Black Wind Hardcover – May 1990
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|Hardcover, May 1990||
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Praise for Black Wind:
“F. Paul Wilson weaves spells with words, and Black Wind is a stunner. Ambitious, unusual, compelling.”
“The reader comes to care intensely about the fates of the characters...a sharp and intelligent entertainment, a genuine page-turner many notches above standard fare.”
—San Francisco Chronicle
“A high-powered page turner, with writing as honed as a samurai sword.”
—Adam Hall, author of The Quiller Memorandum
“A superb feast of storytelling. Intricately plotted, compellingly told; suspenseful, moving, and at times intensely horrifying--F. Paul Wilson’s most ambitious novel so far, and surely his best.”
—Ramsey Campbell, author of The Grin of the Dark
“Of great and captivating sweep.”
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This is historical fiction at its best. The setting flips back and forth between Japan and California from the 1920s through the end of WWII. FPW really did his homework on this one and it shows clearly. There is some really good authentic Japanese thrown in and used in a way so as to define it in context (a lá Shogun), and great examples, in deeds and discussion, of traditional Japanese cultural values of honor, obligation (several different kinds) and debt. The conspiracy theory concerning what we knew about the attack on Pearl Harbor, and when, has been treated in fact and fiction before, but this is as good a fictional treatment as I have read anywhere, and is used to great advantage by FPW. There are a number of historical figures depicted much as I know them to be from my reading of history, but the main characters are FPW's creations. The tie-in with the "Secret History of the World" is, as most FPW fans could have predicted, through an ancient katana sword that is bequeathed to Matsuo, the main character, early in the novel. The sword is an important player in the novel, but here is simply an excellent katana, albeit of somewhat ancient and unusual construction. For RJ fans, the 2008 novel, "By the Sword" is, in many respects, virtually a sequel to Black Wind, as well as an integral part of the beginning of the end-game of the Secret History of the World.
This might be the best example of pure mainstream fiction writing by FPW, especially if you are not particularly into SF and/or fantasy. Make no mistake, there are some pretty horrific scenes in this one too, it's just that they are the icing rather than the cake itself, in contrast to much of the Adversary Cycle and Repairman Jack in which the fantasy and horror aspects tend to take center stage. I can't say enough good things about Black Wind. It has quickly jumped right to the A-list of my all-time FPW favorites. The novel is completely stand-alone - one doesn't have to have read anything else by FPW for full appreciation, but for fans of RJ and the Adversary Cycle, it does fill in a few blanks, and as I mentioned, fans of Black Wind will probably want to read the sequel, By the Sword.
Very Highly Recommended.
It's an interesting enough storyline but I found that the characters were very one-dimensional and stereotypical. You like them, but at the end of the story you're quite happy to put the book down, move onto another story and leave them behind.
I found that the story didn't really make a lot of impact expect for some complete revulsion generated by the supernatural aspect of the story as it relates to the manner in which this element is released.
Really, it's a good story, but it's a nice, light read.