Saturday, September 5, 2009

Not that Twilight

Posted By on Sat, Sep 5, 2009 at 2:00 PM


Creepy houses have a way of showing up in gothic novels. Whether a crumbling, cobblestone castle or just a cobwebbed suburban ranch, the creepy house is no less than a beacon, a neon, flashing symbol that something dark and violent awaits. “The houses have grown out of the woods like tumors,” says Samuel on the second page of Sang Pak's Wait Until Twilight while riding through the backwoods of Georgia. When Samuel Polk and his friend David actually arrive at the house they’re looking for, his observation becomes more explicit: “It’s almost as if I’ve seen it somewhere else, maybe in some bad horror movie.”

Samuel is a bookish but friendly teenager, stressed out by the SATs and talented on the basketball court. His mother died a year before the novel begins and he repeatedly tells everyone he’s “completely over it.” If that sounds unconvincing, it should. Samuel bears the stresses of adolescence and the weight of his mother’s death without much support. His brother Jim has all but disappeared since going to college, and his father is emotionally absent.

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(Image courtesy Harper Paperbacks)

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