Thursday, October 16, 2008

Halloween Read - "M. Night Shyamalen Beware"

Here's a Hallowen read for you
Bobby's Trace (Paperback)

"Do ghosts mourn the living? Perry Chaplin is in mourning for his life partner, Bobby - a time of stress, notwithstanding. The more he drifts, the more he becomes unhinged until he's one room short of a rubber one. "Get a grip, Perry." So he takes his chances on a blind date, which further plunges him along the nightmare highway. He gets an unsought lesson in life-after-death that turns his bereavement into a horrific adventure. Come peek through Perry Chaplin's mysterious window. See what there is to see. Enter Our Lady of Perpetual Grace, where the holy water boils and the confessionals whisper. What lurks in the rectory's attic? What lies beneath the surface of life and death? What comes in Bobby's - in Bobby's trace? Do ghosts mourn the living? Perry Chaplin knows. Will you? "

Do the Dead Mourn the Living? The Case of Bobby's Trace
Haunting, my novel, Bobby’s Trace, is a most unusual ghost story. Readers have contacted me with questions concerning the title spook, because they have never encountered anything like him before. Traditionally, literary ghosts are either vengeful, ethereal, wise, or desperately trapped. Bobby may have all these attributes, but his most pronounced characteristic is that he is in mourning — mourning for his lover and for his life. While he is the antagonist to Perry Chaplin’s stressed-out protagonist, Bobby is also a protagonist, trying to figure out the new world that has engulfed him.

As a fantasy writer, I realize that our task is to create parallel worlds, but with Bobby’s Trace, it is the trace that concerns us — the wake he creates as he tries to pass into the next world. We see this world only through Perry’s presence. He channel’s it, a doorway that opens only through him. Perry has wandered into a crack between life and death and is as confused as Bobby.

However, while Perry is trying desperately to get on with his life, nothing can nudge Bobby onward to his death — well, not nothing, but no spoilers here. Writing about death and mourning is a writer’s preoccupation. Most writers do it. Even J. K. Rowling’s landmark heptology, Harry Potter, has death as its principle theme. Mourning is something I know about, but I wondered whether the dead mourn the living. Is there a reciprocation between the worlds — a Taoist balance, a feng-shui between life and death. To this I added the notion that a ghost’s mourning is fed by the level of a beloved’s mourning — a lover’s desperate holdfast. Denial on its pinnacle. Of course, to turn this clinical discussion into a novel that touches the heart is another task altogether. Balancing pace in this short work depends on mutual themes — deception, renewal and sleight of hand. Still, I am pleased that so many readers have seen fit to express themselves to me by mail and in reviews that Bobby’s eyes still haunt them beyond the last page."

What Readers say about Bobby's Trace

"A subtle and wry humor never detracts from the intensity of the characterizations, which rather unfold like the peeling of an onion to reveal unnexpected layers and depths."

"I highly recommend Bobby's Trace and look forward to reading Mr. Patterson's other material."

"Bobby's Trace is a hauntingly beautiful exposition of one man's failing sanity in the face of prolonged grief. Touching and terribly heart wrenching. M. Night Shyamalan Beware."

"WOW ! Well, I'm glad I stumbled across this little treasure!"

"Impressive. Mr. Patterson has mastered the challenge of bringing his characters to life. I had no difficulty visualizing the characters and events, which allows the reader to forget they are reading a book."

"When I finished the book, I was tempted to re-read it just to experience it all over again. This was a great book, a joy to read, and one I'll want to visit again."

"Bobby's Trace is a combination of ghost-story, love-story and mystery novel, held together with the author's trademark black humour. At times bizarre and terrifying yet also beautifully uplifting, Edward C Patterson has crafted a literary jewel."

" . . . fast paced and I couldn't stop reading. Great twist at the end. I never suspected a thing!!"

Amazon Rating: 4 and 1/2 stars (9 reviews - full reviews on site or at

Come read Bobby's Trace

Grab some popcorn, turn on your itty-bitty reading lamps and spook-up your Halloween reading.

Edward C. Patterson, "M. Night Shyamalan Beware."

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