Skyscape

Overview

This powerful new novel from the author of Saint Peter's Wolfis the exceptionally well told story of how the need for salvation can, through fear, be used to manipulate belief for terrifying ends.

Red Patterson has done for psychiatry what television evangelists have done for religion. Charismatic, brilliant, Patterson is torn between his desire to heal and his ruthless need to control. His controversial television career encounters its ...

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Overview

This powerful new novel from the author of Saint Peter's Wolfis the exceptionally well told story of how the need for salvation can, through fear, be used to manipulate belief for terrifying ends.

Red Patterson has done for psychiatry what television evangelists have done for religion. Charismatic, brilliant, Patterson is torn between his desire to heal and his ruthless need to control. His controversial television career encounters its greatest challenge in contemporary artist Curtis Newns.

Newns is a famous, gifted painter shattered by the loss of his masterpiece, Skyscape, and unable to create new art. Patterson agrees to help Curtis, and the novel flowers into a struggle between Margaret, the woman who loves the artist, and the powerful, seductive television celebrity.

Margaret's strength springs from both love and intelligence, but she is entangled in society's collective surrender to the power of today's mass media. Set largely in San Francisco and the California desert, this is the story of love pitted against the corruption of our individual will by the Red Pattersons of our time

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The conflict between fame and genius is the subject of this ambitious novel, which starts out slowly but builds to a gripping finish even as it completes Cadnum's transition from occult (Saint Peter's Wolf) to mundane terrors. World-famous painter Curtis Newns, feeling persecuted and alone, can no longer create the massive paintings that earned him his reputation. When his masterpiece, Skyscape, is destroyed in a fire, Newns's wife asks psychiatrist Red Patterson to nurse her husband back to sanity. Though Patterson is famous for performing mental-health cures on his own TV show, he sees in Newns a different kind of fame, one that comes from true genius; and Patterson wants a part of it. So he invites Newns to his Mojave Desert hideaway, where the painter can reconnect with his creativity away from the world but under Patterson's total control-and where an attempted murder and attempted suicide only strengthen the psychiatrist's determination to dedicate himself to Newns's recuperation. The novel switches gears a number of times from this point on, confounding expectations and remaining full of surprises. The scenes told from Newns's point of view prove vividly weird, but greater weirdness resides in Patterson. It's his slowly revealed character that is at the novel's center, and although the revelations threaten to oversimplify Cadnum's argument about fame and genius, they make for an arresting climax. (Sept.)
Library Journal
When painter Curtis Newn's masterpiece, "Skyscape," is mysteriously burned, his creative block seems permanent. His wife, Margaret, seeks help from Red Patterson, a celebrity psychiatrist who takes Newn into desert seclusion to help him paint a new masterpiece. Glimpses of Patterson's rise-and the mysterious deaths of those who opposed him-gives Margaret cause for fear. Every character in this novel is a celebrity, and the plot and much of the dialog revolve around image and public perception. Cadnum (The Horses of the Night, LJ 7/93) interweaves some weighty questions: Does the media create our stars or simply magnify their qualities? Does art belong to its creator or to society? The plot could be tighter, as some questions remain unresolved at the novel's end. But the narrative flows smoothly, the prose is superior, and, as a study of characters in the cultural spotlight, Skyscape is intriguing. Recommended for general fiction collections.-Robert C. Moore, DuPont Merck Pharmaceutical Co. Information Svcs., Wilmington, Del.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780786701353
  • Publisher: Avalon Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 9/1/1994
  • Edition description: 1st Carroll & Graf ed
  • Pages: 368

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