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Grave Markings Mass Market Paperback – October 1, 1994


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback
  • Publisher: Dell (October 1, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0440213398
  • ISBN-13: 978-0440213390
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 4.2 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,344,874 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Grave Markings is a high-speed chase into madness, unpredictable and twisted as a mountain road, written by one of the most inventive and outrageous new talents in the horror genre." -- Karl Edward Wagner, Author

"Michael Arnzen's debut novel is garish, unsettling, and darkly beautiful -- just like the artwork of its main character. Like that artwork, it makes a statement that simultaneously fascinates and repels. You want to turn away. You must turn away. But, oh God, you can't. Arnzen's definitely a writer to watch." -- Paul F. Olson, Author

"A Horse's Mouth from hell. A piercing look at art's illegitimate underbelly. Michael Arnzen is an excellent writer, and Grave Markings is a uniquely disturbing debut." -- Bentley Little, Author

"Michael Arnzen pulls the reader into the world of Grave Markings with a vivid, surreal hook, then makes it impossible to escape as the nightmares are unveiled. A great thriller." -- Sidney Williams, Author

"An authentically painful read, which conveys a real sense of a mind and a culture dangerously out of control." -- Ramsey Campbell, Author --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 7, 1997
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Aside from the brilliantly-conceived, dipsomaniac, halitosis-soaked narrative and dialogue, what really makes Mike Arnzen's "Grave Markings" a once-in-a-lifetime read is his exploration of the tatooing motif, which is simply a metaphor of the writer's craft. Arnzen challenges his readers to entertain the possibility that writers scar their readers; the act of inscribing words on a page becomes an excoriation of the reader's imagination. What makes this notion even more compelling is that the writer works in a medium that is typically considered non-visual, and yet Arnzen pokes, scrapes, and stains his readers' eyes with every word.

As readers progress through the book, they find that Kilpatrick's sick world becomes more and more vivid in the imaginative eye, thus brutally undercutting the notion that we are simply taking in a story--the more we see, the more we believe. And seeing the world through Kilpatrick's eyes, we become accomplices to his mutilations. By the time we close the book, Arnzen is surely daring us to wonder whether or not we've found pleasure in what we see from Kilpatrick's point of view; after all, suggests Arnzen, we are somewhat responsible for what we've come to see. Indeed, if readerly noncompliance were simply a matter of putting down the books that shock us, then "Grave Markings" wouldn't be as good as it is. Arnzen implies that it only takes one peek into the pages of a good book and we're already culpable.

If you enjoy Will Self's ironic depravity and T.C. Boyle's narrative cunning, then Michael Arnzen's "Grave Markings" deserves a read. Even though you might feel your gullet rise in disgust, don't be surprised find yourself enjoying what you see.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Cliff C. on November 1, 2009
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I'm honestly not much of a reader, infact it normally takes me weeks to finish a novel. But for the first time I found a novel that I couldn't put down. "Grave Markings" pulled me in and captured my imagination at page one. I read it in record time for me and have decided to read it again. It is a very tight and intelligent thriller. I'm not sure what to write in a review, but if you want a book that will grab your attention, then I suggest "Grave Markings". Mr. Arnzen is a very creative writer and I will be ordering some of his other work.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer VINE VOICE on July 24, 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Grave Markings is the story of Mark Michael Kilpatrick, tattoo artist and serial killer. Mark, the victim of horrendous child abuse, is tortured by horrible visions. His deranged mind conceives of a plan to share his visions with "the public", using human beings as his canvases. Unfortunately, Michael's unwilling subjects usually wind up dead.

Kilpatrick's bizarre escapades attract the attention of three friends--Roy Roberts, a writer, Dan Schoenmacher, a TV weatherman, and Lockerman, a cop. Of the three, Roberts is the most active, entering the world of body art, befriending a tatoo artist, and even getting a "tat" himself. Fittingly, it is Roberts who eventually confronts the madman at the novel's harrowing conclusion.

This book is an interesting piece of work. How to describe it? It is disturbing, unnerving, dark, suspenseful, and original. It probably could have benefitted from some tighter editing, but this quibble can be ignored in light of the overall quality of this gripping first novel.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 7, 1997
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book caught me from the first line to last period.
People usually have nightmares about getting tattoos.. Well if you have Kilpatrick as your tattoo artist, you have reason to worry!
Basically the story revolves around Kilpatrick's killings by excessive tattooing (or just body mutilations) and the cops trying to catch him.
This book could make you totally insane!
A MUST READ!
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More About the Author

Michael Arnzen (http://gorelets.com) is an award-winning author of horror and dark suspense fiction, a poet, and an English professor. His trophy case includes four Bram Stoker Awards and an International Horror Guild Award for his often funny, always disturbing stories. The best of these appear in the Bram Stoker Award-winning career-length retrospective, Proverbs for Monsters, which Dread Central called "a guided tour of insanity and the macabre, with a few moments of touching grace combined with repulsive terror...[which] serves to document the evolution of a great writer."

Arnzen holds a PhD in English from the University of Oregon (where he researched his non-fiction book, The Popular Uncanny) and he is presently a Professor at Seton Hill University, where he teaches horror and suspense fiction in the country's only graduate program in Writing Popular Fiction (http://fiction.setonhill.edu).

Arnzen resides near Pittsburgh, PA, with his wife of many years, Renate, and a brood of deranged cats.

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"In a little over a decade, Michael A. Arnzen has achieved what few writers manage in a lifetime. He has become the master of a brand of literature that is uniquely his own, and I do not doubt that his approach to horror will soon (if it has not already) be referred to as 'Arnzenian.' When you begin an Arnzen story, you embark on a journey where the old maps do not apply. Soon you find yourself deep in new territory, barreling through landscapes more fascinating and twisted than any previously encountered. Be assured, you will be amazed, startled, amused, and creeped out along the way, but whatever the road has in store, you will not be able to stop reading until the story ends. Horrifying, captivating, ironic -- Arnzenian! -- the works of Michael A. Arnzen are in a class all their own. Fasten your seat belts and enjoy the ride!" -- Lawrence C. Connolly, author of Veins

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