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zaterdag 9 oktober 2010

A Stir of Echoes by Richard Matheson

Guaranteed suspense

It all started out like an ordinary evening among friends. Ann and Tom Wallace are visiting their neighbours and bring Tom’s brother-in-law, who is in town for a short stay, with them. It’s a friendly and cosy gathering. Nobody is suspicious when the conversation is entering the topic of the dark supernatural. Tom quickly becomes known as the most sceptical of the audience, but still lets himself be hypnotized by Phillip. When he awakes he does not recall anything he did, but the others do… and can’t stop laughing. It’s only later that night that Tom notices that this episode of hypnosis is not fully over yet.

You can’t go wrong with a Richard Matheson novel. And let that be known to everyone. The reason why Matheson is the God of suspense is that his novels are treasure troves of superb plotting, based upon a structure that finds his roots in cinematic theory. It is not without reason that he is one of the most wanted screenwriters of the last decennia. Both I Am Legend and Hell House are prime examples of his craftsmanship. Although A Stir of Echoes has many of these qualities, it never approaches the level of his best works. But that is not saying much. It may be so that the plot is less exciting because the same storyline has been exhausted by many other writers, it still keeps a steady pace throughout the novel and is guaranteed to submerge the reader fully in its world. A must for every fan of dark fantasy and suspense.

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