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Come Fygures, Come Shadowes

Come Fygures, Come Shadowes

by Richard Matheson, Richard Christian Matheson

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publishers Weekly
Since it first appeared in fragmentary form in a short-fiction collection in 1970, this tale has earned legendary status among Matheson's fans as his great uncompleted novel about the dark side of modern spiritualism. Now a much larger fragment that weaves occult thrills into its haunting study of a reluctant spirit medium, it tantalizes with the unfulfilled promise of what might have been the author's magnum opus. Set in Brooklyn in the 1930s, it relates a sad interval in the life of 18-year-old Claire Nielsen, the oldest of three children being groomed by their determined mother, Morna, to follow in her footsteps as a spirit medium. As depicted by Matheson, spiritualism is indistinguishable from a religious calling, and Morna is a frighteningly fanatical exponent who threatens Claire with hellfire and damnation when she pleads to be relieved of her vocation. Coerced into sitting for seances that make her physically ill, Claire soon finds herself a conduit for ectoplasmic manifestations of the spirit world whose revolting intimacy and intrusive physicality amount to sexual violation. Matheson's rigorous research of spiritualist phenomena informs every aspect of the tale, imbuing its convincingly described supernatural moments with both awe and terror and shaping its characters as unique people who believe unquestioningly in the marvels of the afterlife. At the very least, this gripping tale synchs with his paranormal thriller Hell House and anecdotal nonfiction volume Mediums Rare. But it also hits a high-water mark as an exercise in the modern gothic. (Feb. 15) FYI: In an afterword, Matheson outlines the novel he planned to write, which would have run to 2,000 pages had he completed it. Copyright 2003 Cahners Business Information.

Product Details

Gauntlet, Incorporated CO
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
6.26(w) x 9.48(h) x 0.65(d)

Meet the Author

Richard Burton Matheson (1926¿2013) was born in New Jersey and raised in Brooklyn. He was an author and screenwriter, primarily in the fantasy, horror, and science fiction genres. He is best known as the author of I Am Legend, a 1954 horror novel that has been adapted for the screen four times. Other popular books by Matheson include Hell House and What Dreams May Come. In 2010, he was inducted into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame.

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