F. Paul Wilson’s THE TOUCH

13 03 2010

Frankly, I was a little disappointed by this one. Repairman Jack is totally badass, and I was expecting…well, just MORE.

  • The villain was Quantum-of-Solace-esque, completely not up to par with past installments. Think about it dude: supernatural threat of the vilest sort which feeds on human lifeforce, reanimates the dead, and who’s very presence brings out the worst in everyone (THE KEEP); unnatural, child-devouring monsters let loose upon Manhattan (THE TOMB); and a sick, dying politician with delusions of grandeur. which one of these things is not like the other?
  • Where’s the hero? There was a full complement of kind-hearted and well-intentioned lackeys, but no one rose up as a bastion of good against the forces of evil (which goes hand in hand with the absence of any true evil)
  • My complaints can pretty much all be summed up by a “lack of scope,” but I’m going to add another one anyway: the denouement. Again, compared to the two previous books in the series, you go from an epic battle of Light vs. Evil and its zombie-minions with magical broadsword to epic battle of Good vs. Evil in the bowels of a dank an reeking tanker with a mother fucking flamethrower to…a guy stumbling through the rain who gets mugged by a couple of bums. Bit of a letdown, eh?

This is another example of the classic quandary of great expectations. Had I read this novel before the other two (and all those repairman jacks) I would have been able to enjoy it fully–and it is good enough that I would have looked up more of Wilson. This would not have been a one-hit-wonder. However, since I had already been exposed to the Other, THE TOUCH is a flat note in an otherwise stirring symphony.

Tradition calls
for parchment, stuff
capable of surviving
stitches made from
tendons and glue.

The body too
is a scroll, scribed
in circles. Everyone bears
marks, the pressure
of sharpened quills.

What words
will the doctors read?
The Velveteen Rabbi




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