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Tricycle Paperback – August 1, 1983

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 254 pages
  • Publisher: Pocket; First Edition edition (August 1, 1983)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671458930
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671458935
  • Product Dimensions: 7.3 x 5.3 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,265,969 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jim Thomsen on January 1, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Yes, the title is ridiculous, and yes, the cover looks like a parody issue of "Cracked" magazine. But, really, this 1983 suspense/horror novel is not that bad. Nor is it that good; it's basically a derivative, downmarket version of the Dean Koontz/John Saul "punish the sinners" gothic horror novels that were hugely popular in the 1970s and '80s.

The story: Christopher Hennick, a young and handsome literature teacher, arrives at Talbot Academy in Connecticut amidst much turmoil. He's still coming to grips with losing his sight in a car wreck months before. His relationship with his college girlfriend is on the rocks. And he arrives on campus in the wake of the tragic -- and presumably accidental -- deaths of two male students who just happen to look like him. He quickly finds reason to suspect -- and be drawn to -- the Catterby family: Seemingly oblivious teacher Arthur, bored sexpot Karen and creepy, intrusive five-year-old Simon, who seems to trail Christopher everywhere he goes on his squeaky tricycle. A flood that cuts off the campus from the rest of civilization sets into motion a deadly series of events that bring the blind teacher face to face with a remorseless killer.

The ambitions of "Tricycle" aren't high, but it fulfills them and then some. The story is well-structured and well-paced, and the characters are well-developed. The tone is suitably creepy, but subtle enough to lull us into its surprises. The book even sneaks a little highbrow fare in its love of literature, with warm references to Shakespeare, Milton, Hemingway, Dickens and a number of Greek playwrights.

The final act, while over the top, is skillfully drawn. (You will probably cringe, however, at the climactic moment, in which one character screams "Satan's whore!" and drags another down to both their deaths.)

If you're bored one night and prefer a little creepy diversionary fare, you could do a lot worse than "Tricycle." You could also do a lot better.
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