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Twilight: A Novel

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Twilight: A Novel Cover

ISBN13: 9781596920583
ISBN10: 1596920580
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

A Southern gothic novel about an undertaker who won't let the dead rest.

Suspecting that something is amiss with their father's burial, teenager Kenneth Tyler and his sister Corrie venture to his gravesite and make a horrific discovery: their father, a whiskey bootlegger, was not actually buried in the casket they bought for him. Worse, they learn that the undertaker, Fenton Breece, has been grotesquely manipulating the dead.

Armed with incriminating photographs, Tyler becomes obsessed with bringing the perverse undertaker to justice. But first, he must outrun Granville Sutter, a local strongman and convicted murderer hired by Fenton to destroy the evidence. What follows is an adventure through the Harrikin, an eerie backwoods filled with tangled roads, rusted machinery, and eccentric squatters — old men, witches, and families among them — who both shield and imperil Tyler as he runs for safety.

With his poetic, haunting prose, William Gay rewrites the rules of the gothic fairy tale while exploring the classic Southern themes of good and evil.

Review:

"Teenage siblings Corrie and Kenneth Tyler suspect they've been ripped off by the town undertaker, but what they discover in Gay's resplendently dark third novel is much more sinister than either imagined. After their bootlegger father is buried in smalltown 1951 Tennessee, Kenneth sees undertaker Fenton Breece remove an item from the grave. The siblings dig up their father's grave, among others, and uncover unsettling evidence of Fenton's necrophilia. Corrie cooks up a blackmail plot and enlists Kenneth to steal Fenton's briefcase, which contains, as Kenneth and Corrie soon find out, photos depicting Fenton 'capering gleefully' with corpses. Blackmail material in hand, Corrie demands $15,000 from Fenton, and Fenton hires local psychopath Granville Sutter to muzzle — by whatever means necessary — the Tylers and get back the photos. A violent run-in with Sutter ends with Corrie's death, and Kenneth runs off to the Harrikin, a remote rural area inhabited by the eccentric and the creepy, leaving Fenton to cavort with Corrie's corpse. Gay (The Long Home) fills the book with haunting imagery and shocking, morbid and (surprisingly) hopeful turns as twisted justice gets meted out. Language lovers who are not faint of heart won't want to miss this one." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"Corrie and Kenneth Tyler find their worst suspicions confirmed when they dig up the corpse of their bootlegger father. They're hoping to prove that undertaker Fenton Breece cheated them out of an $800 steel vault. But the real story is what else they discover: a grisly pattern of mutilated corpses. In one coffin, 'an old woman shared her resting place with a young man who'd had his throat straightrazored,... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review)

Review:

"Gay seems incapable of writing a dull sentence, and Twilight is further redeemed by his brilliant gift for dialogue, his occasional dark humor, and his utterly convincing portrayal of the reality of ruination and of evil." Booklist

Review:

"Gay knows full well what he's doing, pulling readers into a small-town Southern nightmare so intense it verges on the surreal....Gay leavens his grim story with occasional touches of gallows humor. But that does nothing to diminish the brutal beauty of this novel..." Seattle Times

Review:

"Twilight is full of beautiful prose....[T]his excellent novel of a vanished world is as modern as they come, speaking to all of us." Paste Magazine

About the Author

William Gay lives in Hohenwald, Tennessee. He is the author of the novels The Long Home and Provinces of Night, and the short story collection I Hate To See That Evening Sun Go Down.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

Matthew Pamatmat, November 24, 2006 (view all comments by Matthew Pamatmat)
I consider Gay's novel Provinces of Night one of the best novels I've ever read, so I was eager for the follow up (follow up not in the sequel sense, but the next book after). Twilight is good but not as great as PON or some of Gay's short stories. Granted, PON is a hard book to follow up. Twilight hits and misses. Like Ridley Scott's movie Alien, in which the real star of the story is the spaceship, the star of Twilight is not its characters but the Harrikin, a wonderfully disregarded ghost town area of Tennessee in which much of the story takes place. It is this part of the novel that is the strongest. The story is a fairly standard chase novel between a bad guy pursuing a good guy, and, unfortunately, Gay employs well-worn devices of his previous writings, like how Twilight culminates in a snowy conclusion (just like PON). Gay also overuses certain words, like "fey" and "malefic", and certain sentences are awkward or run-on. (His editor should have been more active.) These are minor complaints, though, for Gay tells a compelling tale that is not predictable (except for the inevitable battle between the good and bad guy) employing his creative, almost Germanic way of making new words by mixing together separate words. Twilight is less epic in scope than PON, and almost reads at times like a long short story. It is also very similar to the writings of Tom Franklin, Gay's friend, and Franklin's new novel SMONK and Twilight almost have moments of interchangeability.
Overall, I recommend this novel. Gay is an amazingly talented writer, and, as mentioned, Twilight dazzles when the characters are deep in the Harrikin, a place Gay knows and captures well. I could see Twilight being made into a decent movie, if done right. I was a little let down by Twilight (after the literary heights and beauty of PON) but still enjoyed it.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9781596920583
Publisher:
MacAdam/Cage Publishing
Subject:
Southern states
Author:
Gay, William
Subject:
Funeral rites and ceremonies
Subject:
Horror - General
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Suspense fiction
Subject:
General Fiction
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Cloth
Publication Date:
October 2006
Binding:
Hardcover
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
224
Dimensions:
9.34x6.20x.97 in. 1.06 lbs.

Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Horror » General
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

Twilight: A Novel
0 stars - 0 reviews
$ In Stock
Product details 224 pages MacAdam Cage - English 9781596920583 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Teenage siblings Corrie and Kenneth Tyler suspect they've been ripped off by the town undertaker, but what they discover in Gay's resplendently dark third novel is much more sinister than either imagined. After their bootlegger father is buried in smalltown 1951 Tennessee, Kenneth sees undertaker Fenton Breece remove an item from the grave. The siblings dig up their father's grave, among others, and uncover unsettling evidence of Fenton's necrophilia. Corrie cooks up a blackmail plot and enlists Kenneth to steal Fenton's briefcase, which contains, as Kenneth and Corrie soon find out, photos depicting Fenton 'capering gleefully' with corpses. Blackmail material in hand, Corrie demands $15,000 from Fenton, and Fenton hires local psychopath Granville Sutter to muzzle — by whatever means necessary — the Tylers and get back the photos. A violent run-in with Sutter ends with Corrie's death, and Kenneth runs off to the Harrikin, a remote rural area inhabited by the eccentric and the creepy, leaving Fenton to cavort with Corrie's corpse. Gay (The Long Home) fills the book with haunting imagery and shocking, morbid and (surprisingly) hopeful turns as twisted justice gets meted out. Language lovers who are not faint of heart won't want to miss this one." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "Gay seems incapable of writing a dull sentence, and Twilight is further redeemed by his brilliant gift for dialogue, his occasional dark humor, and his utterly convincing portrayal of the reality of ruination and of evil."
"Review" by , "Gay knows full well what he's doing, pulling readers into a small-town Southern nightmare so intense it verges on the surreal....Gay leavens his grim story with occasional touches of gallows humor. But that does nothing to diminish the brutal beauty of this novel..."
"Review" by , "Twilight is full of beautiful prose....[T]his excellent novel of a vanished world is as modern as they come, speaking to all of us."
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