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Rage
     

Rage

4.1 9
by Steve Gerlach
 

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Ben is a man on the edge and unless his life gets back on track, he knows something very bad will happen soon. He can't control it; the rage controls him

Overview

Ben is a man on the edge and unless his life gets back on track, he knows something very bad will happen soon. He can't control it; the rage controls him

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780843953114
Publisher:
Dorchester Publishing Company, Inc.
Publication date:
01/08/2004
Pages:
342
Product dimensions:
4.06(w) x 6.72(h) x 0.98(d)

Read an Excerpt

Rage


By Steve Gerlach

Dorchester Publishing

Copyright © 2004 Dorchester Publishing
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0-8439-5311-X


Chapter One

"No."

That word again, that most hurtful word.

His mind raced as the silence continued.

Say something quickly, something to show her.

"I thought we could maybe talk about art over a drink or something," he stumbled, knowing he sounded like an idiot.

She turned from the easel, placed a hand on her hip.

"Look, Ben, I'm really not interested. Okay? I'm just not interested."

He turned and marched to his own canvas, looking from the corner of his eyes to see if any of the other students had heard. They were all concentrating on their work, but he knew they'd heard, they must have. He could feel her watching his back, quietly scoffing at him for even thinking of asking her out.

Idiot.

He studied his painting. It was of a naked woman lying on a bed, one knee raised, a hand lying on her stomach, her head turned away. He focused on the head, the dark hair, the raised contours of drying paint. He didn't like it anymore. He didn't like being made the fool. He didn't like any of it.

He knew he couldn't look up at Polly. She would still be staring at him for sure. He had to make it look like it didn't matter whether she went out with him or not. He'd show her it didn't matter. Picking up the brush and squeezing some red paint from its tube, Ben set to work as his mind raced.

Go over there and she has the right or thinks she has the right to embarrass me in front of all the others when all I did was ask her out and what's the harm in that? I thought she was nice but she isn't; the good-looking ones never are. She's probably got them crawling all over her a different one each night and she thinks she's happy and safe and knows what's good for her but she doesn't really know. How can anyone know unless they give a person a chance to show what they're really like?

The instructor's voice near his shoulder finally drew him back.

"Sorry?" Ben replied.

"I said," the teacher repeated, "you seem to have altered the original idea for your painting, Mr. Jackson."

Ben glanced at the canvas. It had changed. The woman on the bed had been obliterated by long downward sweeping red strokes, her legs and a shoulder were the only sign that a woman had once been painted there. The red swirls above the bed gave the painting a nightmare look and the blotches below looked like pools of blood. Ben stepped back quickly.

"All right, class," the instructor shouted. "That'll do for this week, and don't forget I want a perspective line drawing for the next class."

The students began to clean up and shuffle from the room.

Ben stared at his painting, the brush, his hands. A hand landed on his shoulder.

"Ben you really must learn to relax more. None of this is really important, just a small university course. We're not trying to win gold medals in excellence here. You've got to remember that or you'll become so uptight you'll go crazy. Relax. Just remember that."

Ben nodded and put down his brush. "Could I have a-"

"A new canvas for next week?" finished the instructor.

"Thank you, Mr. Franklin." Ben walked toward the door.

"And this painting, Ben?"

"Burn it."

* * *

Ben walked across the Pitchfield University campus in the early evening. With his classes finished for the day, he decided to head for the library. It rose in front of him, a gothic looking structure better suited to an old Hollywood B-grade film than a university campus.

The library was emptier than usual, its tall bookcases filled with aging tomes rarely if ever touched by the students. The lighting was poor and, coupled with the musty smell of decaying books, made the whole place feel like a morgue. As he walked along, he ran his finger along the spines of the books, ready to pick one at random.

"Hi, Ben," came a low whisper from behind him.

He turned to see one of the librarians, Christine Lloyd, walking silently up behind him.

He sighed. "Hello, Chris."

She stopped and stared at him. "You all right?"

The last thing he needed was a nosy redhead sticking her hawklike face in where it wasn't wanted. "Fine. Just came in for a book."

"Well, this is the right place." She chuckled as she walked past him and disappeared around a corner.

Airhead, he thought as he rested his finger on the spine of a purple book. He pulled it out and read the title, "UNDERSTANDING PHYSICS." He placed it back on the shelf. It had been a bad day all around.

Walking to another aisle, Ben found himself in his usual place, the crime section. At least here he knew if he chose a book at random it might at least be worth reading. He picked one, an old Agatha Christie. He didn't like her much, silly plots with even sillier detectives, but he had nothing else to do and he wanted to get his mind off Polly. He found his way over to a small table and chair and opened the book, hoping Agatha could rid his mind of Polly.

He doubted she could.

* * *

"Ben. Ben."

It was Christine's quiet but insistent whisper. He was having enough trouble getting through the book without any other interruptions.

"Ben!"

He looked up to find her standing beside him. "What?"

"We've got to close now. You'll have to go."

"Huh?" He looked at his watch and found he'd been reading for three hours. Agatha had done her work well, it seemed. "Oh, sorry."

"It's all right. It's not often we get someone in here who likes reading as much as you."

"Yeah, well, it fills in the time," he stood and went to move off.

"Here," she said, stopping him by placing her hand on his chest, "I'll put that away for you."

Ben handed her the book. "Thanks."

"You know, you can check this out," she replied, smiling at him.

"Sorry?" he asked, not really listening.

"Out of the library. We loan the books out to people. It's a radical idea, but it seems quite popular."

He nodded, "I know. But it's not the same."

"You got classes tomorrow?"

"Yeah, nothing exciting," he walked toward the door.

"You going away for the weekend?"

"Probably."

"Well, we'll see you in here again tomorrow?"

"I suppose."

"See you then."

"Yeah," he opened the door and walked into the night.

* * *

Polly was so nice, Ben thought as he walked toward his nearby apartment. The wind had sprung up, its chill biting through his clothes and into his heart. But the dark night made it easier to think.

Ben always liked the dark.

She was so nice and bright and her hands as delicate as anything I've ever seen but she still manages to hold the brush and command it and paint things I'd never have a hope of painting. And her hair the way it sits on her shoulders like that and it's not too dark but just the right color brown and her eyes those penetrating eyes that look so sweet.

So sweet.

But she's a bitch underneath.

He shoved his hands deeper into the pockets of his jeans and wondered what it was that made him so unattractive to women. Blond hair and blue eyes were supposed to attract women, but it wasn't helping him. He took a deep breath, held it, looked down at his chest and puffed it out as far as possible.

So I'm not thin, but I'm not overweight either.

He thought of all the Hollywood hunks who were his build, the men who had all the women flocking to them. But he wasn't having any luck lately.

Lately? He laughed at himself.

Never.

Twenty-two. Twenty-two and still a virgin.

His friends were always going out and having a good time with this date one night and another date the next while he sat in the background and watched.

Twenty-two.

They were all happy, everyone was happy, everyone was having a wonderful life.

Except me.

The wind blew harder and colder, but he didn't hurry. He didn't care. He had nothing to do tomorrow, just like today and yesterday.

(Continues...)



Excerpted from Rage by Steve Gerlach Copyright © 2004 by Dorchester Publishing. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Rage 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Never have I been more disappointed with a book. The main character is shallow, blaming everything wrong in his life on anyone except himself. A pattern quickly develops, and he grows more dull and predicting as the story goes on. If you do happen to buy this book, keep your recipt. You'll need it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read about this book on a website and definetely am glad i bought it. I read it in 2 days and was truly amazed and hooked. I loved it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have been looking forward to this book for a while now, and I was not let down in the slightest. It is a powerful story of a guy who just wants a life, so to speak. I won't say any more, no spoilers here. I read this book in a day and a half, it was that good. I could not put it down, I was flipping pages so quickly I suffered a few paper cuts. Very suspenseful and graphic, as horror and thrillers should be. The suspense builds and builds.... Run, don't walk, to get this book!
Guest More than 1 year ago
RAGE is an emotional rollercoater of a novel from the King of Thrills From Down Under. RAGE has an excellent plot, well rounded characters, and suspense that will make you fly through this book like there is no tomorrow. Clive Barker has been called the future of Horror in the past, but that was a long time ago now. I guarantee you the future of Horror is here and it is Mr. Gerlach. Hands down one of the top 5 books I have ever read. Bravo Steve!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Wow, I read this novel in two sittings and that's saying something! If you've read THE NOCTURNE or LOVE LIES DYING, forget everything you know about Steve's work and leave expectations at the door because RAGE is as different from those two novels as Stephen King's original Bachman Books were different from his other releases. (And yeah, it's not lost on me that one of the Bachman books was also entitled RAGE). Written in 1992, RAGE is a novel that has been in Steve's trunk for a long time and he openly admits in the introduction that he didn't want it published. After reading the book, I think Steve is certifiably insane because this book should have been published long ago. RAGE's protagonist is a college student named Benjamin who is wound so tight you fear he'll explode any minute. Steve does a great job getting under the guy's skin and exploring what drives him. At first, Ben just turned me off, as he does to most everyone he comes into contact with, but the more you read, the more human he becomes until you start to feel for the guy. Along the way you start to wonder if maybe, just maybe Ben can be saved from himself. I can't say more without giving away too much. A terrific read!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Most of us who have been young would be able to identify with Ben. He has girl trouble, parent trouble, he¿s disillusioned with university, and he feels friendless and lonely. He feels constantly betrayed by everyone around him, and can¿t understand why every girl he meets rejects him. After all, he¿s not ugly, he¿s not abnormal. Is he? Like most young people, he is plagued by self-doubt, and like many of us, he tends to blame the rest of the world for his problems. But then, most of us don¿t go over the edge like he does. Rage is a compelling and enthralling tale of a young man¿s downwards spiral, as his rage against the world takes hold of him. With devastating consequences. Although THE NOCTURNE and LOVE LIES DYING are damn impressive too, this is Gerlach¿s best work to date, because it is so personally engaging. And so real and chilling. But a warning to all: this book is definitely not for the squeamish!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Let me start off by saying that I am a Gerlach fan. I enjoyed his earlier works THE NOCTURNE and LOVE LIES DYING greatly. They are fun, gruesome, fast-paced action books that pick you up, slam you against the wall and then throw you back down at the end battered, bloody and with a big grin on your face. However, RAGE is a different story (both literally and figuratively speaking). There's not a lot of blood and gore, not a lot of action. This, my friends, is a drama. And a fine one at that. It's a character study of how just a normal bloke can go off the rails - and the way Gerlach captures his frustrations, disappointments and anger is perfect. I really did feel for the main character, Ben. He wasn't a caricature, or an absolute loser; he wasn't a mean SOB or a burgeoning serial killer. The way Gerlach paints him is with sorrow, loss and empathy. This is a universal story and I think every reader will be able to identify with Ben's feelings, and by the end, even understand and, possibly agree, with his motives and actions. A story as powerful as this couldn't have been achieved without the skill of a great writer. And I think this is Gerlach's best written work - it is tight and subtle. No flowery prose, or clunky descriptions. Gerlach lets the story, and his characters flow and evolve naturally. This is great stuff. I felt for Ben, and you will too.
Guest More than 1 year ago
RAGE is an emotion charged thrill ride through one man's descent into hell and back. It's tough to read, with out a doubt; many of it's plotlines will feel very close to home for a lot of people, yet it is an important novel because it offers us a unique insight into the type of character that we often challenge ourselves to understand. It is impossible to put down once you've started and will stick in your mind for a very, very long time after reading. Not an easy book to describe in words; you have to read it for yourself. A fantastic first novel for Mr. Gerlach and I look forward to reading more of his books in the future.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Written years prior to the stunning horror/sci-fi hybrid, THE NOCTURNE, and the last year's erotic suspense chiller, LOVE LIES DYING, Gerlach's newest novel, RAGE, is actually one of his earliest...yet is just now set for publication. Similar to recent backlog releases by such talents as Richard Matheson and Richard Laymon, RAGE had been filed away only to gather dust while the author set to work on other projects that were quickly snatched up and published to great acclaim. With such acclaim comes increased reader demand, and with RAGE Gerlach offers his fans a truly special treat to sate their appetite. Written in the early '90's, RAGE tells a simple, linear tale of a man's disintegration of self-worth and self-control. Ben is a college student who finds himself increasingly unable to cope with what he construes as constant rejection and betrayal by the female gender and, indeed, the world at large. As he delves deeper and deeper into despair and rage over the inequities he feels heaped upon him, the pressurized control he has kept his emotions under begins to loosen and his rage comes steaming closer and closer to the surface, climaxing finally in a dramatic showdown between Ben and his own rage. RAGE is a strong, character-driven novel, and Gerlach is at his unflinchingly best when exposing his readers to the red, raw, unpredictable psyche of his protagonist. RAGE is a unique, special treat for anyone who enjoys a finely-crafted tale, as well as those Gerlach fans who seek insight into the early style (and own psyche) of the man who would ultimately pen such classic genre works as THE NOCTURNE and LOVE LIES DYING.