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Laughing Boy's Shadow [Kindle Edition]

Steven Savile
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $4.99

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Book Description

My name is Declan Shea.

I never thought I was monster.

My life changed overnight. I was driving home from a gig when a tramp stepped out in front of my car. I killed him. I know I did. But no-one believed me. The medical staff at the hospital insisted he was the result of some sort of hallucination because trauma sustained during the accident. I tried to convince them otherwise, but the more I protested, the more obvious it became to them that I had damaged more than just my ribs in the crash, so I started to lie to keep them happy. I pretended he wasn't there. But he was. He was everywhere.

And he was determined to destroy my life and take away everything I loved in revenge.

How do you fight a monster no-one else can see?

This is what he reduced my life to. I am stopped being Declan Shea that night and became someone else entirely. I became a monster.

Laughing Boy's Shadow, International bestselling author Steven Savile's debut novel is a document humane charting the descent of an ordinary man into a murky world of very human monsters, grief and madness as he wrestles to come to terms with who he is and just what he is capable of in the name of love. Published in the US, Sweden and recently sold to Germany, this is Laughing Boy's Shadow's first appearance in Savile's native land.

"A story about Death written by a man who has clearly consorted with devils.” -- T.M. Wright, author of A Manhattan Ghost Story

"A raw, gritty novel: part social commentary, part philosophy, part fantasy. Savile handles his episodes of graphic violence skillfully, eschewing cliches and shock tactics in favor of understated, detached narration, and the result is a genuinely chilling portrait of total alienation. Savile's novel is original, smart, and well-written; his disturbing images and bleak prose and both thought-provoking and genuinely unsettling." -- Rue Morgue

"The tale is compelling. The protagonist Declan Shea’s transformational journey through the underground; his confrontation with the marvellously named Crohak and the Rookery; the iconic imagery cheerfully interwoven with allusions cribbed from L. Frank Baum, Lewis Carroll and Joseph Campbell make for a dark intriguing sojourn through a mythic urban landscape of bewildering wonderment." -- Fear Zone

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Product Details

  • File Size: 472 KB
  • Print Length: 285 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Crossroad Press & Macabre Ink Digital; First Digital Edition edition (May 5, 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003L77MN2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,025,605 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A stunning work of Dark Fiction July 1, 2011
First released about 15 years ago under the title Laughing Boy's Shadow - but lacking the interest it sorely deserved - Outcasts is an absolutely mesmerising read. If you've already read his bestselling Silver and are hungry for more of Mr Savile's work - then you will not be disappointed with this book.

Where Silver is a high gloss, all-action, rollercoaster of a tale - Outcasts is an atmospheric, intense and troubling journey into the gloomiest reaches of Dark Fiction, and fully showcases the Author's burning talent.

Anyone with a passing familiarity of Newcastle will suppress a shudder every time they revisit certain locations, having read this book and its rich descriptions, such is the quality of the tableaux created.

As the blurb describes - troubled jazz musician Declan Shea kills a tramp with his car, and by the time he reaches the safety of Hospital, you could be forgiven for thinking that this is merely a dark novel about Declan's descent into insanity when he discovers that only he saw his victim.

What happens after he leaves Hospital, however, is best described as opening up that parallel reality that you can only see out of the very corner of your vision and only if you try really hard not to look at it (Dr Who fans will know what I'm on about). You are shoved into the same hole of madness and despair as Declan, kicking and screaming as the Author bombards Declan (and you) with a torture of nightmarish events and tragedies that ultimately shape him into the Monster he was adamant he could never be.

Meeting the crumbling, decaying, dying human metaphor of the City, Malachi - Declan is pitted against Crohak, King of the Tramps who he hit in his car, and his brilliantly described army of tramps and beggars.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Where the king started.... May 29, 2010
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Declan Shea was a jazz pianist. That was all. He came from Liverpool, resided in Newcastle. That was all.

His life changed in a car accident one early Saturday morning, thinking he ran over a homeless tramp in the process. Soon, he became a pawn in a game of chess between two entities of Newcastle's street culture. He watched helplessly as everyone close to him suffered in a way not humanly possible. He even committed murders on behalf of the one who held his life in his hands. He lost everything -- only to find out he had been betrayed.

Steven Savile, the author of the Slaine series as well as The Vampire Wars trilogy, Curse of the Necrarch, and Silver, goes back into his roots with Laughing Boy's Shadow, a story he wrote nearly two decades ago. In it, the reader will find his style much akin to the style he writes with today: quick sentences aimed at drawing the reader in, making the reader's skin quiver as one peruses his prose. While you can smell the blood coming off the page in Necrarch, the reader can feel his/her body become punctured as the avian theme rolls by.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Literary horror from Steven Savile January 19, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
Review copy

In the introduction to Laughing Boy's Shadow, writer Gary A. Braunbeck says, "The best horror fiction concerns itself with exploring the connections between violence, grief, loneliness, and suffering, and how we as a species reconcile these things with a concept of a Just universe watched over by a supposedly loving Supreme Being wherein even the most mundane and trivial of our everyday tasks carry some kind of greater meaning."

The above is as good a definition of horror as I've ever heard and this early work by Steven Savile certainly fits the bill. Declan Shea is a piano player, the kind that plays in bars, and is on his way home from a gig at 3am when he strikes a tramp by the side of the road and wraps his car around a lamppost. At least that's the way he remembers it. And so begins a downward spiral into a nightmare world where Declan loses everything and becomes a pawn in a battle for the very life of the city of Newcastle, England.

After losing his eyes, Declan is promised his sight back, but to do this he must take eyes from two dogs in the underground world where he finds himself. Savile is a skilled writer and adept at making the reader squirm. "' Forgive me' I whispered into its ear, bringing the knife to bear. I was by no means deft. The knifeblade sliced into the soft flesh of the dog's jowls before it hooked up and cut out the sac beneath the eye. The dog stiffened beneath my hands, letting loose a yelping whine that was utterly sickening. I held back, unable to push the knife further and finish my theft. The thought of digging through the strings of muscle attaching the eye to cut the nerve and sever those ties turned my stomach. I couldn't do it."

Laughing Boy's Shadow is like nothing I've ever read.
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More About the Author

A lifelong genre fan, Steven Savile has written for Doctor Who, Torchwood, Primeval, Stargate, Guild Wars, Warhammer, Slaine, Star Wars and the Jurassic Park series, as well as Fantastic TV, a critical study of 50 years worth of science fiction on television. In 2009 won the International Media Tie-In Writer's Scribe Award for his original novel Primeval: Shadow of the Jaguar. Steven has sold over quarter of a million books worldwide, won multiple awards, including the Writers of the Future and Scribe Award, and is a number one bestseller in the United Kingdom.


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