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Quietus Hardcover – January 22, 2002
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“Vivian Schilling’s Quietus is a great gothic raven perched somewhere between Anne Rice and Iris Murdoch. It’s a spooky, sweeping book of death, dreams and psychosexual intrigue. Schilling herself—in her deft melding of mythic animus and modern anxiety—seems like the bastard daughter of Carl Jung and Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley. I loved it.”—James Ireland Baker, Time Out New York
“A profoundly insightful and engaging thriller.”—The Cleveland Plain Dealer
“A bold and terrifying tale of suspense as survivors of a deadly crash awaken in a hospital with untrustworthy memories and uncertain futures . . . A tense, involving, complex, deftly written and highly recommended saga about unraveling the defenses of the human mind one by one. Quietus is aptly titled after the moment of release of life, and haunting to the very end.” —Midwest Book Review
“An intelligent and gothic masterpiece … Using extensive research obtained from ancient religious apocrypha, Schilling has crafted stunning and plausible insights that question what we have come to know as ‘death.’ The result is an epic and chilling new thriller that will please readers on both a visceral and intellectual level.” —West Coast Literary Review
"A beautiful, haunting work that stays with the reader long after the last page has been turned—the mark of a true storyteller. Never have I been so enthralled by a suspense novel." —Jamieson Wolf, Green Man Review
“A compelling novel … amazing passages … very creepy.” —Ellen Datlow, The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror
“Beautifully written, this is a tale of suspense and introspection.” —Amy Rosenfeld, Joseph Beth Booksellers
"Quietus is a masterwork of psychological tension that neatly taps into the fear of death and the unknown that resonates in Western man's unconscious. Arcane scriptures and medieval artistry add a gothic element to what is already a tautly compelling and spellbinding tale. ... The book explores many intriguing themes related to death, and poses interesting questions about who or what inhabits the afterlife. ...An engrossing page turner." — Lake County Record-Bee (CA)
“A psychological thriller by a novelist and screenwriter who has made quite a splash … A spooky page-turner.” — Arkansas Times
“A remarkable thriller.”—Inside Borders Magazine (An Original Voices Selection)
“Gripping ... an intriguing novel that explores the very nature and meaning of death. Schilling spent decades researching near-death experiences. She uses this research to create fascinating mythology about death, of which she makes excellent use in the novel … The initial reading of Quietus can be disturbing, but the characters, particularly Kylie, will return to haunt readers at unusual times. This is the type of book that demands a second reading ... always a good sign.”—Alicia Graybill, Foreword Reviews
“Rich and intelligent … well written.” —The Women’s Connection
“Haunting and passionate . . . A chilling and foreboding tale about fate, death and the afterlife. Gripping and thought-provoking . . . Highly recommended.” —Christine Filipak, Dark Realms Magazine
“A breakout and chilling new thriller.”—The Daily Oklahoman
“Quietus is an engaging tale of love, death and survival. …Schilling does an admirable job of creating living, breathing characters … (and) brings the reader to many levels of understanding as she, through Kylie, explores the historical, religious and cultural beliefs on death … intense and suspenseful … Quietus is a quality, fast paced supernatural thriller that will keep readers enthralled. —Rob H. Bedford, SFFWORLD
“Kylie O’Rourke is one of those memorable literary characters who remain lodged in one’s psyche long after the book is returned to the shelf…Have no doubt that this is a novel of suspense….The intensity of the novel makes it an engrossing read from page one. Like a locomotive, it is difficult to stop until the track ends.” —NW Arkansas Monthly
“Author/screenwriter Vivian Schilling writes dramatically, with a talent for making the reader visualize as though the scenes were on film. As Kylie grapples with the forces stalking her, the reader can’t resist turning to questions of mortality…. Should victims of heavy trauma be resuscitated? Can you really come back from the brink? And, if you do, how do you face each day thereafter? You find yourself realizing how precious every moment is, that life can end abruptly, at any time … The action is relentless…the story is well told and highly engaging … the wrap up is neat and tidy and devilishly clever.” —Book Reporter
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Top customer reviews
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Some of the subject matter is extremely intense, but Ms. Schilling handles it with grace and sheds light into the darkest of areas. I remain grateful for her talents, for not only opening my daughter up to the literary world, but for providing much lively discussion between us.
Quietus is emotionally riveting and profoundly moving. A breathtaking read for both young and old.
I also had a big problem with Schilling's writing. As another reviewer points out, she seems to be suffering from severe adjective disease. She would go on and on about something for far too long than she should have by describing it with far too many adjectives, some of which were even contradictory. For example, how can some have "detached but caring" eyes? Schilling's word choice, in general was poor and often confusing. It was almost as if she couldn't think of the right words and had to force another to work in a context that did not fit right. Beyond this, some of her sentences were just outrageous. One that I remember specifically described how Kylie could tell even in pitch black darkness that someone else's hair was blonde just from touching it. And a few sentences later she could see the person's blue eyes clearly.
While Schilling clearly did her research on an interesting topic, she failed to integrate it into a story that continued to be suspenseful. Even in her descriptions of history and biblical/religious lore seemed contradictory and was not related fully to what was going on in the story.
With a lot of editing and paring down (the story could have been told much more effectively in half the amount of pages), I would have enjoyed this book a lot more. After I reached the 300 page mark, I found myself skimming over several pages at a time to just to finish it. Schilling has the potential to tell a good story, but I feel like she got too caught up in trying to put in way too much detail. If you can ignore horrible grammar, word choice, and a meandering plot, and enjoy a dark plot that's solely about death, give this book a try. Otherwise, go find something that is actually suspenseful and well written.
There are several erotic scenes, all of them from a very female point of view. If you are a male who just doesn't get women at all, then you probably won't enjoy them.
I loved this book!
Most recent customer reviews
This is not your typical thriller that you can slam down in a couple of nights.Read more