Named one of the Top 40 Horror Books of All Time by the Horror Writers Association, Theodore Sturgeon's dark and foreboding look at the vampire myth was an instant classic when it was originally published.
Army psychiatrist Philip Outerbridge receives a confidential folder containing the letters, memos, and transcripts for a young soldier named George Smith - a quiet young man with a terrible past and a shocking secret. As Outerbridge conducts George's therapy, he gradually discovers the truth about George's traumatic childhood, his twisted romance with an older woman named Anna, and the unusual obsession George keeps hidden from the world.
With the masterful touch that earned him the Hugo and Nebula awards, Theodore Sturgeon creates a character of both unsettling violence and irresistible humanity, eliciting both horror and sympathy.
©1988 Theodore Sturgeon Literary Trust (P)2012 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
"Sturgeon's stories are treasures." (Carl Sagan)
"The magic of Theodore Sturgeon's writing lies in his understanding of the many ways there are to be human." (Larry Niven)
"A master storyteller certain to fascinate." (Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.)
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With the exception of the very beginning and the very end, this story is told through letters and telegrams. It is exceptionally well written, intelligently done, and gets creepier as it goes along. I would not say it is exceptionally scary, yet it is troubling. It is a mystery. You might find yourself having empathy for a killer. I promise you will not be bored.
Narrator does an excellent job.
"sturgeon's horror masterpiece"
excellent story. truly haunting. I don't want to say too much because i don't want to give it away.
"Excellent non-scifi Sturgeon"
I read this long ago and thought it was excellent and still think so. Its a Silence of the Lambs kind of thing, though not a serial killer story. Very much a psychological investigation with some disturbing revelations. But do not think it will be a SF novel.
"Not what you're expecting"
Throw a different title or even cover art on it and you'd be fine. This is not a vampire book, or really even horror. It's more of a psychological deep-dive into the mind of a twisted, emotionally stunted hemophage. Not a bad listen/read, almost the written version of a found footage film, just don't hold your breath for a big supernatural reveal.
"Award winning and deservedly so"
I tend to shy away from horror written more than 30 years ago, as I tend to find the overt misogyny and chauvinism a detraction from the story (unless it is essential in the psyche of the pro- or antagonist, I drop the book) and have (unfortunately), in my experience, found this to be the case many times. This was not true of Sturgeon's, "Some of Your Blood," originally published in 1961.
I found this book to be an eerily disturbing account of vampirism as paraphilia. While many of the prevailing theories on paraphilias have evolved or out and out changed, it did not matter in the context of the story. The subtlety of the storytelling and slow build to the finale only served to expand and prolong the sense of dread that pervades the book.
If ever asked for an example of early dark fic/horror, this will be my recommendation.
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