From a master of horror, dark fantasy, and suspense comes a compelling and uniquely original work of paranormal suspense in which one man finds himself trapped in a web of ever-shifting reality which threatens to remake the whole of the world-unless he can find a way to stop it.For Will James, facing his tenth high school reunion is far from his finest hour-especially since his life has not gone exactly as he planned. Dumped at the altar by his high school sweetheart and with his dreams of being a prize-winning reporter dashed by his job at a Boston tabloid, he is not sure he is ready to face his former peers.
In his latest well-crafted horror novel, Stoker-winner Golden (The Ferryman) presents a nostalgic, unsentimental portrait of adolescence. A young reporter, Will James, whose career has stalled due to his obsession with debunking the supernatural, returns home for his 10th high school reunion to discover that his memories of the eventsof his senior year are not only news to his classmates but are actually changing into recollections of much darker events. Youthful experiments with the black arts have set in motion ripples that are altering his present reality in unsettling ways. Will travels back in time to the period immediately before his prom to set things straight, only to realize that someone is actively working to destroy him and his friends-and that person is using more powerful magic than his own. Golden addresses the issue of how one's identity is intimately bound to the memory of one's experiences: change the memory and the personality is changed. More sensitive younger readers will pick up on the book's moral lessons, while adult fans will overlook the didactic element and appreciate the suspenseful plot and strong atmosphere. (Feb. 10) Forecast: While hardcore horror fans are likely to find the novel too tame, praise for the author's previous books from a wide range of big names-Clive Barker, Peter Straub, Joe R. Lansdale, Douglas E. Winter-is a reminder that Golden remains someone to watch. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information. -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
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December 31, 2003
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Excerpt from The Boys Are Back in Town by Christopher Golden
The world was still solid and reliable that chilly October morning, but it would not stay that way forever.
Or even for long.
Will James stepped out of the Porter Square T station amidst the early-morning throng, enjoying the warmth of the sun and the crispness of the autumn air. The other commuters disgorging themselves from the subway were as uncommunicative as always, their eyes downcast or steadfastly focused on navigating their morning routes. But Will caught a vibe off them, a sort of aura that told him that they were enjoying the blue-sky morning just as much as he was.
A heavyset black woman crowded up behind him as he started along Massachusetts Avenue toward his office. Will could feel the hurry coming off her in waves, so he stepped aside. As she passed he raised his Dunkin' Donuts cup to her and smiled. She said nothing, but did smile in return as she continued on her way.
Will blew into the hole he'd ripped in the lid of his coffee cup and it whistled slightly. He set off again along the sidewalk, taking his time. Technically he was not due in the office until late in the morning but he nearly always showed up early. Will was a Lifestyles writer and entertainment critic for the Boston Tribune, a tabloid that'd been the third best-selling paper in the city since Lew Orton had founded it sixty-five years before. Will had always suspected that after the first couple of decades everyone at the Trib had just given up thinking it could ever be anything else.
It sure didn't look like he was ever going to work for the New York Times or win that Pulitzer Prize--his dreams had been larger than reality had provided--but he loved his job and for the most part got along with the people he worked with. And he had learned enough to know that was not the norm. Some days he did not feel like it, but he was a lucky guy.
A police officer directing traffic at the intersection just ahead blew a whistle and waved several cars through. An SUV driven by a perfectly coiffed blonde in sunglasses rumbled by, followed by a Volkswagen Beetle, the windows rolled down, blaring out hip-hop rhythms that nearly knocked over the bicycle messenger who was trying to keep up with the traffic.
The offices of the Boston Tribune were not actually in Boston, but Cambridge, and Will had always been pleased with the incongruity. There was something wonderfully avant-garde about this section of Massachusetts Avenue. Porter Square was in the midst of a Bermuda Triangle of Boston's college scene, with Tufts, Harvard, and M.I.T. all near enough to have inspired the secondhand clothing boutiques, specialty bookshops, and unique restaurants that lined the road.
A van went by pumping Aerosmith out of its speakers; under his breath, Will began to sing along. He had a long day ahead, starting with some follow-up phone calls on a Lifestyles piece he was working on, then lunch with old friends who were in town, and finally a pair of back-to-back film screenings, the reviews of which he had to write before nine o'clock that night to hit the deadline for tomorrow's paper.