Friday, March 30, 2007

Sarah Langan's "The Keeper"

Today's feature at The Page 69 Test: Sarah Langan's The Keeper.

About the novel, from the publisher:

Some believe Bedford, Maine, is cursed. Its bloody past, endless rain, and the decay of its downtown portend a hopeless future. With the death of its paper mill, Bedford's unemployed residents soon find themselves with far too much time to dwell on thoughts of Susan Marley. Once the local beauty, she's now the local whore. Silently prowling the muddy streets, she watches eerily from the shadows, waiting for ... something. And haunting the sleep of everyone in town with monstrous visions of violence and horror.

Those who are able will leave Bedford before the darkness fully ascends. But those who are trapped here — from Susan Marley's long-suffering mother and younger sister to her guilt-ridden, alcoholic ex-lover to the destitute and faithless with nowhere else to go — will soon know the fullest and most terrible meaning of nightmare.

Among the endorsements and praise for the novel:

"The only horror story I’ve read recently that finds adequate metaphors for the self-destructive properties of anger."
--Terrence Rafferty, New York Times

"...Langan lovingly crafts the struggling town of Bedford, Maine, its unlucky inhabitants and the troubling history of the town's shuttered paper mill, before tearing it all to bloody pieces.... This is horror on a big scale, akin to the more ambitious work of Stephen King ... this effective debut promises great things to come."
--Publishers Weekly

"A beautiful, suspenseful novel ... that sets out to do exactly what it should: scare the reader with a combination of well-crafted prose and page-turning velocity."
--Sarah Weinman, Baltimore Sun

"The Keeper is a brilliant debut, heralding the arrival of a major talent.
--Tim Lebbon, author of Dusk and Berserk

"The Keeper's a smart, brand-new take on the haunted house story. In vivid, compelling prose, which runs from the wry to the lyrical, Langan here gives us nothing less than a sharply realized portrait of an American town in the death-throes of decay. Susan Marley is a subtle juggernaut of a character -- and she inhabits the mind once you've finished like a dark, lingering smoke.
--Jack Ketchum, author of Offspring
Visit Sarah Langan's website and read an excerpt from The Keeper.

The Page 69 Test: The Keeper.

--Marshal Zeringue