Deep Blue

( 7 )

Overview

"Crossroads or crosshairs, it's all the same. There's only one way through the pain and that's through the music." - Old Wally

Brandt is a down-and-out guitarist and vocalist who believes his life has hit rock bottom. He can barely make the rent on his apartment, he drinks so much he can barely make it to the crappy gig that keeps his band afloat, let alone play when he gets there. When he leaves the bar one dark night with a bottle of Jose Cuervo in one hand and his guitar case in the other, he finds he’s ...
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Waterville 2004 First edition, Hardcover, New in dust jacket, New A musical horror novel. A young musician, down on his luck, makes the acquaintance of an old harmonica player. ... This bluesman is special, his music is derived directly from pain and heartache. He teaches the young musician to play and he is immediately blessed (or cursed) with the same ability. This leads to something in the way of a quest that also happens to be something of a nightmare. It's the blues as conduit for the world's pain and what that conduit might do to a musician. Read more Show Less

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Deep Blue

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Overview

"Crossroads or crosshairs, it's all the same. There's only one way through the pain and that's through the music." - Old Wally

Brandt is a down-and-out guitarist and vocalist who believes his life has hit rock bottom. He can barely make the rent on his apartment, he drinks so much he can barely make it to the crappy gig that keeps his band afloat, let alone play when he gets there. When he leaves the bar one dark night with a bottle of Jose Cuervo in one hand and his guitar case in the other, he finds he’s locked out of his apartment with no where to go.

As he stands alone in the dark and feeling sorry for himself, he hears a lone harmonica being played in the distance. The sound is deep and powerful, and something in the music draws him away from his doorway and into an old alley where the homeless gather around garbage-can fires.
In that alley, Brandt meets the harmonica player, Wally, an old black man who can play the music that Brandt dreams of – the blues. Not the blues as you hear them on the modern radio, but they way they were once played – filled with an extra “something" that can’t be taught. Despite Wally’s warning, Brandt begs the old man to teach him the songs he is playing, and in the ensuing encounter, Brandt is gifted – or cursed – with new abilities. He feels the pain building up around him and inside him. Not his own pain, but the pain of others, the pain of those who have passed away, the pain of those who died with no one to hear their stories. Wally explains it. The music will release the pain, and it is the only thing that will release the pain. Brandt must play, or the pain will build up inside until he destroys his own mind from the weight of it. He becomes a conduit for the pain of the world, and then he is left alone.
Brandt plays one last concert with his band, and his performance draws them all, audience and musicians alike, into another world. They witness a panoram of pain and horror, and Brandt plays it up and out of himself, then walks away from the bar and the band, leaving them to wonder what just happened.

What follows are a series of revelations, one for each member of the band, and one for a young girl named Liz, drawing them together, and ultimately reuniting them with Brandt. Together, Brandt, Sinthia, Shaver, Dexter and Liz take off to the mountain town of Friendly California for a date with pain, destiny, and a silver haired Reverend who would like to see them dead. In the final showdown, they must meet the challenge of the music, the pain, and their mingled histories and stand, or fall, with the pain of the world in the balance.

PRAISE FOR DEEP BLUE:

"Wilson demonstrates that a horror novel doesn't need gallons of blood to succeed, that spiritual terror can be even more effective." - Publisher's Weekly

"Through some great musical imagery and engrossing sub-plots, David Niall Wilson has written a captivating story that is full of surprises." - SF Site -Featured review

"Wilson paints liquid rainbows when he describes each band member's experience behind his or her newly-rediscovered instruments and skills, and if this were all that the book were about, it would be enough. But there's plenty more going on in Deep Blue to satisfy the author's fans (who are used to him not sticking to genre conventions) and to draw in plenty of new ones." Craig's Booklist Reviews
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In this engrossing, poetic novel of spiritual evil and the possibility of salvation from Wilson (This Is My Blood), a burned-out musician, Brandt, is playing in an obscure band when he hears a homeless black man, Wally, play the purest blues on the harmonica he has ever heard, music that encapsulates all the pain of the world. Brandt begs Wally to teach him how to play the same way. He disregards Wally's warning that he would have to take the pain into himself, and then play to purge it lest it consume him. Brandt's performance that evening changes the lives of his fellow band members. Together they discover that they can play not to wake the dead but to settle restlessly roaming spirits. Opposing them is a sinister figure masquerading as a man of God, who wishes the pain to go on and on. As Brandt and the other band members slowly and convincingly come to realize that a larger world surrounds them, Wilson demonstrates that a horror novel doesn't need gallons of blood to succeed, that spiritual terror can be even more effective. (May) FYI: Wilson is a past president of the Horror Writers Association and an ordained minister. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Rock musician Brandt feels his life falling apart until a meeting with an old harmonica player imparts to him the ability to play the blues and, in doing so, to feel the pain of the world. Together with his bandmates, Brandt journeys into the mountains for a confrontation with a silver-haired preacher whose message of hate stands opposed to Brandt's ability to relieve suffering. Wilson's tale of supernatural war waged through the magic of music is based on his novelette by the same name. The author's ability to capture the feel of music as played lends a sense of immediacy to his story. For large fantasy collections. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Publisher's Weekly - anonymous reviewer
" Wilson demonstrates that a horror novel doesn't need gallons of blood to succeed, that spiritual terror can be even more effective."
CountGore.com - J. L. Comeau
"This is an exquisite meditation upon the nature of pain and redemption written with a blues sensibility that rolls through the mind like bleak, resounding chords of dark music. The perfect novel for a hot, sultry night."
anonymous reviewer
" Wilson demonstrates that a horror novel doesn't need gallons of blood to succeed, that spiritual terror can be even more effective."
J. L. Comeau
"This is an exquisite meditation upon the nature of pain and redemption written with a blues sensibility that rolls through the mind like bleak, resounding chords of dark music. The perfect novel for a hot, sultry night."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781594141423
  • Publisher: Cengage Gale
  • Publication date: 5/13/2004
  • Pages: 325
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.78 (h) x 0.97 (d)

Meet the Author

David Niall Wilson has been writing and publishing horror, dark fantasy, and science fiction since the mid-eighties. An ordained minister, once President of the Horror Writer's Association and multiple recipient of the Bram Stoker Award, his novels include Maelstrom, The Mote in Andrea's Eye, Deep Blue, the Grails Covenant Trilogy, Star Trek Voyager: Chrysalis, Except You Go Through Shadow, This is My Blood, Ancient Eyes, On the Third Day, The Orffyreus Wheel, and Vintage Soul – Book One of the DeChance Chronicles. The Stargate Atlantis novel “Brimstone,” written with Patricia Lee Macomber is his most recent. He has over 150 short stories published in anthologies, magazines, and five collections, the most recent of which were "Defining Moments" published in 2007 by WFC Award winning Sarob Press, and the currently available “Ennui & Other States of Madness,” from Dark Regions Press. His work has appeared in and is due out in various anthologies and magazines.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 7 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 24, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Captivating

    Are you a music lover? Have you ever found yourself slipping away, lost inside the notes of a great tune? If so, you will love this book!

    Wilson brings us a down and out band, playing in dive bars and drinking way too much alcohol. They're all in search of that one song that will be their own; the one that will bring them fame. Then a chance encounter between one member and an old man playing achingly beautiful blues on a harmonica takes them on a strange journey that changes all their lives. We crawl inside the musical notes and experience the pain and redemption in a way I've never experienced with a written word.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 24, 2005

    Spectacular

    Brandt defines the down and out musician. When he's not soused in Jose Cuervo he plays rhythm guitar for an unremarkable band in a hole-in-the-wall bar. Until one night he hears a lone harmonica playing music so deep, so pure, so full of pain he wanders the empty streets driven by the desire to play it. One by one the music transforms the other members. They feel pain so sharp and piercing it could only be the pain of the entire world straining for release. The band sells all to follow Brandt and seek out that one song. The one song behind it all. The one perfect pattern that blends each piece in harmony. Deep Blue is that song. It lives in the words, bleeds off the page, and seeps into your being. Mood, story, emotion bound together and layered on top of rich, rhythmical cadences that thrust the reader forward in wave after unrelenting wave. Deep Blue left this reader with something to ponder. Deep Blue left this writer with something to aspire to. David Niall Wilson's Deep Blue is simply the best novel I've read this year.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 7, 2004

    The Blues meets God, and it is good...

    This is a novel that starts out good and grows to be better. Each character is broken down, and then re-constructed as a part of the whole as Brandt, the leader of the band and the newly blessed conduit of the world's pain, leads them across roads and mountains to face off with a darkness beyond anything they could have expected. Very smooth writing, literate, yet accessible. This book blends supernatural horror and a Christian backdrop of faith and redemption. Good stuff - - should be perfect for followers of The Left Behind series, or those who enjoyed The Passion of the Christ.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 24, 2004

    A winner

    Guitarist and vocalist Brandt knows that the booze has taken him down so far as he barely can perform at gigs. He is so drunk he has left his keys behind so he cannot enter his apartment. When he hears strange sounding blues, he investigates and meets harmonica playing Wally. Not long afterward, Brandt plays the performance of his life and walks away........................... Band member Synthesia follows with her most incredible show and leaves. That leaves band members Shaver and Dexter to cross over, but both fears where the music will take them. Unless the entire band takes the giant leap along with Shaver¿s artist pal Liz, they will not be able to accomplish their mission when they confront their enemy in the California Mountains.................................... This is an engaging but weird fantasy that needs patience and a bit of adjustment to comprehend what is going on as David Niall Wilson keeps readers guessing. Once the readers begins to grasp the underlying parable that emerges slowly that there is more to this band and its mentor than a local gig, the tale hooks the audience with its magic¿s in the music theme. Readers who give the plot time to develop will appreciate the complex DEEP BLUE allegory........................... Harriet Klausner

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 1, 2014

    In DEEP BLUE, David Wilson doesn't write about people you know.

    In DEEP BLUE, David Wilson doesn't write about people you know. He writes about the guy the bartender told you about. The lady your girlfriend's sister once knew. The people you heard about second hand. The main character is Brandt; a down-and-out musician musician who finds the key to playing the blues, but with devastating results. As is his habit, Wilson takes the conventions of horror and tweaks them, most often with incredible results. And DEEP BLUE is no exception. Here Wilson proves that horror is not a matter of sprays of blood and horrific creatures. This is a horror of the soul, and very effectively done.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 8, 2012

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 21, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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