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The Painted Darkness
     

The Painted Darkness

3.5 42
by Brian James Freeman, Brian Keene (Introduction)
 

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"The tone and building dread reminds me of classic Stephen King. Great velocity and impact, and super creepy. Don't go in the basement!"

-- Stewart O'Nan, New York Times bestselling author of The Night Country and A Prayer for the Dying

When Henry was a child, something terrible happened in the woods behind his home, something so shocking

Overview

"The tone and building dread reminds me of classic Stephen King. Great velocity and impact, and super creepy. Don't go in the basement!"

-- Stewart O'Nan, New York Times bestselling author of The Night Country and A Prayer for the Dying

When Henry was a child, something terrible happened in the woods behind his home, something so shocking he could only express his terror by drawing pictures of what he had witnessed. Eventually, Henry's mind blocked out the bad memories, but he continued to draw, often at night by the light of the moon.

Twenty years later, Henry makes his living by painting his disturbing works of art. He loves his wife and his son, and life couldn't be better... except there's something not quite right about the old stone farmhouse his family now calls home. There's something strange living in the cramped cellar, in the maze of pipes that feed the ancient steam boiler.

A winter storm is brewing, and soon Henry will learn the true nature of the monster waiting for him down in the darkness. He will battle this demon and, in the process, he may discover what really happened when he was a child -- and why, in times of trouble, he thinks: I paint against the darkness.

But will Henry learn the truth in time to avoid the terrible fate awaiting him... or will the thing in the cellar get him and his family first?

Written as both a meditation on the art of creation and as an examination of the secret fears we all share, The Painted Darkness is a terrifying look at the true cost we pay when we run from our grief -- and what happens when we're finally forced to confront the monsters we know all too well.

Reviews and Praise:

"Fast-paced, satisfying horror... a compelling read thanks to skillfully composed prose that builds tension and evokes emotional response."

-- Publishers Weekly

"Brian James Freeman's evocative tale about the dark corners of an artist's imagination is elegant and haunting."

-- David Morrell, New York Times bestselling author of The Shimmer

"Spooky stuff!"

-- Richard Matheson, New York Times bestselling author of What Dreams May Come and I Am Legend

"The Painted Darkness is a dark, terrifying, and deeply moving gem of a novella. Brian James Freeman managed to both scare me and move me to tears."

-- Tess Gerritsen, New York Times bestselling author of The Keepsake

"The tone and building dread reminds me of classic Stephen King. Great velocity and impact, and super creepy. Don't go in the basement!"

-- Stewart O'Nan, New York Times bestselling author of The Night Country and A Prayer for the Dying

"Wonderfully reminiscent of the quiet horror of Charles L. Grant, The Painted Darkness takes readers on a gently chilly walk through the forest of fears both conscious and subconscious. With Straubian lyricism, Brian James Freeman evokes not only the irrational terrors of childhood, but addresses the roots of creativity and the vital importance of art. A very impressive achievement."

-- Bentley Little, author of The House and His Father's Son

"The Painted Darkness delves into territory that fascinates so many of us -- the fine lines between beauty and horror, faith and fear, art and the unconscious. Both a wonderful allegory and a gripping read, Brian James Freeman has written a taut, memorable tale."

-- Michael Koryta, award-winning author of So Cold the River, The Cypress House, and The Ridge

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
A free prerelease e-book edition has garnered plenty of advance buzz for this fast-paced, satisfying horror novella from Cemetery Dance Magazine editor Freeman (Blue November Storms). Twenty years after a traumatic childhood incident, Henry has become a professional painter who uses his work as an outlet for his inner demons. Something from his past has taken up residence in the basement of the house he shares with his wife, Sarah, and young son, Dillon, challenging Henry's ability to "paint against the darkness." The narrative builds up to a conclusion that isn't entirely shocking, but it still makes for a compelling read thanks to skillfully composed prose that builds tension and evokes emotional response. The paper edition includes several eerie full-page b&w illustrations by Jill Bauman. (Nov.)
David Morrell
Brian James Freeman's evocative tale about the dark corners of an artist's imagination is elegant and haunting.
Richard Matheson
Spooky stuff!
Stewart O'Nan
The tone and building dread reminded me of classic Stephen King. Great velocity and impact, and super creepy. Don't go in the basement!
Tess Gerritsen
The Painted Darkness is a dark, terrifying, and deeply moving gem of a novella. Brian James Freeman managed to both scare me and move me to tears.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781469975184
Publisher:
CreateSpace Publishing
Publication date:
02/23/2012
Pages:
160
Sales rank:
463,904
Product dimensions:
5.00(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.37(d)

Meet the Author

Brian James Freeman is the author of Black Fire, Blue November Storms, The Painted Darkness, Weak and Wounded, Dreamlike States, and More Than Midnight. He is also the coauthor of The Illustrated Stephen King Trivia Book (with Bev Vincent) and The Illustrated Stephen King Movie Trivia Book (with Hans-Åke Lilja and Kevin Quigley), and he is the editor of Dueling Minds.

His novels, novellas, short stories, essays, and interviews have been published by Warner Books, Cemetery Dance, Borderlands Press, Book-of-the-Month Club, Leisure, and many others.

Brian lives in Pennsylvania with his wife, two cats, and two German Shorthaired Pointers who are afraid of the cats. More books are on the way.

Visit him on the web at www.BrianJamesFreeman.com

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

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Painted Darkness 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 42 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This story grabbed me from the first line and wouldn't let go! I was up reading most of the night and woke clutching the book in the morning. The characters are believable and sympathetic, the dialogue flows effortlessly, and the story is hair-raising to anyone who ever lay in bed waiting for the thing that went bump in the night to appear. A great read! I will look for more from this author.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What i thought was going to be another run of mill "fright book" with little substance and no plot, I was captivated from the first page which kept me reading into the wee hours of the night....... scary good !
born2b1 More than 1 year ago
Looking for new authors, and stumbling upon Brian Freeman, I bought this bargain ebook.. I loved it! Memories are made of this! I usually don't like a back-and-forth timeline, but this was done so smoothly I had no trouble reading from one time or the other. The child is endearing and his adult self keeps a high level of anxiety/tension; so much so that I couldn't put it down! I highly recommend this book and will look for more by this author.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this on a cold dark evening on a recommendation. A definite page turner that did not dissapoint!
EstrellaG More than 1 year ago
Your imagination is a wonderful thing to have until it gets away from you are does it? "The Painted Darkness" was a very very suspenseful read that I enjoyed a great deal it was hard to put down. If you are looking for a very interesting read this book is for you...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
IUnique story that kept me interested throughout. Similar in creepiness to the Goosebumps books, or Rod Steigers "Night Gallery" series in my opinion.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A nice quick read to stir everyone's imagination and belief or disbelief in monsters. Enjoyed it, as did my husband!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book got a little confusing/strange toward the end of the book with the adult Henry but overall i couldn't put it down. It was interesting and never had a dull moment. It makes you look at monsters in a whole new way. I will definitely buy his other books.
BookaholicOH More than 1 year ago
I truley loved this story. It was dark and scary without being gory and full of predictable circumstances. For a while I thought I had predicted the end just to have the rug pulled out from under me. I really liked how the author went back and forth between child Henry and adult Henry to tell the story also because it allowed the reader to experience the circumstances that shaped adult Henry into the man he became with out just hinting at small details from his past. I highly recommend this book to every one who enjoys a touch of the bogeyman and things that go bump in the night.
crazynormal More than 1 year ago
Engaging book and well written but when it ended it left me a bit confused
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A little on the dark side, but I liked it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The Painted Darkness was overall a good book. It wasn't exceptional by any means; however, through repeated feelings of wanting to put it down, i kept trudging through without whining. I do believe i got my 3 dollars worth, and the one thing i'm happy about is another horror/suspense author entering the market. We need this genre to grow.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I'm not a very good reviewer, but I know what I like and I liked this novella. Very suspenseful and written very well.
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