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Literature / Son of Rosemary

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Son of Rosemary is a 1997 horror novel by Ira Levin, and is the sequel to Rosemary's Baby.

The last thing Rosemary Woodhouse remembers is trying to escape the Bramford to save her young son, Andrew, from the grips of a Satanic cult that plans to rear him as the Antichrist and use him to conquer--or destroy--the world. The year was 1973.

She awakes abruptly in a long-term care facility, a mystery patient with no name, in 1999. Her coma was caused by the cult and ended the moment its last member died. Desperate to learn what became of her son, she quickly learns that he has become the charismatic and beloved founder of a world-wide charitable organization. Mother and son are reunited, and Rosemary feels relieved that Andy seems to have successfully cast off his evil lineage and devoted his life to achieving world peace.

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And then everything goes horribly right.


Provides examples of:

  • All Just a Dream: Rosemary seemingly awakens from sleep thinking it was All Just a Dream — that's the entire story, first book and sequel. In the final paragraphs, though, it turns into Or Was It a Dream?? Rosemary's friend Hutch telephones, and at the very end of the conversation he casually tosses off how long it took him to solve "roast mules" (see Arc Words below). This tells Rosemary that everything that happened in her "dream" was real, that her now-nonexistent son has pulled off the ultimate sacrifice to save the world, and that she'd better be damned careful about where she and her husband move.
  • Anti-Antichrist: Satan-sired baby Andy has grown up to run a global charitable foundation, and claims to be struggling to cancel out his evil side by doing good. Descendents of the cult from the first book seek to undermine his attempts to Screw Destiny and be a good man. In the end, his mother wakes up in 1965, to find that her child's conception and entire life were All Just a Dream. It's implied that Andy pushed the Reset Button on the world, re-writing history, once his full powers as the Antichrist manifested, so he wouldn't have to bring on the apocalypse.
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  • Arc Words: Throughout the book, various characters josh around about how long it takes to solve the riddle "ROAST MULES" with the clue "Any five or six-year-old might do this every day." The answer is somersaults.
  • Comatose Canary: Rosemary fills this role in the time between Rosemary's Baby and Son of Rosemary.
  • Religious Horror
  • Rip Van Winkle: The novel Son of Rosemary brings the heroine of Rosemary's Baby up-to-date by having her awaken from a twenty-plus year sleep, just as her demonic son's plotting to bring about The End of the World as We Know It.

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