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Stewart O'Nan is hugely critically acclaimed Published in paperback to coincide with Halloween For fans of Peter Straub and all cerebral chillers
Stewart O'Nan has been named by Granta as one of its Twenty Best Young American Novelists. He lives in Connecticut.
More poignant than terrifying, this contemporary ghost story set in suburban Connecticut focuses on the survivors of a car accident that killed three teenagers on Halloween exactly a year before the novel begins. Tim escaped without a scratch, but seeks to assuage his survivor's guilt on the first anniversary of the event. Kyle, once a teen rebel, is now a brain-damaged shadow (a kind of zombie) of his former self. Brooks, the townie cop who discovered the accident, watches helplessly as his life skids out of control. And most poignant of all, Nancy Sorensen, Kyle's mother, stoically cares for her damaged son and tries to heal a marriage nearly destroyed by grief. These sad characters are haunted in another way as well, by the ghosts of the three killed instantly in the crash: Marco, Toe and Danielle, who address themselves directly to the reader. "We're on a mission," they say, but their objective is never explicitly stated; they just observe as the day's events unfold. Each character's story is told (and, eventually, woven together) in O'Nan's simple, searching prose, which captures the inchoate passion and longing of teenage life as well as the bleak resignation of middle age. O'Nan demonstrates remarkable restraint; there's no grasping for tragic meaning (the accident was "just something random that happened to us, bad luck," according to Marco) or melodrama. Despite some confusing shifts in time-it's occasionally hard to decipher what's happening now and what happened then-a coherent thesis of misfortune emerges: death has many victims, and the ghosts haunting the survivors don't only appear on Halloween. (Oct.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
'The Night Country is scary, sad, funny, and when it comes to young people at the end of their ropes and hopes, dead on the money ... takes you away to a strange and special place while reminding you of the places you've been - especially the spooky Halloween places. A gracefully written, mesmerizing read' Stephen King 'A Halloween ghost story with a difference ... unsettling and deeply moving ... a deep sadness at the heart of The Night Country makes it a book that will linger in your head long after you've read the final heart-breaking page' Image 'All these characters are heartbreaking, but they also manage to be multi-dimensional and sometimes wryly funny ... The Night Country is an intense, spooky, sad ghost story ... a tasty Halloween treat' Guardian 'This spookily gifted writer has finally crossed to the other side, emerging with a hair-raising tale narrated by teenage ghosts ... a beautifully true novel in shadow. Something wild and dark lurks in them and, as the ghosts tell us, there is no safety there' Independent
Three teenagers killed in a car crash come back to haunt the survivors-but from the author of Snow Angels, this should be more than just a ghost story. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.