Lewis Gannett The Living One

ISBN 13: 9780679410805

The Living One

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9780679410805: The Living One
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Torrance Spoor is your normal California teenager - a handsome high school athlete with strong sexual yearnings and a long-absent father. The invitation to spend some time with his dad - the Baron Malcolm Spoor - comes as a surprise. But what awaits Torrance at his father's windswept estate is far worse than he could ever imagine.
Welcome to the world of The Living One, one of the most frightening, clever, and suspenseful novels of the year. In this tour-de-force debut, Lewis Gannett spins a spellbinding story that summons up magic, body thievery, killer dogs, ESP wars, and lusty, genre-defying sex - straight, gay, and forms yet unnamed.
The Spoors are the ultimate dysfunctional family. Wealthy, shamelessly extravagant, and impossibly attractive, they are also cursed. The curse has been handed down from father to son for seven hundred years, ever since the Crusades, when a bizarre and mystifying event created a recurring pattern of madness and death. As Baron Malcolm Spoor prepares for his demise, he must pass on the family riches - and its traditions - to his estranged son.
But Malcolm and Torrance both have secrets they would rather keep to themselves, secrets that are nearly revealed when a shadowy government scientist picks up psychic readings from the Spoor estate and a bohemian teacher becomes personally involved with Torrance. These two begin an investigation into the extraordinary life of Baron Malcolm Spoor, and their findings are truly horrifying.
Updating elements of the epistolary novel popularized in Dracula, Lewis Gannett tells his gothic story through the inventive use of videotape transcripts, diary entries, and historical records. Vivid, scary, mythic, and engrossing, The Living One explores the terrifying dimensions of family guilt, aging, and the murderous tensions between fathers and sons. Lewis Gannett has written a startling and thrilling novel that marks the debut of an original new voice in fiction.

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From Publishers Weekly:

This well-intentioned but vastly overdone first novel adds Big Brother to the cast of Dark Shadows , then throws in coming-out-of-the-closet angst. Rich kid Torrance Spoor is transplanted from California to coastal Massachusetts by his wacko father, Malcolm, who reveals to his son a centuries-old family curse. The adolescent becomes a virtual prisoner in his dad's mansion, outfitted with pool, vicious dogs, hidden cameras and the ever-attentive and creepy servant Pip. At school Torrance begins a relationship with Erik, a fellow swim team member, and copes with still more weirdness, including a writing instructor who teaches her students about "reading with the body." Employing various voices and miming various media (letters, diary jottings, class assignments, tape recordings, memos, historical accounts), this novel sacrifices storytelling for special effects. Consequently, although surveillance, psychic research and family history are all worthy topics for fiction, Gannett's plot--especially the denouement--seems preposterous and his writing immature. He conveys a true appreciation for adolescent confusion and longing; if he concentrates on the less spectacular but more perplexing mysteries of human relationships, his powers may emerge at full strength.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal:

After a ten-year estrangement, Malcolm Spoor wishes to spend a few months with his teenaged son Torrance and invites him to live at the estate he has purchased in New England. Malcolm's reason is bizarre: he claims that he is the victim of a family curse and that he will go insane and die before he reaches the age of 50. Good-natured Torrance thinks this is a ruse to gain sympathy; he agrees to the visit but soon suspects his father may be losing his mind. Torrance sees him spending most of his time locked away in his office, screaming and raging at people who never answer, and learns with horror and anger that Malcolm is using hidden cameras to record Torrance's every move. Something is indeed very wrong at the Spoor estate, but it is Torrance, not Malcolm, who is slated for death--or something even worse. Author Gannett quite effectively uses the device of telling the tale through the letters, diaries, and school assignments of several of the characters. A sometimes shocking, always intriguing first novel.
- A.M.B. Amantia, Population Crisis Committee Lib., Washington, D.C.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780452271340: The Living One: A Gothic Thriller

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ISBN 10:  0452271347 ISBN 13:  9780452271340
Publisher: Plume, 1994
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9780854492152: The Living One

GMP Pu..., 1993
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