Black Evening: Tales of Dark Suspense

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9780446608640: Black Evening: Tales of Dark Suspense

David Morrell, whose many bestsellers include Double Image, Extreme Denial, and The Brotherhood of the Rose, has consistently redefined the modern thriller. Now he turns to a darker side of suspense in a powerful collection of tales, many of them award winners, that delve into the weird, uncanny terrors that lurk just beneath the comforting surfaces of daily life.

Fear of loss, fear of pain, fear of madness, fear of being trapped, fear of the inescapable, unspeakable horrors that fester deep within the soul.... No matter who or where you are, fear is always with you, always ready to attack from behind the masks of thought and dream.

Let David Morrell tell you a story...

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Review:

David Morrell is best known for testosterone-fueled thrillers like Extreme Denial and First Blood (whose excellent movie version, reissued on DVD in 1999, stars Sylvester Stallone as Rambo). But Morrell has also penned many frightfully scary short stories. In Black Evening, he presents 16 of his favorites, each with a fascinating introduction explaining what provoked him to write it.

"The Dripping" (1971) came to the author in a dream that most would regard as a nightmare. In this eerie little number, a father faces his worst fear when his family goes missing. Morrell suffered his own family tragedy in January of 1987, when his son Matt was diagnosed with bone cancer. "Orange Is for Anguish, Blue for Insanity" (the Horror Writers Association's best novella of 1988) was written shortly before Matt's death. Writing about a mad painter kept Morrell sane: "The made-up horror was paradoxically providing a barrier from real-life horror." But after Matt's death, Morrell was besieged with panic attacks, and could do nothing but "stare at the ceiling" for three years. A harrowing story about lost children and a long buried family secret, "The Beautiful Uncut Hair of Graves" (another HWA award-winner) signified Morrell's return to short fiction. The title is taken from Walt Whitman's poem about death and children; John Rambo's name is a pun on Arthur Rimbaud. Morrell is a genre writer with a poet's soul.

And whether he's writing stories of subtle psychological terror or conjuring up scenarios of pure horror, Morrell never fails to scare the bejesus out of us. --Naomi Gesinger

About the Author:

My father was killed during World War II, shortly after I was born in 1943. My mother had difficulty raising me and at the same time holding a job, so she put me in an orphanage and later in a series of boarding homes. I grew up unsure of who I was, desperately in need of a father figure. Books and movies were my escape. Eventually I decided to be a writer and sought help from two men who became metaphorical fathers to me: Stirling Silliphant, the head writer for the classic TV series "Route 66" about two young men in a Corvette who travel America in search of themselves, and Philip Klass (whose pen name is William Tenn), a novelist who taught at the Pennsylvania State University where I went to graduate school from 1966 to 1970. The result of their influence is my 1972 novel, First Blood, which introduced Rambo. The search for a father is prominent in that book, as it is in later ones, most notably The Brotherhood of the Rose (1984), a thriller about orphans and spies. During this period, I was a professor of American literature at the University of Iowa. With two professions, I worked seven days a week until exhaustion forced me to make a painful choice and resign from the university in 1986. One year later, my fifteen-year-old son, Matthew, died from bone cancer, and thereafter my fiction tended to depict the search for a son, particularly in Fireflies (1988) and Desperate Measures (1994). To make a new start, my wife and I moved to the mountains and mystical light of Santa Fe, New Mexico, where my work changed yet again, exploring the passionate relationships between men and women, highlighting them against a background of action as in the newest, Burnt Sienna. To give his stories a realistic edge, he has been trained in wilderness survival, hostage negotiation, executive protection, antiterrorist driving, assuming identities, electronic surveillance, and weapons. A former professor of American literature at the University of Iowa, Morrell now lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

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