Second Chanceby Chet Williamson
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A breathtaking novel of dark suspense and bittersweet nostalgia, Second Chance breaks new ground for a writer whose work critics have favorably compared to such disparate writers as Camus, Cheever, and Stephen King. In Second Chance, Chet Williamson defines a generation and gives readers the ride of their lives through a disquietingly different and threatened America.
Thrills, romance, and nail-biting suspense combine to create a novel in which a Big Chill-like gathering of old friends could lead to the real "Big Chill" for every person on Earth.
It all begins innocently enough. Woody Robinson, a successful musician, gathers his baby boomer friends and recreates an evening in 1969 out of nostalgia for his long dead love, Tracy. The party quickly becomes a wake for lost ideals, and then something more, as time and fate play wonderful and terrible tricks on the celebrants. By the evening's end, Tracy is back in Woody's life as though she had never left. But there is another change as well, a shocking one.
His name is Pan. An environmental terrorist who wants to save the world by destroying humanity, he has the deadly viral ammunition to do just that. Pan will prove that the darker side of the sixties isn't dead -- it's only been sleeping. Now it's awake and furious. And only one man and one woman can stop the nightmare.
With the swirling color and magic of a Fillmore West poster, the hallucinogenic impact of a Jim Morrison lyric, and the wistful voice of early Dylan, Second Chance is an unforgettable tale of love, loss, and redemption, an electrifying synthesis of past and present that will enchant its readers today and haunt them tomorrow.
- Crossroad Press
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With Second Chance, Chet Williamson tackles the question, "What if you could change the past?" in a way that is part homage to the best (and worst) of the 60s, part love story, and one of the most original stories of its kind. Woody Robinson has a good life, but he feels something is missing. In a pique of nostalgia, he arranges to bring his closest friends back together in the ultimate nostalgia weekend. Right down to the same posters in the same apartment that served as the hub of their lives. And on one special weekend a small subset of the group of friends does more than relive the past. They go back to one of the most pivotal days in their collective universe. And when they return, Woody Robinson wakes up in the arms of the woman he loved so many years before. His one true love came back with him. But she's not the only one who came back. Soon Woody will become aware of the evil he inadvertently unleashed on the world. Chet Williamson writes with an elegance not often seen in modern horror (or any other genre for that matter). But it is an elegance with teeth, and the graceful prose harbors more than a few jolts. For example, in the hands of many writers the scene in which the friends actually reach the past could easily seem contrived if not silly. But Chet Williamson gives it a life and subtle logic that makes it the perfect vehicle for this imaginative novel. This one is not to be missed.
I have to admit that I was a bit skeptical when I started reading this. I thought that the hippy children of the 60s element might be overwhelming. Thankfully this wasn't the case. It does start out with the main character, Woody, recreating a party from the 60s when his nostalgia for the time and his dead girlfriend overwhelm him in the present (1993.) But they quickly return to a present that has been altered...more than they realize at first. Aside from the time travel aspect, this story smacks of reality. Chet Williamson delivers a suspenseful, non-paranormal, horror story where the evil is all in the eye of the beholder. It gives an interesting insight into the mind of a terrorist and how the perils of time travel can rip reality apart. The story kept me wanting to see what would happen next and I'm upset that I didn't have the right schedule to sit and read in one go. I definitely recommend it and look forward to reading more by this author. FTR - When I loaded this on my Nook Simple Reader, the page numbers were all messed up. Rest assured that it is not actually over 1000 pages long.
Pretty good story with touches of sci-fi, horror, time travel, a little of everything! If you like Stephen King, you will like this.
Let me tell you I am biased when it comes to Chet Williamson. I do love him since his Crow - Clash by Night. That book left me stunned. Williamson's Second Chance is also magnificent. I could not put it down. The characters were awesome; I loved Robinson and his old buddy, an aging but still cool and bohemian movie director, Curly - however, my favourite one was the book's villain, Keith. I could not help but love him and support him. The whole thing started with a retro party: Woody Robinson, a talented and successful musician, organised a nostalgic meeting for his college friends, mostly because he still grieves his lover who died twenty years ago. However, Curly, an eccentric movie director, brings some pot, and things turn out strange: the old friends go back in time. In a few minutes, they return to their present - and Woody finds his long deceased college lover very much alive, the two of them are happily married. Other already dead persons also returned with them - and one of them, a devoted environmentalist, Keith, decides that saving the Earth means that he needs to extirpate the whole humankind. He befriends with a group of sadistic scientists who work in an underground laboratory; they experiment with deadly viruses... Those scientists are scary - I hated them with every fibre of my being. Some of the details are shocking; not gory, but emotionally disturbing. Williamson is a master in that area. I recommend this book for anyone who love a disturbing suspense-action novel, full of tension. **Mina Jade the Lonely Stalker
I found this novel to be a smooth read. I did enjoy its content. The author uses minor supernatural elements to bring forth situations that could very easily happen in real life. Sort of time travel via the supernatural but with a more serious twist. Also, one can easily see how time should not be delved with. The past should be left to the past. Let the dead bury the dead and let the living continue. Well worth the time taken to read. Great story line.