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The Blackstone Chronicles: The Serial…

The Blackstone Chronicles: The Serial Thriller Complete in One Volume… (edition 1998)

by John Saul

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477732,164 (3.89)4
Title:The Blackstone Chronicles: The Serial Thriller Complete in One Volume (Blackstone Chronicles)
Authors:John Saul
Info:Ballantine Books (1998), Paperback, 544 pages
Collections:Your library

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The Blackstone Chronicles by John Saul



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Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
For me to make a run through 500-something pages in 3 days is pretty unusual, and while a lengthy power outage, and a cold that kept me up nights, had something to do with that - I want my pace to represent how this was a fun read for me.

I've wondered about some of the short-format printing options trending, and while this serial was planned to mirror the publication of Green Mile (Stephen King) - and the two of them reflected a much older approach to publishing (that Dickens used, among others) - I think this experience has told me what I wanted to know about it.

I wouldn't want to wait for thin installations to come out, wouldn't want to track them down and deal with the possibility of that being at all challenging, but I DO like the storytelling format once it's all collected (the same way I read Green Mile - which I liked less than Blackstone, BTW, even if it was technically better written).

I don't think there's a single original thing in this book (if you're a relatively experienced reader) - but the unoriginal things are organized in enjoyable ways, and none of them stunk to high heaven. The quasi-supernatural mechanisms weren't annoying or heavy handed (not often, at least). The scariest imagery was handled without belaboring anything - and the author succeeded in leaving you wanting more. John Saul has a good writing voice, comparable to Stephen King in some ways - with dashes of Ray Bradbury sprinkled in. I felt the same way about his world-building as I did about Dan Simmons' in Summer of Night. It's not as polished or easy/natural as Stephen King when he does it, but it's highly readable.

The book managed some decent surprises. I liked a handful of the characters. There were a few brave choices made with the leading lady in the piece, and they may put the lie to my claim that there wasn't anything particularly original going on.

Also, some cheesiness. But it's a format that makes some cheesiness seem almost inescapable. Since so much of the book is mystery-oriented, I don't want to spoil anything.

It reminded me of the pacing,scares and mystery of the classic movie Black Christmas (of "the call is coming from inside the house" fame).

Strictly speaking, the 4 star rating is for the experience and fun - it's more of a 3 if we're going to talk about it as art. Recommending it to my mom, in a good way :) ( )
  Ron18 | Feb 17, 2019 |
Serialization of novelettes, all related in such a manner as to add up to a novel. This is a clever idea in theory but resulted in a distracting repetition and an overall work that is decidedly below Saul's usual standard. The outcome was entirely predictable and the work seemed over-written. ( )
  turtlesleap | Mar 15, 2017 |
Saul has used the serialisation of small novellas with one underlying story to facilitate the publishing of a series of short stories. Ideas that wouldn't serve as a standalone book don't combine to create one novel either and although they are all centred around the effects of items from an evil asylum, this is still a collection of short stories. Marketed as such readers would have a greater understanding of The Blackstone Chronicles, however due to the episodic nature this lacks the usual Saul tension and sense of the macabre. Compared to Saul's usual standard this feels oddly lacking. ( )
  SonicQuack | Mar 20, 2011 |
Wonderfully written horror! A very engaging and disturbing specimen from a true master of the genre. ( )
  susanbevans | Jan 15, 2010 |
Not a bad thriller/horror book. The serial format worked very well in its favor. ( )
  mohi | Jul 5, 2009 |
Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
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For Linda, with love and gratitude, with hugs and kisses, with peaches and cream, with hearts and flowers, with emeralds and diamonds, now and in the future.
For Linda Grey, with love and gratitude
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The old Seth Thomas Regulator began to chime the hour.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 044900192X, Paperback)

Now, for the first time, the New York Times bestselling serial thriller is complete in one terrifying volume. John Saul, the master of supernatural suspense, John Saul, brings to chilling life the small New England town of Blackstone--and the secrets and sins that lay buried there. . . .

From atop Blackstone's highest hill, the old Asylum casts its shadow over the village. Built in the 1890s to house the insane, the Asylum has stood vacant for decades. But now, the wrecker's ball is about to strike--and unleash an ominous evil. Strange gifts begin to appear on the doorsteps of Blackstone's finest citizens.

Each bears a mysterious history.

Each brings a horrifying power to harm.

Each reveals another thread in the suspensefully woven web of . . .


Part I--An Eye for an Eye: The Doll
Part II--Twist of Fate: The Locket
Part III--Ashes to Ashes: The Dragon's Flame
Part IV--In the Shadow of Evil: The Handkerchief
Part V--Day of Reckoning: The Stereoscope
Part VI--Asylum

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:23:43 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

From atop Blackstone's highest hill, the old Asylum casts its shadow over Blackstone, New Hampshire. Built in the 1890s to house the insane, the Asylum has stood vacant for decades. But now, the wrecker's ball is about to strike--and unleash an ominous evil. Strange gifts begin to appear on the doorsteps of Blackstone's finest citizens.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 3 descriptions

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