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Nightwing Mass Market Paperback – December 15, 1990


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books (December 15, 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345370597
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345370594
  • Product Dimensions: 6.6 x 4.2 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #262,748 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

"Genuinely horrifying." THE WASHINGTON POST BOOK WORLD
Vampire bats: Evil. Clever.
Deadly.
Driven by blood-hunger across the American landscape, they bred and multiplied, unseen and unsuspected, each one a grisly messenger of death. No warm-blooded creature is safe from their thirst. Now, as darkness gathers, the sky is filled with the frantic motion, the maddening murmur of . . . Nightwing.

About the Author

Martin J. Smith is a veteran journalist and magazine editor. He has won more than 40 newspaper and magazine writing awards, and four times was nominated by his newspaper for the Pulitzer Prize.

Born in Birmingham, Alabama, and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, he began writing professionally while a student at Pennsylvania State University in the late 1970s. His 15-year career as a newspaper reporter took him around the world, from the rural poverty of Southwestern Pennsylvania to Nevada?s Mustang Ranch bordello; from the riot-torn streets of Los Angeles to the revolutionary streets of Manila; from pre-glasnost Siberia to the new frontier of cyberspace. He currently is editor-at-large of Orange Coast magazine in Orange County, Calif., a regional monthly magazine he edited for four years.

Smith lives with his wife and their two children in Southern California, where he remains part of an often overlooked minority -- the Soccer Dad.

You can email the author at enos@ix.netcom.com

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Martin Cruz-Smith's novels include Stalin's Ghost, Gorky Park, Rose, December 6, Polar Star and Stallion Gate. A two-time winner of the Hammett Prize from the International Association of Crime Writers and a recipient of Britain's Golden Dagger Award, he lives in California.

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

35 of 36 people found the following review helpful By RMurray847 VINE VOICE on June 5, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Smith is a favorite of mine. I must admit I was skeptical with this book. (A horror story about bats.) But it was totally convincing. The hero (as typical in Smith books) is reluctant and flawed, but very interesting. The details of Native American life are great, the landscapes are beautifully evoked, and the bats are very interesting. The scene about midway through when the bad guy is remembering a particularly bad trek he and his father made through a cave is unbelievably creepy. Months later, I still remember it and shudder. YOU MUST READ IT!
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Stuart Ball on February 13, 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I felt compelled to write this review after seeing the negative nature of the other posts. Why are there only four reviews anyway? It is not hard to be critical of "Nightwing" when you consider it next to Smith's other works. It isn't a particurly complex plot and the protagonist (though you get several different first person accounts) is somewhat flawed. And not in the traditional "likable tragic hero" sense, he is more just passive and melancholy. Once into the book, though, you do begin to develop a connection.

In the story vampire bats come across the Mexican border into American Indian country, and various bedlam ensues for our characters. Smith actually presents a supringly plausible plot for a novel involving migratory, ravenous bats.

It should be noted that the novel is not exclusively a bat adventure. The stoic Indian protagonist battle against the bats forces him to make hard choices about his identity and the future of his culture. I really did enjoy reading this book. In the last twenty pages I came to realize I had developed more empathy for the characters than I thought. Might not be Smith's best, but the bredth of what he attempts on the subject of personal identity is commendably ambitious.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A customer on August 21, 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Like another reviewer wrote, I'm compelled to give my two cents worth because of the surprisingly negative reviews of what I consider to be a beautifully crafted novel.

Stephen King was right when he called NIGHTWING one of the best horror novels of the past twenty years. Make that thirty years at the writing of this review. The only negative thing I have to say about NIGHTWING and Martin Cruz Smith is that he has abandoned the horror genre in favor of thrillers such as the Arkady Renko series and DECEMBER 6. Those are fine reads, but a brilliant storyteller like Cruz Smith is sorely needed in horror fiction.

However, I can see why Cruz Smith stays away from horror literature when I see feedback such as "chapters are too long because they're over 20 pages," or the expressed opinion that there's not enough action. In fact, I found the story suspenseful and possessing of a cultural depth and insight that only a brilliant writer in command of his craft could pull off, and that's just what Cruz Smith does. So if you have a chance to read NIGHTWING, I say go for it and you won't be disappointed.

One thing does ring true throughout the other reviews - the movie adaptation was dreadful.
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18 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Orrin C. Judd VINE VOICE on October 13, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Without a doubt, the worst movie I ever had the displeasure of paying to see, Nightwing turns out to be a fine thriller. It's Stephen King by way of Tony Hillerman as plague ridden vampire bats descend on a Hopi reservation.
Replete with a lone hero tribal policeman, corrupt Indian politicians, a mad scientist, bigoted evangelists & a vengeful shaman, this early effort from Martin Cruz Smith does not measure up to the Arkady Renko series, but it's fun.
GRADE: C+
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Happy Camper on May 10, 2014
Format: Hardcover
Martin Cruz Smith's departure from Arkhady doesn't leave the reader wishing they hadn't moved on.

In an interesting turn of events, a Native American must deal with bats... not your regular fruitbats, but blood suckers.

Smith manages to turn "the same ole story" into something fresh and different.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Golden San on May 7, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am a big Renko fan, but was curious that he wrote this book first. It was a great plot, but a bit wordy. He became more concise in future novels. interesting read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Calder on August 27, 2012
Format: Audible Audio Edition
The audio version of Nightwing is well worth your time. I own both a print version and the audio version of this book. This is a fantastic story that some scholars and Hollywood were not kind to. A bit about me: among other things, I occasionally teach Native American history at the advanced level. I am not indigenous and despite years of research I in no way consider myself an expert of the vast number of their unique cultures. . .who is? I do sympathize greatly with colonized North Americans and the myriad of ways their histories and cultures continue to be misrepresented in many history, anthropology and other non-fiction works as well as in popular culture. Just the names we within the West European/white "mainstream" casually accept for some of our sports teams are unbelievable - and that is just the barest surface.

When Martin Cruz Smith released Nightwing some readers took issue with its inconsistencies in the data it contained regarding the Hopis, Navajos and the Southwest. Rightly, they pointed out that many Americans learn history from works of fiction. That's true, unfortunately. However, the main point should have been that this book is fiction. The author, whose own ancestry includes indigenous lineage, never intended to educate people about the Indian Peoples of the Southwest. He did enough research to write a plausible work of fiction about a collision between human beings and the environment. The book was never meant as a learning tool about the Hopis, the Navajos or the vampire bats contained within. It is no more history than a fictional work by any other author - nor was it meant as historical fiction - a dubious subgenre of fiction that is itself often counterfactual.
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