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Terminal, by Brian Keene Book Review | SFReader.com
Terminal, by Brian Keene Genre: Horror Publisher: Spectra Published: 2005 Review Posted: 7/30/2005 Reviewer Rating:
Reader Rating: 9 out of 10
Terminal, by Brian Keene
Book Review by Benjamin Boulden
Have you read this book?
Tommy O'Brien is an out-of-luck working class kid with a wife, a son
and terminal cancer. The doctor gave him one, maybe two months to live. His
employer, one of the last still operating in the small town of Hanover,
Pennsylvania, laid him off. The bill collectors are clamoring for their
money and Tommy's dying.
He doesn't have the courage to tell his wife about the cancer, or that he
lost his job. Tommy loves her too much to hurt her like that. He can't stand
to think of his family living like dogs in their double wide with no money
and no future. It hurts to think about his kid, T.J., growing up without a
father, without a chance.
Then Tommy has an idea. He's going to rob a bank. He can't lose. The money
will help bury him and give his small family a shot to get out of Hanover
and poverty. It will give them a future. If he gets caught, he's slated to
die in a month anyway. There's nothing to lose, or so he thinks.
Terminal opens with the edge of a crime thriller. The premise is simple --
Three buddies take down the local bank -- but it changes, and changes in a
hurry. Tommy and his buddies, Sherm and John, don't know what they are
getting themselves into. They think it will be easy, a walk in the park.
Sherm plans the whole thing and he promises Tommy there will be no shooting.
No death, but everything goes wrong. John ends up with a bullet in his belly
and the boys find themselves in a standoff with police. That's when things
get strange-in a paranormal way.
Brian Keene ("The Rising") creates a world that is wholly believable. His
characters are fleshed out, the dialogue is rich and the prose is
electrifying in its simplicity. It is written in first person and has a
powerful working class narrative. You can feel the pain of the characters
who are trapped in the fading American dream-shrinking opportunities as
large corporations uproot to find cheap labor. It has the heavy atmosphere
of noir: A gritty, fatalistic portrait of working class rural America. The
story also probes into the dark and very frightening subject of death-its
answers are not for the weak or timid. They are scary and very real.
Reading Terminal is like watching a train approach a blocked track.
You know it is going to crash and burn, but there is nothing you can do to
stop it. You can only watch and hope for good fortune, but from the first
few pages you know there will be nothing but sorrow and lose. You know this,
but still you have to witness it. Follow it through to the end page by page.
Terminal is a gem. It is high-octane horror with a crime novel
mentality. Keene is the future of American horror, and if Terminal is any
sign, the forecast looks good.
Click here to buy Terminal, by Brian Keene on Amazon