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Books  >>  Horror

james Herbert

Once

James Herbert Once
$2.97 Pre-owned
 
Low stock - should ship Monday

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Biographical note:

James Herbert is one of the world's most popular novelists, with books sold in thirty-three foreign languages. He is an international bestselling author hitting number one on the Times of London list, and his novel Others found wide critical acclaim in the United States. He lives in London, England.

Excerpt from book:

Chapter: First
MEET THOM KINDRED
 
 
He'd had no idea how he would feel returning to Castle Bracken after all these years. How long had it been? Sixteen, seventeen years? Yes, seventeen--he'd been ten years old when they had sent him away to boarding school. One month after his mother's death.
Thom used the "spinner" attached to the Jeep's steering wheel, a device that enabled him to turn the wheel using his right hand only, his left arm still weakened from the stroke--the "cerebrovascular accident," as the clinically cold medical profession liked to name it. Because the four-wheel drive had an automatic gearshift, he was able to keep his left foot on the metal rest, which came standard with the model, his stronger right leg taking on the work of accelerating and braking. The Jeep swept into the narrow, hedge-lined lane and picked up speed again.
How much had changed in his absence? he wondered. Not much, not much at all, he was willing to bet. Certainly not as far as the manor house itself was concerned. Built almost four hundred years ago in the Jacobean period, there had been few renovations carried out since, apart from the usual upgrade of facilities--plumbing, mains electricity, and the like--and certainly no additions, except for the banquet, which was not an integral part of the house but a fancy (there were those who misguidedly called it a folly) that had been erected a mile or two from the mansion in a woodland clearing. Thom wondered how he would feel about the place called Little Bracken, the cottage he had once regarded as his only true home. He'd been away a long time and had changed; from what he remembered of his last visit, so had the cottage.
Thom Kindred was twenty-seven years old, lean but not thin, of average height, with thick, tangled mid-brown hair that strayed over his shirt collar at the back. He was blue-eyed and his regular if not handsome features were slightly marred by a two-inch scar on his left cheek, another smaller one descending from his lower lip, both wounds sustained in the car crash almost four months before. He had been lucky that the visible injuries were not worse, airbag and seatbelt combining to protect him from serious harm as the car he was driving ploughed into a fortunately unoccupied bus shelter. The shelter was demolished, his estate car a write-off; but it was the blood clot in a cerebral artery that might have killed him, for the brain reacts badly to having its blood supply cut off, even if only temporarily.
He was unconscious for sixteen hours, drifting in and out for another ten. When eventually he had properly regained consciousness, his left arm and leg were paralyzed and his entire body--not just his head--felt as though they had been pounded by a heavy-duty sledgehammer. The doctors were surprised that he should have suffered a "haemorrhagic infarct" at such a young age (although they assured him it was not entirely rare) and further surprised there had been no warning (this, they further assured him, was not rare at all). Unfortunately, the same doctors could not say whether he would ever walk unaided again, or even if he might regain the use of his left aim and hand, because it would take time to ascertain the damage to brain cells and tissues. Yet he was young and strong, so they remained optimistic. However, for Thom, the wait was frightening; even more so because of his chosen and beloved profession, which required the full use of both hands and arms.
Thom Kindred was a carpenter, a master c
"Herbert's characters are compelling, and his characters . . . vivid and complex."-Kirkus (starred review)

"The king of British horror."-Publishers Weekly

"A new James Herbert novel is always a mesmerizing experience."-Fangoria


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