    I really enjoyed this scary story of sibling rivalry. Blanche and Jane Hudson have a very odd relationship. As a child, Blanche was always in the shadow of her oh-so-talented sister. As an adult, Jane could never bust out the acting talent Blanche could and her child-star days faded away in her sister's shadow. After a tragic accident the sisters are condemned to spend an ample amount of time in each other's presence , which brings out the worst in them. Very eerie with a shocker of a secret , I really enjoyed this scary story of sibling rivalry. Blanche and Jane Hudson have a very odd relationship. As a child, Blanche was always in the shadow of her oh-so-talented sister. As an adult, Jane could never bust out the acting talent Blanche could and her child-star days faded away in her sister's shadow. After a tragic accident the sisters are condemned to spend an ample amount of time in each other's presence , which brings out the worst in them. Very eerie with a shocker of a secret , I really enjoyed this psychological thriller where things are not what they appear... Ps. The movie , in my opinion , was way more shocking and twisted than the book. The story was fleshed out better and the weirdness of Jane was way more believable.

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