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The Halloween Man Paperback – September 3, 2015
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"Rebound" by Kwame Alexander
Don't miss best-selling author Kwame Alexander's "Rebound," a new companion novel to his Newbery Award-winner, "The Crossover,"" illustrated with striking graphic novel panels. Pre-order today
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Horror fiction need not necessarily have original ideas--most of its ideas are as old as the hills--but it's a treat when a writer like Douglas Clegg comes along, with the ability to look at the old ideas in new ways. In The Children's Hour Clegg reinvented the vampire legend. In The Halloween Man Clegg reinvents devil worship.
The plot of this novel is so complex and multifaceted, it's not easy to summarize, but it boils down to two narratives about two points in time. The protagonist, Stony Crawford, is a 15-year-old man (not a boy) in love with a dark-haired beauty named Lourdes Maria. Their surprisingly deep romance unfolds against the backdrop of a peculiar small town on the rugged coast of Connecticut. After a 12-year absence, Stony returns to this town bringing with him a young boy whom he kidnapped from a religious compound in Texas. Thanks to Clegg's skillful interlacing of the two narratives, when the life of 15-year-old Stony climaxes, so does that of 27-year-old Stony. The crux of both stories is a powerful being of "divine evil" and "Azriel Light"--perhaps a demon, perhaps simply a creature like any other.
Clegg's characters are well realized and fascinating, and the story is richly steeped in history. The Halloween Man is a stunning horror novel, written with a degree of conviction that is rare these days. --Fiona Webster --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"Clegg gets high marks on the terror scale..."(The Daily News (New York)) -- This is a required answer. Please enter something.
"Douglas Clegg is one of horror's most captivating voices..." -- BookLovers
"Every bit as good as the best works of Stephen King, Peter Straub, or Dan Simmons..." -- Hellnotes: The Newsletter for the Horror Professional
"Packed with vivid imagery; a broadly-scoped but fast-paced plot; powerful, evocative writing; superb characterizations; and facile intelligence, The Halloween Man is more than its blurbage can ever convey..." -- DarkEcho --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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As for the book; it hooked me really quickly and the different time periods covered kept me engaged thought the entire book.
I absolutely love to read stories within a story, and H. MAN does this chillingly well. The novel opens with the adult Stony kidnapping the mysterious young "prophet." Then Clegg weaves memories of both the young and the older Stony, narrowing each until the big finish. Along the way, blind Nora tells some magnificent tales to Stony and his soul mate, Lourdes. What unfolds is a chilling story about a small town conspiracy, evil, greed, and faith. Stony and Lourdes love each other with a gentle passion, but will that be enough to keep them together? How does Stony finally discover his true self? Who is the little boy who seems to know Stony better than he knows himself? What secrets does the Crown mansion hold?
This is good reading! The opening scenes are reminiscent of those in Straub's GHOST STORY (one of the greatest horror novels ever written, in my most humble opinion). Nora is an incredible character, and her fireside stories are enough to raise goosebumps on their own. The ending was quite a bit different than I anticipated although not surprising given Stony's nature. My question is: are we going to see more of Stony and the quirky "Steve", Mr. Clegg? Buy this novel now, and then haunt amazon.com and used book stores to get all those out-of-print/stock Clegg works!