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The Suiting (Tor Horror) Hardcover – August, 1988

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Product Details

  • Series: Tor Horror
  • Hardcover: 245 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books; 1st edition (August 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312930690
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312930691
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.7 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,321,280 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

It's an old adage that "clothes make the man," and it would seem to be a stale premise for a story, but first-time novelist Wilde handles the idea with wit and energy. Inhibited office worker Victor Frankl comes into possession of a beautiful suit. Used, but in perfect condition, the expensive outfit had belonged to a now dead gangster named Bouchette. Although too wide in the shoulders and too tight in the waist, the suit makes Frankl feel attractive and powerful, and he begins to work out in a gym to mold his body to the garment's dimensions. As his body fills the suit, Frankl becomes more and more like the brutal Bouchette. And, like Bouchette, Frankl is going down a slippery slope to self-destruction. Though his prose style becomes increasinglysometimes confusinglyelliptical, Wilde is a skilled writer who has produced an engaging novel.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

A horror first novel with both laughs and chills, this highly readable tale stars Victor Frankl, timid clerk turned body builder, womanizer, and, ultimately, murderer. Possessed by the ghost of muscle-bound mobster Jean Paul Bouchette, peacock-like Victor, clad in Jean Paul's custom-made suit, haunts the streets and singles' bars of Montreal and Toronto. A strong sense of urban geography plus a spattering of Quebec-style French add authenticity and exotic flavor. Other dark pluses for this macabre novel include above-average characterization and the author's quirky sense of humor. An excellent choice for collections of popular fiction. James B. Hemesath, Adams State Coll. Lib., Alamosa, Col.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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See all 10 customer reviews
Starts off easy.
This is the first book i have read by Reb MacRath i look forward to reading more of his books.
lady g
His character development is very thorough.
Kelly G

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Booky Nights on September 19, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Twenty-five years ago Kelley Wilde wrote "The Suiting," a Stoker-award-winning horror novel that made quite a splash. Now Reb MacRath, the man behind the Kelley Wilde pseudonym, has reissued it in a somewhat revised version. It still packs a terrific punch. You might say it swings a mean - a real mean - bat.

As for the story, it is mystical and horrific all at once, engrossing and involving in the same way that Stephen King's work is when King is on his game. The Bouchettes, we learn very early on, are killers with a generational curse that marks one of them for destruction every century. The current Bouchette, Jean-Paul, is a Canadien who likes the good life and who has just bought himself a first-class suit. Before he has a chance to don it, though, he runs into the loan shark whom he owes a sum that he doesn't have. The loan shark now, very literally, wants his money or Bouchette's life.

Nebbishy Victor Frankl, an American expatriate stuck in a lower-middle-management job in Toronto, comes into possession of the suit by accident (or is it by fate?) and wants to wear it more than he's ever wanted anything. The suit has been tailor-made for a much more massive man, though, so Frankl begins some alterations - on himself, not the suit. He undertakes a murderous course of body-building and exercise (the intensity of his efforts becomes creepily unnerving). And as he grows into the suit, so something grows within him. He knows a little French from his schooling, but now he inexplicably begins to think in a patois peculiar to Quebec and to act in a much more assertive and much more sinister way. His appearance, his habits, and his life change.

The tale barrels along as we see Frankl's transformation, of which he is half-proud and half-afraid.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Paul Cotter on September 7, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I first read "The Suiting" when it was originally published 25 years ago. Reading it again now in its smartly edited anniversary form was like sitting down with an old friend. It's easy to see why this book won the Bram Stoker Award for best first horror novel and has been included on a list of the 100 most influential horror novels.

"The Suiting" has what I consider the most important element in a good horror novel: a premise that feels plausible and strikes at the heart of our primal fears. The movie "The Sixth Sense" had a premise that tapped into this fear ("I see dead people.") Stephen King's novel, "Pet Sematary" had one, too (things that are buried in the ground are better off staying there.) Likewise, "The Suiting" derives its power from a simple premise that seems chillingly plausible: a man stumbles upon a custom-tailored suit with a wicked curse. He tries to fill the suit, hoping to become the man he always wanted to be. But as he struggles to fill the suit, the suit instead fills him - consuming him with something menacing and violent beyond belief.

Do yourself a favor and read "The Suiting". I'm predicting it will still be haunting you 25 years from now.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Leverett Butts on April 3, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
In 1989, Reb MacRath (writing as Kelley Wilde) proved with haunting clarity the old adage that the clothes make the man when he first published The Suiting. Twenty-five years later, he drives the point home for a new generation of readers in this completely revised and reworked edition. This story reads like Rod Serling's Twilight Zone version of the Charles Atlas tale: Victor Frankl, a timid underdog, has grown tired of being bullied by other men and ignored by women and wants to improve himself. When he stumbles upon a hand-crafted designer suit, he decides to do whatever it takes (go on a diet, improve his posture, even start an exercise program) to fit into the new threads. As he grows closer and closer to fitting the suit, his confidence grows, and he finds himself becoming the kind of man he always wanted to be. Are these changes, though, a result of his improved self-image, or are darker forces at work?
I have to admit I had my doubts when I first sat down to read this book. Yes, the idea of a suit possessing someone may seem a bit far-fetched, even for a horror story. However, so does the idea of a sentient car becoming obsessed with its owner, but that didn’t stop Stephen King from writing Christine, one of his most popular novels. Like King, MacRath handles his premise with subtle dexterity, transforming it into a subtle metaphor for our dependence on surface materialism and appearance to create our self-worth, a point just as appropriate today as it was in the 80’s.
Fans of the Wilde original will not be disappointed with this new edition. While it has been extensively revised for better consistency and clarity, the story remains the same.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ray Zinn on February 14, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
Great page turner of a thriller written by a man who knows how to string words together for maximum impact. Now he's revised it and made it even stronger. Whether you've read it in its original form or not, give this anniversary edition a spin. You won't regret it.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Porkfatrulez on September 14, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
Starts off easy. Picks up speed. Then towards the end, hits like Ronnie Lott and runs you over. Great book. A must read for those who enjoy Horror. Thanks for the ride Reb!
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More About the Author

After graduating from Buffalo's State University College, I set out on my life's great adventure: moving to Toronto, Canada, for the next ten years. In that time, I built a successful practice as a freelance writer and had a syndicated column that appeared in all major Canadian papers. I was well on my way as a writer when Jimmy Carter's amnesty paved the way for return to the States.

Immediately, I set out on my life's second greatest adventure: busing out to San Francisco with three hundred bucks in my pocket, no contacts and no job. Once I'd settled, I had a decision to make. I could spend years starting from scratch as a freelance journalist--or I could write the Big Read One: the great book I knew I had in me. The book went through two incarnations. The first failed across the board: a huge nonfiction book called The Green Card about Americans in exile. Instead of despairing, I rolled up my sleeves. And two years later I had a dark thriller grounded in my experience as a stateless person. The Suiting was published by Tor Books, under the name Kelley Wilde, and went on to win a Stoker Award for Best First Novel. Don D'Amassa cited the book in his Essential Works of Horror Fiction. And I was profiled in the Toronto Sun, the Toronto Star, the Atlanta Journal and the New York Times.

And so a star was born? Not quite. I'd planned to do a mystery for my second novel, but was bound by contract to give Tor one more fright fest. I changed agents afterward, with an exciting new mystery in mind. She said, "Not yet. First you'll do two paperbacks for Dell's new horror line Abyss. Then we'll make the change." Guess what? By the time I'd done those books for Dell, the horror market died--and so did my career as a midlist horror novelist.

I think I might have given up if I'd known the full scale of the struggle ahead. But, remember: I'd made two great moves in my life. And I sensed another adventure ahead. With that in mind, I took off to The Desert to learn how to write the sort of books I'd always loved to read: riveting tales of suspense and romance, high on heart and wit and style. I lost count of the time that I spent pounding sand. But one day I found I'd completed twelve books. And, ready for one more adventure, I dusted the sand from my sandals, then came to EbookLandia to begin again.

I published four Amazon ebooks in 2012. My fifth Kindle original, APRIL YULE, will go Live soon, with two or three other releases this year.

But I encourage you to wonder: What's in all of this for you? If I've worked as smart as I have hard, I can bring some cool things to your Kindles:
1) I've been tried by fire, as a journalist and novelist, and worked with world-class editors.
2) Experience as a retail copywriter taught me the importance of economy with words.
3) The same experience taught me the imperative of proofing.
4) I set out to learn from two masters of commercial fiction. Lawrence Sanders showed me how to blend smoothness of style and toughness. Ira Levin showed me how to pull off the most fiendish plot twists.
5) At the same time, I've always found almost illegal pleasure in studying the classics. I love the great dead dudes of old and am constantly trying to learn.
6) I'm widely traveled and have lived in a half-dozen big cities. My settings ring much truer because they haven't been Googled or come out of books.
7) My fight scenes pack extra pow because I studied martial arts for over twenty years. And I know what it feels like to have broken bones.
8) My five top goals are crystal clear: to thrill, delight, astonish, move and inspire.

Thank you for visiting this page. Now take a short ride in MacRathWorld...and see the difference for yourself.

I can be reached by email at