The Southern Novels: Boy's Life, Mystery Walk, Gone South, and Usher's Passing

Open Road Media
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Four chilling tales from the New York Times–bestselling author of Swan Song and the “true master of the Gothic novel” (Booklist).
 
From rural Alabama to the Louisiana bayou to the North Carolina mountains, World Fantasy and Bram Stoker Award–winning author Robert R. McCammon has made the American South his own Gothic playground in these four unforgettable novels.
 
A Boy’s Life: “Strongly echoing the childhood-elegies of King and Bradbury, and every bit their equal,” McCammon’s World Fantasy and Bram Stoker Award–winning novel takes place in 1964 Alabama, where a twelve-year-old boy’s idyllic life takes an abrupt turn into a dark world of mystery when he and his father witness a car roll into a lake—only to discover a corpse handcuffed to the steering wheel (Kirkus Reviews).
 
“It’s McCammon’s The Prince of Tides. . . . Incredibly moving.” —Peter Straub
 
Mystery Walk: Two boys with mysterious powers—a psychic who speaks with the dead and a faith healer—share a common bond and hold mankind’s fate in their hands in an epic showdown of good versus evil.
 
“As finely a turned tale of horror as the best of them.” —Houston Chronicle
 
Gone South: A veteran’s moment of rage leads to a grisly murder and a heated chase deep into the bayou, where he encounters a pair of bizarre bounty hunters—and a strange new friend, who might help him find redemption.
 
“A gothic picaresque that mixes gritty plot and black comedy.” —The Wall Street Journal
 
Usher’s Passing: Edgar Allan Poe’s classic tale, “The Fall of the House of Usher,” is no fiction in this Gothic novel of ancestral madness in the mountains of modern-day North Carolina, as the heir to the Usher legacy—a horror novelist—confronts his terrifying inheritance.
 
“A frightening pleasure.” —St. Louis Dispatch
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An “impressive” tale of psychic power, Native American mysticism, and an ancient evil in Alabama, from the New York Times–bestselling author of Swan Song (Associated Press).
 
Born and raised in rural Alabama, Billy Creekmore was destined to be a psychic. His mother, a Choctaw Indian schooled in her tribe’s ancient mysticism, understands the permeable barrier between life and death—and can cross it. She taught the power to Billy and now he helps the dead rest in peace.
 
Wayne Falconer, son of one of the most fervent tent evangelists in the South, travels the country serving his father’s healing ministry. Using his unique powers to cure the flock, Little Wayne is on his way to becoming one of the popular and successful miracle workers in the country. He helps the living survive.
 
Billy and Wayne share more than a gift. They share a dream—and a common enemy. They are on separate journeys, mystery walks that will lead them toward a crossroad where the evil of their dreams has taken shape. One of them will reject the dark. The other will be consumed by it. But neither imagined just how monstrous and far-reaching the dark was, or that mankind’s fate would rest in their hands during an epic showdown of good versus evil.
 
From the author of Gone South, Boy’s Life, and the Matthew Corbett series, a master of suspense who has won the World Fantasy and Bram Stoker Awards, Mystery Walk offers “creepy, subtle touches throughout [and] splendid Southern-town atmosphere” (Kirkus Reviews).
New York Times Bestseller: A young girl’s visions offer the last hope in a postapocalyptic wasteland in this “grand and disturbing adventure” (Dean Koontz).

A PBS Great American Read Top 100 Pick
 
Swan is a nine-year-old Idaho girl following her struggling mother from one trailer park to the next when she receives visions of doom—something far wider than the narrow scope of her own beleaguered life. In a blinding flash, nuclear bombs annihilate civilization, leaving only a few buried survivors to crawl onto a scorched landscape that was once America.
 
In Manhattan, a homeless woman stumbles from the sewers, guided by the prophecies of a mysterious amulet, and pursued by something wicked; on Idaho’s Blue Dome Mountain, an orphaned boy falls under the influence of depraved survivalists and discovers the value of a killer instinct; and amid the devastating dust storms on the Great Plains of Nebraska, Swan forms a heart-and-soul bond with an unlikely new companion. Soon they will cross paths. But only Swan knows that they must endure more than just a trek across an irradiated country of mutated animals, starvation, madmen, and wasteland warriors.
 
Swan’s visions tell of a coming malevolent force. It’s a shape-shifting embodiment of the apocalypse, and of all that is evil and despairing. And it’s hell-bent on destroying the last hope of goodness and purity in the world. Swan is that hope. Now, she must fight not only for her own survival, but for that of all mankind.
 
A winner of the Bram Stoker Award and a finalist for the World Fantasy Award, Swan Song has become a modern classic, called “a chilling vision that keeps you turning pages to the shocking end” by John Saul and “a long, satisfying look at hell and salvation” by Publishers Weekly.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Open Road Media
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Published on
Mar 13, 2018
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Pages
2200
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ISBN
9781504052122
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Coming of Age
Fiction / Fantasy / Dark Fantasy
Fiction / Horror
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Stories about devils and demons were literary staples long before the modern horror field came into existence. Our earliest story in this volume, by Washington Irving, was published in 1824...and the fact that these tales span almost 200 years shows how enduring the theme remains. Here, then, are 25 great modern and classic tales of devils, demons, and the macabre. Enjoy!

THE CONTRACT OF CARSON CARRUTHERS, by William P. McGivern
BURNT TOAST, by Mack Reynolds
CRIME CLEAN-UP IN CENTER CITY, by Robert Moore Williams
THE CRACKS OF TIME, by Dorothy Quick
THE DEVIL AND TOM WALKER, by Washington Irving
HIDEAWAY, by Everil Worrell
THE STRANGER FROM KURDISTAN, by E. Hoffmann Price
HEREAFTER, INC., by Lester del Rey
NIGHTMARE ON THE NOSE, by Evelyn E. Smith
THE MYSTERIOUS STRANGER, by Mark Twain
AUT DIABOLUS AUT NIHIL: THE TRUE STORY OF A HALLUCINATION, by X.L. (Julian Osgood Field)
CAN SUCH BEAUTY BE? by Jerome Bixby
MARKHEIM, by Robert Louis Stevenson
MONSIEUR BLUEBEARD, by Emil Petaja
YOUNG GOODMAN BROWN, by Nathaniel Hawthorne
ROOM WITHOUT WINDOWS, by Manly Banister
THE BARGAIN OF RUPERT ORANGE, by Vincent O’Sullivan
THE BOTTLE IMP, by Dwight V. Swain
THE CASE OF MR. LUCRAFT, Walter Besant and James Rice
WHO SUPS WITH THE DEVIL, by S.M. Tenneshaw
THE SHOEMAKER AND THE DEVIL, by Anton Chekhov
SPAWN OF HELL, by William P. McGivern
YOUR SOUL COMES C.O.D., by Mack Reynolds
ST. JOHN'S EVE, by Nikolai Gogol
WOLFIE, by Theodore R. Cogwell

If you enjoy this ebook, don't forget to search your favorite ebook store for "Wildside Press Megapack" to see more of the 260+ volumes in this series, covering adventure, historical fiction, mysteries, westerns, ghost stories, science fiction -- and much, much more!

Oh I Do Like to Be Beside the Seaside - Christopher Fowler
Christopher Fowler explains "'. . . Seaside' came about firstly because I was commissioned to write a story for the World Horror Convention souvenir book and, as the event was to take place in Brighton, it seemed logical to set a tale on the South coast of England.
"I had written a fantasy novel, Calabash, some years earlier, hinting at the dark madness of such seaside towns, which are the antithesis of their Mediterranean counterparts. I thought of the depressing Morrissey song "Every Day is Like Sunday", which captures the awfulness of English resorts.
"Coincidentally, Kim Newman and I were discussing the inherent creepiness of pantomime dames, and I decided it was time to give vent to my horror of these coastal pleasure domes. I wish I'd thought to include screaming gangs of hen-nighters as well. And I thought it was a nice touch to have everyone in the story telling the hero to 'fuck off' until he finally does."

Featherweight - Robert Shearman
"I don't like writing at home much," admits the author. "Home is a place for sleeping and eating and watching afternoon game shows on TV. There are too many distractions. So, years ago, I decided I'd only write first drafts in art galleries.
"And the best of them all is the National Gallery, in London, a pigeon's throw from Nelson's Column. I can walk around there with my notebook, thinking up stories - and if I get bored, there are lots of expensive pictures to look at. Perfect.
"A lot of those paintings, however, have angels in them. They're all over the place, wings raised, halos gleaming - perching on clouds, blowing trumpets, hovering around the Virgin Mary as if they're her strange naked childlike bodyguards. And I began to notice. That, whenever the writing is going well, the angels seemed happy, and would smile at me. And whenever the words weren't coming out right, when I felt sluggish, when I thought I'd rather take off and get myself a beer, they'd start to glare.
"I wrote this story in the National Gallery. Accompanied by a lot of glaring angels. Enjoy."

Lesser Demons - Norman Partridge
"I was surprised to receive an invitation for S.T. Joshi's Black Wings," reveals Partridge, "an anthology of Lovecraftian fiction. Although I knew S.T. admired my work, I've never quite seen myself as a Mythos writer.
"While I respect H.P. Lovecraft and his contribution to horror, I've never felt that his worldview (or maybe I should say universeview) meshed with mine.
"In the end, that's what made the story work . . . at least for me. I concentrated on my differences with Lovecraft, and approached the material from a place where Jim Thompson would be more comfortable than HPL. And I'm delighted that so many people have enjoyed the tale - it was a lot of fun to write."

An Alabama boy’s innocence is shaken by murder and madness in the 1960s South in this novel by the New York Times–bestselling author of Swan Song.

It’s 1964 in idyllic Zephyr, Alabama. People either work for the paper mill up the Tecumseh River, or for the local dairy. It’s a simple life, but it stirs the impressionable imagination of twelve-year-old aspiring writer Cory Mackenson. He’s certain he’s sensed spirits whispering in the churchyard. He’s heard of the weird bootleggers who lurk in the dark outside of town. He’s seen a flood leave Main Street crawling with snakes. Cory thrills to all of it as only a young boy can.
 
Then one morning, while accompanying his father on his milk route, he sees a car careen off the road and slowly sink into fathomless Saxon’s Lake. His father dives into the icy water to rescue the driver, and finds a beaten corpse, naked and handcuffed to the steering wheel—a copper wire tightened around the stranger’s neck. In time, the townsfolk seem to forget all about the unsolved murder. But Cory and his father can’t.
 
Their search for the truth is a journey into a world where innocence and evil collide. What lies before them is the stuff of fear and awe, magic and madness, fantasy and reality. As Cory wades into the deep end of Zephyr and all its mysteries, he’ll discover that while the pleasures of childish things fade away, growing up can be a strange and beautiful ride.
 
“Strongly echoing the childhood-elegies of King and Bradbury, and every bit their equal,” Boy’s Life, a winner of both the Bram Stoker and World Fantasy Awards, represents a brilliant blend of mystery and rich atmosphere, the finest work of one of today’s most accomplished writers (Kirkus Reviews).
  
An “impressive” tale of psychic power, Native American mysticism, and an ancient evil in Alabama, from the New York Times–bestselling author of Swan Song (Associated Press).
 
Born and raised in rural Alabama, Billy Creekmore was destined to be a psychic. His mother, a Choctaw Indian schooled in her tribe’s ancient mysticism, understands the permeable barrier between life and death—and can cross it. She taught the power to Billy and now he helps the dead rest in peace.
 
Wayne Falconer, son of one of the most fervent tent evangelists in the South, travels the country serving his father’s healing ministry. Using his unique powers to cure the flock, Little Wayne is on his way to becoming one of the popular and successful miracle workers in the country. He helps the living survive.
 
Billy and Wayne share more than a gift. They share a dream—and a common enemy. They are on separate journeys, mystery walks that will lead them toward a crossroad where the evil of their dreams has taken shape. One of them will reject the dark. The other will be consumed by it. But neither imagined just how monstrous and far-reaching the dark was, or that mankind’s fate would rest in their hands during an epic showdown of good versus evil.
 
From the author of Gone South, Boy’s Life, and the Matthew Corbett series, a master of suspense who has won the World Fantasy and Bram Stoker Awards, Mystery Walk offers “creepy, subtle touches throughout [and] splendid Southern-town atmosphere” (Kirkus Reviews).
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