13th Year of The Night Country!

The Night Country

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This year marks the thirteenth year of The Night Country, published in 2003.  The novel was dedicated to the King of Halloween himself, Ray Bradbury.

At Midnight on Halloween in a cloistered New England suburb, a car carrying five teenagers leaves a winding road and slams into a tree, killing three of them. One escapes unharmed, another suffers severe brain damage. A year later, summoned by the memories of those closest to them, the three that died come back on a last chilling mission among the living.

A strange and unsettling ghost story, The Night Country creeps through the leaf-strewn streets and quiet cul-de-sacs of one bedroom community, reaching into the desperately connected yet isolated lives of three people changed forever by the accident: Tim, who survived yet lost everything; Brooks, the cop whose guilty secret has destroyed his life; and Kyle’s mom, trying to love the new son the doctors returned to her. As the day wanes and darkness falls, one of them puts a terrible plan into effect, and they find themselves caught in a collision of need and desire, watched over by the knowing ghosts.

Macabre and moving, The Night Country elevates every small town’s bad high school crash into myth, finding the deeper human truth beneath a shared and very American tragedy.

“Scary, sad, funny, and when it comes to young people at the end of their ropes and hopes, dead on the money.  [The Night Country] takes you away to a strange and special place while reminding you of the places you’ve been — especially the spooky Halloween places.  A gracefully written, mesmerizing read.”   – Stephen King

“The perfect ghost story for a contemporary Halloween, The Night Country demonstrates that the horror novel and literature can live quite happily within a single set of covers.”   – Peter Straub

“In The Night Country Stewart O’Nan gives us a handle on the adolescent subconscious that may not be pretty but is brutally honest in the way that literature must be if it’s going to do any good.  Growing up, and life and death, get defined.  Lives get saved in the way that literature can do some saving.”   – Theodore Weesner

Happy Halloween to all!

Theodore Weesner, Author of ‘The Car Thief,’ Dies at 79


Theodore Weesner in 1972. Credit Random House

From The New York Times:

Theodore Weesner, a novelist who mined his wayward youth for the stuff of his celebrated first novel, “The Car Thief,” and whose half-dozen other books earned plaudits for their patient, realistic narratives and humanely considered characters, died on Thursday at a hospital near his home in Portsmouth, N.H. He was 79.

The cause was congestive heart failure, his son Theodore Jr. said.

Mr. Weesner’s conventional literary life of teaching and writing emerged from decidedly unconventional beginnings. The child of an alcoholic father and a teenage mother, he spent part of his youth with other children in an unofficial foster home, became a distressed and introspective teenager who turned to petty crime, never graduated from high school and lied about his age to join the Army at 17.

His 1987 book, “The True Detective,” which is set in Portsmouth and employs multiple perspectives in telling the story of the abduction and murder of a 12-year-old boy, received mixed reviews, but its admirers include the novelist Stewart O’Nan, who, in a radio interview, called it “one of the great, great American novels.”


Book Fight – Episode 18: Theodore Weesner, The True Detective

Check out the podcast featuring Theodore Weesner’s The True Detective at Book Fight:

We welcome special guest Stewart O’Nan, author of The Odds, Last Night at the Lobster, A Prayer for the Dying, and many, many more, to discuss a book he calls “a great American novel no one has read.” Theodore Weesner’s The True Detective tells the story of a child’s abduction from multiple perspectives: the family of the victim, the kidnapper, and the detective attempting to break the case. But this isn’t your run-of-the-mill procedural; instead the book seeks to mine the the complicated emotional terrain of its characters, exploring how they’re affected by this web of tragedy.

[mp3] & [iTunes]