Published in 1981, 666 is a book that will make you wonder, “How do people not know what 666 means?”
It’s the story of Keith and Jennifer, an attractive young couple who move into a new home and immediately become fascinated by the empty house across the way. The empty house’s address is 666 Sunset Brooke Lane and no one finds that strange.
Keith decides to explore the house and discovers not only a coin that was minted by the Roman Empire but also a stained glass window that appears to feature someone who looks exactly like him. Keith does find that strange but it still doesn’t occur to him that there might be a clue to be found in the address.
Jennifer friend, David, decided to rent out 666 Sunset Brooke Lane and immediately starts to have visions of not only Christians being tortured during the reign of Nero but also of a naked Jennifer standing on the house’s front porch. And yet, David never associates this with the house’s address.
Keith’s brother is a priest (!) who is investigating a local Satanic cult and yet somehow, it never occurs to him to be concerned about 666 Sunset Brooke Lane.
Anyway, it all ends in (tame) sex, violence, and tragedy, as these things often do. The main lesson that I took away from this book was that you should be concerned if a notorious murder house suddenly appears in your backyard. It’s a lesson that I won’t forget.
666 was written by Jay Anson, who had previously written a “non-fiction” book called The Amityville Horror. 666 is a story about four incredibly dumb people, all of whom inspired me to shout, “Why don’t you just leave the damn house!?” more than a few times. That said, it’s also enjoyably pulpy and the main characters are all so thinly drawn and unlikable that you really don’t mind when they start dying. Though you’ll be shaking your head at many of the book’s implausibilities, the final chapters are crudely effective and, when it’s time to describe the torture techniques of ancient Rome, Anson goes all out.
Plus, the book has a really cool inside cover!