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Best Seller Paperback – February 13, 2011
"Warlight" by Michael Ondaatje
A dramatic coming-of-age story set in the decade after World War II, "Warlight" is the mesmerizing new novel from the best-selling author of "The English Patient." Pre-order today
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There are stories of horror on the real landscape of our world, and then there are those in the imagination. Fascination with this genre continues to make the strange, scary and macabre a popular and adrenalin filled escape for many readers.In Best Seller by Timothy B. Sagges we follow the life of a writer. Richard Rossi is willing to do just about anything to get his book published and in the hand of readers. Or is he? When he stumbles on a party in his apartment complex, he meets a woman who seems very interested in what he has written and what he has to say. She, in return, introduces him to a enigmatic man, a Publisher named Seth Volos.
Volos is polished and charismatic, and says just the right things to reel Richard in. Richard finds himself signing a document that only gives him a small window to change his mind, he only has further questions. Knowing he has a little time to read the fine print, he moves on his way to celebrate his new found freedom to pursue his dream. However immediately strange things begin to happen, he is in a accident and unconscious making him miss the deadline of time to review his contract. He immediately becomes an overnight sensation with the help of Volos and his staff.
He is thrilled and yet unnerved when he begins to see a pattern of youth suicides, many clutching his book as they are found. What is happening, and does he bare any responsibility. Looking for answers only drags him deeper into the mire. Even with his star on the rise, Richard understands there is something bigger going on, but can he get to the bottom of it before it is too late? Or is it already too late?
Sagges has written a horror story reminiscent of Alfred Hitchcock. The currents are not along the top where they jump out at you, but wind behind and through the writing causing a creepiness and horror that strikes when you least expect it. As with Hitchcock and his films I was uncomfortable with the telling of this tale. I thought about it when I was done reading for the day, and as I completed the book. The characters are very true to like and well done, but it is the story and the children that hold you enthralled.
Sagges's bio says that the story comes from a set of recurring night terrors, and I can only wonder how he was able to put this aside to get any actual sleep. If you enjoy the creepy, or really just like a good solid horror, you will enjoy the scope of this story. It is well done and hard to really see it coming until it is twisted within your mind. A solid mixture of Hitchcock meets the crypt keeper, the horror builds and the characters continue to crumble around the strange circumstances and the processes put in play by Seth Volos.
The story centers around Richard Rossi. This guy's life dream has been to publish one of his books. He achieves that through the creepsville Mr. Volos. Volos has a presence that hangs over the story the entire time. Richard felt like a guy just treading water, trying to keep his head from going under. He briefly experiences success, and then realizes he needs to step up and do something. That was when his true mettle showed through.
The writing was filled with tension and made it easy to read the book really fast. I saw a few of the plot points coming, but the ultimate ending was definitely not something I expected :) Overall, Best Seller is a great Thriller and an interesting commentary on the things we value and what's really important.
Rich isn't a likable guy in the beginning. All he wants to do is get his book published. Once he meets Seth Volos, he dreams seem to come true. But as he embarks on his book tour, it seems that fame comes with a price. He thinks he has it all figured out, but the reality is more horrifying than he thought. The mystery of what is happening was pretty straight forward. There are no big twists in the story, but it was still enjoyable. The only thing that I thought was a bit much was the part about Dennis and his secret. For me, it just didn't fit with the rest of the story. Best Seller was a pretty quick read and worth checking out.
The characters could have been fleshed out a little more. I wished I could have said that I had a favorite, but I didn't "get to know them" as well as I'd like. Rich starts off as a bleephole, underpaid, underemployed, writer/barista, and ends up a best selling writer. His personality changes, but it all seems a little superficial. The secondary characters are also a little flat. I think that it's safe to say if these were given a bit more time, this book would have been nearly flawless.
The plot saves this book for me. I did plow through it in half of a day, so that says something! It's entertaining if you can just focus on the story and not linger too much on what should have been with the characters.