A Stir of Echoes review Ô 103

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A Stir of EchoesF a compelling message from beyond the graveThis eerie ghost story by award winning author of Hell House and I Am Legend inspired the acclaimed 1999 film starring Kevin Bacon. A Stir of Echoes is an enjoyable if somewhat dated story of paranormal suspense particularly memorable for the clash of 1950s suburban worldview with a dark impressionistic first person account of an intrusive form of telepathyTom Wallace leads a happy middle class life in a modest neighborhood of South Bay Los Angeles with his pregnant wife Anne and their toddler Richard The couple enjoy the sort of amiable relationships with all their neighbors that hark back to a simpler era When Anne's brother hypnotizes him one night at a party Tom begins experiencing confusing waves of emotions and thoughts that seem to emanate from the minds of other people This is not the telepathy of parlor tricks and comic books but a crippling flood of empathy that overwhelms his own mind and leaves him doubled over in pain Tom is repulsed by the dark interior lives lurking beneath everyone's superficial veneer of decency He is overwhelmed by a recurring apparition of a woman in a dark dress sitting in his living room which suggests to him that someone in the neighborhood murdered the former occupant of his house Tom's obvious physical and emotional distress horrifies his wife who begins to suspect he is suffering from a mental disorder He attempts to hide his continued episodes from Anne while thwarting violent scenes predicted by his visions at the same time uncovering the mystery of the woman in the black dressThe depiction of hypnosis is laughable and the new age notions of the psychologist characters feel rather dated along with the narrator's apparent abhorrence of female sexual desire These aspects didn't detract from the reading experience however If anything they helped a bit to ground the story in the 1950s Torrance setting In contrast Matheson's prose style felt contemporary and immediate This was an entertaining and uick read which I recommend particularly for the interesting take on supersensory awareness Tom's agonizing spells were the most interesting part of the book I would have enjoyed the story however if the author had gone in a direction where it wasn't clear whether Tom was psychic or insane

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A Stir of Echoes review Ô 103 ☆ Tom Wallace lived an ordinary life until a chance event awakened psychic abilities he never knew he possessed Now he's hearing the private thoughts of the people around him and learning shocking secrets he never wanted to know But as Tom's existence becomes a waking nightmare even greater jolts are in store as he becomTom Wallace lived an ordinary life until a chance event awakened psychic abilities he never knew he possessed Now he's hearing the private thoughts of the people around him a. An enjoyable novel about a man hypnotized at a party who then begins to exhibit psychic powers including the recurrent appearances of a woman who may or may not be a ghost Matheson author of I am Legend numerous classic creepy short stories and many of the best Twilight Zone episodes has written better things but this still kept my interest I am a fan of the movie with Kevin Bacon and was surprised by how much different the atmosphere and setting is in this the original The movie is set in a gritty working class Chicago neighborhood in the '90's among average Joes skeptical of psychic abilities; the novel is set in the '50's in a tract of post war prefab housing that in spite of its blandness newness and all American wholesomeness still provides a home for viciousness and a few dark secrets I think this would have made a very good novella But even at a mere 200 pages it is a little too long

Richard Matheson ç 3 characters

Nd learning shocking secrets he never wanted to know But as Tom's existence becomes a waking nightmare even greater jolts are in store as he becomes the unwilling recipient o. I want you to pretend you're in a theater an enormous theater You're sitting near the front It is completely black inside the walls are dark velvet the floors are covered with dark velvet rugs It's black inside absolutely black Except for one thing In the whooooole pitch black theater there's only one thing you can see The letters on the screen S L E E P You're very comfortable Veeeery comfortable You are just sitting there and looking at the screen looking loooooking at that single word Sleepsleepsleeeeeeep The story takes place in Hawthorne California in the 1950s Tom Wallace is living in a rented house with his pregnant wife Anne and his son Richard Things are going pretty smoothly until the day his brother in law Phil visits and the three adults go over to a neighbor's house for a little get together After a few drinks the topic turns to hypnotism and after some gentle ribbing Phil convinces Tom to be his subject What was supposed to be just party trick turns dark and frightening when Tom starts to have visions of a strange women in his house and that is just the beginningA STIR OF ECHOES is my first experience with a Richard Matheson novel And all I kept saying to myself was why I hadn't read him before I would have given this 5 stars if not for one teeny tiny little issue I had with what I will call The Scooby Doo ending where the killer explains in great length the reason for the murder and the way they went about itOther than that it was a perfect creepy hair raising read