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Other Kingdoms Paperback – February 14, 2012


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books; Reprint edition (February 14, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765327694
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765327697
  • Product Dimensions: 0.9 x 5.4 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,244,116 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Genre veteran Matheson (I Am Legend) frames this bittersweet blend of fantasy and romantic suspense as the "true" reminiscences of 82-year-old Alex White, the author of such novels as Midnight Blood Thirst and Midnight Flesh Hunger under the name Alex Black. In the spring of 1918, the then 18-year-old Alex, a wounded soldier who's been discharged from the American Army, settles in the isolated English town of Gatford, where he soon finds himself caught between two supernaturally empowered women: Magda, an alluring witch, and Ruthana, a charming faerie. Alex, himself powerless, is willing to make great sacrifices to be with his one true love, whichever one she might be, but their different natures and disapproving relatives may doom the relationship. Which of the two women Alex will choose is never really in doubt; the loser is clearly unsuitable and conveniently malicious in defeat. The self-pitying Alex may ramble in telling his straightforward tale, but Matheson remains as ever a competent craftsman. (Mar.)
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

Praise for Other Kingdoms:

"[A] bittersweet blend of fantasy and romantic suspense."
Publishers Weekly

"A vital, witty, frightening, erotic and intelligent page-turner about the follies of youth, deeply immersed in an arcane world that lurks beneath the safe, definable surfaces of the everyday." 
—Fangoria

"Matheson himself is a literary faerie of sorts, his trick being his ability to coax off a story's familiar pathway to take us deep and deeper into his world until we accept what we instinctively reject. Those open to such imaginings couldn't ask for a better guide."
—Associated Press


More About the Author

Richard Matheson was born in 1926. He began publishing SF with his short story 'Born of Man and Woman' in 1950. I Am Legend was published in 1954 and subsequently filmed as The Omega Man (in 1971), starring Charlton Heston, and I Am Legend (in 2007), starring Will Smith. Matheson wrote the script for the film The Incredible Shrinking Man, an adaptation of his second SF novel The Shrinking Man. The film won a Hugo award in 1958. He wrote many screenplays as well as episodes of The Twilight Zone. He continued to write short stories and novels, some of which formed the basis for film scripts, including Duel, directed by Steven Spielberg in 1971. A film of his novel What Dreams May Come was released in 1998, starring Robin Williams. Stephen King has cited Richard Matheson as a creative influence on his work.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I became excited when I saw that Richard Matheson had a new book out. It had been years since I read anything truly new from this imaginative fantasy writer. I grew up on Matheson's horror/fantasy/science fiction either in print (I Am Legend, Hell House,The Incredible Shrinking Man, Duel) or in film/TV (The Night Stalker, Duel, Trilogy of Terror, The Fall of the House of Usher, What Dreams May Come, Stir of Echoes, "Twilight Zone"). He's so versatile that it's easy to over look his exceptional skills as a storyteller.

Matheson's latest is a dark fantasy novel following horror writer Alex White during his youth fighting in the trenches during World War I. Alex befreinds Harold Lightfoot and Englishman and when Harold dies he leaves Alex an unexpected gift-a large chunk of gold from his home Gatford, England. Intrigued by their discussion of the place and having no where else to go, Alex settles in Gatford but discovers that there's dark creatures in the forest surrounding the run down farm house he buys. Although warned to not stray off the path, he does so and begins a journey into a very different life influenced by the creatures of the forest.

A dark, compelling fantasy with a twisted sort of love story at its heart Other Kingdoms reflects Matheson at his best; the narrative is well structured and the plotting brilliantly thought out. As always he creates credible characters that you develop sympathy for even if they aren't the most sympathetic. Matheson assumes the voice of a character of the time (Alex was born before Matheson and the style reflects that era).

Well into his eighth decade as a writer Matheson may have slowed down in providing us with new material to read but the quality and imagination remains consistently high.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By C. Irish TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 19, 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
If you think the latest from Richard Matheson picks up where he left off with some of the best known horror stories written to date, you may be slightly disappointed with this tale. I wish I had really great things to say about Richard Matheson's latest book. I love the main character, A. Black and I love his war stories and general attitude toward things. His biting wit was the high point of this book-parenthesis and all. The premise is fun the writing is good, of course, but it lacks in general suspense and entertainment value.

What happened to me while I was reading Other Kingdoms was that I ended up asking myself, why? Why am I reading this book? It started off engagingly enough, but after a hundred or more pages, I started to day dream about what other book I should read next, and then my mind asked, why wait? Not a good sign. Especially from an author that has written spell binding books with great plots, characters, and ambiance. This does not compare.

I think if I were Wiccan, I would certainly enjoy this book about witchcraft and evil fairies who live in the woods. I found it was just a strange book with very little redeeming qualities and it was a struggle to finish for this reader. I found it to be quite a rambling escapade that didn't grip my attention to the fullest extent, and I am not completely sure why.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By K. Phillips on March 2, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have to say I enjoyed reading the story once I got past the cloying voice of the narrator coupled with an overuse of parentheses. Once the character moved out of the trenches of WWI and began his journey proper, I gave into the story. In the end I enjoyed it (I'm a sucker for real-world/fae clashes), but can only imagine how much better this would have been without the prose-related quirks and irritations.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Kurt G. Schumacher VINE VOICE on September 24, 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I was looking forward to a new story by one of the Grand Masters of fantasy and horror. But reading this book was like sitting down to dinner expecting prime rib, and being served a bowl of porridge.

The main character was not likeable at all. Yes, he was supposed to be 18 and stupid. We are reminded of this constantly by the narrator ... the main character, age 82. Alex White writes horror novels under the pen name Arthur Black. We're also constantly reminded of this, although Black has nothing to do with the story. Which is about Alex at age 18 and 19. Living through the horrors of World War I. Meeting and Englishman who tells him about his mysterious home. When his friend is killed, Alex goes to England and rents a home in his friend's town, where he runs afoul of faeries and a witch.

The book meanders along with no real point. It's more of a reminiscence than a story. And we are continually pulled out of the story by the annoying Arthur Black making tedious comments every times words starting with the same letter are used ... a "combo". It's tremendously tedious (good combo there). And watch out for three words in a row! It's really rather revolting (nice triplet). The constant information, on almost every page, that we are *being told a story*, and that it is *all true* and *really happened*, and that it's about a *young and ignorant man*, and is being related by an *author of horror novels* ... well, it's rather hard to keep focused on the story. It's like having someone tapping you on the shoulder while you're reading and commenting on the writing. "Isn't that an interesting turn of phrase? What an idiot that character is!"

I made it through the book, but it was a struggle. And in the end, it wasn't worth it.
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