Ordinary, isn't it? That old house in Pequot Landing with its sunflowers and June bugs and rose shears during a dry Connecticut summer and Amos & Andy coming over the crystal set Sundays, maybe Mondays. Curious, isn't it, but then curiosity kills the cat -- no, it was Holland who killed the cat, wasn't it? Holland who had that ""Asian"" hooded took while his twin brother Niles, he's the gentle one, Other-directed you might say, plays those games with him. Forbidden games -- they bury a bird, they bury a rat. But Niles didn't really know that their father would die down there in the apple cellar. . . or that cousin Russell would fall from the hayloft on a pitchfork without his glasses. . . where were his glasses? or that their ailing (wasn't it really a touch of the tipple) mother would swirl down all those stairs, eighteen of them. . . and of course it gets better and better except that it's really worse and worse. . . . Would it really happen like Holland said that sister Torrie's baby would look just like the one in the bottle at the Carnival? How many miles is it to Babylon? That's what Holland keeps strumming on his harmonica. You'll get there by candlelight, yes, and back again in no time at all. Disquieting, isn't it? Strange and sad and mad and bad, shrouded in the darkness of dreams until you wake up to the familiarity of that rusty spot on the ceiling. Truly extraordinary, truly -- it's one of those books over which everybody will take leave of their senses, all seven of them. . . . Cross your heart and hope to. . . .