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eBook Bad Things: A Novel ePub

eBook Bad Things: A Novel ePub

by Michael Marshall

  • ISBN: 006143440X
  • Category: Contemporary
  • Subcategory: Literature
  • Author: Michael Marshall
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: William Morrow; 1 edition (May 5, 2009)
  • Pages: 384
  • ePub book: 1390 kb
  • Fb2 book: 1641 kb
  • Other: mbr rtf docx lit
  • Rating: 4.2
  • Votes: 666

Description

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Michael Paul Marshall Smith (born 3 May 1965) is an English novelist, screenwriter and short story writer who also writes as Michael Marshall, . Smith and Michael Rutger. Born in Knutsford, Cheshire, Smith moved with his family at an early age to first Illinois and then Florida. When he was seven, the family moved again, this time to South Africa, and then to Australia before eventually returning home to England in 1973.

Stephen King hailed Michael Marshall's novel Straw Men as a masterpiece. brilliantly written and scary as hell

Stephen King hailed Michael Marshall's novel Straw Men as a masterpiece. brilliantly written and scary as hell. Now, Marshall returns with this latest unnerving tale-a creepy, fast-paced thriller that grips you from the first page straight through to its shocking end. Bill Moore already has a lot, but he wants more. He's got a lucrative job selling condos in the Florida Keys, a successful wife, a good marriage, a beautiful house.

Bad things don't just happen to other people - they're waiting round the corner for you too. And when they start to make . But, somewhere towards the end of the book things seemed to fall apart for me. The first 90% of the drew me in, and the last 10% left me disappointed. And when they start to make their way in through the cracks in your life, you won't know until it's far too late.

Jean Baudrillard Cool Memories V Contents Epigraph iii Prologue It is a beautiful afternoon in late summer, and ther. Part 1 7 Chapter 1 Ted came and found me a little after seven. Part 1 7 Chapter 1 Ted came and found me a little after seven Within thirty seconds we realized we had squat to sa. 4 Chapter 3 Next morning started with a walk up the beach, carryin. 9 Chapter 4 What can you do, when things start to fall apart? 28 Chapter 5 It was a busy night in the restaurant. I didn’. 5 Chapter 6 I saw the sun come up the next morning, thoug. 4 Chapter 7 The message was short

“Marshall recalls Stephen King’s ability to set a story in the world of the commonplace, then suddenly jolt it into a more hellish realm.”

—New York Times

 

Bad things have always happened in Black Ridge, Washington—and Michael Marshall, the acclaimed, bestselling, Phillip K. Dick Award-winning author of The Intruders (“Scary brilliance” —Baltimore Sun) and Straw Men (“Brilliantly written and scary as hell” —Stephen King), lets readers experience all the exceptional nastiness. Marshall’s Bad Things is an electrifying combination of psychological suspense, mystery, horror, and paranormal activity that no fan of ingenious, intelligent thrillers will want to miss.

Comments

Whitegrove Whitegrove
After the huge disappointments that, for me, were Marshall's STRAW MEN TRILOGY and THE INTRUDERS, it took me years to give the author another go. The mentioned books simply died with their endings, half-baked concoctions that left me bothered with their pedantic author who obviously didn't want to write satisfying resolutions. BAD THINGS tells me that perhaps Marshall is incapable of writing solid endings, just like William Lashner, whom I will mention later.

I will not summarize the plot; it's been done by others better than I could do it. But I will address my problems with the novel:
It wastes too much time and too many pages in subplots that are merely distracting.
It deals with a topic that has been treated before several times, that of an entire town contaminated by evil, and it does it in a hurry, as in not really believing its own premise.
It wastes all the chances to really go deep into the woods of evil. The Kelly family was murdered at the town's beginnings so that the town could prosper. Human sacrifice with a modern face, but connected to our ancestors' savagery, and the evil that carries over onto our times, has been written about before (AMERICAN GODS, in the only good part of that other disappointment), and after (THE WOLF IN WINTER, by John Connolly). It's a great topos, but Marshall wastes the opportunity.

Not only the murder of the Kellys is left to wither, but the female element and the strong sexual overtones remain firmly in the realm of a whisper. And here is where the novel could have opened wounds. A woman, we are told in flashback, once took her only daughter to the woods and left her there throughout the night. The child was terrified and "something" happened, but Marshall is never honestly clear about this. At one point the child was nude and had soiled herself, so she had to wash in a brook. By the time her parents picked her up next morning, she was dressed again and washed, but the old child had "died." This was a new, damaged child. The girl grows up and, as a woman, decides to go alone to the woods where she had been abandoned, undress, and wait for the embodiment of evil that the entity which inhabits the forest uses to commingle with humans: a huge dog. The same dog that accompanies the girl's mother and, according to mom, sleeps on her bed. OK, so we are supposed to draw the picture of a young girl taken to the forest so that the omnipresent evil there can possess her, which would almost require nudity, but Marshall gets cute and gives us glimpses, like an old reel through the trees, never a straight answer. The girl (now a woman) hates her mother, but obviously her mother comes from a long tradition of females who got friendly with the evil spirits and sees nothing wrong with this, or with sleeping (both meanings I guess) with an evil dog who years ago (apparently) raped her daughter. This is potent stuff, but the author is like a tourist in a rush to get to his destination who misses all the interesting and dark places on the road. The novel AMERICAN ELSEWHERE has a similar subplot of a girl who has no choice but to copulate with a powerful being. That novel also beats around the bush of its own plot. It is as if some authors who write in English were programmed with a Hayes Code of their own: insinuate and mention casually, but never, ever, get there.

The girl's mother appears for about six pages in the book. The dog shows up three times. The junkie boyfriend of one of the meandering and inconsequential subplots eats up one quarter of the novel.

The other major female character with a serious sexual problem is the intermediary of evil, Brooke, who can have Bad Things happen to people because in her family that was their task: messengers of ill will. Brooke is severely underused in the novel, a flat cartoon that in better hands could have been seriously tragic. Here, she shows up in a couple of occasions and then that's it for her.

There are a couple of criminals who end up helping the good guys, as if Marshall had read too many of John Connolly's Charlie Parker novels. It barely works in Connolly's books and his Charlie Parker character has become too righteous, too preachy: a moral crusader. Let's hope that Marshall doesn't take that route.

The protagonist's children, both the dead boy murdered by evil at the beginning and his younger brother, don't figure much at all, either in the novel or in the protagonist's mind. We have a pro-forma mourning father, but not much beyond that.

The ending is not as bad as in the previously mentioned books by Marshall, but it is a let down. Our hero is disagreeable. His woman (the forest girl) is still attracted to and gravitating towards evil, as if it were a bad lover who raped her when she was young and abused her all her life but who makes her feel what no other lover has, ever. Here, of course, she would get really close to one of William Lashner's most fascinating characters, Hailey Prouix (Fatal Flaw), who was "initiated" by her uncle and who could never shake off her relation with him, mostly because she didn't want to; that is, Haily was fatally and sexually attracted to evil. And just to get the common grounds even closer, Lashner manages to write a disappointing ending for Fatal Flaw as well, but that is nothing new coming from that author.

Still, I could not help but like certain aspects of this book. I find myself thinking about this or that detail weeks after I've read the novel and as I am reading other books, so I guess Marshall did get me here. I wish he could bring himself to write satisfying endings; not necessarily where good triumphs over evil, but endings that make sense, and characters that I care about and that he cares about enough to develop well.
PanshyR PanshyR
Michael Marshall is merciless when it comes to terrifying readers, as evidenced by the two scares he delivers within the first few pages of Bad Things. The initial scare comes when John Henderson and his wife suddenly realize that they don't know where their little boy Scott is; each had assumed the other was keeping track of him. Any parent knows the sick, draining feeling that comes at that moment, and how it grows with each successive second a child remains missing.

The second and more enduring scare comes moments later, mere seconds after they think they have the situation in hand, having discovered Scott standing at the end of a pier on the lake that abuts their home in Maine. Before they can reach their son, who is acting strangely, he falls off the dock into the water. Although rescued by his father within moments, Scott nevertheless perishes, seemingly without cause.

The book then jumps ahead a few years, following John Henderson as he goes about trying to survive each day. He's doing fine, considering, but his fragile peace is shattered by an e-mail received from a total stranger, who writes: "I know what happened." Shaken to his core, Henderson follows up on subsequent communications, and is eventually drawn back to Black Ridge, his ex-wife's home town, and the scene of the greatest tragedy of his life. In his attempts to ferret out the truth behind his son's demise, Henderson shakes Black Ridge to its core, angering its citizens, as well as those who control things from behind the scenes. Like Tyron's Harvest Home, or Levin's Stepford, Black Ridge is a small town with a secret, one its denizens are willing to go to any lengths to conceal.

Eerie and almost Gothic in tone, Bad Things delivers chills a-plenty as it steadily lumbers towards its not so surprising but ultimately satisfying conclusion. While delivering what initially seems to be a by the numbers whodunit, Marshall begins to salt his tale with offbeat elements that slowly start to induce goosebumps, but never really come across as supernatural doings. But, once committing himself to that direction, he commits himself fully, ratcheting up the level of suspense to nerve jangling levels as he proceeds.

As you and John Henderson sift through the evidence he uncovers, you might find yourself thinking about Fritz Leiber's Conjure Wife. Although not on quite the same level as that classic of the supernatural intruding on the everyday world, Marshall, despite some minor missteps (a subplot involving a drug deal gone bad seems unnecessary in hindsight) does manage to create the same sense of a dark curtain between those two worlds being lifted, with unsettling and intriguing results.
Heri Heri
I am a fan of Michael Marshall. This book didn't dissapoint.