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Midnight Picnic Paperback – February 15, 2009
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Top Customer Reviews
Nick Antosca's skillful technique with conflict lured me right into the first page of this thriller novel: The main character, Bram, pulls into the parking lot of a bar and runs over a dog. When the dog drags himself away, Bram is astonished when he can't find him. This also left me astonished, as well as panicked. I realized from the very beginning of this novel that if Antosca can pull different emotions from a reader from the very first chapter, I was in for a ride. I found chapter one an appetizer because it warmed me up for some unsettling, "edge of your seat" narrative that kept me reading until the very end.
One of the skills I see in Nick Antosca's writing style that lends to this fascination is his poetic way with words. Phrases like, "Trees move without wind...black depths, things sliding across the dark," empowers him to make the eerie sound beautiful. Another passage that moves me is the following:
Something's descending over him like a fog, muting his
feelings, softening his thoughts. It is as if the life of this
world is wallpaper and he has seen the corner of it peeled
away, then pressed sloppily back into place. Still, he can
see the edge of something else....life imperceptibly displaced,
a painting hung at a wrong angle (34).Read more ›
As Bram pulls into the parking area of Mom’s bar, he hits Baby, the old deerhound that lives there. It’s the early hours of the morning and pouring with rain. Bram is devastated as he tries to find the injured dog and get her to a vet. But his car has died and the dog manages to drag herself into the crawl space beneath the building. Bram decides the kindest thing is to put an end to her suffering so he goes to a friend’s to borrow a gun. When he returns the dog has gone, presumably into the woods and when the storm intensifies Bram makes the choice to look for her in the morning. When he enters his room over the bar he finds Marian, his sometimes girlfriend who has the other room, in his bed.
'It takes a while for him to fall asleep. He keeps thinking of the dog out there. The storm is worse, the wind keening and jolting the window in its frame. It sounds like it’s uprooting things out there, laying siege to something. When he does sleep, after a while, his dreams are eerily quiet, full of silver half-light. He is walking in the woods. He is a child.’
Although Bram doesn’t realise it yet, the dream has a huge significance and when he ventures into the woods the next morning looking for Baby a bag of bones is found. The bones of a child. Bram takes them to his room. Later a young boy, Adam Dovey, appears asking for help, explaining to Bram how he was murdered. He wants Bram’s help to punish the man who murdered him. So begins Bram’s surreal journey into darkness.
The characters are well defined and the descriptive version of the afterlife seems to be more of a purgatory than anything else.Read more ›
Bram is basically a decent bloke living a mundane life with an on/off sexual relationship with the depressed girl living on the same floor as him above Moms bar. His accident is the start of a journey that leads Bram to the land of the dead where he follows six-year-old Adam who is consumed with the concepts of right, wrong and punish. Adam was murdered by Jacob Bunny and is seeking help from Bram to settle the score with Jacob. Author Nick Antosca provides heartbreaking vignettes of the tragic lives of these well-drawn characters and portrays a dim and eerie afterlife.
Not so much a scary ghost story, but a highly emotional and unsettling, surreal road trip, Midnight Picnic was utterly spellbinding exploring issues such as loneliness, evil, and redemption. Only four and a half hours long, I listened to this in one sitting. I’m still not sure what to make of the ending, though.
With regards to the narration, it was performed by R. C. Bray. Need I say more? As always, outstanding. His tone matched the tension and eeriness of the story perfectly. Quite often, if a young child is a major part of the story, I find the narration suffers. In this case, I was in awe how authentic six-year-old Adam sounded. There were no issues with the production.
Audiobook provided for review by the audiobookreviewer dot com
Most Recent Customer Reviews
As I listened to RC Bray's gravely delivery of this intensely creepy novel I had similar feelings that I had the first time I saw Twin Peaks and scenes from Eraserhead. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Amazon Customer
After thoroughly enjoying Fires, reading Antosca’s second book seemed like a natural thing to do. Midnight Picnic is every bit as expertly executed as Fires, and it similarly... Read morePublished on December 2, 2013 by Jonathan C.
Quite possibly the best ghost story I've ever read. The writing was excellent and engaging from the first page onward. Read morePublished on July 14, 2013 by Kindle Customer
Midnight Picnic is GUD contributor Nick Antosca's second novel, but is written with such assurance and skill that it might more easily be his twenty-second. Read morePublished on October 26, 2009 by Kaolin Fire
In many ways a good short book is better than a good long book, and this is a case in point. Antosca is a very talented writer and his story is both classic and original. Read morePublished on July 27, 2009 by mikamoto
I have never been met with a book that has so commanded the attention of all of my senses at once. Antosca masterfully combines haunting images with unexpected tastes and smells,... Read morePublished on March 23, 2009 by Eric Shonkwiler
I recently discovered nick antosca when a website compared his first book Fires to early bret easton ellis novels (and b.e.e. Read morePublished on March 8, 2009 by Michael Smith
Writing is stronger than Fires but the intense, adderall-tinged orange tempo is still there. Midnight Picnic is a book that thinks its a movie, I couldn't put it down. Read morePublished on February 18, 2009 by Pauline de T.