Testosterone, envy and smoldering psychopathology transform a weekend hiking trip into a lean, mean Darwinian struggle for survival. Making the most of his trademark less-is-more style, Matheson (Nightmare at 20,000 Feet, etc.) spins a clash of ideologies between two acquaintances into a vision of the universe as existential hell. Level-headed Bob Hansen is on his way up as a screenwriter and novelist; temperamental Doug Crowley is on his way down as an actor, husband and father. Doug, an experienced outdoorsman, has agreed to help Bob research his next novel with a rugged trek through the forests of northern California. No sooner has Bob's wife, Marian, dropped the pair off and headed for the cabin where they'll meet four days later than their irreconcilable differences emerge. Bob is at peace spiritually, while Doug believes "the world is a nightmare." A couple of near-death experiences a falling boulder, a threatening black bear seem to send the increasingly morose Doug into an emotional tailspin. Quicker than you can say Deliverance, Doug assaults Bob, then challenges him to reach the cabin before Doug kills him and takes Marian. Matheson makes every word count, orchestrating ordinary conversation into philosophical parries and building a thunderhead of tension from Doug's smugly superior opinions and willful misinterpretations. Through Bob's tortured thoughts during his desperate flight, Matheson strips all beauty from the wild surroundings to expose the underlying hostility and hunger in nature. Matheson's new novel shows him still the Hemingway of horror, a writer whose honed prose and primal themes articulate universal fears and dreads.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Matheson's many thrillers and fantasy novels, published over the past five decades, include Somewhere in Time (1980) and What Dreams May Come (1978). His new novel may not be quite on the same level as those classics, but it comes pretty close. Two old friends, Bob (a novelist) and Doug (an actor), head off into the woods for a short hiking trip. Bob wants some hands-on experience for a novel he's working on; Doug is an expert in woodsmanship. From the get-go, there is tension between them: Doug seems excessively demanding; Bob reacts a little too sharply to his friend's criticisms of his stamina and abilities. Soon the mood turns dark, transforming the story into a psychological thriller, a variation of Richard Connell's much-imitated Most Dangerous Game (1924). Matheson effectively translates the basic story (man hunts man) into modern psycho-thriller terms. As always, his dialogue rings true, and his narration is lean and efficient. Recommended highly, both for Matheson's large and devoted following and for all readers of suspense stories. David Pitt
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Is it a guide to hiking or a thriller? Lack of an indentity causes the book to be skimmed and disappointment to be the result.Published on Nov. 12 2003 by John Bowes
I must admit that I've always wondered why Matheson's books are considered classics in the horror genre. Read morePublished on Sept. 21 2003 by Lester Thees
Based on the many positive blurbs from other well-known writers that appeared on the cover, I picked this one up thinking it might be a grand introduction to a great writer I had... Read morePublished on Sept. 16 2003 by Jim Allen
This was the first book I have ever read by Matheson. I have noticed that many people say he is a very good writer, but this book certainly dispelled that allegation. Read morePublished on Aug. 27 2003
My review would actually be for 2 1/2 stars but I rounded up to be nice. The premise of this book is a good one, man against man in the primitives of nature, life and death, good... Read morePublished on Aug. 26 2003 by J. R. adams
... how lousy this book was. I wish I'd thought to log in to Amazon and read the other reviews before being sucked in by the Matheson name in an airport bookstore. Read morePublished on Aug. 7 2003 by Susan Gray
The villain in this book- 'Doug', will have you hating him by the thirteenth page. He is an egomaniacal, bitter power tripper with the goal of making Bob feel as inadequate and... Read morePublished on Aug. 6 2003 by Brad Wockenfuss
The title I chose pretty much says it all-I never thought it possible for my favourite authour to have written such a book. Read morePublished on Aug. 1 2003 by William A. Griffith
Hunted Past Reason is not on a level with Matheson's earlier work, nor is it very original, but it is a fast, generally enjoyable read. Read morePublished on July 11 2003 by Daniel Jolley