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The Mercy of the Tide Paperback – February 21, 2017
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"A dark thrill ride."(Kyle Minor, author of PRAYING DRUNK Book Endorsement)
“Keith Rosson’s fearless and genre-bending debut novel, The Mercy of the Tide, is harrowing, haunting, and hypnotic. This is nightmare material of the first order, at once exhilarating and profoundly disturbing. It’ll leave you breathless. Riptide, Oregon, is a forbidding landscape of shattered lives and broken dreams, and it’s a scarier place than the world you’re living in. Pour yourself a bracing drink, settle into your comfy chair. Once you begin this book, you won’t be going anywhere. What talent, what nerve, what an astonishing first novel.”(John Dufresne, author of I DON'T LIKE WHERE THIS IS GOING Book Endorsement)
(Starred Review) "Blending horror and alternate history, this striking first novel takes its time familiarizing readers with the small seacoast town of Riptide, Ore. It’s late 1983, and the U.S. and Russia seem to be sliding toward nuclear Armageddon. At least that’s what nine-year-old Trina Finster believes, focusing on politics partly to distract herself from sorrow over her mother’s death. Her brother, Sam, and her father are also struggling with personal grief, as are town sheriff Dave Dobbs and excruciatingly haunted deputy Nick Hayslip. When they start finding the mutilated corpses of animals, they fear that a vicious shape-shifting monster out of local Native American legend, the tah-kee-na-the, has reappeared to feed on sorrow and serve as a harbinger of more awful events to come. Considering the international situation described in the novel, readers are left uncertain whether any of the characters will survive in the long run. What is clear, though, is that Rosson has a real gift for vivid description and for creating anguished characters who deserve a faint glimmer of hope."(PUBLISHERS WEEKLY - STARRED REVIEW)
“An astonishing debut soaked with suspense. Rosson brings his characters to life with surefooted precision. The town of Riptide, Oregon, may be cursed with rain, but it will be scorched into your memory. Outlandishly excellent.”(Jim Ruland, author of FOREST OF FORTUNE Book Endorsement)
“This story of a community of wounded souls takes some gutsy turns off the main roads to stake its own unforgettable territory. With grit and empathy, Rosson tells a story of heartache and grief unlike any I’ve ever read.”(James Boice, author of THE SHOOTING and MVP Book Endorsement)
". . . Highly recommended. Feels like: Dead Zone meets Cycle of the Werewolf - Smells like: Portlandia meets Stranger Things"(Shahab Zargari The Verbicide Magazine)
"The Mercy of the Tide is intense and beautiful, epically sad yet restorative like all great novels are. Affirmation in every sense of the term. Highly Recommended."(Matthew Hart Razorcake Magazine)
"The world of publishing is strange. It’s kind of like music in the sense of I don’t know why some albums get popular acclaim and others fall through the cracks. I’ve read books that are 'successful' and they’re lost on me. Meanwhile, people like Rosson are putting out gripping, illustrative books like The Mercy of the Tide. God damn, if this isn’t made into a movie it’s a crying shame."(Kurt Morris Razorcake Magazine)
"Rosson is a talent to be watched, and Riptide is one of the most immersive fictional settings in recent memory."(Jason Heller NPR Books)
(4/4 hearts) "An exquisitely honed, beautifully written novel."(Foreword Reviews)
". . . [N]othing is what it seems in Riptide, both due to the sources of violence and to the magical realism that Rosson uses with a magically deft touch."(Bethanne Patrick Literary Hub)
"I recommend this novel to anyone who is looking for a unique mystery."(Jessica Duffield Paperback Paris)
"Blending fantasy, horror, and alt-history, this slow-burning debut is grounded by characters whose personal tragedies anchor the supernatural elements. "(Barnes & Noble Blog)
"Recommended without reservation."(Medium)
"The novel that unfolds somewhat defies genres. The mysterious menace lends a bit of a horror feel to the book. The small town cops forever driving in the rain gives it an air of noir. But Rosson’s willingness to show the consequences of the tropes of horror and crime novels takes this out of genre fiction. When characters get killed, their death isn’t just a plot point. We care about the deaths. We mourn them, along with the characters in the book. When there’s a fight, the characters get hurt. They carry their wounds into subsequent chapters. The reader is never let off the hook. At other times, The Mercy of the Tide feels like literary fiction. There are rich descriptions of coastal Oregon in a time that’s passed, and the depth of Rosson’s investigations into class, gender, disability and anger go far beyond anything you’ll find in most mass-market paperbacks."
"He’s a writer who is now on my list of 'check out everything they release.'"(Deanna Chapman Hifinoise)
". . . Rosson's voice is sure; his characters are vividly, heartbreakingly human in their flaws and foibles and relationships; and his plot rolls relentlessly along, growing ever more nerve-wracking until the final, completely unsettling chapter. "(Amy Wang The Oregonian)
About the Author
Keith Rosson's fiction has appeared in Redivider, Cream City Review, PANK, The Nervous Breakdown, and more. He is the author of The Best of Intentions: The Avow Anthology, an omnibus collection of his long-running punk fanzine, Avow, as well as an illustrator and graphic designer, with clients that include Green Day, Against Me, the Goo Goo Dolls, and others. An advocate of both public libraries and non-ironic adulation of the cassette tape, he can be found at keithrosson.com.
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Waiting to see what comes next from Keith Rosson.
The Plot; It's all there.
The Characters; Although only a small number, they are Huge. It almost seems like Rosson has to rein them in to keep them on the page!!!
Towards the conclusion of the story, I became angry that I wasn't a faster reader. I hung on every sentence till the last. (This story rains and rains.)
The story is also a good one though I almost wish there was more backstory regarding the monster.