||February 26, 2007
Magick, Horror, and Suspense! A fast-paced Thriller that Stephen King would enjoy!
"The Right Thing" is right for me! The first line of this book Grabbed me, and pulled me in. I was hooked from the beginning, and delved into the unfolding mysteries. "The Right Thing" draws the Reader into an isolated home in a pristine blanket of snow, the visit quickly revealing that within this quaint house lies a horrific surprise. Shocked, and unable to process what she has seen, a visitor nearly goes mad.
The Reader becomes so invested in the tragic and magickal events that pages turn without our realizing how deeply we are drawn into the story. Forces are called forth from beyond, entering the world, and infusing the story with life...and death.
The author's masterful use of vernacular, colloquialisms, "Inside" (in the know) speech patterns, and stories within stories draws the Reader further into the unfolding events. Much like Stephen King (but with his own Unique style), the author introduces us to a new person, makes us care about that person...then creates suspense and gives surprise twists that hook us further and drag us deeper into the mysteries. Each person we meet we become invested in, and must know more. Each chapter is written with unique styles, flowing with local slang and speech patterns which bring each person to life, as some confront death.
Who is "The Man in Black?" Why is he so ubiquitous, and frightening? Who called him forth into the lives of so many individuals? Why does his stare control so much and so many?
Those Readers who know Creativity, the Arts, Literature...or the Black Arts...will feel compelled to delve further into the mysteries and suspense. Pages will turn and magick will unfold, answers will be sought as Time becomes precious.
I have not been so inspired by a book in many years, and I was completely immersed in the quest for closure of the mystery and to see if the horrific events could be overcome.
Magick, Horror, and Suspense! A fast-paced Thriller that Stephen King would enjoy! By the author of: The Eye of Odin and Wolfgar: The Story of a Viking.
Do "The Right Thing" for James Richard Larson. You will not regret it.
Review by Graham Lincoln
In the Wake of the Man in Black
There are many different ways to write a novel. One of the most challenging ways is to write a series of vignettes and then tie them together with a unifying theme. James Richard Larson does that in the horror novel "The Right Thing."
Elsbeth Malone is an aspiring novelist. Elsbeth wrote a novel titled "Circle of Light" and sent it to a lengthy list of agents. Unfortunately, every one of the agents she sent her manuscript to has rejected it. Unfortunately for those agents, Elsbeth also practices magic; not just any magic, but black magic.
There is a man in black. Death precedes him and it follows him. Perhaps he is death. The man in black has multiple incarnations and they call themselves William Bagnold of Two Ravens Publishing of London, England. Every time someone checks on Mr. William Bagnold and Two Ravens Publishing, they learn that Mr. Bagnold has been dead for decades, as dead as Two Ravens Publishing, which went out of business around World War II. Mr. Bagnold does not care whether he is dead. Mr. Bagnold is on a mission, a mission set by Mrs. Elsbeth Malone before she killed herself.
This story follows John Malone as he tries to recover from the apparent suicide of his wife. We meet the man in black very early in the novel, and his first appearance is not auspicious for anyone he encounters, including Elsbeth Malone. John slowly learns sinister facts related to his wife's death and eventually learns that he may have a connection to the mysterious man in black. "The Right Thing" also follows the man in black as he visits literary agents across the United States, asking each of the agents that they do the right thing for his client, Elsbeth Malone. Each of the visits by the man in black to a literary agent is a short story, sewn into a novel by the mysterious mission of the man in black.
The tension in this novel slowly rises as John learns about the man in black, determined to understand who or what he is. At first John thinks the man in black is imaginary, but as time passes John learns that many other people have seen the man in black, nearly always to their regret. John's mission becomes desperate when he realizes that the man in black may have targeted a woman he has grown to love for a visit.
Endings rarely surprise me. I have read many novels and I have gotten to the point where I thought I had seen all the possible variations on an ending. However, the ending to "The Right Thing" surprised me so much that I had to read it several times. James Richard Larson tricked me with his superb sleight of hand ending.
James Richard Larson's story-telling pulled me into this novel quickly. The pile of bodies builds quickly in the wake of the man in black, and so did my fascination with the novel. In between bodies are all sorts of other perversions and crimes that add further spice to this story.
James Richard Larson also did a daring thing. Eliphas Lévi that Larson mentions in this novel was a real person. Larson ties Bagnold and Lévi together, and though he never provides specifics of the relationship, he does say that Bagnold carried on with Lévi's work, and he says that Bagnold surpassed Lévi.
This novel is quite clever. The story is fast-paced and contains a lot of action between the explanations. Though this book is Larson's third, and his first fictional novel, he knows what he is doing. I look forward to seeing where Larson's abilities take him.
If you like novels about mysterious characters from the beyond stalking about the country leaving a wake of death, you will find this novel to be superb. Fans of Stephen King and Dean Koontz should consider reading this novel by James Richard Larson.
Review by Lonnie Holder
I get a lot of offers from people to review their books as a result of my writing reviews on Amazon. I always say I will be happy to, providing the person sends me a book. Only about half of the people do. This is the first book of this nature that I am actually going to review, as many of the others were not enjoyable to me and I cannot in good conscience give a bad review to an aspiring author - being one myself!
This book however, necessitates a review. I can count on one hand how many books I have read that grabs the reader in the first chapter the way this one did. Ten minutes into the book I was hooked. The writing style was friendly and folksy, quite reminiscent of Stephen King in my opinion. The story itself also deserves high praise. Book publishers begin to die in bizarre ways - some by what is thought to be murder, others by what is thought to be suicide. Without spoiling the plot, neither of these causes of death is accurate. The truth is far more sinister.
The author here uses a unique device where many chapters often introduce new characters and sub-stories surrounding the soon-to-be-departed book publishers. I was impressed how quickly I became attached to the new characters - a sure sign of a skilled writer. The common thread throughout these chapters consisted of the widower of a deceased novelist - who had a penchant for the occult and also died under mysterious circumstances - beginning to notice a pattern that the dead book publishers were all people who had rejected his wife's book. Moreover, he discovers that a "man in black" visited these victims prior to their deaths. The same man who was allegedly seen outside his home the day of his own wife's death. Peter Benchley used the same structure of constantly introducing new characters in "The Beast" - if only to kill them off - and it worked well in that book and was just as effective here.
I strongly recommend this book, not just because it has some gory deaths of book publishers [which is a fantasy of many writers I suspect] but also because it represents what independent publishing should be about.
Do the "Right Thing", and buy this book!
Review by P. Robinson
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Reader Reviews for "The Right Thing"
|Reviewed by James Larson
The Right Thing
By James Richard Larson
Paperback, ©2007, iUniverse
Review ©2007 Sabrina Williams for Armchair Interviews
Elsbeth Malone was an aspiring author. She wanted desperately to be published. With each agency's rejection letter, she became more despondent. Her husband Johnny stood by her through it all, knowing in his heart that she had talent and it was only a matter of time before someone else realized that.
When Elsbeth committed suicide, Johnny blamed himself. How could he not have seen how deeply depressed she had become? Only Johnny had no idea the degree to which Elsbeth's desperation had progressed. The note she left said that she had done something terrible that she couldn't stop. He knew that Elsbeth had been dabbling in magic, but all of that dark magic stuff is make-believe, right? Then again, Elsbeth's best friend, Mary, did claim to have seen a dark, cloaked figure outside the day she found Elsbeth's body. That is, she saw him right before she lost her mind for a period of time and was found wandering aimlessly down the rural streets. The police could find no evidence the man actually existed.
Two years have passed and Johnny is still trying to fill the void Elsbeth left in his life. Unbeknownst to him, something peculiar has been plaguing the literary world. It seems agents are committing horrific suicides left and right, all shortly after a visit from a dark, cloaked man identifying himself as William Bagnold from Two Ravens Publishing out of London. Problem is, Two Ravens Publishing hasn't existed since 1944. And Bagnold claims he is representing a client by the name of Elsbeth Malone.
The Right Thing by James Richard Larson is an absolutely thrilling novel. It is refreshing to find an author with such literary adeptness in the horror genre. Larson’s style could be compared to that of Stephen King, without the quirkiness. The story lacks any degree of predictability, keeping the reader on the edge of their seat from the first until the very last page.
*I am astounded this novel came from a vanity press. I became glued to it from page one, I would think publishers would be scrambling for it. Although I'm wondering if the terrible things that keep happening to agents in the novel has anything to do with it, LOL?