- Paperback: 448 pages
- Publisher: Back Bay Books; Reprint edition (May 12 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0316053716
- ISBN-13: 978-0316053716
- Product Dimensions: 14 x 3.2 x 21.6 cm
- Shipping Weight: 522 g
- Average Customer Review: 3 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #40,466 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Cypress House Paperback – May 12 2011
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"Gangsters, a silent but heroic drifter with second sight, and a whopper of a Florida hurricane. How can you go wrong?"―Stephen King, Entertainment Weekly
"The Cypress House is a unique and entertaining blend of noir and paranormal suspense, with a tightly controlled supernatural thread as believable as the gunplay. Mr. Koryta is at the start of what will surely be a great career. He's now on my must-read list."―Dean Koontz, author of Lost Souls
"The Cypress House is a dazzling blend of suspense, the supernatural, and superb storytelling. What a gifted writer. Michael Koryta is the real deal."―Ron Rash, author of Serena
"Michael Koryta is one of our new dynamos in the world of books, and in The Cypress House he spreads his range, wedding suspense with the supernatural in the eeriness of 1930s Florida. He uses the psychology of place to penetrate the human heart and delivers his tale of hurricanes and love and hauntings with great narrative force. Koryta's becoming a wonder we'll appreciate for a long time."―Daniel Woodrell, author of Winter's Bone
"Michael Koryta has fashioned a great character in his reluctant prophet, Arlen Wagner, a good man who ends up with an awful lot of blood on his hands before the denouement of this deliciously dark tale. Koryta is a fantastic storyteller, and the many admirers of his previous novel, So Cold the River, will find similar chilly pleasures awaiting them here."―Scott Smith, author of A Simple Plan and The Ruins
"Michael Koryta's command of story, character, and language put him in an elite group of writers at work today: Elmore Leonard, Michael Connelly and Lee Child to name a few. He is one of the very best writers out there. Don't try to label him, or stick him in a genre; that would be a disservice. Just read him, and soon you'll be saying Michael Koryta is among the best there is. And even that praise falls miserably short."―Ridley Pearson, author of In Harm's Way
About the Author
Michael Koryta (pronounced ko-ree-ta) is the New York Times bestselling author of nine novels, most recently THE PROPHET. His last three novels, THE RIDGE, THE CYPRESS HOUSE, and SO COLD THE RIVER were all New York Times notable books and nominated for several national and international awards. In addition to winning the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, his novel ENVY THE NIGHT was selected as a Reader's Digest condensed book. Koryta's work has been translated into more than twenty languages. A former private investigator and newspaper reporter, Koryta graduated from Indiana University with a degree in criminal justice. He currently lives in St. Petersburg, Florida, and Bloomington, Indiana.
Top customer reviews
I decided on this one from a book review I had read from the San Francisco chronicle. The reviewer had singled out this book as being a "scary good ghost story". She also indicated some of his previous books were crime/mystery novels.
Some of the acclaim for this book on the dust jacket refers to the super natural , so I didnt know what to expect.
From the first chapter you learn our main character Arlen has within him a power to see death in people before it happens. Through his prediction he ends up in a coruptly ruled town in the Gulf Coast at The Cypress House. Arlen along with his traveling partner Paul find their destiny and path change from that point on. I dont want to give away any more of the story. This is a very well written tightly unfolding story keeping you guessing and continuing to read. It is suspenseful, redemptive, and creepy at times. The characters are very well developed, and you get to understand them with background stories as you read along. The only concern for me was the story didnt specifically indicate that this novel takes place in the 1930's. Not that it changes my feeling of this book, but for me I would have liked to learn this earlier on.
This is an excellent book with good twists all throughout and a rewarding ending. Would definitely read another from this author.
Arlen and his young traveling companion, Paul Brickhill, had planned to continue on to the Florida Keys to seek work on the planned highway linking the Keys. Instead, they dis-embarked after Arlen saw a most frightful image of all the men on the train as walking skeletons. He had seen this during the war, and in every instance, that man died. He wasn't going to let himself and Paul die if he could prevent it.
This string of events eventually led to Arlen and Paul staying at the Cypress House Inn and boarding house in Corrider Country. A country where Judge Solomon Wade has a finger in every thing that happens and even further reaching ties. With the help of the local Sheriff, it isn't long before Wade has threatened Arlen and made it clear that it would be best if he minded his own business and left town.
I listened to the audio version of this book. 11 hours 51 minutes. Robert Petkoff did a wonderful job of narrating. His portrayal of the women characters was excellent, which I've found is difficult for some male readers, though Robert is probably the best I have listened to so far. There were also some unique sound effects that greatly enhanced the spookiest scenes in the book.
During first couple of chapters I will admit to feeling a bit lost. I am not familiar with this time period, approximately 1935, nor am I familiar with any area of Florida. I decided to keep listening and was slowly pulled deeper and deeper into the story. I needed to learn more about Arlen's past and why he was traveling with Paul, a man half his age. Even more, I had to learn why Rebecca was keeping the Cypress House running when it was obvious that there was no business to speak of. At the same time, I experienced an edgy uncomfortable feeling. I knew there was something wrong, but had no idea what. Whenever McGrath was mentioned I would cringe,tuck up my shoulders and pull in my hands (bad when driving). Rebecca was too complacent, she wasn't relaxed, more accepting that this was her fate and she had to bide her time. Why?
I'm glad I stuck with this book as I ended up really enjoying it. I will be looking for more books by Michael Koryta and further audio books read by Robert Petkoff.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
The problem with this power is that sometimes it works, sometimes not which tends to complicate things as the story continues of a small town ruled by a corrupt judge and sheriff. Well plotted and interesting story if a bit strong in places. I was surprised to discover how many books Koryta has published so may have to try a couple of more. Great book for spring break!
This book is exactly what it says it is, and does a very good job at it. The writing is tight, the plotting is excellent, and I cared enough about the characters to make the storyline gripping.
The supernatural elements are an integral part of this story but never overwhelm it. Imagine a Jack Reacher novel where Jack Reacher has that ability and you pretty much have this book. Well - without the overtones of indestructible superman that can creep into some of the Jack Reacher novels. (Don't get me wrong - love the Reacher books. But "so well muscled the bullet did not kill him" was a bit much to swallow. Yes, I get that it was also the calibre of the bullet, and the type of hand gun - but it was still a bit too "super hero".) Arlen Wagner is a very believable character - rather strange when you realise he can see who is going to die by looking in their eyes. It sounds peculiar, doesn't it? The man with the psychic power being a little more believable than a character like Jack Reacher, and yet that is the effect. Kudos to Koryta for managing this.
How does Koryta do it? Well - no amazing physical abilities. Wagner is a tough guy, but not physically indestructible. And then there is his personality - he makes the occasional mistake, both in his personal interactions with others and in his action role. Nothing that cannot be remedied or worked around, but he makes mistakes. And then there is his attitude towards his ability - he resists it and it causes him problems - very believable. Add to this that Arlen is very likeable, even admirable.
So the main character is a gem. What about the other main characters? There is the damsel in distress, Rebecca Cady. Is she completely innocent, is she complicit (even if only partially complicit), can she be trusted? Rebecca is tough without being over the top, vulnerable without being a weakling, alluring without being a caricature. In short - a great character. Then there is Paul, the young man that Arlen is with from the beginning. Another character that rings one hundred per cent true - he is young, with the virtues and faults that come with his youth and lack of experience. None of Koryta's characters are motivated by the plot - they are three dimensional people, each with their unique flaws, strengths and aims. Even the bad guys rise above cliche nasty to be actual people. And what these people do, try to do and avoid doing make the plot sizzle. It all just WORKS so well.
They situation itself is slowly revealed, and then we get into the fun part - what is Arlen going to do about it? This is another strong section of the book - Arlen makes good decisions, has the occasional falter, and manages a satisfying conclusion that is neither too pat nor too easy.
In short - Korytas can write, and he has a great handle on story. He is good with dialogue, good with characterisation, good at creating a gripping plot that builds naturally out of his initial scenes, and good at finishing it off with an ending that satisfies on every level. The man is just plain GOOD.
I, naturally, raced out and bought several Koryta novels, barely bothering to read the blurbs. Which I am working my way through reading, and thoroughly enjoying. Don't you just LOVE it when you find a writer who knows exactly what he/she is doing, and delivers?
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